My very first Monday Picture Thread photo, 2005.
Oh God, look at my hair.
A few days ago I stumbled across the AFI/Despair Faction forums in a random google search, I can't remember what I was searching for now, I just remember it turned up and was a massive nostalgia bomb for me.
Seven years ago, I got my very first email address that I could control myself (I'd had one before that to send emails to my cousin, but my parents monitored it and I wasn't allowed to join any forums or anything because my parents were convinced that the internet was made up of me and like 30 paedophiles or something*), and the first thing I did after adding all the people I'd just met on a youth exchange with Connexions Cheshire and Warrington to MSN was to sign up to that forum (I'd owned Sing The Sorrow for a few months, and I'd seen the videos for Girls Not Grey and The Leaving Song Pt2 on MTV2 a lot the previous year, and Girls Not Grey particularly - which is kind of odd I guess because lyrically it isn't very "hey sad girl in her mid-teens we understand you" like some of the stuff I was listening to at the time - helped me through what I consider my lowest point of my teens).
For four years I considered that forum my internet home, I thought of a lot of the regular posters as real friends (and in many cases still do, I still have some of them on Facebook), and when one of my DF friends died I cried and mourned just as I would have done if an offline friend died (it brought a tear to my eye when I saw her name in my friend list the other day when I re-found the forum, she was a very kind and considerate person, and though I never knew her in "real life" I miss her like hell.), we were to coin a lyric "One dark flame".
That picture is from totally the wrong era of AFI. Davey had long Gothboi hair when they recorded this *grumble*
It all came crashing to an end in 2009 when the rules were changed on the forums, and most of the forums were set to paying fan club members only, my goodbye message in the thread of rage was:
"It's up to you what you do with your board and I don't intend to offend anybody but I just have this message:
I loved this board, I loved 10th Circle and I always intended to get DF memberbership..."
I never did get that membership because I was mad over the way fans were treated, and well, Crashlove wasn't really all that good in my opinion, and I stopped visiting the forums, it seemed pointless given that I wasn't allowed to say anything any more, and so my account lay dormant for three years.
Until a few days ago when I re-found it and discovered that most of the forums (including the 10th Circle!), had re-allowed non payers to post again!
Unfortunately the entire board had become spam city or something (AFI Everything currently has two whole pages of adverts for UGG boots :/ ), but I had a nose around, and decided to look back at my posting history!
Whereupon I discovered that I was a complete tool in 2009.
I found this:
Even without context this looks bad :/
For context I was telling someone to grow a sense of humour because they didn't find
"Jade - "Will you have sex with me? No? Ok then, rape it is!"
I was telling someone they should find rape jokes funny.
That's not all that long ago.
I am so ashamed that I said that, and I cringed and considered deleting the post, even though it was 2009, and MechaSean wouldn't see it, and will probably never know that my opinions have done a massive 180 on rape jokes (and abortion, I found a bunch of anti-abortion posts I made in 2007-8 there too), but then I realised something.
I had these extreme "troll" views not that long ago, and I changed. I became a better person.
And you know what?
That gives me hope, that some day all of the other people who think rape jokes are perfectly acceptable, and that it's fine to punish people with other people's lives will grow the hell up and realise what they said too.
It doesn't make it right, or even better that I said those things, and goodness knows I am so sorry that I did, but it does give me hope.
On a lighter note, I found these:
*may be a slight over exaggeration