ZOMBIE BOOB TUBE TELEVISION
November 16, 2007 8:43 AM   Subscribe

They claimed they would destroy all television with their business. $100 million and one cast member of First Kid later, all they had were massive amounts of failure, tremendous parties with Bryan Singer, and many, many, many allegations of sexual molestation. Now they hide in the Spanish Riviera and hire Chinese sweatshop workers to mine for World of Warcraft items. Check as well the original 2000 LA Times expose on the company, to say nothing of the "gay pedophile version of Silver Spoons" which remains their finest artistic achievement. via boingboing

I also thank who I assume is MeFi's Own meehawl's link to this summary of the events. (NSFW)
posted by Sticherbeast (49 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
most of the intended audience had to access the programming via 56K modems ... It became pretty clear that it wasn't going to work."

Still, DEN pressed on, shrinking the format and utilizing shots with as little movement as possible.


Heh. If they had waited 4 or 6 years maybe they could have been youtube. But they didn't.

It amazes me that people with no technical expertise were given these jobs, were given all this money, without even the most basic idea of how to make it actually work. And the crazy ideas about how to make money. Who is going to click on a product in the middle of a video and buy it?
posted by delmoi at 8:54 AM on November 16, 2007


What's saddening about the First Kid thing is, looking at the video cover, you wonder what the hell happened to the other guys. Oh, Sinbad.

[Nitpicking issue: Was there a reason you didn't say what DEN was or something? It's like you purposefully avoided saying what this FPP is actually about with the "they" and "the company" stuff. Sorry, not trying to be a dick or anything- it's a cool story, but "mystery FPPs" are kind of annoying and this one certainly didn't need to be.]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:59 AM on November 16, 2007


Who is "they"? Why the secrecy?
posted by DU at 9:10 AM on November 16, 2007


Where exactly is the pedophile part of that pilot? A rich gay couple taking a teenage boy (the brother of one of them) to live with them makes them pedophiles? I can see they were ahead of their time and that one of the writers has been convicted for sexual offenses but, in general, the idea behind the show sounds very educational to me. Crappy quality though.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 9:15 AM on November 16, 2007


I remember watching that gay pedophile version of Silver Spoons.

Didn't it star Ricky Shroder and Jason Bateman?
posted by flarbuse at 9:16 AM on November 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


Holy WTF. I can't even read the rest of this article... it's like the orangutan story from yesterday. Makes me want to stay home and stop learning about the world.
posted by dammitjim at 9:16 AM on November 16, 2007


[/scurries frantically back to the home page, wondering how he missed "the orangutan story"]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Previously.

You know, prompted by the Radar article, I checked out the Wikipedia DEN article and it was full of stuff like "brave internet pioneers" and "staggeringly audacious" - apparently without DEN there could have been no Internet as we know it. Seriously, it was like I reading the usual guff that's written about Google/Yahoo/Digg and there was nothing about the sexual abuse. Given the boing boing attention, the article has been rapidly modified to a less valedictory POV.

I was surprised to find that Wikipedia had no entry for Collins-Rector so I added one with some basic facts. I ran straight into Wikipedia's unusually earnest self-appointed administratros, who deleted the page literally within minutes because it was "attacking a living person", not fact-based, and was unsourced. Apparently, a link to the Florida Sex Offender Registry was insufficient sourcing. I also got the "is this person really notable" guff from them. This is from an "encyclopedia" with endless crap about minor Star Wars characters?
posted by meehawl at 9:30 AM on November 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


Original score by Bobby Stott and DJ Walk-in.

DJ Walk-in, spinning all the hits from the NAMBLA closet disco.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:34 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to find that Wikipedia had no entry for Collins-Rector so I added one with some basic facts. I ran straight into Wikipedia's unusually earnest self-appointed administratros, who deleted the page literally within minutes because it was "attacking a living person", not fact-based, and was unsourced.

Jimbo's Birthday.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:38 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


much of wikipedia is a joke. the writing makes me cringe.
posted by quonsar at 9:47 AM on November 16, 2007


I also thank who I assume is MeFi's Own meehawl's link to this summary of the events. (NSFW)

Not only *should* that link be suitable for work, there are a whole host of industries where watching it should be a compulsory part of the induction process.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2007


I found one other odd thing. When I was checking on Concentric Network, the early 90s ISP started by Collins-Rector and Shackley, I noticed that its incorporation or sale documents have become some sort of general template for business document filings and their paired names seem to have become embedded in the Internet's el cheapo business documentation DNA. Which is kind of amusing when you think of it.
posted by meehawl at 10:09 AM on November 16, 2007


When people ask me why I left LA, I point them to stories like this. They'll say, "Oh, so you couldn't stand the depravity and the decadence - or, maybe, you were angered by the lack of honesty among peers, the constant scamming. You couldn't participate in the endless charade of manufactured self-authority, a town all too happy to reward poor quality." And it really angers me. Because what I mean is that I left because of all the parties where you would go to a mansion with a bunch of other men (why always only men?), drink some sort of (albeit delicious) punch-like beverage, and wake up fellating some paunchy 40-year old record exec. I mean, seriously. Like every weekend.
posted by billysumday at 10:10 AM on November 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


MeFi's Own meehawl's link

I think actually boing boing had this in its write-up, that's where I found it. I honestly had no idea fuckedcompany was still going, but I do remember that its forums were serious sources of DEN gossip back in the day.
posted by meehawl at 10:11 AM on November 16, 2007


It's like the plot from a bad movie with cartoon villains; they stole money and raped, at gun-point, several members of their crew, and then they brought in someone else, and made him just like them, and then they made some awful, awful video, and then there were drugs, and an escape to the Spanish Riviera and some Chinese sweat shops, oh, and everybody is gay...

This script would never get made.

Pity it actually happened.
posted by quin at 10:12 AM on November 16, 2007


much of wikipedia is a joke. the writing makes me cringe.

Yeah, like, what's up with all those capitalized letters at the beginning of sentences?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Blazecock, I'm sure he wasn't specifically talking about your Wiki contributions.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 10:32 AM on November 16, 2007


stop trying to enforce your values on the rest of teh grammatical world, blazecock. some of us are committed to the abolution of lead-caps in our lifetimes. if you could just understand....
posted by lodurr at 10:33 AM on November 16, 2007


I used to use Concentric as my dialup access ISP. I'd completely forgotten about that, until I read this. Funny thing is, I can't actually remember when that was, so maybe they figured out how to administer rufies by POTS.
posted by lodurr at 10:35 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that they mention Brian Singer as partying with these guys, because the Brian Singer movie, Apt Pupil, was the subject of a lawsuit brought by the parents of some male minors who were required to appear nude in a locker room shower scene. I don't think it was in the original Stephen King novella, but the movie also ends with the protagonist blackmailing the guidance counselor (played by David Schwimmer) by threatening to lie to the authorities that the counselor made a homosexual advance at him.
posted by jonp72 at 10:38 AM on November 16, 2007


some of us are committed to the abolution of lead-caps in our lifetimes. if you could just understand....

I don't understand either. You're going to wash the capital letters?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2007


lodurr is used to being silenced ALL HIS LIFE.

This story is harrogatha. Harrogatha!

*flashes thread*

Maybe I'd better stop reading MeTa for a while...
posted by hermitosis at 10:49 AM on November 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


... wash them?

well, you ablute them, then you abolish them. more efficient that way.

(how long do i have to keep using lower case before it ruins the gag? it's really starting to bother me.)
posted by lodurr at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2007


Heh, that wikitruth site is pretty entertaining (nsfw)
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on November 16, 2007


Do I have to put an allcap in someone's ass?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:09 AM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


oooh, ooh, me!

(that's one thing i've never had in my ass)
posted by CitizenD at 11:28 AM on November 16, 2007


Television 1: DEN 0
posted by drezdn at 11:57 AM on November 16, 2007


I don't have enough amazement to cover the fact that pasty monsters make millions of dollars repeatedly and retire to villas in Spain while I'm so fucking broke I have to fix the clutch on my car myself.
posted by koeselitz at 12:12 PM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Holy shit.
Coincidence Filter: My college roommate wrote that movie "First Kid!"
posted by tkchrist at 12:15 PM on November 16, 2007


Jimbo's Birthday.

Please tell me there's another side to that story that makes it all rational. Seriously, I don't generally think Jimbo Wales is nuts, but man, that is weird.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2007


I'm so fucking broke I have to fix the clutch on my car myself.

Have you considered becoming a drug-addled pedophile?
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:38 PM on November 16, 2007


meehawl, you may find a spot for your bio on Collins-Rector on Encyclopedia Dramatica. Granted, you'll have to throw in a few "OMG GAY"s and "LOL DONGS" for good measure.

Also, Collins-Rector? He barely touched 'er!
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:42 PM on November 16, 2007


Wow, i started watching Chad's World and had to stop after two minutes. I thought i had seen bad, but that was... baaad. Richard McBeef-type bad.
posted by ELF Radio at 2:22 PM on November 16, 2007


Never have I seen something that I understand less. Can a person who is more educated on this subject, whatever it may be, provide some sort of synopsis?
posted by tehloki at 2:39 PM on November 16, 2007


(how long do i have to keep using lower case before it ruins the gag? it's really starting to bother me.)

Lodurr?

Now. Stop.
posted by mephron at 3:14 PM on November 16, 2007


Metafilter: that's one thing i've never had in my ass
posted by quin at 4:27 PM on November 16, 2007


I ran straight into Wikipedia's unusually earnest self-appointed administratros, who deleted the page literally within minutes because it was "attacking a living person", not fact-based, and was unsourced.

Wikipedia admins are decidedly not self-appointed. Hell, RFA is where half the drama takes place.

And the admin restored the article when you asked and has in fact helped copyedit it. I think it's in good enough shape to avoid deletion right now, but that doesn't mean nobody will consider nominating it.

Just for kicks, though, when you want to write an article calling someone a pedophile, try to avoid getting the project sued. The Radar article is sufficient sourcing for notability, I should think. Yes, it's harder to write articles about living people than it is about Pokemon, which is why there are so many Pokemon articles.

tehloki: This guy has the ghey (and inappropriate age boundaries), as well as a talent for starting companies (or a tendency to fail forward fast, as it may be). He also like to employ his boytoys, or turn his employees into boytoys, as it may be. He starts a company called DEN to make TV shows that you watch over the web instead of a TV. He gets a lot of people, like a Congressman, to invest in DEN, which is ahead of its time at the very minimum, and when it fails and the law starts to catch up with him about his penchant for chickenhawks, he runs off to Spain. It's all pretty meaningless except that DEN was at the time touted as the Next Big Thing. The hilarious part is that the flagship program looks a lot like an unconscious defense of his personal life.
posted by dhartung at 4:41 PM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks, dhartung.

It sounds like the plot for a really bad reality TV show.
posted by tehloki at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2007


I almost worked at DEN.

I was working as the senior editor at Wirebreak.com, another web startup of the same generation. We, like DEN, like Pseudo, like a couple others, were trying to be TV on the Internet, in a world of 56K modems and cheap production value.

Wirebreak only ran through around $25 million, whereas DEN ran through $100 in their respective year of existence.

I was just out of film school, and for me, and a lot of other people I knew, these Internet/TV companies were a first real long term production job. I knew 3 or 4 people working at DEN, including an ex-girlfriend who was a producer there. She too was also just out of school. I heard all these stories about how they had built their own building and had huge cocaine fueled parties all the time with their investors' money.

The biggest problem was they were all producing crap that wasn't as good as the crap on TV, and so there was no reason to watch.

One of our producers had gotten fired at Wirebreak and gotten hired at DEN. So, I got a call from her on a Friday night to see if I wanted to come and work at DEN. They needed me to work all weekend, and would pay me double what I was getting at the time.

I thought about it, and said no. It had been a long week, and I was collecting a paycheck, so food and rent were paid for, and I didn't desperately need the money, I was tired, and so I passed.

That next Monday DEN went out of business, in a hailstorm of pedophilia and scandal. I guess they would have been bringing me in to finish up unfinished things before the implosion....

I sometimes wish I *had* worked there that weekend. Then I could say I'd been a part of one of the biggest fuckups Hollywood's ever seen. I mean the scandal at the time was enormous.

As it was, I continued to work at Wirebreak for awhile longer, until it became clear that no more money could be sucked out of foolish investors. And then Wirebreak went under as well.

It's pretty tough to run a business that has no revenue, I guess...
posted by MythMaker at 5:44 PM on November 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


Coincidence Filter: My college roommate wrote that movie "First Kid!"

Had he suffered a head injury?
posted by mrnutty at 6:02 PM on November 16, 2007


Collins-Rector? No.
posted by stavrogin at 11:18 PM on November 16, 2007


More on the detective work behind the article here.
posted by johngoren at 1:06 AM on November 17, 2007


The Spanish police report speaks of 8000 child porn pictures. Let's also note that Spain has quite a liberal approach to the age of consent: if the Spanish police says child porn, you can be pretty sure it's child porn, not teen porn. Ugh.
posted by Skeptic at 6:45 AM on November 17, 2007


I must also add that, although under no doubt that these guys are the lowest class of pond scum, I can't suppress some sneaking admiration for such accomplished con artists. To ignore the law and all rules of civilised conduct so comprehensively, and yet be able to live a jetsetting lifestyle without ever doing anything like work. Wow.
Yet again, this makes me wonder just how many stupid, stupid business decisions are the result of (literally) mind-blowing blowjobs. Quite a few, I'm afraid...
posted by Skeptic at 6:52 AM on November 17, 2007


Skeptic, one word: Enron. (The best blowjobs are metaphorical, anyway.)
posted by lodurr at 7:09 AM on November 17, 2007


when you want to write an article calling someone a pedophile, try to avoid getting the project sued

Thanks for the tip, but I restricted any mention of Rector's sexuality to a statement of fact: Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender. Also, labels are tricky - are you talking paedophilia, or ephebophilia, when you use that term?

I am so glad that the Wikpedians jumped in to immeasurably improve the article by adding section headings, shortening the average sentence length, and truncating subordinate clauses. Important stuff when you want to get your edit count up. Now it's more like real Wikienglish.
posted by meehawl at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2007


The Radar article is sufficient sourcing for notability

I just caught this. Personally, I'd think that being the co-founder of one of the more storied and expensive dot-bombs in the Bubble 1.0 was and is significant in and of itself. But of course, that happened before Wikipedia was founded and we got Bubble 2.0 (Networking Bugaloo) and so is, of course, Non Notable.

However, add the lawsuits, the extradition, the plea bargaining, and now the expatriate marriage and pursuit by The Sun (The SUN!) and you're almost there, except that's a Euro paper so it doesn't really count. But then you get a post-2002 online writeup by a US-based [dead-tree-magazine].com URL and it's notability gold.
posted by meehawl at 1:54 PM on November 17, 2007


It's Chad's World, Chad's World, buggery time, excellent!

AIR GUITAR
posted by dr_dank at 2:06 PM on November 17, 2007


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