vr

a novel

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

June 1996

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 June 1996
Subject: Web Page

negatron, look at this fucking thing on Netscape and give us your critique. I seem to have fixed the problem of sending minors to our pornographic web site (oops) which I must have fucked up earlier this afternoon.

What the fuck were you talking about on the MOO about the links?

Nichelle

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 June 1996
Subject: Church and State

Terry, I was pleased to receive your letter and am only answering in this oblique fashion because I feel some kind of dumb-ass responsibility to these people who don't even fucking write me. I'll try to find your friend, but I never seem to see anyone on your MOO, except maybe someone who's been idling for seventeen hours... I think what we could do is this: in one brilliant stroke we can say that you are the Archwizard, a.k.a. the Enforcer. Only you can program. (This is no special privilage since the point is to talk and not to "create" stupid "objects" like a fucking cybervibrator which serves God knows what purpose. I shall remain, as always (I have a scorched-Earth policy about lying. I won't do it. On lambda I am SAGReiss. It might be convenient if you could get me a character on IDMOO. I thank you very kindly for the offer.), Gabriel, the Archangel and Bearer of the Message, or Giver of the Law. That means I'll have to bust my ass writing the Ten Commandments for intelligent MOOing while you bust your ass trying to undo all the fucking stupid shit on a generic MOO. The easy separation of church and state pleases me. I thank you for your kind remarks about the web site. Jude, the Obscure One, did it as I watched so terrified that I drank about a quart of whisky and when me and Nichelle finally staggered to the computer cluster at two in the morning to see the Netscape version, my brain was too tired and beaten to receive any input of data. Everyone seems to like it, except John, but I think he's just being an asshole. Of course, one never knows. He might know something unseen by the Obscure One... This shit is so weird that twelve-year-old boys know more than the baddest professors at MIT. I must wake up Nichelle now and go to work. Don't ask me why...

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 June 1996
Subject: Cunning linguists

This morning the dishwasher said he was in pain and had no Tylenol. He has had a foot amputated for some reason. I went to the executive chef and said: "John, your steward is hurting and I think he's too broke to buy Tylenol. Give me a couple of bucks and well buy him a bottle." He says: "I've got nothing on me." "You are an asshole. I'll buy it myself." Terry, I hope you don't mind my adding you to this list, but I really can't separate the list from the MOO from the web page. If you want to get off, I think you just type <@kiss my ass, Gaby>. This morning I was polishing silverware and God said to me: "You dumb fuck, call it the RLMOO." Some days I really am as smart as I think I am. The other night I was playing around with a teenage girl on Lambda and Stiff Lips asked: "Are you going to fuck her?" "I don't know, maybe." Well, it didn't quite degenerate into tears and broken dishes, but it wasn't pretty. So the next day I come home from work and she's printing up a text and acting mysterious. She gives me the text to read and I go off to take a shit, wash my hands, brush my teeth etc. just like every day after work. The text is her cybereating some guest on Lambda. And the guest, either a graduate student in comparative literature at the University of Illinois or a child-molester in Sommers, said she was sitting in bed with her legs spread in front of the puter shoving a vibrator up her cunt. It's damned good and pretty funny. I wish I knew how to send a word file, so we could share it with you. I mean Nichelle must have edited it and typed it up for a reason. What better readers than our friends?

From: Terry
Date: 1 June 1996
Subject: :)

Scott,

As always, a pleasure to hear from you. Your ever-candid, open attitude refreshes my soul. :)

I, too, am very interested in your idea of a MOO... I don't know of one that will be set up like you have planned. You need to talk with the person that might work out a deal for housing the MOO. You can find him on one of two MOO sites. Telnet to either: spsyc.nott.ac.uk 8888 or dist_ed.alaska.edu 6969 His name on the first is Dio and his name on the second is Musasha (I think he has the alias of Dio there, too). If you go to the first, you can check for my online there as Sregora. The second I'm online as Elusive. The second MOO is my MOO. :)

I hit your webpage; didn't have time to go thru all of the links, but the ones I did hit were good. Did you do this yourself??? Good job, whoever did it.

Perhaps we'll catch one another online in the next day or so...

BTW: Would you be interested in getting a character on ID? I can get you one if you want it. Then you wouldn't have to log in as a guest every time. :) And who did you say you were on Lambda?

Laterz, babe.

Terry

From: negatron
Date: 1 June 1996
Subject: Re: Cunning linguists

I haven’t fucked around with web pages for over a year, so I could be out to lunch, but it seems to me that the links in your web page are done wrong. Not really wrong, but just not normal.

They use form submits (which are normally used to move user input into a program script) instead of normal links.

For example,
<FORM METHOD=get ACTION="home.html">
<INPUT type=submit VALUE="I hereby acknowledge &c.">
would normally be done
<A HREF="home.html">I hereby acknowledge..</a>

I think.
Of course, this is just a minor quibble, but better I pick on it than some other asshole.

From: Nichelle
Date: 2 June 1996
Subject: Re: Cunning linguists

I got up last night after reading the last eighty pages of Hemmingway and went out, leaving Gabe half-naked at the keyboard and a plate of steaming artichokes on the kitchen table. I’m not acting out of pure jealousy. My mind is at work, and I’m trying to understand what is going on.
What does it mean when Gabriel starts to cyberfuck a girl on the MOO and I’m sitting two feet away, or lying on the couch? What does cybersex mean to a man who says there’s no such thing as virtual reality?
What am I supposed to say? In a sense, the computer never goes off in this house. It’s our reality, as much as our conversations at the dinner table, as much as anything else we do. Why would I want to watch you cyberfuck someone? You take a shit after work every day too (and thanks for being kind enough to share that with us) but I don’t want an invitation to that either.
What does it mean when you cyberfuck somebody, and what does it matter if she’s a fourteen-year-old girl or a forty-year-old woman? What does it mean when you type ‘I love you.’ to someone else when I’m sitting next to you? You know better than to think that I shouldn’t be jealous because it’s just the computer and just VR.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 2 June 1996
Subject: P-run

The mad Greek hostess screams at me: "Dis orda for Vanessa Williams, room 923." "What the fuck do I care? I've already seen her pussy." A p-run is what we call going up to a woman's room. A p-count is the number of women in the house (derived from house count). Actually, it was well worth the trip. Not only did she flash me some tit, but the check was for $17 and change. She writes $2 and change to make it an even twenty, but she made a mistake and wrote $30. I said to one of the gay boys: "This is the closest I'll ever get to boning her," and helped myself to a twelve-dollar tip... I seem to be having some marital strife of the cyber kind. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing when I cyberfuck someone. I know I'm not shoving a dildo up my cunt. Elizabeth is a smart but very troubled kid who needs help more than she needs cybersodomy. I know what she is doing when we play at rape. She's exorcizing her demons. Terry is a smart woman who is cybersexually attracted to me and possibly intellectually stimulated by the idea of a MOO dedicated to the pursuit of linguistic research and literary creation. (That's how we described the web site to the browsers.) I've seen the page from Netscape in one of the computer clusters. It looks not too shabby. I wrote to it: "Sending e-mail to myself. This is like cybermasturbating." I left the certify page on the screen when I left, one of those big-ass 17" monitors like this one, facing the wall and as far from the fascist brain police proctors as possible. Terry, we need to think about how to log the MOO. This is extremely important because the whole point is to publish texts and make some fucking money and tell the Sheraton to kiss my ass. I think I'm going to make something deliscious for lunch. I've got to get out of the doghouse...

From: Andrew
Date: 2 June 1996
Subject: (no subject)

Sending myself e-mail. This is like cybermasturbation.

From: Andy
Date: 4 June 1996
Subject: Hi, this is Peri

I’ve looked. You’ve got some good seeds. You could beef it up, you could make it look frilly/bleeding edge. You could do harder stuff, you could do softer stuff.
There’s nothing really new in your pages - no methods or mechanisms that are brilliant in your pages, but you needn’t have that.
Content is more important than thrill here, after all’s said and done.
Using buttons for URLs is actually surprising in that it could well become lost tech soon as ‘better’ methods become more available, but our consulting house uses it a lot because it means you don’t need to have a server on the demonstration laptop or something.
Anyway. I hope you’re doing well otherwise. Though you may annoy me at times, I do care whether you live or die. :>
Malcolm

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 June 1996
Subject: Archfuhrer

That went quite well, Terry, except that the night ended in a brutal brawl between Nichelle and me. We both gave in to our weakness and frustrations. She is a professional clarinetist living the life of a housewife and I am a world-class, erudite intellectual and a published author in my field waiting tables... There's enough frustration to go around. I can't remember having been so angry. I actually banged my fist on the table twice, which is an act of extreme violence for me. Nichelle hates your friend. She has stronger reactions to people than I. She kind of hates Malcolm too. So does John, but he hates everyone, apparently, except his mother. I hate my own shadow, but feel coolly indifferent to people who bother me, but still have something to offer. I didn't like, for example, that he just teleported me into his room to talk. He could have paged me: "Care to join me?" like a human being. Maybe he could be a kind of absentee-Archfuhrer and you could be his proxy. Nichelle couldn't believe I got away with calling him weak and a geek (Nice rhyme, Gaby.), but waiters have skills in being rude without really offending people. Money may be a problem (He seems like a crass, greedy son of a bitch.) but, as I told Nichelle before we began fighting, I have a trump card. If we pay him, he becomes a hired lackey. He's done his job, we've paid him, now fuck off and play with your verbs. On the other hand, one of my little projects, this list, the web site or the MOO, might one day pay off and those friends who have stood with me in indigence will drink Ricard in Heaven with me in triomph. This is a very democratic organization, Terry. All who actively participate (I'm getting pissed off at those who never write. I'll soon toad you from this list.) in each of my endeavors will share an equal part in whatever profits may be reaped. I have begun the text for the MOO. I'll be more productive Thursday when I can do it first thing in the morning...

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 June 1996
Subject: MOOClients

Terry and John,

Please look at these addresses and tell me what you think. We're looking for the best, baddest-ass software to log shit that can be had for free. Here is an address that compares them:

http://www.rahul.net/galen/client2.html

Here are the four we found most interesting:

GeNewic http://oeonline.com/~morton/gmud.html

MUSHClient no homepage

SimpleMU http://www.rahul.net/galen/simple.html

Zmud http://www.rt66.com/~zugg/zmud.htm

We also are interested in this one (not on the index):

TinyFugue http://fly.ccs.yorku.ca/mush/tf.html

Thank you very much. I think this might help us in the short term, but more importantly when we get a MOO.

RECTVM VINVM

Nichelle/Gaby

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 June 1996
Subject: Excellent writer of code

You fucker, John. You never told me your were a geek. Mirage tells me you're a bad-ass motherfucker. I think those were her words...

From: Terry
Date: 5 June 1996
Subject: Re: Excellent writer of code

Scott, your words seem to flow from your mouth sweeter than nectar from honeysuckle. I, on the other hand, am not a literary type; I'm more the analytical type. So, if you were referring to me in your last email (concerning those not contributing sweet words of prose), then here is my contribution. Please note carefully that I do no profess to be a writer. Therefore, you get what you get from me. ;)

My friend is a very busy man and always conducts business (MOO and RL) in the quickest manner possible... thus, you were teleported. Not a big deal, once all aspects of things are completely understood.

Concerning John, I think my exact words were along the line of, "I think he's an excellent coder". Which, evidently translates to, "I think he's a bad-ass motherfucker". Heh.

I hate to hear that your night ended with you and Nichelle upset with one another... hope all is well.

I look forward to working with you in the future.

As always,
Terry

From: Terry
Date: 5 June 1996
Subject: Re: MOOClients

John and Scott,

Concerning MOOclients, I am presently using TinyFugue and absolutely love it. I've only been using it for approximately a month, but am more than happy with it. The capabibilities of TF are phenominal. The help file that comes with it is quite in-depth, and somewhat technical. I learn something new with it each day, it seems.

As always,
Terry

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 June 1996
Subject: The Real Life MOO

LASCIATE OGNE SPERANZA, VOI CH'INTRATE

Wilkommen. Bienvenu. Welcome.

The Real-Life MOO

This is not a toy. This is not a game. This is real life. There's no such thing as virtual reality. RL MOO is dedicated to the pursuit of linguistic research and literary creation. It's the text-based equivalent of a conference call. It is also a new medium for art, education and communication. Moreoever RL MOO is an experiment in anarchist politics. Follows a list of definitions and hints for intelligent MOOing. For more information, and to read texts which illustrate the esthetic, linguistic and literary theories which inspire RL MOO, please see the home page of its spiritual father (http://www.dreamscape.com/sagreiss).

Real life means that everyone on here uses his real name, or some reasonable appoximation of it, although this may be painful for some or maybe all of us. It also means we tell the fucking truth.

The linguistic theory which hides behind all of this is perhaps best explained by Soeren Kierkegaard in a woeful book entitled "The Sickness unto Death".
The politics of RL MOO are simple. If we had a theatre, you could yell fire. That means you can say anything you want, including calling our Technical Director a cunt. While I haven't exactly tried this, I think you might live to see another day... The worst that can happen is that everyone will gag you. There's no disputin', no arbitration. Every guest has the same rights as every member. The Techical Staff has no special prerogatives. I have had to compromise my anarchistic and democratic principles on one point: anyone who fucks with or throws bombs at (hacks) RL MOO itself will be instantly and unforgivingly toaded. My little Amazon put a knife to my throat and politely begged me to include that clause, so don't fuck with the code.

From: Terry
Date: 6 June 1996
Subject: Re: The Real Life MOO

I like the idea of a RL MOO... could be why I'm involved. :)

MOOing is an absolutely wonderful medium of text-based communication. The possibilities of interfacing with people from all over the world are fascinating and infinite.

Scott wrote, "That means you can say anything you want, including calling our Technical Director a cunt." Call me whatever you wish, I could care less. Only moronic, imbecelic assholes hurl names about individuals without getting to know them first. I have very few pet peeves in life; but, this is at the top of the list. Judge me before you truly know me and my general philosophy concerning that can be summed up in two words: Fuck you.

As you literary types read this, I'm sure you're using the red pen of your mind to make grammatical corrections to all my writing. Well, a gentle reminder: I'M NOT A WRITER. I'm a technical geek. So, :P. I'll be your thorn in your online flesh, the bit of food stuck in your tooth, the scratching of fingernails on your chalkboard. I write for one reason: To communicate. Just as long as the general idea gets through to you, I'm happy.

Scott, I won't lie... you thoroughly pissed me off last night. But, I didn't @quit on you because of that. Real life happened and couldn't be helped. I'm not a quitter... I'll defend my position on something I believe in until the world is levelled, if need be. You misunderstood something I had said and I was trying to clarify it. :) Not easy to clarify something to someone who is somewhat drunk. Heh.

NEway. (Geez, I bet these little abbreviated forms of the English language, that have become a type of computer jargon, make you literary people grit your teeth. Do they???) I promised Scott email... and here it is.

Have a nice day,
Terry

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 June 1996
Subject: Web page from God

Who/wherever the fuck you are, you are the man. And God damn Mark Fitzgerald can write. We are doing exactly the same thing, brother, or trying. My web page is http://www.dreamscape.com/sagreiss
Terry,
I was so fucking drunk last night I'd almost be ashamed of myself if I weren't so used to it. I think we were arguing about your saying that if we had cybersex I would describe it to the World, and of course I would. I don't remember anything else. I sent that last letter because I was getting fucking frustrated trying to write legislation for the RL MOO and I wasn't sure if I was doing a very good job. I like it better as I go over it. Don't give us this shit about not being a writer. I don't give a flying fuck about your grammar or punctuation. (And Euclid didn't care about geometry.) A wild day on lambda. The whole living room was absolutely full of the meanest people you would ever not want to meet in a dark alley. And the FWBs (That's fat white bitches for those of you in the television audience.) are giving other people the address of the site. The whole fucking MOO is talking about it, paging me for the address. I'm too excited. We need to talk, tdark...

From: Monty
Date: 6 June 1996
Subject: Re: Raven

>What the fuck is that shit and why the fuck have you never told me about
>it before, you asshole? Don’t you see we are trying to do exactly the
>same thing? Get in touch with those motherfuckers and let’s all get
>together. I’ve also got a list. I’m doing my best to set up a fucking
>MOO. Get your fucking act together. Mark is a bad-ass. I’ll
>forward you the message I sent to the Raven…
*GRIN* I think this is complimentary, right??? And I’m sure it has something to do with Ravenscar, and yes, what little I know of Mark, he’s a good writer! Now, about the list…what list??? :)

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 June 1996
Subject: Nevermore

Take your head out of your ass, Monty, take off your sunglasses and stop trying to set up a link to your dog's home page (in order of your convenience) and get me in touch with those bastards. This is my fucking listserv. We've got a home page. (You know that.) We're trying to get a fucking MOO, the Real-Life MOO. We're trying to do exactly the same things. Why not pool our efforts and resources. We're all fucking poor and I bet half of my list hasn't paid the rent this month. I know I haven't. What the fuck do I need to explain? I know this is confusing, you all. Just go with the flow and check out the baddest page on Earth

From: Monty
Date: 7 June 1996
Subject: Re: Nevermore

My head’s been up my ass so long, it’s comfortable there, and the fragrance is so aromatic! :) Are you trying to tell me that you are “tdark”? Yes, I agree that the Ravenscar homepage is great and a moo would be neater still, and the rent’s not paid this month, but who are “those bastards”? The only thing that would be better about the Ravenscar homepage would be if I got my name in the authors’ section, but I’ve made only two posts, and one of those remains unfinished as yet. Ah well…:)
Monty

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 June 1996
Subject: The Purloined Letter

No, don't tell me, there's some stupid-ass mystery about who tdark is? I don't give a fuck. His name is Tom or Tim or Teddy, who cares? The important thing is to know that there are other groups of people out there trying to do similar things as we. Perhaps we can cooperate. I am working on the MOO. That's a huge project which will probably consume the whole summer, drive a few of us insane a few times, cause fights and marital strife and if we're lucky and good we might possibly be able to have a Labor Day grand opening. Only thing is my gf is trying to outlaw cybersex. What's the point of having a fucking MOO if we can't have cybersex? What's your wife's policy on this, or does she just think you're a geek? I don't know what we can do in the meantime. I'll just keep littering tdark's mailbox with this junk-mail and eventually maybe he'll wake up and RTFM. Better yet maybe negatron will steal some money off some senile great-aunt and fly here and fix our fucking 'puter. Or perhaps I'll manage to work something out with the geek who wants to give/sell me a MOO. I've made a draft of some legislation which no one who connects to the MOO will ever read. A rotten day at work. I stayed up all night drinking whisky and having phone sex with Terry (just kidding) and was still pretty drunk when I clocked in. I did my shit, made twenty-five bucks and thought I could go home at eight when the FWB restaurant supervisor was scheduled. She comes in an hour and a half late and then gives me shit about being hungover, which I wasn't. By that time I was calm and sane (oops, I mean sober).

From: Nichelle
Date: 7 June 1996
Subject: NCMA

This conversation took place between me and a 14 year old girl on Lambda a few nights ago.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
NC It's Gabriel's friend. We spoke the other night.
MA your name?
NC Nichelle
MA oh ypou know saggreiss
MA havent been able to get onto www yet
NC that's okay. When you do, send us some e-mail...:)
MA was it a bad rape?
NC there were four of them...
MA four times?
NC yes, at ages seven, ten, thirteen, and seventeen
MA does it help to tell about it?
NC I think it does, yes, though it takes a long time for even that to help. Mostly it takes getting on with your life, having normal sex with a nice man, and talking openly about sex and rape.
MA who?
NC Who raped me? A neighbor, a stepfather, a guy at a party, and a MOOer.
MA who did it at 7?
NC at seven, it was my neighbor
MA did the neighbour get all the way in? how old was he?
NC I really don't remember, but I don't think so... He was in jr. high...
MA and the stepfather? do you still see him?
NC They divorced. I don't see him any more.
MA were you in the neighbor's house?
NC yes, there were several times. I used to play there and spent the night a few times.
MA that's good
NC Is there anything I can do to help you, hon? I know (I hope it wasn't out of line for him to tell me) that you were raped... I've been going through this longer than you have, and I may be able to do something for you.
MA and he just took you? were you alone with him? did he do it in bed?
NC No, he talked to me, he put my hand on his cock, he touched me, he told me I'd like it, lots of things...
MA yes share with me.. I'm crying like a sop here
NC hugs MA. I'm sorry, hon.
NC I want to help you. Let me tell you, it's hard not ever having been a virgin. but I can enjoy sex now. Sex is okay. It's okay to like it. It's okay to get horny...
MA but I have a craving for sex and I get so hot and I wonder if I'm normal
MA then what did he do?
NC One night he told me if I got in bed with him he'd protect me from the monsters, because I was sleeping on his floor, and he got on top of me and tried to put his cock inside of me.
MA I wear sexy clothes and let guys fuck me
NC Do you have a lot of sex itl?
NC But to tell you the truth, what helps most is deciding that you don't want to be a victim, that you don't want to be hurt and that it's okay to like sex, and that you can have sex and not be raped....
MA yes
NC what do you think about when you have sex? Do you feel upset or angry, does it feel like the men are raking advantage of you?
MA what were you doing on his floor? weren't there other people there? did he get his cock in you?
NC I was spenking the night, my parents were out of town, they thought it was innocent, there were other people in the house, but not the toom. I don't know if he got his cock in me. It hurt a lot. I don't remember if it was in me... I just know that it hurt.
MA it feels like I am in charge and can withhold or give if I want... and I like making them cum iside me
NC I have been raped four times, and I still don't know how to define rape.
NC I'm going somewehre "quieter", keep paging
MA sometimes they go at me like they want to rape me... and I let them and struggle a bit and they become excited and it;'s good sex
NC what do you think rape is? Violent sex? Nonconsentual sex? Those things are very hard to define.
MA I like rough sex now
NC Just be careful with that. IT is possible to put yourself in very bad situations, and I wouldn't want you to get hurt.....
MA non consentual I guess.. the rest is just forms of esesx
MA Thanks Michelle hugs
NC it's NIchelle. Do you want my e-mail address?
NC maybe I could send you some things I have written, if you can't get on the web...
MA ok nichelle yes give it to me.. I can't give you one yet using someone else's
MA I should be able to get on the web today

From: Nichelle
Date: 7 June 1996
Subject: Cyberreality and its effect on literary research

I decided to made a trip to the library so that I could get a few hours of uninterrupted internet access. No, Gaby, I am not trying to outlaw cybersex. As I said the other day, I don't tell you what you can do. I simply told you that I was jealous. Anyway, my girlfriend would be pretty disappointed.

The good thing about all of this is that I'm reading a lot, at least a few hours a day. The library is close, and soon will be much cooler than the apartment. And so I learn to compromise.

This list/web/MOO thing is going by much too fast for me to keep track of it. Are we ahead still?

From: Steven
Date: 8 June 1996
Subject: Re: e-literature

Your pages look really interesting, I just read a little but I will come back and explore more links when I have more time. I don’t know what to say re getting your novel published… You might try getting in touch with Mark Amerika at Alternative-X, do you know that website?

S

“You have come for knowledge. There will be pleasure. Because knowledge is sexy. There will also be pain. Because knowledge is torture.”
--VURT, by Jeff Noon

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 June 1996
Subject: 50000 assholes

"So what is this Promise shit, some kind of million man march for white boys?" The dining room was swamped in fat, ugly, dumb Jesus freaks. In the midst of this crack-of-dawn nightmare some lady walks up to me and asks: "Can I just seat myself?" The whole fucking dining room is either occupied or a wreck. "The hostess will seat you, ma'am." "But there's a long line up there." "I think the other people might be waiting for a table too, ma'am." And they call me rude... Shiiit I didn't even say to the bastards: "This is my fucking table and there'll be no praying." I'm starting to make headway, finding people on the MOO, pages on the web, interested in the same things we are, some professor in Washington, some underground publishers, people who understand that the internet is in fact a new medium of art. Lots of people on Lambda are talking about our page, which encourages more people to go. We're up to 237 at last count and we've lost a few because the counter keeps fucking up. What's disappointing is how few people write to us, or even have anything to say on the MOO. Oh well.

From: Nichelle
Date: 9 June 1996
Subject: Waking up orange

I guess I'm slowly becoming a geek, much to Gabe's delight. I'm not sure what to think of it. Somewhere in the back of my mind, the stereotype of the Jr. High computer-geeks is still lurking. They used to go in and program during lunch.
Gabe expects to wake up and see the "abandon all hope..." in orange, but there's not much chance of that. What I did manage to do this evening is twist Jude's code to my evil will and put up a Neruda poem in Spanish with a link to the translation, much like the Ronsard. It's at http://www.dreamscape.com/sagreiss/testpage.html

I don't mind feedback, but be gentle. I've only been doing this for about four hours and I'm a little sensitive.

From: negatron
Date: 9 June 1996
Subject: Re: Waking up orange

try something like this:

<font color="orange">

also, there are a number of html references on the web.
do a search on something like ‘HTML primer’ and you should find something.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 June 1996
Subject: Beauty and the Beast

Just an average Sunday afternoon, negatron and I insulting, screaming and swearing at everyone on the MOO, when Stiff Lips announced she was going for a walk. It felt awkward. After work I had made lunch, a simple affaire of home-made bread, Genoa salami, various condiments, Boursin and chocolate for desert. Then I had MOOed all afternoon, meeting a lovely young lady (Her web site showed her with a radiant smile and a beautiful black gown.) who told me she had been drinking (Fifteen beers, she said.) and seemed interested in our home page, a smart broad telling the truth, which one so seldom sees onna MOO. A few short questions later, Stiff Lips broke into tears: "You're such a beautiful man, and you drink so much you become less than human." Yes, my friends, I deserved that. I can't gainsay a word. Alcoholics are very good at apologizing. Our sense of guilt and shame is so deep that we seem to be sorry for our very existence. The excuses are always the same: "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." "I was born with a powerful thirst." "I'm alergic to non-alcoholic beverages." "I feel the weight of the universe, the twin burdens of my boundless ambitions and others' soaring expectations." I need to summon my will and discipline my desire. I must go back to drinking just a glass of wine with lunch, a cocktail before supper and a cordial before bed, as I did at first when my Calliope flew to me. If she can accept my drinking more than I should, I can accept drinking less than I want. Anyway, I stopped drinking last night before dinner, no whisky afterwards. I barely slept, woke up every hour or so wondering if the night and the nightmares would ever cease. The heat is unbearable. The hours are long. My thoughts are with you.

From: Nichelle
Date: 10 June 1996
Subject: the pain of being a man

When I said thank you last nightto Gaby, it was because I realized what a sacrifice he had made, and I can only imagine that while he read the newspaper he was wishing he was at the keyboard with a glass of whisky. I repeat that I do not, and will not tell Gabriel what to do. I only tell him that it hurts me to watch his nightly transformation from a beautiful, brilliant man into a pitiful drunk. It hurts me to say this, and as I told Gaby, I had sworn not to when I first arrived.

Though I don't know much about the pain of being a man, I know very well the pain of being a woman. We all deal with our pain in different ways. As Gabriel said, some of us eat too much, some drink too much. My love for you is not based on how much or how little you drink, darling. What you did last night and what you wrote this morning were very beautiful. Let us be brave together.

From: SAGReiss
Date:  11 June 1996
Subject: Thoughts onna MOO

Anyone who is online as much as we are is some kind of social leper. Anyone who doesn't think so has so much shit between the ears it's a wonder he can see the screen. I have two friends in this town, Comecabra and Jeff, whom I see, by accident or design, perhaps once every two months. I don't believe Peri for an instant, that shit about a lively social and intellectual life. Assuming s/he talks to her/his spouse from time to time, eats, sleeps and works, s/he's got no time for that shit. We all deal with failure in our own inadequate way. Mine is the demon rum, though I've kept my promise to hold myself to two God-given glasses of wine and cocktails a day. The volitile reaction I provoke on the MOO shows what wretched losers most everyone there is. One idiot, when told that I had published an article in a French literary journal, actually accused me of impersonating myself. Of course I have been accused of being negatron, Stiff Lips (my better half), hate (though I would have written hatred), some idiot Nazi-fascist called Mr.Conservative (whom I don't even know), various guests and God knows who else. This brings me to a bit of amature MOOpsychology. When Christ says: "Do unto others..." he's exposing a flaw in our thinking. We tend to judge others (their motives, their desires) by the yardstick of ourselves. I have noticed that people who lie often and well tend not to believe what others say. People who lie seldom or never, like myself, tend to be very gullible. That's why no one believes what I say on the MOO. Perhaps this is all my mother's fault. (Sure blame that old FWB. Les absents ont toujours tort.) Had I been a girl, she would have called me Cassandra. I've got a little time left before work for a word on MOOspeak. The MOO's medium is text, undoubtably, written language. Yet logs look much more like transcriptions of spoken language, informality (In French, German and Spanish everyone uses the familiar pronouns.), brevity, attempts to transcribe prononciation phenomena, broken syntax and thought patterns etc. On the other hand, the proliferation of typos suggest something closer to informal epistolary style. As Jacques Lacan says: "Qu'est-ce qu'une lettre sinon une parole qui s'envole?" Most interesting perhaps are the conventions which correspond to neither written nor spoken languge, certain abreviations (lol, brb, btw, imho, rtfm etc.), symbols (:>, ;> etc.), emoting, yes, spam. My own doggedly standard grammar and punctuation is under assault by the MOO. The other day Stiff Lips and I began making love on the couch in our living room irl, and I actually said: "Shall we teleport to the sex room?"

From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: "Die Wahrheit...

macht euch frei." This inscription, no doubt quoted from Luther's Bible, as is almost everything in the German language, is carved in the cornice of a university building across the street from the library in Freiburg-im-Breisgau. I have argued, fought with many of you over the literary and liberating worth of role-playing/self-expression/creativity/imagination and what I have called the Bulwer-Lytton/Marquis de Sade school of MOOdescriptions. If I have struggled with you, it is because I feel so strongly that this esthetic matters far too much go unquestioned. The MOO is too important for us to take for granted its conventions. I think I shall begin this Tagesbrief by deconstructing my own description which, whatever its other flaws, is not, I believe, so easily interchangeable as so many of the others I have read. "Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss, small, mean, polyglot intellectual." When my mother chose my name, she made perhaps the most sustained intellectual effort of her life. She wanted to call me Gabriel, the Archangel, the Bearer of the Message, but thought this was a weird or unusual name. Her next choice was Alexander, the Macedonian conqueror of Persia, but she didn't like the diminutives Alex and Al. She finally alighted on an everyday name, Scott. My family has called me Scott, Scott Alexander, Scott Alexander Gabriel and Gabriel. When I fled this broken land for Alsace, I picked Gabriel as the name which worked best in both French and Alsatian, the local dialect of German. I am physically a small man, especially by American standards, five foot five inches, maybe 120 pounds. That nearly every woman on Lambda is a five-foot-seven-inch, 110-pound redhead with green eyes and big tits makes me suspicious in a country where three quarters of the population is overweight, even by the generous standards of the Surgeon General. I am not, as so many of you have been kind enough to point out to me, an especially nice man, either by disposition or by trade. I work as a waiter while waiting for my luck to change, and there is no meaner, more drunken job this side of the Legion etrangere, which I almost joined when the police d'immigration were hounding me out of France. I speak and write French, speak and read German, dabble in Spanish and have forgotten the Greek and Latin of my boyhood. The last word of my description seems to have caused the most strife. How many times have I been told: "It's very intellectual of you to say 'fuck'." I must confess not to know what that has to do with intellect or erudition. As I once asked: "If I had said I was an athelete, would it have upset you so much?" It seems so obvious to me that a man who wastes his youth learning five languages and reading two thousand books is an intellectual, that I don't understand what all the fuss is about. In a nutshell, a name, a physical, a moral, an intellectual attribute, a vocation. A description which, in short, describes the man with a modem whose words you are reading. A final word on truth, mightn't the MOO feel more human, less stereotypic if you would stop peering out at me from behind a cape or a cloak or your billowing auburn locks, and put on the unique and unknown face you see reflected in the screen? RECTVM VINVM.

From: Nichelle
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: Mutiny

I'm taking over the web site. For those of you with your heads up your asses, we have added a new button to the page called Tagesbrief. For our non-polyglot friends in the studio audience, the translation of this is "Gabe-rantings" and it means that "our" web site will display daily whatever Gaby happens to pull out of his magic hat. I'm the one who goes to the trouble of posting the shit, being Gabriel's geek du jour.

When are you fuckers going to get the idea? As much as I adore Gabriel, we are not the SAGReiss fan club. It sure looks that way if you take a glance at the page. I do what I can, but most of my computer time is spent simply making the shit work, and none of you assholes write. Where is the group of badass intellectuals? What do you do with these letters, if you read them at all? Don't you know what this is, what you're taking for granted? Use your fucking brains, and use your fucking keyboards, and when you're done with that, maybe you'll have something beautiful to show for it.

What about the MOO and the web and all of the stupid descriptions and pictures of people's dogs? You people are better than that, you are beyond that, and as far as I am concerned, if you ignore this letter you're trash, you admit your apathy, and I say 'walk the plank, you fuckers'. Stop waiting and do something, say something, *write* something. There is no question in my mind, or in this household, what the Internet is and what it is capable of. It will not be one man doing it alone. I will not stand by as the local geek, changing the fucking font colors, adding pages, learning html, and taking second billing.

Breathe, god-damn you! Live. Write. I am Nurse Stiff Lips, and this is your cyber-CPR. You sit there reading this like a bunch of fucking cyber-voyeurs. Try to free at least one hand to type with. If you have nothing to say, write an e-mail saying "I am here merely to observe and I have nothing to say, no opinions, nothing to contribute." Your silence infuriates me. Gabriel and I both curse at you each time we check our e-mail and there are no new messages. Your best is not good enough. Try harder.

-Stiff Lips

From: Terry
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: Reply

I am not like you literary types; I cannot write daily, for several reasons. Reason one: I can only write when the mood strikes me; when the keys beneath my fingertips seem to have a life force that I cannot, and will not, stop. Reason two: I don't have time to write daily, especially if the *urge* isn't there.

I sit here in my comfy leather chair staring at my monitor trying to think of a great subject to write about. Nothing comes to mind. My concentration is distracted by activity outside of my window; the most beautiful red birds are playing with one another. The way they are dipping, chasing one another, and touching tell me they are lovers.

An almost tangible, black void washes over me as I watch the birds. My mind drifts. Intimacy between two persons is an ironic bittersweetness. When a relationship has been so wonderful, so perfect, so sweet, it makes one reflect upon its direction. Things seem to get complicated; regardless of promises made between lovers.

The words "No committments" from the two lovers were spoken frequently at first... and as time has gone by, the short phrase has disappeared from any conversations. The oldest of the two passionate lovers knows in her heart the only direction possible. There is only one valid choice. Two lives are at stake; their futures not yet written in the history of life. She fathoms, deep within her soul, what must be. She closes her eyes and tries to force a smile on her face; the same face that he has so tenderly caressed and kissed with his soft lips.

Tears flow freely down my cheeks as I watch the red birds make love in my front yard. I don't even wipe them away; they fall softly on the keyboard in front of me. I don't even care. I eagerly await the black void to disappear from me. Until it does, life is vanity; a vapor, a mist.

I must let him go. He'll thank me some day.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: 16 Minutes

Just past a quarter of an hour since my e-mail, and I already sense that I may be sleeping on the couch. Gabriel read at most three sentences, tossed my letter on the keyboard, and went back to the kitchen. He's pissed. Of course it matters. I live with him. But I'm going to write a letter every day, just as he is doing, even if I haven't worked fifteen years at developing my style. Gaby, you know this is important to me too... Before I came, I wrote twice a day. Don't be angry.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: The Second Mutiny

The first mutiny was chickenshit compared to this. The woman I live with went behind my back AS I MADE HER SUPPER and wrote: "I'm taking over the web site"? So, fine, take the shit over, what the fuck do I care. I don't like the motherfucking colors anyway. As I had said, at the time of the first mutiny, engineered by some asshole, psychotic "friend" of Rochelle's who's now stalking her and from whom she now asks my protection, I created this fucking listserv (and web site) under the strictest democratic and anarchistic principles. Anything goes. I just didn't expect to be stabbed in the back in my own fucking home by the woman I invited to "come live with me and be my love". How the fuck did you think I'd react? Did you think about the fact that the 'Tagesbrief' had only been on for about six hours before you usurped the fucking space? You're lucky I haven't got my trusty Shakes by my side, for he has a couple of choice words for traitors in the Tempest and King Lear. I'll admit, I like your letter. It's good, but you didn't have to sneak around like some dumb-ass late-nite rapist to put it on the fucking site. You could have showed it to me at least. I can't remember if it was the first or the second of these daily letters, when I asked you: "I'm not sure if this is any good. If you think so, post it." You have had de facto editorial control of every new text, icon, font, color, every fucking thing, 'cause I'm too fucking stupid to know how to do the shit. Yes, that's very fucking amusing: "Gabe-rantings... magic hat... geek du jour" After I tear myself away from my work, day after day, because (contrary to what you've said) you can't or won't play your fucking clarinette. I bust my ass at work, come home and cook and bake for you, serve you at table as I've done all fucking day long in the restaurant, and you say I'm fucking ignoring you because I'm trying to do my fucking work, trying to find a way to make some cocksucking money out of the 'net, so I can take you to the promised lands of Alsace and Scotland? What is this fucking shit about a so-called fan club? In case you hadn't noticed, Miss Stiff Lips, the only people who take this shit seriously aside from your Highness and myself are Comecabra (cf. article in the Sunday New York Times) and Jeff, the man who called me "a real night mare of classical education", and negatron, whom I consider a friend and who better get his ass over here and fix this motherfucking 'puter and put a bloody password on it and a lock and key and maybe a chastity belt for good measure. Yeah, no fucking question in this household... Well, maybe not, but there's a lot of heat and a lot of tension, if my senses don't deceive me. What the fuck do you know about what I can do alone? So, I may need the odd geek to help me along, I've got one, far away where you can't fuck with the controls. I can create a fucking listserv, bring you across the continent, make a web page that everyone who reads it says is beautiful. The whole fucking thing was designed when you got here, if you recall. Sure I ask for help. I need it, but don't even begin to think I can't do this shit by myself, for I can. I don't give a shit about first or second billing. The proof is you've "taken over the web site". So fine, put your fucking real name on it, if you've got the guts. I've protected everyone by changing the names, except mine. I'll take the fucking heat. I don't give a fuck about the psychos off the MOO or the psychos whom you call your friends. I can deal with it, even if they come right here to our home. I'll just say: "Welcome to the World According to Gabe."

From: Nichelle
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: Traitors

Obviously all I have done is post an angry letter under the button Tagesbrief on the web site. I have made a statement, and I have made Gabriel very angry. I am going to go through Gabe's letter very carefully, because I want to address everything he says.

First, I don't want to take over. Less than a dozen people have seen the letter, or will see it. I don't care about the colors either. If you take a look at the list you made (it's on the coffee table) of changes/improvements to the web site, you will find that on the list. I can take them off any time, and I told you this the minute after I did it and showed them to you.

It is not my fault my "psychotic friend" is stalking me. I have him gagged, I have not read his e-mail, and I have not spoken to him.

I wasn't trying to stab you in the back. I was not sneaking around like a dumb-ass late-nite rapist, as just before dinner is one of the few times I have the chance to sit down and write e-mail. I regret that I didn't show it to you. You would have been angry anyway.

It is not my fault you don't know how to work with the web texts. You have made a decision not to learn how to do that.

That I can't play my clarinet is a tragedy. I love it and I miss it.

While you are busting your ass at work I am washing the toilet and doing the laundry and vacuuming the floor and solving each technical problem we encounter on the computer. After you go to bed at night, I am often still up. I work hard too. I have been looking all over the internet trying to advertise the web page, sitting up on the MOO talking to a bunch of assholes trying to learn how the fuck to FTP. While you were on the 'net trying to find a way to make some cocksucking money, you drank the rent, and it came out of my college savings.

I have given up everything in my life for what we are doing. I have no contact with any other human beings, save on the MOO. The telephone is off. Nobody can reach me.

I don't know what you can do alone, but it seemed to me that you weren't trying to do things alone. I have been trying to help you. I have given up my life to your dream, and you resent it. I work and do the things you don't want to bother to think about. When people don't like the page, you send them back to read what I have written. I have worked hard. Obviously, this is your list, your page, your MOO. That is what I was saying in my letter.

Gabriel, I am trying to help you to create something beautiful. I don't know if the others are trying to do that or not. But this thing I devote my time to has your name on it in glowing purple letters. Of course I don't want to take over. But this is not our page, as you said it is. It remains *your* page, and I don't know if that is right.

I haven't read 2,500 books. I haven't spent fifteen years developing a writing style. I have spent sixteen years getting raped, and it was all I could do to live through it.

Don't you see? I spend my time working on the site, and on the computer. I've been trying to make things work. But I don't feel like it's *our* site. Three-quarters of the web site is yours. More, if you count the design and your theories about the order of texts, etc. I admit that this is a pretty fair representation of how things work on the list. But Gaby, I put my *heart* into this, and you talk like I'm just an ungrateful housewife. I *want* things to work, I'm *trying* to make them work. My life is going into your dream, and it has your name on it.

I will take the letter off the website. I will not post anything on it until you have seen it first. Tomorrow, after my appointment at LeMoyne, and my trip to the library, I am going to the music building to practice my clarinet which I will do each day. I will also write to the list each day.
As for using my real name, you know that I can't do that. You use your real name, and you welcome the psychos to come to your door, but you've never watched a man cut your flesh with a razor, and you've never been held down by your wrists and raped. As for my psycho friends, I don't know what to say. These people you are talking about are not my friends. I left my friends to come to Syracuse. They are hard working musicians and good people. For all I know, they may have been trying to call me for three months.

From: Nichelle
Date: 12 June 1996
Subject: My letter

Please forward the letter I just sent to the list. If you don’t want to do it, I can do it when I get home… Just let me know.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: MOObusiness

Last night, in the middle of this huge brawl that should put an end in all of your minds to the ostensible distinction between rl and vr, we bought I fucking MOO. I stress the word 'we' because we are four equal partners, the ArchFWB, Stiff Lips, myself and you, negatron. Yes, you are going to be a technical director of the RL MOO, for the modest sum of US$12.50 a month. For this slim technical and financial participation you shall receive, aside from the tremendous moral and spiritual satisfaction that is already swelling your breast with overwhelming good feeling, a twenty-five percent share of any and all profits made or derived from the sale or lease of any byproducts of RL MOO, including, but not limited to, code, FOs, logs published online or in print etc. $15 Kanadian is a small price to pay for everlasting glory, bro. Don't worry, we're going to do it the smart way. We'll have two contracts, one between the Archfuhrer and us four, another between us four alone, each signed, dated and addressed by all interested parties. Shiiit, I'll be a gentleman and even offer to pay to have them notarized, just to be sure. I have printed out the various disclaimers, rules and regulations, help files etc. from the other MOO and am very impressed. I'll be working on editing them as much as I can. Being sober, I sleep about two fewer hours a night and still feel less tired, so I shall be able to work with a little more ruthless efficiency. The Archfuhrer and the ArchFWB are working out the details of the contracts. BTW I will stipulate in the Archfuhrer's contract that he is a paid consultant and as such may make no claim to any profits made or derived etc. Can't be too careful about these things. So many rap stars got screwed because it seemed such a long shot that they didn't bother to read the small print, or perhaps they just couldn't read... Anyway, it was a long, hard day, but a day well spent. I've lost some control of the web site, but gained some additional freedom. I can't believe I put that kind of pressure on myself to perform daily in a public forum. Now we've got two texts in reserve for tomorrow and the next day. I can relax a bit. I'm going to do the washing up, clear up some of the paper mess which is abominable, so Stiff Lips will be happy when she comes home from applying to a fucking Jesuit college. We made up quite fast last night (I get angry, sometimes very angry, but I don't stay angry.) and we consacrated reconciliation this morning in the traditional manner. RECTVM VINVM.

From: negatron
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: Re: MOObusiness

okay, here’s my fucking letter…
the reason i don’t write email more often is simple: i don’t always have something to say. i've been working the same job for the last two years, and it’s the same thing every fucking day. the only thing that changes is that every once in a while i get an extra responsibility. i seem the same illiterate fucks every day, listen to the same disposable guitar rock music, do the same fucking work. when things fuck up, it’s up to me to fix them. when product doesn’t ship, it’s me that has to talk to angry customers on the phone, even though it isn’t me that doesn’t order the fucking materials we need. it’s frustrating, and when it isn’t frustrating it’s so boring i have to drink two pots of coffee a day to stay awake.
when i get home from this stimulating and well-paying career, i sit in front of my computer and try to find something to say to people who i find incredibly bland to put it gently.
i’ve done without a piece of ass longer than any human or animal should.
i don’t go on long literary drunks that last for days.
i don’t drop acid and watch pink floyd: the wall.
i don’t meet interesting people when i'm grocery shopping.
i haven’t been really excited about anything for years.
what the fuck am i supposed to write about?

From: Thomas
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: Re: Web page from God

I should really check my e-mail more often…. Seems I’ve been coming home from work lately and falling into a good micro (Mendecino can’t be a bad place.) and by the time I’m done the print just blurs together.

Well sir. You have my attention.

BTW: I take it that you like the web pages. Thanks. (I have been getting a little behind on reprinting stuff from the list)

>From the mouth of God via SAGReiss:
...
> television audience.) are giving other people the address of the
> site. The whole fucking MOO is talking about it, paging me for the
> address. I’m too excited. We need to talk, tdark…

Tom
------------------+
I don’t wanna be filled with doubt
I don’t wanna be a boy scout
I don’t wanna have to learn to count
I don’t wanna have the biggest amount
I don’t wanna grow up
- Tom Waits

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: Short note before bed

Peri paged me this (I know he's an asshole, but could he possibly be right?): "You mean you're paying for a 24/7 internet connection AND machine space? How much? God, man, if it's any more than $10/month you're ripping yourself off. Buy a used 486 with maxed memory and a large hard drive and jack it into your leased line. It'll be FAR cheaper." Does this make any sense to you two, Terry and John? I don't know what to think...

From: Terry
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: Re: Short note before bed

Scott, Yes... it makes perfect sense. However you have to have a dedicated leased line. That means no one else is on that line but you. Most ISP's offer this service. Local to me, it costs approximately $150 per month for this dedicated line. Now, in addition to a dedicated line, you would also have to buy your own domain... approximately $50 a year. :)

Terry

From: Nichelle
Date: 13 June 1996
Subject: Eight minutes to countdown

I promised a letter today, and I've only got eight minutes before it's officially tomorrow. negatron, we liked your letter so much that you can now find it on the web page under your own special button. *kiss kiss*

The web page is still going through changes, so have a look and see the newest virgin. (woops, *version*)

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: Cooperation

With varying degrees of success we all seem to be attempting the same thing, experimenting with different kinds of cybertext and e-literature. We have different skills, different resources. Tom and Mark, your pages make ours look like a hack-job, but our texts do not lack a certain creative fury and emotional power, not to mention stylistic innovation. Besides, we've just begun to acquire something you two might find very interesting, a MOO of our own, designed to meet our own goals. This is a mighty and beautiful tool, a brand-new medium for the creation of literary works in real time, tailored to our specifications. Why not pool our resources, such as they are? I would at least mildly suggest we all make links to one another's web sites? I'm sure the same people would be interested in all of our work. I haven't got any links yet, except for the one which sends minors stupid enough to identify themselves to the Disney home page, so yours would be prominent if only by default. Please think about it, look at our site (http://www.dreamscape.com/sagreiss) and get back to me: "We must all hang together or surely we shall all hang separately."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: Empty button

Who would believe it? negatron has a text on the web site before you, Corinne. Why is this? Please snail-mail me something, anything, preferably in French, to post. Have you kids even seen this page? It keeps changing, but I guess you receive the new texts through e-mail anyway. Anyway Nichelle doesn’t understand why we so seldom see eachother. I don’t really wither, but I’m used to it. In any case would you like to come over for supper next Thursday evening? I’d be very happy to see you and so would Nichelle. She’s trying to get into Lemoyne College and go back to school. We’ve worked out a pretty good-looking schedule. I think the profs we’ve chosen should be fine. One of them looks like a badass. We’ll see. Anyway, Corinne, please, please e-mail me or snail-mail me or bring me a text (in French) to put on the site. TSVP about Thursday night…

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: Welcome draft

VERBA VOLANT. SCRIPTA MANENT.

WILKOMMEN. BIENVENU. WELCOME.

THE REAL-LIFE MOO

This is not a toy. This is not a game. This is real life. There's no such thing as virtual reality. RL MOO is dedicated to the pursuit of linguistic research and literary creation. It's the text-based equivalent of a conference call. It is also a new medium for art, education and communication. Moreover, RL MOO is an experiment in anarchist politics. There are as few rules as conceivably possible without putting the whole undertaking in jeopardy. Follows a list of definitions and some hints for intelligent MOOing.

Real life means that members use their real name (first and/or last) or some reasonable approximation of it. For example, the technical directors' handles are TerryP and JDLorer. RL MOO evaluates requests for membership with this criterion, among others, in mind. Similarly it is strongly recommended that members use their description not to play out some cheap fantasy, but simply to describe a few of their mental, physical and/or moral attributes. Our technical directors characterize themselves as, respectively: "cheerful, buxom, math geek," and "tall, melancholy, white-trash hacker". Descriptions, teleport entrances and exits, page origins and echos are all limited to one line of text. This restriction is intended to foster the thoughtful use of both words and database memory.

The linguistic theory which inspires RL MOO holds that, while cybertext is ostensibly written language, it shares far more conventions with spoken language, but differs from both in many exciting and innovative ways. Similarly, RL MOO's esthetic theory holds that cybertext represents a new and thrilling medium for the creation of literature in real time. Because of its explicit *raison d'etre*, RL MOO reserves the right to log any and all text to which it is a manifest witness. This does not mean that Big Brother is watching you, but that, if you talk to him, he may be taking notes. Furthermore, RL MOO holds exclusive copyright to logs used for commercial purposes (see help copyright). Members may log text for their personal use only. In the event of online or print publication, the names will be changed to protect the innocent, as well as the guilty.

The politics of RL MOO are simple. If there were a theatre, one could yell: "Fire!" RL MOO is utterly committed to first ammendment rights and freedom of speech on the internet. That means members can say anything they want, in any language, with total impunity. The worst that can happen is that everyone gags them. There's no disputing, no arbitration. Guests have the same rights as members. There are only two rules. First, one must be twenty-one or older to connect. Any site which is used by someone under twenty-one will be permanently barred and bannished from RL MOO, so one must be careful whom one lets use the computer. Second, anyone who tries to hack RL MOO or its database will be ruthlessly and unforgivingly toaded (permanently expelled). Members are not normally allowed to program, so any and all unauthorized programming will be considered hacking and will meet with harsh repressive measures.

From: Terry
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: Re: Welcome draft

Great draft, Gabe. :)

I'll think long and hard to see if all the angles are covered from my viewpoint, which is that of technical director.

Oh, one thing... I didn't know negatron was buxom. Heh.

Laterz,
Terry

From: Bob
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: You ask, “Who are you?”

Nichelle & Gabe,

What do you care to see from me?

You both have asked me, at different times, to define myself for your knowledge. I’m afraid I can’t really do that.

I’m not sure that I will fit comfortably into your world. I don’t make pretense about being an “intellectual”. That word is most often used to safeguard those that have a spate of learning from those that would otherwise be in their same social class.

I am learned, but not through structured education, but through my own quest and will.

I’m not triumphal. I have no awards that I can point to and say, “I won this when….” I have no salary that I can point to that accurately shows my value.

I’m not a failure. I have my successes and growings that show I do not stagnate, and that I succeed where my will is exercised.

I am most; a tolerant. I can make myself seem to fit into whatever pigeon-hole that you try to place me in, but you will find that I’m larger than any you can find. I am not so easily confined into a space, but I appreciate those that find safety in their space because I can only visit. I’ve always enjoyed visiting people at home.

I am a human being. As diverse and ungraspable as a rainbow, as simple as a nail, I am still too slippery to be nailed down in your estimation.

“There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I am past philosophizing, now I exist, and I co-exist.

I will enjoy forever turning like a diamond spiral, each facet new, and every one pure, or flawed, or shining, or dark. A system is what I am, and I shall not be named.

Well, I guess I still answer to Bob.

From: Nichelle
Date: 14 June 1996
Subject: saggy and baggy

Things are moving along, at least I think they are, though they seem to be moving slowly and quietly. Summer always feels slow anyway. I'm always too hot and my feet are always dirty.

I hope Corinne and Jeff will be coming over to visit SAG and me sometime soon. I can't remember what they look like, except that Corinne is the only person Gabe could think of who he doesn't think is ugly, and he assured me I'd recognize Jeff by his hair and baggy pants.

I haven't changed the Tagesbrief tonight. I asked Gabriel (while he was half-asleep) if he wanted me to change it, and he rolled over, moaned three times, and hugged me. I took that as a No. I'm not sure what else to do. Anyway, my mission in life is to get a stupid MOO client working, so I'm going to wrestle with the 'puter a little more tonight.

From: Keith
Date: 15 June 1996
Subject: Tagesbrief

This is Gaby. We’ve fucked up. Change “LeMoyne” to “the college” and change “Syracuse” to “here”. I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. Please forgive me.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 16 June 1996
Subject: Gentle reader

I have heard perhaps the first non-technical critique of our web site (other than: "It sux," or "It's totally awsome," the former more frequent than the latter). Someone said: "It's one dimentional." When asked how the work of five [counting the Obscure One who set it up] people could be one dimentional, said person answered: "It's awfully negative." Followed the Great Solipsism of the end of the twentieth century: "Of course that's only my subjective opinion," which effectively stiffles all possible debate. This line of thinking works, of course, if one wishes to remain alone in a room. If we're going to talk, we must agree on something to talk about other than what's inside your head or mine. I have not the slightest indirect knowledge of what goes on inside of your head. Let's assume the "negativism" argument to be a sound one and agree that what we're going to talk about is the group of phenomena which appears on our web site. The page consists essentially of eight texts (The ninth, "Tagesbrief", changes more or less every day.) of which I have written two, translated two and co-written one. My gf, my best friend irl and my best friend vr have contributed the other three, which are far from being the least popular. The two poems I have translated celebrate love (albeit in a somewhat macabre, renaissance way) and Joy (a work so unlikely to give offense that the European Union has chosen the musical adaptation as its national anthem). Of the two texts for which I must bear total responsiblity, the first, "12000 virgins" (RECTVM VINVM), anounces my first step on a trip which has carried me, in less than four months, further than I could have imagined at the time. Since that time, I have created an informal listserv, a web page and begun the process of creating our own MOO, according to some very special specifications. (More on that another day. We won't be open for business until at least Labor Day.) I cannot see how a man making his dreams come true can be called "negative". The second text for which I must bear the brunt of criticism, "10952 dicks" (There's no such thing as virtual reality.), is admittedly an angry, mean, violent piece of e-mail. Mea culpa, or in the language of today's college students, my bad. The text which I co-wrote (There's no such thing as safe sex.) is simply a log of cybersex. What could possibly be negative about that? I look forward to hearing from you, gentle reader, and shall do my best to respond to your suggestions or complaints. Thank you for your kind interest is our humble page. Gaby, caretaker of the World...

From: Thomas
Date: 17 June 1996
Subject: Re: Cooperation

Considering the company that I work for, I am not sure how much help I can provide you on the MOO. I can certainly offer advice and coaching. (I work for a company doing online multi user environments, (http://www.inngames.com/) and they may frown on my splitting my attention in that way)

I have not completed the links page on Ravenscar, but your pages are assuredly going to be there. If you like my formatting please feel free to snag it for youself.

Tom (tdark)
--------------------+
I don't wanna be filled with doubt
I don't wanna be a good boy scout
I don't wanna have to learn to count
I don't wanna have the biggest amount
I don't wanna grow up
- Tom Waits

From: SAGReiss
Date: 18 June 1996
Subject: Working-class rage

Someone (probably drunk) cut his hand and called in this morning so me and one of the boys (Read my lips.) had to do the work of three men, which is fine, but we got slammed, utterly doomed, breakfast and lunch. I waited on a hundred and three guests today AND I GOT WRITTEN UP for not knowing what was on the buffet. The Man (a woman but that doesn't matter) said: "You should have taken the time to find out." I could barely hide my wrath: "That's easy to say when you're not doing a hundred covers." Oh yes, my friends in the Living Room and the Sex Room, your aim is true when you goad me about working a blue-collar job. I hate it with a depth of feeling which you perhaps have never felt, yet paradoxically I like my job, enjoy doing it well, which I did today, whatever the boss thinks. Two of you, whom I shall leave anonymous to protect the guilty, have asked that I put a photograph of myself on this page. I think I shall do it, if only so that you can make fun of my face, or because I could more easily empathize with some of you, having seen your pictures from the MOObashes. You may be disappointed. I do not have three eyes, nor horns on my head. I'm an average-looking white boy, with a mean scowel, a nasty sneer and a volcanic gaze. You can judge for yourselves as soon as someone tells me how to post the photo and I go to Kinko's and have it scanned. In the meantime, I think I'll draw a fuller portrait of myself in words. I have haunted the halls of the following institutes of higher education, in chronological order: Yale, Georgetown, Southern Connecticut State College, Universite Paul Valery (Montpellier, France), Boston University, McGill (Montreal), Strasbourg (France), Freiburg (Germany), Charter Oak College (Farmington, CT), Syracuse University... My fields of study have progressed from Classics to English literature to French and German to linguistics and comparative literature. I draw upon the influences of Anglo-American logical positivism and European (specifically French) structuralism. I published an article in the French literary journal "Les Temps modernes", December 1989, entitled "Le Baseball". My master's thesis, before I pissed everyone off at probably the last university I shall ever attend, was to be a study of a short book Henry Miller wrote in (bad) French at the end of his life: "J'suis pas plus con qu'un autre". I have read nearly everything in both English and French, which is one of the reasons I tend to piss off professors who haven't taken the trouble. Aside from my field, I have read widely in philosophy (Plato, Hume and A.J. Ayer struck me the most.) and psychology (Freud and especially Jacques Lacan). To show you what I like to do, I shall use my days off, Thursday and Friday, to write a commentary of Shakespeare's sonnet "Let us not unto the marriage of true minds admit impediments", which I shall post in this space Saturday at the latest. You can see why, despite my love of the food/alcohol business, indeed my love of food and alcohol, I am somewhat frustrated being called an asshole by undergraduate illiterates on the MOO because I actually work for a living. Anyway, if someone will tell me what I need to do, I'll put my face on this page. You never know, some people like it...

From: Keith
Date: 18 June 1996
Subject: Re: Traitors

why dont you just publish this?
its real enough
 and since im reading it obviously not too private...
print in (cut off the fucking headers this time) and send it to every
small press in america... (oh yea try editing ... alot of the shit
everything that you to haven written to each other is just mindless like
brownsugar/scaredycat etc.)
i think it would fly...
etc.
k.

From: Nichelle
Date: 18 June 1996
Subject: Sonata in Gb Major

I have regained some hope, after a two-hour telephone call with Murder this afternoon. He's a brilliant flutist, and one of the best people I know. We have never had a moment together when the two of us weren't full of things to say, and we each seem to contribute to the other's musical thought the way nobody else can. John, I'm going to try to make it to NYC if I possibly can, just so we can play six hours of duets and drink some of that nasty, cheap booze that makes Gaby cringe.

Today was such a productive day, yet I still ended up with a bad stomach-ache and a plate full of poorly made tortillas. Gaby smiled and had seconds. I'm not sure if he really liked them, or if he was just trying to keep me from crying. Sorry, negatron, but you're not getting any nachos if you decide to come visit us. Maybe you and I can slip off to the Quick-Mart for some diet Coke and nachos when Gabriel isn't looking. I won't tell if you won't.

I had a long debate on the MOO today about rape, which I really wasn't able to explain to Gabriel. Some girl just kept saying "No means NO" and "I was almost raped, but I said no and it stopped him, so I think girls just don't know how to say no." so I got a little pissed off and bitched her out for a while. I'm not saying I'm some kind of authority on the subject of rape or that nobody else has a right to talk about it... But it isn't exactly like the word 'No' means anything in that situation. You think I never said NO? As a 7 year old, I couldn't. With my stepfather, I must have said no, but what good would it have done. I screamed it when I was seventeen, and I begged it when I was 22. Yeah, fuck you. No doesn't mean shit.

I'm tired and it has taken me over an hour just to drink half a beer. Corinne and Keith, I hope you'll come over in a few nights.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 19 June 1996
Subject: Legal and illegal activities

We, the undersigned parties, do hereby consent and agree to equally share in the expenses of installation and maintenence of a MOO (MUD Object Oriented [MUD = Multi-User Domain]), known as RL MOO, with the understanding that, in the event of any commercial exploitation and/or financial gain, said profits will be equally shared among the four parties.

The monthly expenses will amount to fifty US dollars (US $50), which will cover rental of a site on a server. It is up to each individual to contribute his/her share of the expenses and to mail said monies to Terry by the first of each month. Terry will, in turn, be responsible for paying the US $50 to the outside party responsible for providing the site.

Each party is expected to be consistent in punctually paying his/her share each month. Failure to pay two months in a row will automatically remove a given party from the partnership. In this case, the three remaining parties shall agree whether to continue the present agreement by unanimous decision.

If, at any time, any of the four persons sharing in this venture wishes to withdraw from this contract, all the said person needs to do is to contact the other three persons and inform them of his/her intentions. Withdrawal would, of course, release the person from any responsibilities and profits pertaining to the MOO. (In this case, the three remaining parties shall agree as above.)

It is hereby understood that none of the four persons involved will knowingly engage in any illegal activities.

The technical operation of the MOO will be the responsibility of Terry (Technical Director) and John (Associate Director). All decisions governing the MOO, and in particular the selection of Assistant Directors, will be made by a vote of unanimity minus one.

Scott: ___________________________________________, Date __________________

Nichelle: _________________________________________, Date _________________

John: ___________________________________________, Date __________________

Terry: __________________________________________, Date ___________________

From: Terry
Date: 19 June 1996
Subject: Re: Legal and illegal activities

Hey, that looked great. Someone up there print it off, sign it, mail it to the other person(s), then mail to me. :)

Terry

From: SAGReiss
Date: 20 June 1996
Subject: Partners in crime

John, I have just sent off five copies of the revised contract signed by Nichelle and me. I have taken all of your suggestions into account. The only thing you might not agree with is the "unanimity minus one" voting principle. The reason for this is to avoid political gridlock. As I told Nichelle last night: "The Japs got two atomic bombs dropped on their head because they couldn't all come to a consensus to surrender." I don't see why it should ever come to this, but if we all can't agree, then I think it's best to settle for near-unanimity and move on. If you still don't believe so, we can always change it and sign them again. I just thought I'd get things rolling. Terry, as a courtesy I have included one copy of the contract for the Archfuhrer, though he's not very polite to me most of them time. He seems to like my jokes, so he can't be all bad. I spoke with him yesterday morning. He has done nothing about the contract, so I suggested that you and I write it for him. He agreed. Could you write up a draft and send it to me? We seem to do good work working together. If I were Dio I'd want the contract to be between you and him alone, so he gets paid no matter what. If I were you I'd want it to be among all of us, so you are not solely responsible legally vis a vis to him. That's up to you, I guess, but each of us needs signed copies of both of the contracts, so they must be made up in five exemplaries. I'm plugging away at the legislation, and if I keep baking bread and making surprize deserts like last night's fruit cocktail flambe I'm pretty sure I can get Nichelle to make a new link on my page which will be the RL MOO home page. We can then publicize it under its own address, independant of "The World According to Gabe". As to the layout of the MOO itself, we have been thinking of three public rooms and six private (temporarily owned by the first member or guest who enters it). I think that's enough to begin with, but I don't really know what the fuck I'm talking about anyway. Have a nice time in Washington, if that's where you are. RECTVM VINVM.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 June 1996
Subject: Pigeons and lynx

Gentlemen, I have seized the day. I have put links up to your pages on our page. Originally I wanted to have icons as links. I was thinking of a raven icon for Ravenscar Nights and something along the lines of an Amerikan flag with a swastika in the middle for Alternative-X. Two problems arose. All we could find was a pigeon icon and my gf, who does the geek work in this household, simply refused to use it. (She's been getting uppity lately. What am I s'posed to do about it?) I tried to reason with her, but to no avail. It looked enough like a fucking raven or at least a crow to me, but... As to the flag, I'm told that the Nazi-fascist telecommunications bill is on hold, but I still don't want to get busted by some overzealous cop with a geek kid and some kind of ax to grind about the patriotic symbols of this great land. The MOO is in the works. We've written up a contract amongst ourselves and are working on one with the service provider. I've written most of the legislation. There isn't much to write. This is, after all, an experiment in anarchist politics. Vale.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 21 June 1996
Subject: 116

Let me not to the marriage of true mindes
Admit impediments, loue is not loue
Which alters when it alteration findes,
Or bends with the remouer to remoue.
O no, it is an euer fixed marke
That lookes on tempests and is neuer shaken;
It is the star to euery wandring barke,
Whose worths vnknowne, although his higth be taken.
Lou's not Times foole, though rosie lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickles compasse come,
Loue alters not with his breefe houres and weekes,
But bears it out euen to the edge of doome:
If this be error and vpon me proued,
I neuer writ, nor no man euer loued.

Seven main clauses hold up the grammatical, rhetorical and narrative structure of Shakespeare's sonnet (taken from the Oxford Original-Spelling edition, the only modern text that is of any worth to scolars): Let me not, loue is not loue, it is an euer fixed marke, It is the star to euery wandring barke, Lou's not Times foole, Loue alters not, I neuer writ. These seven sentences allow us to fine-tune the traditional division into three quatrains and a couplet, for here we see five distinct movements, an introduction (Let... impediments) followed by three stages of development (loue... remoue, O... taken, Lou's... doome) and a conclusion (If... loued). John Donne must have loved this poem, for rhetorical conceits dominate utterly. The sonnet opens in a flurry of Ms (me, marriage, mindes, Admit, impediments) which underscore the central image "marriage of true mindes" where the alliteration on the page imitates the bringing together of the lovers. The style of this introduction is that of oratorical speech. Think of your favorite asshole politician saying: "Let me not, fellow citizens, starve to death. Pay your taxes, obey the law, boycott Disney." Next comes a bewildering cluster of very complex figures of speech, a classic syllepsis (loue is not loue) and two polyptota (alters/alteration, remouer/remoue). These redundancies shatter the normal perceptions of words (their meaning in the former case, their morphology in the latter). The tone echos that of lyrical poetry, where the wild music of well-wrought words submerges and drowns out their meaning. The second quatrain consists of two extended metaphors with the pattern: copula, relative clause which develops the vehicle independant of the tenor. Readers of Milton will recognize the unmistakable voice of epic poetry. The third quatrain exploits one simple but elegant figure of speech, anaphora (Lou's not... Loue alters not). Here lies the poem's argument, its didactic core. Time (death, mutability, the grim reaper, whatever) does not destroy love, even though my hot cyberslut of today will be an emaciated cyberaids victim tomorrow, because love does not wane with the passage of time, but sticks it out to the bitter end or Dr K. whichever comes first. The syntax flows almost like prose giving the reader the impression of expository writing. The couplet is a paradox, and a vicious and highly dishonest rabbit-out-of-the-hat-pulling. The first line seems simple enough, the protasis of an apparent condition (in the subjunctive, but that's Elizabethan English for you), but the apodosis (or predicate in philosophical terms) makes the whole argument absurd and tautological, since we are reading the poem (so he indeed writ) and we have felt or at least witnessed love. Thus instead of using the if-clause to prove the then-clause, he uses the then-clause to disprove the if-clause. The style of colloquial speech makes this low-rent con game all the more believable. I'm sorry about all the technical terms, but you geeks use a lot of fucking words I can't understand. negatron will you find out about gif versus jpg so I can post the beaver shots?

From: Murder
Date: 21 June 1996
Subject: Personality

All right, you fuckers! I know I don't post very much to this list, because, as gaby would say, my screen-time-to-jack-off-time-ratio is relatively small. But, putting that aside, I have a real-life question for the members of this list. Don't laugh. How many of you have taken the Meyers-Briggs personality test? What's your type? How many of you actually believe in such tests to be accurate? Gabe, I can sense your skepticism even as I type this, much less send it, but bear with me. Personally I have a hard time with categorizing 5 1/2 billion people in the world into sixteen neat and orderly types. Such a claim is bullshit, right? What about the Enneagram, with its nine personality types? What's your Enneagram type? Just curious. I know it sounds like I'm piss-drunk walking into some fucking bar at two in the morning going, "Hey, baby, what's your sign?" I don't care. Fuck you. I'm curious, okay?

Murder
(A Meyers-Briggs INTJ and an Enneagram 1)

From: Terry
Date: 22 June 1996
Subject: Re: Partners in crime

Sounds great to me... and I am in Wash DC and having a blast. I *may* even do some sightseeing while here. Heh. I talked to Dio a couple days ago and will try to catch up to him while I'm in DC. Would you believe the guest room has a kickass computer??? I'm in heaven and sipping wine as I relax.

Laterz,
Terry

From: Nichelle
Date: 22 June 1996
Subject: The Raven

I can't believe Gabriel actually asked me to put an icon with a pigeon on it as a link to "The Web Page From God". The only thing worse than a pigeon is a seagull, and I'm awfully glad we found no seagull icons. The raven is a badass. The pigeon is a white-trash vagrant. They'd drink Boone's wine, if they could afford the $1.79 a bottle. Enough said.

Murder, you know that I've taken both of those tests, a long time ago, and I took the Meyers-Briggs online last night. My score several years ago was INFP, meaning I'm a pansy-ass musician type, I think. My score last night was XSXP (the Xs being ties between EI, and FT). I'm really not sure what that all means, though, if it means anything. The other test, I believe I'm a four, right? That also means I'm a pansy-ass musician type, in a more official way. Although Gabe thought the test was stupid (I admit to having leanings in that direction when it comes to this kind of test, generally.) he scored exactly the way I guessed he would, even though he says he answered questions more or less at random. (He came out an ENTJ.)
I don't really know what to say about personality tests. The only two things I think are interesting about the experiment are that a) Gabe came out the way I guessed he would, and b) my score changed dramatically. What does it mean, if anything? Probably that Gaby is controlling my mind, as my grandmother Nana believes.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 June 1996
Subject: ENTJ

Several egregious inaccuracies in Stiff Lips' letter cry out for redress. I never claimed that such tests were, generally, bullshit. As I said to her, before I had seen the test, I think such tests are about as reliable as horoscopes. She took this to mean that they are bullshit, impression which I quickly modified: "Newton was the first astonomer not to be also an astrologist." When big, bad Ike said: "I have stood on the shoulders of giants," one of the seven footers he had in mind was a crazy Dutchman called Kepler. Kepler wrote three laws. (The only one I recall is that orbits are elliptical.) Unfortunately he was also something of a musician, so he wrote the score of the music of the planets, the songs they sing while spinning in orbit. He was one weird motherfucker. What I didn't like about the test, and why I answered more or less at random, was that many of the questions had to do with parties or the telephone, neither of which are relevant to my life, and most of the others used terms such as objective, realistic, speculative etc. as if their definitions were not subject to dispute. This is typical Jungian chickenshit. Jung was an ass and so is everyone who studies him. Anyway Murder, it has been decided by Papal decree once and for all that members of this list who choose to participate as readers but not as writers may do so. So long as I know they are indeed reading. Those who do not even care to manifest their presence by saying: "Yes, I read this shit. No I have nothing to write," may at any time be toaded, once again by Papal decree, or Bull as I think it's called by the professionals. negatron, please tell me what I must do. I've got a grainy, black-and-white 6"x4" photograph I'd like to post on the page. I go to Kinko's with a fixed disk and ask for what exactly? Peri tried to explain it to me, but he can't speak fucking English when he's geeking, so I didn't understand a word. I just said: "G'sundtheit."

From: negatron
Date: 22 June 1996
Subject: Re: ENTJ

Take a 3 1/2 HD (high density) diskette to the store with the photograph. Have them scan it at a fairly low resolution (it’s grainy anyways, and higher resolutions will eat up your alloted disk space for the web page.) Make sure they save it as IBM PC format.

I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.

John
(an ISTJ, apparently the sort of wanker most suitable for military duty.)

From: SAGReiss
Date: 23 June 1996
Subject: Flashbacks

Tchinek, welcome to the dark, hidden part of this page, for this page is more than it seems. It is, among other things, the public voice of a small, but growing listserv and a new MOO we shall being work on shortly and hope to have ready by Labo(u)r Day, Monday 2 September. (The music is distracting me. Shostakovich Kicks Ass op. 110a and 118a.) I'm not sure you've understood the "Tagesbrief" button. It changes more or less daily. We just put the most interesting e-mail of the day there. So far that has almost always meant my letters, but this just shows I write the most, by far. Participants may also have their own permanent button, as we continue to beg Comecabra to fill. When we receive a badass e-mail message, I just think of a title and we post it. This is new to all of us. I'm winging it. We've already talked about the Fear, the wide-eyed, dumb-struck look that sometimes creeps into Stiff Lips' face when we make love. Yesterday, for the first time, we had flashbacks. I once saw a woman gang-raped, but I don't remember it very clearly because I was resting at the time, flat on my back in a puddle of my own blood. I recall a few words: "It's my turn." "You're hurting me." I remember when I was finally able to stand up and clear my head and call the cops, it seemed very important to try to put her dress back on, absurdly torn as it was. Anyway it was nothing like the weird and deeply disturbing experience of coming in a woman as her sighs of pleasure turn to hysterical hyperventilation, then to broken, choked-back sobs and tears welling but refusing to fall: "It's just a bad memory, sweetheart." The dough for bagels is rising. We're making two plain, three poppy seed and three cinnamon and raisin. We're browsing the Sunday New York Times, MOOing and waiting for our luck to change. If nothing else we eat well. No bueno. Chupacabra.

From: Colin
Date: 23 June 1996
Subject: cogitations

Know what? You should repeat the poem for every major point (in demotic spelling) with the parts and tropes and devices +highlighted+ for each, and linked to a definition (websters, or your own) of each technical term.

I think you ought to make more of the parallel between technobabble and linguistic jargon. I think you ought then to contrast them both with the poetic use of language in the poem, and then compare and contrast the functional referents of technobabble, and the poetic referents of your critical apparatus.

. o O ( Note the indelicate use of the flashing HTML type in SAG's exegesis, referring to the ancient dispute between purists and netscape owners about the propriety of defining new tags with concrete representations, harmonised neatly in his <h1/conclusion/ section, prefiguring the resolved lovers' argument. )

Colin.

From: Colin
Date: 23 June 1996
Subject: Thank you so much

I did +not+ give you permission to associate my MOO name with my email address. You have done me a disservice. I’ll tell you precisely why, in detail, when next we meet. I would like the MOO names of each of the people on the list.

From: Colin
Date: 23 June 1996
Subject: Why one should be careful

Memorandum

From: Nancy

To Whom It May Concern:

You are undoubtably aware of the increasing use and power of the Internet for professional and personal interactions, through recent articles in Newsweek, The Washington Post, and television features such as on the program “20/20”. While this power provides an incredible wealth of resources, it also provides a mechanism whereby destructive actions can be taken.
My professional and personal activities have caused me to be quite active on the Internet. Recently I, and several other women, have been the target for (computer-mediated) harassment and threats from a person with whom we had become acquainted on-line. We had befriended this individual, and several of us had lengthy personal discussions with him extending over a period of several months. Unfortunately, for reasons of his own, he decided to begin systematic harassment of several of us at various points in time, including making quite serious hostile threats. Many of these threats extend into ‘real life’ activities and, if carried out, could cause each of us professional and personal difficulties.
This individual is a programmer and sophisticated Internet user, so he has an immense array of on-line information and electronic resources at his disposal. Even though he resides on another continent, he could take a variety of steps long distance. The types of threats I have either experienced or have been related to me by other women include making spurious professional complaints, leveling fabricated charges of academic misconduct, contacting professional journals, revealing confidences and medical information to employers and professional colleagues, attacking professional works in public for a, making crank phone calls, and so forth. He is also articulate and clever enough to make his threats carefully worded and veiled to be difficult to interpret from a casual inspection of computer logs without realizing the full extent of his actions and intent.
Several of the professional women that have been harassed by this individual have agreed to bring this matter to the attention of his system administrator, so we believe he may choose to act out his threats quite soon. We are attempting to get him barred from access to the systems and Internet resources which we utilize so that he can no longer continue his harassment.
The purpose of this memorandum is to make a formal record of the existence of these threats prior to the time this individual has an opportunity to act. Please let me know if I might answer any questions about this matter, or to put you in contact with other women that have experienced this harassment. Thank you.
His name is:
Colin

This electronic mail will be followed up by hard copy letter.
Please keep this memorandum on file for three (3) years from date of receipt.

From: Tesla
Date: 24 June 1996
Subject: ‘High above seamless’

High above seamless ceiling and crayon-colored boys she floats, nude from the waist up. Her top, mental, that once molded her breasts and belly to subjectively perfect form, fell off somewhere over the Southern Hemisphere, unable to constrict, restrict any longer. A chain, heavy and unwieldy, is fastened around her waist, its ends hanging loosely down over tight cutoffs to rub against the tops of her thighs with each movement. The chain binds, reminds, holds her close to earth, allows her to skim just below a thin layer of smeared clouds.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 June 1996
Subject: NetWorld

Negatron, I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that little enigmatic comment: "see where i'm leading?" What I understood by that, which I talked over with Stiff Lips rather than on the MOO, is that we could create links among the listserv, the web page and the MOO, forge all three into one ergonomic NetWorld with all possibilities for communication open: connections among e-mail, MOOmail and mail to the web site. Ideally, of course, the MOO itself and each of its members could send and receive MOOmail AND e-mail, the listserv could include, at least potentially all members of the MOO, the web page mail could go to the listserv etc. We could also, as I've seen on some MOOs offer space for members' web pages, linking them all to eachother and to the World's home page. None of this seems technically too difficult to me. Besides I trust my badasses to be able to do anything, the legal, the possible, maybe more...

From: negatron
Date: 24 June 1996
Subject: Re: NetWorld

Gabe, that’s pretty much what I meant, except that I was thinking of using the MOO to serve a mailing list. There are certain problems with this, mainly that the normal MOO server can’t receive mail, but it can be patched to do so. There are other things, such as what restrictions govern our site rental, lag, database size, etc.
However, for a small number of users and messages it seems practical, and the messages would also be available from within the moo.
As far as serving web pages goes, i think that’s fairly simple, and as far as I know, it’s possible to create forms to take input from a web page and perform operation inMOO. I’ve been reading up about some of this stuff, and should know more soon.
Of course, a lot of this stuff depends more the Fuehrer than on my own ability. Terry?

From: Nichelle
Date: 24 June 1996
Subject: A Rape In Cyberspace

I am horrified. A few weeks ago, I found this article on the web, and I read about three paragraphs. It is awful, ridiculous, and a shameful waste of internet space, and yet I have found in one of my web searches that this bullshit is on required reading lists for a number of internet related classes. What is this shit? Who are these people?

If I understand correctly (and I may not, because I could only stomach less than a page of this tripe) somebody was spamming the Living Room on Lambda with dumbshit things like "SAGReiss sticks a garden trowel up his asshole and moans with pleasure." I don't know what to say. Some bullshit spammer "cyberrapes" somebody, or "implies cyberrape" (a term I learned on the MOO yesterday) and it is on every CyberEnglishClass reading list, yet when people read what I have said they tell me to exorcise my monsters and embrace the energy and power of my dark secrets. They tell me I want to be raped because there was some sort of pleasure I felt when first raped that I tried to recapture, or something about libidinal-payoff-something, but I'm not sure I know that the fuck Tchinek was talking about when he started up with that shit. Who are these people, and where do they get these attitudes? Whatever happened to "I don't know much about rape, but I know what I like"?

From: Nichelle
Date: 24 June 1996
Subject: The Rape Super-Highway

I just can't believe the incredible amount of garbage that has been written about cyberrape on the web. I'm trying to understand the issue, but I am having no luck. Everyone is talking about MOO rape and Cyber rape as if I ought to know what that means. One article was all about Stopping Cyber Rape Before It's Too Late, and of course there was the article I just described to you about some character on LambdaMOO who spoofed a bunch of nazi-feminists in the Living Room and one of them wrote a twelve-page essay about it. I don't care much about rape on the MOO. Any person with half a brain can use @gag or @quit.
I don't know if what happened to me is common. I travelled 25 hours each way on a greyhound to meet a person from the MOO, and ended up getting raped on his living room floor. He cut me with a razor, he held me down by my wrists, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it. This is the difference between VR and RL. This is real. Real blood, real sperm, a real body holding me down. I was stranded, knew no-one, had little money. No @gag. No @quit.

I don't know what this shit about cyberrape is. As negatron just said on the MOO (Be proud of me. I'm multi-tasking.) "i don't believe in any such thing as cyberrape. if your grandmother, whom you dearly loved, was murdered, and i typed :murders your grandmother, am i guilty of cybergrandmothermurder?"

I have been raped four times, IRL, and I still can't take cyberrape seriously. So somebody tells you, "I'm raping you". Is it my fault you believe it? I really believe that a lot of women are just looking for an excuse to cry rape, and a lot of immature undergrads give them the opportunity. I detest the act of screaming rape, even as a woman who has experienced it and who has every right to do just that. Screaming cyberrape is as ridiculous as screaming cybermurder because somebody pulled out their MOO-gun and shot you with it. Get over your
cybertrauma and get on with your MOOlives. Put away your VR-broadsword or your cyberdildo and let's get down to business.

From: SAGReiss/Nichelle
Date: 26 June 1996
Subject: L'Orange mecanique

Back from the library where we watched our second porn flic, we are listening to the theme song of the World (Beethoven's Ninth for the MTV babies among us. I invented this last term in the sex room as negatron and I savaged a couple of FWBs too dizzy to put two sentences together without some appalling contradiction.) while Stiff Lips washes and dices rhubarb and strawberries to make jam and I sit at the typer. We've come a long way from a few short weeks ago, when she wept on the kitchen table and I, as always, sat at the typer. I don't know if time has hardened her to my ways, or if "A Clockwork Orange" is less disturbing than "The 120 Days of Sodom". I recall my bewilderment at her silence, at her rage coming home from the latter film. I guess she was just asking herself: "What kind of child-molesting monster have I thrown my lot in with?" Whereas now she knows I'm harmless enough. Or perhaps Kubrick's film is less upsetting than Pasolini's. What seemed to bother her the most in the former is the slightly synthesized version of the Chorale, which didn't faze me a bit. I guess Sade, in his majestic and unforgiving vision, is such a wholesale, scathing ("Dechaine" is the word I want to use.) indictment of the entire human race that it makes a political satire like "Clockwork" child's play. Sade with his monstrous abstractions, penises' circumferences, sex without bodies, violence without pain, bloodless wounds, dehumanises us far more than even a rather brutal rape scene set to "Singing in the Rain". Please welcome our newest member, Colin from OZ. I'm not sure how to introduce him, as I know rather more about him than I'd like to tell you and rather less than I'd like to know. He seems to be about my age, so he's probably big enough to introduce himself, should he so desire. He has expressed the rather odd wish to be known here by his real name, so he will be the second of us to take that slight risk. I guess a first name and last initial (as most of you will probably choose for your MOO IDs) is not much for the average psycho to go on. I don't feel satisfied with this Tagesbrief, so I think I'll save it and yield the floor to Stiff Lips. We had more or less planned to write a tag-team letter anyway, but it didn't quite work out. She wrote a couple of letters yesterday, "A Rape in Cyberspace" and "The Rape Super-Highway", which we agreed were not quite good enough for the page. I thought they held promise. I hope she'll try to rewrite them. Let her speak for herself...

Who ever said I thought you were a child-molesting monster? My reaction to these two films has almost nothing to do with you, except that the 120 Days is the only film you own, but you have already explained why that is. Yes, "A Clockwork Orange" disturbed me less than "The 120 Days Of Sodom" did. I have been trying to figure out why ever since we got back from the library yesterday. The action in Clockwork Orange focuses around a main character Alex, who narrates it, and I think that makes some of his actions seem a little more human. We see many different sides of his personality, see him in varying states of control and weakness. The characters in Pasolini's film do not seem as real, nor is their story put together for us with any coherent plot. We do not see their mothers weeping on the couch (in duet with cello) or their actions coming back to haunt them. There is also a dark and disturbing humor surrounding "A Clockwork Orange" that I didn't see at all in the other film. The choice of music is a good example of this... Rossini overtures playing while Alex and the droogs beat people (is it the Italian In Algiers? I get them mixed up.) and the William Tell Overture while we watch him fuck two women in fast motion... Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" while Alex "graduates" from confinement, Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" as he reads the Bible in prison. How could I not be amused by Alex chasing the cat woman around with that enormous penis sculpture? But there was nothing funny about The 120 Days. Its use of classical music was just as clever, but in the same disjunct and grotesque way the action was presented. It didn't use light music to contrast violent scenes, as "A Clockwork Orange" did, but used, for example, some very bleak and haunting excerpts from Carmina Burana. What is disturbing about the 120 days, for example, isn't just that a woman is ordered to eat a man's shit, but that she does it with a spoon. To see so much blood, urine, shit, naked flesh, people acting like animals, barking for their food like dogs, mounting the stairs on leashes... Which is worse, watching a person being scalped, or seeing people sitting at the dinner table with their napkins and silverware and wine glasses and other signs of civilization, and being served shit... How can I compare these two films, Gabriel?

(One quick side note... I don't usually like to talk immediately after a film or concert or play. I need a little time to think about things, and when you push me to say things, it sets me off. That is part of the problem we had with the 120 Days, because I didn't have time to digest what I saw.)

From: Nichelle
Date: 27 June 1996
Subject: La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.

There is a new addition to the web page, as if any of you cared.
Hello?
Terry?
negatron?
Colin?
Corinne? Jeff? Are you ever coming to dinner?
Murder?
Please go look at it.
Please do something.
Please say something.

-Nichelle

From: Terry
Date: 27 June 1996
Subject: Re: La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.

Hello, I'm here. :)

I've been in Wash DC for the past 7 days partying like a young chick and I'm pretty much zonked out. Heh, I've never drank so much in my life OR met so many good looking guys. Please remind me I'm too old to be doing this. (NOT) I had a blast, though. I *will* go back.

I'm working on MOO plans... I'm not just sitting idle on my ass. I'm thinking and planning ahead. :)

Well, time to go MOO, I've been offline way too long. Heh.

Laterz,
Terry

From: SAGReiss
Date: 28 June 1996
Subject: My ugly face

Bad day. No mas. Put my photo up on the site. Click on SAGReiss at the bottom of the page.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 June 1996
Subject: Deviations

This morning I was on room service and delivered a weird breakfast of strawberries w/pineapple, a croissant, a side of hash browns, orange juice and coffee to a girl who must have been twelve dressed in women's pink silk underware (tops and bottoms) straight out of the Victoria's Secret catalogue which draped oddly over her virgin body showing off breasts the size and color of corn muffins but cone-shaped as she bent over to sign the bill. The other day one of the brothers told me about giving some broad the golden shower: "I got tired of her axing me so I'm like: 'Fuck it, I'm gonna piss on this freak bitch.' But it be hard." Deviant sexual behavior has been a topic of discussion in the Reiss household of late. I have claimed that S&M, male homosexuality and galopping promiscuity (both sexes) are all pathological forms of the Lustprinzip, though I've scrupulously pointed out that I had no good rational arguments to back up that assertion. I should also note that boulimia and dipsomania are also sick perversions of the same drive. Stiff Lips tells me that some doms lead their subs around on a leash and collar in public. My working-boy answer was: "If some asshole sits down at one of my tables with a leash around his gf, I would go straight to the boss and say: 'Either you get rid of that leash or you wait on the table yourself.'" I even find it strange when occasionally a couple will come into the sex room and the dom announce: "Xgrrl is my slave and will now fuck all comers. Feel free of all inhibitions," and twenty-seven guests whip out their dicks and begin thrashing the poor girl who for some dumb reason I cannot fathom tries to keep up with which color guest is reaming which of her holes.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 30 June 1996
Subject: Amok

Lambda MOO must be the dwelling place of all the emotional cripples American society and the higher education system in particular are spewing out. Somebody says to me: "Your pic hurt my eyes." I answer: "You should have worn protective goggles." Someone else asks me: "How are you making fun of my picture?" I answer: "You're fucking ugly." A mob of hysterical, blood-crazed Malay MOOers lapidates me with @boot requests, attacks ad hominem, scornful reproaches and moral outrage. negatron was so disgusted with all the whining and self-pity he just logged off. What the fuck is wrong with these folks? Don't normal human beings get over teenage crises of insecurity and low self-esteem some time in high school? And I'm not talking about undergraduate scum, though I won't name names because people are getting increasingly wary of having their (MOO) names appear on this page. I'm talking about adults about my age (33, the age of Christ, on 26 July) who have been married, had kids, bought houses, owned or run businesses, suffered setbacks, gone crazy, whatever, things that tend to make people grow up. Most of them have far more outward signs of success in life than I, diplomas, respected jobs, financial security. We are creating a generation of handicapped Epicureans. I must gainsay the Petit Robert's definition of this philosophical school. Epicureanism is not the search for pleasure, but rather the shunning of pain. Big difference. The motto of this group seems to be: "Nolo offendere." For your reading pleasure ("Plaire et instruire," dixit Jean de La Fontaine.) I shall illustrate my own downfall and one way of dealing with life's little bumps in the road. (Comecabra and Jeff will have to bear with me. You've heard the gory tale before.) After a nasty break-up which sent both of us careening to the hospital, I became unable to sleep or eat. I just drank mind-boggling amounts of ninty-proof Ricard anisette while writing letters all day and reading huge victorian novels all night. In three weeks I lost twenty percent of my body mass, dropped from sixty kilos to well under fifty. I saw my drunken doctor, a tiny woman who knows no fear, in the bar and asked her what I should do. She, being a right-thinking woman of the world, said: "Get drunk and come back here tomorrow and I'll see what I can find out." The next day she suggested I really tie one on and then check into the hospital to go on a cure (Euroslang for detox) which I did. After sitting in the waiting room smoking cigarettes for a while, I was admitted into the office of a young psychiatrist of North-African descent. I told him my drunken sob-story and he said: "Monsieur Reiss, je vais etre honnete avec vous. Vous devriez normalement aller a Hoerdt, mais je voudrais vous garder ici. Vous etes un cas interessant." I knew, in my alcohol-induced stupor, that I was not going to take any shit from this asshole, so I said: "Monsieur le docteur, je vais etre honnete avec vous. Vous etes un connard." This badass psychiatrist, at the beginning of a brilliant career at a prestigious hospital (Louis Pasteur), fell apart before my eyes. He just lost his cool: "Monsieur Reiss, soyez poli." I smiled and answered "Je vous demande polimment, Monsieur le docteur, de m'envoyer a Hoerdt." I had him by the balls. He could do nothing, without compromising himself, to keep me. My doctor had done her homework and told me where I was supposed to go. I smiled again as he signed the transfer documents and wished him a good evening. When I got to the new place, the doctor, a Pakistani who had of course been briefed by the first doctor, asked me what had happened. I told him. He asked if I knew the name of the doctor in question. I said: "Je ne sais pas, un bougnoule." He leaned back in his chair and flashed a great white grin at me from out of his brown face.

May 1996

July 1996

vr: 1996

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