The L-Space Web: Filks

Everybody's Free to join afp


From: Mark A. Cooper
To: <filks@lspace.org>
Subject: Filks from 99
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 01:52:15 +0100

--- Sunscreen Filk ---
(I can't find my original posting to afp of this one...)

Everybody's Free (to join a.f.p.)
Filk by Mark Cooper

Ladies and gentlemen of the modem generation: Join a.f.p.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, joining a.f.p. would be
it. The long-term benefits of a.f.p. have long been pondered by UU wizards
and Terry Pratchett, whereas the rest of this advice has no basis more
reliable than several hours spent lurking in the newsgroup and making
pointless contributions. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of posting. Oh, never mind. You will not
understand the power and beauty of posting until you can't get a connection
to your news server. But trust me, in 20 years' time, you'll look back at
posts from yourself on Dejanews and recall in a way you can't grasp now how
sane you were before joining the newsgroup. You are not as sad as non-afpers
imagine.

Don't worry about when Pterry will write the next book. Or worry, but know
that worrying is as effective as trying to find taste in one of CMOT
Dibbler's sausages inna bun. The real troubles in your life are apt to be
things which never crossed your fevered mind, the kind like "This program
has performed an illegal instruction and will be closed down."

Post one thing every day that scares you.

Filk.

Don't be reckless with attributing other posters. Don't put up with people
who don't attribute you.

Follow-up.

Don't waste your time on flaming. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're
behind. The race is long and, in the end, you'd only end up in someone's
killfile.

Remember lengthy quotes from Pterry's books. Forget trying to work out all
the resonances. Others will probably have done this for you already.

Keep your old photos of Cons and meets. Throw away your spam messages.

Laugh.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with Outlook Express. The
most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what to do with OE. Some of
the most interesting 40-year-olds I know want to strangle Bill Gates.

Bring plenty of chocolate. Be kind to anyone with "Dragon" in their
nickname. Flaming is more literal if you ignore this.

Maybe you'll post, maybe you won't. Maybe someone will follow-up, maybe they
won't. Maybe you'll leave the newsgroup at 40, maybe you'll be debating
Pterry's 163rd DW novel at his 75th birthday party. Whatever you post, don't
OLF too much, or never OLF. Your postings are half-lucid. The other half are
usually garbled by the news server.

Enjoy the newsgroup. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of what
people post, or what other people think of what *you* post. It's the
greatest experience anyone can have.

Write your AFPCode, even if no-one actually reads your resulting sig.

Read the FAQ, and you'd better follow it.

Do not read alt.national.enquirer. It will only make you feel superior.

Get to know the L-Space Web. You never know when you'll need their advice.
Be nice to the newbies (except if they refuse to read the FAQs). You were
one in the past, and there'll be more around in the future.

Understand that regular posters will come and go, but a hardcore few will
hang on for grim death. Work hard to keep the gap between [R] and [I],
because the older you get, the less likely you will know the difference
between the two.

Live in Merkia, but leave before the preservatives in the food mummify you
while you're still alive. Live in EcksEcksEcksEcks, but leave before the
snakes start beating *you* with sticks.

Tag.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Outlook Express will crash. Newbies will
incorrectly tag. You, too, will spend a lot of your time marking [I] threads
as read. And when you get old, you'll fantasise that when you were young,
Outlook Express worked perfectly, messages were always tagged, and that you
used to read every post on a.f.p., even the [I] threads. Respect others'
right to post [I] threads.

Don't expect everyone to laugh at your witticisms. Maybe you'll get a
humorous sig. Maybe you'll write a brilliant filk. But you never know when
other people's browsers will delete your post because it's expired.

Don't flame Pterry, or before you know it, you'll be in *everyone's*
killfile, and Detritus will be paying you a visit.

Be careful which emails you open, and make sure you have a virus checker
when you do it.

a.f.p. is a form of nostalgia. Contributing to it is a way of fishing
Pterry's stories from the bookshop, reading them, absorbing their wisdom,
and then posting your interpretations for everyone to see.

And trust me on joining a.f.p.


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