At Last: Proof That Civilization Is Doomed

A common criticism of the Internet is that it is dominated by the crude, the uninformed, the immature, the smug, the untalented, the repetitious, the pathetic, the hostile, the deluded, the self-righteous and the shrill. This criticism overlooks the fact that the Internet also offers--for the savvy individual who knows where to look--the tasteless and the borderline insane.

In researching this chapter, I spent many, many hours exploring the World Wide Web. My time was divided as follows:

Typing insanely complex Web addresses
Waiting for what seemed like at least two academic semesters per Web page while the computer appeared to do absolutely nothing
Reading snippy messages stating that there is no such Web address
Retyping insanely complex Web addresses
Actually looking at Web pages

As you can see, it can take quite a while for a Web page to appear on your screen. The reason for the delay is that, when you type in a Web address, your computer passes it along to another computer, which in turn passes it along to another computer, and so on through as many as 5 computers before it finally reaches the work station of a disgruntled U.S. Postal Service employee, who throws it in the trash. So when browsing the Web, you will almost certainly encounter lengthy delays, which means that it's a good idea to have something else to do while you're waiting, such as reroofing your house.

Piercing Mildred
Who says there is no culture on the Internet? You will, after you visit this site. This is a game where you get to select a character--either Mildred or Maurice-- and then you pierce that person's body parts, or decorate her or him with designer scars. Mildred and Maurice also sometimes get infected, so sometimes you have to purchase antibiotic ointment.

You may think this sounds like a fairly perverted game, but ask yourself: Is it really that different from Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head?

This page features photographs of the romantic superstar mega-hunk Fabio with his toaster.

No, seriously, the photographs depict the romantic superstar mega-hunk posing in a manner that reveals his deeply passionate sensitive innermost feelings about what a stud muffin he is. What makes this site great is that you can click on the photographs, and, if your computer has sound, Fabio will say things to you, such as: "Your caress is my command." Apparently he doesn't realize that you're caressing him with a mouse pointer.

Deformed-Frog Pictures
One summer day in 1995 some students at The Minnesota New Country School were on a Nature Studies hike. They started catching frogs, and after a bit they noticed that many of the frogs did not appear to meet standard frog specifications in terms of total number of legs eyes, etc. So the students started a Frog Project to study this phenomenon. If you visit this web page, you can read about their work and see actual photographs of the frogs; this will help you to become more aware of the environment, pollution and other important topics, unless you're the kind of sicko who just wants to look at deformed frogs.

Musical Sand
If you are interested in information on musical sand (and who is not?), this is really the only place to go. This Web site offers information in both Japanese and a language that is somewhat reminiscent of English.

Think of it: Endangered sand!

If your computer has sound capability, you can actually listen to some singing sand. It is not easy, on the printed page, to describe the eerie, almost unearthly beauty of the sound that the sand makes; the best words I can come up with are "like a vacuum cleaner trying to suck up a dead cow." I for one would hate to see the Earth lose a resource like this, and I hereby urge Sting and Willie Nelson to hold some kind of benefit concert.

Exploding Whale
On this site you can see pictures of the now-famous incident About ten years ago, I saw a videotape of this incident, taken by a local TV station. I wrote a column about it, and somebody unfamiliar with the copyright laws put that column on the Internet without attaching my name to it. The result is that for years now, people have been sending me my own column, often with notes saying, "You should write a column about this!" in which the Oregon State Highway Division, attempting to dispose of a large and aromatic dead whale that had washed up on the beach, decided to--why not?--blow it up with half a ton of dynamite.

Also see:
The Flaming Pop-Tart Experiment
Trojan Room Coffee Machine
Captain and Tennille Appearances

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