Manic Silliness on a Purple Background

In September 1994 I arrived on the University of Waterloo campus, full of beans and manic energy. I promptly signed up as vice president of the history graduate students' association, which they cleverly named GOSH, and took upon myself the production of the newsletter, By GOSH. GOSH had had a paper version the year before, quite light-hearted, full of things like Stalin's recipes. I and my classmates had just been signed up to this new "Internet" thing, and I decided to do an e-mail version instead, combining announcements with my — ahem — idiosyncratic sense of humour.

Along with bizarre quotes from our research and marking outtakes were such things as an essay-length argument (penned by yours truly) that Barney the Dinosaur was fascist. And there was this "Angus McWetboy" character who ranted about cheese all the time. My fellow students didn't quite know what to think. They freaked a bit when my satire cut a little too close in January, and addressed some of the tensions in the public history program: they worried that it would get back to their professors. Other students, however, did get it, and they remain good friends.

Unfortunately, I was incompetent enough not to back up my sent e-mail before I was locked out of my various Unix and DOS LAN accounts, and for a while I thought the various issues of By GOSH were lost forever. But, going through old files last week, I discovered that I had copied three issues to my Unix inbox, which I had backed up.

Based on what I can remember, these are three of the better issues, though unfortunately the famous Barney-is-fascist article appears to be gone for good. I've converted them to HTML and added a few links here and there, but the text is almost entirely unchanged. The awful colour scheme mimics the colours we got when we telnetted into the watarts Unix server from PCs.

I have, however, removed the names of classmates I'm not now currently in contact with — they've suffered enough, I think, and don't need their names dragged through the mud here.

Jonathan Crowe
April 2002

By GOSH: Jan 20 / Jan 27 / Mar 6 1995
a strange part of