The internet moves fast. Too fast. Holding-hands-on-the-second-date fast (we’re shy). Aging websites often vanish into thin air when they lose their purpose or Google decides to make a better version of them. But sometimes these fossils refuse to give up. Someone, for some reason, is keeping the lights on, leaving us future folks a rare glimpse of how depressingly crap the internet’s ancient past (i.e. about ten years ago) can be.
So strap in, set your watches to 1996-ish, and be prepared to join a whole bunch of mailing lists.10
So Many Sad Movie Facebook Pages Are Somehow Still Active
Whatever your crappy job entails, it can’t be worse than being paid below minimum wage for keeping dated movies no one gives a fuck about alive on Facebook. So let’s pour one out for all the social media managers wasting the best years of their lives trying to make bad old movies relevant on that website your mom uses. And there are a surprising lot of them.
facebook.comRihanna didn’t even see Battleship!
That post was made on the Battleship Facebook page on February 20th. Of this year. It’s some poor schmuck’s job to log into this page every few months, poke it with a stick, and make it move just enough to get the piranhas out.
Others pages have been granted the sweet release of death, only for the fans to refuse to let go, because goddamn it, their views on a shitty movie from half a decade ago will never not be relevant. Someone posted a comment on the John Carter page only a few days ago, even though its last promotional post was from July 2012!
But those Facebook pages are the lucky ones. Others are kept alive for far less noble purposes. Like The Last Airbender or Robin Hood, whose Facebook unlife has only served as an advertising platform for other media for years. they’re like unconscious hobos dressed in sandwich boards being propped up against lampposts.9
Read These Hopeful Reddit Threads About Disappointing Movies
Disavowing something can be a really useful skill to have, but caving to peer pressure and pretending you never liked it is a lot easier without a paper trail. And the internet’s just one big paper trail. That has resulted in a lot of dashed movie hopes still haunting the lower rungs of Reddit.
But anyone can make mistakes, so let’s cruelly focus on the massive miscalculations. Like these Redditors getting really pumped about The Last Airbender, with their most major concern being that making the movie 3D might ruin it. Sure, that’s what ruined The Last Airbender. C’mon, the only way 3D made The Last Airbender worse is that it gave the movie a whole other dimension to suck in.
reddit.comOh you poor, naive fools.
Or Man Of Steel, which was going to be great. Henry Cavill was going to be great. Everything was going to be great. Just great. The only concern these diehard fans had was that someone was maybe going to be too great. Specifically, Kevin Costner was being so amazing in the trailers that these Redditors were worried Pa Kent would steal the show away from his super son. And while they were right to be worried that the star of Waterworld would outclass the star of Immortals, luckily the movie turned out to be such a piece of shit that no one came out a winner.
But the foot can be in the other mouth, too. When John Carter turned out to be a massive flop, the filmmakers quickly pointed the finger of blame at marketing, which had supposedly been so bad that it turned the fans against the movie.
reddit.comThis user now deeply regrets the time they took to spell out “amazing.”8
Some Hero Has Been Raging Against Internet Explorer For 20 Years
Microsoft Windows has developed a reputation of being the overbearing mother of operating software. With every new iteration, it takes on more and more unremovable features — for our own good, of course. And while hundreds of forums now dedicate themselves to complaining about the fascist Windows machine, the rebellion started with Nathan Lineback and his burning hatred for Internet Explorer.
On the front, Nathan’s Toasty Technology Page looks like any other ancient website set up by some ’90s OG (original geek). But with some detective work, you can spot a link to a more radical page, subtly titled “IE is EVIL!!!” Clicking on it enters you into a hellscape wherein Bill Gates is Satan, a bespectacled supervillain who is trying to take over the world by packaging Internet Explorer with Windows 95. Not exactly Ultron-level evil, but definitely Lex Luthor having an off day.
toastytech.comWe’ll never know if he succeeded in his quest.
“Who would want this?” Lineback shouted over the noise generated by that Windows 95 16-bit red. Surely, there was nothing wrong with the old system where, if you even wanted a web browser, you could just go to a store and buy one from a store clerk with paper money. Lineback didn’t understand why people were “spewing mindless drivel about how browsers would somehow magically replace operating systems eventually, and how in the future all applications would be ‘web based.'” Can you imagine? — sent from my iPhone.
But if you think that IE is EVIL!!! went the way of, well, Internet Explorer, think again. Lineback is still fighting the good fight against our tech overlords, the last update in his “rants” section being in December of 2016. We guess he’ll never stop until either her or Bill Gates is dead in the ground. Our money’s on the billionaire funding medical research and not the middle-aged PC jockey who has been rage-typing for most of his life.7
This Zine Is Still Bringing You the Latest In Ska Culture
Zines were to be the golden successor to magazines, only with a shortened name because that’s what the kids smoking behind the bike shed said was cool. Though in truth, zines on the internet were much closer to fan pages, extensive blogs kept up by a single dedicated virgin each. Most of them have gone to the big geocity in the sky, but one of the more ambitious zines is still floating around, giving us the latest news on a music genre no one younger than 25 has ever heard of.
Skagirl/TripodIronic because anyone who’s been in a mosh pit knows Ska life is not an easy life.
Skagirl.tripod.com took it upon itself to cover the entirety of the third wave ska craze, all the way from 1997 to slightly later in 1997.
The site truly covered every aspect of life that involved ska — which was, of course, all of them. Want to know what ska has appeared in advertising? There’s a page for that. Want to have a ska-inspired luncheon? Just go the recipes page. (We recommend the “Ska’s The Limit Mango & Citrus Salad”). And if there’s anything ska-related you can’t immediately find, just try searching for it on Skahoo, the ska search engine (strangely no longer working).
Skagirl/TripodCopyright infringement lawsuit pending, we assume.
The last diary entry, which might be the most depressing start to a sentence, closed the books on January 2000, as the new millennium was simply no place for the beautiful sound of dozens of white boys in zoot suits ripping off Caribbean culture. But as long as skagirl.tripod.com exists, ska will never truly belong in the past.6
This Pre-Google Internet Search Portal Is Going Nowhere Fast
Before Google, there was Ask Jeeves. Before Ask Jeeves, there was AltaVista. And before even AltaVista, but sometime after the invention of the library, there was the little search engine that could, ifindit.com. Want to see how our ancestors searched for porn? Then set your monitors to 800×600 and look at this blast from the past.
ifindit.comIn all its Web 1.0 glory.
Strangely, you can still visit ifindit.com, but there really isn’t any reason left to do so. The site might call itself the “largest super search guide on the net” like it’s the internet’s grandfather, but years of neglect have killed all of its links and algorithms, turning it into a search engine that can’t find you anything. Still better than Bing, though.
ifindit.comIf you minimize your window, it becomes the smallest super search guide on the internet.
Actually, not quite all of the links are dead. One’s alive and kicking, which will lead you to an internship program for a site called easynett.com — which is incidentally run by the same company as ifindit.com. We think we might have discovered the first-ever occurrence of internet hoarders.
easynett.comWe have yet to find the pile of dead cats in some corner of this site.
Now in its 20th year of existence, there’s no reason to think any of us will outlive ifindit.com. The only reason we can think of for its continued existence is that somewhere, probably in a nursing home, its moderators are clinging onto that domain name for dear life in the hopes that Apple does decide to get into the search engine game. There’s still hope!5
A Website For One Of The Aliens From The “I’m Blue” Music Video
Eiffel 65 was a ’90s techno ensemble who, with their breakout hit “Blue” (don’t click that), briefly conquered the European “annoying Nokia ringtone” scene. But we’re not here to talk about Eiffel 65; they are long gone. What has endured, however, is the promotional website dedicated to their blue alien sidekick, Zorotl.
zorotl.comPronounced “Who Cares?”
Zorotl was first supposed to be a weird alien villain for the music videos of Eiffel 65 — who, if you haven’t guessed by now, were really into sci-fi. However, the digitized alien came out so well (which, by ’90s CGI standards, meant he looked like a botched Play-Doh doll) that the band decided to pull a Gorillaz and turn Zorotl into his own bona fide band.
zorotl.comThat’s sad, da-boo-de-da-boo-die.
Zorotl.com announces the start of what the Italian company behind the blue alien must have expected to be a long and prosperous music career. This is not just some quickie page announcing DJ Zorotl’s debut hit, “I Wanna Be” (don’t click that), either. The website has many pages, telling the entire tale of Zorotl, his people, and the many space quests he has had with his producer/space bouncer.
In fact, the site’s bad English, elaborate fictional biographies, and history entries make it feel more like the prototype of every video game wiki. It’s almost a shame that Zorotl’s debut single crashed and burned. He could have been the next Crash Bandicoot.
zorotl.com“Note: Zorotl died on the way back to his home planet.”
The Forgotten Remains Of HD DVDs
If you didn’t have a lot on your plate for that one weekend in 2007, you might remember that HD DVD tried to be a thing. But the format was quickly destroyed by Blu-Ray, which is now being devoured by streaming, which has about two more months left before holo-implants take over. But the fad was around long enough to leave a bunch of derelict promotional sites to litter the outskirts of the internet.
hddvd.highdefdigest.comMuch like real HD DVDs, which are sitting in their own garbage piles.
There’s refuse like the announcement site of the HD DVD version of 2007’s Evan Almighty, that sequel to that movie your cousin saw on a plane once. Its promotional site, now barely functioning, perfectly represents the awkward in-between place that was the late aughts. Even the website itself, despite having most trappings of a modern site, feels … off, like it’s the missing link in internet evolution and might at any moment break down and start throwing poop at you.
evanalmighty.comThey could only conjure up one decent review.
But it’s not just a random website here or there that can fall into the tar pit of obsolescence. While all its venues have already been repurposed as sex shops and dispensaries, the legend of the once-great Blockbuster still lives on on the internet:
That is all that’s left of Blockbuster, that place Gen-X couples would go to fight instead of going to counseling. That, and a depressingly brief announcement of its demise.
But it wasn’t just the website that went down; Blockbuster took a whole ecosystem with it. With its demise also came the demise of all those sites dedicated to hating Blockbuster, like ihateblockbuster.com. It too had to shut its doors in 2013, no longer having the slowly decomposing carcass of Blockbuster to feed on.
ihateblockbuster.comIf you want to hate Blockbuster, you’ll have to do it without a community backing.
Dear God, You Can Still Read A Duke Nukem Fan Site
Appreciation for a vintage video game can fill many a web page, but with a new hit game coming out every other week, the turnover rate of fandom is immense. That’s why it’s such a rare thing to find ancient temples to forgotten gaming gods — intact old gaming forums. And there was none more godlike (especially since people had to keep pushing back the date of his second coming) than Duke Nukem.
Over a decade since Duke Nukem 3D was released, the king’s 3D Realms forum was still going strong. These fans were die-hard, people who saw Duke Nukem Forever not merely as a title, but as a way of life.
forums.3drealms.comNowadays, women covered in green slime is considered “softcore.”
After all, he was definitely going to make a comeback. And he did! But then he went again. But he might come back! But he didn’t, and never will. And so the forums of Duke Nukem were kingless, left to slowly wither away and die.
On the third of September 2010, the small kingdom of Nukem finally fell for good. Whatever loyal subjects who still remained were told they would have to pack their outdated emoticons and migrate over to the Gearbox forum, where they would be unwelcome strangers in a new land, stripped of their non-numbered original usernames and all status-affirming signatures.
3D Realms, too proud of their legacy, decided to keep the forums archived, so all can still observe the mummified remains of those who serve the king both in life and the afterlife. But it is not just a bunch of strangely feminist comments about slime strippers that remain. In the ruins still lie many treasured artifacts — which is mostly loads of erotic fan fiction written by people who’ve clearly never seen a boob in real life.
forums.3drealms.comGet the lube ready.
Duke turned around and regarded the striking female Belgian Prime Minister. Her skirt reached to her knees, and fit nicely to accentuate her hips. The blouse fit snug around her prominent but not too big breasts. The jacket she wore over it was open where needed, and it didn’t conceal her curves, flowing around her body. Her lips were red, and the lipstick was the only makeup relatively thickly applied; the rest was applied evenly, and with a gentleness to show her femininity, but not become too obtrusively prominent.
And, of course, there’s a museum made by a fan who had seen the writing on the wall:2
Bill Cosby Had A YouTube Page He Used As A Twitter Account
Bill Cosby, the dickweasel who ruined Jell-O and sweaters for everyone, has been in show business a long time. Too long, those suing him would say. But you can’t stay relevant for so long without adapting to the changing times. And Cosby did exactly that by starting an online career when it was too late in every sense of the word.
TheOfficialBillCosby/YouTubePrint this picture out for a free Cosby “Today I feel …” fridge magnet.
About five years ago, Cosby discovered YouTube. However, he didn’t use the platform as it was intended — to post videos of cats falling down or disseminate hate speech in between beating classic Sonic levels. Instead, for two years straight, he mostly posted videos of himself replying to messages he had received on Twitter.
Not that video replies can’t be interesting, but they tend to pop more if the subject doesn’t look like he’s slowly bleeding out in the back of a safe house. Yet despite the bare wall background, bad lighting, and complete lack of movement, these videos are still best enjoyed in full HD, lest you accidentally switch to 240p and get a horrifying glimpse into what his victims saw seconds before passing out.
Then, suddenly, the videos stopped. What could have possibly happened in 2015 to cause this sudden and unforeseen blackout? It might have something to do with the fact that all their comment sections are disabled as well.1
The Amazing al-Qaeda Scares Of The Early 2000s
One of the internet’s greatest achievements is that people no longer need own a printing press to spread their ideas. Voicing thoughts is now free. Did we say “free”? We meant “worthless,” as evidenced by how long it took before the web became the largest rumor mill ever created.
That gossip machine’s first big payoff came, of course, with 9/11. After the towers fell, the internet went a little mad for a while. Every other website seemed to dedicate itself to propagating a vast number of conspiracy theories concerning Osama bin Laden, the architect of suck. Some were afraid he was planning on taking over all of the U.S. dams. Others feared he was hiding out in Salt Lake City among other polygamists. Some claimed that he was content being the secret owner of Citibank.
The rumor that really broke the dam was the whispers of the 9/11 mastermind planning to launch a terrorist attack on Eminem. This of course triggered the world’s vast collection of angry white suburban kids — key demographics of both the internet and Eminem’s music.
eminemweb.com“Dear Osama, I wrote you but you still ain’t callin’ …”
But the real victim of bin Laden’s ever-grinding rumor mill was a fresh young site called snopes.com. Snopes almost killed itself trying to keep up with the myriad of conspiratorial ramblings concerning bin Laden, its husband and wife team working almost around the clock to assure the concerned citizens of the internet that, in fact, bin Laden was not the secret CEO of Snapple.+