For 19 years, I kept up a blog in some form or another. Its original name, still the best pun I’ve ever assigned to something, was “DW-i,” or “Dave Weigel Interactive.” Its original posts were updated, by hand, with HTML. At some point I switched to blogspot, and at some other point I switched to WordPress.
That turned out to be a fatal mistake. Today, while wrestling with a series of stupid problems, I thought it would be fun to check the back-end of this site and put up an update. When I went to my login page (which has nestled, unchanged, in my browser for a decade), I was prompted to reinstall WordPress.
“Fine,” I thought. “Every few months, it gives me a similar prompt, and it’s been crashing when I tried to update the last version of WordPress. This seems normal.”
It was not normal. In 90 seconds, I had destroyed everything ever posted on this site. And I’m not sure that I care.
What’s gone? Some arguments from when I blogged frequently, some flag-planting when I was at the center of a media scandal, and a yearly list compilation of my movie reviews. The latter stuff had migrated to Letterboxd, and the other stuff had migrated to Twitter, or been abandoned.
This page contained snapshots of my thought process and writing style from when I was 19 and in college, when I was 23 and looking for work, when I was 28 and thought my career was over. It probably contained some juvenilia that would lead to embarrassment if I became famous/notorious; the old versions of me had not yet learned to sublimate my (totally normal!) worries about life, relationships, and the other distractions from my true love, watching “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
There’s probably some cached version of the site out there, but I don’t really care to save it. When there’s time I’ll recreate the useful pages, like links to old articles and my book. But I’ve always been too attached to clutter and old things, neurotically convinced that some day the old campaign brochure or love letter or listicle is going to come in handy. And it never was.