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Number One

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I'm on vacation, and while I'm gone, with computers and Net connections in short supply, I'm counting down the Ten Greatest Crimes Against Humanity Committed By The Internet. The series begins here.

And here we are. It's been a long, tortured trip. In our wake we have left nine huge, epic, agonizing crimes against humanity committed by the Internet, and now it's time for the topper. Numero uno. The big cheese. The top of the dung heap. The single greatest crime against humanity committed by the Internet is...

Harry Knowles' review of Blade II, from Ain't It Cool News, March 17, 2002.

I know we covered Ain't It Cool News in general yesterday, because in general, Ain't It Cool News is, was, and will be completely fucking awful. But even by the completely fucking awful standards the site has set throughout Internet history, the Blade II review is legendary. It is epic. It is the absolute and utter standard bearer for everything that is wrong with the Internet.

By 2002, Harry Knowles was punch-drunk with his own fame. Many of you remember how big AICN was back then. And the rest of you found out about it yesterday. Knowles was the ubernerd, and milked it for all it was worth. So it's only fitting that his Blade II review begins with a name-drop so cringe-inducing that even now, five years later, it still gives me pause:

"For me to review BLADE 2, it is a major conflict of interest, because Guillermo Del Toro and I are brothers. His father says so. His wife believes this. Guillermo and I are just the best of friends, but when El Gordo calls my father Dad, and I call his Dad "Pops" and we delve into hours of passionate discussion about H.P. Lovecraft, Goya, Steve Ditko action, the movies and pussy� We can lose all track of time on planet Earth."

That paragraph is proof that Harry Knowles was, at some point, afflicted with some sort of shame-eating bacteria. A shame Ebola, if you will. That paragraph is a harbinger of doom, a head on a pike warning you that the Grand Guignol of Internet pop culture commentary lies ahead. But you don't get much warning, because only two sentences separate that paragraph from the twelve most horrible words ever sent over TCP/IP. And one of those two sentences is two numbers, a preposition, and a question mark, and makes no goddamn sense. But that's beside the point. Those twelve words are, and YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:

"I believe Guillermo Del Toro eats pussy better than any man alive."

OK. First, EW. Second, EW. Third through eighty-second inclusive, EW. Why would anybody say that, ever? I mean, even if cunnilingus somehow managed to get named as an exhibition sport in some future Mexican Olympics, just give Del Toro his score and his medal and SHUT THE FUCK UP. It's a sentence that is unacceptable even in a purely literal context. As an introduction to an extended carpet-munching metaphor describing the brilliance of Blade II, it cannot help but top this list.

I'll spare you the details. They're found easily enough. At no point has Harry Knowles regretted the review enough to expunge it from existence. Even when Knowles eventually and mercifully stops using words like "tongue" and "wet", he starts using words like "Goya" and "ZACTLY". And you start getting pummeled senseless by the classic Knowles stream-of-syntax text, when he simply is too damn excited for subjects and verbs to coexist peacefully. And it's almost a relief. You're on familiar ground here, at least. And that's when he sneaks up behind you and cudgels you with this:

"Having read Guillermo's HELLBOY script� It is 100% Guillermo Del Toro and folks as cool as BLADE 2 is� BLADE 2 was a teaser� It was just pussylicking�. HELLBOY is deep dicking!"

If Ain't It Cool News encompasses everything that's wrong with the Internet, the Blade II review encompasses everything that's wrong with Ain't It Cool News, while simultaneously containing any number of horrors the likes of which have never been seen, before, or since. It truly is the single greatest crime against humanity committed by the Internet.

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