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Mar 01 2015

Thing in March

This month’s story is about the rise and fall of a social network. I was touched by the recent 99% Invisible episode about the closure of EA-Land and the rush to archive what they could of that world, and I wanted to share my own work about that experience.

I wrote this last May, just after the dissolution of my writers group but before an electrical fire threatened to destroy the Dark Room Theater and long before Borderlands announced it was closing.

Now Borderlands is saved for at least a year and the Dark Room has a new show about to open. Are the dark days over? Things come and go.

This month will be the end of Bad Movie Night, which I’ve attended every Sunday I could for more than six of its ten years, and the movie podcast I’ve listened to for almost as long just announced an indefinite hiatus. I’ve been a part of a lot of communities in my lifetime, and I probably tried to express too much with this story. I have so many versions of this experience to draw from, but I merged them into a kind of general parable, where I hope everyone will find things to relate to.

There are a lot of ideas stacked on top of each other without full explanations, ideas which I could probably expand into a novel someday. For this thing a month, I’ve gone back to clarify some stuff and played with verb tenses to distinguish scene from backstory. It still does more telling than showing, but I don’t need to wait for it to be perfect. I’m sharing it now.

One thing I wonder, as old communities dissolve and new ones keep forming, is whether the network that connected us, the place we hung out, is the important thing to preserve, or if we should concentrate more on the connections those places allowed us to make. The place can be a huge part of what makes a community real, but would facebook matter if the same people could still hang out somewhere else?