This month marks my 14th year in the inflation community. I'm proud of that. And now I will probably ramble.
The best thing about the community is that nobody owns it. I know I've told the story about how I set up the first inflatable fetish mailing list on AOL for a whopping 12 people; even that, I don't really get too much credit for, because, well, how about those other 11 people? It was my list but it was never more "my" community than it was anyone else's. That's kind of the point of a community -- it's a group thing.
Voices and sites have come and gone. I've met some spectacular artists and writers and thinkers; some have stuck around, some have passed through. I've got evidence of most of them on my hard drive in one form or another. I remember when it was all about ACotto's FTP site. Then the BE Archive appeared and -- gasp! -- charged money. Soon it was all about WrenSpot. For a time, my Video Vault was a happenin' place. And ultimately, LVKane set up BodyInflation.org. There are others, too -- whatever happened to DanielSan and the IC/B2E? Where did Ylandra and Champagne Moon go? And why can't Helia come back for good? Ah, well, There's always tomorrow -- anybody could resurface at any time.
The point is, people come and go, variations on our common themes take new forms from time to time, projects appear and disappear...but the community remains. That's because the idea remains. That's more powerful than anything -- and the idea that we're all into the same weird idea is even larger. We're not alone because, at the very least, we have each other. That's kinda sacred to me.
Nobody owns us. Nobody runs us. And while I sometimes sound protective, I don't mean to claim ownership; nobody can actually take credit for the community. In fact, the only time I really get angry is when I see people trying to suggest that the community cannot exist without them, or they are indispensably important to it and/or primarily responsible in some way for it. Sometimes it's just immature outbursts from people looking to belong; other times, I think people really believe it's true, or at least want to make it appear true for egotistical reasons. No; you're nothing without everybody else. We're all shareholders in your stock in the community. Get in here in the soup with the rest of us.
See? I told you I'd ramble. Anyway, here's to 14 years.