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1. Real-estate ads will stop saying, "Charming 900-square-foot fixer-upper is real bargain at $750,000."

2. No more pretending you actually thought Business 2.0 was something you wanted to read.

3. Your boss is older than you again.

4. Streets are no longer blocked for weekly presidential visits.

5. We never knew what to say at launch parties anyway. "Yeah, eYada.com sounds real viable to me."

6. Capitalists need no longer be referred to as "angels."

7. Your neighborhood dry cleaner and shoe repair shop are less likely to go out of business.

8. The arugula shortage is over.

9. College grads can be enthusiastic again about making $29k a year at a worthwhile nonprofit.

10. We no longer have to see William Shatner reminding us, "You know what to do, dawg! Bust a mooooove."

11. Elvis Costello should never have had to play parties where people were younger than the song "Alison."

12. Super Bowl ads can go back to being frogs and Wassup? again.

13. Children shouldn't own cell phones.

14. The smug prick who fired us six months ago is scanning name tags and handing out his résumé at pink-slip parties.

15. Day traders can return to their original careers--Amway salesmen.

16. We no longer have to abide by absurd company titles like "Chief Goatee Boy," "Chief Ponytail Guy" or the chipper/condescending "Office Mom."

17. Dogs probably weren't really ever meant to come to work.

18. Twenty-eight is too early for a midlife crisis.

19. Independent bookstores will remain more than just places to browse for titles before buying online and will stop going out of business.

20. Fewer coke-and-stripper binges means more time to work on tell-all memoir.

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Man The Morning After

Farewell Dotcom, We Hardly Knew Ye

Illustrations by Erik Van Blokland


INEVITABLY, AS "MARKET CORRECTIONS" introduce cold realities to the Great Internet Larceny Orgy with all the subtlety of a fire hose at a soccer riot, a timeless maxim presents itself. In the words of that great social thinker, Monty Python's Eric Idle, "Always look on the bright side of life. Always look on the bright side of life."

This is, of course, counterintuitive for most journalists. Natural instincts compel us to cluck-cluck about the bad behavior and inevitable comeuppance meted out to those who believed that all the rules of human history had suddenly evaporated, that hubris was so last century.

Ah, the swagger, the lingo, the Boxsters ...the sock puppets. Someday, possibly, we'll grow nostalgic for the days of tiny $400 sunglasses, and local nightclubs will feature late '90s nights where patrons can wear shaved-head wigs and fake goatees and sip chilled vanilla Stoli from coffee cups with logo-adorned Java Jackets. But that's about 10 years off.

Presently, we're looking at the positive aspects of the ongoing financial free-fall. And in that warm summer wind is a collective sigh of relief. People around the San Francisco Bay Area are saying, "We're glad it's over."

Running Greedy People We hear this even from opportunistic profiteers, like lawyers and tax advisers and general contractors who doubled their rates and left customers with uncompleted projects for months on end, or restaurateurs who hiked their dinner entrees to $32 and charged $100,000 for parties with a food cost of $6,000. (We heard that first hand.) We suspect even people who lost $5 billion or $10 billion, like Yahoo's David Filo and Ebay's Pierre Omidyar, respectively, did last year, are secretly relieved. Unneeded billions can be stressful.

Meanwhile, hardworking , modestly successful Homo sapiens don't have to feel like failures anymore because they can't afford to have Elton John play at their wedding. The disgustingly wealthy need no longer suffer guilt from dumb indulgences like carpeting a golf course for a party, then throwing away 40 grand's worth of woven sisal, as one peninsula dotcommie did. Small business operators won't have to suffer through weekly defections of employees to venture-funded enterprises that pay 20k a year more, plus stock, free Sobe Zen Blend and twice-daily chair massages.

We celebrate the resumption of normalcy. We can call our area, with pride, the Santa Clara Valley again. We can pick up dog food at Sam's Downtown Feed, instead of having it couriered by FedEx from Petophilia.com. We will not have to suffer the indignity of buying sports equipment from sites as poorly named as Quokka, Fogdog or JustBalls (no, really). And we can thank the stars that Kozmo.com never made it to the valley.

It was a clumsy, poorly behaved boom that seduced us and left us feeling tawdry and dirty and ashamed of our judgment lapses. It was hard on the regular folks among us who watched from the sidelines, as well as those of us who got sucked into the funnel-shaped vortex as it pulled us through the shower gel scum.

VC John Doerr's message on the answering machine, apologizing for cooing that it was "the largest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet"--before we invested our retirement nest egg in Ohaha.com--is one step in the recovery process . Mercifully, it will dampen loose talk about "Gore and Doerr in '04."

Yes, it was a fine bash, and we're glad it ended. Now then, without further delay, please allow us to present our short list of reasons why we are happy that this silliness has met its maker. No doubt we have overlooked a few. Please alert us to any omissions by emailing us at "editor@metronews.com." We will post the most astute additions to a website we plan to develop and sell banner ads on, 100reasonsweregladitsover.com, or some other equally well-named one. --Dan Pulcrano


Thank God It's Over: 100 reasons to celebrate the end of dotcom insanity.

Car Jam: Freeways speed up from a slow crawl to a fast crawl .

Low-Rent Rendezvous: From greedy to needy, the valley's landlords have shapeshifted in the face of changing market values.

Whistle-Blowers: Patience, tolerance and attitude separate the wise Caltrain commuter from the fool.


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From the July 19-25, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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