Monday, August 17, 2009

Angry Readers, Birthers, and Mr. Peabody

On a recent self-appointed mission to find some of my long-presumed-lost science fiction TV columns that I wrote for my friend Aaron Barnhart's TVBarn e-newsletter a decade ago, I ended up playing with the web archive (which is powered by something called the Wayback Machine). The archive is a place that has copies of nearly endless numbers of web sites' original versions. You can go to the archive, type in a URL, and you'll get links to a ton of older versions of that web site.

The Wayback Machine delivers those old web versions without images. It's text only; but that's perfect for my needs of collecting my old columns. Anyway, I still haven't found the column I was seeking (from 1999, I think, in which I interviewed Kerry O'Quinn, co-founder of the Starlog/Fangoria publishing house and now a Hollywood producer, about religion and science fiction), but it did spawn a lot of web searching for columns I've written for various places. (I've written columns for almost every place I've worked, going back to my high school newspaper).

Anyway, to make a short story long, I ended up looking all over the web. I found a June 1, 2002, column that included an excerpt from my favorite reader-response letter, which I wanted to share:

"This was a bitter, resentful screed. Obviously Mr. Zipperer has an axe to grind when it comes to white people, men, the successful, the wealthy, the well-educated, etc."
-An Internet World reader responding to my critical review of a video celebrating the party-and-networking ethos of the dot-com companies

For the record, I was (and am) a white people, a men, and reasonably well-educated. I'm definitely "etc." I assume success and wealth will flow from that. Nonetheless, as I watch people go bat-s*** crazy at artificial protests at health-care town halls, I'm reminded of the incredibly thin skin and over-reactions of a certain segment of our population. They feel continuously put out and repressed, even when they're banking millions of dollars.

So, on this fine Monday morning, I leave you with that nugget of not-quite-wisdom. And if that didn't do it for you, then at least I told you about the web archive, which really is nifty.

And if you're interested or sufficiently bored, you can check out some of my old SF TV columns here; more will be added as I attack the wayback machine some more. Let's go, Sherman!

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