You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Can Has Nausea

A couple of months ago I was reading a Yahoo! Finance/New York Times article about a Web entrepeneur who specializes in "oddball Internet humor." Having a semi-professional* interest in the subject, I was naturally curious.

Now, given the content of this blog, I of all people should not rush to be judgmental about someone else's conceptualization about humor. However, after reading I Can Has Cheezburger I'm beginning to have a slight crisis of confidence.  If large, unpleasant cats spouting bizarre Pidgeon English are the vanguard of 21st Century comedy, we ...and by we I mean civilized, educated human beings... are in serious trouble.

There's even a site designed to teach people this ridiculous lingo, dubbed "LOLspeak." Consider it entry #1,545,794 in the evidence for how human civilization is crumbling into a giant pile of dust, sesame seeds, and cat hair. It's the kind of self-consciously "cute" blather that would make even George Herriman's Krazy Kat violently ill. This sort of thing is amusing in small doses (see All your base are belong to us) but in heavier doses, I suspect it can cause seizures.

As an aside, I am not a fan of the term "LOL." This over-used online phrase is often a clear sign of a depressed or angry person's desperation to make themselves seem lighthearted and entertained, much like the person at a party who is manically dancing in a vain attempt to convince others he or she is having a great time when in reality they just broke up with their girlfriend/boyfriend/crack dealer.

Now in fairness, "LOL" is often used legitimately  and innocently by people, seeking to convey their appreciation of a joke. (Personally, I prefer the phrase "I nearly peed my pants.) This practice should stop though and I Can Has Cheezburger is perfect evidence as to why: Our stomachs can only handle so much.

Alarmingly, I Can Has Cheezburger is just one of an entire network of Web sites** including:

  • Acting Like Animals - Pictures and videos of animals acting like animals. That's right, they're actually acting like animals. Frankly, I find the whole thing rather dubious.
  • Bob's House of Video Games - Apparently, these pictures are related to video gaming ...most of them ...some of them, maybe.
  • So Much Pun - If the title's any indication, we haven't had this much fun since trowling through the Reader's Digest rejection pile from Laughter, The Best Medicine.
  • FAIL Blog - Failures, obviously. One of hundreds of these types of sites, but relatively speaking, comedy gold on this network.
  • Why Do I Live Here? - I'm not sure about this one. Maybe it's a Century 21 parody?
  • Daily Squee  - Daily images of self-consciously cute images. Much like taking hits of pancake syrup mixed with Jolt.
  • Engrish Funny - A site designed to attract the attention of every ethnic advocacy group in the world. I wouldn't be surprised to find that this replaced an Amos and Andy reboot Web series.
  • Happy Chair Is Happy - Anthropomorphic items make this lonely looking chair ecstatic. No offense, but that's one desperate chair.
  • If Shoes Could Kill - Really, really awful shoes. This could frighten the nice people at What Not To Wear or inspire a sequel to Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes, but that's as close to comedy as it gets for me. The shame of it that it wastes a fine title for a novel about a fashion model who happens to be a kung-fu expert.
  • I Has A Hotdog - For obvious reasons, I decided to skip actually visiting this one.
The sites are completely made up of content that viewers send in, meaning that other people do all the work for the sites' owners. The remarkable thing about this network is that last year it earned seven figures.  Seven figures!!!

So tune in next week to try the link to our new, upcoming Web site: I Canna Act Like A Hotdog With Cheezburger Flavored Shoes. Send in your pics and videos!!!

*Technically, the $3.89 we've earned from Google AdSense qualifies.
** The Cheezburger Network, which just has to fry Ronald McDonald's cheese ...or cheez, as it were.

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