Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

2008, the Year the Internet Moved Out of Dad's Basement

2008 was not the Year of the Internet. I can’t even describe it as “the year the Internet grew up.” The Year of the Internet was probably 1996, and the year the Internet grew up was 2004.

I guess we’ll have to call this, “The Year the Internet Had to Move Out of Dad’s Basement.”

The metaphor works best if you imagine it like a Saturday Night Live skit.

“Dad” is a clean-cut man in a black business suit, representing REALITY, and the INTERNET is a pudgy college student in a Google shirt and Cheeto-stained sweatpants.

REALITY descends the staircase: “Son, we need to talk.”

INTERNET apologizes to his raid group and logs out of Warcraft.

REALITY: “Now son, I know you’re a complex, creative person. You’re smart and funny and everyone loves those little videos you make, but your mother and I have been talking, and we think it’s time for you to get a job. We’ve tried to be patient, but Hot Pockets cost money, and you’ve been wearing the same sweatpants for three weeks.”

INTERNET: “But Dad, I have a job! I have like, 12 jobs! I have a blog and a MySpace and a YouTube channel…”

REALITY: “Those aren’t jobs, son. You call it work, but normal people call those ‘hobbies.’ Work is something that makes money.”

INTERNET: “But I do make money! I make money with my Google ads! You remember that video I made of a dog peeing on George Bush? That went viral! A million people saw that video; people from all over the world!”

REALITY: “And how much did you make?”

INTERNET: “It’s not about how much, man! It’s about getting noticed. Buzz, exposure, mindshare! That video was #3 on Digg!”

REALITY: “You made $50. And the bandwidth cost $375.”

INTERNET: “That is so narrow-minded. You need to look at the big picture. It’s just like I said when I moved in–”

REALITY: “In 1994.”

INTERNET: “Right, in 1994. The web is going to change our whole crypto-economic paradigm. There’s no middleman anymore. Go on the web, do cool stuff, be awesome, and watch the money come in. All the old corporate bottlenecks are gone.”

REALITY: “When was this supposed to happen?”

INTERNET: “It’s happening, man! It’s happening everywhere!”

REALITY: “Everywhere but in this basement. You need to get a job.”

INTERNET: “What, like, in a store? Dude, by 2012 there won’t even be stores! We’ll order everything online and our groceries will be delivered by…by robots or something!

REALITY: “Sounds great. Really. But I’ve been waiting for the revolution since you were six. I watched all the videos and attended all the lectures. I’ve got a closet full of Wired magazine and George Gilder books. But the future is taking too long, and we need money now.”

INTERNET: “All right, all right. I wasn’t going to mention this until we got our contract worked out, but I have a plan that will solve all our problems. I’m gonna start a band. I’ll be on drums. My friend Toby has an Xbox, and we met this girl in the mall… We’re gonna call it ‘Ironic Laser Experience.'”

REALITY: “You bought lasers?”

INTERNET: “No! That’s why they’re ‘ironic.’ Duh!”

REALITY: “Get out of my house.”

INTERNET: “You’re gonna regret this! You’ll be sorry when I’m a billionaire! You’re turning your back on the future!”

REALITY: “Probably. Get out.”

INTERNET: “I’ll show you! I’ll show you all! I’m gonna make a trillion dollars and destroy your whole economy!”

REALITY: “Good luck with that. If you see a flying robot, ask him if he wants to buy a Prodigy membership and 400 back issues of Wired.”

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Written by Michael B. Duff

December 31, 2008 at 17:29

Posted in Culture

13 Responses

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  1. This is awesome! This is a lot like my last few months online.

    Rafael

    December 31, 2008 at 20:49

  2. It sure feels like a bubble, doesn’t it.

    Pedro

    December 31, 2008 at 21:04

  3. Great stuff!

    Anonymous

    January 2, 2009 at 23:33

  4. The Internet may be a great tool too make money as well as to do some research online, the problem is that you cannot be on it all the time.

    Brian Johnson

    January 6, 2009 at 08:05

  5. this is a lame article

    Anonymous

    January 31, 2009 at 23:54

  6. but the internet is a cool guy and eh doesnt afraid of anythig

    Anonymous

    February 1, 2009 at 08:59

  7. probably the author

    Anonymous

    February 2, 2009 at 18:14

  8. ah, so that why you left group? damn parent aggro

    Anonymous

    February 5, 2009 at 10:46

  9. Anon #8, lol, yeah. too much AOE and he grabbed a pat. Darn AOEers…

    Anonymous

    February 5, 2009 at 18:54

  10. Thanks for great article. I’m waiting for 2009 update 😀

    Lori Cappozzi

    February 9, 2009 at 05:39

  11. Great article. I feel like that some times and so do some of my friends. we spend a lot of time and sometimes money doing what we love with very few rewards. its almost like the guy that tries to make it by starting a band… except this guy has a computer instead of a guitar.

    www.glossygames.com

    February 11, 2009 at 00:22

  12. Great article. I feel like that some times and so do some of my friends. we spend a lot of time and sometimes money doing what we love with very few rewards. its almost like the guy that tries to make it by starting a band… except this guy has a computer instead of a guitar.

    www.glossygames.com

    February 11, 2009 at 00:23

  13. The internet eats too many hot pockets and smokes too much weed to turn a profit

    ttownbeast

    February 15, 2009 at 21:57


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