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Fade To Black | review | website | Lollipop

Fade To Black

By Chad Van Wagner

Fade To Black is a sneering carnival for the weird, kind of an anti-Re-Search. If ridicule isn't your bag, look elsewhere, for pointing and laughing is this project's bread and butter.

As of this writing, the site is on hiatus, but that's no reason not to dig around in its vast archives to come up with some information on, say, what Death Row inmates think of the new Fall lineup on TV, or how "Operation Panty Aid" is coming along. Yes, Fade To Black is an absurdist website, a site dedicated to reminding us just how damned stupid we can be when we really, really MEAN something. For the key to true ridiculousness is sincerity, and sometimes all you need to do is step back and watch people hang themselves.

The most obvious thing to recommend Fade To Black is the daily updates of several quickie features: The "Dumb Quote of the Day," the "comic strip for deviants" The Parking Lot Is Full, etc. To say nothing is sacred is missing the point: F2B isn't about simple smart-ass, it's about watching people make complete and utter buffoons of themselves.

Case in point: The "Unintentionally Funny Site of the Year" contest, in which jaw-droppingly bizarre homepages get sent up for, well, being jaw-droppingly bizarre (ever wondered if anyone gets sexually aroused at the thought of morphing into a horse?). The site is certainly not afraid of easy targets: Christian Fundamentalists have not one but two outlets for their head-scratching didacticism (the "Unintentionally Funny Christian Fundamentalist Movie Review of the Week," and an "advice" column by the name of "Ask Cap.")

One thing F2B will do is make you feel smart, or at least normal. One could certainly accuse it of being mean-spirited, but, like most worthy satire, there's a strong morality implied in what goes on here. It almost seems to be saying "There but for the grace of God go you and I." Hilarious, and useful as a reality check, Fade To Black is a good place to go when you're feeling that little black cloud of annoyance starting to take over.

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