Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guilty guilty guilty pleasure and source of deep shame

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends, especially after a long week at work dealing with small-minded, mean-spirited f-tards, is early in the morning before the troops descend the stairs and start requesting waffles and cartoons I go to TED and watch a couple vids. One of my favorites is J.J. Abrams'.

It was there I saw Christopher Poole (aka "moot") who created, a message board where everyone is anonymous. His talk is about anonymity on the web.

Apparently, I was one of the last people on the internets to be made aware of 4chan. Back when I was a regular visitor to, I would often wonder where the message board jokes came from and why everyone seemed to get the "in" jokes. Now I know.

I should tell you right away (if you don't already know) the controversy of is that, while it is moderated, really egregious and illegal stuff, such as child pr0n, sometimes make it into a post before the moderators can delete it. While usually I have been able to tell by the thumbnails that something might be that, and therefore avoid it, some piece of trash managed to post a larger picture that I encountered recently. At least when I went to report it (the folks who use 4chan are pretty good at alerting the moderators to that kind of crap, and they've made it easy), it was already deleted by the time I hit the report button.

The other obvious feature of 4chan that you may not like is it is stacked to the rafters with pr0n. The majority of the audience is teenage boys, and their sexual frustration is literally sprayed all over the walls. However, the boards are color-coded to indicate where you'll encounter adult content for sure. Pinkish/salmon colors mean there be dragons, baby blue means it's mostly safe.

Oh, and racism and sexism is pretty rampant, too, on the "adult" boards. I strongly recommend you avoid the gore threads. Do not go to 4chan to feel good about yourself. Go there to watch wild packs of humanity howl at the moon and get a laugh or two.

If you go there, it is really worth your time to read the Rules and FAQ first. That will demystify a lot of stuff right away. As with all cultures, on-line and real, there are societal rules that they take very seriously. For instance, the primary goal of 4chan is original content, and outside of preventing illegal stuff, all other social conventions flow from that. The wiki page has some nice history and additional warnings on 4chan.

One of my favorite rules is regarding the /lit/ channel, which is devoted to discussing books and getting critiques of your writing. The primary rule is no Ayn Rand discussions. So of course, some days, every other post is that. (This is known as "trolling" on 4chan.) As in real life, just ignore what you don't want.

One of my favorite forms of humor found there is "verticals" where someone has taken screen shots from movie stills and made a comic strip from them. Again, a warning: the humor in verticals is so politically incorrect, I have laughed in spite of myself out sheer shock over how mean or horrid a joke is.

Here's an example I just put together. It's not as toxic as they usually are, but it'll help you get the idea. Also, I haven't posted it yet - one has to wait for the correct circumstance to arise - so try not to steal it. (Note, had I made that request on 4chan itself, the response would have been swift and vicious.)

He said Captain

If you don't know the reference, grab the song here.


Whisky Prajer said...

I finally got around to watching the Abrams bit. Funnily enough, the "Because I need it" scene is almost always the first scene I think of when I think Jaws. I saw that movie for the first time in the 90s, after I'd seen nearly a dozen other Spielberg movies, and that scene seemed emblematic of what Spielberg was steadily losing track of, not just because it's so easily identifiable in the viewer's everyday life, but because the actors still look like easily identifiable people in our everyday lives. Roy Scheider and Lorraine Gary would never be confused with Tom Cruise and Jessica Capshaw, for instance. There was a lot of that in the 70s, and I miss it.

Whisky Prajer said...

Oh, and "thanks" for getting "Captain Sensible" running through my inner ear again.

yahmdallah said...