1. What About Alt.Sex?
  2. The Kinder Gap
  3. The City of God

Flies all green and buzzing on this network of despair. Who are all these people who just post away in there? Are they crazy? Are they sainted? Are they zeroes someone painted? It has never been explained since at first it was created, but USENET, like a sin, requires naught but newgroupn’ of everything that’s ever bin. Newgroup her, newgroup him. That’s what’s the deal we’re dealing in.--Martin H. Booda with apologies to Frank Zappa (?)

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is a lunatic. If Usenet is Main Street on the Information Highway, the Alt groups are the back alleys. A ‘mainstream’ newsgroup must be discussed before it is created. An unofficial sponsor submits an official proposal to an unofficial group of net administrators. An official vote is taken from anyone who cares to vote. If it succeeds, the new group is propagated out to Usenet main.

Alt (alternate) groups don’t have to worry about any of that fake democratic mumbo-jumbo. The Internet is about Individuals. You want a newsgroup devoted to Spam®? Send out an addgroup command for alt.spam.spam.spam. There are a large number of fan groups in the alt hierarchy, from to The alt groups particularly excel when the fan hierarchy is combined with current events. During the 1992 elections, and enjoyed wide circulation

While O.J. Simpson was evading law enforcement on the Los Angeles freeways, some scallies sent out the creation command for and O. J. was sentenced to a horrible death on Usenet long before he even appeared at trial in Los Angeles. He was dissected, and his case used as a battleground for fourth-amendment protectors, conspiracy nuts, hero worshippers, and armchair psychoanalysts. Later, was added to the list of newsgroups (!). But hangin’s too good for ‘im, thought some in the Usenet lynch mob, and out went the creation call for

The biggest complaint in the community was that the ‘high speed chase’ between O. J. and the cops was incredibly boring: hell, they never even got above fifty miles per hour. One poster even suggested that had we paved all of the Earth, “O. J. could have driven his jeep much like he ran his plays--dodging and weaving around other cars, taking long lateral runs... think of the excitement!” (?)

Of course, the fact that this move on O. J.’s part came out at the same time as the movie Speed probably didn’t help him any among the silicon generals of Usenet. The wide consensus was that O. J. was a better football player than entertainer, and he should have left the chase scene to professionals. Speed was the ‘thumbs-up’ winner. O. J.’s real crime was in tying up the L.A. traffic. More entertaining will be watching to see what brand of shoes O. J. wears to the gas chamber, and the results will undoubtedly be crossposted to and

The argument over “innocent until proven guilty” was furious, from those who believe that we should make no judgment until the trial is completed (“You have to remember, ‘You are innocent until proven guilty’, or as the media has put it, ‘You are guilty until proven innocent.’” (?)); to those who believe that the public can make a separate decision from the courts (“As for innocent until proven guilty, that’s in the courtroom... in the general public many feel he’s already been proven guilty... including myself...” (?)); to those who believe we should just gut the court system and hang the black bastard (“Goldman who was trained to grace the catwalk enters into conflict with a brother who was trained to hurt people on the football field” (?)).

O.J. even got his own ‘FAQ’, a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, although beyond answering “Who the heck is O. J. Simpson?”, it was just a collection of jokes. (!)

And then somehow they got into an argument over whether “millions” is “less than a million” or “more than a million” or “at least two million”. Jolly good fun, that. The former sound like congressmen, people willing to redefine numbers to suit their whim, from budgets to Pi.

It’s amazing how far off-topic the whole thing traveled. One man even claimed he was swearing off American women because of the whole thing. Guess he didn’t want to risk being forced to knife someone to death. He might end up having to drive in LA traffic. There was no rush of net women trying to change his mind. Most cheered, although they certainly didn’t know him from anything other than his post to an oj-simpson fan newsgroup in the uncharted alt hierarchy.

And then there was light.

  1. Martin H. Booda , signature, June 20, 1994.
  2. O.J. is not the only person to be gifted with a die.die.die newsgroup. Wesley Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation and a number of other “people we love to hate” have all been so honored. It wasn’t visions of the gas chamber that produced the newsgroup name, but simply that someone out there on the infobahn got tired of seeing O.J. everywhere on the news, cracked under the stress, and created the newsgroup. The O.J. adventure reverberated around the net, even pre-empting the David Letterman show, thus interrupting the Letterman ‘Top Ten’ mailing list.
  3. Jesse Garon,, June 18, 1994. He’s biased: he crossposted this message to alt.pave-the-earth and .
  4. Stephen B. Gruber,, June 18, 1994.
  5. Sikkid/Banther,, June 18, 1994.
  6. Georgianna Y. Marquez, attributed in a post by ‘Young Gifted & Black’, June 20, 1994.
  7. No, I’m not going to reproduce them here. Get ‘em yourself. Send mail to [120 ql d p] at [] , [v 120 ql d p] at [] Okay, okay, here’s one:

    Q: What was ex-Mrs. Simpsons’ last words?
    A: Stop, O.J.! It Hertz!

    I hope you’re sufficiently disgusted.

    New cocktail: Bloody Screwdriver. Start with O.J., 1 ounce of bitters, add sliced tomato.

  1. What About Alt.Sex?
  2. The Kinder Gap
  3. The City of God