Well, if you thought that content was KING on the World
Wide Squirrel, baby, you need to think again. Colossal
failures like the alt.culture Web site show that you can't
make the big bucks gar-gar-garring about bogus hipster
stuff till the cows come home.
First, let me cut to the chase: alt.culture is dead, and I am gloating. The
site is completely torpid, all the feedback forums have been eviscerated, and
repeated mail to the contact address goes
What, you may ask, is alt.culture? Well, the whole idea comes from a couple of
doomed and dated books from the horrendous wasteland of the mid-90s. The books
tried to catalog all the crazy and weird shit that happened in the strange time
that was the late 80s/early 90s -- the techno revolution, rave culture, culture
jamming, consumer-item-as-cultural-touchstone, media overload, blargh blargh
blargh. It was a weird mid-90s view of a dead early-90s time.
Altculture.com, the Web site, started out in '95 as a gimmicky New Media
promotional device for the books, but then kind of took off on its own. The
whole idea was that the Net Generation could comment on itself in that weird
self-referential way that post-modern theorists get all juicy for. Or WHATEVER.
It was SUPPOSED to be updated every week or so, but they ran out of steam some
time in 97 and pretty much have been limping along ever since. The most current
stuff I can find is related to Todd Bridges' arrest in '97. Woo, those were the
I think they made some kind of evil pact with Time-Warner's doomed Pathfinder service that dragged the whole
enterprise down into the deep end of the shit pool. Good to know, eh? Know who
you're selling out to BEFORE you sell out! Anybody with a lick of sense woulda
known that Pathfinder shit was a big lead career anchor.
So, alt.culture has been pretty much a well-preserved corpse all these years.
There was some scurrilous talk in the New York Times last year ("ZINE SITES
LINKING TO GET MORE $") about the site joining together with other
culture-decree sites like suck.com, word.com, feed magazine, and The Smoking Gun
to get lots of dollars and re-sell out again. Well, FAT CHANCE on that one, eh?
See, the thing is, if you have a ZINE, you love it. You make it LIVE. Watching
it crawl along like a re-animated Mondo 2000 zombie, dropping chunks of flesh
all over the Web like a disgusting leper, is just too much. You don't leave your
zine out in the cold, is what I'm saying. Zinesters don't do that.
My advice to those regretful alt.culture leftovers is the same advice I give to
any cheeseball ex-zinesters and wanky writer wannabes:
"hey, FAT BOYS! Ha ha ha! You need to get HUNGRY again.
Lean and cruel, with one ear to the ground at all times, like a Real
Pigdog Journalist. Try rubbing down with gasoline and doing 200 pushups and 200
pullups twice a day. Get ANGRY! Drink straight Everclear! Learn a little
something about JOURNALISM and maybe someday we'll let you be our COPY BOYS.
For now, the whole mess makes for an interesting study in hubris and bad
attitude. There's just something pathetic and sad about people who bray that
they sit on the border of a Brave New World, when you know and I know that that
world never has materialized and never will. Who knows what'll happen to this
dead site? I'm keeping an eye on the whois data -- hopefully I can swoop in and
snatch up this domain. Maybe PDJ can move our Pooniedog stuff over there. Hell,
culture doesn't get more alt than that.