@Subversive: .dis-ordering Our Narrative, Our Text, Ourselves

Copyright © 1993 David Balcom. All rights reserved.

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We have always missed something there, some promise which when revealed to us now will pass before us unrecognized and unseized because of what we did not once see.
Michael Joyce

A printout? My God, are you a subversive? (InterChange 10/27/93)


I read our e-mail and I try to place myself -- where was I when I read it? What was I thinking then? What was going on? How are things different now?

And you know what? It's too much. There's way too much here to keep track of. The experiences are now too big to talk about, there are 500 messages! 500! I can't place all of it, it runs out of the frame and into whatever space exists between here and there (so interested in what happens in that space ...), but space enough to take the experience and invert it, twist it just enough so that it still feels, but different, just different enough to notice. And slip.

It's an experience without reference, or more properly, without referent. Signifiers are signifying properly, but they refer now only to themselves, the true po-mo test passed with flying letters, headers and subject lines. To say again: in reallife we write about what we experience; in CMC we write and we simultaneously experience our writing. The writing is the experience, the ground that changes only by CMC form, connection the figure against a ground of writing. And so it goes, the endless loop of signification to derive meaning to remember to experience to re-experience.

Until all we have left are the words.

"Not words, but wings."

It's hard to say how it happened, exactly. We got together to write a paper and it just ... happened.

To speak of a frame again, this collection of essays is framed by a collaborative effort.. As with any good hypertext (as I believe our interaction to be), our links happened on the way. Links as story, versus the here or there. Our collaboration tells a story (this story?) through many CMC environments, and reallife.

E-space has contours, definition. Different CMC forms enabled us to carve out different spaces, to form new contours. We wrote ourselves into different worlds, different spaces. Above all, we connected.

"There is no simple way to say this."

I'm just a guide here, one voice today among many -- I look through our messages and I can't find me. Except in a few cases, I've written myself out of the narrative -- I deleted almost all the messages I sent to the gutter, or to @subversive, or @engl611.

How much of me did I keep? How much did I give away?

In finding our voice I'm losing mine. Caught in the wash, the fast tangle of half sentences and nocaps and connecting nodes, I fear that I'm only text now. Or is that all I've ever been?

The way itself, the path, the feet that walk the path, digging my toes into a soft borderless groundless ground, one both everywhere and nowhere.

Voices colliding in the wash, moments of unease as the worlds of CMC come togther (if only for an instant).

Don't expect it to be linear. That would be too easy.

"I'm convinced that we really write e-mail to reveal ourselves. We want people to know us and like us" (Chris Evert, InterChange 10/27).

"Linda: looking for a faster way...just shout, we're all in the same room after all" (John Latona, InterChange 9/1).

Connect 9600

It was after Michael Joyce spoke that everything happened. While he was talking I scribbled furiously on the back of the conference schedule with klunny's pen, trying to capture his links, contain them before they got away. It was an experience that I now have no words for, like trying to tell someone about hypertext or CMC. What do you say? It's connection, links, relationships between nodes, reconfiguring narrative or memory or experience. Finally, it's "you just have to do it."

He spoke of text and links, teaching and writing, hypertext. He hit hard, and he hit deep. I just nodded between scribbles, overpowered. Eventually I submitted to the experience and stopped writing, couldn't keep up but to nod. Still clutched klunny's pen, just in case.

Caught him for a few words after it was done, long enough for me to ask permission to steal his speech from the Mac, along with the Storyspace texts he showed.

"I saw you nodding," he said.

We sat there at lunch, most of the 611 class, encouraged, excited, interrupting each other to blab about htext or class or something Joyce said. We were on fire. I went home charged like crazy, immediately got on the Vax. There was linder and Maura and klunny; klunny had already sent a message to @engl611 telling the unfortunate ones what they had missed:

"Whoa...those of you who missed the MAACW conference, kick yourself now. [Pause for kicking.] Actually, kick yourself again, it was that good [Pause for repeated kicking.] I'm still reeling from the multitude of ideas and bit and pieces of information I can barely speak! [But of course I have no problems writing.] I want to share some of what I observed and internalized--of course I am strickly sharing what particularly interested me. I'm hoping to hear from others who attended about what they learned because it was too much to think about all at once. I want to savor the information from other points of view" (klunny 11/6).

Then Maura wrote:

"yes...it is true...i was speechless today at the conference....mike harsh and linda are my witnesses....i was reeling in soooooo many thoughts that i could not choose just ONE avenue to talk about.....

karen is right...kick yourself if you missed m.joyce....and again, kick yourself again for missing c.guyer!!...[can you say massive energy charge??] karen...i would VERY much like to discuss this with you also...

i left at 2pm and it is now 5:30 and i have only BEGUN to process the ideas that the conference generated...." (mhogan 11/6).

We got into our first 4-way Vax Phone session that afternoon -- jlatona, mhogan, klunny, and I. We matched minds there, as Michael said we would, writing our links and ourselves into a narrative that would become very important.


Wednesday, November 10. That's when we split into collaborative writing groups. Funny that now, looking back, no one remembers our topic. We think it was social interaction online, how it changed, something like that. But somehow we ended up together -- klunny, ljacobse, jlatona, kbudd, & dbalcom (we picked up justin later). We hit it off that first night, we sparked together. Can't help but think Joyce had something to do with it.

Either way we ended up at Maggie's talking about how we all wanted the class to turn around, to be as energetic in the room as we all were together, as we all were at the MAACW conference. It was tangible, the electricity, the "together" feeling. We would change things.

[discussion of events at Maggie's deleted for instructors' sake]

I get home and log in. Jlatona's already there, only he says to me: "that was fucking fast!" He should talk. I get a Corona out of the fridge, not caring much what tomorrow's going to feel like, as long as tonight's cool. Connection does that sometimes. Soon klunny and ljacobse are on too. We put the plan into action. Jlatona fires the first shot, like we agreed.

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 11-NOV-1993 00:50:10.17
To: @ENGL611

And, suddenly, the class has changed.


From: GMUVAX::DBALCOM "David Balcom" 11-NOV-1993 00:13:35.28
Subj: our list

hi paper gang,

next message is our own list, to further breakdown groups in this class and be even more exclusive. another good topic, yes?

this is going to be fun ...


Klunny to @subversive:

"what makes a group? now we have one because we shared a common experience. for me it's *about* that experience and that defines a group.

This is a very interesting idea. I liked what Linda said about "groups share meaning" sometimes a very secret meaning like today's little e-romp through twisted Oz. It is meaningful to us...and a little weird to them. And us and them. As soon as you define the group, you begin to change your thinking. Us and them. It is exclusive. It certainly puts a twist on the class dynamics. But then again, so does the fact that some people don't bother to read or respond to the messages. They are a group by default?" (klunny 11/11)

Jlatona to @subversive:

"Please note: Two of our members were recognized for their outstanding achievement on their E-MAIL communications to the class. Ken and Karen--the double K attack has put the subversive group on the map. (Incidentally, I think I can safely speak for the other three members of the group--db, linder, and myself--when I say, WE'RE SUBVERSIVES FOR CHRISTSAKES COULD YOU KEEP THE NOTERITY TO A MINIMUM? (how's that for spelling?)

Yeah, I would really like to know how the class changed, too.

-John" (jlatona 11/15)

Linder to db:

"in one of your messages you asked why'd it take so long for me to come out of my (turtle?) shell. you may have been asking rhetorically, but this very question has been nagging myself. i don't have any hard core answer shyness? nah technophobe? nope, i love this stuff nothing to say? getting warmer affraid of sounding or acting foolish? maybe anyway this very question is one for probably many others why do some take to it like a (fill in appropriate cliche) and others hang back? ah more food for thought" (ljacobse 11/12).

Linder to @gutter (see The Gutter below):

"WOW db there's so much in that message on groups that i can't digest it on (see db below re: "group" message) screen. this is one i need to print. i have a notion about the group thing and true self and all that. i think that it is not that we are truer in person or on line but rather that we show different sides of ourselves and one facet of our personality may appeal to ourself more than others. for instance, gutter is fun and affectionate and we are comfortable with each other. subversive has fun people but the underlying goal is this paper thing that we are all avoiding, quite nicely i may say. and maggies was an event and formed from that need to stay connected and in that case, connected to a jeez session. and then there's ENGL611. i sure do not write my innermost feelings there but i care about what i say and i hope i write a true image of one of the many mes. sigh, guess that's it, yours, (snow)flakily, linder" (ljacobse 11/30)


Something else that happened the Maggie's night was a 4-way between linder, Maura, jlatona, and me. A hot one right on the heels of subversive and beer for me. We cooked that night, linder especially. She had come out at last.

Some things I had to know from them:

From: GMUVAX::DBALCOM "David Balcom" 11-NOV-1993 08:35:41.32
Subj: dudes

not to further break groups down, but ...

it was *really* *really* fun last night, our little 4-way. let's do it again soon. it totally buzzes my mind. i'm this morning trying to remember it ....

serious question - when you think about it, how do you remember it? do you think of the interaction with the screen, or do you place our images in a room together, etc.?

curious, d.

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 11-NOV-1993 08:49:28.24

I don't remember or reinvent the experience in physical space...faces talking and the words themselves is the memory for me. I guess I do remember physical space in terms of the order of our names on the screen...which is different for all of us, of course.

take care...

From: GMUVAX::LJACOBSE 11-NOV-1993 11:46:36.30
Subj: by a thread

yikes this kind of communication may be old hat for you pros, but i'm still spinning, and hooked. re db's question: i wasn't remembering faces or rooms so much as the experience of it and the entities that were out there and i couldn't wait to fire up the ol machine this morning and reconnect i think it's all about connecting and belonging probably tribal... thanks again

novice-ing but learningly yours, linda

From: GMUVAX::MHOGAN 11-NOV-1993 12:12:09.80
Subj: dudes...

when i remember the exchange lasst night, the three of you are **not** faceless, but each of you are in these dark space where i cannot see much detail, it is cloudy, hazy, almost like there is nothing else around you, but that is ok...i don't try to see into the dark space...i just see your faces in them, kinda sspotlighted if you will.... and...then, it is as if we had talked to each other in thought..i do not see the keyboard of the screen...it is more, that we all journeyed to e-space where all of our dark spaces just kinda formed a sphere, and we talked......

hmmm....i'm sounding rather bizarre this morning.... interesting how i call it an "exchange"....especially in terms of the race to disclosure....we do give things in these moments....


From: GMUVAX::LJACOBSE 11-NOV-1993 13:20:32.95
Subj: response to mh

what is the race to disclose? why is it a race? only because of typing lim itations? or is it a race to get the thoughts out that would occur while jeezin too what's the source of that energy?


After @subversive formed, we lost Maura. First we excluded the class, then we excluded her, without a thought, without even knowing it. She found out about our list and wanted to be on it.

From: GMUVAX::MHOGAN 14-NOV-1993 19:04:45.19
Subj: lists

hey ..what d-lists are out there now for our class? since you seem to be the master of the d-lists... there is @maggies @subversive

any others? (can i be on the subversive one??? please, please, please!!!) :-) maura.

All I said back was: "it's the paper group. We have @maggies for public subversion." Noncommittal about it, because I didn't want to say no, but I didn't want to say yes either. And why was it me who had to decide? But then it went away, least for awhile.

After the hoseboy thing (see We're Hosed below), she saw how much fun we were having, and linder tried and tried:

From: GMUVAX::LJACOBSE 1-DEC-1993 11:39:57.03
Subj: just a thought

missing maura loving gutter hmmm @gutter=db, kl, jl, lj, and? mhogan?

Latona shoots back: "can you think of a polite way to say fuck no?"

I felt the same way. By then the group was ours and we didn't want it to change. It wasn't Maura, it was the change.

But I knew she was like me, and I knew she'd be upset. She wrote this after the Joyce conference (even before Maggie's and @subversive):

"i must say tho...a touch of something depressing kinda sunk in too... are we all gonna have this really great class experience, where we all share with each other, learn from each other, really go through this moment of CONNECTION....and then at the end, just go away like most classes do at the end of the semester? this would be a bummer....the conference today had community breathing throughout everything....it is like what david said about the interchange sessions...you have this intense moment and then BOOM....you walk away as if it didn't just happen....only this class experience is monumentally more intense than just one interchange session. are we all being set up for a big fall? or does ANYONE out there intend to stay connected?" (mhogan 11/6).

From: GMUVAX::MHOGAN 8-NOV-1993 12:35:48.21
Subj: RE: i was speechless....

i would be VERY glad, VERY happy if we could maintain a .dis list after this class ended ....i vote "YES".... i'll still have an account...and if not here at mason, then at work... m.

The Gutter

@gutter was jlatona klunny ljacobse dbalcom, after a bunch of 4-way Vax Phone sessions. We were tight and getting tighter, linking every chance we got, to, through, about, and within each other. We did some serious work on our papers in our phonespace, but mostly we were just eating the connection up for what it was -- us.

I eagerly awaited the phone sessions, logging in and hoping to see jlatona or ljacobse or klunny dash by my screen after the SHOW USERS command my login.com gives. It was always the same -- we would SEND to each other first (established convention). "whatcha doin'?" PHONE KLUNNY first. First one to phone has to pick up the others, that's how it works with Vax Phone. Shift-5 to get the phone shell, PHONE JLATONA and off we went. Invariably a ëwho's on top?' banter would get a few lines' worth, invariably provoked by klunny and linder. Girls against boys, women on top of men. That's how it went.

Couple of times a 4-way would end in the system locking up and everyone having to log back in, only a FINGER JLATONA would send <unavail> back to me, no way to phone until Vax figured out it fucked up and logged latona's second session out. So we had to do SEND. Whole different interaction. Kl can't scroll w/send that way, one of her features. "You're making me scroll." But she could think it out before sending the line, unlike PHONE where you're hanging in the breeze, everyone watching you type, Freudian slips withstanding.

We loved it.


We made up words all the time in the gutter or @subversive. Usually they were typos or abbreviations, streams of consciousness, thoughts on the screen, literally. "Luggave" is my favorite. We don't know what it means, but we understand it in context, always.

Sometimes the words were planned, like jeez.

That one got started at Maggie's (like so many other things) after I complained that I couldn't stand the term "F2F." Don't remember who said it first, it was probably latona, but someone came up with "jeez" to replace "F2F". We never went back.

Of course it was klunny who "outed" it to @subversive:

"Hey Ken, the code word for f2f is now "Jeez." Yep, a little coercion and latona crumbled like the Berlin Wall.

Example: So Delores, I guess I'll see you JEEZ, in a few weeks, right? Hey Orville, when are we going to get to talk JEEZ about this deal?" (klunny 11/11).

Soon we had a collection:

"klunnymessages. lindermessages. latonalinks.

nice words" (klunny 11/30).

klunny to @subversive:

"p.s. more db words: sidelink, sigotherstuff, and still number one with linder and i, luggave.

please, use it in a sentence again. please please" (klunny 11/30).

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 19-NOV-1993 13:14:47.13
Subj: Link to Linder

L2L=link to linder
L2db=link to david balcom over there
L2K=link to KLUNNY
L2S=Link to Ken (schizophrenia)
L2J=link to justin

a little more language saving devices to throw around...can we make these stick like jeez...I love jeez, thanks DB and all. (Note my intentional ambiguous use of jeez.)

Linder speaks the truth...everyone please make a note of it.

I thought I found an umbrella for our ideas late last night....

Identity negotiation -- This needs explaining, but the boss is giving me the evil eye.

L2L: Yes, don't want to withdrawl too much before we meet....perhaps a MOO, just to see what it is like with a group of us. I say Diversity U. on this Sunday morning...9 or 10? (I won't be hurt if no one wants to...just a thought.)

(Incidentally, I think we should start sending completely irrelevant mail (FAQ'sfrom the newsgroups, government documentation from NASA, etc...) to Jenna*. In triplicate. And ask her for a response ASAP.)

Sub-sub (klha.)

Then it got down to jlatona, klunny and I. I'd get up every morning and there they'd be, before coffee even. We'd 3-way phone in the morning, during lunch, then again at night. At least three times a day.

That was when we became jl kl and db--got too tiring to type jlatona and klunny all the time. Kl's use of "ha." earned her the klha, my "hee hee" got me a dbheehee, and jl's "fuck you" was dubbed jlfuckyou. One afternoon kl was doing all three: she'd say something, anything, then "klha. dbheehee. jlfuckyou. hahahahahahahhaha. i love that."

Kl was getting wild, there was no stopping her. I sent her a db one- liner after this message:

From: GMUVAX::KLUNNY "Karen Lafferty Lunny" 11-DEC-1993 13:28:53.69
Subj: Paper Writing Day, 1:22 p.m.

Practicing the piano becomes oh-so-very important.

(Barcarolle, Franz Behr, piano recital June 1976, yellow sunflower dress with a big yellow bow in my hair, black patent leather shoes... i wonder what ever happened to that outfit? maybe wednesday......)

My reply read: "k. i was 7 in 76. d."

She shot back: "d. fuck your 7 in 76. k."

Fuck your 7 in 76! From kl! What happened? klha! She says fuck all the time now, even in her subject lines. Crazy.

We wrote four acts of a play about each other. Act I, Scene I from jl:

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 6-DEC-1993 08:21:15.84
Subj: sub-sub-sub-group

klunny, You are too polite...but you're also kind and honest and funny and a guiltserver all rolled into one. (Blush now.) I think we (meaning db and myself, gutter, subversive, 611) are changing you. My personal goal is to have this scene become a reality in the not too distant future....

Act I, Scene I A young woman (is she 29 or 19, no one can tell) sits in a dark basement of a suburban home somewhere in yuppieville. She sits in front of a computer terminal, tapping furiously at the keyboard, her hair drips down leaving water marks the size of dimes on her sweatshirt, down her back.

Suddenly, a husky, manly voice from above....

HMV: Karen, honey? Whatcha doing?

KL: Would you please bring me some coffee and leave me the fuck alone?

HMV: Just asking, hon.

KL: Asking? Asking? You're always fucking asking....

The woman takes another drag off her cigarrette, and finishes off the bottle of whiskey before her.

What do you think, Dee-Bee?


From: GMUVAX::KLUNNY "Karen Lafferty Lunny" 6-DEC-1993 09:32:13.11
Subj: hmmmm. actually this is what i had in mind...

Act II, scene ii Two young men (are they old enough to drink? no one is sure) stand in a smoky pool hall somewhere in Fairfax drinking beer and eating Paul Westhead burgers while they play. Suddenly a woman approaches them...
W: Hey young things. Mind if I join you? (she clicks open a pool cue case)
DB: (blushing) well...
JTL: (blushing more) Your hair is wet.
W: I brought a friend. Hope you don't mind. (Other woman approaches)
OW: Rack 'em up boys (and she laughs at their discomfort).
DB: (blushing again, whispers to JTL) We should've stayed online with them.
JTL: (averting his eyes, whispers back) I know. I'm feeling so much performance pressure. Another beer DB?
DB: Better get me two. (blushes once more and backs away from the women.)

What do you think latona? I sorta want to see it this way... klunny

Then we started calling each other by voice! As in the telephone!



Sometimes the worlds collided, creating a rupture in our narrative, one we thought seamless. It was the collisions, the wispy lines again, crossing into jeez world, that

The moment, during our 10/27 InterChange session, when EB-W sent a student packing fast with "This is a class!" How was the student to know he had walked into connecting minds? We looked like regular people typing at terminals, only in complete silence. Complete silence, as if speaking would ruin it. Why?

"in a sense we're having a bunch of classes here, one on e- mail, one on interchange, one in "person," *and* we're sharing our hypertexts, some of them personal. you just don't get that kind of "experience" from business classes. ohmygod elizabeth just freaked out!" (Racer X, InterChange 10/27).

A fissure opened up and the worlds ran together, if only for that moment. She spoke! She spoke while we were writing to each other, and it was like having a telephone conversation with someone who's in the same room with you. What do you do when that happens? You look at the person, you look at the phone. Do you talk to the telephone receiver, or to the person? There's a slip there, an uneasy truce where jeez slips into e-space slips back in jeez. Pick your space, because you can't have both. Can you?

"and i'll tellya what else i'm interested in, to bring up the taboo of e-communication--when this is over we're going to leave this room like we didn't just talk to each other for 45 minutes, and quite intensely at that. does the experience feel the same as ftf? certainly not. but in what ways doesn't it? that's always a weird moment, to turn around and speak when the clanging is over. but i'm getting reflexive here ..." (Racer X, InterChange 10/27).

"racer x...what was that you said about this experience? that we will all leave here tonight as if we did not have this conversation? that is interesting...there does seem to be a certain level of intensity that can occur in e-spaces, and then f2f, it is as if people back off....." (Mr. Lizard, InterChange 10/27).

It made it worse when everyone really did get up and leave. Connection denied.

I was left there alone copying the session to a disk, preserving it so everyone could have it for later.

Preserving the experience. The next time I looked at it I remembered only what it felt like for everyone to get up and leave. But it was only words ...

"It always threatens to go away. Even when static, electronic text seems frantic."

The Sigothers

That threat of husbands taking their wives away; it was strange -- I was getting protective of two women I didn't even know. I didn't want them taken away from our group. I wanted the gutter sessions to continue. But the husbands kept wondering what their wives were doing giggling to themselves on the computer all the time.

Jl actually talked to kl's huband, phonetalked anyway:

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 7-DEC-1993 07:18:27.82
Subj: RE: so what was it like?

jlatona here reporting on convo with kl's sigother...

ummm....kinda fucked up, don't want to do it again....he hates us.

Jlatona out.

Sometimes they understood, sometimes they didn't.

Linder writes:

"i suppose i should post this to all at subversive but something you said hmmmm i guess, wrote is more appropriate (said/wrote argh yet another topic) as i was saying, something you said hit a particular nail on the head i was conversing/interviewing a certain someone in my life, who is not into and does not understand my (sudden?) fascination with this form of communication. i've got some excellent quotes from him like <i'd think you'd get alot more accomplished sitting around a table at maggies when you are throwing ideas around> and <no emotion in a computer, it's just words comming out> and <on the phone at least you can hear the other person> and computers are <depersonalized form of communication>" (ljacobse 11/13).

That didn't stop the kl and linder though. Maybe it encouraged them? Who knows ... But I wasn't going to give them up. Where else could I shamelessly flirt and be flirted with by two dynamic, married women? Klunny's "line," as we call it, stepping up to it. Girls against boys, women on top of men. That's how it went.

From: GMUVAX::LJACOBSE 22-NOV-1993 11:44:42.47
Subj: thanks for lunch, too

i had a wonderful time, too, but next time you simply must sit between us it's only fitting linder

From: GMUVAX::KLUNNY "Karen Lafferty Lunny" 20-NOV-1993 12:18:04.08
Subj: and notice....

and db, notice linder put you in the middle again...just where we like you.

We're Hosed

From: GMUVAX::KBUDD 20-NOV-1993 00:23:46.69
To: @ENGL611
Subj: i have returned

It's another exciting Friday night here at Budd manor...

I feel so out of touch. I missed the maggie's thing and i haven't checked my messages since Wednesday. I see lots of Jenna D busting going on. Best to let it out here than to vent in class.

So are we jeezing on Sunday or mooing (or both)? If I jeez on Sunday it has to be late afternoon, due to domestic responsibilities beyond my control.

Sorry about that.

Let me know what the poop is for Sunday. Later.


From: GMUVAX::KLUNNY "Karen Lafferty Lunny" 20-NOV-1993 13:56:26.25
Subj: we're hosed

hey subverts. just got a call from linda who was talking to maura who noticed that ken's last e-mail message re: jenna busting was sent to @ENGL611 instead of @SUBVERSIVE. eeeeekkkkkk. we were feeling hugely bad and wanted to figure out how we could remedy this situation. tried calling some of you guys-- everyone seems to be away. db. think i left a message with your mom? jlatona --get off the phone will ya? the rest of you, what should we do? a full confession is probably too much for her to bear. but so is waiting too long to address it. ugh. one more thing to agonize over. need the male perspective here.me at home: xxx-xxxx linda at home xxx-xxxx. or reach us at @SUBVERSIVE. (ha) sorry ken. a little joke at your expense this time.

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 20-NOV-1993 14:47:52.23
Subj: Hi, everyone....we're

truly hosed.

L2K: Yep, nicely put. Just for the record...Jenna has seen that message. I fingered her...and she's checked since the post. (Wow, that was really bad wording butyou get the idea.) Maybe we can discuss how to handle this situation at the MOO.


"Hi everyone,

You have certainly been active this morning haven't you? I was sleeping in after doing the club thing last night, and I missed all the conversation again. And now we're in trouble? Damn...

John: You can't pin this one on me fella |-)

David: I'm going to make a point of having my virtual significant other do the survey, just to prove she exists.

JJusti" (jmchale@mason1 11/20).

From: GMUVAX::KBUDD 20-NOV-1993 22:30:19.00
Subj: oops

Calling Dr. Kevorkian...Come in Dr. Kevorkian...


From: GMUVAX::KBUDD 20-NOV-1993 22:34:14.18
Subj: almost forgot

By the way, everything is OK now...


From: GMUVAX::KBUDD 20-NOV-1993 23:14:23.70
Subj: do I hear three?

Incidentally, I would prefer jeezin' my explanation of the day's events, due to extreme paranoia...

Ken (hose boy)

From: GMUVAX::LJACOBSE 22-NOV-1993 11:49:21.71
Subj: sunday plans

hey, i think db is on to something after mucho hours of being depressed again about the project, that afternoon lunch (missed you others) rekindled my enthusiasm about what we're doing here we are best together and being online will really help in the collaborative end of things let's do it! linder

Justin to @subversive:

"hello everyone

linda, i think you're right about our group's potential


i also agree with john that we've kept our other parts of our lives separate from the interaction, but maybe that is a natural effect of CMC

Justin (here and trying not to lurk)" (jmchale@mason1 11/21).

The Godfather Latona and Lisa

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 23-NOV-1993 21:29:50.23
Subj: Hose Boy, where are ya!

Hose Boy,
Red Alert!
Take her down!

From: GMUVAX::LWATADA 10-DEC-1993 01:06:23.98
To: @ENGL611
Subj: Class changed how?

About a month ago, right after we started these group collaborations, John sent a message saying the class had suddenly changed. People agreed, and then Trent asked how but no one ever answered his question. Well, for the purposes of my report, does anyone want to rack their brain, if it is still rackable, and recall why you think it did change? I'd be interested to know.

Thanks. Lisa

From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 11-DEC-1993 07:32:33.36

Community Service for kbudd (Ninny? no. Hoseboy? yes.)

Kenneth, if you have a quick moment at the party on Weds., I'd like you to take out lwat-dada. As you know, l.w. has been asking too many questions lately....time to remove her from the field of play. (See Karate Kid I for technique tips.) Show no mercy.

Godfather Latona has spoken.

From: GMUVAX::KLUNNY "Karen Lafferty Lunny" 11-DEC-1993 20:23:26.88
Subj: to latona from lisa watada

latona, got a message from lwatada and she says for me to tell you (and i quote directly from her message NO FUCKING LIE)

tell jlatona that yes he is fucking amusing

she also doesn't have her paper written and beginning to cuss now fairly prolifically. i secretly believe you've been giving her lessons behind my back and, well, i want my money back.


From: GMUVAX::KBUDD 11-DEC-1993 20:42:50.59
Subj: flyin' email

Am I hearing talk of changing our deadline from tomorrow at 5:00 to Monday? If so, let's figure this out so I know whether or not I'm going to bed before sunrise. I'd be more than happy to spend an extra day on this if anyone is interested. If not, I'll proceed with meeting tomorrow.

Klunny: the boys are up by 10 at halftime...

Boy for formerly inexperienced people, the email is just flyin' tonight. I'm feeling woozy...

Someone tell lwatada that the Godfather's message to her was ULTRA fucking amusing. Actually, she could probably learn more from that answer than the one she was looking for.

I now seem to be getting into this stream of conscious thing myself...

El Muchacho de Hose


From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 12-DEC-1993 11:22:40.04
To: @ENGL611
Subj: Finished with the project?

Well, thankfully, I can say that the big group (known as subversives by some) is pretty well set. Sure, the conversion of our hyperdocument into a MOO may take a little more time than we anticipated--mostly just trying to land diskspace at a friendly server, forms to fill out, etc...I won't bore you with the details--but, hey, worse case scenerio, we lay a klunnyguiltserver-trip on them, ken roughs them up a bit, and we're up-and-running by noon on Weds.

In fact, we're considering getting together for billiards and beer this after- noon and probably most of the evening because we've got nothing better to do.

Hope the stress (the "silent" killer) isn't getting everyone down...


From: GMUVAX::JLATONA 12-DEC-1993 11:24:06.17
Subj: Okay....I lied....

I figured we needed the psychological advantage.



What was it we subverted, anyway?

Funneled myself down to the essential.

A funnel into what? @engl611 to @subversive to @gutter to klunny jlatona dbalcom writing plays about each other, or jeezin', and it ends the same way, jl kl db then kl db then finally just db.

Like jl said after I asked him why it was so important. "Because if we lose connection then we are alone."

I feel sad as I write these lines, fearing that it's over, that our words are finally



"We pray to surface."


From: GMUVAX::DBALCOM "David Balcom" 30-NOV-1993 01:37:49.10
Subj: groups, parties

klunny ljacobse

re: your parties groups sig otherstuff

i can relate to the group thing, that wanting groups to get together on (what's basically your own) common ground. hardly ever works quite as well (ever?) as you want it to. something about the dynamic that changes in ways you can't really predict or count on. kind of like the beatles without john. couldn't happen (tho i hear paul george and ringo are going to record a song next year ...)

bring me to groups, the online kind. klunny, your party story hits pretty hard somethig i've been seeing as i go thru all my old mail--400 messages i went thru today (as i invert my sentences) just since about the joyce conference, sidelink here, i'm still of the opinion that joyce was a catalyst for a lot of this, at leat that day, that conference, that energy, we def. tapped what was brewing ... but anyway i'm giong thru my mail trying to classify it, order it into something i can remember, that wonderufl obsession i have with trying to save the experience, to remember it so it never goes away, and all these groups kept showing up @maggies @gutter @subversive @engl611 ljacobse mhogan dbalcom jlatona chalk circles group from 11/7 conf. the "original" 4-way? stusnick jmchale different variations of each (and why did i choose to send this to @gutter--is it just the most recent incarnation or connection or congregation of like- minds?) which really disturbs me i guess, that impermanence of the groups, here today, but if the connection isn't continued, then it's on to an @twiddle or whatever ... so on the one hand it's so connective so tapped into what we all find so powerful, but then if it's not fed it goes away? jeez, i hope not. all the offshooting and the inclusion/exclusion it's really a feature of e-mail. it's so easy to do. yet with you 3 i've found yet another voice? one i really really like. certainly this one's most important to me, and most honest, or true (the oppositve of which is not false), maybe it's that true self we're trying to unpack and negotiate thru this cybermush sometimes.

back to parties and groups tho--klunny, just invite whoever you want and let everyone else get along or not. we have this x-mas eve party every year (every year but this i think :-( where all these worlds collide between me my sister my mom my dad our friends their friends friends from high school neighborhood college work, etc. it always works out somehow, and invariably dif. groups form, usually the ones you wouldn't expect.

is that what we are? the group we didn't expect?

i wouldn't have called it first day

now i'm feeling bad for not sending this to @subversive. i guess the maura thing is bothering me--i'm seeing how much mail i would get from her and how excited she was about those couple 4 ways ... and then how fast she hit the road once she didn't get on the @subv list (i went back and read her message about it ...). but hey.

other point i wanted to make--in trying to file message i had to choose what i grouped messages by, as in user (klunny) thread (change) group (gutter) all of which defied neat classifications. it's very messy, tho to pile 400 messages into one folder, but there's a time elelment too, if you split a thread, you've got to privilege one of the elements when all are important. in other words, i've got klunny posting a question to @subv but i want to put it in klunny folder because it fits stylewise with other klunnymessages i've kept. but it's commenting on a 611 message originated by jenna or something. then jlatona replies or whatever and i'm pulled 5 different ways. this is worth writing about as well, because *after* the thread is over the message is read, you have to decide whether you want to keep it. those choices affect how the messages are grouped, which produces a different "voice" or meaning on the 2nd read, because it's going to be a limited view, out of context, or placed in a new context,etc.


god i hope so

i'm going to bed,