CONCLUSION: What Is The Internet?

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BWE Ending

Well folks, we’ve reached the end here at BWE.tv, and to achieve the proper closure, we’ve invited all the past contributors from the BWE.tv days of yesteryear to bid their farewells and impart their bloggerly knowledge unto you by answering the unanswerable question: “What Is The Internet?”

Here, offering their goodbyes, are Michelle Collins, Alex Blagg, Piper Weiss, Adam Winer, Sara Schaefer, Cory Cavin, Josh Lay, Tom Ganjamie, Eliot Glazer, Sarah Walker, Noah Garfinkel, Rohit Sang, Raphael Rodriguez, and Bob Castrone. Enjoy!

Michelle Collins (@michcoll)

Favorite Posts: These.

When I first started blogging, I was working in an office not unlike the basement where Gary Sinise locks up Mel Gibson’s kid in Ransom. The internet was my escape. It’s all our escapes. Going all the way back to those AOL chat rooms I used to a/s/l my way around when I was only 13/f/miami, the internet has been like the warm, strange hug you get from a guy high on MDMA at an outdoor music festival, ie perfect. And one day, when our children have grown and left the home to plug their brains into digital thought-controlling nano-pavilions at the nearest Winn Dixie, let’s remember back to those days when you could almost sometimes make human connections with real, amazing people over the internet.

In short, we’ve had a lot of fun Best Week Ever! I already miss your rainbow-colored smile. Thanks to everyone for reading and contributing over the years. Because this feels like the last day of school, there’s really only one thing I can leave you with… this:

Alex Blagg (@alexblagg)

Favorite Posts: Alex Blagg vs. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, Alex Blagg vs. Dane Cook

This is kind of weird, Best Week Ever blog. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to say to you in this situation. Is it like “fun high school yearbook message” or “eulogy for a beloved friend”?

Have a neat summer! Sorry you died?

You were a good blog. I met you when I was 25. I didn’t know very much about anything back then, but you let me say whatever I was thinking on you anyway even though you probably (definitely) shouldn’t have. Sometimes when I accidentally Google myself and stumble onto some old incendiary rant against the “bullsh*t hypocrisy of celebrity culture” that I posted on you, without irony, UNDER MY OWN NAME, I cringe at my horrible combination of hubris and naivete, then remember I am likely the only person who will ever see this on account of your poor archival system and utter lack of Search Engine Optimization. Thank you for having my back on that, blog.

During the three years we spent together, I thought about you constantly. Were you updated enough? Was your content fresh and original? Should we do another one of those lists that people can’t stop clicking on? Were you getting enough “links” to get the “hits” that were important to your “traffic” so I could proudly talk about your “metrics” during our regular “progress meetings”??? I was like your proud, insane, loving, neurotic, needy, alcoholic, amphetamine-abusing helicopter parent.

Did you end up becoming something as meaningful and important as we all hoped you’d be, something that would rise above the increasingly shrill howl of the rest of the attention-starved Internet and demand the consideration of the lonely cubicle-dwelling, amusement-seeking masses who would provide us with the millions of clicks required to qualify you as a successful endeavor? I think so, maybe, sometimes, on your good days, when you got a big link from Digg or wherever and we juked the stats a little bit. But I know you at least entertained a few people, brought a little lightness to the world, and deeply confused my parents, which all seem to be the real hallmarks of success on the Internet.

For me you will always be the place where I first got paid to show up every day and try to make people laugh by publishing whatever insane thought plopped into my brain. The place where I finally felt like I’d “made it”. The place where I then subsequently learned to keep my goddamned hands off Frank Stallone’s veggie tray, stay the hell out of the Green Room, and go back to my blogger hole where I belonged.

Also you were the place where I spent some of the most fun years of my life, and met most of the friends I’m still friendly with today cause I haven’t alienated them yet. Or I alienated them, but then we buried the hatchet when I got a little older and less self-absorbed and generally mellowed out a bit. I’m exercising and meditating now. It doesn’t matter.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say to you here, Best Week Ever blog. You’re a blog. You don’t have feelings. You have rainbows and a hot pink color palette and graphics that may in fact be the last remaining relic of Vh1′s brief mid-aughts fascination with the “cartoon graffiti” aesthetic. But none of that really matters now.

You existed. You contain over 300 author pages of things I somehow have no recollection of ever writing. You managed to survive for almost three years after the television show for which you were named was unceremoniously cancelled in order to make room for more of the kinds of programming it became popular for ridiculing. That has to count for something.

I will always remember you fondly. Have a neat summer. I’m sorry you died.

Piper Weiss (Yahoo! Shine)

It’s the blueprint for madness. It defies logic. It’s deeply, deeply perverse. It’s uncontrollably crowd-sourced—a product of public information and private vendettas. Parts of it are funny. Other parts will break your heart. It changes every day. It’s full of facts you want to believe but shouldn’t completely trust. It makes you forget how crappy your own life is. It explains everything, but then leaves you with more unanswered questions. If you haven’t yet read Kelsey Grammer’s Wikipedia page [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelsey_Grammer], you probably think I’m talking about the Internet. I’m not, but that’s insane too.

RIP BWE.TV. It won’t be the same without you.

Adam Winer (FUSE)

Favorite Posts: I’ll have to go with my “What Would Jay Say” post that predicted what hacky joke Jay Leno would make about the Paris Hilton arrest because… I got it right! I don’t remember which line it was that actually ended up being on the Tonight Show, I just remember being overjoyed that I could write jokes as terrible as Jay Leno’s.

But my ultimate favorite post would have to be this video of me eating Taco Bell while a casino imploded behind me. Nailed it in one take.

Back when I blogged for BWE.tv, the internet was just a place where you could find the latest news on Paris Hilton. And possibly video of her having unenthusiastic sex. Obviously things have changed. These days the internet is used solely for high-level social discourse and Paris Hilton has become Secretary General of the United Nations. So it makes sense why there’s no longer a place for a blog like Best Week Ever.

Still, I’m going to miss it. Looking back, it’s amazing how many crazy-talented people have worked for the site. If I’m getting space here to write whatever the hell I want, I’d like to use it to thank the ones I had the honor of working with personally.

Alex: You taught me how to blog. “Magazine writing is like stand-up. Blogging is like improv.” It’s one of the best writing tips anyone has ever given me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve repeated it to others as if I thought of it myself.

Michelle: You showed me the power of animals. And Patrick Swayze. And animals that look like Patrick Swayze. At least once in their life, everyone should work in an office that features you bursting in at random times to sing Celine Dion.

Dan: Somehow you went from being our PA to being one of the funniest writers on the web. How the hell did that happen? When I heard about BWE.tv going down, I was hoping to get you to write for the site I work at now. I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve already secured new and fulfilling employment.

Dan Hopper (@DanHopp)

Samuel Beckett has a play called “Happy Days” that consists entirely of two characters bantering randomly about objects around them, like toothbrushes, mirrors, etc. while the one character becomes increasingly buried up to her waist as the play goes on. My takeaway from this play: We’re all going to die eventually, there’s nothing we can do to prevent it, so in the meantime, we might as well distract ourselves with whatever random sh*t we can find.

This is as concise a definition as I can possibly apply to the function of the modern-day internet, and I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. We’re here! We have nothing better to do. Let’s look at some sh*t.

Thank you for letting us be that sh*t for the past six years!

Sara Schaefer (@saraschaefer1, saraschaefer.com)

Favorite Posts: Gary Busey Snorted Cocaine Off His Dog, One Of These Is Not Like The Other

Inside your mind
Nestled deep within your soul
Twitching under your eyelids
Ever humming in your ears
Running through your veins
Never off, always on
Eternally connecting us:
The internet.

Cory Cavin (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Blog)

Favorite Posts: The Most Whistleriffic Tweetastic Songs That Use Ref Whistles, Sunday Weepies: The Most Depressed Cartoon Characters

What is the internet? It’s hard to sum up but it has a lot to do with cats, pizza, R. Kelly, and lots of people falling down. There are so many people falling down on the internet – in pictures, videos, gifs. I just re-watched “Afro Ninja” for the first time in years and STILL laughed so hard my co-workers heard me (which I believe is called LOLing on the internet!). It is never not funny to me. At BestWeekEver.tv I got to eat bad take out and watch tons of bad television into the late night hours with fellow BWE.tv staffer (and current LNJF co-blogger) Josh Lay while we made Best Night Ever. As well as being dynamite evidence of podcast producing (maybe?), it was ridiculous. I mean, it gave us this Halloween gem with BNE host Craig Rowin which Craig’s own mother called “…not funny”. What are we all doing in that thing (WATCH TIL THE END!)?? I also honed my writing craft on great posts about the best songs that use referee whistles and I photoshopped this picture of Wesley Snipes as “Blade” peeking into a Bacardi ad. All in all, I’d say the Internet is about winning, (even when you fall down) and BWE.tv will be a win for infinity for us. Win on, Dan.

Josh Lay (LNJF Blog)

What’s the Internet? I don’t know, why do I continue to be a Cubs fan year in and year out. It’s a mystery. One thing I do know is while at BWE.tv I got to do some awesome stuff, and work with some amazingly talented people. Whether it was watching the world’s sneakiest rapper, Sneaky Pete, fall in love with Michelle Collins at a swank after party where Ludacris performed a couple feet from me, hosting the National Mascot Competition in Orlando, writing a post about the Top Ten Couples Halloween Costumes To Avoid, or producing the nightly podcast Best Night Ever with friend and fellow Fallon worker Cory Cavin till the wee hours, none of it could have been possible without BWE.tv, and thus the Internet. So to me, the Internet has given me some great memories, and good friends which is one thing my sports teams never will. I love you Dan Hopper. Go Cubs.

Tom Ganjamie (@Tomgam, astronauttheatre.com)

Favorite Posts: The Many Moods of Malkovich, My strangely prophetic recap of the very first episode of The Jersey Shore that has zero awareness of the devastation soon to follow

So, what is the internet? The answer to that question has eluded me since the very first day I was handed a key to this fabled “internet” by Dan Hopper and Michelle Collins. They told me the entrance could be found at the back of the giant wardrobe marked “Bestweekever.tv” in a long-forgotten corridor of the VH1 headquarters. After suing them for copyright infringement on behalf of the C.S. Lewis estate, I embarked on a journey that I hoped would unlock all the answers.

At first, it seemed pretty simple: the internet was where you ruthlessly mocked Lindsay Lohan or Tiger Woods or sad, sad, lonely Jennifer Aniston, and then called it a day. Everyone could point and laugh at these dim-witted celebrities who had the nerve to think they could go out and make movies or create music or date each other or God forbid get fat and we’d all just sit back in our Chalupa-stained Slankets and let them quietly enjoy their lives. Morons.

But as I traveled further in to the depths of this internet, I saw things. Things I couldn’t entirely explain. Dogs and cats began dressing like people. Children coming back from the dentist were suddenly deconstructing advanced philosophical truths. Rainbows were doubling. Susans were Boyling. Entire cultural touchstones of the long-past 1990’s began spewing back out at us like a ruptured water main. Television shows from the night before would instantly reverberate back across every inch of this so-called internet until there wasn’t a single pixel or soundwave from an episode that hadn’t been dissected a million times over and over. And yet, we loved it all.

Then came the auto-tunes. And the supercuts. And the gifs. So many gifs. A day wouldn’t go by where you weren’t ingesting fifty-eight variations of a single piece of news or video or even status update. We were on the verge sinking deep into this dark chasm that, from a distance, just looked like a quick five minutes to check some email. But just when things seemed like they’d never make sense again, like we were doomed to wander from one fan-made trailer mashup or a capella Bieber cover to the next, there was Bestweekever.tv. It was like a glorious roadside diner beckoning all those left scarred by a wasteland of trending topics and endless aggregation to sit down at its comfy booths and eat a heaping plate of internet pie served up right. All the flavors and flaky goodness we knew we deserved were right there on Bestweekever.tv. It was still weird, but damn was it delicious.

Now, as this beacon of the internet prepares to shut off its lovely neon sign for the last time, I sit here thankful I got to be a part of the delicious weirdness.

Oh, wait, I got side tracked a little.. I was supposed to answer “what is the internet?” Well, my math might be off, but my calculations show it’s “Jeff Goldblum.”

Eliot Glazer (Vulture, It Gets Betterish)

Favorite Posts: 30 No H8 Models Whose Support Is Appreciated But Totally Unnecessary, The Whitney Posters You Haven’t Seen Yet

For me, the internet is a place for the smartest people and the dumbest people to thrive equally, to swim upstream in a sea of brain-garbage in the hope of showing us something special (or something really, really stupid).

Sarah Walker (@swalks)

Writing at Best Week Ever taught me that the Internet makes me tired and sad, but it also makes me laugh and then tired and sad again. Basically what heroin is like, or so I hear. Instead of talking about the Internet in general I’ll talk about the two posts I chose as my legacy posts. I’ll say firstly, I enjoy them because they are relatively innocuous, dark horse posts. They don’t involve Brendan Frasier or Tim Curry or hot dudes with dogs or any of the topics I would frequently cover. But I hold them dear because they are silly and they still make me laugh and did not accrue any hate comments. Bless these posts.

This news item came up the day after Charlie Sheen’s infamous “winning” interview on 20/20. Being a grizzled part time blogger, I was immediately sick of the Charlie Sheen thing. I had maybe one second of joy watching the interview, mostly because I was watching at a bar with friends, and then skipped over every other emotion and was made world weary and sad. Therefore, Liam Gallagher’s ridiculous quote was mana from heaven. It’s just the perfect storm of sincere weirdness, indignation, dickishness and stupid phrases and I loved (love?) him for it.

This is just my favorite Internet video ever. It’s short, to the point, hilarious and so very real. I loved it when I first saw it and more than a year later I’m still laughing. Still funny after all these years, video!

Stay strong, readers. And remember: It’s not your fault.

Noah Garfinkel (@NoahGarfinkel)

Favorite Posts: The Toyota Camry Good Will Hunting Math Challenge, Teach: Tony Danza Recaps

First, an answer to Dan’s question, “What is the internet?” The internet is basically an overstocked library where half the “nonfiction” books are completely false, but nobody complains because you’re allowed to come there with your pants off and watch people have sex for free.With that out of the way, I’d just like to say that my original recap of the fifth episode of Teach: Tony Danza was an epically long masterpiece that would have surely won me an Edward R. Murrow award, but it somehow got deleted from the server when I clicked “publish”. I’m still furious about it.One more thing, though. Getting paid in exchange for Gchatting with Dan, Michelle, and Sarah is one of the top 33 things that has ever happened to me.Bye, Best Week Ever Blog.(Sorry, guys. I just wrote all this on my iPhone with no contacts in while in a hotel bathroom, waiting for the shower to get hot.)

Rohit Sang and Raphael Rodriguez (Original BWE.tv Video Producers)

Rohit: So I was one of the originals of BWE.tv and was recruited in by the great creative wizard of awesome that is Fred Graver (the creator of BWE and this universe). On the site & TV show I was basically a guy who created stuff – lots of graphics/title pages/bumpers, site banners, mounds of hilarious videos, heaps and loads of photoshops, cartoons….just lots of stuff. It truly was the Best Staff Ever with the most fantastic colleagues & great goofballery created through the years. When Dan asked me to submit a few things, I went through whatever files I had left (the great crash of 2006 took a TB drive from my life and lots of BWE with it) and gathered some of my favorite things I made. Enjoy the stupidity you’re about to experience:

And BWE.tv’s most famous mash-up, courtesy of Raphael.

Bob Castrone (@thepostshow; First-ever BWE.tv Editor)

Hi there. I’m Bob. If you don’t remember me or you’ve never heard of me, it’s probably because I left Bestweekever.tv just over five years ago. To put that in internet terms, I packed my bags somewhere in between “Chocolate Rain” and “Leave Britney Alone.” Man, that was a long time ago. My life has changed a lot since saying goodbye. I moved from NY to LA, got married, lived across the street from Lindsay Lohan, had a baby, and began my career as a comedy writer. I’m sure you have a ton of questions- and I’m sure every single one of them is about the redheaded maniac who almost ran me over in her Maserati- but legally I’m not allowed to answer them so let’s just move on.

I don’t think I can answer Dan’s question “What is the Internet?” but I can paint a picture of what it was when we started this site. Friendster was bigger than Facebook, there was barely a Perez Hilton, and saying you were a professional “blogger” would either elicit over-exaggerated eye rolls or blank stares of complete confusion. I don’t know if that last part has changed. I was writing for Best Week Ever’s barely visible website & mobile department, so alongside Best Week Ever creator Fred Graver and future BWE.tv video editor/ all-around great dude Raphael Rodriguez, we came up with the idea to start a pop culture/ celebrity blog with a unique voice- separate from the usual VH1 brand. We’d hire great writers (beginning with Jason Hartley, Piper Weiss, and, of course, Alex Blagg) and we’d use VH1 to do something that most sites weren’t doing at the time: post videos. So the next time Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch (actual example we used. I told you it was a long time ago) we would record it off the TV, dub it to Beta, get an intern to run it 5 blocks to the digital department, wait about 6 hours for them to digitize it, and VIOLA, post it a lightning fast 8-12 hours later. By the time the site actually launched YouTube came along and made that entire process sound outdated and ridiculous- now it sounds like we conceived the site in 1993 surrounded by AOL startup discs.

If you ask me, the site truly hit its stride when Michelle Collins came on board and added her Michelle Collins-ness to an internet that didn’t have nearly enough of it. From there we never looked back. So many great writers and editors have contributed to making BWE.tv the site it is today, and I couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of it. Dan- thanks for kicking ass and carrying the torch all the way to the finish line. It was a hell of a run.