Miscellaneous

Shameless Pimping: Citation Needed

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?There aren’t a lot of websites I check everyday, but The Comics Curmudgeon is one of them written; in it, Josh Frulinger comments hilariously on the wasteland of banality and humorlessness the U.S. comic page has become. As a kid who loved comics, thanks to Bloom County, Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes, it pains me to see how badly 99% of comic strips suck, but Frulinger singlehandedly makes them funny through his daily commentary.

There aren’t a lot of people I envy, but Conor Lastowka is one of them. He’s been writing for Rifftrax pretty much from the beginning, which means he hangs out with Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett and makes them laugh. Furthermore, Mike Nelson — who was the head writer of MST3K for 10 years — finds Lastowka hilarious enough to employ him for the same purpose. He’s pretty much living my dream life. If I ever find a genie, he and I are switching places.

I bring all this up because Frulinger and Lastowka have just published a book named Citation Needed, a collection of the worst writing ever to appear on Wikipedia, along with their acerbic commentary. Generally I consider Wikipedia more “internet-y” than “nerdy,” but you will not be surprised to discover many of Wikipedia’s worst writing comes from entries with nerdy subjects, include Care Bears (and their suspect genders), Adult Diaper fetishes, bizarre assumptions about He-Man characters, and more. I’m convinced Topless Robot readers will love the hell out of it. Basically, it’s like FFF, except you don’t have to be ashamed when reading it and Frulinger and Lastowka are not nearly as mean-spirited as I am and about five million times funnier.

The book is available here at Amazon for $11. If you have a Kindle, the ebook is only $1, which is the most absurd entertainment value I’ve seen in quite some time. If you have a Kindle and don’t buy a copy, I hate you. If you have $11 and don’t buy the paperback, I won’t hate you, but I will mistrust you.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.