The whine of a 56k modem signals for me the beginning of an age.
An awkward, rocky beginning of single landlines and “Get off the Internet; I’m tryna make a call!” Geocities webpages. Neon font. Crudely embedded images in Metallica tribute pages. At that point, DSL and cable modems belonged to households outside our tax bracket, so time spent on the Internet was precious, sometimes transgressive. The whine of a 56k modem will always be attached to an obsession with Dragonball Z, music videos with the aerial acrobatics of snowboarders set to Korn and Limp Bizkit, that time when Napster made mp3s fall from the cybernated heavens like manna for us Israelites. Occasionally, the Internet contained resources for research. A school project on Nord-Pas-de-Calais for French class. A slow-motion guide on how to kickflip into a backside 50-50 rail grind.
Back in the day, above all else, it felt like a gift. Read the rest of this entry »