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All Things Philosophical...

January talking meme, Jan 18. From rahirah: How did you come to start ATPOB?

I entered the world of online fandom in 1998 shortly after season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was looking anxiously for spoilers after that season finale, and being new to online fandom, I naturally went to the official WB network BtVS site, buffy.com, and the Bronze Posting Board. I hung out at the Bronze during seasons 3 and 4 of BtVS, and was known for pointing out nods to various philosophical ideas that I found in different episodes. The first one I ever noticed was the contextuality of knowledge, which appeared in a debate between Giles and Jenny Calendar in I Robot, You Jane.

Some of my Bronzer friends encouraged me to create a webpage where I listed all the philosophical references I found. A web PAGE. I sort of suck at brevity. "All Things Philosophical on BtVS/AtS" was born on January 1st, 1999. Hard to believe that was 15(!) years ago. 15! The website soon became more than one page as Joss and company continued to produce deeply intelligent television. From '99 to '04, I lost entire weekends to my website analyses.

I occasionally got emails from visitors to the site. Some of those folks urged me to create a discussion board where they could discuss the show at deeper levels than other discussion boards they frequented. On June 14th, 2000, I set up one of those canned forums. The folks that came to hang out there did the rest.

The ATPo board included folks from all over the world, males and females, teenagers to 60-somethings. Posters wrote essays that brought in philosophy, psychology, politics, critical theory, literary analysis, you name it, somebody did it. The archives are a good read. Discussions were sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, sometimes serious, sometimes silly, sometimes paragraphs, sometimes essays (that were actually (Long) when warned to be so). The board's hey-day was from June of 2000 to Spring of 2004, but a lot of those folks are still my good friends. I was reminded of how important they are to me when we recently lost one of our own, atpolittlebit.

Whenever I stop to think I've accomplished nothing in my life except earning a PhD I've done very little with, someone tells me a story about how ATPo touched their lives. And I take heart in that.



Jan. 21st, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Re: "Proper Grown Ups" LOL
Yeah life is mostly going pretty great for me. The great: I'm still with the same guy (five years last week!), still working in the same office but in a slightly higher position, done a fair bit of travel, several of my close friends have got married recently to great guys, and, best of all I now have my very own kitty cat! Well, the boy and I have a joint cat. Here he is, along with my twitter handle for those playing along (and I apologise but I have forgotten how to do html): https://twitter.com/laania/status/418928398698700800/photo/1

The not-so-good: more than a few people I know have had cancer scares (including my mother - clear for years and years now though), and a couple of neighbours in their 50s who I'd known since childhood sadly lost that battle. A girl I was close with at school who was the same age as me died suddenly and unexpectedly just before Xmas, which hit me harder than I expected as I hadn't spoken to her in years. I'm still processing that she's no longer around. I can't even imagine what her family is going through.

That's me in a nutshell for the last few years, sorry for the ramble! Overall I've been incredibly fortunate.
Jan. 21st, 2014 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: "Proper Grown Ups" LOL
Glad to hear it. :)