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Here's Why This Criminal Minds Star's Website Is Disappearing

2020 has been a year of endings for Matthew Gray Gubler. First, Criminal Minds, the CBS crime drama on which he played FBI Special Agent Spencer Reid for 15 years, came to an end in February. And now, on the final day of this cursed year, Gublerland, his website that's even older than Criminal Minds, is going offline.

Taking to Instagram on December 30, Gubler announced, "sentimental alert* In 24 hours my 2004 handmade interactive webpage will forever return to the land of imagination as adobe flash is permanently retired from the internet. the only way you can say hello/goodbye/floorgmorg ('goodbye sweet friend' in the language of gublerland) to doogan gooseberry, millie the mop, and all your other gublerpals is with the full experience on a desktop computer or flash enabled device. (phones won't load the cool parts.)"

Gublerland is a casualty of the shutdown of the software Adobe Flash Player, a multimedia plug-in that's been rendered obsolete by technological improvements in the way content gets distributed. Adobe will stop issuing Flash Player updates or security patches starting December 31, and will block Flash from running altogether on January 12, 2021. Adobe "strongly recommends" that any users still using Flash Player uninstall it from their machines for security reasons.

The end of an era

Flash was a dominant internet video format in the early 2000s, associated with viral animated comedy videos on sites like Ebaum's World and Homestar Runner. However, it was widely criticized by web developers (and Steve Jobs himself) for its myriad performance and security issues, and declined rapidly after the rise of YouTube. 

So Flash as a platform and a style is closely associated with a specific time in internet culture history. And the landing page of Gubler's website is extremely 2004, when "random" humor was the popular style of expression online. Gubler's cutesy-creepy illustrations and the website's autoplaying musical score are reminiscent of the famous Flash video series Salad Fingers, a cultural artifact of 2004. The site hearkens back to a bygone era when it was cool to buy t-shirts at Hot Topic that said things like "ninja monkeys are meeting as we speak, plotting my demise" and when you could only watch videos (that took two minutes to load) on your Gateway desktop computer. The death of Flash means a part of millennial cultural history is being lost.

Though his handmade website is sadly going the way of the Crazy Frog, Gubler will be fine — he has other outlets of expression. He posts some of his (really good, mildly disturbing) art on Instagram, though not as much as he posts on his website. Plus, as long as he still owns the domain name, he can switch to a supported platform — and it seems like that's what he's going to do. Gubler signed off his post announcing the shutdown with "p.s. don't be blue, something top secret is coming soon. floorgmorg!" 

In the end, Gublerfans may be able to say floorgmorg to doogan gooseberry and the rest of the gang in another format, hopefully soon.