The Broken Glass Of Time
By RaD Man / ACiD
(Reprinted from ACiD Newsletter 23, June 2003)
"Time tells all." Over the years, I've repeatedly realized this adage to be flawed. Even in this age of information, I've rarely found it to hold true. Our reliance upon time for the ultimate truth is misguided -- as history is made, it is frequently documented inaccurately. Rather than telling all and revealing everything, it seems to have a partially retrogressive effect upon history.
Profound or not, this idea has been preoccupying me for weeks, even to the point of losing sleep. Through nostalgic conversation amongst friends this point became even more evident. Over time, memory has a tendency to permutate the order and way events occurred. "Did that really happen in 1991? I thought that was 1993!"
It's not unusual for electronic disk magazines published within our own scene to occasionally contain historical errors in their reports. I've personally had some issues with the opinionated editorials doled out en masse, which had little to nothing substantiating their claims, passed off as fact. If someone who was a member of a rival group were to write an article, their comments reported about a competing group needed to be read as subjective opinion -- not fact. Those of us immersed in the scene at the time understood this well -- we came to expect distorted views. Even with the some times gross inaccuracies, the bias, or rare impartiality, these are the only records of history we have left of that time; this is what we've left behind for those who follow. For that, I embrace them all.
While the mists of time have a tendency to obscure the past, it does allow certain events to be put into greater perspective. Only as time passes can the magnitude of any given action really be measured. Talking to old friends and former affiliates fascinates me, finding out what stands out most prominently in each of their minds during their period of tenure in the BBS world. I've personally become compelled to do everything in my power to preserve as many of these memories as possible, because collectively these reminiscences create a more balanced depiction of the bigger picture which was and is the art scene. Memorializing the ANSI art scene, it's humble beginnings and it's evolution will be my final and most important part here with you all. After that, hopefully I can get some rest.
RaD Man is Senior Advisor and Founder of ACiD Productions. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The homepage of ACiD Productions is located at www.acid.org.