Something Awful is a sort of "hub" of the special brand of humor unique to the Internet. The target audience is males between the ages of 13 and 25.
Concerning the public areas of Something Awful: People typically either really love or really hate Something Awful. Reading the articles may lead you to notice a sort of formulaic writing style that pervades them. It's almost as if Lowtax
created a Mad Libs sheet that has been declared the proper format for all articles until the end of time. This does not prevent some of them from being humorous, however, much of it is quite tired.
Concerning the forums, Something Awful initiates for all new forum members what can be percieved as a strange form of Internet hazing. While one might see this as entirely negative, it has a practical application. Via this "e-hazing" SAF creates and propagates an unusually strict social code which all goons
must abide by lest they face ostracization by other users and perhaps even harassment by moderators, a phenomenon not typically seen on forums. The positive side of this forum management method is that the inevitable degradation of forum quality, while present, is dramatically slowed and even controlled to some extent. The negative qualities of this style of forum management are that the forum is full of unthinking sycophants and that while forum quality may not drop as rapidly as at other sites, it also cannot ever reach the peak of its potential. Think of it as a bright flame that quickly flickers out, compared to a long-burning flame that casts less light.
Another thing to note is that while Something Awful constantly berates its own members for the use (and especially overuse) of catchphrases, it is its own strict social guidelines which create the perfect environment in which popular catchphrases become an epidemic - goon
My friend got shat on for mentioning his enjoyment of Naruto
, but Something Awful advertizes J-List.com on their front page. What the fuck is up with that shit?