Guys in Tights and Fark Green Lights

A Correctness State of the Union

First, a bit of history.

About a year and a half ago, after some social function or another (I believe it may well have been an evening of Settlers of Catan) just as the man/boy who would become known as Robbie Robtown was heading out my front door, I said to him…

“Hey, we should start an online humor magazine.”

This would be a repository of bits of humorous fiction and general weirdness that wouldn’t adapt easily to performance, and was better served in prose. I would have added “Like Cracked” at the time, had I known of the sites existence, and known it had evolved WAAAYY past being a shitty Mad magazine rip off

“Definitely” he replied heading home to silently ruminate on his singleness, as he often does.

A few days later, the question of what to call it came up Rob said “I always wanted to call a sketch troupe or an improv team THE CORRECTNESS”

That was the ENTIRE name discussion. I liked it right away. It had just the right tone of over the top self importance with just a dash of buffoonery. I went and got the domain registration.

Mere days later, Rob mentioned bringing Dave in as he was wise in the ways of website, and neither Rob nor I were. I had known Dave off and on for some time, I had done some Star trek based improv with him, and played Velma to his wife’s Daphne in a Scooby Doo play I wrote and performed with my sketch troupe. The comedy community here in Calgary is pretty small, we knew each other mostly by reputation. Plus, he had a habit of showing up in my vicinity for pretty much every geeky event that came through town.

Thanks to Dave and his single minded sense of purpose and fast Lego building reflexes, he site was up and running, complete with its first article on June 30th 2009. It was an Article on whether or not Indiana Jones deserved another sequel.

That added a layer I wasn’t thinking of, a kind of repository of pop culture punditry. But I liked it. I liked that it could be one of Rob’s weird and wonderful essays one day, some sort of acidly opinionated (in a good way) top ten list by Dave the next, and some obscure bit of microfiction, or a self made motivational poster by me the day after. I highly recommend taking a look at some of those early articles in the archives, there is some really good stuff in there, and I really dug the direction it was heading in. It was shitloads of fun, and it shows in the writing.

Robbie Robtown, Tbinns, and Admin Rock were rockin the internetz

Well, kind of. Nobody was reading us except friends and family, and a few obscure outsiders. We didn’t care.

Then, one day, an argument starts about who would win in a fight between Batman and Wolverine in a talkback. A topic my wife instigated, surprisingly enough. She suggested we turn it into a series of articles. Dave, being a) the only guy among us who like sports and b) the only guy with even the faintest hint of an organized mind started drawing up brackets to make it into a tournament.

Then, on a whim, he figured “ehhhh what the hell” and submitted it to Fark.

Well, I didn’t even know what Fark WAS when we made the main page. I don’t think I even realized it was a big deal until I saw the numbers. When people I hadn’t seen in years were sending me messages congratulating me on the green light I started to get the idea that this was not an easy thing to achieve and we were VERY lucky. So lucky in fact it shut our server down. (Or “Farked” it, as they would say, those board posting scallywags!) Somebody over at Fark liked us.

Many of the fark readers however, did not. I knew people were passionate about their favourite superheroes, and I knew the anonymity of the web community could create some really hostile characters but I don’t think ANY of us were prepared for the sheer amount of piss and venom in the comments section

That changed our game significantly. Or at least mine…I can’t speak for the others. I think Rob REALLY stuck to his guns and is to be commended for it. But as for me? Well…if I didn’t crave the approval of complete strangers for no good reason, I never would have gone into comedy. And here they were, 20, 0000 hits and more all streaming in to read the article, waiting to pounce on every bit of missed continuity. I felt tremendous pressure to do what I had done for YEARS in my stand up act…cave to the audience. Give them what they want, WORRY about what they want.

The Smackdown became strictly regimented, every Friday, hopefully before noon, we get the Smackdown up and Fark ready, submit it and wallow in abuse and adulation. The point, we thought, was to get people in with the Smackdown, then hopefully a handful of them would enjoy the site, and stick around for the stuff we REALLY wanted to do. ( It’s the same reason I do impressions in my act.) And to a certain extent, it worked. I think we have some regular readers who came over from Fark. And thanks for coming and sticking with us, and once again a huge thanks to Fark for the coveted greenlights. Unfortunately The Smackdown quickly became THE thing on the site, with all of the other little bits of wonderful weirdness falling to the wayside.

But this last go round, with the super team smack down something changed. We still got greenlights, but rather on the less traveled geek page. That was just fine by us, we are still grateful to get the nod at all..but even some of our most ardent defenders were starting to get bored. Telling us we were not even trying anymore. And to a certain extent, I think that was true.

For myself, anyway…I was trapped in a tight box of public opinion… having to really comb over who could do what to whom, and catch up on long lines of continuity, just to please an un-pleasable audience. My heart wasn’t in it … I just wasn’t having fun with it anymore, and it showed in the writing. Only when I said “Fuck it, screw continuity, screw everything else, I just want to have fun with this.” did I start enjoying it again. (See my entry in the X-men vs. Avengers finals)

As of right now, and for whatever reason, the finals of our latest tournament has not been greenlit, and after the initial disappointment I began to feel something like relief. Like I am free of this giant responsibility to please people I haven’t even met, and hopefully never will.

So ideally this means that The Correctness, or at least my part of it will take this opportunity to return to its roots. Just be a goofy little comedy website that occasionally comes up with gold, sometimes falls a tad short but almost always entertains on some level or another.

That said, it’s not the end of the smackdown, but I think we’ll stay away from comic books for a little while. And if the council of the wise at Fark deem us worthy of a link once again on something non tournament related, well that would be just fine too.

Nor does this mean you can no longer insult us, in an artful fashion. We kind of dig it. We’re weird like that. And as for that last insult contest, personally I think it’s a tie between spcMIKE and Iron Patriot.

So go to it you two…insult us like you’ve never insulted anyone before in the comment section…it might be the last competition you see on here for awhile.

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13 thoughts on “Guys in Tights and Fark Green Lights

  1. Just to clarify, it all went down like this:

    I was crazy busy banging a bunch of hot bitches, and I had to make some time in my day to meet Tony, during my superhuman refractory period.

    Anyway, I was like “Yo, if I can find time between banging all these fine bitches, who have been certified “fine” by the Bitches Board of Canada, then I will write up some comedy.”

    Tony was all like “OMIGAWD, UR SO FUNEE”, and I was all like “LOLWHUT?”, because I couldn’t hear him over the sound of all the hot bitches having their organisms, or whatever it is they are supposed to have, like I care.

  2. Turtles are funny!

    I like banana bread!

    Spiderman has a package!

    Pictures are better when they match the subject matter in the accompanying text!

    I don’t like Aqua much, not even Barbie Girl!

    I once pooped red hot fire from my anus!

    It was Sunday, I ate pizza73 and that’s why!

    You guys worry too much!

    I don’t know why I am typing like this!

    I will stop now!

    Really!

  3. Tbinns gave me a shout out, this has actually made my day better. (That is meant with all honesty and without a hint of snark). ( Irealize that by saying that it could be construed as being full of snark, but it’s not.)

    I came across you guys through Fark and the Smackdown, but I honestly loved your deconstructions all things Star Wars and nerd culture. I think the Smackdowns are nice but should be used sparingly. I say keep writing what you love and if the Farkers can’t handle it, screw’em.

    Also, RobbieRobTown sucks Dr. Strange’s balls. Why? Because fuck you, it’s magic.

    • Agreed the smack downs are fun, but only a grape in the vast buffet of correctyness. Remember if you eat only grapes you’re going to shit yourself to death.

      The site is smart, fun and funny enough to make me read, and to quote a wise man…

      “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have… many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

  4. Glad to hear you guys are following your own hearts, because that’s what made me want to visit this site in the first place. I’m sure most of your devout Correctness followers wouldn’t want it any other way.

  5. I found my way over from Fark, but now the correctness is a bookmark I visit daily. Is every article my cup of tea (to use a metaphor that you “Crown” loving Canadians will recognize)? No, it’s not. However, I appreciate the effort, the content, and the intent. It’s hard to keep solid content flowing on a consistent basis, but you all do so consistently. The internet has spoiled us to think that every entry is going to be piss your pants funny. Real life is not that way. Keep up the good work, there are less vocal ones that are reading your work even if we are not commenting.

    See I even gave you something to hang on the refrigerator when you are having one of those FML days.

    • As a Canadian, I’d like to state that yes, I DO love Crown Royal. Very much, actually. I was unaware that our love of that fine, fragrant whiskey was so well documented.

  6. Nice article. I found this site thanks to the Smackdown plug on Fark. It was fate since I had never used Fark before or since and I have been a large fan (very large) since. Keep it up. Who cares what anyone thinks, if it makes you laugh chances are the few the proud true fans of this site will dig it.

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