The Surreal History Of Motozak (And Who Gives A Shit?)

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  • #3206
    nosignalallnoise
    Participant

    Excerpts of a recent (October ’14) discussion on a Vancouver-based darknet BBS:

    ==================================================

    FIRELORD: So I don’t remember exactly what the force was behind the whole motozak thing was but I do remember it involved hours-long discussions with Ricky, King Seth, Phreakazoid, Gouge, Wolverine Bates and Eric H. on a phreak bridge in Camas about 10 years ago. Followed by a very late night camping in the woods of Goldendale with a laptop in range of a house with an open Wifi connection. And excessive underage consumption of amateur hardcore Internet porno, booz and other substances that have recently become legal in Washington. I think the convo that night went something like “hey! let’s break into this one forum I found and see how many dumbass Portlanders we can dupe!” “heh, yeah, that’ll be cool” “I want toast” “well the campfire’s gone out, dude” “SOMEBODY MAKE ME SOME TOAST DAMMIT!” Or something lameass like that. Whatever. In any event one stupid thing led to another and viola, motozak was born. Wolverine probably remembers. Go ask him next time you’re at Winco. I had too much Dimetapp-spiked Starbucks in my brain by that point to know or to even give a shit.

    Peace and love.

    ————————————————-

    PHREAKAZOID: I make no claim to inventing motozak. Blame Seth. Seth had some extra time on his hands one term at Clark and invented a cast of characters such as 8-TRACK MAN, Jimmyjack (dedicated Golden Hours listener), A-Zone (pdxradio.com reader for 9 months) and of course the big bad ZAKSTER…..

    SETH: What-the-fuck are you snorting, dude? Don’t blame me. It’s mostly Erich H and Wolverine’s fault.

    Anyway, Erich H might have invented Motozak (oh excuse me, “motozak3”) but the Wolf and Gouge made it famous. Erich H was the Sam Walton of the motozaks; meanwhile I tried to let it go and quietly fade into obscurity. I was off of there by 2007.

    PHREAKAZOID: Well, I posted a few motozak2 articles from my account on People’s PC but last I heard there were at least three other people, extremely well connected, posting motozak forgeries to pdxradio.com You probably don’t want to hear that the people doing them had to find something to occupy their time after they dissolved East Vancouver Choppers in 2008.

    ————————————————-

    GOUGE:

    GOUGE’S SURREAL AUTHORITATIVE HISTORY OF MOTOZAKDOM*

    (and no, nobody has ever, ever, ever lived in my mother’s house’s basement)

    * Apologies to Biff Sexton

    Okay. First things first. Motozak (well excuuuuse me Mister Pedantic) was never one autonomous person. He (it?) was technically not even a person at all but an idea. There. Motozak was initially a “shared” Usenet account used by a collective group that originally shared a common AOL login. So now you know.

    Erich H of the original East Vancouver Choppers had posted the first few proto-motozak articles to a Portland-based Usenet group, then to pdxradio in 2004 or (maybe) (I doubt it) 2003 under the handle A-Zone. Motozak was conceived during a really bizarre weekend camping trip in the southeastern WA Cascades where we had found lots of ripe pot and a good leechable 802-11 signal, thanks to some poor shmuck in the sticks with a router set to the defaults. Motozak was initially supposed to be this Anglo-Canuckish version of Borat and was basically a twentysomething retard with a poseur complex, completely obsessed with skateboarding, motocross and 8-track tapes to the exclusion of anything else, and lusted after something better than a DOS/XP machine and an AOL account. As such, almost all of the better early motozak postings out there (now apparently lost to bit rot and a f.p.c server crash in 2008 or 2009 that we had nothing to do with) were never more than 80 chars wide, to demonstrate genuine stone-age CP/M authenticity and general teenage faggotry.

    Motozak grows up

    After those first 60 or so A-Zone posts, a dozen as “Motocross_and_Muzak” a year later (my idea) and about yet a dozen more under its first modern incarnation, “motozak”, Erich never did another (said the group was getting “too strange” by that point and left) but I picked it up and ran with it for a few years. I tried not to overdo it, lest the effect should get corrupted; I posted very sporadically from Victoria, BC (where I was still living at the time) but the real gold (or horse shit) was reserved for when I finally settled in downtown Portland a couple years later. I hated it there. I forged maybe a few hundred posts as “motozak2” in the Discus era and started the very early run of “motozak3” in the shitty WordPress era, poking sharp sticks at some major Portland-area fuckholes who really deserved it. Once the secret to motozak finally leaked, the college kiddies (no names but his initials were RYAN TEDRICK at REED COLLEGE) ran with it and made a royal mess of motozak3. They committed personal attacks, took ridiculous liberties with the backstory I had developed and refined and generally were numerous. But not as creative. Looking (lurking?) through the motozak3 backlog I saw lots of name calling directed its way and it issuing lots of declarations against name-calling. Serves you right, Ryan. You got your ass handed to you like you deserved, you fucking pussy.

    By the by, that embarrassingly huge attack post against Scott Fybush posted in the Interstate-5-Bridge thread (this was really late in motozak3’s run) was most absolutely not mine. I had long washed my hands of f.p.c as a contributor by that point. That was likely that prick Phreakazoid at New East Vancouver Choppers running his drunken ass off again.

    And if you saw numbers instead of letters, especially in phreak posts, that was most definitely Phreakazoid or somebody else of that gang. They did that crap. I never did the stupid 31337 thing, just the good old honest typos that I’ve been known for since 28.8 modems were hot shit.

    Motozak gets a face

    The reason nobody ever met Motozak in person was because of poor planning. It would have been a logistic mess. Motozak was a product of the underground and, it was thought, would stay underground. Originally, nobody had anticipated the idea of a “meet & greet” at any point, thus when one finally came up, nobody could agree on who’d be the “face” of motozak in the real world. That’s why everybody on f.p.c. got the runaround from motozak when get-togethers were in planning. Apparently a few years ago one of the guys on there had invited motozak to some ham radio show or other somewhere around Orchards and Ricky decided to run with it. (Reportedly he had a few further dealings with this person regarding a police scanner or ? Somebody, please fill in the blanks.) So I guess he became the official “ambassador” as it were, in the real world, of Motozak. I don’t think it lasted too long. But he did get some pretty sick satellite gear because of it.

    Motozak attains immortality

    I see motozak lives on in spirit, though:

    =======================================
    Andy_brown
    October 6, 2014 01:42 PM

    The lurking motozak has not spoken in one year. Hiding out in mum’s basement somewhere in Clark County.

    =======================================

    Yeah, uh huh. Right. Lotsa room to move in that crawl space.

    Plus, Erich H was smashed to death in a car flipover wreck in Seattle in late 2011 and his proxy server in Vancouver died shortly after him. That’s why motozak ended. No other reason.

    The death of motozak

    Erich H died in December 2011 and his proxy, 67.87.4.30, went down after that so it was all over for me then. I think Ricky ran another similar dialup proxy in Vancouver for a while but I was already gone by that point. Postings from motozak3 after that date, especially the vitriolic ones like that big rant about scott Fybush or his getting kicked off radiodiscussions, were not me. I hear Wolverine did a few then taught Phreakazoid how to forge posts. I just logged off and kept my head way low after that.

    Well, maybe not. Looks like I did figure out how to get in and start that “dial tone” thread sometime in 2012. I had gotten on to BWBMX (which had become forgery central in Cascade Park because “our guys” ran it) and worked an entire thread as motozak3. Life imitates art.

    After that I gave up out of sheer boredom. I never motozak’d again. That buck had already long been picked up by Phreakazoid at that point and everything else labelled “motozak3” thereafter was his headache. He pulled the plug on Motozak and BWBMX sometime in mid 2013 and it was all over and done with by then.

    So now that I’ve written this all up, who wants to take the liberty of going over to f.p.c. and publishing it there? *snort*

    ————————————————-

    RICKY: I did^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H… No, not here. (Not yet). Some things are better left unsaid.

    ————————————————-

    WOLVERINE: Uh huh, Gouge and Firelord pretty much nailed it. Thats pretty much how it happened. God I got so sick of speaking the queen’s english. Sadly well never know Erichs take on it but I think he’d agree.

    ==================================================

    In the end, all things must pass. The passing of some things is for the greater good. A lot has happened in your humble author’s life over the last 3 or 4 years since and I guess it’s kind of ironic that I’m coming back now to post this. I like how Dan’s cleared out all the political garbage. Hope he keeps it that way.

    Well, there you have it.

    #3211
    Amus
    Participant

    This is awesome.
    Except for that part about the guy that died.

    #3221
    QPatrickEdwards
    Participant

    I concur, totally awesome and quite creative. I always wondered how someone who was only in his 20’s would turn out like “he, it” did and it doesn’t surprise me at all that this character was a complete and utter fabrication. Fantastic!

    I have to admit that I wasn’t paying really close attention to moto’s posts, but if someone were to put them all side by side, a particularly meticulous individual would be able to find various inconsistencies between them.

    Sounds like the kind of stuff my friends and I would have done when we were in High School, if there had been computer BBS’s readily available to us at that time.

    #3223
    jerry1949
    Spectator

    Amazing, but a little confusing too.

    Are you the same Motozak who posted about mowing his grandmother’s lawn? The guy who’s almost 7 feet and weighs 300 pounds? The guy who was always complaining about the fonts or some such thing?

    And were any of the posts about personal things true?

    #3227
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    This is a treat. Thank you.

    Hey Moto, saw you on USENET in Apple 2 a while back. Cheers!

    #3228
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    I recall a thread on pdxradio when Motozak3 started up that some inconsistencies with the Motozak and Motozak2 librettos were discussed. There is (was at this point) another thread when a change of (shall we say) attitude in the Motozak3 persona was discussed.

    Nothing in that post surprises me. Oh, and gouge, the line about “Mum’s basement” was based on one of the Motozak3 posts where (another poster, don’t remember who) said that Motozak was a troglodyte.

    Sad to hear of your proxy server’s admin passing.

    Is this a hit and run post, gouge, or are you going to leave the account open and share it amongst your co-basement dwellers?

    #3234
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I liked motozak3, and I had this interesting “theater of the mind” image of motozak3 that was full of cognitive dissonance. I pictured him as a guy with a football player physique who liked to ride little BMX bicycles. One would expect a big guy like that to like hard rock or active rock, but that was not the case with motozak3; he liked beautiful music!

    I fell for the fiction, and I have difficulty accepting that I was fooled. I really liked his technical postings (although I felt that the quality slid a bit at the end, when he repeatedly said that he could not listen to AM radio because the interference from the neighbor’s plasma TV sounded like “splitting atoms in the basement”). I am thankful that I did not encounter the wrath of motozak3 for using proper Canadian/British spellings, such as “colour,” “honour,” and “flavour.”

    #3237
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I will also add that one cool thing I learned from motozak3 is how to modify a YouTube link so that the video automatically goes full-screen, thus eliminating the annoying screen clutter usually found on YouTube.

    #3244
    QPatrickEdwards
    Participant

    I liked being able to bounce my particular C-Band satellite reception reports to ol’ moto, obviously somebody(ies) had some technical knowledge of that in his background.

    I died laughing when I read the “splitting atoms in his basement” comment, I can just imagine someone actually trying that.(Probably safer than putting a GloStick in a microwave oven.)

    #3247
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I took guilty pleasure in the way that motozak3 pushed people’s buttons with regard to grammar, the proper usage of the term “hacker,” and the formatting of YouTube URLs.

    Hacker – A technical person who studies the workings of software, equipment, etc. as an intellectual pursuit. Such a person might use the subject of his/her study in a different way than its creators intended but with no malicious intent.

    Cracker – A person who attempts to circumvent security devices (passwords, software license keys, etc) with malicious intent. The term comes from “cracking,” which is the act of defeating such security devices.

    #3257
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    I always expected to get busted for theatre. Never did though.

    @Alfredo, me too. It was pretty great musing about that character. Good times.

    #3261
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Very interesting story.

    I, too, communicated with moto on this site, and perhaps one other briefly, but apparently I was duped.

    So the goal here is to deceive others? Or to test the limits of social media? OK, I can understand that.

    Not sure what to feel about this, but “feelings” apparently have nothing to do with it. More importantly, how can some smart nerds manipulate the system? If all this is true, then the answer is succesfully.

    So if true, then we have seen an excellent example of the above. And a true wake-up call for those who use these type of sites to communicate.

    #3268
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    True that Paul.

    Honestly, I enjoyed getting some back story. The deception possible online is vexing for many.

    We’ve had a running convo about millenials, and this is yet another differentiator. For them, this kind of thing has always been there. They all played with personas, or a whole lot of them did at least, and they got to explore a variety of things in ways we often didn’t, unless we were into performance arts of some kind, or did things like role play games.

    I personally did both, and those experiences were worth a whole lot, as I’ve put here from time to time.

    When my kids got online, this is one of the very first things they did, besides search for and consume information and play games related to things they had an interest in.

    As a parent, I simply did it with them. What I didn’t want to do was lose relevance by shunning it, or anything like that, and I really didn’t see big harm potential either. What I did want to do was see how they went about these kinds of interactions, what they appeared to mean, etc…

    On the Internet, if you want to, you can be whoever you want to be. Honestly, that’s a powerful gift and one I would definitely recommend anyone explore. Being able to do it as a kid? Awesome!

    That can go to nefarious ends, or it can be enlightening, entertaining, educational too. This depends on the people. Some will abuse it, many won’t, and some will play at a more advanced level. How this goes also depends on people.

    We’ve got a move toward real names on the Internet to beat back the abuses. I’m on Quora, where real names are very strictly enforced, and it has been very interesting!

    Mostly, using pseudonyms is about avoiding the contact sport aspect of political discussions, or really anything that could have real life impacts of various kinds. Maybe somebody has an odd fetish, or they differ from their family or employer politically, or maybe live in a part of the world unfriendly to who they are, what they know, or who they may become.

    Lots of benign reasons to jump on the net and just be somebody. Or color who we really are.

    Trolling, stalking, abuses of various kinds, all are invalid, nefarious reasons.

    Facebook has done some harm with real names, most recently outing trannies who had fan pages and who maybe didn’t want that connected to their identity in the real world. There have been other events too, and they are not hard to find. Abusive spouses are another easy to understand one.

    On Quora, I find people using real names, who have dialogs as free and real as we do here. Stalking, and many other behaviors are not allowed at all, and the whole conversation, every edit, who viewed, and you name it is logged too. It’s quite authoritarian, and something I would not normally contribute to.

    But… They really mean it. Racism, theocracy and bigotry are not OK, for example. Do it, and it’s going to go badly. Very badly. Stalk women = same result. Etc…

    What this has done is free most users to share who they really are and have dialogs that they really want to have, but I notice it’s nearly all fairly well established people there. Foreign users, from parts of the world where people just can’t get established like we can here, don’t participate much, and for obvious reasons. Like losing heads kinds of reasons.

    So what I’ve seen all along is speech really is a contact sport. Here in the US, we have the First Amendment, and that assures us the government cannot criminalize our speech. But it brings very few real assurances about how our peers may hold us accountable for our speech, nor how just that accounting may be.

    No matter what the law is, there are risks in personal expression that warrant anonymity. That’s just a fact.

    Here, we’ve gone with very real dialog, and the product of it is notable. We’ve had gatherings of people here with no issues. That’s notable for a discussion site of this kind, and I believe one of the reasons we have those gatherings is the expression limits are low enough for us to really understand who others are.

    Those kinds of gatherings are less frequent in places where the limits on speech are enough to force people to get along, or dilute their nature, focusing on entertainment over substance, etc…

    Another axis is strong topic oriented discussion. I’ve met up with many of my games / embedded friends, but the topic is well defined and we have well defined common interests too. Meetups happen. Quora has regular, fairly high profile meetups too. Went to one this year, and it was pretty amazing really.

    So there aren’t good, one size fits all answers. There are just choices and if anything, the “wake up” call is something along the lines of understanding the various options and how they can or may impact dialog of various kinds.

    Personally, I go with bad things could happen and it’s smart to use common sense and be a bit conservative on real world interactions. But really good things can happen too, and going too conservative, or failing to continue to learn about people and online culture, norms and interactions means one just might miss out or lose relevance.

    Well, this turned out to be a bit of a ramble… I’ve no ending thoughts, just a brain dump apparently. 🙂

    #3269
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    I always viewed anything related to Motozak as lame, assuming the poster was a complete tool.

    After reading this, it appears to be worse than what I thought, and more than one person.

    Loser!

    #3319
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I always viewed anything related to Motozak as lame, assuming the poster was a complete tool.

    I don’t understand; perhaps I’m not completely familiar with the slang. If motozak3 was a “tool,” wouldn’t that mean that he was being manipulated. In reality, this synthetic persona manipulated people on this forum. (I chose the word “synthetic” because it has been revealed that the motozak3 persona was a combination of the interests and personalities of its creators, rather than a complete work of fiction.)

    Having been on this message board for a while, I have seen a number of participants that have mysteriously come and gone (Z100intern, digitaldextor, Dilemma, etc.). Some or many of these might have been the figment of somebody’s imagination. This is the first time that I have seen a “behind the scenes” account of social engineering on an online message board, ever.

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