Laugh Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

What's Inside

Best of RAH96 Humor Review:
PythOnline

by Dave Bealer

Copyright © 1996 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved.

Long before there was spam on the net, there was Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, lovely Spam, wonderful Spam on the telly. Not only that, there were silly elections, the Pirahna Brothers, dead parrots, silly walks, architects, cheese shoppes, arguments, upper class twits, pantomime horses, fish slapping dances, and, quite unexpectedly, the Spanish Inquisition.

All this insanity - and a great deal more - was the result of the lethally funny combination of five mad Brits and one lunatic Yank. Monty Python's Flying Circus first hit the airwaves of Great Britain in 1969. This totally original half hour comedy program eventually spawned three major motion pictures and numerous comedy albums, books, fan clubs, t-shirts, and Giant Electric Killer Penguins.

PythOn The Net

Monty Python's humor was the product of conflict. In fact, according to Eric Idle, the only thing all six Pythons ever completely agreed on was that the show "would never work in America." More than a quarter century later Monty Python still has legions of fans in America, not to mention most other English speaking (approximately) countries of the world. So it was only natural that Monty Python became a favorite topic of conversation in online chat and the USENET newsgroups. When the web was created, Monty Python fan sites sprang up like mushrooms after a Spring shower.

Now, 27 years after it all began, there is a Monty Python web site officially sanctioned by the Pythons themselves. PythOnline is coded and operated by 7th Level (the folks responsible for the PC games "Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time" and "Monty Python and the Quest For the Holy Grail"). The final touch of legitimacy is provided by the site's editor, Python alumnus Eric Idle.

Graphics Ahoy!

PythOnline is a graphics-intensive site, which should come as no surprise. Commercially prepared sites always throw loads of graphics at visitors whether they improve the objectives of the site or not. Strangely enough the graphics at PythOnline really do improve the browsing experience. They are appropriately silly, while at the same time remaining functional. In fact the PythOnline main menu is the best (meaning least obnoxious) use of an image map I have yet encountered.

PythOnline does require a recent version of Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer to be fully appreciated. The games section claims to be compatible with any 32-bit version of Netscape, but the games wouldn't work with my copy of Netscape Gold for Windoze 95. Apparently some plug-in is needed to run the ".7th" MIME type, but there was no information I could find on where to download said plug-in.

The Spam Club

One of the first things you'll want to do PythOnline is to join the Spam Club. This allows you to benefit from the many members-only features which include:

Change Your Star Sign
Tired of being a boring old Aries? Try becoming a Newt, a Lobster, a Mad Cow, a Lumberjack, a Hedgehog, or a Parrot.

Abuse
This hysterical set of forms allows you to send abusive e-mail to your friends, family, boss, teacher, or whatever. Features many authentic French taunts and professional abusive insults from the gentleman in Room 12.

Be A Silly Organ Donor
This equally hysterical set of forms allows you to e-mail parts of your body you no longer need (and probably never knew you had anyway) to your friends, family, boss, teacher, or whatever.

"De recta non tolerandum sunt."
The motto of the Spam Club. Find out what it means.

Chit-Chat

This area contains several sections including the Swedish Message Board, which hosts various public Python-oriented conferences. A real time chat area is included, as well as info on Python projects like "The Wind In The Willows."

Plugs

Each Python has his own cleverly named space (Idlewild!, The Cleese Shop, Palindrome, etc.) in which to rant, reflect, or plug his latest project. Some fascinating stuff is included, and the memorials to Graham Chapman are touching. Among the stranger features are the "autographed pictures" available in JPEG format from each Python.

Shopping

The Python Store offers videos, shirts, mugs, games, music, and printed items. I have placed an order and will report on product quality and service promptness after the order arrives.

Go For It!

If you're really into Monty Python or are very silly, do yourself a favor and visit PythOnline!

______________________________

Dave Bealer is a fifty-something mainframe systems programmer who works with CICS, z/OS and all manner of nasty acronyms at one of the largest heavy metal shops on the East Coast. He shares a waterfront townhome in Pasadena, MD. with a cat who annoys him endlessly as he assiduously avoids writing for and publishing Random Access Humor. Dave can be reached via e-mail at:

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