Website: The Best Page In The Universe
This page is about Maddox and why the tropes he uses on his website are great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong.The Best Page in the Universe
is a personal satirical humor Web site created by George Ouzounian, better known by his pen name Maddox
. Launched in 1997 without any high expectations, the Web site soon became one of the most popular websites on the Web, becoming known purely though word of mouth.The Best Page in the Universe
originated from a text document that Maddox wrote in 1996 aptly named "fifty things that piss me off!" He gave the list to several people on EFnet's #coders and a few coworkers, and the positive response led him to create the website. Maddox decided to name his site "The Best Page in the Universe" specifically due to his knowledge that Yahoo! blocked sites with the phrase "the best" in the title from inclusion in its search engine at the time.
The Website consists of satirical written articles by Maddox. Topics of the articles vary wildly, from humours observations of everyday life, reviews of film, video game and other media, political satire, parodies of other websites, to random NonSequiturs
. Articles tend to written in a harsh, demeaning, and sometimes offensive tone
, with consistent themes of Maddox's own perceived masculinity
and intelligence, as well as mocking of others for behaviour he perceives as stupid or mindlessly conformist.
Many of Maddox's articles include MS Paint illustrations, with touchup done in Adobe Photoshop. Images include elderly people being fired to the sun, hippies being killed, and Maddox's testicles drawn larger than basketballs. Maddox maintains a section in which he criticizes hate mail his website has generated. When posting his replies, he breaks the e-mail down, ridicules points which use fallacious logic and corrects linguistic errors. He also runs an online store which sells merchandise such as stickers and apparel that bear phrases used in his articles. The site contains several "hidden pages", many of which are unfinished works or first drafts of articles that were moved around.
The page is headed with an image of Maddox's face superimposed over a bust of Che Guevara
. In the image, Maddox is wearing a beret emblazoned with the Jolly Roger, and an eye patch. Maddox uses this image as a parody of the revolutionary icon. Maddox says that Che Guevara is remembered as "Che the revolutionary", not "Che the pinko", and claims to be neither socialist nor communist. Instead, he often proclaims himself to be a Pirate
, and typically portrays himself as such in his articles and artwork.
They layout of The Best Page in the Universe
is very minimalistic, mostly consisting of large font grey text on a black background. This is primarily to reduce bandwidth costs — useful, as the site contains no advertisements other than for itself and for Maddox's books. Maddox also states that the minimalism
protests the many Web sites containing "fancy HTML" but lacking substantial content. Maddox has compared reading black text on a white background to "staring at a light bulb". The use of large, light-colored text against a black background is to, in his stated opinion, reduce strain on the eyes.
Despite Maddox never creating any advertisements for promotions for his website, the site gained incredible popularity purely though word of mouth alone. Individual articles on the website would gain millions of unique views, an extraordinary amount considering this was in the late 90's and early 2000's when the Internet itself was not as popular as it is today. As of July 15, 2009, Xmission.com, which hosts The Best Page in the Universe, had an Alexa rank of about 16,000, and TheBestPageInTheUniverse.net, which works as an alternative domain for Maddox's Web site, had an Alexa rank of about 33,000.Now has a nifty show on Youtube.
Maddox appeared in an eighth season episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
about old people and the stereotypes about them. Maddox thought that old people sucked.
Related to the success of the website, Maddox has two books; The Alphabet of Manliness
, and I Am Better Than Your Kids
This website provides examples of:
- Accentuate the Negative: He shows no mercy in his evaluation of children's works, culminating in a book, proudly titled I Am Better than Your Kids. Several of his articles are extremely caustic attacks on video games, celebrities, and movies he hated/hates.
- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- He believed that Christopher Reeve was a "self-serving asshole" who only opened a paralysis foundation because he himself needed treatment - the fact that he would be helping millions of other paralysis victims was an unintended side-effect, though one he was all too happy to accept praise for.
- He also calls the nurse who committed suicide in the aftermath of an Australian prank on the royal couple as "selfish", as she took the easy way out; similarly, he calls anyone who uses that suicide to guilt-trip the radio personalities behind the prank as "cowards" who want an easy way to guilt some pranksters who didn't foresee a suicide coming.
- He also believes Ellen Degeneres' coming out, while sincere, was a marketing ploy to gain more viewers from the controversy.
- Batman Gambit: He managed to do this against a hate-mailer. Instead of ripping apart the hate mail as he usually does, instead he told the mailer how he used to be abused and that his writing was a way to express himself. The mailer wrote back in sympathy, only to have Maddox responded back: "Just kidding. Tool."
- Black Comedy: For example, in his article The iPhone is a Piece of Shit and so is Your Face he wrote, "When the iPhone was first announced, CEO Steve Jobs spewed enough BS to cover a football field full of babies 3 feet deep in bullshit, which sounds cool because he could have potentially murdered a football field full of babies, but he passed on this opportunity by introducing the phone instead."
- Bleep Dammit: In the video to go along with this article, a censor bar on his mouth has the word "FUCK" written on it. And the word "dipshit" half a second before that doesn't get censored.
- Bowdlerise: In his article "Et tu, Maxim? Even Maxim can't step." Maddox compared the fake muppets he created in a previous article next to fake muppets Maxim magazine made for an article that was published after his and after he found I Ps tracing to Maxim computers in his website logs. The article was later edited to say it was all a big misunderstanding, and the pictures of Maxim's fake muppets were removed. The article was also moved off the front page.
- Boring but Practical: His reasoning for his website's Minimalism.
- Brick Joke: The site's FAQ contains the question, "What does that number at the bottom of each page mean?" He explains that each page has its own counter, with a unique phrase for each one. The FAQ's own counter, of course found at the bottom of the page, says, "X people still don't understand how the counters work on my site."
- But Wait, There's More!: In his BuzzFeed rant, after talking about how the unsourced images add nothing to their articles, Maddox starts talking about how the articles themselves were plagiarized by saying, "But wait, there's less!"
- Caustic Critic:
- Child Hater: As best demonstrated with his "I Am Better Than Your Kids" site.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: In an instance where Maddox fell foul of this trope, he complained of Prometheus not having the Alien in it, calling it a bait-and-switch. However, Ridley Scott had explicitly stated long before the film's release that it wasn't going to have the Aliens themselves in it, rather that it was only going to be set in the same universe. It was in fact various papers, magazines and film news websites that had hyped it as an Alien movie. Of course, he may have been exaggerating.
- Delusions of Eloquence: Maddox received a hatemail from a junior highschooler who used lots and lots of big fancy words. He accused Maddox of having "a life as squalid and decrepit as Eminem and Fidel Castro"
- Disproportionate Retribution: He once got an e-mail talking about how dull his site was. He responded by banning the person's entire ISP... with a message explaining that the banned individuals should send this dude an e-mail of gratitude.
- Dummied Out: Looking at the HTML source of many of his pages reveals many bits omitted through <!— HTML comments. —>
- Emphasize EVERYTHING: He attacked the prevalent misuse of the terms "epic" and "fail", saying that their overuse by popular culture has stripped them of their meaning. People sick of it themselves hailed it as a welcome return from a months-long hiatus and a Moment Of Awesome.
- Even the Guys Want Him: He has received at least 80 marriage proposals. 4 of them are from men.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Defied, since this is a particular Berserk Button for him (he majored in math). He dedicates an article tearing apart the "when will I ever use math again in life?" excuse, mentioning that math is the reason why technological advancements such as oil platforms, medicine, and space travel even exist, and that people that use the excuse are lazy, self-important morons.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: Maddox hates mimes so much that he even dreams of them getting skewered by a rain of swords.
- Excuse Plot: the (non-existing) Best Game in the Universe has one as evidenced in the prologue:
- Fan Dumb: Invoked and mocked. He calls Apple customers and Macintosh customers simple-minded idiots; they send him hate mail, which he turns into more material. To top it all off, Maddox is himself an OS-X user.
- Follow the Leader:
- The runaway success of The Best Page in the Universe back in the late 90's spawned a whole genre of websites that follow the pattern of, "I run an angry blog where I write offensive things". Many even go as far as to title their pages akin the original with examples like, "The Second Best Page in the Universe", or even, "The Worst Page in the Universe". Most imitators unfortunately are victims of Sturgeon's Law, ignoring the original website's satirical edge and instead just aiming for shock value.
- To a lesser extent, the site popularised the concept of writing personal articles for the public to read, giving birth to Blogging. Ironically Maddox hates the term "blog" and refuses to label his website as such.
- Gag Penis: A lot larger than the sun! Which he actually used in his rant against the original Xbox, where he referred to the enormous controller as "almost as big as my nuts".
- Grammar Nazi: One of the ways that Maddox took apart a hate mail is by pointing out its numerous grammatical errors. He's had to deal with a few thinking that the words "inane" and "homage" are not actual words, assuming he meant to write "insane" and "homepage".
- Government Conspiracy: Spoofed on the "Unfastened Coins" sub-webpage, where Maddox "proves" that the Titanic didn't sink because of an iceberg collision, but because of a government cover-up. He also mocked it with "There is no 9/11 conspiracy you morons", completely savaging Loose Change.
- Hates Small Talk: Maddox wishes he could kick people who make small talk in the crotch. Seriously.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Frequent usage of Stay in the Kitchen and objectification. Played for laughs, of course.
- Hype Backlash: A lot of the things he expresses hate for are (or were at the time) particularly popular, such as Titanic at the time he wrote his anti-Titanic article, and the iPhone (then without a lot of features and apps available nowadays).
- Hypocrite: His Sasha Grey article is in part dedicating to calling her out on being this: trying to become a "legitimate" actress yet still using her porn name and notoriety to actually land acting jobs, denying other people the respect she demands for her own work, etc.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- One of the above-mentioned uninformed grammar Nazis who thought "homage" wasn't a real word went on to tell Maddox that he "didn't think you'd want some collage-educated guy bitchin at you."
- The FAQ notes that Maddox dates pages by when they were last updated rather than posted, and that if a page actually is updated it will be moved back to the top of the front page, but he then says "this rarely happens because I do everything perfekt the frst time."
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: "You know ACE, I won't even point out the irony of your subject line (it's "you're", not "your", dipshit)"
- Insane Troll Logic:
- It Tastes Like Feet: "Hot dogs taste like the inside of my dick." (*NOT VERIFIED.)
- Logical Fallacies: One of the staples of Maddox's satire.
- One particularly hilarious example is a cartoon satirizing astrology in which someone unscrews the cap from a soda bottle and reads on it the words "SORRY PLEASE TRY AGAIN", and then furiously shouts at the heavens, "DAMN YOU NEPTUNE!"
- He also pointed out the idiocy of people who are opposed to the hiring of immigrant labor AND opposed to laws that would force companies to pay these immigrants fair wages. If they had to pay them fair wages, there would be no incentive for these companies to hire immigrant workers over local Americans (who are already protected by minimum wage laws). Apparently he even called in to a local radio show about this one, but the host was unable to follow his basic argument.
- He's also pointed this out in articles about food, noting there are onion haters who inexplicably will order onion rings, or a pompous vegetarian ordering a seafood pasta and then having the restaurant take it back when it came with seafood.
- Long List: From "If these words were people, I would embrace their genocide.":
Whiny, bitching, cry-baby conservatives love to prattle on and on about the "liberal media." To be fair, except for FOX News
, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy, E.D. Hill, Brian Kilmeade, Brit Hume), Clear Channel
, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh
, Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Newsmax, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, The New York Post, Sinclair Broadcast Group (WLOS 13
, Fox 45, WTTO 21
, WB 49
, KGAN, WICD, WICS, WCHS, WVAH, WTAT, WSTR, WSYX, WTTE, WKEF, WRGT, KDSM, WSMH, WXLV, WURN, KVWB, KFBT, WDKY, WMSN, WVTV, WEAR, WZTV, KOTH, WYZZ, WPGH, WGME, WLFL, WRLH, WUHF, KABB, WGGB, WSYT, WTTA), David Horowitz, Rupert Murdoch
, and MSNBC
's Joe Scarborough, they're right.
- Minimalism: The sites pages consist of minimal colour (large grey text on a black background), and is mostly text oriented, for the most part lacking images, advertisments, animations, and other fancy design gimmicks. The site author, Maddox, claims the purpose of this is in part to minimise bandwidth consumption, but is mostly as protest against "all the slick-looking, contentless web sites out there" and to make the website easier on the eyes as "Staring at a white background while you read is like staring at a light bulb".
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: So averted. After the death of Christopher Reeve, Maddox updated his article about Reeve... by changing the title from "Christopher Reeve is an asshole" to "Christopher Reeve was an asshole."
- Averted a second time when bin Laden was assassinated, and he promptly declared that anyone posting depressing quotes about how they wouldn't wish death on anyone was being a wimp, and suggested celebrating instead.
- Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: One of the "I am Better than Your Kids" submissions was disturbing enough to scare Maddox.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Near the end of "If these words were people, I would embrace their genocide.":
- Rated M for Manly: And he even wrote a book to that extent.
- Refuge in Audacity: "If there were a building that stood for grammatical integrity, this email would be the plane that crashed into it."
- Salt and Pepper: Complained about here.
- Self-Demonstrating Article: His Uncyclopedia article.
- Self-Deprecation: "These corporate sites have promotions, games, and discounts, yet more people come to this site every day and read stupid bullshit about how big my balls are."
- Small Name, Big Ego: Parodied. "Some people think I'm conceited. Oh well... THE UNIVERSE REVOLVES AROUND ME. I AM KING. Everyone wishes they were me. EVERYONE. If I weren't me, I'd wish I was. I love me." Overlaps with Refuge in Audacity.
- Take a Third Option: On the Dragon's Crown debacle, instead of going the usual "women are stupid" route for laughs (which he already did in the written article on females in gaming, but dropped for the video itself), he suggested that if women want to see less sexualization, they need to join the games industry and help grow the (small but growing) female developers and designers in the games industry, so that their opinions and designs get more exposure, instead of the usual skimpy-women-in-bikinis thing.
- Take That: On almost everything. His Ikaruga review turned into a random stab at Tekken, mocking its character design (in particular, Armor King).
- Tempting Fate: Seen right here.
In closing, Chump Change has made a special request. He would like to know the answer to the following question:
"Why would I get hate mail if you posted MY hate mail on YOUR site?! Dumbass"
Update: Chump Change broke down a record 20 minutes after this email was posted (after he received a flood of hate mail)...
56,448,946 tropers had their lives ruined.Back to how much tropes rule...©2014 Television Tropes & Idioms