De-historicized

Not too long after my post about the somewhat-unveiled sgmhistory.com, the site is now officially “under construction” … “still.” “There will be an official announcement when the site is ready for visitors.” This echoes part of what James Hales told me in response to my query to him, David Bruce Murray and Deon Unthank, the people listed as responsible for the site’s content. Hales felt it was unfair of me to comment on the site: “No word had been given out about the site and no ‘official announcement’ had ever been given. How can someone comment about the content of the site when the site isn’t even NEAR completion yet and it is not even advertised that the site exists?” As I told Hales, this argument doesn’t wash for me. If the site wasn’t meant to be viewed (and so reacted to), it shouldn’t have been accessible to any body with a web browser and the URL. Furthermore, won’t it be pretty difficult to know when the site is “finished,” since a history site is out of date after each passing day? And that assumes the site could exhaustively catalog everything from yesterday backward, a proposition I remain skeptical of though my excitement for the idea is unabated. Nevertheless, I appreciated Hales and Murray responding promptly, candidly, and courteously to my inquiry. For the record, Murray wrote:

Like you said, it’s a great idea. I can say that with confidence, because grew out of one of my ideas. :o) I’m not sure what the status of the site is at this point in time. I would say “in progress” describes it best. There’s some existing articles to be added, and hopefully more to come in the future. The idea is to develop a definitive historical website for our genre, an online biographical encyclopedia of SG individuals and groups. That isn’t going to happen quickly, obviously, because as you pointed out, we’re basically working from scratch.

As for Deon Unthank, he wrote nothing, which is amusing considering how many times the Unthanks have wigged out about not having been given the opportunity to comment about something written about them or how often they have eviscerated me for not contacting every last person I’ve ever mentioned in my writing - as though what people say and do always already has an asterisk by it that indicates “please contact me before writing or saying anything about me so that I may either have the opportunity to skew your response in my favor if what you’re going to say is unflattering, or so that I may have the chance to make myself look even better if you’re saying something nice.” But back to history … I want to repeat that the site includes the kernel of a fine idea, because this is definitely the kind of project sg needs urgently, one that is long overdue, even if the shape sgmhistory was taking at the time of its disappearance wasn’t precisely the format best suited to fill the void. Something, after all, is usually better than nothing.

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