With very few exceptions, the anonymous imageboards known collectively as The Chans are quite possibly the worst part of the Internet. The idea is fairly simple: users can anonymously post to a variety of boards focused on different topics and are given the option to add an image. Each board has a different number of pages, with the most current posts being bumped to the front page and receiving the most visibility. Other, more current topics eventually get bumped to the front page and older topics fall back to high numbered pages, with posts on the last page eventually falling off the board and lost to history. The level of anonymity inherent on these boards and the speed at which they move result in an incredibly variable level of content, ranging from downright interesting to damn-near-horrifying. However, as stomach-churning as a jaunt through 4chan's /b/- or "random"- board can be, The Chans are also the place where a large portion of Internet culture originates. If you've been exposed to lolcats or linked to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," you've been touched by The Chans in some minor way.
This week, Gauntlet Web and AP are combining forces to offer an illustrated look into three of the more popular Chans. Be advised these sites are generally very unsafe to surf while working and especially in public locations. Also, understand that these sites are designed to be bewildering to casual observers- a good portion of what's posted is done so entirely with the intention of offending people. In short, if something on a Chan disgusts you, you've already let them win.
4chan: i can has fail?
The most popular of the Chans, 4chan is the highly volatile epicenter of filth in which all other Chans were spawned. Scanning the pages of 4chan you will be insulted, disgusted and offended yet strangely intrigued, and you will most certainly laugh.
There are many image boards that offer insight and meaning-laden discussions in a semi-coherent and often informative manner. If you're stuck on a thought about John Paul Sartre, you might find help in the Philosophy board. If you're having problems with F-stops, try the photography board. Need some info on the latest electronics? Try the technology board.
At its best, 4chan offers peer-reviewed comments to inquiries or questions other users have about any given subject. It is intended for a mass-audience and offers the most reliable information of The Chans.
At its worst (and it's almost always at its worst) 4chan offers a glimpse into the world of the paranoid, elitist, geeked-out sausagefest that is the Internet. It is an invitation to join the rude, crude grade school-level bathroom wall humour that made little Suzie Gorginchuck switch to private school.
Undeniably powerful, 4chan is the birthplace of those lovable lolcats, and the resurrection of '80s one hit wonder Rick Astley.
4chan, We're never gunna give you up.
420chan: dicks everywhere!
If you want a glimpse into how the Internet probably looks to your grandparents, drop on by 420chan, where the posts are always bumped whilst high and the trolls are told in no uncertain terms to GTFO and smoke moar.
It makes quite a bit of sense that anonymous imageboards would eventually become a significant source of drug-related discussion. With boards ranging from /weed/ to /jenkem/, 420chan's massive audience of recreational drug users post an enormous amount of disturbing, trippy and downright awesome content every single day. Of particular quality is the /weed/ board, which contains a huge number of really baked people talking and is perhaps the best way to demonstrate to your kids the effects of drugs on otherwise intelligent individuals. /psy/ is really awesome if you want to hear people openly talk about meeting machine elves, while /sagan/ is excellent for discussing aliens and all things space-related. If you can get past the fact most people on 420chan are likely operating on a way different wavelength from you, the Academic and Media categories are quite excellent, if only because nobody likes to talk about philosophy and music like someone who's just consumed eight grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
What sets 420chan apart- besides an outright rejection of the idea users shouldn't post whilst inebriated- is its relaxed attitude and community. 420chan: smoke moar.
jackiechan: rush hour. two.
The most ass kicking of the Chans is Jackie. Incorporated in 1954 in Hong Kong, the Jackie Chan has become a staple of over-the-top, lightning fast karate chops.
While browsing through the Jackie Chan's body of work you are liable to see excessive explosions, a plethora of broken windows, doors, body parts and cheesy one-liners as Jackie chops his way to the hearts of millions of North American moviegoers.
Unfortunately, you will not find any boards on the Jackie Chan, because he karate chopped them all.
Mediocre at best, the Jackie Chan has limited comedic and acting ability yet his reach into popular culture trumps the other chans. One need not look any further than the wildly popular Rush Hour series in which he co-starred with that guy who said, "Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?"
Take a moment to laugh.
Done? Didn't think so, that line is classic.
Jackie is the only Chan to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is also the only Chan to have had a singing career.
In 2009 the Jackie Chan started filming a remake of the Karate Kid, which will be directed by Will Smith and feature his kid Jaden as Daniel and Jackie as his teacher.
Fuck that man. Seriously.