The multi talented and amazing FNJ, formerly known as JEW or The Flyin' Jew, is a longstanding member of the SydLexia.com forums and an opinion writer for multiple websites, including TeH Internet and Everything&Nothing. He is best known for his love of Hanukkah, Capcom, and a hatred of World of Snorecraft.
The following is a history of his website projects, written in his own words.
The Pre-THI Era
The Flyin’ Jew has a weakness of +4 fire dmg but gets an extra combat roll during dance recitals. The Flyin’ Jew enjoys the obscure, and can find humor in almost anything.
Waaaay back in 1998, when E-Feds were still popular, A close friend of mine going by the internet handle of "Cactus Chris" decided to start one, and it was hosted on expage.com, a site that lets you make single page web pages with ease. Cactus had next to no experience with Adobe Photoshop or HTML at the time, so he was amazed at how easy it was to build a website. This lead to the spawning of expage.com/cactuschris. Having absolutely no content, it was still enough to spark his interest in web design. To help put the timing in perspective, we were both still on AOL at the time. Cactus stayed up countless nights figuring things out for himself and doing research into web design, and eventually stumbled upon freeservers.com, my future hell.
My home life has always been a wreck. By now I had ended up living with Cactus and his family, and one night after RAW, we were googling "HHH pedigreeing Stephanie McMahon and her titties popping out" and lo and behold, Jasonrivera.com was at the top of the list, and the site definitely delivered, with crude pictures taken of Riv's TV. I had immediately fallen in love with the site's fucked up humor and eye for nostalgia, and eventually read everything the site had to offer, and posted on the site's forums as my E-Fed and early Backyard Wrestling character: "Dr. Imp". Cactus really didn't seem too interested at the time.
With the help of funky-chickens.com, work continued on what became cactuschris.8m.com and it's sister site, chrislayman.8m.com. Originally more of an in-joke, the focus of the two sites at the time was to prove that Christopher Andrew Layman and Cactus Chris were indeed two separate people, which is of course true to this day. In fact I haven't seen Chris Layman in years. I think he died or something. After C.A.L.'s death, Cactuschris.8m.com took on a new direction. It featured small articles with the opinions and observations of Cactus, as well as his friends and relatives. That's actually where this Jew got his start, with a little bit about Duck Hunt being a murder simulator. It's also around the time that I started going under the name "The Flyin' Jew."
Freeservers fever caught on, and the writers of Cactuschris.8m.com started their own sites: Flyinjew.8m.com, handofnod.8m.com, and darkhouseanime.8m.com. Heading up the flyinjew.8m.com site, I was joined by another real life friend, Sean Scully (under HIS Backyard Wrestling moniker of "Irish Baztard"), who was an even shittier writer than myself. He didn't write much, and when he did it was usually about four sentences long. The site tried to focus on full articles, and featured the character of Dr. Imp pretending to be a separate writer, as well as cameos by the Green Goblin, Fred Durst, and the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3.
Darkhouseanime.8m.com didn't feature writing, instead focusing on the art of Megan Lahey. I think this might be the only site still functioning out of the original freeservers bunch. I had heard she was looking for new hosting, but friends grow apart, or go insane and become social shut-ins, so you lose touch. Handofnod.8m.com was centered around ANOTHER real life friend, Kyle Richards (using the name "B Movie Guru") and his obsession with his hair. He was joined by Ratman, Weasel, and Dave. The site featured the same kind of small opinions and observations that Cactuschris.8m.com first had, as well as a page dedicated to high school history teacher/war veteran, Mr. Odom, and a page about conspiracy theories.
Flyinjew.8m.com and handofnod.8m.com worked closely together, often featuring each other's work or doing joint projects. Handofnod.8m.com always was more successful, however. By now "Dr.Imp" had long been absent from the jasonrivera.com forums, considering I often lacked internet, depending on where I lived at the time, and in a strange plot twist, Cactus had become staff on the main site and urged me to re-register for "tough enough", a game that was going on between the forumers.
I had quickly made enemies with some, due to my constant whoring of my terrible site and immaturity at the time. Cactus bought cactuschris.com, but it only linked back to the freeservers site initially. He also discovered proboards.com, and it wasn't long before cactuschris.com had it's own forums, with a cool but unfitting matrix theme. Somehow I ended up doing a joint article with Riv. A mock interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and too this day I think it was the only worthwhile thing on flyinjew.8m.com.
Soon after, Cactuschris.com turned into toomanychairshots.com, Cactus got himself an invisionboard and some real hosting, and cactuschris.8m.com and the clones that it spawned were laid to rest. B Movie Guru and myself moved over. I had now completely embraced the mantle of The Flyin' Jew and wrote many pieces for this new website, although most of the content didn't mesh well with the Professional Wrestling theme at the time.
Due to usual forum politics, two thirds of the jasonrivera.com forumers left to start their own boards. This led to the IHATEFOOD and MaroonX proboards.I posted at both for a while. So sue me. This is where I met current THI staff member Al (foodhater). Eventually MaroonX admin Marion bought an invisionboard and eventually made a site. Before the great website merger that laid the groundwork for EandN.net much later in this story, it had only updated twice. IHF spawned about thirteen more clone proboards, all of which are rather unimportant, Another prevalent forum called The Inner Circle was destroyed by a mysterious force, sending its members over to jasonrivera.com, and TMCS was mildly successful.
Many forumnams and invasions later, TMCS and MX were pretty dead, jasonrivera.com became hugeinternetsuperstars.com, and people still didn't care about IHF and it's cloneboards. IHF started a site that is pretty much just a giant link to the forum, and then for some retarded reason they ousted the site's creator, foodhater. At the time I had no idea how you could be kicked off of your own website. Joke's on me, I suppose. I had been talking to Marion from MaroonX about starting up flyinjew.com, and had become rather good friends with him. An idea or two were tossed around, but nothing really happened for a while. I decided take the site in a different direction. Instead of a "insert my name here" site, I wanted to create something that would focus on the articles more than the staff.
The Freeservers Era
Upon finding a magic pair of 3D glasses in an abandoned arcade, Mild Mannered Pete Kowalsky was transformed into the mad chill, groovy cool super hero known as The Flyin’ Jew! Using his super powers of mad phat break dancing and super tight skateboarding The Flyin’ Jew flies around and kills super villains everywhere!
One night while sobering up from a wild house party, I found that I was unable to sleep, due to a fairly attractive girl passed out on my couch. Doing the ultimate nerd thing, I stole someone's template and built tehinternet.8m.com instead of taking advantage of her. Sometimes it's too bad that I'm a nice guy. Eventually Hardcore Redneck (who I met on the Huge Internet Superstars boards) signed up to write wrestling themed articles and Monday Night Raw recaps, and Al (Formerly foodhater)followed, writing B-Movie and game reviews. I received a lot of sage advice from Ninja R and T2 from hoodratz.net, and through one of T2's articles on Hoodratz, I met Justin from dyslexicpenguin.com. This was also the first time that I did a multi-site article, with "The Top 5 Coolest Fighting Game Characters Ever."
Hugeinternetsuperstars.com, coming out of a feud with theddt.com bought theddt.net. Cactus didn't do anything with it, and HIS later returned to jasonrivera.com. freeservers started holding me back, featuring errors that shouldn't even be possible, and weird things just changing themselves all the time. One time the entire site actually disappeared for no reason. I had been considering a new design anyway. Hoodratz.net merged with Huffin n Puffin around this time as well.
The Chairshots Era
Shortly after his transformation, The Flyin’ Jew joined forces with The Nude Smurf, The Abominable Arse, “Hardcore” Nick Orr, and The Mighty Ed Wood to form TeH Internet, which wields Obscurity and Absurdity like weapons, and hacked down all who stood in it’s way!
It was time to move on to bigger and better things. I took cactus up on an offer to use TMCS server space to host THI, and Marion and I made a new site from another stolen template. The design came out excellent, and I couldn't have done it without him. The Nude Smurf and his buddy Arse (who I had met on X-Box Live) came over from 1up.com's Tanooki boreds, and a jasonrivera.com forum legend Cbright joined the ranks writing rants about his life.
Things were great for a while. We became a very diverse website, with Smurf writing Smackdown recaps (starting with Christmas in Iraq) to accompany Hardcore Redneck's (now simply calling himself "Hardcore") Monday Night RAW recaps, and myself concentrating more on the nerd culture. Al wrote a few more articles before leaving to concentrate on his career as a teacher (EdWood soon filled his space), and Arse single handedly set out on a mission to offend and insult the entire world. This was the start of THI really finding it's identity as the NSFW, ECW-ish website that it's still known as today.
Cactus had been neglecting his TMCS responsibilities due to choices in his personal life that eventually drove a wedge between him and me. More on that later, though. Although it stopped updating for well over a year, TMCS was still getting great traffic. Also around this time, hateful articles that Cbright wrote about theddt.com for THI caused a massive TMCS/DDT feud (due to our hosting being on TMCS), which although hilarious due to the inactivity of TMCS, caused a lot of interest in the TMCS forums. This prompted Smurf and myself to try and get the site back up to it's former glory, in an attempt to get Cactus motivated again. Nothing came of this endeavor for TMCS, but it was the moment that established the dream team of "Jew and Smurf: The Faces of THI" that would continue on almost until the end of TeH Internet, many years later.
This Tag Team dynamic helped THI grow exponentially. More banners were made, small modifications were set in place, and the website's horizons were expanded. At that point, we started to really pick up steam. We asked for contributions from the people who wanted to write, but didn't have a site to put their work on. Wallpapers, videos, MP3's, articles, recaps -- whatever you wanted to deliver, we'd take it. Hell, we were begging for content most of the time. A lot of the people from the Jasonrivera.com forums and The Tanooki Bored started to show a little interest. We were getting rave reviews!
Things were definitely looking up for us. People even started wanting to get committed to write full-time for us, exclusively. We had myself, Smurf, Hardcore, the Raw Recapping Redneck, EdWood, the gay, handicapped alcoholic; CBright, the white boy with enough angst to out-anger the crowd at a Limp Bizkit show; Arse, the hopeless virgin with an Atlantis mask; and newcomer Sock, the guy who wouldn't shut the hell up about the NHL lockout. Sure, we didn't have much, but what we did have was passion. Fuck knows the lot of us weren't the best writers, but we tried like all hell to make someone laugh. Someone was bound to enjoy our work one day.
One day, it happened. We started getting complimented. "That sucked" suddenly became "Shit, I really enjoyed that". The site that was once a group of Internet rejects were being touted as "The next Huge Internet Superstars" by Jason Rivera himself. We were updating weekly, we had such events as the utmost awesome "Interview Week EX2", and we were the official home of the "Super Grande Update!".
Things were really starting to pick up.
The Actual THI Era
But, what goes up, must come down. Fuck Sir Issac Newton. As is the case with these types of internet communities, feuds over stupid things were to be expected. Cactus and I were no longer on speaking terms in real life, and after a particularly brutal battle on the jasonrivera.com forums that resulted in him deleting all of THI off of his server and changing the password on us, we moved to our own server and finally became Tehinter.net. The good thing about getting so hot before coming down, though, was that we had a lot of connections; thanks to a few people who worked their magic, we managed to get back all of our archives. What we had to do was simple. Hell, it was as simple as an album title: "Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild.". The awesome part is, the first two-thirds of the work had already been done. So, we had little to do but rebuild.
Before "going official", THI was a spare time project, just some light work. Afterward, things were a whole new ballgame. Staff swelled yet again, now taking on Crusty Ruffles, TheFallin1, Optimist With Doubts, and Heath Rowell. The fact that Sock would make us the world's number one resource for Black Jewish People on the internet for a while was something that kept us thriving to get to this point, and we loved every minute of it.
Most of us became a very tight knit group. EdWood often threw meet-and-greet events, where the staff would get drunk and cause trouble in Connecticut or Pennsylvania, Smurf and I talked on the phone and AIM constantly, and it got to the point where my Internet posse and my real life friends were merged together. THI also joined up with Hoodratz.net, MaroonX.com, and DyslexicPenguin.com to run a joint forum, known as The SuperForum of Obscurity, further cementing their bonds and laying groundwork for the future E&N concept.
THI rocked on for years. The site saw another redesign, and we had such contests as "The THI Shoplifting Extravaganza!" and "The Official THI Hot Chick Search". After a controversial article called "don't Feed Danny: A Plea To End World Hunger" that slammed THI with a Cease and Desist order, the site blew up. To handle the immense workload, Sock began working on updating the site with Smurf and myself. This was also the time that I joined the SydLexian community.
The Wordpress Era
Like all good friends do, Cactus and I eventually reconciled. I ran into housing trouble again when the two people that I was sharing a lease with turned out to be a raging pervert and a pathological liar. This led to me moving to New Jersey. That really has nothing to do with my internet history, but whatever.
Smurf and Arse became on bad terms, due to Smurf treating him like a tag-along piece of shit. Arse began to get completely out of hand. Suddenly his articles that were mostly "Trolling for Lulz" became racist, hate fueled rants, and he joined the Aryan Brotherhood. The THI staff unanimously came to a decision to let him go, considering they were made up of a Jew, a Bisexual, a Homosexual former victim of a hate crime who preferred Black men, and an actual Black man.
Due to Smurf's school life and my working of two jobs, We began looking for a way to make updating the site easier. Currently people would E-Mail us articles, we'd have to format them, then update all of the necessary pages of the archives by hand. Sock stepped up to the plate and picked up a load of the slack, but we began using a program called Wordpress, which Smurf lied and said he was familiar with.
The idea was to allow staffers to update at their own pace, without having to hassle Smurf, Sock, or myself. The site was supposed to be as simple to use as posting on a forum, and the new layout of the site was supposed to allow for flexibility in articles. Instead we got a convoluted mess that nobody knew how to fix when it broke, a lure for spambots, and internal conflict, when Heath Rowell began posting so many articles about Nintendo that anything else that was written would be immediately pushed to the archives.
All of the old articles had to be redone to fit into the wordpress template. Many longtime staffers drifted away, and others sparingly bothered. Some new blood arose, however, in the form of Mr.Bomberman and Char Aznable from the SydLexian community, as well as my close friend and buddy Jake Shappy (going by the name T3HR3D33M3R), as well as a few other random contributions here and there. It wasn't enough to revitalize the dream, however.
Halfhearted attempts were made to create "angles" that would create interest, such as "The THI Race War" - a parody of the Marvel Civil War, brought on by an actual internal argument over offensive material that would have lead up to a fake Arse returning to write (much like the fake Thor that graved Marvel's pages during the event), as well as my efforts to pretend to sell the entire site to fund an addiction to World of Warcraft. These plans backfired, however, even going as far as to have me be branded "A shitty journalist and a talentless hack" by Ninja R, the same man who helped me when I was first starting out.
The Fall of THI
Before The Fall of TeH Internet, The Flyin’ Jew had taken a Vince McMahon approach to THI. That is, leaving his workers to fend for themselves while he raked in the profit.
Around the year 2008 THI was in bad shape. The new Wordpress setup that we were using made updating time consuming and difficult, Smurf and I were drifting away as friends (due to him turning into a raging douchebag, much like he did to Arse before his Aryan Brotherhood thing), I was single handedly supporting both my mother and my younger brother as well as myself, and the final straw in the camel's back came from me borrowing $600 from fellow staffer EdWood to buy a 1990 Toyota Tercel off of Craigslist.
Smurf's insistence that he knew about cars had convinced this mechanically deprived Jew that the car was a worthwhile investment. It actually ended up costing nearly double it's initial price to even be drivable. Shortly after that Smurf dropped my damn laptop and didn't tell me. Again believing Smurf's bullshit, and needing a way to get online for THI purposes, I put myself further in debt by buying a computer from him for $200.
Of course the computer was broken, and required even more money and effort to get working. I was furious at this point. A man who I had considered a close friend had just cost me well over a thousand dollars in less than a week, and wouldn't even pick up his cellphone to discuss the matter. Smurf and I stopped talking after that, and eventually my inability to pay Wood back the initial $600 put an even heavier strain on the already tense environment.
Because Smurf had been the one to handle things such as hosting and server things, he promptly pulled the Plug on the website without warning. THI now just links to a Mets fan blog. It is a sign of the degradation of the internet that we have lost such a beacon of humor and pop culture. Oh, well. At least we still have SydLexia.com
The Fake E&N Era
After taking some time off, I began to miss writing. Sock and I had been talking about starting a new website, and eventually we joined up with Marion, Justin, and Ed from kidswithtazers.com. I had been toying with an idea before this, and had some clean cut things that I wanted to accomplish, one being to have an extensive archive of all of the old articles from the defunct websites in our community, separate from our main site, and the second being to have an open community for contributors. These wishes were lost in the shuffle of multiple people from multiple websites working together, however, and would cause a problem in the end.
Before that, however, Maroonx.com closed shop and became EandN.net. Ed from the now defunct kidswithtazers.com was everything that Smurf wished he could be, and made a beautiful website in with Wordpress that actually worked, as well as making a series of hilarious sketch comedy videos. Dyslexicpenguin.com had long since closed shop, but Justin began writing new content for E&N, as well as bringing old content over. All of the MaroonX.com articles were ported as well. Sock wrote some new rants, I wrote some new things, and Optimist premiered his much applauded "Professor Alex" videos.
In the beginning Heath Rowell continued writing (albeit with his own section, to avoid the flooding issue), but quickly resigned after an argument over fonts and color schemes. Contributions were also a big part of E&N early on. In fact, it's how I met and became friends with Josh Woodzell, when he began a series of articles chronicling all of the amazing and nostalgic things that came out of the 1990's.
Jasonrivera.com had been closed for about two years now, following an event where Riv flew to Texas to have sex with an underage girl that he met on MySpace and got busted in a car parked in a Walgreens parking lot. I was good friends with him at the time, and he gave me his blessing to port the jasonrivera.com and hugeinternetsuperstars.com content over to E&N. I also received The go ahead from Cactus to bring the TMCS content over, and had already been working on the THI content. This caused a problem with Marion, however.
Marion and I clashed repeatedly over having the offensive material on the site. He felt that it was cheap and immature, and I agreed, but felt that it was important to remember where I came from. Eventually I gave up, and wanted nothing to do with the website, the community, or internet writing in general anymore. I wasn't happy that the ideas that I wanted implemented from the beginning were causing a problem now that they weren't, and I felt hurt by the comments of my longstanding peers. I wanted Marion to pull the plug on the E&N concept entirely, but instead my articles, as well as any contributor articles, articles by Cactus Chris, Jason Rivera, or any former THI articles were removed. The banner that I created was photoshopped to change the name, as well. Although the design is my idea, it received some tweaks from others, and the actual site was put together by Ed. Also, I don't hold a copyright. This meant there was nothing I could do about the issue.
The Real E&N Era
A good year went by, and I became antsy to write yet again. I wasn't happy with how things ended, and had begun toying with the idea of bringing things back on my own terms. I began drawing up a new E&N design, using a mix of an unused THI redesign and another stolen template.
Nothing would come of this, however, as I found myself in another sticky situation in my personal life, where I was supporting my sister who refused to get a job and her two year old son, until she moved her boyfriend into my house, who refused to pay bills, and then moved out with him, leaving me with another thousand dollar debt.
A year after that, however, Josh Woodzell would E-Mail me with a bold proposition. After talking to him, the two of us have decided to go ahead and try E&N again. The site hasn't launched yet, but when it does it will be something special, like THI was all those years ago.
I no longer speak to Riv. He got mad that I told him the ending to Kick Ass before he got to see it, and for some reason that makes me the worst thing to ever walk the face of the earth. He still talks shit about me to this day, but can't seem to spell my name properly (It's FLYIN' Jew, not FLYING). I don't really hold a grudge, considering there was never anything to be mad about, but I seriously doubt he will ever come around.
Thanks to Optimist's mustache, however, I've reconciled with Marion recently.
I still haven't payed EdWood, and feel terrible about it every day. I hope to pay him sometime in the future and hopefully fix that broken bond as well. Perhaps after that I may warm up to the idea of talking to Smurf again, but I doubt it.
I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me, taught me, or worked with me in the past, even if I'm not on speaking terms with them currently. I wouldn't be the person that I am today without all of you. This includes anyone I haven't mentioned, as well as Andrew "Test" Martin.
I've been working furiously on getting E&N right this time, and have also been doing a lot of side projects, including something that might have to do with this very website...
runsran Teh Internet (now defunct).
- FNJ was a driving force behind Everything and Nothing.
- FNJ didn't originally write his own page. He was busy getting higher than Hilltop Zone.
- After hard negotiations, FNJ sold his sister to Slayer1 for ten rupees, half a goat, and one and a half cows.
- FNJ enjoys Chinese food immensely, but his favorite meal is a good ol' American Cheeseburger.
- FNJ can't play fighting games with a joystick, after breaking six of his fingers and dislocating his left wrist playing Guilty Gear.
- FNJ cried repeatedly while watching Clannad.
- FNJ has been known to start bouts of physical violence over the subject of Paul W.S. Anderson films.
- Although his internet handle is "The Flyin' Jew," or sometimes shortened to just "JEW," or FNJ, it is unknown whether or not Peter Kowalsky is actually Jewish. It has been proven that he can fly, however. He often claims to worship Will Smith as a deity, and celebrates Pastafarian holidays such as Talk Like a Pirate day. It is believed that he worships whatever he feels like at the time, out of convenience.
- Recently FNJ has announced that he has joined the church of Scientology. It is believed that this is a publicity stunt brought on by Sydlexia moderator Tebor stating that there were no Scientologists on the forum.