The internet is a weird place.
This was still pretty true back in 2005, even without YouTube and its myriad demented wonders. At the time I attended university in 4th year, and the net was changing. Increasingly, folks were creating their own spaces online from which to ramble narcissistic. Enter the fact that in university everyone feels mature of opinion and wicked-cerebral and you can imagine the burgeoning success of sites such as MySpace, Blogspot and LiveJournal.
I had a blog called ‘Zugswang’ – spelling error and all – and there is absolutely NO reason to click on this link and go there.
If your curiosity got the better of you, you would have found yourself on a page featuring my incredulous face and a post about ‘Great Joels in History.’ You also would have found a sidebar full of links that don’t work to various projects and time wasters. Additionally, you may have noticed that roughly half of the pictures on the post itself are broken. I like to think of it as ‘living in the spirit of the Spacejam Official Website,’ but really it’s just a neglected internet ghost town of one man’s empty musings
That was, until the first Joel mentioned – a boy hanging off a staircase in a picture clearly taken before easy photo editing rotation – contacted me eleven years later.
Here’s what I wrote in my original:
I don’t know if this kid is famous at all, but if you type ‘Joel’ into google he tops the list. And THAT’s pretty impressive. Almost as impressive as his incredible leg push-ups from that upside-down staircase. Go gravity-defying Joel go!
And here’s the reply from the gravity-defying Google champion Joel Carr:
Well when that post was published I was nearly out of Secondary School (15 years old). I can’t remember the first time I found the post but I am pretty sure it was my first few years of University, 2010ish. Basically happened when with friends and we decided to google each other’s name. This was an instant hit and I love the fact it was still online. It has been found by numerous of social groups then onto colleagues. I wanted to message you to say thank you for the much joy you have brought me, my friends, and family!
So there you go. The magic of the internet in two easily-digestible blog posts.
I learned a few things from this:
- I have the same PJ pants.
- Randomly compliment strangers in the fledgling days of the internet and eventually they will hunt you down to say thanks.
- The mystique of the original picture, long a quandary to wizened analysts and philosophers alike, is blown wide open by the reveal of the hallway wall in the second picture.
- If my crumb-bum blog posts can create long-distance ‘besties’ whose only bond is their shared name, imagine what my epic fantasy debut will do to you in eleven years. You will one day look me up and link back to this site saying, “Hey, is this the same Joel Minty who wrote that trilogy before the tarantulas attacked? YOUR SITE REUNITED ME WITH MY FAMILY” or some such.
- Joels are pretty great.
Honestly. How do you name your blog after a word you can’t spell?