Remembering the “Best Page in the Universe”

branches&creaturesJust a reminder, I still don’t have a computer. So this post will also look like crap. Apologies again. I woke up early, so I started watching YouTube. That’s certainly not a part of my usual routine. I decided to do some push-ups because I gotta do something to keep in shape, and I needed something to watch to keep my mind off how much doing push-ups suck. I got caught up in watching a “top 10” series, which started off innocently enough. You know, like “top 10 scientific mysteries” that users create. It was well produced enough that I got halfheartedly sucked into watching another one. Next thing I know, I’m venturing down the path towards the weird part of YouTube. That’s a road everyone knows all too well. It began to appear as though the “top 10” series might’ve been a platform for conspiracy theories. I think. Once when I began to suspect it, I quit watching. But at the same time, it might’ve been tongue-in-cheek. At one point, they seemed to have suggested that a man being crushed by a revolving door was a deliberate act of sabotage. Like he was fucking James Bond. I took it as a joke, I guess, although other videos in their stream would suggest otherwise. Then I got depressed and remembered “oh yeah, this is why people believe in conspiracy theories. Some numbnuts throws up a video on the Internet, and people believe it because it presents a far more interesting take on reality; where there’s intrigue going on behind every closed door and real life is orchestrated by a Bond villain. People just don’t want to accept that human beings are mostly incompetent baffoons, incapable of performing any of the bullshit conspiracies that they believe”. My thoughts verbatim. But the producers of the video, I’ll assume, were joking…yet there’s going to be thousands of people out there that are going to believe they aren’t. When it comes to the Internet, we are terrible at discerning humor. When I was in high school, during the mid-2000s, a buddy and me would frequent the website “The Best Page in the Universe” by Maddox. Maddox is still around doing shit on YouTube by the way, but I must say…not much of a fan anymore. But circa 2005, this was some groundbreaking shit. He insulted kids art, often bragged about beating the shit out of anyone and everyone, and was just one pissed off asshole. I never took Maddox seriously. Was he genuinely pissed off at things? No doubt. I just never took the package that he presented it in seriously. Clearly he’s not a physically imposing man. He’s probably never beaten the shit out of anyone. So while I found the “manliness” rhetoric funny (it was the 2000s, that was a different time), I knew that it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously BECAUSE obviously he wasn’t that person. I don’t think Maddox himself took seriously…although I don’t know if I am laughing AT or WITH him because either way his form of masculine restoration can’t be taken seriously. But my high school buddy had a different interpretation. He thought that while Maddox was being humorous, he was also exposing a TRUTH about masculinity and anti-feminism. Where I just saw an asshole writing stupid shit on the Internet…HE saw a man that had conviction! It didn’t help that there were other troll-jobs and halfassed writers that were littering the internet at that time…they were basically attempting to do what Maddox was doing with his pro-masculine, anti-feminist humor. Remember Tucker Max and Dick Masterson (to name a couple)? Masterson, I was convinced, was a complete troll. Probably only did shit to piss people off. Max on the other hand was a complete scumbag. In one of the rare times I’ve done research for this blog, I Googled Tucker Max and forgot what a POS he was (or is). I’m sure he likes to think of himself as a cross between Daniel Tosh and Charles Bukowski, but I don’t think he would understand either one. Tosh, deep down in his soul, probably thinks of his persona as a mockery (not “satire”, because I don’t know what that means anymore) of frat boy mentality. Max  on the other hand is a genuine glorification of it. It’s hard to believe that this guy flourished less than a decade ago. Max represented this idea that to be “alpha”, you must be an asshole, successful with women, ect. He associated with the “pick-up” community, which sold bullshit to losers (of which I was one) to make us believe that there was an “art” to picking up women. I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll mention again…the conception of “alpha male” to these guys is nonsense. That’s not being alpha. REAL men don’t question themselves or even know what “alpha male” means. Because I’m writing this blog, this automatically takes me out of the running for being “alpha male”. I don’t make up the rules. But when these guys ruled the internet, some took it as a joke…as I did….and some took it as a way of life. They saw these guys be complete jackasses, demean women, and have discontent against society and though: “yeah! That’s exactly how I feel!”. Not everyone, but I think they gave a voice to disgruntled young men. Although it was the 2000s…long before it was thought that Donald Trump could be president…Maddox, Max, and others provided a glimpse, or perhaps even the genesis, into what would eventually be the alt-right. Maddox himself might challenge that, but there were many that DID take his, for a lack of a better description, “masculine disenfranchisement” seriously. Remember that high school buddy I mentioned? It was that type of attitude that helped him justify hitting his girlfriends and hate women in general. (I’d later testify against him in court, but another story for another day). Maddox, of course, can’t take the blame for that. Like all art, and I’ll be generous and throw Maddox in there, he was a representation of his era. Looking at the website “Best Page in the Universe”, I supposed we could say which of it is genuine opinion or “satire”. But what is (or was) less obvious is how much of the “Maddox” persona is (or was) genuine. The inability to detect humor was what helped my friend justify his shitty behavior. And no doubt, many today have incredibly strange beliefs because they misinterpreted something on the internet. It’s just in my view, Maddox was the one that blazed this trail and when we start discussing “the history of the Internet”, his page deserves its own chapter. Who is the REAL Maddox? Don’t know. Don’t care. Unfortunately, there was A LOT more I wanted to say in this post…like anger masquerading as humor….but I ran out of energy. Just letting you know that hopefully I’ll have my computer back soon and can return to having paragraphs.

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