Best of RAH96 Humor Review:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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:
Do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?