Metafilter turned 10 years old yesterday. Congrats to Matt Haughey and the other people who are or have been involved in it.
I’ve been a member of MeFi since 2001 and have at least scanned one of the sites almost daily since then. I’m user #3664, so that makes me one of the older of Matt’s 94552 friends.
Just today, I happened on a thread from 2006 about the Garfield comic strip that contains this comment which, to me, epitomizes MeFi:
I know [it] is popular to mock Garfield, but you are all looking at the strip in entirely the wrong context. The strip is not supposed to be edgy or controversial. It’s not for you. Garfield is a good comic for the same reason that Peanuts is. They are safe harbor.
There are millions of kids out there whose parent or parents are drunk, strung out, violent, unpredictable, and abusive. It is almost the norm, not the exception.
Picture yourself as a a 9 yr old kid in some horrible dysfunctional household.
Your mom or dad just burst in drunk and screaming. They throw things, break things, they are crazy with rage. They are comgin for you, their eyes wide, their face twisted. Maybe they spend the next hour beating your brother or sister, or each other. Or you.
Eventually they fall asleep exhausted from their effort, and the apartment grows quiet. Your siblings breathing stutters as their sobs susbide. You don’t talk to each other. You wish it would stay this way, but you know it won’t.
This is just the space between nightmares, between the things that define your life.
Your face and hair are still damp from tears and sweat. You can’t turn on the tv or radio, because it might up wake them up. A book is too much of a commitment, and you don’t know how long this will last. You look for something to keep you from thinking, because thinking begets fear, and fear begets crying. The world leaves you alone for now.
There is a newspaper.
Now read the strip again.