Study breaks just got sicker

Computers: Sure, they’re lovable, but are they actually useful? Aside from firing up the old beige box to, say, write a term paper or exchange e-mails with grandma, why push that little green button at all?

How about the sheer, irrational joy of watching a foul-mouthed frog be pureed to bits at the click of your mouse?

This, and much more, is available at www.joecartoon.com. The Web site: riotous. The creator, who goes only by Joe Cartoon: a mystery.

The inimitable purveyor of Flash animation of the most despicable, tasteless and hilarious kind has been making the world a little funnier since March 20, 1961, his birthdate.

The scant personal information he offers on his site raises more questions than answers. Can Cartoon really “”take a toothpick and from 200 yards away slam it right through your forehead, substantially lowering your IQ forever?”” Does he really play “”a mean bluesharp?”” And is it indeed true that he is, as he claims, a ninja?

One fact Cartoon offers cannot be disputed: “”If Joe thinks it’s funny, it is; if you don’t, you’re stupid.””

When it comes right down to it, Cartoon’s identity is irrelevant. All that matters is that, for whatever reason, he is one sick guy. And that makes for some funny cartoons.

As www.joecartoon.com loads – slowly – it becomes apparent that these short films have more in common with “”South Park”” and “”Beavis and Butt-Head”” than Disney or Dreamworks. In the tradition of the former two, the animation quality is low. Also, much of the humor centers on blue-collar, white trash Americana, at once ridiculing rednecks and celebrating their unique approach to life.

Take, for example, the Joe Cartoon classic “”Lump, The No-Legged Dog.”” The screen fills with a bright-eyed mutt, but as the title suggests, cute little Lump is missing all appendages. The unseen narrator, his owner, belittles Lump’s pathetic attempts to perform tricks like staying (“”Like you could go anywhere!””), lying down (“”Didn’t have very far to go, did you boy?””) and sitting (“”You fat, stinky dog!””). His hillbilly twang and outrage over Lump’s destruction of his treasured Garth Brooks T-shirt reveal Cartoon’s lowbrow roots.

If the humor of the piece doesn’t come through in print, take it on faith that it’s worth your log-on time.

Animals figure prominently in many of Cartoon’s best cartoons. “”Joefish”” features a hamster with a beluga-sized attitude being dropped into a tank of piranhas. The carnage is gratuitous and thoroughly entertaining. The “”Superfly”” series chronicles in four parts the epic adventures of flies who drink beer and get a wicked contact high (“”Dude, I’m buggin’!””).

Perhaps the best-known of Joe’s twisted creations are two cartoons not condoned by Black & Decker or any other kitchen appliance manufacturer: “”Frog Blender 2000″” and “”Micro-Gerbil 2001.””

The former puts you at the controls of a blender and pits you against an insulting frog – who happens to be inside the jar. “”You ain’t got the balls,”” he taunts you in a lazy drawl, “”Ya pansy.”” Needless to say, once you have clicked your way through the blender’s 10 speeds, the frog is in no mood for conversation.

“”Micro-Gerbil 2001″” builds upon the same principle of an obnoxious animal primed for your destruction, this time in a microwave. The catchphrases are different, of course, such as the immortal “”Who’s yo daddy?”” The wait-don’t-click-the-back-button-yet ending makes it a standout.

Over the past few months, Cartoon’s once-pristine shop of horrors has become commercialized. Banners and pop-ups now slow download times and are annoying. Also, the line of “”Joe Stuff”” – merchandise such as T-shirts and coffee mugs with characters and catchphrases – seems cheap and opportunistic. However, they do make great holiday gifts, and the ubiquitous ads keep the site free.

Cartoon may not have class, a trust fund, good grammar or good spelling, but he does have the best game in town for on-the-Web laughs. His humor is random and his punchlines hot from left field, and some of the jokes may make you cringe.

www.joecartoon.com is definitely not a site to show to your kid sister, as expletives and candy-colored violence dominate. But at 3 a.m., when you thought your keyboard could only bring you endless misery as you hack and sputter through a 10-page paper due the next morning, it hits the spot.

Finally, something practical on your computer.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal