Skip to comments.The REAL History of Free Republic, 2009 Edition (c)
Posted on 12/30/2009 6:17:52 AM PST by Lazamataz
What did we all do before Free Republic? Well, it might surprise you to know there never was a time before Free Republic. And as good as the forum is now, it was much then.
I remember the Good Old Days of Free Republic. It was the 1970's. You should have been on Free Republic back in the 1970's. It was all different back then. "Clinton's a liar" was named "Kennedy's a perv". Michael Rivero was posting a series debunking the moon landing hoax, and showing how Apollo 13 was likely crippled by a Soviet missile, not some 'center fuel tank' explosion. Fred25 and _Jim were urging the intiation of a brand-new great idea, the War on Drugs. "Senator Pardek" was only "Senator Pardeks Assistant". Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Navy Seal, writer33 was busy satirizing Watergate, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
People were criticizing President Jack ("Billy Blythe") Kennedy for shagging interns on the Presidential Seal and lying about it to his wife.
The new party called the Libertarians had been formed. The Libertarian Party 'brigadiers' were popping up all over the forum, and they were convinced their spoiler candidates would someday rule. Of course, they were wrong.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of Muslims, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on an airplane by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
Jim Robinson had just put together the first conservative Mainframe computer. People would log in and post messages with punch cards and paper tape. For a while people were talking about whether a Fidel Castro should be removed from Cuba to be reunited with his father. Many people were lining up on either side of the issue. The big controversy on FR back then was whether marijuana should be outlawed. If pot was outlawed, by golly, only outlaws would have reefer!
I was around in 1946, and Free Republic was much better then. Jim Robinson had just purchased his shortwave radio he called "Free Republic ".
At that time, we were all debating the Berlin Airdrop and the Marshall Plan. Everybody was upset about the recently deceased Franklin (Billy Blythe) Roosevelt, and thought the Marshall Plan was 'just another welfare handout to those useless furriners'. There was a third party, the Alf Landon Sunflower Chain Club party, or "Brigadiers" as we liked to call them, that mocked the mainstream candidates.
A+Bert, who at the time was only B-Bert, was very upset about the founding of Israel, and called anyone who supported it an Israeli Scum, son of a dog. At the time, we were helping out a nice young fellow named Fidel Castro get reunited with his father in Cuba. The newspapers made quite a fuss over it. We all grew bored.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of Nazis, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on a lighter-than-air balloon by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
The year before, a U.S. Army bomber B-25 crashed into Empire State Building. 13 died. Michael Rivero never bought the conclusion that the reason the aircraft crashed into the building was that the center fuel tank was empty. We all laughed at him and called him a conspiracy kook. But he was hot on the tail of another conspiracy; he said it was the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor! The Federal government was telling us at the time that Pearl Harbor's center fuel tank had spontaneously exploded. Meanwhile, Fred25 was advocating that we turn our mighty war machine from fighting Nazism to fighting marijuana smokers. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Army Ranger, writer33 was busy satirizing the Russian Occupation of Berlin, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages..
I remember Free Republic back in the late 1930's. It was much better then. Jim Robinson had just purchased his radio, and we would all key messages to one another in morse code. At that time, we were all debating the Second World War: Was it necessary to enter the war? Was Hitler a friend of Jews or not? Could we count on our friends, the Japanese, to help us?
Michael Rivero was asserting that the Hindenburg was brought down by terrorists, not by some 'center fuel tank' explosion. We all laughed and called him a conspiracy kook. Fred25 was arguing that we should go back to Prohibition, because we were right on the verge of winning. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a member of the new elite Paratroopers, writer33 was busy satirizing the Great Depression, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of the Spanish, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on a biplane by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
At that time, we were all debating whether or not we should send a young man named Batista back to Cuba. People were lining up on both sides of the argument.
I tell ya, you should have been on Free Republic back in 1918. It was different back then. Sinkspur was only "Sink," not having yet earned his spurs. Michael Rivero was concerned mainly about the hypothetical explosion of the Titanic's center fuel tank, which was what sent it to the bottom, not some dang friggin' "ice-berg." Ancient_Geezer was simply Geezer. People were criticizing President Woodrow "Billy Blythe" Wilson, and hoping like hell that he didn't run for a third term (no 22nd Amendment yet). The "Bull Moose" Party 'brigadiers' occasionally surfaced, and dished out, well, a lot of Bull. For a while people were talking about whether a youngster with the last name of "Castro" ought to be returned to Cuba - people were lining up on both sides of the issue. And some were hoping that Prescott "P-Scott" Bush would run for President.
Jim Robinson had just invented the Free Republic system, which was a telephone switching system where people could call one another and chat about news of the day. The big controversy on FR back then, I tell ya, was whether booze should be outlawed. If booze was outlawed, by golly, only outlaws would have booze! And FR back then had a lot of these danged 'pro-prohibitionists' infiltrating.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of Huns, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on an ocean-going vessel by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
We were all debating this new passing fad called Communism, which Russia had recently tried. We knew it would never last even 2 years. The Great War had ended, and we all knew that this war would make all future warfare obsolete. Michael Rivero told us that this would not be happening, and war would be in our future. We all laughed and called him a conspiracy kook. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Machine Gunner, writer33 was busy satirizing the Spanish Flu, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
See, people think Free Republic is cool now, but it was REALLY neat in the late 1700's! Free Republic was much better then, I thought. Jim Robinson had just purchased his moveable-type printing press, and we would all stand around awaiting our turn to print our message out. Then we would physically walk it over to a big bulletin board and pin in up. In order to keep track of which message went to which response, a piece of thread was used. That is how the term THREAD was born. Once in a while someone would get so mad at a persons message, they would set it afire. That is how the term FLAME was born. People who did not want to post messages would lurk in the shadows of the room, hoping to remain unnoticed. That is how the term LURKER was born.
At that time, we were all debating the first continental congress and whether we should be a Monarchy or a Republic. The Second Amendment was a very hotly debated topic. We wanted future generations to know we were protecting the right of INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS to keep and bear the arms of their choosing, so in order that there be no confusion as to our intention, we appended the phrase "A well-regulated militia being necessary to a free society,". We believed this phrase would completely strip any ambiguity out of the Second Amendment once and for all.
George "Dubya" Washington was destined to be our first president, but we were still all very upset about King (Billy Blythe) George III. It appears he was embroiled deep in corruption and sexual deviancy.
At the time, we were sending the very first Cuban citizen back to Cuba and the newspapers made quite a fuss over it. We all grew bored.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of British Redcoats, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on a three-mast Ship of the Line by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
When the New Amsterdam armory had the explosive accident, lots of conspiracy theories were were circulated. The most reasonable explanation was that the Center Gunpowder Keg simply spontaneously exploded. Although there were 180+ witnesses that saw a flaming arrow arc into the barrel, authorities quickly discounted this improbable theory. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Grenadier, writer33 was busy satirizing the British Monarchy, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
Free Republic WAS good in the 1700's, but I feel it really hit it's stride in the late 1400's. There was eager anticipation of the printing press in the early 1400's and great joy when Jim Robinson invented it, as that substantially increased the "baud" rate, known back then as the "bod" rate, which was the rate at which the FR monks could scribe FR messages. Jim set up his Free Republic printing room: When people would come over to the printing press room, they would need to toss a log into the fire to contribute to keeping the printing room warm. When someone did that, they were given a name and a password. Then someone would shout "Log In!". This is where the term LOGIN came from.
Many FReepers back then were greaty upset with the rule of King Richard "Billy Blythe" the Third, and were hoping that Henry "Dubya" Tudor would become King.
There was a lot of discussion about sending this guy named "Columbus" over to Cuba, but not many people knew where Cuba was back then anyway. I guess the education system had dumbed everybody down.
There were, of course, the ever-present debates over the old Magna Carta. Libral trash would occasionally get a monk to scribe some drivel about the Magna Carta being a "living document." The dispute over creation versus evolution was kind of boring, since there weren't any evolutionists. And there were debates about the damn War of the Roses, also known as the War Between Lancaster and York. Or the War of Lancaster Aggression. Yep, them was the days....
Of course, we sure had our share of disruptors! Only a few tens of years later, in the 1500's this dude with the screen name of Martin Luther was banned from FR after posting up to 95 "Theses" on the site all at once. JimRob pulled his posting privileges. But, he damn near crashed the system permanently. It got so bad that finally a couple of centuries later a FReeper named Swift had to invent the word "yahoo" so that eventually FR would have a backup site!
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of French, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on an horse by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Kings Pikesman, writer33 was busy satirizing the War of the Roses, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages. Oh, don't forget the origin of the term 'flame.' Wasn't that from the Aztec period when after an excruciating and melodramatic opus, the hearts of captured enemies would be cut from thier chests with obsidian knives and tossed into a brazier of coals? It would flame up instantly -- hence the term get FLAMED) There would be two Guild Freeperiestesses at the top of the pyramid charged with the task. One of them would end up wearing the hide of the sacrificial victim with the severed hands dangling at the wrists. That was Howlinacaotl, I think. Which freeper would get to toss the corpse down the steps? I can't recall! Was it Cheneychicoatli? It was rumored that some famous skulls from these rites were stored beneath the temple at Alamogirlcutchlican.
Whatever happened to freeper Quetzalcoatl, anyway? The one who gave the mother of all opi and claimed he would return?
Ah yes. The good old days of Free Republicus in the year 0. Jimus Robinsonus had just developed this new thing called Pappyrus. He said with it, we could have a great time discussing the issues of the day. Those who Carved Stone Tablets sued him, if I am not mistaken. They sued him because of copying errors when he copied the issues onto the paper. They wanted him to copy the issues right, and they thought it was a violation that he made mistakes. That is where the term COPYRIGHT VIOLATION came into being.
Of course, there was a big problem with the Y-Zero-K problem. Jethrus_Tullus was the first to warn us of this problem. The Roman Numeral System was not Y-Zero-K compliant! All the Numerology experts were called out to come up with solutions to this problem. Nobody even knew why it was the year 0, but everyone panicked, stored up food and lamp oil, and the Roman Army was mobilized -- just in case.
I remember the time with great nostalgia. We were trying to overthrow Marcus (Billy Blythe) Antony because he was caught fooling around with that portly pepperpot Cleopatra. While the vote made it all the way to the Senate, the fellow Orinus Hatchus said that if he got his Republicus friends to vote for throwing peaches at him (IMPEACHMENT), his butcher would not give him his weekly free capon. He would be out a chicken. That is where the term CHICKEN OUT came from.
Remember Alburtus Gorus? Remember his stone carving, Earth Balanced on Atlases Shoulders? Remember how he said in this carving, that the biggest threat to mankind was the Chariot? What an idiotus maximus. A+Bert, who at that time, was F-Bert, heard that Moses was leading Jews in the desert, and since they were close to what would become Israel, he became very agitated, yelling "No Jews in Israel!". Also, Senator Pardek was first a Senator in this time, at the Roman Senate.
I also remember how Janetus Renus surrounded that Library Compound at Alexandria, where all those dangerous books were stored. I think she ended up burning 83+ people to death inside, just to get some tax money owed on the books. She was drunk most of the time and fell into the aquaduct tank. That is where the term TANKED came from. I guess they invented a weapon, later, with a similar name. Michaelus Riverus was the first to warn us all that it was not the central oil tank that exploded spontaneously, but that Renus might be culpable.
Then there was the big debate we had about Sword Control. Lots of left-wingers felt that only the Roman Army should have swords; we felt differently. The leftys were always complaining about Saturdus Nightus Speciali easily-concealable daggers, and also were all upset about the long-length Assault Swords, highpower weapins accurate to at least 4 feet!
Finally, the BIG DEBATE OF THE DAY! The conspiracy that killed Jesus! Janutus Renus worked closely with Pontius Pilate to sentence Jesus to death, and STILL no one called for anyone to throw peaches at her! Michael Rivero pursued this conspiracy doggedly, claiming the whole thing was really due to an explosion in a center fuel tank. It was a sad time, but one of great rejoicing among Christians every Easter.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of Egyptians, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on a chariot by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Roman Centurian, writer33 was busy satirizing the Roman occupation of Judea, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
The very first FReepers were the people who posted their "messages" as cave drawings. And, the big debate back then WAS creation versus evolution. The Cro-Magnons said that they were the ones who were created to be mankind. The Neanderthals disputed that, and said, "are we not men?" The debate raged on FR for thousands of years, mainly with links to old FR threads in long-abandoned caves. Incredibly, back then the system had NO TEXT, only graphics! From time to time that necessitated finding a new "hard wall" in another cave to store the messages for the discussion to proceed.
*sigh* And I remember it so well, like it was yesterday. THOSE were the good old days. The graphics were spectacular. I remember how we tried to overthrow Og (Billy Blythe) Rugtuk, when we found he had sex with a woman who wore a dress. No one really understood what a dress was, so we hurled rotten peaches at him. That is how the term IMPEACH came about. We hoped that the fellow named Ug (Dubya) Bugluh would take over in our tribe.
Remember the big debate we had about fire? Remember the big vote we had? If you wanted fire banned -- except in the hands of the government -- you would throw the left-side wing of a chicken into the pot. If you wanted fire to be available to the rest of us, you would throw the right-side wing of a chicken into that pot. That is were the terms RIGHT-WING and LEFT-WING came into being.
I remember the big conspiracy theories that would develop about the extinction of the dinosaur. Michael Rivero insisted it was a plot by people who were sick of repairing buildings destroyed by these dinosaurs. He called them Masons, and spoke endlessly of the Masonic Conspiracy. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, Travis McGee was becoming a Club Wielding Neanderthal, writer33 was busy satirizing the discovery of the wheel, and Quix was posting enigmatic and mysterious messages.
We were all amazed that anyone would worry about the politically correct sensibilities of Neanderthals, when one of them had just blown his crotch up on a rock by lighting it on fire in an attempted act of terrorism.
Also, lots of kooks were talking about Global Cooling all the time. They said we should really start burning more wood to release more carbon into the air. What nuts. Dane and robertpaulsen were still banned, and writer33 was busy satirizing the possible demise of the Wooly Mammoth.
Jim Robinson had just invented this new thing called Paint. He said, with it, we could write messages on these walls and have a great time debating matters of the day. 50,000 years later, I guess I agree!
An example of the first Free Republic messages.
Here you are.
I’ve always liked cheese.
New mentions of you guys in the history files.
You are in the History Files after all.
Like Rudolph, only conservative-ier.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Laz!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Laz!
I second that. May you hit it all year long and may your bannings and suspensions be few.
Laz...”Billy Blythe” didn’t have caps...and often it was one word:
(I had a different name back then, and I was much younger; but I was there.)
First time I have read this, so funny and also makes FR so predictable as well.
Uh Laz, I think we need to find you a hobby.
The last time I got a hobby, I had a horrible rash, a restraining order from the Zoo -- and now I am a registered sex offender.
NO MORE HOBBIES!
I missed this before! :)
HOW? It was on EVERY TV channel!