The Secret Codex Of The Spoiler Boards
Part VII - Angels, Devils and DJs
Uncle Camerman Spolier. Yes, I spelled it correctly. That’s exactly how kingmarkburnett posted it in his original posts and much to his chagrin, the admins and mods insisted on changing it back every time he corrected the spelling. An innocent request for a long lost boot list slowly turned into the first Spoiler forum legendary thread.
I thought Uncle was rather amusing. I remembered RyanBBBs spoiler. It was one of many boot lists that came out in the early days. I think if we had saved them all we would have seen that every conceivable combination of bootees was covered. The debate on the Uncle thread swirled even though Ryan had admitted it was a hoax. It was becoming a large thread but I didn’t see any reason to be alarmed. After all, I had bigger fish to fry.
We knew there was a board war raging nearby but for the most part EZ was staying out of it. We got occasional insurgencies from Board War guerillas. We did everything we could to keep them at bay. We were a little like Laos sitting right next to Vietnam. Never really involved but occasionally the site of some vicious skirmishes and some illegal bombing.
A brief firefight erupted in early April when an unknown poster named Survivorantactica posted what he claimed was the EBT’s predictions. He also claimed that EBT was not making these predictions based on deduction and logic but by relying solely on a secret source. This was a pretty large bomb since the EBT was getting some serious press as a result of their uncanny accuracy.
The game was afoot again. Any time one of these posts appeared there was a tectonic shift in the spoiler forum as the focus moved from spoiling Survivor to spoiling Ellipsiiis.
I knew who SurvivorAntarctica was and I even posted an obscure reference nailing his identity on the thread. A few days later, he would reveal himself. On 4-10, Gatormeatisyummy announced that the Board Wars were over and neither he nor his “friend” SurvivorAntarctica would leak any more information.
Like a bad head cold, the Ellipsiiis “source” rumor spread across the board. Soon, the “source” discussion and talk of Ellipsiiis even infected Uncle Camerman. Everyone’s favorite Uncle was developing quite a following and its size was becoming impressive. In just two days it had grown to over 200 posts. It was now easily the largest thread in the spoilers forum, surpassing even Toddnick’s vote thread.
Uncle was a ravenous beast and consumed anything that came his way.
Just after SurvivorAntarctica lobbed his bomb onto the board another new face, SurvivorLover made a splash. This person had a strong desire to make everyone play nice and share each other’s toys. His History of the Board Wars was a classic. In fact it could easily be seen as the prequel to this very tale.
It told a tale of times when all the spoilers lived under one roof and were a large extended, eat together at the dinner table family. It was a lovely tale and it placed most of the blame for the current mess on Fantasy Outback.Can’t say I disagree with that assessment but there was a lot more going. Survivorlover called for people to post and cleanse the air. Many did, unfortunately many of the generals involved in the war did not.
I don’t know if SurvivorLover’s History was responsible, but the incursions became less frequent. Gator did “come clean” about posting leaks and promised to not do it anymore. Coincidence? Who really knows.
Meanwhile, Uncle was becoming one big bastard. I finally decided to join in the fun around page 20. That’s right, page 20. Uncle had now grown to over 400 posts with no end in sight. One thing I learned early on is that once a thread gets to a certain proportion it develops an inertia that you simply cannot stop. If you do, you will get the EZ board proof of Newton’s Laws. Kill a thread that is popular and you will watch as 30 more threads pop up asking you why you did it. It’s much easier to just allow the one large thread to grow. At least, you know where everyone is. It’s one of the reasons we try to kill off topic threads quickly, lest they grow to unmanageable sizes.
Uncle had it all. Conspiracy talk. Spoiler talk. Trash talk. It had become the Spoiler forum version of BurnBabyBurn. It was so much fun that soon even the admins got into the act. Well, at least BeefJerky and I did. I think we probably needed an outlet to vent some steam just like everyone else.
Beefjerky’s fun was briefly interrupted by yet another intrusion from Cygnus. This time Cygnus proposed a deal and BeefJerky took him up on it. If Beefy would delete all Cygnus threads in the spoiler forum including those that contained relevant spoiler information, Cygnus was stop spamming the board. BeefJerky complied with his end of the bargain. Two days later, Cygnus broke his end and started spamming again. Like clockwork, he was banned again. Well, at least this incarnation was banned again. It was impossible to ban all of his ghostnics, but he made for good practice.
Actually, Cygnus was not our biggest worry. He was a pain in the ass but he was pretty easy to spot. Hoaxes were not as easy to spot. We already had one about Edina Lester, an alledged Australian source, and one about some damned river challenge. My philosophy was that I would leave a spoiler post alone if it had any air of truth and sanity. It wasn’t my responsibility to debunk red herrings. That was the job of the spoilers. Once something was proved a hoax however, we moved quickly and got rid of it. We had certainly seen how a spoiler debate can quickly turn into an endless debate about hoaxes, ethics, Uncles and god knows what else.
Then came KronosHedron. Then came Seraphaem. Of course, now that we had a resident angel and a resident devil, not far behind was…Jesus. Weirdness was seeping out of the walls. It was like Dante Alighieri had eaten an entire blotter and was now in firm control of EZ.
We needed help. We had fairly good control of the situation but there were still gaps in our defenses. Late at night, the trolls, fakers, demons and angels still ruled. I couldn’t stay up until three in the morning every night putting out all the flashfires. What we needed was a west coaster.
There was one person in boardland that I trusted with the job. He also lived far out west, tended to stay up well past the witching hour and was just crazy enough to take the job. After a brief discussion with the other admins, I promoted Owen93 to moderator.
I will be honest, my recollection of the entire angels and devils period is a little murky. Unfortunately, many of the written records have been lost forever. I tried to keep my nose out of those threads because they tended to steer in the direction of EBT and I wanted no part of it. Beefjerky, however, could smell a hoax like a foxhound and he watched these newcomers like a hawk.
Kronoshedron appeared in early April and although he kept just enough spoiler material in his threads to keep them open, his main focus was Ellipsiiis. He clamed to be a former member who still had inside information. Like a tick on a hound dog, he jumped on the whole source rumor. He threw out just enough tidbits about the alledeged inner workings of EBT to make himself credible. Now, I have been called a pawn, I have been called a nazi, I have been called a “core member”, whatever the hell that means, I have even been called Chris Ender, head of CBS publicity, but I have never been called a “team leader”, I have never heard of a top fifty and I damned sure have never heard anyone referred to as “peter pan”. What I did know was that I had been member of the EBT since it was first formed and I knew one other thing. Kronoshedron was full of shit.
If he was a member of the EBT then surely possums would soon dance at the prom. The fact the he seemed obsessed with his cap lock button should have tipped people off.
Serapheam, however, was a bit more clever. Of course his posts were also about EBT. They were just delivered like a knuckleball. Serapheam always came forward with these long rambling posts full of biblical quotes, full of stories about deceit, angels, demons and a bunch of other nonsense. There was just enough of a storyline to make it seem plausible. A single post from Seraphaem would tell you who was going to be booted this week, the identity of the Faceless One and also explain the entire Board War in a homily. It was like watching a fire and brimstone preacher early on Sunday morning after seeing him dose at last night’s local rave.
Jesus literally came as a voice from the ether. When you have a board with over six thousand users, you attract all kinds of weirdoes. It was only a matter of time before we attracted internet deejays.
Dan and Scott ran the most profane potty mouthed internet radio show on the web. In an example of exquisite irony, they hooked up with an alleged insider who went by the handle of Jesus. Apparently, Jesus had a track record for predictions that rivaled the EBT. It seemed only appropriate since he was the all seeing and all knowing.
It presented quite a puzzle when the deejays appeared on the board. On the one hand, here was a legitimate spoiler. After all, Jesus had a string of successes and he claimed to have an inside source. If you ignore the blasphemous nature of his name, his credentials as spoiler material were impeccable. On the other hand, you had a couple of yahoo internet deejays that were looking to boost their “ratings”. Should we allow them to link their show?
In the end we decided that they could post but we were going to delete any link. We had taken a hard line with Cygnus and we couldn’t back off now. The one thing that Dan and Scott learned very quickly that Cygnus never realized is once you are known, people will find you. The nasty boys didn’t make too much noise about having their link deleted. They were getting attention and when you are starving in the desert, or an internet deejay, even a soda cracker seems like filet mignon.
On the Uncle Camerman thread everyone was partying and ignoring the chaos encircling the board. A long time after it was over, I pinpointed the exact moment that the Uncle moved from simple conspiracy to legend.
On page 13, Count Asterisk posted….
Quote: Like any great religious leader, Uncle Cameraman has his true believers and his detractors. The true believers accept his word as Gospel and as the legend grows, more and more miracles are attributed to him. His detractors however use any flaw in his prediction to reject his entire doctrine.
It had moved from monster thread to quasi-religion. Hell. It was a cult.
People began to pay homage to the Uncle. They shouted to the rafters that they BELIEVED in the Uncle. I couldn’t resist. Neither could Beefjerky.
Beefy had the whole apostle thing down pat. He was the John the Baptist of Uncle Camerman. I think maybe the whole Seraphaem thing started to infect his brain. It was his thing though and he did it with flair. He began to twist the Uncle Camerman tale around the New Testament story in a way that would have made a side show contortionist proud. I, on the other hand, decided to live out my long time fantasy of being the screenwriter for a monster movie.
I started making posts describing the cataclysmic battles between Uncle and Ellipsiiis. Of course it was set in Tokyo.Of course they weren’t messageboard threads but monsters well over one hundred feet tall. And of course, Beefjerky and I weren’t message board administrators. We were the two scientests in white lab coats whose dialogue was always out of sync.
On April 12, Uncle was peaking to a frenzy. It was a show day and the chips were down. Uncle had picked Colby to go that night. The EBT and others had picked Amber. When Colby won immunity that night, the thread that ate the Spoilers forum had reached one thousand posts. One thousand posts in less than six days. Over one hundred fifty posts a day. Over three hundred in the last day alone. Now, it was over. Amber was booted and Uncle Camerman was done.
Two days later, I sat and stared at Uncle Camerman. He was locked. Impotent. Never before and never again would anyone see a posting feeding frenzy with the power of the Spolier. Yet, there he was. Harmlessly floating down the spoiler forum; ignored as new posts and new theories were being flailed and flogged.
I moved my dear Uncle to Off Topic. I reopened him. I simply couldn’t let him fade away. Soon, the believers returned. They wailed their lamentations. They donned sackcloth, thrashed their arms and gnashed their teeth. In the end, the Uncle had failed, but they would not fail him. Oh yes, the Uncle lived. The Uncle would always live.
Continue reading in Part IX