Type of site
|Created by||Lore Sjöberg and Dave Neilsen|
|Alexa rank||1,940,138 (April 2014[update])|
The Brunching Shuttlecocks is a humor web site that ran from June 1997 to March 2003. Its main contributors were Lore Sjöberg and Dave Neilsen and it ran under the motto "Pure and Simple as a Hammer to the Forebrain."
In interviews, Lore has stated that he was tired of hearing his friends talk about their 401K plans when he didn't have one, and suggested they talk about creating a comedy website instead. As it happened, only Dave Neilsen could make the time commitment to do so.
Recurring features were:
- The Ratings: Sjöberg would choose a random topic, such as "Superfriends" or "breakfast cereals", and would then apply letter grades to items from that category with an explanatory paragraph. Only one F was ever given during the run of the series. The recipient was Scrappy-Doo in the topic, "Scooby-Doo Characters."
- The Self-Made Critic: Movie reviews by the anonymous Self-Made Critic (later revealed as Neilsen). Films were graded on a scale of 0 to 5 Babylons, and each featured a (usually belittling) comment from the anonymous Editor as a post-script.
- This or That: Tests of the reader's ability to differentiate dissimilar things with similar names, such as "Christian Metal Band or Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode?", "Beanie Baby or G.I. Joe?", and "Porn Star or My Little Pony?" Some of these were used as on-air radio quizzes by morning DJs, usually without citing the source.
- Lore Brand Comics: Three-panel comic strips by Sjöberg, usually consisting of a short monologue by his cartoon avatar.
- Thoughts From: Dave's thoughts conceived during activities such as shopping or driving to work, with each accompanied by a cartoon mugshot of Dave drawn by Lore.
- Bandwidth Theater: Flash cartoons by Lore.
- The Complete and Utter Idiot's Guide: Dave provided instructions to an idiot on how to perform the simplest of tasks, such as cooking a TV Dinner, in the most literal and painstakingly detailed manner possible. The instructee was generally portrayed as making every attempt to screw up the task regardless.
- Ed's World: Short stories on how Ed, the only smart man in the world, outwitted the imbecile citizens of Earth.
- Good or Bad?: A list of dissimilar items in a cgi web form that allowed readers to rate them as good or bad. Votes were tabulated, and items appeared above or below the "Line of Truth" based on whether more readers voted "good" or "bad".
- Web toys, such as Tina the Troubled Teen, a cartoon of a goth girl which could be copied to any webpage, showing a new caustic comment every day; or the Oral Sex Donation System; or a page allowing Roshambo challenges through e-mail.
The Geek Hierarchy deserves special note, as it has been widely passed around, and imitations created for other fields. It is a chart of various groups in fandom, with arrows between groups indicating who looks down on whom. The topmost group is "Published Science Fiction Authors" and various flavors of furries are at the bottom.
Brunching in print
In 2002, The Book of Ratings : Opinions, Grades, and Assessments of Everything Worth Thinking About was released by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of Random House (ISBN 0-609-80852-4). The book consists of material from the website plus new material, and was illustrated by Steve Notley, creator of Bob the Angry Flower.
During its heyday, it was one of the most popular humor sites on the web. As of May 2011 the site was still the top Google hit for the word "brunching" and was the fifth hit for "shuttlecocks", though while the domain still exists, the website no longer has a home page and instead redirects to Lore Sjöberg's Google+ page. It was among the first sites to be given a "Slashbox" on Slashdot.
Mentions and praise in print media:
- Washington Post
- Newsweek Oct. 27, 1997, p. 12; Dec. 14, 1998, p. 18
- Entertainment Weekly Dec. 1, 2000, p. 107; May 24, 2002, p. 98
- POV Magazine, November 1999, voted one of the 100 best websites
- Jane (magazine) October 2000, p. 104
- The Guardian
Lore's "The Björk Song" was played on the Dr. Demento show on May 20, 2001.
- "Brunching.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Interview with Lore". Archived from the original on 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
- "Java Programmers are the Erotic Furries of Programming". Retrieved 2006-12-28.
- "Japan Hierarchy". Retrieved 2006-12-28.
- "The Harry Potter Fandom Hierarchy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
- "Pagan Hierarchy". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "Purchase Ad Impressions". Retrieved 2006-12-28.