Thanks for joining me for the second part of JSH: War of Attrition, a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfic based on James S Harris’s long-forgotten rant on Usenet group sci.math.
The riff about “Frishtory” references a recurring minor villain on Dave The Barbarian, a fun mid-2000s cartoon that like four people remember even counting people who were on its production staff. And I think that’s all that’s particularly baffling in this set of riffs. Other than that nobody remembers Dave The Barbarian.
> When I feel a bit down
MIKE: The clerk tells me to stop fondling pillows.
> –like if insulting posters start getting to me–
CROW: Sneaking in under the door while I whap with my flyswatter …
> I can do things like do Google searches on my open source project
> "Class Viewer" which took the number one spot for that search string,
> years ago.
TOM: After the original first-place holder was disqualified for steroid use.
> It is all over the world.
CROW: Did you see it waving at you?
> I especially feel honored looking at the
> Chinese page,
MIKE: Which was all Greek to me.
> where words I typed years ago to describe my project
> have been translated.
CROW: If I had typed the words on time they would have been transpunctualled.
> That is an odd feeling.
TOM: Like when you think your socks are inside-out.
> And that is just one thing.
MIKE: I have many odd feelings and look forward to sharing every one of them.
> Just a few days ago I started talking about a "managed copy" idea of
CROW: Copies include a full Dilbert’s boss.
> and just typing up a post on my blog I found myself talking about
> it as digital media equipment self-encryption and of course went to
> the initials to designate it DMESE.
MIKE: [ Starting dramatically ] DUN DUN … d … huh?
TOM: He’s … made an acronym? Who cares?
MIKE: Maybe he’s bragging he’s had the idea of initials?
CROW: Or he’s found a flaw in our whole system of letters?
TOM: [ Narrating ] With my new *letters*, words and even *acronyms* can be created even by the likes of foolish unworthy peasants such as *yourself*!
> That is just one more thing.
CROW: Funny feelings *and* he has a blog — can nothing stop this man?
> Archimedes said that with a level long enough and a place to stand he
> could move the world
MIKE: Sheesh, my dad can barely use the level and a place to stand
to hang pictures straight.
> because he could conceive of greatness on a scale
> that most people cannot.
TOM: Ah, but could he imagine greatness with *letters*?
MIKE: It’s got to be more than making an acronym.
> I can move the world.
> Not one of you can say the same.
CROW: Not without my *letters*!
TOM: Guy puts initials together, wants world to know. We can play
that game, I guess.
> My posts get translated to languages across the planet. I watch ideas
> of mine travel around the world.
MIKE: I see whole civilizations transmitting my messages back in time
to change the course of history!
> Yet I am still stopped by academics who are dead-set on fighting the
> Math Wars to the bitter end, and mostly they just wait.
CROW: Plus his freshman Calc TA has lousy office hours.
> Yes, Princeton academics can stop me today.
MIKE: Yes, they can wrap me head to toe in duct tape and leave me
in the back room. I’ll bring the tape.
> Yes, Harvard academics
> can hold the line today.
TOM: I won’t need the line until the weekend anyway.
> But they burn everything their universities have built up over the
> years in the process and I let them.
CROW: To be honest, I’m not sure why I did that. I hope I left myself a note about it.
MIKE: A note made almost entirely of *letters*!
> I emailed the University of California at Berkeley to note some
> unethical behavior by Arturo Magidin,
MIKE: Who was clearly abusing the “take all you want” rule at the Golden Prawn Chinese Buffet.
> and noticed at that point that
> Ralph McKenzie is listed as faculty,
TOM: And not as a Decepticon underling.
> where it notes he is at my alma
> mater Vanderbilt University.
CROW: Case closed.
> Yup, I know that as I visited him there years ago,
MIKE: But don’t be jealous. Many people can visit professors at Vanderbilt University if they learn my invention of *letters*.
> before my paper was
TOM: When there were concerts in the park.
> retracted after sci.math’ers including Magidin trumped the
> formal peer review system with some emails,
CROW: Before they sent a squad of highly physically developed
“Mathletes” to do a pole vault over an obelus.
> and the freaking math
> journal died.
TOM: That’s _The Journal of Freaking Math_.
MIKE: The official mathematics journal of Freakazoid.
> Academics can only sit and wait, while I move forward over time.
CROW: Occasionally I move too far forward, and bump into the railing overlooking the balcony. I move to the side a little, and start moving forward again.
> Knowing that at the end, I go for the entire system to reform it.
> And I will change their world.
MIKE: I will infuse it with drawn butter baked right in.
> I send papers to math journals and I [ beep ] well get a reply.
CROW: Like “No” and “Who are you again, exactly?”
> they’re polite rejections but they had better reply to me.
TOM: Or else I may visit people at *more* universities and withhold from them my vitally needed *letters*!
> You people don’t get it because I post among you, and you think that
> because I post I must be at your level.
MIKE: I’m actually posting things that are nine-dimensional and subject to rotation in fourteen dimensions at once.
[ To conclude … ]