Since I’ve been on something of an intermittent nostalgia kick lately, I thought I’d explain one particular paragraph that’s been on my About page in one form or another through many different websites over the years.
Rolling Stone emphasized his “long black eyelashes” and “face that sees very little sun” while deeming him “a kid from upstate New York with a quick wit”. A public relations professional said he was a “sissy”. Bruce Sterling referred to him as a “punk”. Joss Whedon technically might have described him as “twitchy, unreliable-looking”.
On page 37 of the October 5, 1995, edition of Rolling Stone was a story entitled, “10 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference”. While I wasn’t one of the ten people profiled on the list itself, I served as the introduction. Michael Powell met me at the long-defunct @Cafe in Greenwich Village to discuss my mid-1990s online activism against the Communications Decency Act.
Slowdog’s hanging out upstairs at the @ Cafe, in New York’s Greenwich Village, sipping cup after cup of coffee and tap-tap-tapping into the Internet on one of the computer terminals that looms over every table like a television set. Slowdog is 25 years old, with black pants, black T-shirt, black baseball cap, black sneakers, long black eyelashes and a face that sees very little sun.
Born Christopher Frankonis, Slowdog used to work at the New York Public Library and log on, stop at the @ Cafe and log on, traipse back to his basement flat in Brooklyn, N.Y., and log on, surfing the Internet that runs like a vast river through wired America.
Public Relations Professional
Towards the end of my three-year stint writing Portland Communique in the early 2000s, the flack for a local developer whose proposal for the Burnside Bridgehead I disfavored went on something of a tirade via email, which I then published because it wasn’t off-the-record. Communique is long since offline (in part because I could never get the guy who handles *portland.or.us domains to get back to me so I could try to at least link the Wayback), but the full text is still up on Jack Bogdanski’s blog.
How many people did you employ? Or, did paying an intern to help your rumor-mongering business not factor in your parents monthly support of your hobby? But enough of this childishness, how about you and me in a public debate. You bring your slander and innuendos. I’ll bring a group of friends and some chips ‘cause I know you can’t really afford to buy snacks on your parent’s allowance. Oh, but you’ll have to crawl out from under that rock you live under to do it. Name the place, I’ll bring my friends, you bring yours (if you have any). I’d like to see you address me in public the way you do in your site - you sissy. I’d say more, but am sure you’ll print every word I write and I recognize children may be reading this. I know infants are. If you don’t set a date, I’ll find you at Stumptown and we can make a big show of it. Game?
For what it’s worth, later an anonymous troll using my site’s own comments to accuse me (falsely) of taking bribes in exchange for favoring another developer’s proposal was traced to a company with links to this “professional”. It wasn’t him, but the connection was quite the discovery.
At some point during the Eighth Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy held in Austin, Texas, in 1998, there was a party at Bruce Sterling’s house. Somehow having stayed too long to get back to our hotel, a friend and I somehow ended up sleeping in Sterling’s guest room. The next day in a post to The WELL he referred to the “two punks” who had stayed in his guest room. (It’s actually even a bit weirder, as he and his family left us alone in the house the next morning as they went off to brunch, or church, or something.)
In the sixth episode of the somewhat controversial television show Dollhouse, “Man on the Street”, there is a substitute handler referred to in the script, written by Joss Whedon.
INT. DOLLHOUSE - BALCONY - DAY
Boyd with the twitchy, unreliable-looking BICKS, another handler.
It’s never been confirmed that this homophonic name is a reference to me, but he’d at least known my name from having founded Can’t Stop the Serenity, and outside the Omni San Diego during my first Comic-Con he’d drunkenly said that he’d “beat[en] up a couple of false b!Xes earlier”. Regardless, I embraced the description and for awhile in the late 2000s had a blog named for it.
Now you know.