THE POPULARITY OF MEAN [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

This website started out as a glorified fan page. Unlike most other glorified fan pages, it was written by someone with a very rare gift for prose and a surgically sharp wit. But what made this page so popular can be best described in one word: mean. Ask the author and he’ll tell you in no uncertain terms when asked why the site changed so dramatically, “we grew up.”

Some might offer that the growing up process was not yet complete, but be that as it may, the fact that the site earned its wings on simply being mean cannot be denied. With the site now winding down and preparing to clean out the cubicles, I find myself taken with thoughts stemming from, ‘what was it all for?’ and ‘was it all worth the effort?’ and whatnot.

I honestly do not know how to address the first question. Probably because it has to be answered by each individual who ever penned an update for this website, and I’m going to venture that each answer would be dynamically different from all the others. Each one with different purposes and goals, as evidenced by the careers that seemed to bloom right out from beneath these web pages. For me, it was about self expression. For the longest part of my life, I wanted to be a preacher. I spent two years as a Jesuit Pastor diligent in studies and education. At some point, I realized that the voice I was listening to was not the Voice of God; but simply my own voice seeking a way to share thoughts and ideas with others. This website allowed me to reach and touch thousands of people; sometimes in a ‘bad touch’ sort of way – but in the end, I made people think and I made people share their thoughts with others. That is all I ever really wanted to do. The question of what sets humanity apart from the animals has been asked for centuries and the answers tend to replace one another with each civilization. Instincts and Religious Theories aside, I believe it is conversation. Animals share minimalist messages by way of grunts and shrugs, but humanity has learned to put sounds to symbol and preserve our grunts and shrugs in a tangible permenant record. The hopes and dreams of great thinkers from millions of years ago are as real and full of life today as the day they were first carved into stone. From papyrus to cave drawings, we can sit and enjoy the conversations of peoples that vanished from our planet so long ago. We can listen to their music and feel the same stirring inside that they felt.

I returned from my vacation to learn that the site would be shutting down. It came as quite a shock and surprise to me, but I suppose it had to happen some time. Every great novel has to have an epilogue eventually. I hope that I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, and I hope that in some small way, I have managed to make a change for the better. I’ve not always been the best example of literary genius, and at times, I’ve acted dishonorably – I have my weaknesses, but fortunately one of my strengths is an ability to muster up the courage to walk myself to the whipping post time and time again, and to take the slashes I’ve earned over the years. I’ve made some friends, and I’ve made some enemies. To the former, I ask that you keep in touch. To the latter, I ask that you keep in touch.

I’ve been mean and I’ve been head-strong. I’ve had my episodes of Stupidiocity. The great thing about being a stupidiot in front of thousands of people is that you can get the help you need rather quickly. Being a fucking moron in the privacy of your own home means being a fucking moron for eternity. So in the end, I have no regrets about anything – I’ve done some boneheaded things, but I’ve been able to see them through the eyes of others, and deal with them.

I’m sure there are a number of developers who are doing handsprings and holding their breath until October 1 of this year. I hope they take a moment and ask themselves why they are doing handsprings; and why their customers rarely do.

And so I cast Excalibur back into the lake and board the magical ship to the Isle of Avalon. I return to the white house in the woods near the mailbox. I step through the red moongate that takes me back home; with a smile, a tear, and a wave.

Thank you for giving me one of the greatest thrills of my life, and helping bring the dreams of one pie-eyed writer come to fruition. And keep your eyes on the bookstands. You’ll see me there someday, and you’ll be able to say to the person you are with, “Hey! I used to know that guy! Boy was he a fucking moron!” And you know what? You’d be right.

See ya ’round,

Arcadian Del Sol