Making Hey-Hey in the Moonlight: The Bottom of the Internet
Yesterday Sarah and I… well, mostly Sarah, discovered that there is no janitor when it comes to the Internet. She had pulled up the old Space Jam website – a movie that was circa 1996 – and found it has never been dismantled. Sure, some of the links and images aren’t in working order, but it was like walking into an old, abandoned building to find it practically preserved in time minus a lamp here or a painting there.
We sought out further movie sites from that era to see if this phenomenon repeated itself. William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet popped up. That movie brought up so many fond memories for both of us and we got to laugh a bit, but we were disappointed we couldn’t download anything. We did find, however, that it linked to Fox Interactive Media, a now defunct gaming site. It had games advertised for old platforms, job offers in this exciting new technology, and offered game tips through their phone service (80cents/minute!). These were archived sites, however. I’m not sure how many free-standing commercial sites are out there that haven’t been actively preserved. Sarah & I sought a bit more and found Angelfire definitely holds onto their non-commercial old sites without archiving. (As I recall, I had to go ahead and just delete one of my earliest sites before I forgot how to log back in due to embarrassing memories.)
The bottom of the Internet is still there, waiting like a ghost town to be discovered. I recently read an article on how ghost towns in the west were being preserved as insights into how humans had lived. Actually, it was from a 2008 Discover Magazine article, but it was in my mom’s house which is full of curiosities and antiques. The group who took charge of Bodie, CA went about preserving the space. I like the choice of language, “it initiated a program of “arrested decay,” maintaining the dilapidated structures just as they appeared at the time of acquisition.” And I have found that’s just what the Internet archive projects, such as Internet Archive and its affiliate The Way Back Machine are doing around this space. There are teams of people preserving the information and technology that we used to have. Whether it is for regular Joes, like Sarah & I, to experience the past, or for the technologically advanced to study and build off of, it’s still there.
I just wanted to add this for those of you who get bored and may just want to be here for entertainment. This is from The Way Back Machine. They collect all sorts of media as well, such as old movie trailers:
Cleopatra – Rex Harrison as yet another woman-hater (love!)
Beach Girls and The Monster! – Where I got the title from & one weird trip.
(Tried to embed, but WordPress did not agree.)