THE BEST AND WORST OF THE NET – 04/16 – 04/22/00

This isn’t just a random collection of article links spurred by haphazard browsing, promissory notes, and stuff what my friends writ!

In an unashamed hijacking of Mr Jackson’s bandwagon, I have decided to produce an independently-flavoured (cinnamon) review of what’s hot and what’s not on the Magical side of Internetville. I’ve done this for a number of reasons, but mainly because we’ve not seen a contribution from the admirable Mr J for nigh on six weeks – an oeuf is, indeed, an oeuf.

Of course, this isn’t just a random collection of article links spurred by haphazard browsing, promissory notes, and stuff what my friends writ – oh no! It’s a soft, marshmallowy concoction heated slowly over a gas flame until frothy and light, following tried-and-tested family recipes; the BEST and WORST articles have been measured against the criteria I laid out in ‘Six S Spells Success’ some months ago.

The BEST Of The ‘Net
Author: Thomas O’Caffeine
URL: www.magic-is-ass.net/feature/coffee.html
Category: OPINION
Rating: 91%

Issue-boy O’Caffeine goes off on yet another lengthy, but well constructed, tirade about the state of Magic in the world today etc (I believe he has a Patent Pending on this particular area of CCG-related journalism). This month he covers such diverse areas as Intentional Wisecracking, Body-searches at Grand Prix Bethlehem, Why Casual Players have bigger private parts, and the Pros and Cons of pre-constructed decks in Braille. Oh, and he’s been out-and-about with ‘trouser-cam’ again – LOL!

Author: Ein Sveidreifierfunf
URL: www.mtg-clique.org
Category: STRATEGY
Rating: 84%

Ein is ‘regarded as wide’ within the Magic community – er, sorry, I meant to say that he’s ‘widely regarded’ within the Magic community and is the only Professional player whose Ego has its own column! ‘Look At Me’ is a career evaluation from his early days in the Ghetto, when he and his brothers had to scrape around for loose Havana stogies and half-drunk bottles of Dom Perignon, to the glorious heights of his recent Pro Tour victories in Reykjavik, Beijing, and Trinidad/Tobago. It’s great to hear, first-hand, about ‘that incident’ involving the vacuum cleaner and the noviate nun (PTQ Elephant Island, 1997) and his opinions on the other top players around today (his commentary of John ‘The Fink’ Pinkleton is delightful ascerbic). Part 203 follows in an hour-or-so.

Author: Randall N. Hopkirk (Deceased)
URL: www.mudslinger.com/magic/hopkirk001.htm
Rating: 82%

"Lo! Through the portal, great orb of th’heavens arises
Waking me up, a poor scrub, with it’s light in my eyeses
And, thence, to my closet de l’eau for my daily oblutions
Ten minutes or more with th’anti-bacterial solutions
But ne’er am I closer to s’lecting my Regionals deck
Nether-Go? Blue control? Counter-Rebels? Or Zombies? Oh, heck!
But the muse gifts her wisdom, I see as I draw back the curtain
With birds, elves, and ‘Derms, Shivan Wurms, it is Fires for certain!"

Now THIS is the way to put together a tournament report: Poetic, Exciting, Witty, and Unusual. Randall describes his hum-drum qualifying experiences in vivid, linguistic colour in five Cantos across four hundred (count ’em!) pages (hence the loss of percents); I mean, how can you not appreciate the sheer effort that has gone into couplets such as this:

"Hither and thither ran Gnomes as the lunch-break was call-ed
In a moment the venue was emptied, th’ tournament stall-ed.
The Zephyrs and Sylphs to th’heavens retired to be sated
So I seized of the chance, skulked away and (alone) (EDITED)"

Or, perhaps:

"It seemed that I’d lost but dear Fate, she still held a surprise
When next I drew my Urza’s Rage. O! Glorious Mise!"

Glorious indeed.

Author: Michelle Marbelle
URL: www.magical-chest-of-drawers.com/Regular/marbelle.htm
Category: NEWS (but I just think it’s bloody hilarious)
Rating: 80%

Poor Michelle! This is a seriously-written account of her experiences at the recent Pro Tour in Anchorage, when the aforementioned Magic-meister slipped on a carelessly-discarded, foil ‘Cremate’ and fell, head-long, into the hamster-cage she was carrying. The metal plate in his skull punctured the flimsy aluminium bars and his comedy vampire teeth (which he’d been wearing for a retro Jyhad exhibition match) impaled the cute, verminous pet residing therein. While she goes full-pelt for the sympathy vote, the only tears that this tragic tale will bring forth will be tears of laughter! Man, I nearly pissed myself!

Author: Odin E. Buoy
URL: www.7primeccgtowers.org/asspoll_latest.html
Category: NEWS
Rating: 77%

It’s poll time again, folks! Another instalment of the popular ‘bad language’ listing. This time around, Odin has grouped the sites by the total number of swear-words that appeared in their articles, by the individual swear words themselves, and by severity of the obscenity eg. "Bloody" and "Ass" are classified as ‘Vulgarity(Minor)’; "Scrub", "Uber-scrub", and "Mother-Lover" as ‘Abuse(Non-Serious)’; and the lofty heights of ‘Profanity(Prosecutable)’ scaled by "[EDITED]", "totally-[EDITED]", "[EDITED]-face", and "[EDITED] with an [EDITED] up the [EDITED]".

[EDITED] indispensable (that’s another one racked up for the Home site!).

Honorable Mentions:
6. War Of The Internet Writer Week 18 (Anthony Alongi pairs off against himself in another one-sided wrestle-fest)
7. Cinemagic#27 – The Art-House Shorts As Allegories For Modern Living
8. Interview With A Total Stranger Who Doesn’t ACTUALLY Play Magic: The Gathering
9. Breaking Planar Overlay – A, Frankly, Tenuous Proposition
10. Top Ten Reasons For Stapling Fallen Empires Cards To A Buffalo

The WORST Of The ‘Net
Author: ‘Shouty’ Dave McShout
URL: www.weprinteverything.co.uk/more_kack/shouty13.html
Rating: 1%

This only gets the 1% because this so-called writer just managed to spell his own name correctly. Man, where to start with this heap? Most of the ‘piece’ describes Dave’s experience with a Magic-playing hooker who’s trying to ‘trade’ her way up to a Black Lotus. Unsavoury and mostly un-erotic.

Author: Barry Normal
URL: www.nomansland.com/largely_dull/normal.html
Category: DECK LIST
Rating: 7%

Lord Almighty is this guy dull. Another play-by-play description of the various matchups you could face with his Normal.dec. Last week it was every Mathematical permutation of deck vs deck in the Type 1.5 and Extended environments (with Extended_Normal.dec) – this week he milks the Type 2 udder until it’s blistered and raw and offers advice on how to draft Normal.dec when you, supposedly inevitably, make it to the Top 8 Rochester…Sphincter-clenchingly poor.

Author: Chris Tornabyke
URL: www.newwave-oldhat.com/flames/cbyke02.htm
Category: HUMOUR (I believe he’s being taken to court over this claim)
Rating: 11%

Chris does it again. Still not quite awful enough to make it to number one, his latest attempt at minority alienation is aimed at Magic players with rare blood disorders – but even a crass attempt to find humour in Sickle Cell Anaemia falls short of the usual ‘bad taste’ pit he’s been digging for himself. If you like this, which is about as likely as a Pork buffet at a Bris, then (in the name of all that is good and Holy on the planet Earth) avoid ‘Why The Circumcised Are Crap At Magic,’ ‘Why Transvestites Are Crap At Magic,’ and the terminally-gutterbound ‘Why The Mentally-Ill Are Crap At Magic – Even Dustin Hoffman In RAIN MAN.’

Author: Melvin Le Pissoire / ‘Helmet’ Wiessman
URL: www.scartitygames.com/feature&news=344
Category: HUMOUR
Rating: 13%

The Magical equivalent of ‘The Weakest Link’, Melvin (a level III Judge) insults, abuses, and slanders all and sundry as they write in for comfort, support, and advice, while Wiessman chips in satirical, if cryptic, asides. Why do they bother? (And I’m not expecting a smart-ass reply, either!)

5. Everything About Blue/White Control Decks
Author: Various
URL: Various
Category: DECK LIST
Rating: 21%

I hate Blue/White Control. It’s tedious.

Goodbye, and God Bless.

Tony Boydell