A couple of weirdos, of which I am one, making filthy, nasty music. De Sade handles the music and video production and I do the vox. The disgusting lyrics are a group effort. Music videos are the main focus of this project, featuring the hot-n-sexy performance art of our friend, Mr. Luscious (AKA the Rev. Gothic Harvey). De Sade and Mr. Luscious have made two of these so far, with more to follow once everybody's schedules line up again.
Order Ov Thee Octopi
OOTO is a guy I met on Soundcloud who cranks out around half a dozen amazing synthesizer tracks every week. We collaborated on some tracks with a loose true crime/occult/sci-fi theme under the name WITCHKULT Z earlier this year, and hopefully we will make more weird/fucked up shit together in the future.
Another cool SC guy. We worked together on a song this April that he turned into an incredible video. Watching this will make you into a cannibal or a vegetarian, depending on your innate sexual tendencies.
The Internet Archive
The Archive has been taking snapshots of WWW pages since 1996. An invaluable research tool for anyone interested in the history of the Web. Also includes an ever-expanding library of scanned books and magazines, obsolete software, and audio/video recordings of all kinds.
A search engine for .gifs from the GeoCities archive. A treasure trove. Most of the annoying spinning/rotating/blinking .gifs on this site were looted from there.
The GeoCities Gallery
If you want to relive the joy/suffering of late '90s/early 2000s amateur Web design, this is what you've been looking for.
Links to the oldest still-active Web pages, sorted by year. Some of these haven't been updated since 1993.
Rediscovering the Small Web
An essay on Web browsing in the era of the personal homepage. Reading this inspired me to make my first Web site in 17 years. The author also has a great page full of retro-computing stuff...which this section of my links page completely rips off.
A Gallery of Homepage Screenshots from 1996-1998
This is an imgur gallery of around 1,000 late '90s Web site homepages, taken as screen captures by...somebody. I honestly don't know why anyone would do this, but it's pretty neat. The coolest part is the screenshots are framed by the obsolete Web browsers they were opened with. You can see Mosaic and Netscape 1.0 in a lot of these. The sites featured are a seemingly-random cross-section of the late '90s WWW. There's a second gallery here.
Paranoia was a small internet service provider run by one guy in Austin, TX from 1994 through (I think) sometime in '98. The main service offered was a degree of anonymity and greater freedom of expression than you'd get with other ISPs of the time, who tended to be skittish about hosting "adult" content on their servers. There were serious debates about obscene content on the internet back then...you'll see these little blue "Free Speech" ribbons all over Web pages circa 1996, protesting the Communications Decency Act passed by Congress. If you've been on the internet in the last 20 years, you can see what an effective piece of legislation it was...
Anyway, one of the features offered by this ISP was hosting for subscribers' homepages, and the list of user pages is a goldmine. Owing to the privacy and free-speech-oriented nature of this service, the focus of these pages tends to be countercultural, transgressive, or just plain weird. Some highlights include The Psychedelic Tabby Cabal, a very postmodern-y techno-libertarian page with a pro-drug bias, the Unabomber PAC, a satirical "Unabomber for President" page selling "Don't blame me! I voted for the UNABOMBER" bumper stickers, and GOAT, a blood-spattered shock site that puts rotten.com to shame. A prolapsed anus is the least ugly thing on that page.
The Black Plague
Another small, dead Web-hosting service with a focus on unlimited free speech...and here we discover why that might be a bad idea. According to the site's mission statement: "The Black Plague Internet Affliction exists to disseminate information and graphic material of a degenerate, antisocial, and offensive nature. Conventional morality is discarded as obsolete and mocked with warrior fury. We provide a voice for deserving individuals and asylum for incendiary ideas that would otherwise be at the mercy of censorship and suppression." So naturally, the user pages are all about snuff porn, cannibalism, and TOTAL HATE WAR ON CHRISTIANITY. All of this stuff is the bad kind of gross, but one thing had enough novelty value that I had to include it here: a snuff-fetish DOOM II WAD. I haven't played it (and I'm not gonna), but from the character sprites on the page, I see that it replaces all the DOOM monsters with naked titty ladies for you to brutally murder. So if you ever wanted to chainsaw a stripper, I guess this WAD's for you.
Watcher's Web O'Conspiracy
Mars and Satan linked! Antichrist and UFOs linked! My face, my ass...linked! UFO/conspiracy culture had a major presence on the internet of the mid-late '90s, probably due in part to the popularity of the X-Files, or maybe just as a side-effect of a global communications network with no filters to screen out marginal ideas. There were a ton of sites based on sightings, encounters, and the "face" on Mars, a sample of which can be found here. Many of these sites had a New Age bent, but in this case, the basis for the madness was scriptural. And schizophrenic.
Watcher's Web O'Conspiracy, as only one page was titled but by which I will be referring to the entire site, is a bizarre hybrid of UFO research and Christian ministry with some very original ideas, the main one being that what appear to be UFO sightings and alien encounters are, in reality, manifestations of the devil. Somehow the Sphinx and the Cydonia formation are involved. Reading this site is like hearing what the voices in the mumbling homeless guy's head have to say. I love it.
The Mystery of the Mothman (Revisited)
I always thought the Mothman was the creepiest cryptid in modern American folklore, even more so than the Jersey Devil, which is an outright demon spawn. It's probably because Mothman is uniquely inexplicable and weird. It's not just some rare animal like bigfoot or a lake monster. The phenomena associated with Mothman sightings--strange interference with TV and radio signals, people suddenly gripped by paralyzing fear, and oddly-dressed strangers appearing in town--seems more like a very bizarre alien visitation story, but it doesn't fit neatly into that category. If you've read John Keel's book The Mothman Prophecies, you know how weird some of the theories are.
This charming piece of bad Web design offers a "guided tour" through the Mothman legend, complete with atmospheric midi music (use Internet Explorer or something similarly outdated if you want to enjoy this aspect of the Geocities Experience) and 20 different fonts on every page. It's a decent summary of the Mothman story, but the main attraction for me is all the gimmicks the Webmaster crammed into their site, especially the glowing red eyes they used to illustrate the Mothman sightings. If you wanted a perfect example of late '90s homepage design, you couldn't do much better than this.
Mr. Lowe's WOLF 3-D PAGE
This one isn't odd in the sense that it's full of weird bullshit, but mainly because it was maintained and updated consistently over 15 years (at least) without ever once changing its design. That hazard-sign yellow background with a lime green sidebar, the multitude of font sizes and colors, the animated .gifs and banner links to long-dead sites--the only thing that's changed since I first regularly visited this site back in 2000-2001 is the list of new Wolfenstein level sets that make up the bulk of the front page. There are even links to the Alta Vista search engine and Yahoo Webrings at the bottom. Going through the Links page yields even more late '90s Web design goodness if that's how you like to waste your time (I do, obviously). Unlike most of the pages he linked to, Mr. Lowe's site is still up and running, though it hasn't been updated since early 2016. I find this strangely comforting.
The Ate My Balls Mega-Page
The Internet Archive ate my balls.
Starting in 1996 with the classic Mr. T Ate My Balls Home Page, the [insert person/thing here] Ate My Balls trend expanded to include every minor celebrity and popular culture reference known to man until, around the turn of the millennium, it was banished from this zone of existence by the Gangster Computer God Worldwide Communist conspiracy for being too funny. The Ate My Balls Mega-Page was one of a handful of online directories that attempted to compile every Ate My Balls (or "AMB") page in scrotumspace. I don't know how comprehensive it really was since, by the time it was archived, the list had been taken down due to legal threats from one of the people or companies parodied on an AMB page. Luckily, Krazy Keith has all your ball-munching needs covered.
Not a Website this time, but a disc image. The X-Philes CD-Rom ("The Underground Version" according to the readme file) was published in 1995 by Synchron Data, a Swedish company that specialised in shareware CDs. I can't find anything about this disc on their site, but it featured similar products with names like The Black Philes, full of hacking, phone-phreaking, and "anarchy" t-files downloaded from underground BBSs. This CD has a similar theme, but with maybe more emphasis on conspiracy, UFO, and occult subjects. Or it could be that the name of the CD is coloring my perception of its contents.
This Disc of Forbidden Knowledge is now mostly unreadable due to the majority of its files being in weird mystery formats like .UFO and .REV. There was a software menu that let you browse and open the files, but it won't work on modern systems. Luckily, there are also plenty of text documents here, including the full Cult of the Dead Cow textfile library, information on illegal drugs, questionable instructions for making homemade atomic bombs and free energy generators, and of course, X-Files fanfiction.
It looks like quite a bit of this material was taken from Usenet groups, mailing lists, and even IRC logs (several of these with people live-chatting the beginning of the first Gulf War as they watched it happen on CNN). If you're interested in the early, pre-Web internet culture, there's a lot of good stuff here if you're willing to dig through hundreds of folders of now-useless junk.
A directory of High WWWeirdness
Writer Mark Bourne's curated list of weird shit found on the Web. From UFO contactees and bigfoot fetishists to revisionist historians and advocates for home trepanation. This is a good place to start if you want to dig through archived conspiracy, paranormal, and lunatic fringe material to link to on your neocities page as an excuse to update the site and continue this deluded fantasy of "engagement" with the wider world. So ummm, LOOK AT THE CRAZY PEOPLE! Gosh, aren't they wacky? Bye.
The Apocalyptic Files.
Speaking of crazy people...The Apocalyptic Files blurs the line between fringe pseudoscience and Christian eschatology. It proclaims itself to be "The Ultimate Goal of Theoretical Physics and the Prophecies of the Book of Revelations", and hell, I believe it. The site includes THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MR. 666 books, which "describe the story of an individual who makes a discovery, or receives a divine message, of a very special type (spatial hemispheric), of a Grand Unifying Theory, and/or, Theory of Everything in physics." This idea of a Theory that Explains Everything as the real hidden truth of the Book of Revelations is cooler, in my opinion, than the final battle between good and evil that most end-times-obsessed fundies believe in.
On further reading, the author of this page is at least marginally saner than the Prophets of Doom you hear on AM radio while driving through this country's rotting interior. They point out that the word "apocalypse" is just Greek for "revelation", and that the cryptic symbolism of John's revelation was likely meant to be understood by a contemporary audience of Christians living under Roman persecution (or Pagan Justice, depending on your point of view). Despite all of this, I still have no fucking clue what this person was talking about. Great mid-'90s era Web design though.
The Barney Fun Page!
I'm kind of breaking my own rules for this section by including a link that isn't from the Internet Archive, but I'll make an exception this time since the archived version is broken. Not to mention that this site has been online since October '94 and is essentially unchanged since that time, right down to the URL, making it one of the oldest Web pages still in existence. So it counts!
The Barney Fun Page is a "game" that allows you to decorate a black-and-white .gif of Barney the Dinosaur with stab wounds, bullet holes, and tread marks until he fucking dies. When you click on Barney's picture, the page refreshes with the wounds you inflicted added to the .gif in the spot you clicked. After you've injured him enough, the pixel stigmata start bleeding. It's pretty impressive for a Web page from 1994, but it must have taken goddamn forever to kill him over a dial-up connection.
This was part of the silly anti-Barney trend of the mid-'90s internet. From Barney Ate My Balls to Barneystein 3-D, the mock-serious Barney-hatred was everywhere, including the next entry...
Assassin - The Game Where you Kill Celebrities
Assassin was one of the earliest features on Newgrounds.com, back before it was a portal for user-created Flash content. As originally implemented, Assassin was even more basic than the Barney Fun Page. You choose one of several internet hate-objects, including the obligatory Barney and Bill Gates, and receive a mission brief explaining why and how the target must die. Then you click on their picture to "shoot" them, which links you to a new page where crude, Photoshopped bullet wounds have appeared on their forehead. That's the basic idea, but some of the executions got pretty elaborate. The Hanson mission has you fire "Exploding Retardation Bullets" into each of the Hanson bros' heads, which gives them a drooling, Sloth-like appearance. Click their portrait again, and their head explodes. After killing all three of them, in any order you choose, you then tickle a "Nuke Me Elmo" doll to incinerate the remains. Since the early Assassin pages are simple HTML, they're relatively intact on the Archive if you want to play through them.
A nearly-complete archive of the Weekly World News
Hosted on Google Books, this collection includes scans of almost every issue of the classic supermarket trash tabloid from 1980-2007, although for some reason it's missing three full years, from '82-'84. I've been looking for scannned issues of WWN on the Internet Archive for a while, but they only have a few issues saved, and I couldn't find the specific cover I wanted on eBay. So I guess thanks to Google are in order for hoarding this cultural junk.
WWN was a fixture of the grocery store checkout line during my formative years. Every time I'm stuck waiting to check out at Walmart or the dollar store now, I miss the outrageous headlines and crudely doctored photos. All that's left is celebrity gossip shit like the Enquirer. One of my favorite WWN covers was from the early 2000s, and it's what I was looking for when I found this collection: 3000-YEAR-OLD MUMMY PREGNANT! Janitor admits: 'I'm the father'. That is one of the all-time greatest front page news stories, second only to "VULTURES ATTACK FUNERAL--AND EAT THE CORPSE!" It's stuck with me for 19 years, right down to the page layout. After skimming through the gallery of covers, I found others that ranged from the grossly insensitive --LAST WORDS OF CHALLENGER CREW!-- to the extremely confusing --KKK SKELETONS FOUND IN TITANIC LIFE-RING. There's enough material here to waste weeks of your life digging through. Sometimes Google is good.
I've looked at plenty of End Times-obsessed sites from the '90s, but this is the first I've seen that takes the side of the Antichrist. In fact, the author of this site claims to be the Antichrist, as well as the Christ (but not Jesus, the False Prophet). And also the Resurrection of John Lennon. There's a lot going on here.
The underlying message of this site isn't really as cool as it appears at first glance. Despite all the surface-level blasphemy, it uses a lot of Bible Code bullshit, numerology ("using the ASCII numeral system, HOLY BIBLE adds to the number of the Beast...666"), and intuitive deduction to conclude that the Bible and Christianity are essentially true, just badly misinterpreted. An Antichrist that's trying to save Christianity from itself just isn't an Antichrist I can vote for. Sorry, Dave!
That being said, this site is a pretty fun read. David the Antichrist works The Beatles, Comet Hale-Bopp and the Heaven's Gate suicides, UFOs ("the visions of the "Grays" as they are called...were sent to show us what our dying souls look like"), and Las Vegas into his cosmology, and while I can't say it makes any sense to me, it is well written and original.
Founded in 1996, the Year of the Antichrist, the site was regularly updated through at least late 2003. By 2005, it had been turned into a generic search page, and it now redirects to mybible.com. The days when weird shit with no commercial value could get a decent slice of Web traffic based on novelty alone are long over.
This is a joke page created by a Carnegie Mellon computer science student in 1997 to promote PinealWeb, a browser that offers the ultimate immersive Web experience by injecting information right into your brain. Or as the page puts it, "surf the Internet directly from your third eye!" This kind of single-page novelty site used to be common, especially on university servers; Mr. T Ate My Balls was hosted by the University of Illinois. Those were different times...poets, they studied rules of verse, and those ladies, they ATE THEIR BALLS.
A surrealistic nightmare that will hurt your feelings as much as your eyes. Artist A. Mendoza spliced together hard pornography with magazine ads and the faces of public figures to make kaleidoscopic images that confuse and frighten me. Highlights include George Bush Sr. surrounded by peniswastikas, strangely sexy Saudis, Saddam Hussein as the Marlboro Man, and, uh...this.
Far from being a simple gallery, Putrid Afterthought/Digital Mayhem circa 1996 was a bizarre work of art in itself, with backgrounds and text that are nausea-inducing, and sections of the site labeled GENITAL DELIRIUM and PORNOCOPOLIS NOW! Mayhem also hosted the Internet Crime Archives, dedicated to profiles of serial and mass-murderers, and it seems like this later came to be the main focus of the site. Around '99, the site became fully Flash-based, as was the style at the time, so none of it survives beyond that point. While mayhem.net is still online, it hasn't been updated since Flash Player was shut down.
The Legion of Charlies
Published in 1971 by Last Gasp Eco-Funnies (which is still around somehow), this underground comic starts with parallel depictions of the My Lai massacre and Manson murders, which mirror each other up to the point where mass murderer Lt. William Calley (spelled Kali in this version) gets a presidential pardon, while mere mass murder influencer Charles Manson is given the death penalty (later commuted to life in prison when the U.S. briefly abolished capital punishment). Free at last from his gruelling three years' house arrest, "Rusty" Kali heads to SF for a little hippy-humping, but he suffers an unfortunate mid-coital flashback ("I can't help it, Ronette! Every time I fuck I find myself back at that ditch in My Lai, M-16 cocked and loaded!") and beats and throttles poor Ronette til she looks like fucking E.T.
After dropping a tab of acid to help him calm down, Rusty gets the spirit of Charlie and soon becomes a hairy hippy beast of blood, along with hundreds of other Vietnam vets, who gather in the desert to practice a gory cannibal sacrament. When the vets are invited to Washington D.C. for shakes n' burgers with the Prez, they take the opportunity to kidnap Vice President Spirow Agnew with a stolen helicopter and eat his flesh. This is the best part by far, with Agnew's pompous, verbose insults ("Porcine scrofula!") giving way to simply "WHAT THE FUCK!!?" when the forks come out, and his bloody severed head dropping in on an outdoor brunch.
The Legion of Charlies fly from country to country, eating world leaders and celebrities to absorb their power. After a failed attempt by Nixon to eat Lt. Kali and take all that power for himself, Charlie appears in the sky like God and sets his children free.
I tend to think of the South Park-inspired "edgy" humor from the internet of my youth as being more stupidly offensive than anything produced by previous generations, but the underground comix of the '60s and '70s make all our dead babies and racist goat heads seem relatively tame.
Electric Elf Test Kitchen
Here's another scary postmodern art project, with even more brainbleed-inducing visuals than Putrid Afterthought. It has a similar aesthetic to that site, with bizarre photo alters that blend pop culture figures, religious icons, and pornography in nauseating psychedelic color-swirls. There's also a page of Burroughs-style cut-ups. Electric Elf later put up a gallery on Deviant Art, which looks like it hasn't been updated since 2009.
Altar of Unholy Blasphemy
Visiting overtly anti-Christian Web sites (like Why Christians Suck and jesusneverexisted.com) was a fun and harmless way to tweak my little outrage nerve back when I still had some residual belief in god. Getting as close as I could to serious blasphemy brought an exciting sense of danger, but without any real consequences--unless you died unexpectedly before you could repent and then burned forever in hell, which I still half-believed in until I was 14 or so. Now it's just a nice daydream when someone looks at me nasty...burn, motherfucker...that being said, I think this site is where I would have drawn the line about 20 years ago.
Hosted by the American Nihilist Underground Society (or A.N.U.S.for short), the Altar of Unholy Blasphemy lived up to its name. Here's a quote from a page headlined SODOMIZE JESUS CHRIST: "Probing past Mary's wet vagina with my thin, telescoping penis, I entered her uterus to complete my mission: the most Unholy of Abortions. The fetal christ struggled as its soft bones gave way to my thrusting rod. I ended the suffocating fetus' misery with an ejaculation that blasted its body to shreds, the bloody chunks settling into the layer of semen covering my member. Then Mary received the real Body and Blood of Jesus by licking my penis clean, and causing me to ejaculate yet again." Yyyyyyyyyyyep.
On a design-related note, I love the misshapen MS-Paint pentagram logo. They could have just lifted a perfectly symmetrical inverted pentagram from another site, but they made it themselves, and with feeling.
Reb and Vodka
RebandVodka.Com was the first place I can remember seeing any accurate information on Eric "REB" Harris and Dylan "VoDkA" Klebold, the Columbine High School shooters. In April 1999, when the shooting happened, I was still in primary school and first heard about the shooting as a "gang" attacking a school with bombs. I imagined it as a sort of barbarian raid, with motorcycles bursting into classrooms and biker dudes tossing sticks of dynamite around. During the ensuing media spectacle I absorbed some of the basic facts about the shooting, but for years most of what I knew about Columbine amounted to playground rumors. My favorite one of these is that Harris and Klebold shot each other in the mouth at the same time, which I think was probably inspired by the ending of the tasteless Columbine parody Duck! The Carbine High Massacre.
By the mid-2000s, I was in high school and had a fairly normal-for-my-age (which is to say, unhealthy) interest in spree killings and mass murder when a friend introduced me to this site. I spent a lot of time looking at the bio pages for the shooters, memorizing details about their weapons and gear, and reading transcripts of their tapes and diaries. I identified with them, mainly based on the fact that they liked all the same things I liked and had a hateful and sick attitude toward society that appealed to my braindead teenage nihilism. With its almost worshipful focus on the shooters--there was no page dedicated to the victims--this site was essentially a shrine to the murderers. That's how I used it anyway, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. I'm glad it's gone.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program is free software that fills the void left by Photoshop when it went to an online-only subscription service. Anything you could do in Old Photoshop, you can do with the GIMP.
Windows 95 Emulator
It's Windows 95 in a window. Not really useful for anything except nostalgia-mongering, but it's neat. You can apparently load files using a virtual floppy drive, but I couldn't get it to work because I'm dumb.
This is a strange piece of music composition software made in India. According to the site, it "provides fun and tempts you to the emotion of creating music, it let anyone to create music on their personal computer." It hasn't changed at all in over 15 years, but it still costs $20. A friend of mine started an electronic music project using this thing back in 2006. The weird audio artifacts that every instrument produces made the end product quite...unique. It sucked, but it sucked in an interesting way.
A free midi file editing program that's nice and simple. The site includes a helpful manual.
The Most Officialest SkiFree Home Page is run by Chris Pirih, who created this simple Windows game in 1991. You can download a 32-bit version that will run on a modern Windows PC on his site, which also includes some interesting background information on the game's development as well as a sexy .gif image of two Abominable Snow Monsters mashing their stick-genetalia together.
Ancient Angelfire Pages
Penis Man Eats Rape Man
The official site of PMERM, teh 1337357 kr3w around. This was one of my friend Gothic Gary's music projects back in 2002-2006. He managed to get most of the people he knew involved in some way, either as contributors or as the inspiration for songs. Now, almost two decades later, this shit is basically illegal. Rated Z for racial slurs, rape jokes, and ironic pedophilia. Listen at your peril.
The ultimate cybergoth teenager's homepage. The guy who made it was a few years older than me and I mainly knew him by reputation as the one true goth at our highschool. He wore ultrawide jeans made of shiny insulation material and some kind of Gigeresque biomechanical insect carapace backpack. The Links page on his site includes the homepages of almost everyone I hung around with at the time, as well as links to sketchy sites where you could order drugs through the mail.