Bonsai Potato cracked 6000 on the hit counter recently, and it got me thinking. Of late, posts have been few and far between. Articles of great consequence have given way to unfinished drafts and excessive posts of pictures. This is nothing entirely new – Bonsai has seen its weak times before. However, there now looms the frightening possibility that our “noble experiment” will finally fail for good. Some may say that this suggestion is blasphemous, but I only speak the truth. But Bonsai has not died yet. It cannot die. And it will not die… as long as those of us who pledged our lives, liberty, and sacred honor remember why we did so that fateful Monday, May 16, 2005.
In the words of our creator, “For the first time, a good idea we had has been followed up upon. All of the crazy shit we say is now available to all, be they normal or sucky. Here, all of the things and people we laugh at, make fun of, or just get pissed of at will finally be in print. This site will be open to articles from all people that are deemed not to suck, so that they too may abuse their freedom of speech. Now, those who deserve to be ridiculed will be, and those who should be shat upon will be covered in fecal matter. This concludes my unnecessarily formal introduction, and is the end of all formality and calmness on this site forever.”
In response to this declaration, ethan k prophetically commented, “wow. i am pumped. i dont know if the world is ready for this.” And, thus, it began.
When we joined Bonsai, we swore ourselves to its mission, a mission that we faithfully carried out from right from the geckle. We tore on dads, teachers, and characters such as Poops and Steve Smith. Writing styles, including narrative, editorial, and, of course, random list (of things to imagine Mrs. White doing), were employed with great skill and led to countless successful posts. During those final two months of junior year, Bonsai Potato made a strong showing and established its permanence as more than just another idea, like SHS radio. Its audience grew beyond those writing for it, and it became a powerful force in the underground.
However, with the school year ending and the publication of “Dipping Sauce,” things went downhill. The end of June saw two unfinished drafts, and the rest of the summer brought only a few picture posts. By September, Bonsai was all but forgotten, and the respectable post “Mirror, Mirror” went virtually unnoticed, although it did set up the precedent for further “look-a-like” articles. Then, in what we may legitimately call its first “dark age,” Bonsai went four full months without a single post…
Finally, in the first weeks of 2006, the dry spell was broken with very solid posts on “Miller’s Dealing” and “A Randomly Assembled History of ‘the Shocker.’” I’ll add that, at this point in the year, academic duties of any kind began diminishing until they virtually did not exist (the exception being copying three months of Italian homework on the last day of the semester the period before we had signora). March arrived with its usual NCAA/NAACP madness, but this year, insanity began to erupt on Bonsai too. It was S“pring”, a time “when baseball players have the farmers tan…when Mr. Miller stops wearing suspenders…when Bonsai Potato regains its former glory.”
This was the start of Bonsai’s golden age. A third of all of our articles ever posted were put up in this period from March through May, and they were some of the best. Two, three, or even four posts could go up in a single day. There are far too many great pieces to mention them all, but one must be noted. “Now that would be Awesome,” was Bonsai Potato’s Emancipation Proclamation, elevating our endeavor to something higher and revealing to us what was truly at stake. It recognizes what had been a great year up to that point and calls us out to make it a fucking amazing one. Most important, Rob comes out and says everything that went through each of our minds but we never said. Who gives a shit what the school, other students, or certain parents think about what we write; we are free to write it. This was and is the voice of Bonsai.
After “Now that would be Awesome,” several weeks passed without a post, not so much from a lack of dedication but rather from our writers being preoccupied with legal issues. But the great posts resumed soon after and continued until the end of the year. The summer of ‘06 saw a repeat of the pattern of forgotten drafts and excessive pictures, and, although noble attempts were made, the autumn proved very weak. This can be attributed to a combination of sub-par posts and coerced article modifications from a certain father. But now with the favorites link to Bonsai and the browsing history on my home computer deleted, access to the site by my computer illiterate parents is nearly impossible. But this shouldn’t even matter. We shouldn’t care who reads Bonsai or what they think. Freedom of speech does exist, and it exists right here. Juan, put your article on Dads back up. Never has there been a more appropriate time for Rob’s call – “Viva La Bonsai.”
It was one year ago to the day that the article “Miller’s Dealing” put an end to Bonsai’s darkest times. And, now, it’s time once again that “those who deserve to be ridiculed will be, and those who should be shat upon will be covered in fecal matter.” But don’t just read my brief history of Bonsai Potato and tell yourself that you’ve been meaning to post something. Look back upon some of the classics and actually read them. If you do, I guarantee that you will not be able to sit idly by and watch our highest achievement deteriorate into nothingness. You’ve got something to say, so sit the fuck down and say it here where it will be heard.