Encyclopædia Dramatica (Encyclopædia)
“I will reserve judgment until they release an English language version...”
– Noel Coward on Encyclopædia Dramatica
The Encyclopædia Dramatica, known simply as Dramatica or ED, is a controversial encyclopedia developed at least 100 years ago in mid-18th century France at the height of the Enlightenment. It served the purpose of cataloging all the popular subjects in upper class French society and summarizing them in lewd, brusque, and often pornographic ways. Over the course of the last few centuries, it developed a small cult following and an even larger cult hating. Though the followers have branched off and seen ED endure multiple editions and metamorphoses, the haters typically remain static in their hating.
Encyclopædia Dramatica is the creation of little-known French inventor and social climber Percy Pénible. Percy, who surrounded himself with politiques, philosophers and other flower children of the Enlightenment to appear more serious, had a large part in creating the original Encyclopédie with his close friend Denis Diderot. The effete Diderot, who knew Percy through his brother Drama Diderot, was always the slacker of the four man entourage of enlightened men and childhood friends: the Diderots, Percy, and André Le Breton, whom the other three referred to simply as É.
Percy quickly tired of Denis and his laid back, pot smoking habits and far-fetched dreams of solving the Kitchen Sink enigma, but was forced to keep his feelings under wraps until their Encyclopédie project blew over, as told by one excerpt in Percy's diary: "I am tired of Denis' laid back, pot smoking habits and far-fetched dreams of philosophical superstardom, but I shall keep my feelings under wraps until our Encyclopédie project blows over." Percy snapped when all of his additions were glossed over and replaced by more mellow entries to appeal to the lazy philosophe fan base, as suggested by their agent Jean le Rond d'Alembert. D'Alembert, a Jew, expressed his dissatisfaction with Percy's contributions in one of his patented profanity-laced messages, which were delivered by his flamboyant assistant Lloyd:
|“||You really think anyone is going to give a shit about some jackass amateur posting his dumb ramblings at the local forum? It's preschool philosophy hijinks and nobody gives a shit about it, even if you fancy yourself the king of comedy making fun of them. Your elaborate discussion of petty fools has no place in an encyclopedia of noble standing. Kindly tuck your petticoat back into your trousers and fuck off.||”|
Percy snatched Drama from the Encyclopédie development team and the two began developing the Encyclopædia Dramatica, to be released as an unofficial "sister project" to the Encyclopédie.
The Encyclopædia Dramatica was started with the intentions of plagiarizing the entire Encyclopédie and putting it in bold print. When Pénible decided that wasn't dramatic enough, he created a special bonus bundle which packaged a Shakespearean street performer with the encyclopedia for an additional thirty silver coins. Eventually, he and Drama settled on a final solution: they'd sort through each individual entry and personally made dramatic improvements upon it.
For example, here's the entry for the constellation Eagle in the Encyclopédie:
|“||Eagle. In astronomy, it is the name of one of the constellations in the northern hemisphere. Its right wing touches the equinoctial line; its left wing is next to the snake's head. Its beak is separated from the rest of the body by the circle that runs from Cancer to Capricorn.
The Eagle and Antinous are usually considered part of the same constellation. See Constellation.
This is the same entry, but in the Encyclopædia Dramatica:
|“||Eagle. In astronomy, it is the name of one of the constellations in the northern hemisphere of the firmament. It used to be located in the southern hemisphere with Centaurus, but any dumbass would know that any two male constellations part of a larger one hanging around in the southern hemisphere is bound to stir up trouble. One autumn night, Bootes and Crates decided to have a jolly old gay-bash and ransacked Eagle's pad, stealing his beak and throwing it northward. Eagle proceeded to gouge out both their eyes while forcibly circumcising them with its claws, then flaying Bootes completely to ribbons. Thusly, the constellation Grossly Malformed Leper was created (see volume 5 for more details).
Ipso facto, the vain Eagle pissed it's [sic] last piss in the Southern Hemisphere, took the cat and all the scrolls from his old pad, ditched Centaurus, and ran away like a little bitch to the more liberal Northern Hemisphere. It can now be found near the Snake and it's new cloaca-buddy Antinous. See Constellation.
While both entries contain the same basic details, ED's entry is obviously and considerably more "dramatic". Similarly, whereas Encyclopédie downplays their entry on William Shakespeare, giving it equal share as the other entries and supplying only basic facts, ED has a six page entry about Christiane Westone Chandlere, a mentally deficient artist and poet they consider the Bard's equal.
The Encyclopædia Dramatica was nearly universally panned by critics of the Big Three: philosophy, lore and art. ED went over well with Europe's rebellious politicians and despots, but they were too few in number to count for much, and their influence failed to grab hold over the common educated man. Rather than selling to the top 60% of France's educated population (4% total), as aimed, it only appealed to 6% (3.21 10-3 total).
Even with its extremely limited audience, being able to read it didn't necessarily mean liking it. The most well known negative review of the Encyclopædia Dramatica describes reading it as "spitting into an ocean of saliva. Banal, flippant, and just plain repulsive in all parts. A must-read for masochists and Franks, alike." On the other hand, the copious imagery of male genitalia guaranteed measured success in the underground gay community; sales figures estimate almost half of Encyclopædia Dramatica's revenue came from bookstores in Paris's "rainbow-light" district. Wide circulation in this demographic led to the coining of the term "fag" for ED disciples, and "nouveaufag" for disciples-in-training.
Despite its economic failure, it created a new breed of European Noble: the Lullardz, or followers of the Lulz Movement. The Lullardz and the Lulz movement began in a similar way the Enlightenment itself began: through the use of sewing circles, powdered wigs, and to a lesser extent books, in this case the Encyclopædia Dramatica. The Lulz movement is often noted for its close association with the prestigious upper-aristocratic group known at the time as "4chan" (a possible wordplay on "fortune", which might be a reflection of their great wealth and nobility). Both 4chan and the Lullardz would exchange ideas over controversial and popular topics, including the teachings of Goa Tse and other Far East philosophies.
Sir Edwin Lulz, an owner of a southern England estate, obtained his copy of the Encyclopædia Dramatica from his French friend Guy de Camembert, and was instantly hooked. Awestruck by ED's intensity, reverence got the better of erudition and he began to worship the book as Sir Isaac Newton worshiped S&M or gravity: with a blind pride that deluded him into believing he had invented it. Other owners of the Encyclopædia drifted towards Lulz and in short time a cult began.
Taking the text of the Encyclopædia literally, the Lullardz roved the land as bands of highwaymen, making things more dramatic through whatever means necessary. The cult of Lullardy has targeted many other religions and peoples in their attacks, but the brunt lay most heavily on those of the Jewish persuasion. Said attacks varied between the countries Lullardz hailed from; German Lullardz weren't afraid to use outright violence, but some Jewish contemporaries from the time said the English taunts were the worst. David Schmoltz wrote in his diary, dated 1770, that a gang of seven Lullardz verbally assaulted him with calls of "Jews did the Boston Tea Party!", "Go become an hero, you Jew!" and a slew of other insults.
The influence of the Lullardz spread to the New World in the late 18th Century, and found a number of strong supporters among American thinkers and politicians, particularly Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Franklin and associates applied the the rogue, devil-may-care philosophy of the Lullardz to investigate Great Britain's unsavory treatment of their home colony. They organized massive protests against the monarchy's tax laws, disguising themselves anonymously using powdered wigs fashioned into Guy Fawkes masks. Common Americans were greatly perturbed by the strange protests and ugly masks, but nevertheless agreed that King George sucked, so war was soon declared.
In 1834, the future of Encyclopædia Dramatica took an unexpected turn. Drama Diderot, who died from exhaustion after a particularly lengthy pornography binge, left the company estate to his closest relation, a mute nephew aptly named Mute, who in turn passed the company on to his niece-by-marriage Sherrod DeGrippo. DeGrippo was originally hailed as a fine substitute, and the first reissue of the Encyclopædia in 1836 was met warmly from the easily excitable Dramatica community. However, DeGrippo was intent on bringing ED into the mainstream, and produced enough copies to feed the nation of Albania.
When the Encyclopædia underperformed severely, she could not fathom why and decided to read it for the first time. She made it to page eight, where she was greeted with an illustration of John Keats fellating himself with his thumb up his asshole, before she had it burned. Over the next few months, she hired gangs of highwaymen to roam Europe and burn each copy they could find. Needless to say, this alienated her audience a little bit. To soothe the woes of the bereaved former Encyclopædia Dramatica-owners, she published a "safe" edition of the Encyclopædia with all the drama removed. The six-page pamphlet, titled Oh Literature, did not soothe any woes.
- It is predicted that, in the future, haters still gonna hate.
- Who, ironically, is theorized to have ghostwritten most of the Encyclopædia Dramatica's original entries.
- It is believed that the "an hero" statement refers to post-medieval poet Eustace Budgell, who committed suicide after discovering his grammar had been completely fucked during his 20 year career of poetry writing
- As most of the Encyclopædia's followers likewise died.
- After suffering a nearly identical fate as Drama.
- Known colloquially as "The Lady Vinyl" for her record-setting weight.
- And all of its woodchucks.
- Or "EDowners."