Here is a mirror image of the Netly News article that appeared on May 1st, 1996. Psycho Dave welcomes all interviews, and treats all questions with equal respect and honesty, even loaded ones.

     May 1, 1996

Fecal Matters

   Much has been made of the fact that sex -- images, writings, even the prurient sounds of orgasm -- is one of the mainstays of the Web. But few people, let alone the U.S. Congress, have tried to understand why there's so much demand for this kind of information. And it *is* information, isn't it? Assuming the Communications Decency Act is struck down, will we ever get enough information about how people look without clothes, how they look copulating, how they copulate?

   Probably not. Looking at sex, the shrinks tell us, is the next best thing to having sex. And since the computer experience is all about virtuality -- about experiencing things vicariously -- it makes sense that sex would be the thing people seek online as well as off.

   But -- and now we come to the issue of today's hype and hysteria -- how does one explain the recent proliferation of grotesque pages? If looking at sex is the next best thing to having it, what can we say about the apparent upsurge in home pages that deliver images of dismemberment, death and feces worship? (It's not too late to turn back now, friend...)

   "I made my page to be a beacon to other people who are into this stuff," said "Psycho" Dave, whose Psycho Dave's Dark And Scary Place is among the whistle stop's on a Cold-Blooded Campaign Trail that includes Dan's Gallery of the Grotesque and Brain Damage. "I know there are plenty of other psychos out there and this is their playground."

   What's their playground, Psycho Dave? "Decapitations, dismemberments, human roadkill -- anything a pathologist is used to seeing every day," he explained. "There are actual accident photos and autopsy photos and stuff like that."

   But the Psycho Dave isn't a pathologist, he's a 30-year-old computer repairman who describes himself as "a pretty normal, laid-back, kinda sedate person with some unique interests." And the flood of people that visit his site every day, we can assume, aren't pathologists, either.

   Indeed, Dave's site is so popular that his Internet provider is threatening eviction and Dave will be moving his trove of the disgusting elsewhere come autumn. "I think everybody is interested in grotesque things," he said. "Whenever there's a deformed person or a naked person or an unusual person, people stare." Indeed, given how many people have visited his Disneyworld of Doom, only a few have expressed outrage: "I haven't found anybody who doesn't like my page that isn't a religious nut."

   That's not the case with Brain Damage, a site that features suicides and floaters and traffic fatalities that's run by "Trauma Bob," the pseudonym used by a New York City paramedic. Or should we say former paramedic -- the dude told us in E-mail yesterday that he just lost his job because of his Web site. (We're still getting details on this.)

   So why are all these macabre Web sites poopping up? "Our society has an unhealthy fascination with death," said Carole Liebeman, a psychiatrist who consults to "The Bold and The Beautiful" and "The Young and The Restless." "People want to experience someone's death vicariously."

   But as these sites get more popular, users become desensitized and look for bigger thrills. "The same gory photos get boring after awhile," the psychiatrist to the soaps said. "The extreme is for people to go and get photos that are better than what's currently on the Net. Maybe Netizens will be motivated to commit murders of their own."

   Web snuff sites, in other words? We doubt it. Still, there may be an insidious side to all of this. Patricia Farrell, a psychologist who works with the criminally insane at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Mars Plains, NJ, said the photos are dangerous because they inure people to human suffering.

   "The more you look, the more you grow an emotional callous," she said. "Certain people -- like doctors and police -- have to develop it as part of their jobs. The rest of us don't have to."

   By comparison, the Poopie People who've started sites celebrating their waste products seem pretty harmless, albeit, gross. Take Jeremy Gibbens, keeper of The Fecal Matter Page. Please.

   "I've always been fascinated with that material because I think it's funny," the 19-year-old North Dakota computer science major said. "People are offended by it, but defecating is part of being human. I don't understand what the big deal is."

   Or consider, if you will, the First Family of Feces, Craig Rosenblatt, a 32-year-old Long Island Karaoke DJ, and his charming wife, Michelle.

   "You'd be just like me if you heard these people sing 'I Will Survive' 150 times a week in Japanese," Craig Rosenblatt complained to us the other day. He said he retaliated by putting up his totally disgusting page to shock people.

   It all started when, one day, in a fit of elation, he ran outside and defecated on the neighbors's car and captured the Kodak moment with his camera. "That was my first picture." Then, acting on a suggestion from Michelle, he started taking pictures of his own poop.

   "I didn't know what to do for a Web page, so my wife said, 'Why don't you just put up pictures of shit?" he told TNN. "I thought about it and decided it was a great idea."

   "I think it's totally digusting but I'm very proud of him," Michelle said, supportively. "I think he did a good job. Once my husband turned 30, you know, he had his good days and his bad days -- It occurred to me that if he was so preoccupied with it, other people would be too."

   Craig says he put up his page as a joke only to discover a huge subculture beat a path to his Web site, where, we assume, they find comfort and solace.

   As a tribute to his new friends, Craig has cooked up Tampon Man. "It's a used tampon with my head on the end of a string. He flies around and says 'Up, Up and Away."

   "I've become some sort of celebrity," he added, noting that traffic to his page is astronomical. "People have put me on this pedestal. People are happy about it. They say they're going to tell their family they eat shit. Hey, I'm glad to make people happy."

   And we're glad you're glad, Craig. The big question in all this, of course, is when will these sites start accepting advertising.

--by Chris "El Disgusto" Stamper


Psycho Dave is not being "evicted" by his service provider. He was hit with extra charges for data transmission due to too many people downloading all 7 megs of images from his disgusting photo gallery. He accumulated over 3 gigabytes of data transmission, and his service provider hit him with $50 in extra fees. After talking to the service provider, it was clear that they were not going to offer any way for any customers to monitor how much data their pages transmit, or even offer a way to limit use when the data flow goes up above a certain limit, so Psycho Dave decided to move his site to a different provider who doesn't charge anything extra. Since Dave is also planning to live in a new city, he decided to wait until he moves to move his page. To avoid extra charges in the mean time, Dave has shut down the photo gallery, and will reopen it after the big move.

The Psychotic one himself, Dave