Bless its widdle heartThe sense of ritual, the anticipation of pain—yes and yes. But also those crufty issues of Popular Mechanics and People magazine from god knows when. Even the logos looks oddly dated. Can they really be that old? Yes again. Here’s a site that hasn’t been updated in nine years, hanging impishly off the domain on a premiere piece of semantic real estate – It’s BBCi’s Gateway to the Stars! Stars like Del Amitri. I said it was old.

Other sites have been saved through at least a modicum of curatorial care, rather than sheer forgetfulness, like the HTML playground of old forgotten internet startup, Avalanche Systems—”Border Equals Zero“, a forerunner of such Web 1.0 hotspots as etc. No CSS here boyo – this is what the future looked like, in the past. Even though these artsy sites have a built-in assumption that they might be worth preserving, archiving, like other art, and so attempted to future-proof themselves with a “minimal” aesthetic, the technology of their times shows through the cracks like those 70s haircuts in Zeferrelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

Still, it is more fun to happen upon some page that really imagined it might be swept away into the waiting room trash can, only to find itself, day after day, miraculously un-binned, its perishable cargo of up-to-the-minute information gradually pulped away, mulched into clues about its time, the things it doesn’t realise about itself now more legible than those it’s up on.