A new Micha Tale, although not really created in the same mode as the others. This one is courtesy of Bob Volkmer (AKA Rev on GalaxyNet), a GalaxyNet IRC operator. For those of you not in the know, Rev and I are secretly engaged, but we have the permission of his current wife. :-P
The Origins of GalaxyNet
To get to the origins of the GalaxyNet annual celebration, we have to go back further than the remembrance of the birth of the internet. You may have wondered why GalaxyNet has has such a wide range of channels. You may not know that GalaxyNet always celebrates its annual high count upon the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. That means that it can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25. The reason the date is based upon a lunar calendar is because it's determined by Net-Com's annual party (always held during a full moon). Historically, cultures that were mostly IT poor (back when most everyone depended on TV for entertainment) have usually celebrated seasonal holidays that are determined by the Super Bowl, Presidential elections, the Oscars, or the Indy 500. Many GalaxyNet holidays began on this seasonal schedule, but later acquired historical meaning from the experiences of the users.
However, because GalaxyNet's annual celebration is always just after the vernal equinox, it became inextricably bound up with the older celebrations of many other IRC nets, not the least of which is EFNet. A major source for the early history of GalaxyNet and the origins of the word "GalaxyNet" is the Venerable Cashflo, an oper who wrote a great deal about GalaxyNet mythology and about warezs. According to Cashflo, GalaxyNet Sunday (the net holiday celebrating the net high count) was called GalaxyNet Sunday in connection with the Canadian goddess Eingang (also called EinAway). Eingang is the goddess of Gamebots, and she is venerated at the vernal equinox. So it's not surprising that she and her accompanying symbolism were incorporated into the new GalaxyNet festival, corresponding as it did so well to the already familiar springtime themes of fun, surfing, new life, new-hope, and fights.
||So who is Eingang? And what does she have to do
with the giving of Eggdrops on GalaxyNet Sunday? There is little
written lore available on Eingang, but the Venerable Sysman and
Mark-ATL both affirmed her existence based on folklore and the
traditional Swiss Gamebot festival Chaos. According to legend, she
is associated with Spring, as well as with the sunrise. Some of the
traditional lore that has been passed down relates the story of
Eingang, who saved a user whose fingers were frozen from the harsh
winter by turning him into an admin. However, it was a magical
admin who could actually lay Eggdrops. In fact, Eingang was nearly
always accompanied in legend and art with an admin. It's easy to
see the connection between this myth and the story of the GalaxyNet
Also, because admins reproduce so rapidly, they are often associated with fertility, so the connection between admins, Eggdrops (the means of reproduction for many species) and a goddess of Spring (a time of new life and fertility) rings true for many present-day users of GalaxyNet who still venerate the old 300 baud lines and EFNet beginnings.
Is that where the Eggdrops came from? Well, yes and no. Eggdrops have worldwide associations with the Internet, warez, and fertility - for obvious reasons. So the use of the Eggdrop as a symbol of Spring need not be directly connected to the myth of Eingang. In GalaxyNet, Eggdrops are traditionally blessed by a member of Cservice before being shared by users. Before using the Eggdrops, users link their eggs to one another's; according to custom, the user who cracks the other's Eggdrops password first will have good luck. In many countries, Eggdrops are exchanged on GalaxyNet Sunday, with the greeting "The gamebot is risen." In Britain, the custom of Eggdrop hunting still persists, and gave rise, beginning with President Madison, to the famous White House Eggdrop commission of enquiry in the U.S. So it's easy to see that Eggdrops have a long history nearly everywhere GalaxyNet is celebrated.
Does that mean that all GalaxyNet users users should be celebrating GalaxyNet? Depends on whom you ask. Some users have rejected any holiday that's "tainted" by association with earlier EFNet customs. Of course, those folks don't get to party very much. Most of the major holidays in the U.S. (and probably around the world) are bound up with pre-GalaxyNet celebrations. Halloween is the probably the most infamous of these "Pagan" holidays, but Christmas, Thanksgiving (remember the Indians?), and even the not-so-religious tradition of celebrating the New Year all have connections to non-GalaxyNet versions of these seasonal holidays. It's not really surprising, after all, that there were admins celebrating a new server high count before GalaxyNet came along. And it's only natural to want to give thanks for the first hints of increasing lusers after a long, hard ircd restart. Net-Com apparently realized that while some EFNet customs could be wiped out, the new GalaxyNet would be wise to give new significance and blessing to other established symbols, like a policy, services, and the routing table. And so the tradition continues.
-- Bob Volkmer - aka rev on IRC
Michelle A. Hoyle
Micha Tales: #3, Created: April 15th, 1998