Letters Sent

Once there was an Internet we were happy to be on.

Come on down to the Internet! Photo: Annabelle Shemer

Remember how the Internet used to be good? If you’re below a certain age you do not. Sorry. It must be awful to hear old people always going on about how the Internet once brought things other than pain, despair and a self-loathing so refined that its shame is only surpassed by the way the very idea of diving into the Internet’s bottomless well of sewage sickens you even as you leap, which you do each day despite of the vomitty feeling it inspires before, during and after. Just take my word for it, young people, there was a time when the Internet was a thing you were excited to be a part of. Every hour brought new delights and discoveries and led you to things you weren’t even aware that you were interested in. You never knew what would happen next, as opposed to now, when you know that whatever happens next it’s going to suck so bad you’ll want to cut yourself the second you turn away. And this is not just nostalgia or the rose-tinted memories of someone who can’t adapt to changing times or whatever, this is the objective truth: In contrast to the Internet of now, the Internet of a decade back was better, smarter, more interesting and also it didn’t make you want to die all the time. It didn’t make you hate yourself and everyone around you. It didn’t make you realize just how sick, sorry and stupid everyone is, and always so loud about it. You’re shaking your head at me because the very idea is inconceivable, but I was there. I saw it. It wasn’t the giant trench of anger and need that you dump all your GIFs into now. It was beautiful. But that was a long time ago.

Ugh, what was my point? I do tend to ramble on. Oh, right, back on the old Internet, the good Internet, Rob Walker’s Letter from New Orleans was one of those great, fun surprises you took for granted whenever they showed up, because in those days you never dreamed that the amazing Internet you couldn’t wait to be a part of would wind up being a cyst deep inside the asshole of some demon’s buttocks that you would be forced to spend each day draining. Sorry, I got off track there again. Anyway, my point is, Rob Walker is back in New Orleans and he’s sent some new letters from there. Seeing as today is Mardi Gras, it’s probably as good a time as any to go read them. Enjoy!