From the golden age of hypertext
February 14, 2015 9:05 AM   Subscribe

The Big Fun Glossary: “Big Fun began its life as the home of the Malvern Girls, three young adults from the Philadelphia Suburbs. From its initial disastrous housewarming and continuing on through the worst winter on record and into a spring infested with ticks, flies and cicadas, Big Fun, a stately yellow farmhouse in rural Central Virginia, saw many interesting sights: impromptu punk rock concerts, Dextromethorphan chug-fests, Nomadic Festivals, nazi skinheads, and (most importantly) record alcohol consumption. Like most tight social groups, Big Fun had its own language, history and collection of in-jokes. This website is designed to grant you access to the inner workings of this remarkable youth culture as it actually functioned in the mid-90s.” posted by smammy (18 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

So lovingly compiled, with a hint of the single-minded obsession often seen in drug addicts and/or the mentally ill.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:18 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Snark is strong in this one.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2015

The online journal entries to which the Glossary was a companion are still there on the site somewhere. He still writes every day.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:54 AM on February 14, 2015

Teenage suicide (don't do it!)
posted by Captain l'escalier at 10:17 AM on February 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

The spring and summer of 1996 was a ster-ange, weird wild time in rural VA. Maybe it was the easy access to every drug available. Maybe it was the cicadas. Maybe it was because I was 17 and in the best shape of my life.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:41 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Big Fun is finally on MetaFilter! It only took 18 years!

I was in CVille during the Big Fun era, and although I never made it out to the house, I knew Gus and Jessika from hanging around on the Downtown Mall. That line in Jessika's entry, "Almost all boys fall in love with her immediately"... I was one of them.

Every so often, when I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll pull up the Big Fun glossary and reminisce. There was a great anarchic feel to Cville at the time.
posted by sutt at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

There is apparently a Big Fun documentary project being filmed.
posted by honest knave at 11:40 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a sort of a previously!
posted by yoHighness at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2015

hey this is by one of Mefi's own.
posted by yoHighness at 11:45 AM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank god my teen years are undocumented.
posted by benzenedream at 12:26 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Having never heard of this before now, but having spent a bit of time skimming through the glossary, this seems pretty much like the sort of group of somewhat arty friends, acquaintances, and various hangers-on that you can find in or near just about any college town of size, particularly when the school is not particularly welcoming to creative types. (This is true especially of large state universities, and more especially if they tend toward football cultism and dominance of Greek life. UVA seems to be its own thing in many ways, smaller than a lot of flagship state universities, but still.) The main difference here seems to be that "the Gus" spent a lot of time cataloguing and documenting their pet names for everything and the various events that took place and putting it all online.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:36 PM on February 14, 2015

Gus inspired me to document my own college-and-just-beyond culture in its last throes. I straight ripped off the idea and cut my own dictionary of local slang inspired by close groups of friends with copious social time, in-jokes and a lack of real Internet. I strung mine together with MS Access and perl and still think back fondly about its sweet auto-referencing.

I have no idea how I ended up reading his blog -- my recollection was he was fairly prominent in the early blogosphere for his dedication to regular, frank blogging. There weren't all that many people doing it back then. His lifestyle at the time was a bit more aggro than my own -- we never went on tussin runs -- but I felt a kindred spirit with fellow broke college town youth running to eleven and looking for adventures.

He settled down as we all do, kind of sweet with his college girlfriend, and started living a normal life. Good to see him still blogging and worth mention. Long live Big Fun and Gus's glossary, truly a HTML museum piece in the best traditions.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 6:37 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hah, this is one of the first things I read on the Web. Hilarious.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:20 PM on February 14, 2015

The online journal entries to which the Glossary was a companion are still there on the site somewhere. He still writes every day.

In 1999, the Gus documented our meeting in San Diego (illustrated). I was just catching up on his recent holiday visit to Belize.
posted by Rash at 8:52 PM on February 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Morgan Anarchy is killing it on the banjo these days.
posted by MikeLP at 5:11 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Reminds me of late 90s Portland to the point where I feel nostalgia by proxy. Wonderful to have it documented.
posted by snofoam at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

His wife is an accomplished poet.
For the most part, they still seem to live an unconventional, experimental, curious life. It's kinda neat.
posted by Ostara at 7:06 PM on February 15, 2015

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