Weekly Roundup: Frank Sinatra Has Over 300 Confirmed Kills Edition

I suspect that about half of my readers know the “Navy Seals copypasta” by heart. If you don’t, here is a brief introduction — but even that intro requires some grounding in what is called Extremely Online Culture, so hold on for a moment if you’re just a normal person who doesn’t deal in “memes” and “copypasta”.

The above video is the “Navy Seals Copypasta” fed through a computer program which mimics the distinctive style of Frank Sinatra’s rather relaxed late-period vocal performances. Why is this funny? Danger Girl didn’t think it was funny; she’s not wired for Fordite layers of irony. Let me take a shot at explaining the humor.

Internet culture has been hyper-violent and hyper-confrontational since the earliest days of NetNews in the Eighties. This is not, as some people theorize, entirely due to Anonymous Cowardice. NetNews not only required that you disclose your identity, it also required that you disclose your employer and method of access to the Internet, along with making it trivially easy to snitch you out to The Powers That Be. Nevertheless, some bizarre personalities and behaviors emerged in the early days before America Online and widespread Internet access. There were many threats of violence. Some were carried out.

I think the unpleasant nature of online discourse is largely because human beings are so bad at communicating via plain text. We rely on facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical posture for a majority of cues when we are attempting to understand someone’s intent. Absent those cues, we should simply take the most neutral reading possible — but instead we tend to interpret plain text with our feelings and concerns of the moment. Consider the sentence

Do you think you can possibly manage to avoid doing that?

and the many ways in which someone could interpret a text containing only that sentence. From your loving and normal parents or spouse, it’s genuine concern about something which might cause you trouble. From an angry girlfriend, it’s passive-aggressive. From someone you don’t know on the Internet, it’s condescending, hateful, mocking. Or at least those are the default filters you’d apply.

The Internet was invented by young men, who were also its first customers. They set the tone for the interactions which has prevailed to this day. It’s no wonder that discussions which would be perfectly cheerful in person become hateful online. Which inevitably leads to the phenomenon of the Internet Tough Guy, or “ITG”. The ITG solves every disagreement with the promise of violence. Virtually everyone I know has occasionally succumbed to the ITG impulse, self included. Even if the ITG is capable of doing what he says he’ll do, that doesn’t mean he would actually make the decision to do so were he to meet this person IRL (in real life).

Copypasta is a hipster Internet term for something which is written once then copied-and-pasted in all sorts of inappropriate or potentially hilarious situations. Nobody knows who actually wrote the “Navy Seals copypasta”, but it’s been used as a response to various personal insults online for a decade. It goes like this:

What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

There’s a whole subreddit devoted to alternative versions of the copypasta, but the true joy of it isn’t rewriting it — it’s using it in an online argument where pretty much everyone is in on the joke except the person who is the target. Then you and your friends can laugh at the target as he tries to argue back:

At this point, everyone is laughing at the fellow in the red box. He’s an outsider. So you can think of “Navy Seal copypasta” as a secret handshake of sorts in the Extremely Online community. And yes, I used it on fellow autowriters multiple times during the middle of the past decade. I’m pretty sure that I almost didn’t get my Road&Track gig because a senior Car and Driver person didn’t get the joke and thought I was going to kill them in one of seven hundred ways…

Assuming humanity survives COVID-19 and its mutations in some form, I have to think that much Internet Culture of this era will be completely incomprehensible to posterity. The “memes” and tropes of the culture evolve much faster than any virus, and much of it isn’t documented anywhere with any permanency. Will the archaeologists of the Twenty-Third Century recognize this video for what it is? Or will they figure that Ol’ Blue Eyes finally went off the deep end, right before the rest of us did?

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about the danger of clean-sheet designs.

Brother Bark wrote about a fellow who didn’t buy a Corvette, at least not yet.

51 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Frank Sinatra Has Over 300 Confirmed Kills Edition”

  1. AvatarMental Ward

    I love and loathe the fact that all of the military associations I. That copy pasta don’t refer to the Air Force.

    No one fakes being tough by refers to their Air Force training.

    “I’ll have you know I can build a 50 slide PPT over 700 ways and never put down my cup of coffee!”

    The absence of Air Force references in ITG speak is particularly amusing because as you were in your early stages of Usenet, I was on a small green screen terminal in Germany exploring the recent ability to instantly communicate with smart ass airman across the world via MILnet on a sub system known as the World Wide Military Command and Control System, or WWMCCS.

    Yeah, we get it. The other branches can take our lunch money and a lot of our actual war fighting does involve stuff that looks like a game John plays.

    But flight suits look good, B-52s are awesome and now, we have the Space Force to mock. As Steve Carrell will do this fall on Netflix.

    Great bit Jack, and I never say this, but DG is wrong. That video is hilarious.

    Reply
      • AvatarCJinSD

        Marines call them Air Corporation, and shudder in embarrassment when they see their haphazard approach to personal hygiene and dress in public. What does the Air Corporation do when a new base is commissioned? Spend the budget on the golf course and then go back for more! It would be great if Americans understood what makes preserving our way of life worthwhile, and that they could do so without the Army or the Air Force. Next thing you know people would be asking why a public school education in the US was so much more effective before there was a Department of Education.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          Hay, Hay, C J has found 2 more American institutions that employ good people doing good work for their country that he would like to see disbanded. Think of all the money that could be saved that could then be redirected to Wall Street.

          Imagine a world where smart folks like CJ could be directed toward building things instead of actively trying to destroy. I know, too much to expect

          Reply
          • AvatarPanzer

            Or more fairly, think of all the money that could be redirected to the sections of the armed forces that -actually- are necessary for our defence. Or even, think about how the tax burden on ordinary Americans could be lessened had that money not been spent in the first place.

  2. AvatarJohn C.

    On the clean sheet versus effective refining I would point out one thing that is perhaps most important, that those that do your reviews are on your side With the new smaller 77 full sizes. The car mags were definitely on board. Why not, the foreign makers they promoted where never going to build anything like these and they had addressed the constant complaints of overweight/oversize/overstyle. If you read the period reviews there was also a lot of fitting sendoff and these will be the last.

    The X cars were more of a direct challenge. It was easy to convince the youthful reader that American offerings were to big, too unsophisticated, too real American in a way you young ones out there should resent. What to do with the X then, irs, rack and pinion, no 3 speed sticks, no drum front brakes, all radial tire. Import size but with enough extra width to match old America room. Then in the engine bay was a V6 that was just the kind of game changer that the small block V8 had been in 1955. The mags fall in love right. Of course not, that was just not their agenda. What could they come up with to spit at and discredit a remarkable effort. Well we could whine about iffy settings of a rear brake valve in the first few weeks of production. Jack mentioned that himself 40 years later. Then they come up with torque steer to snear at offering a powerful engine. A obviously stupid complaint like complaining that the small block V8 in 55 added the problem of fishtailing. It was all they had so they ran with it and R/T even chimed in with a fake scandal about shaved tires. The x car must be destroyed. Thankfully Ribicki had the good sense to repackage the car better aimed at a mature audience and the mags let it go as an irrelevant old man car.

    Notice on the current Hondas how much slack is given. How much ink as been spilled on how bad CVTs are and not worth the economy gain. Yet here they are on Hondas where they are even doing nothing for economy yet nary a peep. Similarly the switch from the big block fours and V6s to turbo 4s. Between those two changes you just took what 50,000 miles off the life of the drivetrain, yet not peep. Got to be a team player.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The reason people keep mentioning the brake problem is because, according to NHTSA, it led to “4,282 complaints, including 1,417 accidents, 427 injuries and 18 fatalities.”

      And this business about the magazines trashing the car is nonsense. Example:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20190424190037/https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/vintage-reviews/vintage-review-chevrolet-citation-x-11-gm-x-bodies-technical-analysis-and-one-personal-photo/

      Road&Track enthused: “Fast as a Saab Turbo, outcorners a BMW 320i, quicker through our slalom than a Ferrari Boxer, stops shorter than a Jaguar XJ-S”.

      All the major car magazines treated the X-cars like the Second Coming for YEARS. The X-11, in particular, was the subject of relentless positivity from the press. Motor Trend made the Citation the Car Of The Year even after the brake problems were apparent.

      This was still the era where C/D reserved half of its “10 Best” for lukewarm domestics like the 6000STE and Erica-based Escort GT.

      Let me tell you something that I am in a position to know: the magazines pushed hard for domestics because millions of dollars changed hands between the domestic automakers and the major mags through the Eighties and Nineties. If I told you the things I’ve learned about the payoffs and the compensation-in-kind and the freebies you wouldn’t be able to believe it. We’re talking benefits given to autowriters which would inflation adjust to six figures easy nowadays. European vacations for entire families. Free race cars, free tow vehicles, cash in envelopes. Yeah, there was some import snobbery going on. There was also rampant bribery and corruption — and most of it came from Detroit, not from Honda.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        You are PURPOSELY confusing advertiser service Preview drives with disgustingly biased later road tests of still pre production cars with the minor issues that were quickly sorted. Same with 10 best that they told everyone would be half domestic for advertiser service to taint the domestics. Losers shitting on the best efforts of their countrymen, especially egregious when nobody anywhere offered anything like it and wouldn’t catch up for many years.

        K car , still a year off couldn’t afford a V6, Ford had to still offer aging Fairmonts, AMC aging Concords, Camry was still 4 years away and would debut with an outsourced four and no V6. Accord was too small and the auto still had 2 speeds so completely unserious. The only serious competitor at launch was the Lancia Beta and VW Dasher and their tiny strangled engines left them unrealistic for an American family. Why on earth was such common sense nowhere to be found in any of the mags. A political agenda that no bribes would rectify.

        Do you honestly think domestics would be offering bribes if they thought they would get a fair shake without? Proof of the bias they faced.

        Reply
    • Avatarbaconator

      Yeah, I’m just old enough to remember when those cars came out. The automotive rags *loved* them. Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. R&T’s initial take was “GM’s Renaissance car.” Car and Driver didn’t start doing 10 Best until ’83, but they raved over the Citation and especially the X-11.

      No, it wasn’t the press that made the X-cars a failure. It was the poor build quality, the safety issues, and the utterly cynical unreliable engineering.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        They were far from a failure, the A body lasted till 96. Was it the iron duke that stunk, of course not it matched net what the superthrift 4 had done 11 years gross before except net and passing a smog test. In the same time period Toyota had done the same except with a 20 percent displacement bump and retaining the OLD architecture like AMC, no wonder all the C/D. R/T. M/T, editors wanted to promote them.

        Reply
    • AvatarTexn

      I wouldn’t buy a Honda with a CVT and definitely not the 1.5l turbo…I’m only interested in the manual transmission Accord. But less so after driving one, it wasn’t great.

      Reply
  3. Avatar-Nate

    That program to change the lyrics was a new one on me, pretty clever I think .

    I prefer Deano to Frank but whatever .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      I have been getting into still with us Jack Jones lately. If you get a chance and have an interest, take a listen to “Wives and Lovers”. A great Grammy winning song from 1965.

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        Thanx John ;

        I don’t have internet at home and $tarbuck$ is closed so I’m way behind on E-Mails and tech articles .

        I rarely have the time to watch / listen to you tube anyways, too bad as I always find neat obscure music I dimly remember for decades ago .

        I finally got my Moto running and rideable….

        -Nate

        Reply
  4. AvatarRyan

    This guy isn’t the only one having a hard time buying a car right now.

    Both my mom and sister are at the end of their leases and my dad wants a new Silverado.
    All three are employee purchases. He’s called a few dealers in the Detroit area to see who can get him two Blazers and a Z71. Everyone kept dragging their feet.

    My friend recommended some guy in Lansing who sold him a Colorado last week. This guy drove to my friend’s house in the Colorado, signed the paperwork on the hood, and took his Fiesta ST away. Apparently, this guy is wrangling the cars they want and will be doing the same for my family next week.

    You’d think with how much dealers are crying for things to be “open” that they’d jump at the chance to move three cars at once.

    Reply
  5. AvatarCrancast

    John Baruth has posted the last two pieces and the author pages-article links are incomplete. More growing pains than normal? Traffic ramping up to match the content push?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I want to be careful about what I say here and how I say it: Although I’ve been building systems for the Web since 1997, it was decided at the C-suite level to give website development to another part of the company. We are experiencing significant opportunities for improvement as a result.

      Reply
  6. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    I’m wondering if you’re familiar with ‘Mall Cop’ thread on one of the gun forums and that whole episode that took place? Michael Z. Williamson even did a homage to it in one of his novels (to be honest, the guy who was playing the ‘Mall Cop’ eventually outted himself – still, it is internet comedy gold – right up there with the Cookie Monster being an ‘operator’.).

    I started on the internet back ’88, on arpanet, from the military base I was working at. Things didn’t really get interesting until probably 90? I honestly don’t recall. But back then you really could track an IP down to someone’s place of business, (school or military most of the time) and the amount of security on all unix systems was so ludicrous, that you could actually ‘finger’ users on remote machines and find out who had accounts on a machine, as well as gain a lot of personal information from what was in their directories if they hadn’t locked it down (and let’s face it, most people never set file permissions – or even knew how).

    Weird to be looking back on all of that now. But most everyone was a lot more technically orientated. That is until the AOL’ers showed up. 😛

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “We would never consider using any missles larger than our modified surplus Shrikes,”

      MY SIDES

      Reply
    • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

      Are you talking about Gecko45 and the Mall Ninja thread?!

      I love that guy (if we are talking about the same thing), I had no idea that he outed himself. That would be as disappointing as finding out that Leroy Jenkins was fake…

      It had one of my favorite “tactical” lines of all time: “If plan A is to take multiple .338 Lapua rounds to the back, you really need to come up with a plan B.”

      I was taking some shipboard security training at Blackwater a few years later, and that was one of the standard lines the instructors would use – any time your plan involved something stupid.

      Reply
  7. AvatarJoe

    Have been in the work force since 1979 full time, have never been laid off, working in the food industry as a refrigeration mechanic has insulated me from downturns in the economy, three weeks ago one of our mechanics with 17 years seniority was furloughed, that is a first for me, I am not in the market for a car, but if I were, I wouldn’t! There is no way I would buy anything I didn’t have to have, I have never seen an economy deliberately flushed down the cramp hole before, this is just insane

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      I think your viewpoint represents the scary part about opening the economy back up after weeks of fear mongering by the media and mostly Leftist politicians who see the crisis as a way to get back into power. Even if someone didn’t lose their job, or gets quickly reemployed will they be willing to go into debt (or dip into their now much smaller savings/stock portfolio) to buy a new car or house or big screen TV or take an exotic vacation for fear of a Fall virus shut-down replay that the media and many health “experts” are promising? With media promoted estimates of millions or hundreds of thousands of deaths from WuFlu eagerly dancing around in their heads, how many consumers will decide it isn’t worth the risk to return to “crowded” restaurants, bars, gyms, airliners, and car dealerships to get a beer or burger or C7? Businesses will be reopening soon, but how soon will customers be returning?

      Reply
  8. AvatarCJinSD

    I believe if you scratch a bit deeper beneath the surface, you will find that the 996 replaced the 993 because of concerns about emissions regulations. The Drive-By-Noise regulatory fears were the drivers for attempting the replace the 911 with the 928 and 924, which separated their engines and exhausts via forward engine placement in order to mitigate drive-by-noise sources. What finally killed the air-cooled engine was an inability to control expansion rates and oil blow-by that sullied the catalysts and O2 sensors.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Or is it to use pre certified Rabbit/100LS parts like the 924? Got to be standardized like the German’s Japanese friends taught us simple Germans in the early nineties. Now go out there and expand the market by building Touregs built for you wish they were Berber camel jockeys not in Niger. How exciting!

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      That may be, but at the time of the change the 993 could still easily pass emissions. What it couldn’t do, and what no aircooled engine could do, was pass the proposed EU noise regs. I don’t think a 993 could pass Euro 5 but that was still quite a ways away.

      Reply
  9. Avatarstingray65

    My nomination for most successful clean sheet design would be the 1955 Chevrolet. Absolutely everything was new except the carryover Stovebolt Six and Powerglide. I believe there were a few minor teething issues with the new small block Chevy motor, but otherwise is proved to be a very well built, durable, and excellent performing vehicle that changed Chevrolet’s reputation from “old reliable value for money” to “sporty/sophisticated/youthful value for money” that GM printed money with for the next 30 years until cars like the Citation started to change the reputation to “crap”.

    Reply
  10. Avatarhank chinaski

    ‘Ya dun goofed’.

    My brain pan reflexively coofed out ‘NA Miata’ as a clean-ish sheet, but it was a bit of a parts bin car: 323 mill that occasionally suffered from the same short nose crank issues, overheated #4 in the trans/long swap, RX7 FC 5 speed and diff (?), 323 brakes. Aside from the engine, the ND is probably even clean-ish-er.

    I’ll take ITG threats of violence, RickRolls, and disguised links to the famed gaping anus over TikTok nurses and ethots selling their bathwater any day of the week.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The ND was almost an entirely unique proposition nose to tail… and they got the transmission so wrong that Fiat demanded the NC box in the Spider.

      Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Oh yeah. Like Debbie Harry, it has a heart of glass. The MX-5 Cup teams will bring four of them for a race weekend.

          Reply
          • Avatarhank chinaski

            I haven’t read (or looked) for the rate of failure in the 1.5, but the going speculation is the 2.0 was a late game near-afterthought for North America. Gram strategy to the Nth to hit the 1000kg goal? A shame. It’s a damn slick box. (phrasing!). If the 1.5 is the ‘Director’s cut’, the 2.0 is the ‘theatrical release’.

            I wonder if the ND2 still suffers?

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            The 1.5 ND1 is a nicer car to drive than the 2.0 ND1.

            The 2.0 ND2, one of which now sits in my driveway, is better than both by a long shot. The transmission is supposedly sturdier for the ND2; I’m only aware of one reported street failure.

          • AvatarBark M

            I have a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers that Debbie took directly off of her face and gave to me. True story.

          • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

            @Bark – wait what?! That is great – but you can’t just drop that comment and leave it there.

            If only you were a famous writer on the internet, and had a blog for things you (and maybe a family member) wrote – then you could tell that story and have somewhere to put it.

          • Avatar-Nate

            True that the weak tranny.

            My son’s 1st. generation Miata tranny folded like a wet paper bag, after a couple replacements he up graded so some newer model one that required us to hunt up a different shift lever .

            This was all before he added the supercharger .

            I wish I could see out of that damn thing because when he tired of it he offered to give it to me .

            -Nate

  11. AvatarBooty_Toucher

    There are legitimate courses in Meme Studies (seriously, look it up). Seems silly, but I’m glad someone is documenting.

    Reply
  12. AvatarDanio

    Mopar expert here.

    “I’ve been told by Mopar experts that the front suspension shares certain critical dimensions with the 1986 Renault 21 (known here as the Eagle Medallion)”.

    This probably comes from the fact that the LH cars were derived from the Medallion, but you won’t find anything that matches up from the Renault to an Lx.

    “in much the same way that the 1996 Dodge Stratus was derived from the Neon which was derived from the Sundance which in turn was derived from the 1978 Dodge Omni.”

    The Neon and Stratus were as about as clean sheet as you can get, though were not without trouble out of the box. The Stratus might have shared and engine and some transmissions with the Neon, but the body and chassis are totally different. For example, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Neon uses mac struts all the way around. The J cloud cars actually use double wishbone SLA on all corners. Pretty remarkable for a company that was committed to trailing beam axles for a decade and a half. It’s really too bad we never got the Turbo cloud cars that were sold in Mexico, the chassis is pretty competent.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I know some of the dimensions are common across platforms because I have P-body knuckles on my Neon club racer, straight out of a junkyard Sundance… it lets me go years, rather than days, between front bearing replacements.

      I’ve also been told by a Chrysler engineer that some LH and LX suspension parts are interchangeable, some LH and Premier suspension parts are interchangeable, some Premier and Medallion… like the first and last Beetles, or the 1963 911 and the 1998 993, there’s no beginning-to-end interchangeability but over time you wind up with a slow creep of parts and dimensions.

      I’m a big fan of cloud cars and wanted to replace my ’95 Neon with a stick-shift Breeze back in the day. I wonder how much hassle it would be to build an SRT-4 Breeze… but I also recall a lot of parts being common between the two. No doubt my Neons have a few things sourced from junkyard clouds.

      Reply
      • AvatarRyan Patrick

        IIRC, the k-member is close in dimensions to that of the Neon. Obviously the control arm arrangement is different, but it was close enough that some were looking at adapting a tubular unit from a TD to solve the issue with control arms binding. This was some time ago and nothing ever came to fruition.

        The hardest thing about building a SRT Breeze would probably be finding a clean shell at this point. I don’t really see an advantage in picking up a Mexican Stratus R/T Turbo in that those were all ATX cars. I had a turbo setup from one of those, and it wasn’t really worth mentioning (log manifold, internally-gated T3 turbo, and lower intake). You could easily get away with SRT internals in the original 2.4 and bolting on the turbo of your choice. If you kept a T-350 in the car, it would pretty much be a bolt-in affair. Doing a T-850 would be a little more difficult in that the first generation cloud cars used a cable clutch like the Neon.

        Reply
      • AvatarDanio

        I have a 2.4L/ 5 speed ’95 Stratus caged to LeMons standards that I wouldn’t mind parting with. She’s not pretty but shes cheap.

        We measured everything out for the SRT4 swap, the only real point of concern would be space fro the turbo hardware under the wiper cowl. We cut ours up for easy engine access, so there’s room now should a new owner choose to go that route.

        Reply
  13. AvatarRyan

    The Stratus turbo used a regular log manifold and mounted the turbo on the underside. I believe the SRT turbofold takes up a little more room.

    Worst case, you could do the 420a head and mount the turbo up front. With how long the intake runners are on the stock Stratus, I’d bet you could fit a decent size turbo there without issue.

    If you really want to get into the weeds, check out the homologation papers for the Supertouring Stratus.

    https://historicdb.fia.com/car/chrysler-dodgechrysler-stratus-ja

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.