A Farewell to FEARNET – By Sterling Anno

Fearnet - RIPAlas, yet another network provided soldier has fallen in this current age of innovation and commercial damnation. We’ve lost many as of late, some clocks were ticking all along, while others simply went before their time had come. I’ve seen the once amazing TechTV devolve into the what was then known as G4, only to then succumb to it’s own identity crisis and vanish once its main assets were cast aside in the same manner as M. Night Shyamalan’s public stature. I’ve seen IFC, a channel once known for it’s basic cable screenings of uncut R rated material and the free speech cannon of Henry Rollins, shoot itself in the foot with the elimination of the latter and replacing it with reruns of Malcolm in the Middle, among other 3rd party shareware the channel would have never touched if it’s integrity hadn’t been compromised at the end of the last decade. Even my own favorite Documentary Channel has caught a flesh eaten disease. It has since gone through reconstructive surgery and reemerged as nothing more than a trendy pop-politics propaganda network convincing us why SOPA may not have been all that bad…(fuck you Pivot). But now, with tis latest casualty in our arsenal of entertainment all but lost, I can officially say that my overall selection of viewing material has seen far better days.

Fearnet was a great one. A horror website that conquered its frontier and moved on to invade the idiot box shortly after. A channel that stood out of an already endangered selection of horror themed tv networks, Fearnet will always be remembered for pushing for the extra mile. Providing the both young & old with the Eerie Indianas and Cryptkeepers of our past, it was the horror fan’s version of “The 90s Are All That”. Their highly outside the box promotional campaigns, their extremely fun and over the top comic convention presence, and of course, their attempt at establishing an empire of original televised content are all aspects that proved it was built on a fanbase and not a trend. Fearnet garnered its namesake through the simple act of giving an actual shit about its followers and providing them with material they wanted, whether or not it was ever deserved. Though the channel had its downsides in the field of censorship, exchanging the occasional F-bomb for the ability to reach out to and bestow its blessings upon a wider audience, one can only analyze the trade as noble. Through them we had received films seldom seen by the light of day and a series that they gave to us out of the love in their black hearts. And might I add that the visual experience of “Holliston” was but the rarest of phenomenons. As someone who sees modern television as nothing more than a fish tank with slightly more going on than a couple laps around the coral reef, seeing a new show I can honestly call a new personal favorite is too obscure to fathom. Regardless of one’s opinion on that show, the channel’s selection of films or its individualistic approach to its fans, Fearnet had something for everyone, and in return everyone was made happy. This of course is why Comcast destroyed it(tossing its remaining assets to SyFy and Chiller respectively). Because according to this company, humanity can’t have anything nice, nor convenient to contemporary society. This is of course why they recently shot the internet in the head as well. All in all, Fearnet’s thunder may have dissipated, but the lightning will never truly be erased from existence… For this motherfucker has scarred far too many minds to be truly forgotten, for better or worse. In other words, for better. Always better.

– Sterling “The Spork Guy” Anno

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About The Spork Guy

Born in Fullerton, CA and having inhabited every county neighboring it at one point in time, Sterling is a Southern Californian gypsy on a personal mission to challenge the postmodern definition of "Art". Underground filmmaker, illustrator, project coordinator and promoter of punk rock music; Sterling considers himself to be anything but an artist. Sterling is currently Manager of Operations for the Oceanside International Film Festival and has a hand in making sure other great makers of cinema find their audience. He has had a stake in honoring various influential entities with lifetime achievement awards such as; animator Everett Peck, non-ficton filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin and iconic voice actor Jon St. John. Besides working for OIFF, Sterling has also lent his abilities to the Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival as well as Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

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