Pit Stops

So the Pearl Jam Message Pit is closing down, and the Pearl Jam Community is opening up. January 15th is D-day, and I shan’t be crossing over, I don’t think.

It was, by all accounts, the first internet community I was a very active member of, narrowly edging out another message board (the one where I met the girl I love, natch). But more importantly, it’s the forum I’ve been active in the longest. The one where I’ve most friends, even if I’ll never meet the majority of them face-to-face.  To this day, it’s a fairly big part of my day-to-day life, and the topics there are often thought-provoking and well-debated. Just this week, I was lucky enough to be a major player in a thread that was ostensibly about Creed and Nickelback not deserving the mauling they get, but soon became a sparkling discussion on whether music can be viewed objectively – or whether it should be. It was fun, and it never got aggressive, or anything but pleasant discussion. It’s the kind of stimulating discussion you’d be hard-pressed to find on most other forums, especially band-centric ones such as this.

So why won’t I be making the jump when the current BBS closes its virtual doors? It’s a cocktail of reasons, really… a sangria of cuss. For one thing, I don’t agree with the decision to only make it available to members of the Ten Club. I guess I kind of understand why they would do it… I just don’t understand why they are doing it. The exclusive nature of it just doesn’t appeal to me, despite me already being a member of the Club. Secondly, as you’ll have noticed if you clicked the links up top, the new board is… well… ugly. One of the things I most enjoyed about the current board is the simplicity of it – it loads fast, and it’s clean, and it doesn’t hurt your eyes if you try to read it for more than ten minutes at a time. Plus, avatars and pictures stuff are reasonably stupid additions – if it’s a bandwidth issue the 10C are trying to solve, opening the floodgates to user images is an unspeakably backwards idea.

But a good deal of my ambivalence towards the new board stems from a growing ambivalence towards Pearl Jam themselves these days. I simply don’t adore them the way I used to. So while posting about how much Unemployable rocks might have been fun a year or two ago, it’s lost its appeal. Especially since a lot of the folks I discussed non-Pearl Jam stuff with are being lost in the transfer.

I’m not saying there’s no chance of me crossing over – I know it’ll be really tempting to delve in when there’s a new tour or a new album to discuss. But for now… I’m out.

Anyway: this is pure awesome.

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