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Today's Update

I'm not a very happy camper at the moment, so there's no real update today. There will be one next week, of course, and I'll do my best to include "jokes" in it that you can "chuckle" at with your mouth apparatus. If I did do an update today, I would tell you what inspired me and what I was going for. And after reading my explanation, you would probably realize I'm an even bigger idiot than I seem. For example, my last update was me simply coming to terms with the fact that I never won Bionic Commando. I always wondered how the game ended and what it was about, but I could never finish it.

When I found out about this new feature I went ahead and wrote some stuff ahead of time thinking it would save me time in the end, since I'm very bad at getting real work done in advance. In the future, I will use my weekly chunk of Daily Dirt soil to answer common questions I get, talk about SA related things that amuse me, and maybe post handfuls of comedy I couldn't use elsewhere. Since I'm told this is optional, I believe I will abuse this space with absolutely pointless nonsense whenever possible. I wonder if I'm allowed to embed MIDI songs and Flash files? Multimedia is never ever bad.

For now, I'll just cover the two questions I get asked most often. The first being "how the hell did they let you write for this site and why?" and the second being "how do I get my ugly pictures in Photoshop Phriday?"

How I Ended Up Failing Everybody Online

Something Awful, like any decent murder plot, started off as one man's sick dream. Over the years, and thanks to the moral decline of humanity, that dream has taken off like a rocket ship full of dead prostitutes on a five-year voyage to spread joy and happiness throughout this big galaxy we call planet earth. As a member of Team Something Awful, I take pride in knowing that the words that I type out have no impact one way or the other in determining the fate of the human race.

As far as the site goes, Rich covered some of that in the very first Daily Dirt. Since I'm going to be writing about something relatively related to me here once a week, I'll start with the beginning. How I ended up here goes something like this.

I was writing for a lousy site I will not mention and, suffice to say, the staff was all enthralled with Something Awful. I visited it and didn't like it. Honestly. Somehow, though, I decided to give it a second shot and became very much entertained by Rich's old ICQ pranks. From there I branched out and enjoyed some of the articles, but what really got me was the forums. I became addicted to them and eventually registered. After writing and posting really bad stories and such for about a year, Zack Parsons decided he wanted to hire me to cancel out Rich's hiring of Scott Delbango. Rich and Zack are bitter enemies and secretly strive to murder each other in fields of glorious battle.

I was hired in, of all paces, a Something Awful Forums goonmeet in Milwaukee, WI, by Zack's better half and hiring proxy, Michelle (they are not literally connected as one solid biomass. I speak figuratively). The sad part is that earlier in the week, Rich requested submissions for two writer positions and I attempted to create a submission of my own. It was so horrendously bad I stopped writing it and decided to never write again. Then I tried again and made an even worse attempt. At that point I gave up on the idea of submitting anything. I didn't bother mentioning this when I was abruptly hired anyway and somehow I managed to produce an update that wasn't bad but certainly not great.

It was pretty rough for the first few months as I struggled to get ideas for updates. Also I was getting a lot of negative feedback, and I agreed with most of it. That was 3 years ago and I've somehow written over 100 articles, outlasting both critics and fans. I have no idea what the hell I wrote about all those goddamn times, but I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me when I fulfill my dream of running for mayor of Ghost City.

Overall, I've had a ton of fun writing here. I'm pretty much about as mundane and uninteresting a person as you can get, so a lot of the experiences it has brought on for me have been quite enjoyable. I'll probably yammer on about a lot of them in the coming weeks.

The Six Million Dollar Question that Costs 10 Bux: How to Participate in Photoshop Phriday

Plain and simple, you have to be a forum member. Why? Because I'm not opening my inbox to weekly submissions from strangers. I get a few unsolicited ones anyway, and they are usually pretty horrendous. I might start posting them here just to share the pain. The last thing I want is to have to sort through 50 uncompressed .psd files, 50 .pdf files, and a dozen gigantic bitmaps from people that know nothing about graphics or how to make them. At least with the forums I know they know what a jpeg is and that's a load off my mind. Plus the forums aren't full of posts like "V1AGRA!!!" and "Hello please see the attached file" that includes a sinister virus that sends my credit card information to the moon.

The goal isn't to try to get you to pay to contribute; the goal is to showcase the talent of our forum members. That's been the goal since day one back when Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen was doing it. I would much rather keep it that way since it makes my job easier and serves as a great boon for the site. A lot of times, partly due to laziness and partly due to valid reasons, I simply snatch up a Photoshop thread created by one of our talented members. There are certain advantages to this (people are just making the images for fun and not trying to get on the Frontpage. Plus it sometimes seems less calculated). Other times I assign a theme with certain rule criteria and let people submit that way. Either way, it all comes from our forums.

That's partly why in every Photoshop Phriday I link to the Something Awful Forums twice and credit the goons for making all the images. We've done I think close to 170 or so Photoshop Phridays at this point, and I still get surprised by a lot of the images. We have some absolutely outstanding contributors and we owe a lot to them. I suppose maybe a kidney or a liver at the very least.

And for the sake of beating it into the ground, the $10 registration fee is what keeps this site going. That money covers the substantial bandwidth costs for both the very free frontpage and the forums, and helps support my habit of paying car insurance. I know, I'm trying to quit, but it's hard. I don't really want people joining the forums just to try to get in Phriday, I want them joining to enjoy the forums for all the great humor as well as the fun opportunities it presents, such as contributing to Phriday. There's a lot of creative stuff going on there, not just funny Photoshop images. It's a great community full of all sorts of insane wonders. I spend entirely too much time there increasing my useless knowledge of comic books and learning new ways to combine massive amounts of meat into one single heart-shattering meal.

So anyway, that's that.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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