Sunday, December 31, 2006

aTj ..alt.tasteless.jokes.. Magazine

aTj Magazine is a privately published bi-monthly magazine available only through eBay. The magazine is a best-of-the-best compilation of posts (some edited down for brevity), jokes, flames (from alt.tasteless.jokes and a handful of other Usenet groups), replies/conversations, puns, riddles, threats, political musings, religious discussions, and blog posts. aTj also tracks top comedian concert tours on five continents, has Top 5, 10, and 20 lists for whatever the hell we decide, comedy club reviews, up-and-coming comedians to watch, high profile Hip Hop and R&B commentary/concerts/and CD collections, Usenet/Internet sekrets and some other nifty crap that will most likely amuse you. It is compiled, edited, and distributed exclusively through ÑðS--MÐ and available in single issues ($7.99+s/h, or $10.00+s/h for back issues), or subscription form ($49.99/yr, pre-paid, 6 issues, shipping included). Search for "aTj magazine" on eBay to purchase an issue or subscribe. aTj Magazine is controversial, unpredictable, and definitely "underground" humor. The best thing about aTj Magazine is, of course, your ability to contribute to it. How? By posting something (anything) on Usenet's alt.tasteless.jokes or this blog. Does posting something guarantee a spot in the magazine? no stretch of the imagination. What you post must be funny, sarcastic, outrageously politically incorrect, imaginative, original, or world changing. I'm picky, and the only shit that gets filtered into aTj is the good shit.

My suggestion (if you want to even be remotely considered for placement into aTj Magazine) is that you first "lurk" in alt.tasteless.jokes, which means that you will have to find alt.tasteless.jokes on Usenet, which also means you will have to learn how to access Usenet to see posts. (A quicker route into aTj Magazine might be a post or reply to this blog, but most people who know about the blog are current Usenet posters.) If you don't already know, Usenet is the world's largest electronic bulletin board. There are approximately 100,000 "groups" on Usenet, about 3 or 4 thousand of which get posted to and read on a regular basis. Most of the groups that get posted to and read from are the "text" groups. The "binary/mp3" groups are the ones where people go to upload/download music, videos, and pictures of just about anything you can imagine. Because you can access Usenet anonymously (if you know how), it is the safest place in the world to download and share mp3 files. Alt.tasteless.jokes is by far the largest humor/jokes group and shares a unique relationship with the second largest, rec.humor. Alt.tasteless.jokes (atj) alone had over 82,000 posts in 2003, and rec.humor had over 42,000. Rec.humor is atj's "girl next door", a group of funny but benign individuals bent on puns and silly humor, with the occasional crass remark. Rec.humor has been atj's bitch for decades, and together, they represent the most formidable arsenal of just about any type of humor in existence.

Usenet basics: The easiest way to access Usenet, initially, is through Google. You can set up a free "posting" account so you can post your own messages into the various groups. If you go to Google and then click the top link that says "groups", you'll go into a 'group search mode'. Simply type in "alt.tasteless.jokes" and hit 'Search'. The page you pull up will be a list of the main "threads" replied to or started that day. Next to the thread name, in parentheses, is the number of "articles" (replies) in that thread. A "thread" is simply the 'subject' of the original post. For example, look for the thread "
The greatest man ever". You can see that this thread has had over 27,000 replies. Maybe a dozen or so of those replies even referenced the topic of 'the greatest man ever', mainly because people don't give a shit about the subject of a thread. When did all of these replies take place? ..actually, "The greatest man ever" is one of the most frequently replied-to threads in Usenet history. Why? Because the thread will simply not go away. A non-replied-to thread is a dead thread, but there are sometimes hundreds of replies to "The greatest man ever" in just one day.. it all depends on what is written (and who it is "directed" to). I use "directed" to, as opposed to "written" to, because when you or anyone else replies to a post, that reply has been 'written' to everyone. How many people read (lurk) in alt.tasteless.jokes? ..between 6 and 7 hundred thousand on most days, and sometimes over a million people, worldwide. You can start a new thread whenever you like by posting a new subject or an original joke. Original jokes will normally not be replied to, save for the occasional "flame" from regular posters, but they will probably be read by hundreds of thousands of people from about 30 or 40 different countries.

Now Google only gives you the outer shell of Usenet's text groups. In order to see the core of Usenet, and the funniest, most controversial posters in alt.tasteless.jokes, you must access it through a different means. The easiest method is through a Newsreader (the easiest being Outlook Express, already set up on your computer), and your current ISP. Your ISP should have Usenet (newsgroup) access. To access, ..simple instructions:

1. Go to your 'Start Menu'
2. Select 'Programs'
3. Select 'Outlook Express' (you may get a Wizard at this point ..follow the setup routine)
4. Select 'Tools' from upper toolbar
5. Select 'Accounts' from the drop-down box
6. Select the 'News' folder tab from the top
7. Select the 'Add' button on the right
8. Type in your 'Display Name' (the name that will appear on all of your posts)
9. Select 'Next'
10.Type in an E-Mail address (you should fudge it or include a NOSPAM.. e.g.
11. Select 'Next'
12. Type in your NNTP (generally 'news."your ISP".com' ..e.g. -NOTE: AOL and MSN are hard to set up newsgroup access with. It would be best, if you are with either of them, to set up news via a news provider. The easiest and cheapest is a Supernews ( account for $4.95/mo of 1.5GB 'Text Only' access. If you want to download mp3s or see binaries (pictures), you'll have to cough up an extra buck for 3GBs of monthly access.
13. Select 'Next'
14. Select 'Finish'
15. Select 'Close'
16. Message "Would you like to download newsgroups from the news account you added?" -Select 'YES'
17. When list appears, scroll down to 'alt.tasteless.jokes' and then Select 'Subscribe'.
18. Select 'OK' (not 'Go To'.. unless you want to download every "header" in the group's recent history)
19. Select 'Tools' from upper toolbar
20. Select 'Options'
21. Select the 'Read' tab at the top
22. Checkmark the 'Get ___ headers at a time' and put '500' in as the number (you don't need more than this).
23. Checkmark 'Automatically expand grouped messages' & 'Automatically download message when..etc..'
24. Checkmark 'Read all messages in plain text' and then Select 'Apply'.
25. Select 'OK'
26. Select 'Tools' from upper toolbar
27. Select 'Synchronize Newsgroup'.. NOT 'Synchronize All'
28. Checkmark 'Get the following items:' ..and then check the 'New messages only' box
29. Select 'OK'
30. BINGO! ..there's the latest 500 messages from alt.tasteless.jokes

Now.. start reading. You'll notice there are essentially three different types of posters. The first types are those that post jokes and rarely if ever reply to other people's posts (e.g. KenFuny and wEb GoDdEsS). The second are those that mainly post jokes but will reply (sometimes only to certain individuals) on a regular basis (e.g. GP of ATJ). The third are those that do nothing but reply to other posters and rarely post a 'joke'. Believe it or not, this is where you're going to find the funniest, most controversial, etc.. material. You can easily tell if a post is a 'reply' by the way the subject starts. If it starts with 'Re:', it's a reply to a previous post. The posts that do not begin with 'Re:' are most likely the "original" jokes. I say 'most likely' because the post may be some political or other random statement that isn't necessarily funny, and I put 'original' in quotes because some posters tend to post recycled jokes over and over. When you first get started with atj (alt.tasteless.jokes), everything will seem new, so don't worry about that.

The regular posters (those who mainly just reply) fall into two major categories.. those that read and reply almost exclusively from atj (e.g. ÑðS--MÐ, Mel, ur_droll, Keith E., Douglas D. Anderson, Vanilla Gorilla), and those that read from another group (mainly rec.humor), but end up replying to a lot of atj posts (Larry Krzewinski, Greg Evans, Mos, nemo, Alan, Tim Bruening, Elizabeth Muller). Most of the others are "crossposting" in from other groups such as alt.atheism,, etc.. Crossposting is when you post to more than one group at a time. Most people generally read from one particular group and will reply to whatever groups happen to be 'crossposted' into a message, so for the most part, these people are just replying to threads/messages that were originally crossposted some time ago.

OK.. what are the guidelines to ensure your placement into aTj Magazine? Here's one: develop a sense of humor. When you first post to atj, you will not know what to expect unless you read a bunch of posts beforehand and see how people respond. Some initial advice.. you may be flamed or ignored, at first. Don't let it bother you. As you continue to reply to posts, you will get noticed. Maybe you won't get noticed by the regular posters right away, but eventually someone will reply to you. If it happens to be someone like Mel or ur_droll, they will probably be mocking and testing you. Ur_droll may decide to flame (criticize) you, Douglas D. Anderson might decide to write an entire paragraph or two based on an issue that you just raised, or any number of people could jump in and completely twist your post into something entirely different. Whatever happens happens.. you have no control. All you can do is respond to what was posted. Should someone like Keith E., Larry Krzewinski, Greg Evans, or Mos reply, then they will kind of 'help you along' with the humor thing by adding something to your post that will make it humorous. The idea is to twist it slightly and keep it humorous.

If you post anything political or religous, expect to get flamed. Expect to get flamed anyway, period. If you don't expect it then, when it happens, you'll just be annoyed and will probably start to whine and moan. Whiners and moaners have no place in atj, and if Mel or ur_droll can't run them out.. I will. The last thing you could possibly want to happen to you on this little planet of ours is to be attacked by me. I'll sift your mind into nothingness and you will leave with your tail tucked firmly between your legs. As long as you are not a complete moron, don't regularly post stupid shit, or don't flame well (with a discernable sense of humor), I'll leave you alone. You may get flamed by others, but most of them won't try to mind fuck you. As long as you don't bore anyone, you can attack me as much as you like, in fact, I encourage it. I'll only flame you back to the degree I think you can handle it. Usually I'll only "attack" (different than flaming) if I feel like your total contribution to the group amounts to nothing more than a pile of humorless fly shit.

That said.. enjoy your atj experience's addicting, I'll warn you out of the gate.. but nothing can be so rewarding as being continually stabbed in the back while posting outrageous, off-the-wall shit with no 'politically correct' boundries and no consequences (until you piss me off). If you want to get on my good side right away, post some anti-Bush 9/11 conspiracy shit that supports the reasons why the United States should systematically be wiped out by the wrath of God. All replies welcome..