zine, zine. what the hell do i start with? what the fuck ever, this project's been in the works for months now and i aint got shit done, i might as well just write the first thing that comes to mind. it's a zine, not a peer reviewed publication. i'm in the park and night and it's a little spooky. i've gotten as far away from my computer as i can to write about the internet. that's what this is about: the internet. it's different now. that sort of goes without saying. but it sure was slow and insidious, the process that brought us here. here? where's here? where are we? we're in a sort of corporate dystopia. oh, it's starting to sprinkle a bit. fuck. might have to move. we're in a sort of corporate dystopia. "why stop at five or six sites when you could go to just one?" that kind of shit. social media! rargh! social media! millennials on their phones! that's not the real problem with social media,though. social media can be good. it's good to meet people online. sure as hell good for fucked up brainbroken shut-ins like myself. where the hell would i be without all the friends i met on twitter? but at the same time, it's insidious. because it's corporate. everything's corporate now, increasingly corporate. back in ye olden days of my youth, i would hop between so many different sites every day. bunch of different forums, websites, niche hobby stuff, webrings, different fanfic sites, weird obscure stuff, flash portals, just this whole big wild west of undiscovered internet. it felt like there was so much there, each site had its own flavor, sure the nerd crowd was toxic as hell back then but it sure felt nice having communities, strange little places to go to, flawed and insular but colorful and interesting. then came the Aggregators. and don't try to call me on what the 'real' timeline was because i don't really give a shit. this is how i remember it in my hazy unfocused mess of a shitty memory. then came the Aggregators. reddit twitter tumblr facebook. sure there were content aggregators before like digg or whatever the fuck, but not like this. these increasingly corporate sites started to squeeeeeze the internet. not like myspace, not like livejournal, not like deviantart. why not come here to this convenient place where everybody from everywhere can gather, no matter what niche they belong in? sounds cool in its way but it's a trap. because now we play by their rules. tumblr became like a primordial soup for the cutting edge of identity. so many kids exploring their gender, their sexuality, pushing the boundaries of social justice and trying to make the world a little better. sure, they could be misguided and do more harm than good sometimes, but no one can deny it was an important and formative breeding ground for new ideas in the queer community. but that's not really good enough, is it? tumblr got big so tumblr became a corporation. a corporation doesn't care about you. even if individuals in a corporation happen to care about you, the corporation itself is its own beast. it only knows how to chase the bottom line, blindly, like a feral animal. so what tumblr was wasn't good enough. it's never good enough and it never will be good enough. it always has to make more money, more money, they have to squeeze every nickel and dime out of it they possibly can. so what did they do recently? no more porn! we've just decided we don't like all you weird gay kids exploring your weird gay fetishes on our website, which was for so many years a huge bastion of that very thing. that's not for our site, we don't do that here, there are other sites for you. but there aren't, really, are there? increasingly everybody's taking this same line, no more horny shit, it's just not profitable. what if the army wanted to put a promoted message up and it popped up next to your tentacle-inflation-flattening-TF-pooltoy-hypnosis art? we can't have that, it's not good for profit, and besides we've got to be squeaky clean so Daddy Apple will let us back into the App Store. the Aggregators don't care about you. you're not their client, you're their product. you're what they market. all these fucking increasingly identical sleek white websites, boring, boring, i used to visit so many sites and explore so many places but now it's just twitter, youtube, reddit, youtube, twitter, tumblr, youtube, youtube. they've herded all of us into their corporate-controlled spaces, and now we're their product, we play by their rules. all those weird colorful little communities aren't good for us; we're the Wal-Mart of cyberspace. squeeze them out of business. make everybody come to us and then they don't have any choice. because what are you going to do, *leave* Twitter?