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TO JASON SCOTT, FROM MOGEL

	Well, hey there.  I decided to write a huge slew of post-'90s
scene-history babble right here.  This is going to be very minimalistic,
because the actual purpose is to give you some possible background
information for (a) your own knowledge and/or reference (b) some
information about the 'zines both below AND already in your archive.
	I'd rather *not* have this published anywhere... I could write
something, sometime, if you're looking for that.

	First off, if you have any *specific* questions, please ask them.
Because I wasn't exactly sure what you're looking for, this might end up
being a lot of silly ramble.  I'm also a bit tired today, but I want to
get some of these archives up.   I hope you get something out of this long
thing.

	I started BBSing in '90, but most of that was just calling up
local Philly boards, getting a sense of the culture, and so on.  Although
I noticed people trading those "t-file thingies" around, I never actually
paid much attention until '93, when I downloaded some Phrack and cDc
issues.  Needless to say, they had an effect on me--I'll spare you the
sentimental thoughts for another time.
	I observed that all of the heavy t-file boards of the Philly area
were virtually dead.  Sure, we had a *slew* of very inane 'HACKER' bbses
(which always related to BBS-hacking or phreak BOX files, heh).  I guess a
lot happened that year--I also first got on the net, with a hacked
upenn.edu account.  I decided to put up my own bbs (MogelLand, which was a
play off BlottoLand), and I downloaded like mad.
	After a month or two, I had a very sizable collection of t-files.
My BBS became fairly unique, and a whole slew of locals called it.  Some
of them I got along well with, of course, and we shared a similar
obnoxious attitude.  We decided to "start a t-file group" in early '94.
There were a few other awful, awful groups in our area at the time (one is
"the hackers warehouse", which is on your site currently), and we made fun
of them a lot.  My BBS became kind of a PA-center for text activity at
that point, and HOE began.
	As mentioned, HOE was basically intented to be a trash-zine, as
another effort to get a t-file group.  None of us expected it to be
downloaded, or paid any attention to.  But they were.
	As the HOE files started getting downloaded, we started getting
random callers from outside of PA.  And we started getting a lot more
obscure stuff.  I was virtually exposed to every 'popular' pre-1994 t-file
group there was, give or take a few.  Probably the most distributed
e'zines at the time were cdc, phrack, fuck, uxu, and blah.  It seemed
*everyone* had read (at least a few of) them, and every text-based BBS had
copies of them.
	One e'zine that was really popular was VaS, which was started by a
guy named Studmuffin the same year, in Detroit.  VaS was really bad, but
it managed get a following of some of the more obnoxious e'zine folks--it
was basically South Park-level humor, full of racism and ha-ha-poop, but
at least the creator was self-aware and it was somewhat of a parody.
Eventually another guy, TPP, took over VaS, only this guy didn't really
"get it"--he thought that VaS was totally serious, and the
intentionally-offensive joke was lost.  I think they may still release.
	ANYWAY, another contemporary t-file group was BGR (the brotherhood
of gods and retards).  I saw them scattered in your ANARCHY section and
whatnot.  BGR was actually the compositive of BOM, BAR, and GOD--three
totally different 'HACKER/ANARCHY' t-file groups from the New Jersey area.
One of the most prolific writers was Abigwar.  He took notice of HOE and
started writing for us.
	Two more things happened:  Black Francis, a local guy from Philly,
read HOE and loved the concept.  He started his own zine, RED (later
renamed to PEZ, and it was also pretty popular in the area.  Also, in late
1994, everyone realized how easy it was to set up 800 numbers illegally.  
My BBS got one.  I got a huge ton of LD callers, and my BBS was virtually
always-busy.
	This is where I first got into contact with a bunch of other guys,
and actually 'networked' with other text file writers.  The strange thing
was, HOE was originally concieved as a stupid joke, but it was getting
distributed to BBS's with other t-files.  I had called a few cDc-related
BBS's (Demon Roach Underground, /<ingdom of Shit, Cool Beans!, Ripco) at
the time and started exchanging emails with Obscure Images, Franken Gibe,
Swamp Ratte', and Drunkfux.  My own BBS had some callers like James
Hetfield of MiLK, Pip of The Angry Youth of THO, and a ton of other folks
that would later become e-zine writers.
	It's interesting to note that a TON of e'zines in '94 were
directly influence by Gweeds/Guido Sanchez in BLaH.  HOE, THO, MiLK
certainly were.  In early '95 I also became more internet-friendly, and I
ran into Y-Windoze, and we became instant-friends, for no explainable
reason.  Later I discovered that he was Baphomet from PuD, and PUD was a
direct inspiration of BLaH.  IBFT, Jason Farnon's thing (JF also wrote for
'Anti-Warez Association', on your site) was also a BLaH-inspired thing.
It's strange how many 'zines started from BLaH, particularly because the
*actual* quality of BLaH is questionable.  Most of it is the
attitude/enthusiasm, I guess.  Not to sound corny, but a lot of people
viewed BLaH as one of the first t-file groups to bring an 'iconic',
group-like feeling into the post-90 BBS world.  They just had a very
identifiable attitude.
	In '95 I also discovered the dumb world of IRC and ran into Gweeds
for the first time.  Also, DisordeR of the 'zine FUCK.  Me, DisordeR,
black francis (bF), Rattle (some sysop of the time), and Jamesy created
#zines, which became a popular IRC staple for t-file guys.  Eventually we
moved to #ezines.
	This time was particularly confusing because it was the last days
of big BBS activity, and slowly people who would more ocassionally
interact were suddenly able to interact all the time, in a more 'global',
internet sort of way.  IBFT came out of this time--they had a very clear
style, it was the ultimate "You Suck"/rant-style 'zine, basically.  It was
very appropriate for the time, because that kind of attitude was really
popular (and still is?) in '95.
	The movement to the internet actually 'hurt' the e'zine scene a
lot, although you wouldn't think it--"more connectivity" kind of took away
some of the subversive magic that t-files had, I think.  Interest started
dropping, and at some points a lot of us felt that the only people that
cared about t-files anymore were the editors themselves, the writers, and
a few random weirdos.  All we had was a badly run etext.org, and a few
obscure FTP sites.  
	Of course, there were other communities.  The writers of SoB in
Texas had a BBS and internet clique of 15-20 guys that interacted very
insularly.  The Sweden folks of uXu were similar.  The cDc people were
very exclusive and didn't talk much to outsiders easily.  I'm
psuedo-friends with a few of them, but the average e-zine writer/reader
isn't.  cDc clung to the 'hacker' image above all during this time.
	Anyway, the lack of overt-interest made a lot of us get bored.  bF
killed pEz at #25, Pip and Jamesy started and killed a ton of e'zines
(MILK, MILK AND TEA, THO, GASP, STD, and others, I'm sure).  For some
reason, my BBS became a bit of a hallmark for some portion of the '95
community, and it made HOE get more attention that perhaps it deserved.  I
did make effort after HOE #50 to improve the quality, though.  It's a
visable improvement.  After I released HOE #81-89, which was a fairly good
release, it was _such_ a pain in the ass to release those files... and I
thought about how HOE was inherently a cDc-ripoff.  Even if we did our own
thing, I felt that we'd always be totally biting them (I guess everyone
was, in some sense)... so I killed HOE at #90.
	There was kind of an upset, "things are really dead this time!"
feeling after that.  A few months later, bF and this ANSI guy named Eerie
were joking about starting another 'zine.  They invited me to write, and I
suggest that we make this new 'zine a big MERGER 'zine, in which tons of
burned out writers and editors join up for one big production.  Thus
"DTO", doomed to obscurity, was born.  
	The early issues of DTO didn't trickle into the scene that well
(bad organization with so many people involved, ironically)--so people
started making "post-HOE" e'zines.  The most notable one was Kreid's y0lk,
which took the obnoxious/trashy HOE thing to a maxim, and released almost
anything submitted.  Y0lk became popular, strangely enough, and had a few
of its own spin-off y0lk-wannabe groups (Pork and w0ol come to mind).
Kreid eventually became a DTO writer.
	DTO was a really pretentious and obnoxious idea, and most of the
writers were very militant about it.  The editors were Shadow Tao, Murmur,
me, Eerie, Black Francis, and Jamesy.  Basically, DTO totally ended up
dominating the 'scene' for a good year or two, and there was almost no
other 'zines.  And when new 'zines popped up, we usually ended up making
fun of them and they'd give up.  It was pretty immature and corny, but
that's what "SuperBand" projects end up being, I think.  There were a few
'zines made during that time, I guess.  
	I'm fearful of listing *extremely* obscure information, since
you'd probably get as much from just reading the files.  Murmur, Jamesy,
and a kinda doofy guy named Neko ended up spurring quite a lot of life out
of Illinois.  Notably, Quarex was one of those guys, he made an amusing
thing called Grill.
	I suppose sometime in late '96, The early '90s BBSers who had
moved to the net were finally starting to psychologically detatch
themselves from area codes, and there was more random interaction in the
scene.  The 'scene', as it were, is very hard to get a handle on.  There
are hundreds (or thousands) of silent readers for what we write, and
sometimes it resembles being blindfolded, screaming into a cave--is anyone
listening?
	There has been a bit of a re-surgence in t-files in the last year,
who knows why.  I think in the last year or two, the 1994-> people (as a
whole) have finally started accepting this paradigm that text is, in fact,
a socially interesting event, and a recording of our lives and past.  So
there's a more stable feeling.  
	I think I'll just dump this interview I had in HOE #1000 here.
	If you really wanna publish something on your scene page, you can
certainly use this.

---

 OH HOLY SHIT IT'S AN INTERVIEW WITH MOGEL
 by CHRISTOPHER CROWE

   Crowe: Let's dispense with some questions!
 
   Mogel: Interviews should be more interactive.  Everything should be
          more interactive.  I wish people had buttons.  I don't mean
          that.  Who cares what Ted Koppel really thinks?

   Crowe: For those who don't know you, give us a general "who you are"
          kinda run down.
   
   Mogel: Well, I don't know who I am.  I like to think of myself,
          ideally, as just some weird guy that sits in the corner and
          bellows awkward social commentary every few minutes.  But, you
          probably don't mean that. 
   
   Crowe: I think everyone already knew that much.
   
   Mogel: I think that I've been online since 1990.  I've been involved
          in various "online communities" over the years.  I'm generally
          known for being a "text file guy".  E-zines, more specifically.
          Although, "E-zine" is such a vague term, isn't it?  There's a
          whole slew of stuff included in there.  I'm generally associated
          with a community of folks that make up the 1990s version of
          "text files" and "underground digital zines".  I use the word
          "E-zine" by default, but I'm generally associated with those.
          I don't know who I am.  Who am I?  You tell me.

   Crowe: I'd venture to say that's your niche.  You've done quite a bit
          of work in those areas--although a lot of it seems to be humor,
          socially-related, and satire.  What would you say is your
          favorite?

   Mogel: My personal favorite "area" of e-zines?  Uhh, Probably the honest
          stuff.  That sounds vague.  You know, E'zines have been around
          since the '80s.  They started as these little ASCII text files
          that were traded around.  The original idea was this:

          Anybody anywhere could write a message and have it, in theory, 
          be spread far and wide.  It was a strange sense of new-found power,
          really.  I mean, before the modem, a kid couldn't do that.  He'd
          write something, or say something to his friends.  It couldn't be
          spread in a medium where just some random stranger could 
          download, read it, and, hopefully, say "WOW!" or (even better)
          "YEAH! ME TOO!".  That "me too!" effect, although a common
          expression used be AOLers on UseNet, is a critical direction to
          making good text files.  And "being honest" doesn't always mean 
          write-in-a-direct-to-the-reader style--it means, addressing
          things in a manner that's going to actually mean something to
          them.  So, uhm, that's why I love the honesty.  There's a
          certain "trashy" look that e-zines are always going to have.
          It's not a professional thing, and it rarely pretends to be.
          That aesthetic is something that TV could have capitalized on,
          you know, if they weren't so overly-focused on money.
          E-zines are more about the message.

   Crowe: How did you come into these things?

   Mogel: The first e-zines I stumbled upon were the more self-glorified
          cDc, and the much more trashy BLaH.  cDc totally inspired me.
          Some of the files in there were totally hilarious and brilliant.
          Of course, a lot of it was total crap, too.  This was early 1993
          and a lot of your average computer guys were STILL on BBSes, and
          the mass-move to the internet had not quite happened yet.  
          Regardless, in 1994, I decided to do what 40% of the local-BBS
          world was doing: "START MY OWN TEXT FILE GROUP".  Since then,
          I've written for quite a few.  The most pride probably came from
          the earliest issues of DTO.

   Crowe: Deserved or not, you've pretty much regarded as being at the
          front of the 'zine movement.  Probably one of the most well
          known "zine guys" on the net.  In your experience, how has the
          text file scene evolved?  How has the "web" changed it versus
          the old BBS or even telnet/gopher?
   
   Mogel: It's definitely not deserved.  In the bigger scheme of text
          files, I'm definitely still new.  I jokingly refer to 3 periods
          in e-zine history.  These terms are only in-jokes with me and my
          pals, though.  There's the "oldschool", which is roughly
          1980-1987.  This is basically all the original and founding
          e-zines.  Some people would say that everything that has been
          done with text files was done in those years.  This was totally
          back when BBS-centered e-zines were what was up.  The move to
          the internet slowly happened during the next phase.  And, in a
          way, this was the true "pioneering" days.  Things like PHRACK
          were going to court for publishing stuff.  cDc and The Neon
          Knights were quite popular.

          The "middle school" is basically all the e-zines that things
          like cDc inspired.  Things like BLaH, FUCK, UXU, IBFT, and so
          on.  There was a HUGE slew of these.  Sometime around 1993, when
          the internet really took off, these was a real down time for
          this stuff.  Some people say that it's never quite recovered.
          It's kind of silly, because, in theory, the internet provides
          *more* fuel for the original idea of an e-zine.  Don't get me
          wrong, there has been a resurgence.  In 1994, I tend to call
          that "the new school".  It's basically when everyone on the BBS
          world, like rats from a sinking ship, hopped to the internet.

          The difference?  Well, there's not really a "community" anymore,
          I think.  BBS's were full of groups of kids, wanting to be
          subversive, and they'd call up and download these funny-ass text
          files about blowing up mailboxes, or fucking the dead, or
          whatever.  With the internet came a new idea that "ANYONE" could
          view these files, and it kind of killed the magic for some
          people.  I'm not bitching, though.  I mean, to some degree, you
          have to make community happen.  You can't just expect random
          people to bump into each other. People who just sit around and
          whine about no community are generally the same types of people
          who nobody would want to be in a community with anyway. (How's
          that for a mean generalization?) 
   
   Crowe: There is a tendency for the new zines to be "angst", "teen
          angst", or "social commentary".  Where do you see this heading?
          Where do you see the text file scene heading towards in general?
   
   Mogel: The angst is typical.  DTO had a lot of angst.  Basically, uhm, 
          I think "angst" is just an emotion, like any.  Emotions are
          tasty.  But you have to swallow, digest, and shit them out.  You
          can't just stick them in your mouth and let them sit there.  
          God, that's a terrible analogy.
   
          But what I mean is... if you use angst as a tool to do something
          cool, that's great.  I think it's also common because a lot of
          young people that would be into e-zines are probably going
          through "big changes" in life.  Youth is generally a time for
          misdirected anger.  Your PAL Y-WiNDoZE wrote a pretty on-point
          article about this topic that's in HOE #90.

          As for "The Scene" (where is that, anyway?)--I have no idea.
          Text files are absurd.  I've been half-heartedly trying to
          flagship a sort of neo-new school e-zine movement (yes, I say
          that sarcastically) with the resurgence of HOE.  I have no idea
          if it will work or not. Probably not, but it can't hurt to have
          a little fun and try, ya know?
   
   Crowe: If your not having fun, why do it?

   Mogel: Because you're on a mission from GOD.  There *are* e-zines out
          there, but for most of them I rarely pick up something special
          out of them.  I feel like, if they were gone tomorrow, I
          wouldn't give a shit.  I totally agree, which is eventually why
          I painfully *forced* DTO to die.

          You know, now that I think about it, I think entropy will win
          out.  Like, the world would be totally chaotic and pointless.
          My room is messy--I have to *do something* to make it clean.
          So, I have low expectations for the scene's future (people have
          been generally passive), but I'd like it to be a good one,
          somehow.

          Don't get me wrong, there's just so much you can care about a
          group of people who are willing to publish a text file describing
          the TRUE nature of poop.

   Crowe: What about other types of Literature, especially net-based
          stuff.  Fiction, Fan Fiction, etc?  Other 'zines?

   Mogel: You know, like, "what the hell is the point of text files?
          Well, write for the heart.  Write crap.  Write totally fucking
          weird shit.  There has to be meaning in there *somewhere*."
          Man, I'm so down on 'realist' fiction right now.  I see no
          point.  It's like a completely accurate painting.  What
          function does it serve, other than to impress people with how
          'hard' it was to paint?  Expressing things isn't supposed to be
          a complicated exercise, it's supposed to be about expressing
          things.

          I'm not about tooting my horn, although I'm sure some people
          would argue with that.  But, still, there's a billion 'stories'
          out there.  What's the point in trying to represent reality
          *exactly* as it is?  Firstly, that's impossible... and
          even if it weren't, how boring.  So, it's up to us to use 
          innovative and experimental-style juices.  There's not nearly
          enough of that.  The problem is that people tend to throw that
          label around so much. "I don't understand this... It must be...
          EXPERIMENTAL!", so basically anything that's inarticulate and
          incomprehensible gets that label.  "Lit" on the net.  Hmm.  You
          know, I've always loved The Onion (www.theonion.com). They've
          basically patented every use of "sarcasm" ever.  UXU still
          publishes, although far from regularly (www.uxu.org).  That's
          all that rolls off the top of my head, unfortunately.  I read
          Film Threat, which is a weekly indie-film e-zine mailed out.
   
   Crowe: Tell more about HOE, and do you have any other projects coming
          that we might find interesting?

   Mogel: HOE changes.  In its most recent incarnation, HOE is basically
          my attempt at pissing all over everything I've ever done.  But,
          at the same time, embracing what e-zines are *really* about, to 
          some kind of gross, logical extreme.  But it's also fun.  The
          idea is this:  You write something, we publish it.  No matter how
          ridiculous, weird, stupid, crazy, silly, etc, it is.  "How
          awful," most people would say, "No quality control!"  Somehow,
          however, HOE has managed to become pretty fun to work with.  
          Our "reject ALMOST nothing" policy has brought us a ton of
          *totally* diverse writers, numbering over 45, and we've been
          gathering a real community of folks.  In a lot of ways, it's
          more of a community than ever before.  For me, anyway.  And by
          writer I mean regular writer.  Someone who writes at least every
          other month.

          The idea, again, is this:  who the fuck cares?  E-zines have
          *always* been trashy.  Why pretend that they're not?  Instead,
          let's have fun with it.  Let's totally run with stupidity.  
          Let's get naked and dance on main street.  In fact, this has
          made some people find new, incredibly creative ways to be
          post-modern and stupid.  And at the same time, it's attracted a
          few people who don't "get it".  People who submit to HOE as if
          it were any regular style e-zine... and that's always good for a
          few cheap laughs.

   Crowe: You just gotta respect that sort of lackluster policy on
          content.  What, if any, is the future of your website, DTO.NET?
          Any direction on that front?
   
   Mogel: Actually, Jamesy now runs DTO.NET, and Murmur is somehow
          releasing issues... although very slowly.  But it's a total
          dinosaur.  Like a monster.  There was something really noble
          about DTO: wanting to make an e-zine that aspired to have
          *actual* quality and style and diversity.

   Crowe: I used to visit dto.net weekly.  It was an inspiration, along
          with DTO itself for a lot of my early zine work. It would be a
          blast to see it back!
   
   Mogel: well, DTO was monthly for our first 2 years.  The problem
          was we were total dreamers.  I was probably the least dreamy of
          everyone, and that was a problem.  I'm totally into doing
          creative stuff and having fun.  I don't care about being "BIG".
          But the rest of the people highly involved really had big ideas.
          We went to this rolling, weekly format.  At least 4 new articles
          every week. For a while it was nice, but it began to feel very
          *forced*.  I wasn't having fun anymore.  I dragged my heels.  We
          ended up just bitching all the time.  Basically, it was a text
          book case for "too many cooks spoil the dinner".  But I am glad
          I did it.  It's satisfying to pull something creative together
          with a bunch of friends.  And I think that should be anyone's
          goal when doing a community-oriented literary production.  Which
          most e-zines are.

   Crowe: Like you, I like the community of the whole "scene". I would
          like to see it support itself, and especially each other.
          That's basically my site's (www.lit.org) goal.  I like doing
          collaborating work with people, I find it rewarding.  I like
          sharing my ideas and seeing what other creative people are up
          to.
   
   Mogel: I think that's pretty noble.  I'm a big fan of idea-exchange
          and communication.  We're in a medium of pseudo-"art", but
          that's no reason to pretend we're not also in the business of
          communication.  In some ways, we have more liberty than anyone
          else anywhere in expressing whatever we want.

#EOF
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