The Legend of Lore
February 28, 2022 1:27 PM   Subscribe

The Brunching Shuttlecocks was (and is) a humor website that ran from 1997 to 2003. It was founded by David Neilsen and Lore Fitzgerald Sjöberg There's a TON more links inside, but here's a taste: Porn Star or My Little Pony?  *  Ratings: Cat Toys ("Catnip Anything: Very entertaining.")  *  Ratings: Star Wars Lego Figures  *  The Björk Song (In RealAudio or MP3, with David Neilsen. Causes insanity.)  *  Pikachewy ("'Twas Beedrill, and the Starmie Gloom/Did Grimer and Gengar in the Mew")  *  Twelve AP Headlines Which Can Be Sung to 'Camptown Races' ("Man in Wheelchair Killed by Train, doo-dah, doo-dah")  *  The Geek Hierarchy: Abridged But Managable - Unabridged but Large - For Printing (PDF) (Doubles Jubilee, original from 2015)

David Neilsen, also known on the site as The Self-Made Critic (which was wonderful), was a funny guy in his own right. But the focus of this post is Lore... who is a Metafilter member btw... twice, in fact.

Since the site closed, he wrote the Alt Text Column for Wired Magazine, and made 21 episodes of an Alt Text podcast. Some time back he made Little Fluffy Industries (defunct), a Flash game review site, and Slumbering Lungfish (defunct), a previous internet collection of his work. He collected some of his classic Ratings from Brunching, Alt Text and other places into the Book of Ratings(AMAZON). And then he made Bad Gods, an archive of comics like Bandwidth Theater, Capybera Brothers, Sean and Wormwood, and Monster Manual Comix/Speak With Monsters. But then alas Bad Gods developed a case of Main Page Scripting Error. Here's hoping he fixes it someday.

Lore's special bailiwick on brunching.com was the Ratings, where he took some number of things and passed suitably derisive judgment upon them over the course of about a page. Many have followed his footsteps there, but in my book he still did it best.

Lore Sjöberg is my very favorite web funnyguy of all time. Back in college we'd daily refresh Brunching Shuttlecocks in the hopes of finding some new bit of internet joy. Let's take a moment to examine the gigantic shipwrecking bulk that lies hidden, just beneath the surface, of the Sjöberg.... What follows is a massive celebration of his Brunching Shuttlecocks work. It's not everything he did for the site, but it's a good 80% at least, continuing features sorted out, highlights identified.

Note 1: most pages that have CGI scripting are broken, which resulted in several notable exclusions here.

Note 2: As said above, Lore was actually just half of Brunching Shuttlecocks, the other half being the just-as-talented David Neilsen, aka The Self-Made Critic. And they also took contributions, so less than half. But this is going to take long enough as it is, so I'm callously only including Lore's pieces. It's really a shame to leave Neilsen out, though....

Note 2022a: A few items use Flash of a very early version. They should work using the Ruffle browser extension.

Note 2022b: This is a reprise of a huge post. It was constructed by copying my old code out of the page source and reverting changes I could detect made by MeFi's publishing code. I have by no means checked to make sure every link still works, but all, or nearly all, should point to brunching.com, and the site at least still works.

*** LONG RUNNING & RECURRING ***

SUPERHERO RATINGS
Ratings: Superfriends The first of these is the earliest item in the archives. "Batman gets extra points for having the best line in the entire history of the Superfriends. The villain was named Dr. Noah Tall or something equally ludicrous, and he and his evil little sidekick were posed as street-corner food vendors with a cart and everything. As part of their plan, they were attempting to get Batman to buy some chicken soup. This REALLY HAPPENED, DAMMIT! Anyhow, Batman, the dark night detective, the scourge of the underworld, assessing the situation with his keen crime-fighting brain, asks, in his deep, stentorian voice, 'Is the chicken soup fresh?' It was a glorious moment." Over the years, Lore added onto this.
More Superfriends
Marvel Superheroes
The Legion of Doom
Ratings: Marvel Supervillains, Part One - Part Two
Ratings: Batman Villains "The Joker, depending on who's writing him, has two modes: the 'murderous clown genius' mode, where he's Batman's deadliest and most wily arch-foe, or the 'Rip Taylor unchained' mode, where he's basically a lawless prop comic."
Superman's Powers "Invulnerability: Not much of a downside to this, as long as you're also invulnerable to things you might want to get a shot for. And your hair and fingernails aren't invulnerable. And you're not planning on getting into the piercing and tattooing scene."
Ratings: Spider-Man Powers

BREAKFAST CEREAL RATINGS
Ratings: Breakfast Cereals "Cookie Crisp: Lame. It was a good concept, it could have gone somewhere, but the fact is that the cereal bits bear no closer resemblance to chocolate chip cookies than Fruity Pebbles do to actual rocks. Also, this Cookie Crook character is shamelessly derivative of the whole Trix Rabbit Cereal Theft genre, only instead of the kids looking after their own damn cereal they have an animated figure of authority to protect it for them. I am, however, an advocate of pouring milk on Chips Ahoy and eating that for breakfast."
More Breakfast Cereals
Still More Breakfast Cereals
Yet More Breakfast Cereals
Are You There God? It's More Breakfast Cereals!
Gödel, Escher, Breakfast Cereals!
I Don't Want to be Elfstar Any More. I Want to be More Breakfast Cereals

SNACK FOOD RATINGS
Ratings: Hostess Products "Twinkies: The quintessential Hostess food, similar to foods you might create in your own kitchen, but profoundly different. Yes, the outer coating bears a passing resemblance to sponge cake, and the "creamy filling" might have once read a book about a dairy product, but overall it has that quality of taste and texture that can only be found on the snack food aisle."
Ratings: Halloween Treats
Ratings: Japanese Snack Foods
Ratings: More Hostess Products
Ratings: Australian Snack Food
Ratings: Korean Snack Foods
Ratings: More Korean Snacks "A Pico Boy, presumably, is one one-trillionth of a boy, just as pico de gallo is one one-trillionth of a de gallo. Well, one one-trillionth of a boy tastes a lot like a stale cream puff. Also, a Pico Boy according to the box is a flower-eating, unicycle-riding, sweating gnome with pastry on his head. That darned metric system."
Ratings: Jelly Belly Flavors "Watermelon: The outside is green, the inside is red. Clever! These days the effect is ruined somewhat by the little 'Jelly Belly' they stamp on the darned things, but you can just turn that side away from you when you play "Gojira Visits The Melon Patch." If only you could infuse them with vodka like real watermelons we'd be set."
Ratings: Swedish Candy
Ratings: Israeli Snack Foods "Ego Trip
Good name! Much better than 'Humility Bar' or 'Reasonable Self-Assessment Bites.'"
Ratings: Crackers "Chicken In A Biskit: My two contradictory questions about this cracker are 'Why?' and 'Why stop there?' The whole idea of a chicken-flavored cracker is so revolting that I wonder why there's a market for that and not, say, Pork in a Biskit. The more flesh-flavored crackers we create, the closer we get to admitting to ourselves that we are, culturally speaking, batshit insane."
Ratings: Canadian Snack Foods "Ketchup Potato Chips: Good god! ('Mon dieu!') These are actually good! Really good. So good that I was able to get past the unnerving phrase 'simulated ketchup flavour.'"
Ratings: Cookies
More Cookies
Ratings: Inanimate Object Candy
More Inanimate Object Candy
Ratings: Ice Cream Novelties "You know, there are always people who have a damp and subdued sense of fun. These are the people who sit on the stationary horses on the carousel. The people who consider pear halves to be dessert. The people who always eat pizza with a fork and knife. These are also the people who, when given a choice from the ice cream novelties bin at the local nacho-dispensing convenience chain store, pick the little bitty tubs of ice cream with strawberry stripes and a flat wooden spoon. I don't get them."
Ratings: Czech and Romanian Snack Foods "Krupky Arasdov: Or something like that. There are diacritics on some of the letters that could drive a mellow man mad. Anyhow, Krupky. There's no English on the package to provide hints here, but it appears to be a peanut-flavored salty crunchy snack puff, the kind of thing George Washington Carver might have come up with if he were courting the youth market. And in fact there's a youth on the package, very excited by his massive peanut snack in spite of the fact that he's clearly dressed in a Burger King uniform."

GAME RATINGS
Ratings: Classic Video Games "Pac-Man: The real tragedy of Pac-Man, aside from a sequel addiction that made the Friday the Thirteenth movies seem restrained, was that the key to the game was not skill, reflexes, or even intelligence, but rather memorization. The video games section of Waldenbooks was filled with books that told you the exact moves to make at the exact time, making mastery of Pac-Man only faintly more impressive than memorizing the first hundred digits of pi."
Ratings: More Classic Video Games and Ratings: References From Last Week's Ratings
Ratings: Still More Classic Video Games
Ratings: Atari 2600 Games "You're a dot. You have an arrow, which is actually a sword, which you use to kill what appear to be giant ducks. Giant, at least, compared to you, but you're a dot, so it's hard to figure scale. This is what passed for epic on the 2600."
Ratings: Card Games
Ratings: Board Games (Not cool ones, but things like Sorry, Mouse Trap and Pictionary.)
Ratings: Schoolyard Games
Ratings: Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes "There are so many good names for magicians -- Wizard, Mage, The Amazing Zappo -- that it's a pity that the designers of D&D didn't come up with something less stilted. 'Magic-User' has so little flair that they may as well have called them 'Paranormal Effects Administrators.'"
More Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes "The odd thing to me is that this involved the same detailed level system as the rest of the classes. There's something odd about having a 'third level Barbarian,' as if he had to pass some sort of Barbaric bar exam to prove his competence to practice barbarism in the state of New Jersey."
Ratings: Tomy Pocket Games (You know, these things. Someone should make a post about 'em.)

GOOD OR BAD
A series of polls where the site asked readers to rank things on a plus/minus basis. The polls are long over, but the results are a good measure of what site readers thought of things at the time. Unfortunately, polls after #22 are broken CGI scripts.

Good or Bad: 1 - 2 - James Bond Edition - 3 - Red, Red Whatever - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 (dated events) - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21

STATE QUARTER RATINGS
Ratings: State Quarters
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

BANNER AD NAUSEAM
Animated fake banner ads people can use on their websites.
Ad Nauseam 2

READER MAIL
Lore responds to people writing in. A short-lived long running feature, it began August 2002, near the end of the site's run.
August 5, 2002
August 12, 2002
August 19, 2002
January 13, 2003
February 3, 2003
Februay 10, 2003
March 10, 2003
March 24, 2003

BANDWIDTH THEATER
All of these require Flash.
Bandwidth Theater: Kevin Smith and his Magic Feather
Bandwidth Theater: Homonculi
Bandwidth Theater: Ninja Massage Therapist
Bandwidth Theater: Gaydar
Bandwidth Theater: The Adventures of Evil Overmom
Bandwidth Theater: Wedding Vows to Avoid
Bandwidth Theater: Predictions
Bandwidth Theater: Hitman
Bandwidth Theater: More Than Meets The Eye

LORE BRAND COMICS
Lore comics: dear lore
Lore comics: the only
Lore comics: unholy union
Lore comics: any kind
Lore comic: thank you
Lore comic: all music
Lore comic: kuala lumpur
Lore comic: number 37
Lore Comic: never heard
Lore Comic: tribute film
Lore Comic: the courage
Lore Comic: have fun
Lore Comic: I need
Lore Comic: see clearly

AND THE REST...

*** 1997 ***
The Future of the Internet "Netscape announces that it will no longer allow people to download and use its browser for free. Market share drops 80% in two minutes."
Ratings: Sesame Street Characters "Cookie is the MAN! Cookie's got it ALL going on! Cookie is a huge terry-cloth mass of greed, gluttony, and astonishing lack of self-restraint, and this is on EDUCATIONAL TV! And Cookie Monster, in his Zen-like wisdom, provided my generation with perhaps the only clear moral message we'll ever know, a beacon for our scattered lives: 'C is for cookie, and that's good enough for me.' It's good enough for all of us, Cookie."
Ratings: Rock Stars with One Name "Hammer: Started out as M.C. Hammer, he changed his name to Hammer just about the time no one cared. It just goes to show you how fickle fame can be. For a while there he was as hot as hot can be, and then a couple years later he's doing Grad Night at Disney with L.L. Cool J and Run-DMC. Lesson to be learned? Rappers need a strong investment portfolio."
Elvis Movie or Cocktail?
Ratings: Pizza Toppings "Let's give fish particles their due, shall we? They're not really very good tasting, but they serve the dual purposes of being a funny topping and being the topping nobody orders. Say you're telling a joke, and the guy in the joke orders a pizza. Just put anchovies on the pizza and it doubles the comedy, if it's a pretty pathetic joke in the first place."
Why Pippi Longstocking is a Great Book
Ratings: Monopoly Tokens "The Doggie: Ah, yes. The Gleaming Terrier of Finance. As a kid, the selling point of the dog was that you could tilt him and pretend to make him piddle on your opponents' hotels. Not exactly evolved comedy, but once you've chuckled over the 'Beauty Contest' card you have to take your laughs where you can get them in Monopoly."
Homes For Sale
Ratings: Star Trek Alien Makeup "Ferengi Teeth: I know the ears and foreheads are supposed to be the attraction here -- how novel for a Star Trek alien -- but I'm always fascinated by the Ferengi's teeth. All other races in the galaxy seem to have discovered corrective orthodontia and no-copayment dental plans; the Ferengi alone dare to keep their teeth looking like Stonehenge on mescaline. Considering even the warrior-class Klingons must be flossing, this is an admirable resistance to inter-species peer pressure."
Ratings: Pet Rodents "Rats are the primo rodents to have around. Points to support this thesis: 1) They don't run away, even if you leave their cage open, because they know where The Big Hand puts the food. 2) When you take them out they want to explore, instead of finding a hole and going to sleep. 3) They can be trained to come when you call. When was the last time you saw a guinea pig do that trick? 4) Their scaly tails drive away insecure milksops who can't stand to have a manifestation of their own id explore their hair."
Best of Hell "Best Movie Theater: Showing everything from 'Cops and Robbersons' to a Mel Brooks retrospective (post-1980 only), the cramped seats and sticky floors of the Venial Cinema were voted best. In praising this establishment, respondents cited air conditioning that occasionally works, and dried maggot snacks that 'taste pretty okay in butter.' We'll be fixing both of these in the future to provide a more miserable movie-going experience."
Ratings: Crayola Colors "White: Useless. Invisible on white paper, not at all white on colored paper, and not as effective for creating light colors as just not pressing as hard."
Scary Theatre
The World According to AltaVista (Curator's note: The Brunching Shuttlecocks got started in 1997, which explains the Web 0.1 site design. Back then AltaVista, along with other now-deceased sites like Excite, Lycos and Infoseek, was a hugely popular search engine. While names I will remember to my dying day, they are practically known today, destroyed by Google, which incorporated in 1998. The web is a harsh place. This page ranks phrases by their AltaVista rankings, eons before "Google rankings" became a thing. To get some idea of how the World Wide Web has grown, these scores are all scaled in the hundreds-to-thousands, not the multi-billions that would be now.)
The Personals
Ratings: Winnie-The-Pooh Characters "'Small?' I can hear many people saying. 'What's a Small? I don't remember any T-shirts, thermoses, videos, jammies, plastic infant juice cups, porcelain bookends, stamps from the Virgin Islands, throw pillows, nightlights, or latex marital aids with this `Small` on them.'"
Beanie Baby or G.I. Joe?
True Love Waits "You may or may not have heard of 'True Love Waits,' which, contrary to what you might expect, is not a Portland-based acoustic alternative band, but is rather a Christian movement to get teenagers to stop having sex. The idea, near as I can figure out, is that the reason teenagers so often end up having sex is because we haven't made them sign anything."
Ratings: Alien Invaders
Tina the Troubled Teen "At times the Web seems merely pointless and lame, but at other times it leaps across the dotted line into downright pathetic. A few months ago the hot intellectual property was 'Ate My Balls' pages, a shining example of the former. Now the big homepage trend appears to be 'Virtual Adoption Centers' with names like "Cute Cuddly Kittens" and 'Sheriberry DinoLand.'"
The Phantom Menace Revealed (Note: This page dates from before the release of Star Wars: Episode One. Imagine a world in which the possibility of Ewoks was the thing people were worried about. We were all more innocent then.)
Fashion for a Higher Cause
Do You Yahoo, You Yahoo?" (A quiz: pick out the fake Yahoo! directory category, circa November 1997. Fun fact: did you know there was once a time when Yahoo was mostly known for their sprawling and extensive web directory?)
Ratings: Scooby-Doo Characters (Scrappy-Doo gets the first F in Ratings history.)
Ratings: Kool-Aid Flavors (Including Purplesaurus Rex, Great Bluedini and [this existed, I swear] Sharkleberry Fin.)
Shopping Trip
Cancel Jams
Ratings: Three's Company Characters
Christian Metal Band or Star Trek Episode?
Fun with a Purpose (The moral lessons provided by a variety of newspaper comics.)
Bullish on Babylon - Results 1 - Results 2 - Final results (As explained in the first link, there used to be a site run by a Christian Fundamentalist, called the Rapture Index, which gave a frequently-updated list of things he believed heralded the Second Coming of Great Cthulhu Jesus Christ. Brunching Shuttlecocks took advantage of this by running a fake stock portfolio game with site patrons, where people "invested" in different causes of the end of the world, with the top ranked players getting T-shirts. These pages are the description and the results of that contest.)
Ratings: Christmas Songs

*** 1998 ***
Ratings: McDonalds Entrees "McD.L.T.: Remember this? The hot side stays hot, and the cool side stays cool? Lies! The hot side stays hot through the same cutting-edge heat lamp technology they use on everything, and the cool side stays, at best, room temperature, thanks to a thin layer of seagull-choking Styrofoam." "McNuggets: My God, these are eerie. Look at them. Go, order some, and look at them. They come in, like, four distinct shapes! They're like anti-snowflakes."
The Luke Side of the Force "I have a better explanation. The fact is that, throughout the three films, everyone Luke meets is completely bullshitting him about the Force. They make up all this crap about Dark and Light and Good and Evil to disguise that there's only one rule to the Force: die in front of Luke." (Makes a damn good point, and contains the term smarm rays.)
Ratings: Popeye and Entourage "Did you see the movie version of Popeye? Wasn't the resemblance between Olive Oyl and Shelly Duvall amazing? Duvall is obviously a woman who's willing to play on her strengths no matter what they are." [...] "in the end I wouldn't be at all surprised if Wimpy were to snap like a store-brand pretzel and mow down the entire Popeye cast, shouting 'It's Tuesday, people! Payback time!'"
A picture of Amy Grant making the Devil Sign which I found on the Web and linked back to the page I got it from, which just goes to show that everything associated with Christian Rock is completely hilarious (The linkback still works! Internet entropy is defeated this day!)
Blank of the Union, a State of the Union address MadLib
Ratings: Mythical Creatures "Vampires: I could make a crack about 'Vampire: The Masquerade' being D&D for people who own 'The Downward Spiral,' but I have a copy of both, so I'll limit myself to observing that with the increasing popularity of vampires, we're on the verge of the unicorn syndrome all over again."
Untitled #2
The Empowering Oracle
A Brief Guide to British English
The Pompitous of Love Personality Test (Are you a Smoker, a Joker, or a Midnight Toker?)
It's Spelled "Orgasm." (For a while the Brunching Shuttlecocks registered with a search site to redirect people who had misspelled the word 'Orgasm' to this page as a public service.)
The Inbedded Text Generator (A scripted feature that still works! Enter text into the box and the page will add "in bed" to it. We amused easily back then.)
Ratings: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors
Smartass Answers to the 80's Quiz "7. What did people desperately tried to avoid getting on 'Press Your Luck?' Herpes."
Ratings: Swiss Army Knife Items
Star Chart (What if Star Trek characters changed jobs?)
Ratings: Alice's (of Wonderland fame) Adventures Characters
Measurements
Test Marketing
Ratings: He-Man Characters "An incredibly muscular blond guy in a breechcloth and a page boy. On this planet he'd be stripping for tips in North Beach, but on Eternia he fights deformed animal guys and delivers homilies on the value of cooperation. Location, location, location."
Toon Style "Near as I can tell, there's a veritable cadre of people -- I'm imagining 13-year-old 'Magic the Gathering' players, but you never know -- who take it upon themselves to answer such weighty questions as 'What would it look like if Spritle got it on with Chim-Chim?'" The mention of My Little Pony here is disturbingly prescient.
Ratings: Office Supplies
Grrilla
Ratings: Speed Racer Characters
Ratings: Dog Tricks
The Goth Quote Generator
Harp on Godzilla (By Lore, David Neilsen and others - this has to do with the 90s Godzilla, the reboot before the reboot that isn't the Japanese reboot or either cartoon show)
The Associate Degrees of Kevin Bacon (A working CGI toy.)
Ratings: Coke Slogans
Misheard Lyrics
The Spiritual Growth Bookshelf
Italian Sports Car or Impotence Drug?
Ratings: More Pizza Toppings
Pool Toys
Either/Or
Ratings: Cocktails
The Crusaders (On Jack Chick comics.)
Their First Time
Ratings: The Kids from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
A Reply to FAIR
Less Popular Cereal Mascots
Beliefs of the Primitive Mall Walkers "'Sears closes at 9:30 because that's when the Great Dragon awakens to restock the sporting goods department.'"
Wrong Answer
Ratings: Ninja Weapons (And Oreo-Os.)
Ratings: Supermarket Vending Machine Items
Amazon on Display
The Tie Code (What then-President Clinton's ties mean. And yes, Brunching Shuttlecocks is that old.)
Ratings: Norse Gods "Having earned a B.A. in literature from a California university, I've attended more lectures on The Trickster Figure in Myth than I care to recall. You've got Coyote, Eshu, The Great Gazoo, the list goes on and on."
The Law Rating System
Ratings: Random Crap We Got in the Mail
URLs, URLs, URLs "I mean, we're dealing with a world where Yahoo not only has a masturbation category, but a category devoted specifically to Australian masturbation."
Norse Code
Ratings: Aspects of Televised Football "The advertisers know that if the Joe Six-Packs and Ed Pony-Kegs of the nation find out that their beloved man-brew is made out of millions of tiny, delicate dried flowers, there's going to be a massive migration to bourbon."
[blank] Jury Testimony (Clinton court testimony MadLibs. Remember when stuff like that seemed important? Huh, neither do I.)
Ratings: Merit Badges
Ratings: Hanna-Barbera Cartoons "Revenge of the Gobots: The Challenge of the Gobots
Playing Herman's Hermits to the Transformers' Beatles wouldn't have been a fun job under the best of circumstances, but this show added insult to ignominity. It featured one of the most pestilential aspects of modern Saturday Morning Cartoondom: Frank Welker's Squeaky Voice."
Ratings: Schoolhouse Rock "Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla! I wish my name were Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla! Ironically enough, though, I'd insist that people not use pronouns when referring to me. I'd make them say 'Hey! How is Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla? How are Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla's wife and kids? Did Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla catch the game last night?' If anyone refused, I'd get Albert Andreas Armadillo's rhino to impale them."
More Charges Against Microsoft(R)
Untitled #3
Ratings: "Paul is Dead" Clues
Radio Repetitive (God, Barenaked Ladies' One Week was ubiquitous back then wasn't it?)
Untitled #4 (Do you see the common theme between the track titles?)
Clothe the Swimsuit Model
Ratings: Car Options
Charles Atlas Shrugged
Bilingual Curious
20,000 Leagues (Quiz: pick the fake team.)
Ratings: Thanksgiving Foods
Ratings: Thundercats " The really sad thing is that his furry pals seem to be unable to accomplish much without him, or more accurately without his sword. Many episodes follow the basic plot of 'Lion-O is off somewhere being distracted while the Mutants attack. The ThunderCats fail to defend themselves in spite of the fact that the Mutants have shown themselves to have all the competency of a dead computer superstore employee.'"
The Truth About Poinsettias
Ratings: Aspects of Sushi Restaurants
Ratings: More Christmas Songs "The starkly limited appeal that the chipmunks ever held for me was hearing hits of the Eighties rendered in their electronically tortured little voices. (Which is not to say that most Eighties pop stars didn't themselves have electronically tortured voices.)"
Animal X
Chess Pieces "This piece may be the main reason more people don't get into chess. They look at this piece, which appears to be a castle to even the most casual observer, and are told that it's called a Rook. Then, just when they're getting used to the whole Rook thing, they're told that under certain circumstances the piece can 'castle.' This is when they decide that chess was invented by hateful maniacs and give up."

*** 1999 ***
Is That Ham?
Ratings: More Schoolhouse Rock
Lyricz
Ratings: Car Accessories
Calumny House Music Club (Riffing on music clubs that would send you free discs on signup provided you bought other records later at full price. Pretty much dead now.)
Ratings: Coins
The Computer Game Library
Perfume or Marvel Super Villain?
Ratings: Aspects of 'Jabberwocky'
6 Questions So Sexy You'll Have Him Begging For More (A quiz on Cosmopolitan magazine covers.)
Ratings: Diner Food
How Bad Is Batman?
So Speaks Randon "How I laughed with glee the first time I came upon a grocery display of Lunchables! Why, even the tow-headed children of my dimension would turn up their noses at such gaudy and indulgent Lunchables as these! The Lunchables of my world rarely contain juice paks, and those that do never, ever come with a straw!"
Ratings: Greek Gods "Aphrodite was the god of love, desire, and if you watch Xena, peroxide. She arose from the sea after the severed genitals of Uranus were discarded there. I just want to point out that I'm not looking for the particularly gruesome bits from Greek mythology. You can't read two pages through a book of Greek myths without running into severed genitals, baby-eating, vomit, sex with animals, liver-extraction, and similar horrors. It's like Bullfinch meets Troma. Anyhow. Aphrodite had a magical girdle. Good for her."
Ratings: Farm Animals
Ratings: Chinese Food
Ratings: Kids Songs "The nice thing about this song is that invites improvisation. What did old McDonald have on his farm? Ducks? Moose? Fusion-powered space-warping robots? As long as you can come with a noise for it, or in a pinch some sort of mime, then you can slip it right in there. I personally like 'On that farm he had a Nixon.'"
Cinematron "Tron With The Wind: Set in the glory days of the TI-99, this epic story of SCARLETT and RHETT, two programs thrown together on the same cassette tape, will fill you with sentiment and/or nostalgia."
Monkeys, Numbers, and You (A list of things those infinite monkeys will probably type before Hamlet. Like Hop On Pop.)
The World's Least Valid Internet Poll
Ratings: Street Signs
Cute Baby Animals: EXPOSED
Ratings: Urban Legends
Ratings: Schoolhouse Rock 3 "While it's pleasant to see Schoolhouse Rock delving into the occult, some of their evidence for the eldrich power of the number three is pretty sketchy: people reproduce, human anatomy can be divided into three parts if you ignore almost all major organs, and tricycles have three wheels. I wasn't aware that tricycles figured so prominently in cabalistic lore."
Actual, Real Life Road Signs We Made Up
how.to.argue.on.usenet
Phantom Menace Speed Ratings "'Hey, Padme's totally hitting on Anakin!': C-" (Published in the aftermath of the premiere of Episode One. We stood in line for hours outside the theater to see it. The level of hype was incredible. We were fools.)
More Darths "Darth Fisher-Price Person"
Titles for Star Wars Episode Two "In Which Piglet Meets A Heffalump"
The Jedi Training Generator
Honest Eros "The First Honest Sex Story"
More of the World According to AltaVista
Ratings: Plagues of Egypt "Normally you wouldn't expect a plague of frogs to convince Pharaoh to let the cat out, much less free thousands of slaves, but imagine this: you wake up one morning, get out of bed and -- SPLORCH -- step on a frog." The Rest of the Plagues of Egypt
Vicious Vegan
The Alternate Spider-Man (Other animal men.)
A Brief History of Time Travel (In which Lore reinvents a theory prohibiting time travel first thought up by Larry Niven.)
The Brunching Shuttlecocks Guide to Exotic Produce
Ratings: More Random Crap We Got in the Mail
Ratings: Dairy Products
Extremely Remedial Courses "Shapes and Colors in the Western World"
Coffeeshop Drinks
Alert! This Movie Has Been Rated (red siren light) (About the ratings of The ChildCare Action Project, or CAP, which still exists and has even older web design than the Brunching Shuttlecocks.)
The Y2K Survival Catalog
Ratings: Folk Music
MaisieTrade
Ratings: Godzilla Enemies "This is one tricked-out honey of a mechanical lizard, and that's not praise I hand out often. So many beams and rockets! Even his feet fire rockets! Many people overlook the potential of feet when building giant robots, but not the makers of Mechagodzilla. Another nice thing is that his builders even went so far as to give him spine-spikes just like the atomic monster he's modeled after. That's something I admire in alien overlords bent on the subjugation of our planet: attention to detail."
Int@rn@t Hum@r
Missed Connections
Ratings: Extinct Animals
Ratings: Paleolithic Web Pages (Paleolithic relative to 1999, that is. None of the sites present exists in its form at the time of Lore's writing. One of them had gone dark even then. Sigh.)
Household Hints
Vampire: The Masquerade FAQK "Q. Vampire dice? A. Yeah. They're all marbled and dark-looking, for people who like their random numbers to reflect their tortured soul."
Ratings: Playground Equipment "Slides are great, except the ones made out of Frictionium, the mysterious metal with a friction coefficent that makes concrete sidewalks look like a bathtub of baby oil by comparison. With those you don't slide, you just sit there looking like an idiot on an incline. Unless you're unlucky, and the slide takes three layers of skin as a sacrifice to the dark gods of recess. But slides that work, those are the shit."
Ratings: VCR Remote Control Buttons
AAAAAAUCTIONS.COM (In which Lore predicts Silk Road.)
Ratings: Wedding Traditions
More Satanic Symbols
Ratings: Amusement Park Foods "For the uninitiated, 'Dippin' Dots' these are horrid little nodules of some substance similar to ice cream, but without the part where it's good. They're like sweet large-curd cottage cheese. Most amusing of all, Dippin' Dots are billed as "The Ice Cream of the Future," as if Picard is going to walk up to the food synthesizer and say 'Ice cream. Wait, no, Dippin' Dots.'"
Smartass Answers to the Alien Abduction Survey
Ratings: Street Names
Untitled #6
Real Name or Stage Name?
Ratings: Miracles of Christ
Ratings: Insects "'Fouler insect never swarmed or flew, nor creepy toad was gross as 'tato bug. Remove the cursed thing before I freak.' -- Wm. Shakespeare, Betty and Veronica, Act 1, Scene 23. I can't even go into how nightmarish these vile little affronts to decency and aesthetics are. If I were having an Indiana Jones-style adventure, the Nazis would lock me in a crypt with a herd of potato bugs. And, I might add, I'd choke myself to death with my own whip right then and there rather than let a single evil little one of them touch my still-living body. They're still better than Scrappy-Doo, though."
Yulephilia
Ratings: Footwear
The Brunching Shuttlecocks Sexual Awakening Library
Microsoft Court Decision MadLib
Old People in 2050

*** 2000 ***
The Nose Wax Chronicles
Ratings: Good Luck Charms
Battle Beyond the Stores "Smurfs: The Reckoning: There can be only one. The Smurfs come to the sudden instinctual realization that they are destined to behead each other until only one survives."
Marsupials "In 'researching' this Rating, I discovered that Yahoo has category called 'Individual Wombats.' I just think that's something people should know."
Why PSAs Are Dumb
Ratings: Things to Sit On
Acronym Interaction, Expansion and Extrapolation Engine (Invents acronyms based on words you enter. Surprisingly, it still works!)
Ratings: Cold and Flu Remedies "Vicks Vapo-Rub: I remember this being very soothing as a child, but I've never been able to actually work up the will to spread menthol goo on my own chest as an adult. Lying on my back with globs of jelly in my chest hair would just make me feel like somebody's fetish."
Ratings: Piggies (Like "The One Who Went to Market.")
How to Be a Grown-Up Fantasy Geek (This was before the Lord Of The Rings movies made everyone into fantasy geeks.)
Ratings: Things In Space
The Long Form (About the census.)
Ratings: The Neighborhood of Make-Believe (As in, Mr. Rodgers.) "Henrietta Pussycat: If there's one thing I want to impress upon my readership, it's the importance of context. A middle-aged man with a hand-puppet going 'Meow meow love meow meow meow friends' in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe: beloved children's icon. A middle-aged man with a hand-puppet going 'Meow meow love meow meow meow friends' at the bus stop: a good reason to give undivided attention to your crossword puzzle. I found it particularly eerie that she could only speak English about once every five words; the rest was 'meow.' It was like the inverse of the Smurf language."
Lore for President
Ratings: Magic Tricks
Fuzzy Logic Functions: An Overview "whatever: This function returns one of the nine neo-boolean values used in fuzzy logic: true, false, maybe, sure, what, whoa, depends, look-let's-talk-about-this-later-when-we're-not-in-public, and elbows. The value returned is determined by standard anti-random vacillation routines."
Insect Parts
Ratings: Rain Gear
Ratings: Aspects of Easter "Chocolate Bunnies: I'm not going to get too baroque here: it's chocolate and it's sculpted. Nothing to complain about there."
Ratings: Aesop's Fables "'Slow but steady wins the race.' This is untrue. Generally speaking, slow but steady loses the race rather humiliatingly. Slow but steady wins the pie-eating contest."
Bipartisan Compromises
Whiskey Chug "Sorry, you're NOT a winner."
Ratings: Party Favors
Rudolph: The Lost Scene (Requires FLASH)
Emotional Responses (of cockroaches)
The Warning of Prince Charles "'Britain's Prince Charles Warns Modern Science' -- Reuters Headline"
Ratings: Lights
Ratings: Stuff in the Airline Catalog
Ratings: French Food You Suck On
Microsoft: The Verdict (Requires FLASH)
Ratings: Top Level Domain Names (There weren't that many back then.)
Ratings: Input Devices
The Highest Court
Ratings: Fireworks "Bottle Rockets: The quintessence of personal pyrotechnics. They whistle, they shoot through the air, then they explode, just like a flying, exploding Andy Griffith."
Microinsurance
Ratings: Monopoly Sets "National Parks: Finally, a truly American game! Own the National Parks! Use their financial leverage to crush the owners of the other National Parks! One can only hope, for real verisimilitude, that the cost to buy the properties is listed as a 'campaign contribution' and there are Community Chest cards involving strip mining."
The Hazzard County Driver's Test
Wacky But True Laws
Movies That Will Piss Off the CAPAlert Guy "Captain Blasphemy: Young Bobby Pious meets a mysterious wizard who, after several beers, grants him amazing powers whenever he intones the magic words 'Jesus Fucking Christ!'"
Ratings: Rules for My Apartment Complex
Ratings: Aspects of the Movie Theater
Ratings: State License Plates
Ratings: The A-Team "Hannibal: Disguises are a great, time-honored if not entirely believable part of the action-spy genre. My question is, though, why does Hannibal bother wearing these elaborate disguises when nobody else does? What's the point of covering your moles and putting on a fake moustache when you can be reliably spotted by your proximity to Mr. T? You'd think that if you were on the run from the military and needed to remain incognito at all costs, 'A selection of wigs' would come lower on the list than 'Don't hang out with the one guy who stands out as a massively muscular eccentric even in LA.'"
The Lightbulb Exemption List (Or, the entire set of lightbulb jokes the punchline to which are "One, but he may need to stand on a chair or something.")
Ratings: School Supplies
After the Punchline
Ratings: Fisher-Price Little People "The Little Girl: Continuing with the Aryan theme of the distaff portion of the Little People world, the little girl seems to be going for a 'Heidi of the Non-Toxic Plastic Alps' look, what with her milkmaid braids and the cute little ruff between her head and thorax. No doubt once she reaches puberty her nose will fall off and her eyes will glue shut and she'll end up just like dear old mom. She may build a cocoon first, I'm not sure."
Beyond the Lollipop Guild
Title Match (A song title quiz.)
The Brunching Shuttlecocks Financial Bookshelf
Ratings: Aspects of Camping
Ratings: Labors of Hercules - More Labors of Hercules
Fur (On furries.)
The Campaign Scandal Generator (CGI works. Offers "helpful" Drudgify check box.)
Ratings: State License Plates, Part Two
One Vote
Ratings: Hats
By Any Other Name (A quiz on popular, and unpopular, female names.)
Ratings: Egg Dishes
The Everquest FAQK "Q. Where does the name EverQuest come from? A. Well, the Quest is because you get sent on quests, and the Ever is because you're going to have to wait forever to finish one. The objects of the quests have to be shared by everyone who wants to earn a Sword of Lunchtime or whatever, so you often have to stand in line for hours at a time to kill whatever baddie you're sent to dispatch. It's a lot like the DMV, only with more gnomes."
Ratings: Containers
Ratings: Baby Toys
Ratings: Things You Make Out of Snow

*** 2001 ***
Ratings: Names for Felis Concolor (That is, Mountain Lion)
Ratings: Ways to Leave Your Lover
The Alternate Universe Channel "Politically Correct: Bill Maher and celebrity guests discuss non-controversial subjects. This week's topics: 'Fish sure are wet' and 'I've got toes.'"
Ratings: Tastes
Ratings: Bar Appetizers
Breakfast Menu
Smartass Answers to the Loving Nature Quiz (A reponse to a quiz that seems to be still on the web.)
Mary-Kate and Ashley: Why They Do the Things They Do (Remember them?)
Ratings: Music Media "Will someone please explain to Sony that I'm not going to buy their damned mini-discs? I've had ample time and huge deforestations of magazine ads to help me make up my mind and it's just not going to happen. I will not take them to a club, I will not -- Jesus, I almost went into a Seuss Fugue. Look what you made me do!"
Ratings: Utensils "The term 'melon baller' is precisely the sort of thing that sends seventh-graders into peals -- or perhaps paroxysms -- of laughter. In hopes that any easily-amused adolescents reading this will at least learn the proper names for things, I will instead refer to them as 'breast testiclers.'"
Tom Hanks: Where Is He Now
Ratings: Apes and Monkeys
Black & White (The old Peter Molyenux game where you play god. Well, one of them. This is the one that had a sequel that no one remembers either.)
Hot Sites (A list of sites with sexy-sounding domain names that are not [or maybe are] porn, circa 2001. Now in 2014, exactly one of the sites among them is of porn, another is sex-related, and one is dead.)
Ratings: Phone Features (Warning: pre-iPhone, so "Browse the Interwebs" isn't among them.)
Ratings: Seventies Crafts
Ratings: For Dummies Books
Ratings: Dante's Inferno Punishments - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
The Web's Hottest Sites To Be (Unregistered domain names that may become porn. The score as of one-four: Five dead, four parked, one redirect to a sexy shopping site.)
Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls (Requires FLASH)
Jesus, it's 2001 and We're Doing Smurf Jokes? (With two semi-recent CG movies, those jokes are more relevant now!)
IAQ (Actual questions found on FAQs across the web.)
Kitchen Floor (Requires FLASH)
Ratings: Wonders of the World
Ratings: More Stuff from the Airline Catalog "CyberSlam: You know those inflatable clowns you can punch which were fun for about three seconds? Well, they've got a high-tech version of them now, so high-tech they had to go and put "cyber" in the name. Same principle, though. This one even lights up with suggestions on where to pummel, making it the world's first electronic passive-aggressive." (But not the last.)
Ratings: Psychic Powers
An Open Letter to Dorks and Losers (From the American Council of Bullies, Toughs and Schoolyard Ruffians.)
Ratings: Things from the Dollar Store - 2 - 3 - 4
Are You Smarter than Miss America? (A quiz.)
The Net's First "Enterprise" Slash Fiction
Ratings: Dinosaurs, Part 2
How to Tell an Indian Elephant from an African Elephant
Urbane Legends
Videogame Console FAQK (For reference, the big systems then were the Gamecube, original Xbox and Playstation 2.)
Dear Lindy
Ratings: Facial Hair
Ratings: Free Promotional Postcards I Got in L.A. "Sheena: This card features a completely nude Gena Lee Nolin with a bad case of mermaid hair. Now me, I'd consider a primordial rainforest to be a great place to put clothes on, what with the insects and the jaguar scratches and the fish that swim up your urethra. And I'm guessing, just guessing here, that Nolin puts some sort of savage ensemble together for the actual show, but here on the postcard she resembles the jaybird in her nudity. Now that's pandering."

*** 2002 ***
Ratings: Power Tools
Ratings: Sundae Toppings
Ratings: Soda Flavors
The Twelve Least Surprising AP Headlines
Ratings: Keyboard Symbols "Tilde: I know what this is for, I'm just surprised that it gets its own key and the noble umlaut doesn't. It's not even very useful for ASCII art, because font designers can't seem to agree whether it belongs at the top of the line or in the middle. I suggest we decide that by itself it's pronounced as a nasal 'gn,' such as the noise made by an annoyed Curly or an aroused Squiggy."
Ratings: Numbers
Ratings: Slang Words That Mean Good
Mood Swing
The Apocalypse Drinking Game
The Back Page "Do You Have Herpes? Revolutionary discovery allows you to enjoy a normal sex life with no embarrassment. Lie like a motherfucker! www.lielikeamotherfucker.com"
Ratings: Aspects of the Future Circa 1953
The Atomic Patrol
Refrigerator Magnets
The Five Most Profitable Companies in the Star Wars Universe
Diagrams For You
The Weblog FAQK
TuneBlock
The Brunching Shuttlecocks Guide to Choosing a Password
Are You Horny? (A helpful quiz.)
Ratings: Unreal Tournament Weapons - More Unreal Tournament Weapons
Could You Be More Pathetic?
The Shutupicrat
Been There, Doing That: Pizza and Pipes
Gearod McAllister's Amazing LiveJournal
Movie Ratings for a Better America
Real Cooking
Accounting For Taste
Just Something I've Had In My Head For Awhile Now
The Method
Ratings: Months, Part One - Part Two
Ratings: Statues
Ratings: Street Fighter II Characters, Part One - Part Two
Ratings: Stages of Coping With a Terminal Illness
Game: Don't Make The Smug Guy's Head Explode
Ratings: New Year's Eve Traditions

*** 2003 ***
The Arts And Crafts Bookshelf
Ratings: Danger Symbols, Part One - Part Two
Ratings: Wart Remedies
The Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator
Ratings: Fortune Telling Methods, Part One
... they never published part two ...
posted by JHarris (45 comments total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thank you, thank you for this exhaustive and delightful compendium of the greatness of Brunching Shuttlecocks. The site, and Lore's personality, remain one of the very enjoyable parts of online media form before corporations and walled gardens fractured the experience.
posted by lasagnaboy at 1:30 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


I am drawn irresistibly to reading the ratings from those well-selected pull quotes!
posted by tavella at 1:31 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


My goodness but this takes me back to college. Thanks a million for this.

Any idea what Lore's doing with himself nowadays?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:33 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


To think Brunching Shuttlecocks shuttered 19 years ago. To think additionally that there has been nothing like it since. Where are the Lores of today?
posted by JHarris at 1:33 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Lore's on Twitter, it seems. Actually, I follow him. Holy crap, for some reason he follows me! But even though I just checked to make sure he tweets nowadays (his last tweet was three hours ago as of this comment), and that my feed is set to "Latest Tweets," I have not seen any of his comments on Twitter for probably over a year. I do follow an absurdly large number of people (almost 2,000), but you'd think at least one of them would have slipped through. I have my suspicions about Twitter and its decision to hide things because of aLgOrItHm.
posted by JHarris at 1:37 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls. (In YouTube form)
posted by CaseyB at 1:37 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


I STILL throw out quotes from Brunching Shuttlecocks, even though I know I'm the only one who'll get them. I'll mutter "these don't taste a DAMN THING like Hello Kitty lips" or "here, hold my depleted uranium Beholder" (followed by "IT'S SO POKY") and then quietly chuckle to myself.

ahhhh, when the Internet was young.
posted by offalark at 1:40 PM on February 28 [15 favorites]


Lore is the most correct person on the planet as far as the rating of pepperoni. I had a copy of the Book of Ratings at one point but sadly I think it got culled before a major move. Regrets.
posted by rewil at 1:45 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the true beauty of Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls was that it was random and therefore bad in a slightly different way every time you heard it. Just like your roommate.

I somehow thought "Jingle Rock Bell" was inspired by YRPtIG, but now I'm wondering if I'm not confusing "Jingle Rock Bell" with a similar but actually-randomly-ruined Christmas song.
posted by straight at 1:45 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Regardless of the subject, that is an incredible post. Well done.

As for the Brunching Shuttlecocks, I remember printing out the Ratings to share with friends at school. That was the nineties for you - nowadays I throw things like my mortgage renewal statement in Google Drive. Anyway, so much of my humour was shaped by classic lists like the D&D character classes:

"Magic-User" has so little flair that they may as well have called them "Paranormal Effects Administrators." Priceless! LOL
posted by fortitude25 at 1:54 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised and thrilled that so much of Brunching is still available. And sad that Bad Gods isn't.

The SpinnWebe gang has drifted apart a lot, but Lore is delightful in person. And once you've met him, you hear the Ratings in his voice even when reading.
posted by zompist at 2:03 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I have a lot to say about The Brunching Shuttlecocks and everything around it, but none can be more important than the fact that I have it and Lore to thank for connecting me with my partner of eighteen years, via the unofficial Brunching Shuttlecocks message board.
posted by SansPoint at 2:09 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


Oh yes, he was pretty funny. Christian Metal Band or Star Trek DS9 Episode Title is stuck in my head.
posted by ovvl at 2:10 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Great post. Yowza, this is comprehensive! So much so that I was surprised not to see my favorite bit, the Alanis Morissette Random Lyric Generator. (I'm assuming this is one of the notable exclusions?)
posted by Recliner of Rage at 2:15 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Ha, I love these. I still think "Man in Wheelchair Killed by Train, doo-dah, doo-dah" every time I hear Camptown Races.
posted by whir at 2:16 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Yeah Recliner of Rage, for me that page shows as a mass of CGI errors, and trying to use it presents a Forbidden page.
posted by JHarris at 2:23 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I loved the videos and watched them often. All these are from memory since flash is long gone....

Evil Lord Overmom
kids: Mom we're bored.
mom: I've just poisoned you and the antidote is.... at the playground!
kids: yay!
mom: and my evil decentobots with their lasers will get you plenty of fresh air and exercise!
kids: (robots firing lasers at kids) yay! you're the best mom!

Hitman:
Guy at party: Hitman huh? can you off Gary for me? He's over there.
hitman: What do you do?
guy: I'm a research-physicist.
hitman: I'm at a party. Can you discover a new subatomic particle for me for free?
guy: Sure I just discovered one for Sherry a few minutes ago.
Sherry: thanks for the uvulot!
hitman: ok. fair enough. bang!
guy: you didn't hold your gun sideways...

More than Meets the Eye:
Prime: Sorry Saltshaker, but the Autobots are full and we just don't need you at this time.
Saltshaker: but why?
Prime; You're going to make me say it? You turn into a pretzel cart. That wouldn't intimidate the Decepticons.

Saltshaker: But what if an evil pigeon comes along, and I could distract him with pretzels?
Prime: We'll I'd probably get Smokescreen to take care of that.
Saltshaker: My transforming ability sucks!


Predictions:
Predictor: Novelty bowties will come back into fashion, sex shops will prevail and comet will wipe out 1/3 of the earth's population.
newscaster: so 1/3 of the earth's population will be wiped out but we'll wearing novelty bowties?
Predictor: How dare you question me! Anyone who disbelieves will be tied naked and beaten with cement filled milkjugs!
6 months later, newscaster wearing novelty bowtie: While most of your predictions came true, you were way off on your comet prediction.
Predictor: (evil robots appearing) Drag him away and bring the milkjugs!
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:25 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


You can use the Ruffle browser extension generally to play Flash content in this post!
posted by JHarris at 2:30 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


The Geek Hierarchy is probably still my favorite, although it's always a bit vexing to run across someone who thought that it was some kind of justification for looking down on someone who's lower. I mind Kirk ocelot fanfic writers a lot less than a lot of other people in geekdom.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:39 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


One of his recent tweets implied he works at Adobe now. He's still quite wry on twitter.
posted by rikschell at 2:59 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I like to think I'm the only owner of a Book of Ratings autographed with a full-frontal nude Lore Brand Comics Lore drawing, but knowing that slut, no way that's a rare edition. Still he's a human treasure.
posted by Freyja at 3:13 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I just bought the Book of Ratings back in November, and am glad that others also have copies of this valuable historical relic of the early 2000s internet.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:16 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah, these are full of things I have come back to over and over again for twenty years and which can still make me chuckle aloud. From State Quarters, Part 4:
This adorable little coin features three musical instruments and a musical score. The fiddle represents Appalachian folk music, the trumpet stands for the blues, the guitar stands for country music, and the score presumably stands for the fact that these genres are not traditionally played from a musical score. Good thinking, Tennessee! It also has the words "musical heritage" in case you thought it was a picture of a yard sale.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:17 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


"Invisible Tank Pong" was the best thing about Combat.
posted by mollweide at 4:16 PM on February 28


There's a period on the internet where we had both Brunching Shuttlecocks AND Homestar Runner and I don't think we knew how good we had it.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:22 PM on February 28 [26 favorites]


To this day I still find myself occasionally singing Lore's Bjork Song ("She's small/and she's odd/like a lepton or quark/oh Bjork, oh Bjork, oh Bjork" if memory serves)

Thank you for this truly monster post!
posted by Maaik at 5:15 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


From the delightful Either/Or quiz, mentioned above:

“Bugs Bunny likes to pop out of
_ Your ass
_ A hole in the ground”

So many memories of this site. Thank you for stirring them up!
posted by armeowda at 6:44 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


My handle here comes from a Brunching post so I just wanted to say that in order to participate in the thread
posted by The otter lady at 6:45 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Any idea what Lore's doing with himself nowadays?

Twitter as of 8 hours ago; Lore Brand Comics, I think.
posted by MollyRealized at 7:17 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


The SpinnWebe gang has drifted apart a lot, but Lore is delightful in person. And once you've met him, you hear the Ratings in his voice even when reading.

It wasn't until my most recent move that I reluctantly didn't keep the flip chart chat log from that Chicago meetup with (among other things) LORE SMASH written on it.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:54 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Ah, vintage internet! Brunching Shuttlecocks was a significant part of my morning-reading routine.
posted by Tailkinker to-Ennien at 8:46 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]




Pretty sure I've still got my t-shirt.
Thank you for this post!
posted by bink at 10:48 PM on February 28


Ah sainttoad, Firefox doesn't like that page for some encryption reason. I had to visit it via Internet Archive to see! (On the other hand, I got to be the first person to register it for archiving!)
posted by JHarris at 10:56 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I used to find Your Roommate PlaysThe Indigo Girls so fucking delightful. Now I'm a lesbian. The universe works in mysterious ways
posted by augustimagination at 12:46 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Ah man. Twenty years. I met some of my best friends on the BS forum. Sometimes it's yesterday and sometimes it's a lifetime ago.
posted by AFII at 1:20 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]


AH, and now the main Brunching page, the first link in the thread, is down. Of course it is.
posted by JHarris at 2:03 AM on March 1


For some reason the line that most prominently burned its way into my memory was:

"It doesn't taste a damn thing like Hello Kitty lips."
posted by Foosnark at 4:20 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


I worked boring low-pressure office jobs in NYC from 1998 through 2003, and Brunching was among the sites I would visit on a daily basis, along with other Metafilter favorites like Homestar Runner, Achewood, etc.

Your Roommate Plays the Indigo Girls will always be my favorite because I definitely WAS that roommate.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 6:42 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Ah! Found out the problem with the first link in the FPP above: www.brunching.com leads to a 404, but just "brunching.com" goes to the expected home page. Would a mod care to fix?
posted by JHarris at 7:50 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]




I don't remember how I found Brunching Shuttlecocks for the first time... but it was some time in high school and I was ob-sessed. One of the first things that made the Internet great for me. Thanks for this :)
posted by honeybee413 at 3:50 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I worked at a bookstore in the early 2000s and I hand-sold several copies of The Book of Ratings. A great gift!
posted by brainwane at 11:51 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Urbane Legends
This kid once drank Coke and ate Pop Rocks and then ran around like a little maniac for forty-five minutes.
Ah I love it
posted by Monochrome at 10:27 AM on March 11 [2 favorites]


At Billy Rubin's link: "They're that sort of Meatloaf-meets-The-Archies band, only without the guitars."

SUGGGGGGGGAHHHHHHH ...
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH.
HONEY ...
HONEY ...
*power guitar thrum*
posted by MollyRealized at 11:11 PM on March 19


« Older This legendary rope trick has generated over a...   |   Music: it's good. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments