Prague Dog Eat Blog

PSSSS 4: Homestarrunner.com

Jan 2, 15:56 (Filed under: Sunday Surfing Series )

This week’s surfing tip is devoted to a site that has been around for quite some time now: www.homestarrunner.com. For those who have yet to experience this incredible site, here’s a brief overview:

Often absurd and always clever, the site features a massive collection of Flash animation starring an engaging and quirky group of characters, the head honcho being the naive, innocent, armless and harmless Homestar Runner.

I first stumbled into Homestar’s world through www.fark.com (another great time-killer). It just took one clip to hook me. The Brothers Chaps pay smart and sassy tribute to old-school PC technology and video games, historic cartoons, animeÔ?? hell, there’s just too much to list, so the best thing to do is just roam around at your leisure. Just be sure to keep your cursor moving over the screen during the cartoons, as the site is full of Easter Eggs. For the same reason, at the end of a cartoon, wait a while and you may be rewarded with a bonus or two.

The site is updated on a regular basis and the wealth of material makes for the equivalent of a cherished videocassette of old episodes from your fave sitcom – perfect for chilling and killing the blahs of a slow rainy Sunday afternoon.

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PSSSS 3: Jeff Koyen & www.crank.com

Dec 26, 14:45 (Filed under: Sunday Surfing Series )

It was a slow day in the press department. I was on my third John Belushi special (JBS – instant coffee dissolved in filtered joe) and still sleeping like a fish in front of my monitor. I decided to type random words, followed by .com, into my browser. The first of these, “crank,” led me to www.crank.com, the online version of a zine written, published and distributed by Jeff Koyen.

The fury and humour in his writing perked me up immediately. It moved me to write more openly and honestly, and to quit my 4-JBS-a-day office job and start working for myself rather than for shareholders and governmental fat cats. To this day I still go to crank.com to get fired up and have a good laugh.

Crank.com is now a tomb of seven .pdf’s and a couple of links to more recent writings for the New York Press (where Koyen is now Editor-in-Chief). With more poetic vitriol than all of Eminem’s catalogue, Koyen’s writing comes at you like a pair of brass knuckles trimmed with broken-glass; his is a wake-up call to arms pumped through an air-raid siren set at eleven.

In 2002, Jeff was part of Prague’s expat scene, where he wrote and edited for the now-defunct Prague Pill. I was fortunate enough to meet with him on a number of occasions; he’s intense, opinionated and sincere, and he is one of the most open people I’ve ever met. To some, his work may seem self-indulgent at times, but as he bares his soul (just take a look at Koyen’s entries in another one of his own projects at www.100words.net.), he often touches on something universal that shoves the reader into action or, at least, reaction.

For a souped-up nitro-boosted alternative to your usual Sunday routine, fill your head with some crank.com.

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PSSSS 2: The Arcata Eye Police Log

Dec 19, 06:00 (Filed under: Sunday Surfing Series )

Better than COPS, funnier than almost every cop comedy you’ve ever seen, The Arcata Eye Police Log offers a poetic and hilarious look at the softer parts of the city’s underbelly.

I first came across Eye, which touts itself as the “mildly-objectionable weekly newspaper for Arcata, California,” last year. I was stunned and highly amused by what I found in its reports from the city’s cop shops. Here are a few samples:

Friday, August 20 9:35 a.m. First Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” and now canny thieves have masterminded another perfect crime – the theft of a diaper bag and shoes from an unlocked car on L Street. Somewhere, the silent screamer’s mute horror is repurposed and contemporized as she stares down from her bridge at dastardly diaper-nabbers savoring the fragrant fruits of their treachery. That is, if it’s the same guys.

Thursday, August 26 9:35 a.m. Police couldn’t find the genius convention the CHP had reported sitting beside the freeway with their legs out in traffic.

Sunday, August 29 2:34 p.m. Two travelers reported having marital relations of the horizontal variety in bushes in the 1100 block of F Street were contacted and advised.

Tuesday, August 31 7:29 p.m. An I Street resident went out his front door to the side of his house to clean up the day’s accumulation of litter and dogshit. He returned scant moments later to find a red-haired, baggy-panted beardo walking out his open front door with a handful of cash from his desk. “I thought this was a store!” the man claimed, attempting to legitimize the theft, as though there’s some kind of store where one may scoop up piles of money and walk off with it. “Get the fuck out of here!” exclaimed the near-victim, and after throwing the money back, the thief took the advice and scampered away southbound.

Sunday, November 7 2:02 a.m. A mighty SUV was immobilized in the 800 block of Eighth Street by someone who let the air out of the tires.

Ok, I better stop. I could spend a day compiling a list, which the good folks at the Arcata Eye have already done – they have published not one, but two Police Log Books, which I will definitely invest in once I get a credit card….

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PSSSS 1: Nardwuar the Human Serviette

Dec 12, 06:00 (Filed under: Sunday Surfing Series )

“For me, pepper – I put it on my plate.”
Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, responding to a question about police use of mace against student protesters.

While surfing yesterday I got re-acquainted with one of my all-time favourite websites: www.nardwuar.com, the official site of Nardwuar the Human Serviette, “Vancouver’s foremost celebrity stalker, college radio host, rock ‘n’ roll frontman, and undeniably strange thirty-one-year-old man-child.”

This is the guy who prompted former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to make his infamous pepper spray quote (see above) back in 1997, following an incident in which police maced student protesters (go straight to Nardwuar vs. Jean Chretien).

Nardwuar’s site is chock full of hilarious interviews (transcriptions, audio, and video) with a plethora of celebrities, politicians, conspiracy theorists, and has-beens. Each one is a highlight in its own right. Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Busta Rhymes, Vanilla Ice, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Warrant, and many others have either played Nardwuar’s wind-up game right up to the end or stormed off in disgust and/or humiliation (check out his interview with Quiet Riot).

This is the first of what I’ve decided to call Prague Spot’s Sunday Surfing Series (PSSS). Every Sunday I will post a link to a web site I like, ideally something that is simply a fun little time-killer, along with a brief summary.

Why Sunday? Because it’s a day of rest, recovery and recuperation – can you think of a better way to chill and ride out the residues of Saturday night’s overindulgence than a little bit of aimless surfing?

Actually, I can think of several, so let’s say I like the alliteration and “Saturday” has one syllable too many.

Happy surfing!

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