PRINT September 1997

R. U. Sirius on way weird websites

A random sampling of Internet voters in the 1996 US elections favored the Libertarian candidate for president. Ralph Nader came in second. Bob Dole finished fifth, behind Perot. In other words, despite a great infusion of corporate vibes, the Web is more than ever the home of subculture attitude—it’s still a bunch of weirdos out there. As a medium, the Web explodes consensus and decentralizes attention; as a storehouse for conspiratorial paranoia, it drives fact-checking journalists to apoplexy. Walter Cronkite’s latest crusade to bring journalistic responsibility to Web culture is a bit like demanding journalistic responsibility in a neighborhood bar. There are a lot of freaky sites out there.
I didn’t exactly go shopping for weirdest of weird. One of the sites below isn’t that weird at all, and a couple are simply the most professional of the bunch. But the overall picture is still way weird.

R. U. Sirius is a San Francisco-based writer.