From: no one in particular Message: I'm an artist and not afraid to say so. No, I don't feel the need to wear black and look morose all the time. It's just my job to take a idea and find a way to express it so that other people feel SOMETHING. You are, without question, an artist. These pages are what the web SHOULD be like. Everything here has a place and it's all exquisite. I can only hope that someone, someday will feel the same about my HTML art that I feel about yours. Your site has inspired me want to work harder, create better. This is definitely my new favorite site.
Hey - thanks. It's not that I've got something against artists. It's just that sometimes I have a hard time knowing what to do with my own.
From: liz lopez Message: I LOVE YOU MAN. I MEAN THAT. IS THERE ANY WAY I COULD TALK TO YOU DIRECTLY. I KNOW YOU HAVE SOME OTHER LOVE, BECAUSE I READ THE LOVE LETTER. I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE DEEPEST THING THAT I HAVE READ. I JUST WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU A BIT MORE DIRECTLY.
Um, thanks Liz. But I hardly know you. Besides, if you want to talk, leaving your email address would help.
From: Bijou Message: I found your site one day when looking for interesting pictures on the web.... I find the emotion and idealism in these pages moving, and ... vital. Yes, its hard for idealism to survive out here, I have often found it so, but it can and we must try (this in reference to your "1996" new year's story). For people like us, there can really be no other way, so we might as well "resolve" ourselves to this path. After all, perhaps trite but true, all our lives are journeys and not destinations, so the satisfaction must come from the attempt and not the outcome. I wish you well. Stand strong but gentle. P.S. A question: Does your idealism extend to people of different classes, and if so, do you have anything reflecting this facet of idealism in your site?
Thanks for the kind wishes. And I'm not sure what you mean by idealism extending to different classes. As far as I can tell, hope is hope.
From: Kristen Jones Message: I'm in a training seminar for work and I found you! Kind of like finding that cute little puppy dog that you just can't resist. I had to take a peek. I won't be accessing this again. At least not any time soon. Hope you have a fantastic day! Hope you continue on your journey of looking outside the box and realizing who you really are.
From: Matt Rependa Message: I just stumbled by your site today, and I think it's just about the best site I've seen. I work on the net (8 hours a day - way too much), so I've seen more than enough crap. Your photographs are truly impressive! Now I'm not an expert in photography, but I think most of your pictures are truly beautiful. Unfortunately, (I think) you didn't take the one I decided as my favorite (your girlfriend kissing you - FANTASTIC!!) When you see most people holding hands, and being all romantic - it's just so tacky, but once in a while you see something that in your mind and heart looks and feels like real, true, selfless love. Maybe it's just a good picture, but I believe it's more (not that I'm some kind of "Luv Docta").
Thanks so much for the nice words. You made my morning....
And, actually, I did take that photo. The camera was on a timer, on a table. I had no idea that drue was going to kiss me, so that look on my face is a mix of suprise, happiness, and just a little blushing.
You know, I wasn't sure about putting that photo up (hence, the gif animation where it fades in and out). Now I'm glad I did.
From: Terri Bates Message: It had been a while since I'd visited the 24 Hours of Democracy page, and it being a quiet Sunday afternoon, I decided to drop by. I wondered what effect the recent judical overturning of the CDA would have. I remembered that your page has all the links to places the zealots would ban, so I thought it would be an interesting place to start. To my surprise and horror, I found that many of the pages you had linked to are now gone. Isn't it sad that they won after all? The mere threat of censorship and punishment has frightened people into retracting the words they spoke freely just a few months ago. I just wanted to share that with you.
You're so right. This thought had occurred to me too. It's scary ... and it makes me want to do something about it.
But what? Got any ideas?
From: Sara Thompson Message: I'm listening to a young rebellious man called Bono yell about what people have done in the name of love. I am brooding about the ordeal of packing in order to move. And I have that quesy, before-a-dentist-trip feeling that I get when I have to go job-hunting. But in the midst of all this, I stumble on your home page. Now, I have a little more hope in people than I did before. Lately, I haven't liked people very much. I see idiots in traffic, unhappy middle-aged adults, stupid screaming kids at the supermarket and all I want is one lousy carton of milk. Well, you know. Just wanted to say, I got some... "warmth" from your stories. You've squeezed a bit of optimism out of a cynic. Thank you, Derek. I needed that. "Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination" -Walt Goodman
I have to admit, I've been feeling a bit estranged from the web lately. It used to be fun for me ... now it's a job. Working at HotWired 10+ hours a day ... well ... I was losing my faith in the web's ability to connect people together.
Then, on an outrageously hot Monday morning, I get your email.
Thank you for reminding me why I got in this business in the first place.
From: Greg Message: just to send a nice note...I remember that McHenry protest, but never heard the fallout afterwards. UCSC was a great idea. Too bad the fascists ruined it.
From: Laura Felstiner Message: 2:30am, Toronto I am working the graveyard shift on a film so I took the opportunity to try and find your site again. You have even improved it since the first time I found it. I don't know how, but you did. Your words from 2.5.96 are so personal I wonder if they are for her only because I feel like I am invading your time together. Anyway...back to work. Check out www.shift.com/shift.home (I volunteer for them, I think you would get along) and Electronic Frontier Canada (EFC) for some intelligent information with a Canadian feel. Thanks for keeping me awake - Laura Felstiner
Thanks for the compliments. Sometimes it's just nice to know someone's listening.
The words you mentioned just wouldn't let me sleep. I had to write them down. But make no mistake - they're real.
And you're not invading. My friend Julie has this idea about the web ... about giving yourself over to it ... about living in it. It's hard to explain. Just like it's hard to explain why I posted a love letter on the Net. It has something to do with identity, something to do with risk, and everything to do with love.
One of the best stories I've heard yet comes from Elana - who found my page by doing a search for "unrequited love." Of all the ways to make contact with someone on the web, that's the best I've heard. Nice to meet you, Elana.
From: just another midnight marauder Message: i want to tell you what a fucking genius you are. really. your words are so precise, so bloody poignant sometimes they just blow me away. and your photos are exquisite, even in 16-bit. and i want to tell the chief hoohahs at hotwired that they're gonna be damn sorry when you leave for greener pastures... (but of course i won't. let 'em learn the hard way.)
Thanks. But I don't want to leave HotWired - I want to fix it. The folks in charge have been making a lot of decisions that I can't understand lately. Have you seen Allison recently? Have you noticed that some channels seem to be doing a lot less than others? There are lots of reasons for this, I'm sure. But nobody's bothered to clue us low-level employees in on them. And, in the end, that is HotWired's greatest tragedy.
From: Fuck You Message:
Well, Mr. You, the least you could have done is leave a message along with your name.
From: ADAM CHEN Message: HI:DEAR FLOYD: I AM A CHINESE.I LIVE IN TAIWAN.I LOVE MY COUNTRYSIDE,SEA,FOREST,MOUNTAIN.. YOUR PHOTO VERY WELL.I LIKE ANSEL ADAM. I HOPE YOU MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. BYE!!BYE!!! ADAM CHEN.1995,12,12
Thanks Adam! My gallery was a labor of love. You should take some photos of Taiwan and put them up for everyone to see.
From: David Van Virden Message: I'm the geek with the flower in his hat in the web protest photo. Thanks for the pretty picture. Visit my web site sometime. We're working on an ongoing net protest page. Queers are still the downtrodden masses of choice EVEN in cyberspace. David Van Virden Publisher The U Report featuring everything for the modern homosexual http://www.ureport.com/ureport email: email@example.com
Nice to meet you. And thanks for being so damn photogenic.