My friends, the time has come for me to address a growing problem before it gets completely out of hand. It has become apparent to me that many of you out there have a great deal of difficulty telling the writers here at Something Awful apart from one another. This really isn't such a bad thing if you read the site every once in a while, just to get a few laughs in your day. Heck, it's not even such a bad thing if you read the site religiously. After all, none of us got into this business for the personal glory. We do it for your entertainment, and if the site gains a little prestige as a result, then all the better. Really, it's only a problem when you start sending email to the wrong people. Now, a certain amount of confusion is to be expected. For instance, I expect that Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell will receive some mail about this article today, because there are some readers out there who are easily confused by the big gray article headers with the date and name of the author because they are freaking idiots. I'll probably get a few pieces of Zack's mail tomorrow. That's just the way it goes. It's the same way with the daily content pieces. I usually get a few quick messages meant for Josh when I post my movie reviews on alternate Wednesdays, and Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez might very well pick up a letter or two addressed to me today, because people just can't believe that everything on the front page isn't automatically written by the main article author, even when the actual author puts his name in the first sentence. But anyway, that's the sort of thing that I have come to expect.
The problem really arises when I get emails that are meant for people who are not connected to me in any way, shape, or form. For instance, about three days after Taylor "Psychosis" Bell posted his review of "Infiltration" I received an angry letter from someone who is apparently a fan of the game and feels that not only was the review overly critical, but that "Infiltration" is perhaps the greatest thing to happen to independent gaming since the invention of the joystick. Now, I know Psychosis, I've worked with Psychosis, and I can say with a fairly large degree of certainty that if he gave the game a -50 score, then it probably isn't that marvelous of a game. But that's not the point. The point is that this person emailed me, insulted me, and wasted about twenty seconds of my valuable time. Note how I put the references to myself in that previous sentence in italics. I didn't do that because I have an over-inflated sense of my own importance. I'd say it's inflated just the right amount. No, I did that to emphasize the extent to which I am, in fact, not Taylor "Psychosis" Bell.
If you look at the review of "Infiltration," you'll notice that Taylor's name is all over each page, as well as a link to his email. One would assume that someone writing an angry letter about a review would just click the email link at the top of the review and get to writing, but even if he went to the front page, it doesn't explain why he wrote to me. By the time of the letter in question, nothing even relating to me had been on the front page for days. This guy would have had to actively try to write to the wrong person to get that letter to me. Now, I don't like to leave people thinking their emails went to the right place when they didn't, I sent a message back to this guy explaining that Psychosis wrote that review, not me, and that the game was probably not that great, expecting that the guy would then send a letter to Psychosis or just drop the subject entirely. Instead I got an email blaming me for the mix-up and claiming that Psychosis speaks for all of us here at SA, so obviously I'm just as deserving of his derision. This made two things clear to me: first, people just don't know who's who at this site, and second, this guy's a douchebag. While there's nothing I can do about that second point short of hiring some goons to pummel him mercilessly, which I naturally did, I think I can make a difference as far as that first point is concerned. That's why I've compiled this comprehensive guide to the staff writers who regularly contribute to the front page. My apologies the slew of talented and hard-working folks whose writing only makes it to the front page every once in a while, but I just don't know enough about you guys to do accurate writeups. Also, you will notice that I'm not including Jeff K, Cliff Yablonski, or El Pinto Grande. This is not to imply that they are not valued members of the SA team, but El Pinto Grande barely understands English, Jeff K is a busy young man, and Cliff Yablonski hates you more and more with every word you type, so you probably shouldn't be using your time to write to them in the first place.
The birth of a legend, as captured by The Yellow Yell. Also, a silly-looking dog.
Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka
The benevolent and revered founder of Something Awful, Lowtax has obviously been with the site since the very beginning. Although today he is the closest thing to a celebrity that the Internet has produced thus far, his beginnings are as humble as anyone's. He was not so much born as he was formed out of stray molecules and intense radiation during the explosion of a distant star some three hundred million years ago. For millennia he drifted through the endless void, observing the minute details of the primitive forms of life on the planets he passed using his ultra-powerful sense of sight and making incisive comments using his ultra-powerful sense of irony. At last the time came when he first encountered beings intelligent enough to comprehend his existence. To them, he was Rog J'gaal the Unflappable. To another species on another planet thousands of years later, he was the great overlord Galliakabu the All-Consuming. To still another race he was Chet. Finally, he came to Earth and assumed the form and name we are familiar with today. He studied the Earthlings movements and habits for years before making himself known to the world. On that day, the fledgling web of nerds hesitantly referred to as the Internet realized its full potential. For it was then that the Internet became a place not just for the exchange of porn and computer jokes, but a tool for the exchange of porn, computer jokes, and humor so advanced that even Lowtax himself does not always understand it.
Signature Moves: Spot-on comparisons, especially in regard to physical appearance; graphic descriptions of physical pain and/or violence.
Special Abilities: Can emit an endless stream of bodily byproducts, fluids, and gasses without replenishing his fuel sources; ability to dodge litigation and bullets with litigatory documents written on them.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Look at those eyes... and OBEY!
Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons
Seen as the number two man at Something Awful, Zack has been with the company longer than anyone other than Lowtax. Although today his nickname is all but meaningless, there was a time when it said everything there was to know about him. He got his start as the editor of Geist, which presumably is some sort of publication about some type of stuff. I can't be bothered to look up all the fine details right now, but trust me when I say that there really was something called Geist and he really did edit it. Possibly more than once. That job afforded Zack wealth beyond his wildest dreams, friends among the most elite circles, and the power to crush anyone who so much as made eye contact with him in public. But he wasn't happy. When Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka showed up at his door and offered him a chance to join the fledging Something Awful website team, Zack instantly knew that this was the opportunity he was looking for. Although it meant a 99.9999% cut in pay, Zack didn't think twice about abandoning his position with Geist and hopping aboard the Something Awful train to Funnytown. By his first article, the comedic talent that had been hiding within him burst free, eager to make itself known. Today, it still occasionally surfaces.
Signature Moves: Referencing World War II; referencing World War III through typos.
Special Abilities: Inexplicable ability to maintain relationships with women for extended periods of time; ability to dismantle or assemble any piece of weaponry made before 1970 with his eyes closed in less than thirty seconds.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on Mondays and Fridays. Hentai reviews on alternate Thursdays.
Actually, that lemur does look a little evil, now that I think about it.
Josh "Livestock" Boruff
If Lowtax and Geist Editor are the originals, and Frolixo, Corin Tucker's Stalker and myself are the new guys, then Livestock occupies an enigmatic spot on the Something Awful roster. In fact, he is generally regarded as the most mysterious of the writers. Some say he is a maniacal supervillain living in a dark mansion somewhere, plotting to take over the world. Others say he is a hobo traveling in a boxcar, alternating between typing up articles, photoshopping humorous images, and furiously masturbating to pictures of Diana Ross over his laptop. Neither of these assumptions are entirely correct. In actuality, Josh is a lemur who gained superintelligence during a secret government experiment to give sentience to a radish that also involved a lemur for some reason. When the government realized that the lemur's brain capacity had increased almost one percent, they wanted to dissect him, because that is what the government does to things that get smarter. The only reason they were even trying to make the radish intelligent was so they could chop it up for a salad. In any event, Josh escaped the lab and took to riding the rails across America, always trying to stay one step ahead of the feds, but at the same time marveling at his freedom and at the magnificence of the world his tiny lemur brain used to be unable to fully comprehend. When the bastard child of science and technology, which is also science, known as the internet became known to him, Josh knew he had to experience it for himself. He built a makeshift computer out of scrap metal and chunks he bit off of other hobos and was soon surfing the net like a pro. When he stumbled upon Something Awful, he knew it was the perfect forum to share his thoughts on the world. And so, a superintelligent squirrel-monkey comedy writer was born.
Signature Moves: Breaking an article up into easily manageable segments; photoshopping or referencing old or obscure video game characters.
Special Abilities: Enhanced agility; blunted claws for burrowing; ability to crush bones into a fine powder with telekinetic pulses.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on Wednesdays. Photoshop Phriday every Friday.
Gotta love this little guy.
Ben "Greasnin" Platt
Ah, and then there's me. There's not much I can say about myself. I'm merely a simple college student/cybernetic super-assassin for various African government organizations. Shortly after joining the team, I started the prestigious organization known as ELEAWTA, or Eating Lethal and Endangered Animals While They're Alive, a group which has since gone on to irreparably damage the laws of nature. Really, I just try to make my meager contribution to Something Awful each week and hope that a few people get a laugh or two from it. Nothing too fancy. But whenever the internet community cries out for a bald, pasty, incredibly sexy savior, I'll be there.
Signature Moves: Combining words to make new words; explaining himself in a contradictory fashion; using words to create unlikely or improbable names.
Special Abilities: Able to consume massive quantities without gaining weight due to self-contained wormhole in his stomach that transports matter to the guest bedroom of a house in Patterson, New Jersey; ability to raise or lower his body temperature precisely one degree - no more, no less - at will.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on Sundays. Movies Reviews on alternate Wednesdays.
This little guys leaves you more room for flexibility.
Reid "Frolixo" Paskiewicz
Although he recently cut back to writing an article only once every other week, Frolixo nonetheless made a name for himself very quickly. Who can forget his astounding first article, when he not only taught the world a valuable, if pointless lesson about farming, but also started a war of words with yours truly? The Frolixo-Greasnin battles raged for months, while eager fans speculated who would emerge victorious and who would be taken out behind the SA offices and shot. It was new guy vs. not so new guy, redhead vs. clearhead, genital warts vs. the clap. In the end, a truce was declared, but the world was nonetheless shaken by the memory of these two comedy giants duking it out every weekend, and even moreso, the memory of just how brutally unfunny it became. Still, the feud generated a number of hilarious images which I know have a special place in my heart and which have scarred a number of my family members for the rest of their days.
Signature Moves: Commissioning pictures of me in compromising positions including being sodomized by giant insects and being eaten by fat women.
Special Abilities: Able to manipulate the members of the SA forums to do his bidding; laser eyes.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on alternate Saturdays.
Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell
We're thrilled to have Dennis writing for the front page these days. As the designated representative of State Og, Dennis is a cheerful and charismatic person who is well liked by his peers. He is a tremendous addition to the team. I mean this in all sincerity. It in no way has anything whatsoever to do with the fact that he could have a team of trained chimps with shivs at my window in less than eight minutes if the mood should strike him. State Og is a friendly, sunshiney conglomerate and none of its employees would ever do anything to risk causing even the most superficial harm to its loyal customers. And I'm a loyal customer! Really! I swear! Oh God, please don't kill me or my beautiful torso!
Signature Moves: Replacing Frolixo; talking about replacing Frolixo.
Special Abilities: Access to the horrific destructive power of State Og is at his cold, metal fingertips.
Can Be Seen: On the front page on alternate Saturdays. State Og updates every Saturday.
Taylor "Psychosis" Bell
What can I say about Psychosis that hasn't been said a million times before? The guy's a molten Rock Man. He submits his articles from his home in the superheated magma core of the Earth. He likes to play video games. This is old news. Get over it.
Signature Moves: Reviewing games; reviewing ROMs.
Special Abilities: Able to withstand temperatures of over two thousand degrees celsius; can melt cement with his hands.
Can Be Seen: Game Review or ROM Pit review on alternate Mondays and Wednesdays.
Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez
It also has a hive mind.
The brain behind The Weekend Web technically isn't a brain at all. To be more accurate, it's a cloud of nanotech spores that float in the center of a room full of computer monitors, which are in turn hooked up to CPUs scanning every available forum on the internet. The Spokker Jones Cloud absorbs and catalogues every post on all of these forums with an efficiency that a mere human could never hope to achieve. The smarmy comments the cloud ascribes to each post are actually a glitch. While compiling the data it has collected, the cloud inserts random bits of text above each entry. The fact that they have thus far been relevant and humorous in nature is completely coincidental.
Signature Moves: Reading web forums; commenting on them.
Special Abilities: Needs no food, water, or oxygen to survive. Cannot be dispersed by a gust of wind under thirty-five miles per hour in strength.
Can Be Seen: The Weekend Web on Sundays.
So there you have it. Those are the names and faces you should know before you start writing an email to one of us here at Something Awful. I hope that cleared things up for you. If you have any questions, feel free to write to me. Remember, my name is Josh.
The Weekend Web: This Time It's Personal
Hello internet. Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez here with some brand new images fresh off the presses. This week we went undercover to explore the damaging effects of video games on the children of the 21st century. Folks, it's worse than we thought:
Join America in reading this shocking article that may finally bring about the end of the scourge known as video games. We're through the looking glass here people.
The first phase of The Olive Garden's cyber rollout will introduce their Neverending Pneumatic Pasta Tube. This works on the same principal as bank drive-thru deposit tubes, but with unfrozen linguini and spaghetti.
Do you remember the crazy clothes and hair of the 1990s? Do you remember Crystal Pepsi and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Do you remember where you hid the box your mother gave you?
It's still okay to like Ben Stiller, guys.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.