Saturday, July 19, 2008

A tribute to the website, Mr. Cranky Rates the Movies.

Mr. Cranky announces he is shutting down the site. Man, what a shame. Mr. Cranky was the site where my on-line persona, zeppo, was born. All the other contributors to Barking Rabbits are alumni of Mr. Cranky's. What a fun and amazing place that was for a while. The only thing on the web that I find comparable are the posting forums at Sadly, No! (link at the right). There were flame wars of epic proportions, limerick battles, pun wars, oddball games and diversions that would break out at the drop of a hat. I remember running out of a boring meeting at work, just to go see what had transpired in the latest pun war. I will admit, although I don’t think the quality of my work at my former company suffered because of Mr. Cranky, I think the quantity probably did. One of these games I participated in, along with Philm Phan (who sometimes posts here if I bug her enough about it). We wrote a running story based on Tom Stoppard’s play, “Travesties”. This game ran for probably three years, and it fills up about three loose-leaf notebooks in my bookshelf. Here is one of the remaining threads on that story (but only until the end of August), but this is when we were both losing steam. For a while, we really had it going. Although it probably wasn't apparent to readers of those threads, we had some pretty strict rules we imposed on ourselves, such as the time sequence and events fitting in with real history. That was quite a challenge and I had to do some extensive study at times just to know the context of our latest chapter in the continuing saga.

It was a great time, and met a lot of very interesting people, both in person and on the web. There were apparently many gatherings of Cranky posters throughout the years. I personally arranged three of them, in Boston (I think the year was 1998), Toronto the next year, and here in Seattle in 2000. I also visited some posters at or near their homes in Oklahoma and Savannah, Georgia. I still have lots of pictures and several videos from those times. I also just remembered my soon-to-be collector's item, my Mr. Cranky T-shirt!

I try to post things that the casual reader of this blog might be interested in if they happen to stumble across it. I try not to get into much personal detail, mostly because no one would really find my personal crap all that interesting. I am making an exception here, just to pay a bit of tribute to my first real experience with the rough-and-tumble world of the interactive internet. What a wild time it was. Thanks, Jason.

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