7 questions returns! And in tonight’s very special segment we talk with internet enthusiast and prolific web developer, Christopher Price, AKA TopherChris. And though he’d refer to himself as an “internet jackass,” we’d seriously disagree. Hell, even Julia Allison would have to disagree with that.
Well… You never know with her. But we’d rather talk with Topher instead:
1) How tall are you and how tall do you feel?
This is a good question for me, because a serious gulf exists between the two values. According to my official identification, I’m 5-9. Clearly, a lazy government employee screwed it up. I can’t explain how, but I just _know_ I’m really 5-10 1/2. I can feel it.
2) You awake to find an alien using your computer staring endlessly at a picture of a pirate eating a cupcake wrapped in bacon with the words “fuck yeah sharks” written on it. He asks what a meme is. How do you explain it to him?
Indeed, this is always a possibility to be prepared for. I have to say, when I got your interview request, I thought that’s exactly what was happening.
It really all depends what kind of alien it is. For instance, if they’re the kind of alien that bred our entire human civilization, then I really have bigger things to worry about than an answer to his meaningless query. He’s just making small talk before he and his minions capture me, since those particular breeder aliens only make house calls to “fix” certain problems with the system. If you catch my drift.
But the response to use in the more typical humanoid alien situation would be something like: “A meme? First, let’s talk about what Wikipedia is,” and then look it up with him. I figure, since I might accidentally say something that offends this guy, better to let my laptop do the explaining and end up disintegrated than me. I don’t know his background or his values.
But if we’re talking the most nonviolent creature in the universe, which presents no reason at all to fear it… Well, I’d probably try to trap it. I mean, this is a huge deal obviously, and I could teach it about internet culture or I could trap him and become rich and famous. Seriously.
But finally, a straight answer, since I assume aliens will receive this signal in 10,000 Earth years, and I don’t want them to be offended:
A meme is a nugget of thought, which is much less than an actual idea. When you break up the human thought process in the smallest chunks you can find, memes are what you’re left with. Memes are like atoms. Or, more accurately, single-celled organisms, because memes are very clever at reproducing. They evolve faster than fruit flies. They can be about anything our tiny brains can wrap itself around, but the most popular use of memes in internet culture is for humor.
3) What kind of single use website would you use to propose to someone?
I have two distinct, unrelated answers to this.
– One that says “If you’re seriously considering an agreement to marry me through a proposal on a website, then please run in the other direction.”
– One of nothing but my face and some text about how you’ll have to see it for the rest of your life. I’m also thinking an age slider that ages my face as you move it to the right. I think it’s fair that she know what she’s in for.
4) Of all your projects, which is your most favorite? And don’t tell me they are like your children and you can’t decide. And on the same tip which is the red headed stepchild you wish you’d put in the orphanage?
My most favorite is the one that’s the most appealing to me on any given day. (Technically that was a cop out, but I didn’t break your stated guideline, so I feel okay about it.)
To be honest though, I’m being honest. I get bored with my own stuff easily, just like most of the rest of you, so I switch gears often. If I feel like using one part of my brain, I have a project for that. If I feel like using another, I can start one. In the end, the one that people like the most is my default favorite, because I’m just an entertainer who happens to use the internet as my weapon.
I’ve definitely killed off some embarrassing projects, too. The one that hurt the most to close down was a little site where people submitted photos of the last animal that bit them. I was sure there was a book deal in there somewhere, but apparently people rarely have a camera ready right after they got bit by something.
5) Dance party break! What song do you pick?
No question: I’m On a Boat — The Lonely Island (Feat. T-Pain). Or anything by Steve Perry.
6) Obama is thanking you for the Obama porn tumblr by creating a special Topher Chris Day. How do we celebrate?
Huzzah! We write bad poetry and read it to each other. We dress up in nonsensical costumes. We pick up brushes, instruments, hammers, and make stuff.
Holy crap, did I just describe Burning Man? Oh no.
Well, there’s all that, plus the annual Jerry Lewis telethon, the running of the bulls, and cake. The official drink is the Irish carbomb.
You are required by law to decorate your home with old pizza boxes.
7) How long have you been doing this Internet thing and how did you start? (I’m an Internet historian, I gotta ask)
I’ve been on the internet since it was possible for me to be on it. I used every free webhost I could find (Tripod? Holla!) to do wacky stuff. This was before blogging was even a thing, so I’m not even sure what I did. Crossing the threshold into the territory of paying for domains and hosting was a big deal. I mean, how could I rationalize this? That was easy, actually, since I was just a kid.
I got some notoriety early on for doing satirical campaign websites for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush, and I started a satirical news site for the area’s favorite NFL team. This was back when people wrote in newspapers and gave you radio interviews about your funny website. I suppose the rewards of those early experiments shaped my ethos on the entire enterprise of doing whatever it is that I do.
Thank you for answering our silly questions!
My pleasure, Maria. Hopefully I don’t come off too insane here. It’s early and I was up until 4. So, uh, please tell me if I’m an idiot. 🙂
Thanks so much. I’m really honored and tickled by this. I hope I didn’t let you down.
TopherChris, with his thinking cap on, hard at work on the task of making the internet a better place for the likes of you.