Phantasy Terr

is a phenomenon that continues to amaze and amuse me.  It’s like one huge, extended episode of Family Guy, with more references to Phish and less angry monkeys hiding in closets. (I was going to say less pedophile-themed jokes, but anyone familiar with the site and The Phish knows this isn’t true.)  A constant influx of lewd humor, offensive themes, recurring inside jokes, and absurdly immature quarrels that serve as a laughing stock for the non-participants are just a few of the characteristics of PT that make it what we know, love, and love to hate.

Yet one thing that I find to be strangely unique, and even baffling, about Phantasy Tour is the surprising lack of utter stupidity that is typical of most other fan forums, or forums of any kind for that matter.  Anyway, you know what I’m talking about- you’re searching something online and somehow find yourself in a creepy Myspace-esque fan forum on said subject, deep in the dark depths of the interweb, where the majority of posts lack any coherent structure or normal spelling and basically look like an ADHD 7 year old wrote them.  Now on the flip side, anyone who spends a little time in the Phantasy Tour Phish Forum (more commonly know as “The Green Board” by PTers, due to it’s pea soup-y hue), will come to notice that– Gasp! The large majority of posts are actually fairly well written and grasp basic rules of the English language, and those that don’t do so get crapped on by everybody.  And on top of it all, they are often extremely funny taboot.

Now, am I arguing that we Phish fans are smarter than your average human being? Hell no.  The idiotic thread topics that you see on PT on a daily basis would be enough to refute that argument completely.  For example, right now there’s a quite popular thread on the Green Board titled “All girls should be required to take a BJ class” (insert “Phish fans are 90 percent males” joke here). Hardy-har-har. But what I find interesting about PT is that such threads almost always have a certain element of sarcasm, or at least unseriousness to them, that is unique to the site itself.  There is a constant feeling of self-mocking, irony, and tongue-in-cheek that permeates the vibe of PT.  The number of completely hilarious and wittily wry comments you can find on the board with just a little effort is amazing; finding a sentence written completely in earnest is next to impossible. Why is this? I have no idea. But, it is definitely what makes Phantasy Tour the one thing I can rely on, day in, day out, to bring “oh-god-I-just-broke-my-keyboard-because-I-spit-water-all-over-it-I’m-laughing-so-hard”  moments.

The comically cutthroat nature of PT is also very intriguing; the occasional person who does post an incoherent, poorly punctuated, terribly spelled thread is routinely laughed at and berated by everyone who reads it.  Didn’t feel like putting paragraphs into your story about that time you got arrested on ’99 summer tour?  “WALL OF TEXT. TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ” is probably what you’ll be met with.  Even the super hippie-dippies who post about heady crystals, kickdowns, and karma without any air of sarcasm or humor get mocked until the end of time.  Phantasy Tour is unbelievably cynical, yet not to the point where it deprives the reader of constant laughs.  Or is it the cynicism that makes all the laughs happen? It’s difficult to say.  Regardless, it has gotten me through many a boring work day, and for that, I thank you, PT.

Yea I know, sweet blahg’d.

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