Dutchangles.com has actually existed for a very long time. Its origins can be found in early newspaper pieces I would send out to The Northwest Explorer, which became The Sioux Lookout Bulletin in my high school years. I guess I always needed a place to vent, and if someone wanted to read what I had to write, I was OK with that.
When I started at the University of Ottawa in 1995, this new technology called “The Internet” was just starting to become a thing, with Nortel exploding (before it imploded), Corel the next big thing, and a little company called Decision Academic Graphics in the process of being founded by a pair of University of Ottawa professors with the ideal of using the Internet to simplify the catalog browsing and registration process for the higher education market. And that was just Ottawa.
I had heard whisperings about it in high school, but here was the real deal. I spent a lot of time in the computer lab beneath my residence figuring out this “e-mail” thing, which was initially on Pine, but was eventually transferred over to Eudora Light. I made a lot of friends and then had to figure out how to communicate with my friends back in Ottawa once I went home for the summer. Luckily, the Sioux Lookout Public Library was ahead of the curve and had installed the Internet for public use within the library.
So Epic Rants was born. It was really a way for me to apply the pretentiousness of a first-year University student to the random thoughts which passed through my head. The “rants” part was likely inspired by Dennis Miller Live. Yes, there was a time when Dennis Miller was both funny and relevant.
I ranted, and I asked people to rant. I gave my thoughts on music, film, politics, the absurdity of – and absolute commercialization of – the University of Ottawa’s Frosh Week, and the effect of this web-thingy on our consciousness.
So, pretty much the same stuff I’m doing now.
And then I sent the rants out to the people on my list. And some of them were good. And some of them stuck with me. And in some ways, the rants never stopped. They just evolved into messages sent through web-mail, and then posted onto Facebook.
And the web moved beyond static sites to easy-to-use CMSs like WordPress and Joomla. What once was costly and expensive is now cheap and easy.
And here we are again.
And I have reproduced one of the original Epic Rants as a Dutch Angles post. Because there wouldn’t be one without the other, and the benefit of hindsight shows that some things never go away – they just evolve.