1. What is your name?


2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?

I grew up in the north of England in the good part of a bad town, and I now live in London working for the government and writing a doctorate on American history. I don't think this transition would have happened without Everything2, but more on that in a minute.

3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?

I honestly don't remember. I was only 15 at the time (you can tell from my write-ups), and my dad used to make us put 2p of our allowance in a jar for every minute we spent on the internet to pay the bill. I guess I searched for something and ended up here, and I do distinctly remember that what first attracted me was the competition - not to be the best writer, but the race for XP. Like I said, I was 15.

4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?

I've written a lot of write-ups and - I'm not going to lie to you - I like a lot of them. I like the write-ups where I sat down with a vague idea in my head and then wrote 2,000 words. These are the more creative write-ups, which all my favourite noders excel in, the ones where they sat down with a blank page and some weird-ass title and made something great. I'm not creative enough in that sense often enough, and I liked one time that I was. I believe all good writing flows and is never planned. I almost never redraft. I liked the write-ups where I pitched something obscure that was important to me and someone - even just one person - picked up on it and said it was important to them as well. I got a reaction like that to de omnibus dubitandum est.

As for the write-ups of other people, there are too many to mention. Some people on here have a capacity to reduce me to tears, but they're the sort of men who would feel uncomfortable if I named them - the manly men. I think that gives you enough of a clue to know who they are. Poets and great prose artists are not dandies, they are strong people who have made emotion their servant rather than being its slave. We have some of them here, although not as many as we used to. I like their write-ups.

5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?

My favourite moments are the funny ones. I loved it when wharfinger changed the catbox code so that it printed something profane whenever someone tried to do a "huggle". This moment combined hilarity, divine retribution, and a needed corrective all in one. I loved April Trolls Day. I find self-righteousness amusing. I find my own former self-righteousness even more amusing, but I wouldn't describe the time I spent growing up (as in, you've got some growing up to do, son) here as containing my least favourite memories, because it was a necessary part of evolution. I can't recall any bitterness or any hatred now, or any really bad memories at all - things come and go, but we only continue by not taking it all too seriously. And in that way we demonstrate our utmost seriousness.

6. What keeps you coming back?

I don't know. I'll be honest: there are times, roughly annually, when I think, "That's it, I'm done with this" - and it's not because I'm bored or pissed off, but just because I think I don't have room for E2 in my life anymore. But it turns out I always do. If I had to guess why, it's because of the audience, and because there are still enough people here who I respect.

7. What do you hope for E2's future?

I want E2 to regenerate the ranks of the grown-ups. I want it to contain enough inspiring writers and writing that it gives kids who come across it, like I did, something to aspire to. I want them to come here and get a little whiff of magic in their nostrils. Someone like me didn't need or want to be coddled, I wanted to earn the respect of people who I, in turn, respected. I want E2 to encourage that dynamic.

8. What does E2 mean to you?

I'm not sure how my life would have turned out without E2. But I don't think it would have turned out as well as it has. E2 helped to give me ambition by giving me aspirations: I wanted to write as well as so-and-so, or I wanted to learn enough about some topic or other so that I could write about it. E2 taught me just enough about things - especially about politics - that I wanted to go off and learn more, much more. Maybe that spark would have come from somewhere else eventually, but for me it definitely came from here. I remember that when I was in high school I would read about particular books on here and then go and buy them on Amazon. E2 was massive in the story of my life. This is another reason I keep coming back: I have a thirst to pass the torch on. I want other people to get the knowledge bug that E2 gave to me.

9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?

I dealt a bit with this above. I don't really want to add to those comments. I miss RainDropUp.

10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?

I can't answer this myself. Not fucking Hugh Grant.

11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."


12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?

This interview is over. 

Everything2 Decaversary Interviews

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