The Greatest Websites Currently in Operation

I’ve been accused of being bitter and disillusioned with my last post, so I thought I’d spruce things up one the way into the weekend with some links to sites that make me laugh out loud.

A lot of my friends think that People of WalMart is always good for a laugh, but for my money, you can’t go wrong with AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com. It provides the same kind of “what the crap is that?!!” shock value without nearly as much cruelty. Everyone’s been part of an awkward family photo, although shots like this indicate that most of these folks are probably Mormons…

Families are Forever

I sang the praises of this blog awhile ago, but if you’re not visiting Shatner’s Toupee on a daily basis, there is something seriously wrong with you. This blog never fails to entertain – and it, too, manages to do so without cruelty. Who knew that one man’s toup could bring so much joy?

They’ve got a caption contest going now for this particular photo.

ShatnerToupee Caption Contest

I couldn’t think of anything profound, but perhaps you can.

I haven’t overpimped my other blog, I don’t think. It’s a daily rumination on dogs, with a different them for every day. Today I offer different opportunities to buy dog statues.

I was introduced to Confused Matthew a year or so ago, and I heartily enjoy most of his older movie reviews. Beware, though – they’re very long, very, very geeky, and he has no qualms about swearing up a storm. But his Star Trek: Generations review is a work of art, as it captures perfectly just why that movie is excrement.

His newer movie reviews don’t have all of the video editing work added to them – success has made him lazy. I still enjoy listening to them in the background, but it’s kind of pointless to watch them without the visuals.

How It Should Have Ended is pure genius from beginning to end. I haven’t seen one of these animated featurettes that hasn’t made me laugh out loud. Try the Wizard of Oz one if you don’t believe me.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9/43615479001?isVid=1&isUI=1

Then there’s this drummer from YouTube…

And the Trololo guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYU7oG2V7uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&

Thank you. Drive through.

The Talismanic Constitution

I’m tired of seeing people wave little copies of the Constitution and pretending they’re doing something significant.

The Constitution is not a talisman or a magic wand. It doesn’t have mystical powers. It’s more about procedure than policy. That’s one of the main reasons I’m disgusted with Tea Party activists and Glenn Beck clones who think that all we have to do is “return to the Constitution” and all our national problems will go away.

I’m especially nauseated by Latter-day Saints who have based their entire political philosophy on a dubious prophecy about the Constitution hanging by a thread, a statement that appears in no official revelation from the Prophet Joseph Smith and whose meaning is cloudy at best.

Let’s address that last idea first. The whole “hanging by a thread” thing has a certain group of people in Utah flailing about and spouting survivalist gibberish with a rancid tone of sanctimonious piety. If they truly believe in living prophets, I really wish they’d pay attention to what those prophets are saying and, almost as important, what they’re not saying. When was the last time Thomas Monson or Dieter Uchtdorf preached a sermon filled with panic and fear? What has Thomas Monson told us about constitutional threads? Every speech I’ve heard is optimistic and filled with faith. I think those who swear allegiance to obscure prophetic relics to justify political crusades are far more interested in dead prophets than living ones.

So why does the whole constitutional fervor from the far right bother me so much? Do I hate the Constitution? Am I “living Constitution” kind of guy?

Nope and nope.

The men who participated in the Constitutional Convention firmly believed they were guided by the hand of Providence in their efforts and I believe that, too. I agree with the statement that these were “wise men whom [God] raised up unto this very purpose.” However, I do not believe that inspiration means perfection. As a great constitutional scholar, whose opinion I highly value, Dallin H. Oaks, once wrote:

Reverence for the United States Constitution is so great that sometimes individuals speak as if its every word and phrase had the same standing as scripture. Personally, I have never considered it necessary to defend every line of the Constitution as scriptural. For example, I find nothing scriptural in the compromise on slavery or the minimum age or years of citizenship for congressmen, senators, or the president. President J. Reuben Clark, who referred to the Constitution as “part of my religion,” also said that it was not part of his belief or the doctrine of the Church that the Constitution was a “fully grown document.” “On the contrary,” he said, “We believe it must grow and develop to meet the changing needs of an advancing world.”
– Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Divinely Inspired Constitution,” Ensign Magazine, February 1992

This counsel informs my answer to those who ask me whether I am an “originalist” or a “living constitutionalist.” I am most certainly not the latter. I disagree with progressives who torture the language of the Constitution into supporting any policy position they happen to favor, which has the ultimate result of rendering the plain language of the document meaningless. Another wise observer noted:

Saying that the Constitution is a living document is the same as saying we don’t have a Constitution. For rules to mean anything, they must be fixed. How many people would like to play me poker and have the rules be “living”? Depending on “evolving standards,” maybe my two pair could beat your flush.

– Walter E. Williams, “The Law or ‘Good Ideas?’” March, 2005

At the same time, I do not believe that one must contend that the Constitution can only be interpreted by the original intent of those present at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Consider the original language of the Constitution in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

This is the section that Dallin Oaks referred to as the “compromise on slavery.” It makes it crystal clear that the original intent of the founders was that slavery was tolerated, and that a slave was considered as only three-fifths of a human being, not eligible to vote.
I welcome the fact that this passage has been superseded by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, which abolished slavery and established the idea of one man, one vote. Of course, the idea of one woman, one vote would have to wait until 1920 and the 19th Amendment. A “true” originalist would favor allowing states the right to disenfranchise female voters. I do not.

Still, just “returning to the Constitution” doesn’t really prescribe a remedy to any of the challenges we face. It’s a roadmap for creating policy, but it is not policy itself. In fact, the Constitution is designed to make government woefully inefficient in order to avoid concentrating power in any one source. When you see lawmakers bickering wildly over what ought to be done, you’re seeing the Constitution in action. If you want to see speedy and efficient results, then get yourself a despot and be done with it.

Those who worship the Constitution also seem to forget that it is not the order of things in heaven. I have faith that Jesus will return to the earth as King of Kings, not the Chief Executive of a constitutional government that will require Him to report on the state of the Union to a bicameral legislature endowed with the power to remove Him from office should he commit high crimes and misdemeanors.

As President Obama’s failed administration continues to spiral downward, I am not cheered by the lack of solutions coming from those on the right.

A pocket Constitution waving in the air is not a solution to anything.

The Tea Party and Jimmy Carter

Years ago, Rich Little did a routine about the early lives of famous people.

“Did you know that Jack Nicholson used to be… a cab driver?” he began, which allowed him to launch into a perfect Nicholson impression of the movie star snarling at a customer. He did this kind of thing for a number of other celebrities, but the biggest laugh he got came when he asked the following question:

“Did you know that Jimmy Carter used to be… President of the United States?”

This was not too long after Carter left office as the only president in history whose approval rating was lower than the prime rate. Crippling interest and inflation created the so-called “misery index.” The Iranian hostage crisis emboldened our enemies and made us look weak and ineffectual. When people speak of Jimmy Carter, they praise him for being the quintessential former president. His time in office is something that most would just as soon forget.

When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, he sealed his own fate and ensured that the voters would never give him a full term in the White House. That was when Jimmy Carter promised that he would never lie to us, and, for an angry electorate disgusted with the Nixon legacy, that was more than enough.

The problem is that it wasn’t enough. Carter offered no real agenda, no plan, no clear sense of direction. He struck all the right notes on the campaign trail, but when it came time to govern, he was lost.

Carter won, in large part, because he wasn’t Richard Nixon. Four years later, voters embraced Ronald Reagan because he wasn’t Jimmy Carter. The same kind of discontent that fueled the 1976 election was very much in evidence in 1980, but the difference in what happened after the election couldn’t be starker. Unlike Carter Reagan had a clear plan to revive the economy and overhaul the tax code, and he revitalized the military and, more importantly, the national spirit. He created the largest peacetime economic boom in American history, and he is also the primary reason that the USSR is no longer on the map.

There’s a profound lesson here that the Tea Party movement ought to embrace.

The Tea Party is a true grassroots enterprise, made up of people all across the country who are fed up with what’s happening Washington DC. They see a government that is spending us into oblivion, and they feel as if those who have been sent to our nation’s capitol have stopped listening to them. They are a force to be reckoned with, and they have already had, and will continue to have, a profound influence at the ballot box.

The real question is what happens in next January, when the Tea Party candidates take office.

Anger works well as a get-out-the-vote tool, but it’s not much of a policy position. Ronald Reagan was passionate when he campaigned for the presidency, but he never lost his optimism and his hope for the future. He faced an unemployment rate higher than the one we have now. Carter, in contrast, was downright depressing. His famous “malaise” speech warned us that America’s best days were behind us, and suggested that America was a country in an irreversible decline.

Which of those two scenarios sounds the most like today’s Tea Party?

A healthy dose of Reaganesque optimism would serve our country well. Yet in 2008, it was the Democrat who cheerfully campaigned for office with the slogan “Yes We Can.” Republicans shouldn’t cede that ground to the Democrats or to anyone else. The Republican Party needs to be the party of solutions.

It unnerves me to see so many people in despair about the future of this nation. I don’t believe these are the worst times we have ever faced, or that the Constitution is under threat as never before. We are divided, yes, but we’re not shooting at each other. I don’t know of any American who would prefer to trade our current circumstances with those that our country faced in the Civil War. We have faced far worse times than these, and we have always come out on top.

After all, we survived Jimmy Carter, didn’t we?

Sequel Patterns

The Iron Man series is in danger of following the Planet of the Apes sequel model – a masterful first movie, followed by crappy sequels that can’t hold a candle to the original.

Other movies that have followed this pattern:
Batman (Burton version)
Rocky
Back to the Future
Ghostbusters
(A third movie will suck.)
The Matrix (Which, sadly, I haven’t seen – but they tell me the sequels suck.)
Every Horror Movie with Multiple Sequels – Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, etc.

I should add the Indiana Jones movies to the above list, as very few movies can hold a candle to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is essentially a perfect film. But The Last Crusade is a really good movie, so it hurts to dis it by lumping it in to these other failures. Temple of Doom and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are both forgettable, but I like them, too. But if I’m really going to be honest with myself, Indiana Jones is a Planet Of The Apes-sequeled franchise.

My initial bet was that Iron Man would follow most superhero franchises in adopting the Star Wars sequel model – an amazing first film, and then, impossibly, an even better second film, followed by a piece of crap to round out the trilogy. If they bother to make a fourth film, it will be one of the worst films ever made.

Other franchises that have taken this route:

The Godfather
Superman (Christopher Reeve versions)
Spider-Man
X-Men

Nolan’s Batman movies are on this trajectory, as are the Toy Story movies. Only time will tell if they can break the mold.

Some insist that the Burton/Schumacher Batman flicks followed this pattern, but Batman Returns is crap. Still, Batman and Robin, Superman IV and The Phantom Menace all share the Phenomenon of the Fourth Film Flatulent Failure, so maybe I should rewatch Batman Returns to reconsider. (No, I shouldn’t. DeVito’s penguin is loathsome without being interesting. Christopher Walken is sleepy and boring. Although, I admit, Michelle Pfeiffer is kind of groovy.) The Wolverine flick is mediocre, but it’s not Superman IV bad, and it’s probably better than X-Men 3. But I’m not sure it really qualifies as an X-Men sequel, per se.

It’s a good thing they’ve decided to reboot Spider-Man, because all indications were that Spider-Man 4 was going to follow in Batman and Robin’s footsteps. And heaven forbid they make a Godfather IV. It’s nice to know that Sofia Coppola has managed to make a career as something other than “the wretched actress who single-handedly destroyed the Godfather franchise.” It’s inspiring that someone can fail that completely and publicly and somehow be able to live it down.

The Star Trek sequels defy all categorization except their own, which insists that the odd-numbered movies suck and the even-numbered movies are awesome. But Trek III is pretty good; Trek X blows, and Trek XI – or, more accurately, Trek I Redux – is one of the best of the franchise.

Only one franchise – The Lord of the Rings – did it the right way, with each film improving on the one before. The reality, though, is that The Lord of the Rings is a single story sliced into three books/movies, so it has a structural advantage that the others didn’t have.

Prediction: The Hobbit will probably be lousy.

Verisimilitude and Iron Man 2

Superman: The Movie remains the gold standard of all live-action superhero flicks.

It wasn’t the first. It was preceded by plenty of cheap movie serials and Adam West’s boffo Batman movie where he tries to keep from throwing a bomb on a bunch of baby ducks. It isn’t even necessarily the best – it’s just the standard by which all other superhero stuff ought to be measured. It was the first movie to treat its subject matter as something worthy of respect – as a modern, archetypal myth rather than a pulpy throwaway. It had a big budget, an impressive cast, and state-of-the-art special effects for 1978, which look a little cornball in comparison to today’s CGI, but not as embarrassingly bad as you might suspect. And it had the one element that can make or break a superhero flick:

Verisimilitude.

Director Richard Donner reportedly used that word over and over while he was filming the first two Supes movies. His goal was to create as real and truthful a world as possible – or as real and truthful as a world can be with some dude in blue tights flying around everywhere. That’s the thing that makes or breaks a superhero flick, in my estimation. Adam West’s campy Batman world bears only a passing resemblance to the world we live in. Christopher Reeve’s Superman stepped into a world very much like our own, which gave the whole experience a heft and gravitas usually absent from celluloid superhero stories.

I bring all this up to say, in a roundabout way, that I didn’t much like Iron Man 2.

I liked Iron Man 1 a lot, though, largely for the same reasons the first Superman flick worked. Tony Stark was a creature of our universe, and while the storyline was farfetched, it was grounded in enough reality that if you squinted your brain hard enough, you could believe it could sorta actually happen, maybe.

Iron Man 2 threw all that out the window. From the outset, with the jokey, silly Senate hearing, we leave the real world and enter Comic Book World, where good people are good and bad people are bad and things just sort of happen because it’s fun to watch things blow up. The movie is considerably denser than the first, and I use that word in application of both of its meanings. It’s both dense – marked by compactness or crowding together of parts – and dense – thickheaded and stupid.

Indeed, so much happens that you get the sense that the whirlwind of activity is designed to distract you from the truth that the movie is hollow at its core. And due to some fine performances by actors who are better than the material they’ve been employed to serve, they almost get away with it.

But not quite.

The performances are fine, I guess, although I’m not sure if it’s Sam Rockwell’s fault that his character is so deeply annoying. Mickey Rourke looks all scary, but he has very little to do other than show off his tattoos. Black Widow is a complete cipher who looks like she was inserted into the film solely to give the girls an avatar they can use to play the Iron Man 2 Wii game.

Is this a movie about Tony Stark facing his mortality? Because we never get the feeling his life is in danger, even as his neck gets all purple and veiny. Is it about Tony Stark confronting the legacy of his absent father? Because that comes up and is solved a few minutes later, miraculously, by what amounts to a Skype from the past to set up a Deus ex Machina that would have been irrelevant to Tony’s father but comes in quite handy for Tony today. Is it about Tony and Pepper’s brewing relationship? Because they have three total scenes together, and two of them are spent berating each other, with no forward motion in the relationship. Is it about Tony and Justin Hammer’s professional rivalry? Because Hammer is clearly an imbecile and a campy refugee from some other, less interesting movie. Is it about the creation of the Avengers? Because that’s essentially a parallel movie that ends with a final scene after the credits where verisimilitude disappears altogether.

That’s where this loses me completely. One of the reasons that Christopher Nolan’s two Batman flicks work so well is that he’s scrubbed all elements of Comic Book World out of them. If The Dark Knight had taken place in the same universe where Kal-El from Krypton was rocketed to Kansas, it would be forced to play by a new set of rules that would lessen the impact of the verisimilitude Nolan had so painstakingly created. Comic Book World was kept at bay with the first Iron Man movie, but now Tony Stark will share screen time in an Avengers flick with a thunder god from Norse mythology. I just don’t see any way that can work.

Disappointing.

I hope Toy Story 3 doesn’t suck.

The Return, The Call, and The End.

Time to bring it all home.

In 2006, Lang returned to public life at a pro-GINO site called Frakheads, where the admins enjoyed having him around so they could poke him with a sharp stick. A few diehard Moistees are registered over there, and we’ve tried to get him banned, but they would have none of it. Lang pushed the envelope when he started insulting Jews, Mormons, and homosexuals, but it has never been enough to get him smacked down permanently. If you’re interested in reading fresh Languatron rants, which sound an awful lot like the old Languatron rants, you can follow him here. He’s also written several polemic books, one of which I’ve reviewed at length, and you can buy his nonsense at Amazon if you want a hard copy – for only $18.95 apiece! Last time I checked, his latest, Caprica Sucks, was #4,126,992 on the Amazon.com bestseller list, so get ‘em while they’re hot!

There is just one more story I’d like to share.

As I posted earlier, we discovered where Lang lived, what he did for a living, and, on one site, what he actually looks like. (I suspect he’s bald under the sailor cap.)

Andrew Fullen

It didn’t take much investigation to find his REAL NAME AND ADDRESS, and, more importantly, his phone number.

I don’t know what possessed me, but on one occasion sometime in 2008, I think, I became frustrated with the fact that I’ve interacted with this guy for a decade or so, but he’s still stuck on the same note after all this time. I was tired of him assuming I was Glen Larson, and I wanted to prove, once and for all, that I wasn’t.

I called him.

That’s right. I picked up the phone and dialed his number. What’s worse, I made no attempt to block my own number. I wasn’t thinking. I just dialed, and waited for an answer. It was the middle of the day, so I assumed he’d probably be at work. I was curious what his voicemail message would have said.

But then someone picked up.

“Hello?”

The voice on the other end wasn’t Andrew Fullen, AKA Languatron.

It was a woman – an elderly woman. According to the info I’d found, a woman of 83 years of age shared the same address with Langy.

I panicked for a moment. I almost hung up. But then, out of curiosity, I asked the simple question…

“Is Andrew there?”

“Oh, yes!” she chirped pleasantly. “Andrew!” she called. “Phone for you!” The tone of her voice suggested that Andrew didn’t get a lot of phone calls, and that this was a special occasion.

And then he spoke. With only one word, the first and last he would ever speak to me, I heard the Voice of the Lang.

“Hullo…?”

The voice sounded sullen, disinterested, like a teenager being forced to talk to his meddling aunt. It was a baritone voice, but not particularly sophisticated.

And I panicked and hung up.

About ten seconds later, my phone rang. Langy’s number was on the caller ID. What could I do? If I let it go to voicemail, he’d hear my name, and I wasn’t going to fool anyone.

I picked up. “Hello, there!” I said, as pleasantly as I could.

Lang hung up.

In another ten seconds, Lang was posting my number all over Frakheads. He posted info about where he had traced the call – a cell phone station a few miles away from where I work. He accused me of committing a felony and promised to sic the cops on me. This time, he didn’t know exactly where he lived, but he could reach me by phone, so that wasn’t as empty a threat as all the rest of them.

The admins at Frakheads made him take down the number and promised he would be banned if he kept posting it. I sent him a message, apologizing if I’d unnerved him. He accused me of making an “obscene call” and propositioning his mother, who he insisted was working at “his home office.” He did tell me that he’d never call me, and that he insisted on a “buffer” between the Internet and real life.

Fair enough.

Anyway, that was two years ago. Nothing came of it, except an entirely pleasant phone call from a Moist Board guy and a prank phone call from a young girl in – of all places – Chicago, asking if I wanted to buy some furniture. I said no, while some people giggled in the background. Then she hung up. As far as prank calls go, it was pretty substandard, at least as far as my own track record is concerned.

Today, Lang is where he was in 2001 – obsessed with Glen Larson, convinced that I’m him, and that everyone else is me/him, too. Some people ask me if I’m scared that he’s going to come after me. Not at all, I answer. Lang is like the pair of pale green pants in that Dr. Seuss story – more scared of me than I am of him. He will go his way, and I will continue to go mine.

I have now spent two weeks chronicling this odd relationship, which I sometimes liken to Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Is there a point to it all? No, although I really would like to communicate with Languatron as a human being.

That won’t happen. And I refuse to try again.

Monday: No Lang at all – Iron Man 2!

More Fresh Lang! He comments on this series of blog posts!

What I love about Lang is that every time he writes Stallion Cornell, he uses an underscore to connect the two words. I had to do that when I posted at the SciFi.com board, but I’ve never done it anywhere else. That was at least eight years ago, but for Lang, the underscore always remains.

I also don’t know where I compared the Langy Chronicles to the BP Oil Spill, but there it is.

I give you… Lang’s review of the Moist Blog’s Langy Chronicles:

___________________

There’s a difference between noticing someone posting drivel on a blog, and actually caring about it. Stallion_Cornell is really big about drawing attention to his blogs and postings, but the problem is, no one really cares about what he posts except himself and his retarded friends on the Moist board. It probably never will sink in with this guy that no one cares about his personal problems, or the fact that he equates such trivial bulletin board remarks as “Bob is Shoe” or “Events” with the “BP Oil Spill.” The most severe symptom of mental illness Stallion_Cornell has always suffered from, is the delusion of immensity he has always placed on remarks made on bulletin boards. This indicates that for 11 years at least, Stallion_Cornell has had no life beyond his laptop. And if he ever did have a wife, she should have long since screwed his neuroses right out of him. Since he has never had a wife and never will (much less a girlfriend of a female companion of any sort), Stallion_Cornell is doomed to an existence of staring at dust on his laptop screen and thinking that it means something profound. Or believing that a $50.00 bet made on the Cylon.org web turd almost a decade ago is a news story worthy of the same historical importance and archival worthiness as the “Hindenburg Disaster.”

He has been relentlessly trying to draw attention to his blog for example (via his only home because he has no home away from home) on the Frakheads board. Out of curiosity, I visited his cess pool of delusional self importance and scanned his blog (two minutes of wasted time) and noticed that he is rerunning his entire experience on the Internet during the past 11 years. Trying to slog through it and care at the same time is much like watching a torturous marathon of back to back “Two and a Half Men” reruns. Why he thinks anyone (other than himself and his retarded Moist Boy friends) would place the same degree of immensity on such trivial word play nonsense as “Bob is Shoe” as a major news story of the day and conclude….”Yes Stallion….there’s an immensity there that places it in the same category as the BP oil spill” is too frightening to contemplate, because to begin to do so would mean to begin a long journey into the mental illness of Stallion_Cornell.

It’s always been a mystery (until now) as to why Stallion_Cornell has always equated his relentless and endless personal problems on the Internet with cable worthy news. The main reason is that Stallion_Cornell has always been such a narcissistic, pompous a–….that he has always delusionally believed that anything he writes and posts on the Internet, and anything he reads from others who he doesn’t agree with, should be discussed on Larry King, or Keith Olbermann because such matters have always had that level of immensity and importance…….to him. Cornell has also always believed that anyone he doesn’t agree with and anyone who actually has an opinion different from his own should be punished in some way on a nation wide media platform. This dream of Stallion_Cornell’s is never going to happen because he is too little a person in this life for the life stage to give a “flying frak” about him or who he isn’t status wise in the grand scheme of things. Even if he was a person of importance in this life he wishes he was, the world still wouldn’t give a s— about such personal problems of his as….”Bob is Shoe.” The fact is, if the world did know about Stallion_Cornell on the level of Donald Trump or Bill Gates….the world would relegate the personal problems he writes about in his blogs to…..”The Puffy Shirt on Seinfeld”….”Master of Your Domain” on Seinfeld”, and perhaps most importantly…..”The Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld. After all of the ranting and raving Stallion_Cornell has done on the Internet for 11 years, what he has actually been ranting and raving about is the nonsensical fodder written on cocktail napkins and fortune cookies. And that is the conclusion the world as a whole would come to about Stallion_Cornell if the world as a whole ever knew about Stallion_Cornell.

Missing Langy…

By 2006, Languatron was gone.

He had completely disappeared.

Every board had banned him. Every respectable person on the Internet despised him. And, according to Lang, every other person on the Internet was actually an employee of Universal Studios, and they were all out to get him. So he retreated into his Fun Fortress, which could only be viewed by registered users, and – surprise! – he was the only registered user. Unregistered users could see the total number of posts, but not the posts themselves. We all noted the fact that the post count continued to rise, which meant Lang was writing his paranoid fantasies for an audience of one.

In my real life, I was getting more and more involved in web design and video production, and I was learning how to use Flash to make simple animations. As a sort of training project, I decided to create an homage to the absent Languatron, whose departure from the scene had left a hole in the hearts of those he hated – an online Stockholm Syndrome, if you will.

The video below was the result.

But before you watch it, a few words of explanation. Having reviewed the movie for the first time in years, I had hoped that all of the posts I had made would give you enough context to understand all the references. I was surprised at how much I’d left out. So here’s an additional primer so you can chortle along with the rest of the Moist Boys.

The video begins with three phrases Lang used in his posts: “Implied Innuendo,” “Pedestrian Lethargy,” and “Discriminatory Ambivalence.” There’s no major significance to any of these phrases, other than the fact that they’re all kind of stupid. The video then shows a picture of “unsold DVD shelves,” which Languatron insisted would hold the DVD copies of the GINO miniseries. RGrant was quick to point out that 1) All DVDs on shelves in stores are unsold, and 2) Lang was referring to the shelves, not the DVDs. We all imagined what an unsold DVD shelf would look like, and in the video, you get your answer.

There’s a brief screen shot of one of Lang’s posts from Cylon.org, which features his signature listing several of his enemies supposedly saying “Help me, I can’t fight Langy alone.” For some reason, I’m not a part of that signature in that screen capture, and there are only four names listed – Rgrant, Neuromanzr, Hubcap Dave, and dvo47p. Usually, Stallion_Cornell – always with the underscore – was listed, too. We came to be known as the “Flatulent Five” who couldn’t fight Langy alone. Everyone else on Cylon.org was jealous that they weren’t included in the list.

The movie shows a picture of a bespectacled Lang, which was discovered by Moist Board agent codenamed Crappy Pants. It was a guesstimate as to what Lang would look like, but when a real picture of the guy surfaced, it proved to be surprisingly accurate. The picture of the guy with his head up his butt was RGrant’s guesstimate as to what Lang looked like. While not physically accurate, it serves as a strong metaphor for Lang’s spiritual condition.

The scene from the original Battlestar Galactica featuring an actual languatron comes next, and the subtitles reimagine the scene as if the languatron were to translate using the personality of the living Languatron. It includes another silly phrase – “Core Splinter Group” – that Lang was fond of using. It’s also quite rude and accuses the Ovions of being Universal Studios spies.

We then come to the word “Rampa,” a word Lang used as a substitute for “rampage.” Originally, it was very likely a typographical error, but when the error was brought to his attention, Lang refused to acknowledge it and continued to use “rampa” as part of his vocabulary in subsequent posts. Then events are set in motion, as explained yesterday.

There’s then a smattering of Lang diatribes from over the years followed by some nice Langy hula, then a brief appearance by a Simpsonized Lang and the aforementioned Flatulent Five. We go from there to Bob Is Shoe, and then The Bet. That’s followed by “A Strange Quietude,” another of Lang’s strange aphorisms, and then a list of things that are BANNABLE OFFENSES.

I really wish I had explained this earlier.

See, on all the boards Lang visited, he tried to play the victim when the admins of the boards started to come down on him. To prove that it was we Moist Boys, and not Lang, who were the nuisance, Lang would accuse us of “BANNABLE OFFENSES.” In his mind, just about everything was a bannable offense. Whenever we would respond to something, he claimed we were “crashing” his threads, and crashing threads was a BANNABLE OFFENSE. If we disagreed with him, that, too, was a BANNABLE OFFENSE. The film provides a list of several such offenses, using dramatic license to extrapolate just what is bannable and what is not.

The rest is self-explanatory, and I’ve probably told you too much already.

So, without further ado, I give you…

MISSING LANGY…

Tomorrow: The Return

Events In Motion

Neuromanzr chimed in on the comments yesterday to point out that the chronology of this whole story is a little messy, and he’s probably right. I’m trying to give a sense of the history with a loose eye for detail. Perhaps the most accurate history of Languatron can be found in John Larocque’s Languatron Chronicles at the Moist Board, which provided helpful links to allow me to piece this whole thing together. Unfortunately, his links only extend to 2004, and very few of them are active. You can find some of them in the Internet Archive, and John does provide a brief synopsis that gives you a flavor for what was going on.

Today, however, I’m not going to focus on what happened on the boards themselves, but, rather, what was going on behind the scenes.

Languatron, it seems, was furious that former Star Trek write Ron Moore was simply creating a new Star Trek series using the Galactica brand.

It is no secret that the Universal/Sci-Fi Channel corporation has been envious of and has COVETED Paramount Pictures “Star Trek” franchise. “Star Trek” has been a huge money maker for Paramount since the 1970’s. Even before the first theatrical film was released in 1979, Paramount was making a S–T LOAD of money from merchandising concepts that were about a decade old. Combined with the “Star Trek” reruns in the 1970’s, Paramount was also making money from “Star Trek” books, model kits, calenders, etc.

Universal/Sci-Fi Channel’s ENVY of the “Star Trek” property however, REACHED OBSESSION; and BLATANT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT in the 2000’s. Their ENVY of “Star Trek”, combined with their HATRED of “Battlestar Galactica”, resulted in the most TRAGIC and DEVASTATING manifestation of CORPORATE MISMANAGEMENT in Hollywood history. They hired Ronald D. Moore to produce and write for them a “STAR TREK SEQUEL SERIES”, using “Battlestar Galactica” in its title.

– Languatron, “Sci-Fi Channel Wanted A Star Trek Sequel Series…..And Got One,” February 14, 2005, xsorbit.com, a board from which he was quickly banned.

GINO has many flaws, but being a Star Trek clone, candidly, just isn’t one of them. It’s crappy on its own terms. But that didn’t stop Languatron from posting this loopy theory anywhere and everywhere. He championed the idea that Paramount would, no doubt, sue Ron Moore for ripping them off.

Then things took a turn for the devious.

In short order, Lang got an email from Paramount attorney Jeff Downey, who assured him that the lawsuit was proceeding apace, and that Lang’s rants were very helpful in the effort, and would he please keep screeching on the subject.

Yes, someone will likely go to hell for that.

Behind the scenes, Jeff and Langy began swapping stories and establishing a rapport, with Lang forwarding all of his most paranoid screeds to Jeff in order to be as helpful as possible. Publicly, Lang was positively atwitter, announcing to the world that “events were in motion” that would bring Ron Moore to a screeching halt. Indeed, “events are in motion” became Lang’s catchphrase, which prompted a number of other descriptions of events set in motion, events which usually ended with a flush and a wipe. But Lang was undeterred – events were in motion; he had the inside scoop. He refused to be flushed.

Jeff Downey was suitably impressed with Lang’s legal skills. Lang was familiar with phrases like “summary judgment,” knowledge of which required several hours of watching Law and Order or, perhaps, Boston Legal. Lang and Jeff became buddies, and finally, Jeff asked to know that if Lang wasn’t a lawyer, what did he do for a living?

The answer provided the sum total of biographical information that connects Languatron to the same world we live in.

Behold the real Languatron -Andrew Fullen of Chicago, Illinois.

“I’m an adult college student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech/Performing Fine Arts. I have an Associates Degree in Business Information Systems but could not go any further as I found the math too difficult. I was having difficulties in Algebra yet I needed to advance to Calculus to get a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. I figured I had better end my misery before it ballooned into a full blown disaster. For income as a college student, I am a cook full time at a well known national chain restaurant. I am a very non-white collar guy at the moment.”

Hence the legend of Languatron: Dennys Chef.

When Jeff Downey failed to deliver on his promised lawsuit, Lang became bitter and disappeared, seemingly forever.

Tomorrow: Missing Langy…