I Finally Break Down and do a Post About Something Awful

6 04 2010

Well, it happened. 20+ posts into my blogging career, and I’m finally going to do a quick post on Something Awful. I knew this was going to happen from the beginning, and frankly I’m impressed I’ve held out this long.

Something Awful is one of the four websites I check per day. They are: Something Awful, Cracked, the A.V. Club, and the New York Times. A lot of people say that Something Awful isn’t funny anymore. These people are judgmental meanie jerks- and they’re right for the most part. We’re a long way from SA’s heyday. SA mastermind Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka can barely be bothered to step down from his ivory tower long enough to swill 13 energy drinks and write reviews review them anymore. But Zack Parsons still pumps out a lot of material for the site, and everything he writes is sidesplitting (an often quite accomplished. His “Nils & Beauregard’s USA Tour” saga is a rollicking tale, and watching the “Instruction for…” series play out in total was thrilling).

Even though SA disappoints me more than it used to, I still feel a whole lot of connection with the publication. It was the first website I found that really meshed with my own comedic sensibilities- white, nerdy, and go-for-broke. I never had an internet connection at home, so I remember finding ways to get around the filter software at high school to read it. As a journalism student, SA was instrumental in convincing me that a person has a chance (at least, a very slight one) of making a buck online releasing quality written content. So, with this in mind, I’d like to salute a few SA features that reintroduce and reinterpret the media of others.

The Webcam Ward

A relatively new feature that’s still running, and consistently funny one. Steve Grant, Micheal Sawyer, and occasional guest host Diabeetus do the familiar MST3K thing to other people’s webcam videos (i.e. provide humorous commentary over it). Their tagline is “We make the unwatchable watchable,” and that’s a pretty concise explanation.

WTF, D&D?
Zack Parsons and Steve Sumner point a critical eye at the illustrations in old roleplaying game manuals, studying and subverting the game universe. Genuinely one of my favorite recurring articles. It’s essentially a reformatting of the now-defunct…

Fashion SWAT
It’s “WTF, D&D?” except with pictures from International Male, magazines from the 70’s, and pictures from the internet. And Dr. David Thorpe instead of Steve. Similar themes are explored in “Cliff Yablonksi Hates You.”

What I’m saying is, they all take content from other sources, and use them as components of their own creative works. There are plenty of other hilarious examples of cultural recycling on Something Awful, so I encourage you to check them out and increase their site traffic. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s late and I think I might watch The Last Detail before I go to bed.

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