alt.tasteless is frequented by a diverse readership, most of whom share stories and insights which would not be welcome in other forums or in polite conversation. It is in fact considered bad form to post anything in alt.tasteless which is not offensive in most other situations. To that end, if one ever posts anything patently non-tasteless, it is customary to append on some tasteless anecdote or insight into any topic at all to render a post worthy of alt.tasteless.
alt.tasteless is an example of the sort of subject matter that the Alt hierarchy is intended for.
alt.tasteless was involved in a number of well-known newsgroup invasions (in which the members of one newsgroup engage in organized trolling of another newsgroup). The best-known incident was an invasion of rec.pets.cats in 1993, in which alt.tasteless members posted a bogus request for advice (how does one deal with noisome feline diarrhea?) and several outrageous replies (firing "copper-jacketed hollow-points" into the cat's anus, among others). Wired Magazine covered the invasion in 1994. Google Groups has the thread archived. The high amount of traffic that this generated caused many server restarts and as a reference to this, some versions of the INN man pages included references to cats like using meow as the reason for restarting or an example newsgroup called news.admin.meow.
A brief glossary of alt.tasteless vocabulary
- AT - alt.tasteless
- Apeshit - Spree killings, when someone flies off the handle and kills multiple people (usually it must be more than 2 or 3, although wounding enough people with intent to kill may lower the required number of deaths) in a short span of time (minutes or hours). As in "he went apeshit and blew away half the employees in the post office." As a noun used to refer to any such acts in general, one might also see "Apeshittery."
- CelebriDeath - Celebrity Death. The death of a famous or noteworthy person, often someone who was listed on the Alt.Tasteless Dead Pool.
- Choad - A Penis that is well below average in length, yet quite substantial in the girth department.
- Darwin - Any case where people remove themselves from the gene pool by means which indicate they were too stupid to justify being in it in the first place. "Auto-Darwin" implies that the death (or sterilization) was unassisted. See also: Darwin Awards
- Fap - Onomatopoeia for masturbation. Most often used in the context of masturbating over someone else's misfortune. Potential SRs can also be described as "fap-worthy".
- Fishwrap - A newspaper.
- Glub - Frequently used in place of "God," "Glub" is sometimes simply a direct replacement for the Abrahamic God, but is also sometimes spoken of as either a separate cruel, misanthropic deity, as a cruel, misanthropic aspect of God, or simply to imply that the Abrahamic God is cruel and misanthropic.
- GOMER - Get Out of My Emergency Room. An acronym used by the medical workers who frequent AT to refer to people (usually old) who are on the verge of an inevitable death and who cling to life by making entirely too much fruitless use of the services of the medical professions. The word was originally used in Samuel Shem's novel The House of God.
- Grogan - Feces.
- ObT or ObTasteless - "Obligatory Tastelessness." This is placed at the beginning of an appendix to a post, usually a reply to another post, in which the main text was not tasteless enough to be worthy of alt.tasteless, and so something fouler was required. "Ob" may also be put in front of other words when one wishes to go on to a tangent about something which seemed like it had to be mentioned, or when one wishes to be a little more specific about what sort of tastelessness they are appending onto the main text of a post.
- Pinch a loaf - To use the anal sphincter to break an overly long "Grogan" in two as it emerges, thus causing the lower half to fall off into the bowl.
- Schlick - Female equivalent of "Fap".
- SR and SD - "Spooge Receptacle" and "Spooge Donor." Used to define someone's role in a sexual relationship.
Recurring topics in alt.tasteless
- Serial killers - AKA Homicidal Heroes or simply "Our Hero"
- Mass murder
- Scatology and coprophilia - to include so called "Me go plop plop!" posts.
- Disease - accidents, deformity, epidemics, and other unpleasant medical topics
- Animal cruelty
- Sex - especially unusual sexual fetishes and sodomy.
- Death - especially of celebrity deaths, or other news-making gruesome deaths.
- Mental retardation
- Race - Some Alt.tasteless posters are overtly racist, which does help to create an air of tastelessness in their discourse. Regardless, real problems prevalent within particular ethnic groups may actually have meaningful discussion prompted by off-the-cuff offensive remarks.
- Terrorism - Though this is a common topic elsewhere, the alt.tasteless approach to it often tends towards brainstorming ideas for how to commit it, reveling in the chaos and paranoia it generates and post-event analysis on style, effectiveness and the resultant body counts.