An Analysis of Biffy the Dog's Totally Cool Dog Web Page!
by John Hargrave, M.D.

Chairman of the Zug Endowment at The Media Shower Institute

In this comic piece, Mr. Kremer shows us the triviality of life on the World Wide Web, in which insignificant details are lionized into cultural icons. The faux home page begins with a tribute to the life of someone's pet, a tribute so banal that one is not entirely surprised to find that the pet is utterly despicable, having recently attacked a mail carrier.

This leads the viewer to reflect on equally insignificant Web sites he or she has encountered. "What, then, is the purpose of this interconnected Web known as the Internet?" the reader is left to ponder. Rather than rely on pat answers, Kremer forges ahead in his ruthless parody.

The character known as "Mike" next leads us to a character known as "Cindy." Note the clever use of exclamation points, designed to convey a sense of naive, childish enthusiasm.

It is on the next page that the piece takes on an entirely different dimension. Rather than linking to more World Wide Web content, Kremer implies that the next click of the mouse will have a real-life effect, transcending the boundaries of the silicon chip. The philosophical implications are staggering: will computers someday have the power to alter the course of our lives?

Fortunately, Kremer does not become mired in these difficult issues. He presses on, injecting a ribald sense of humor into the proceedings. The reader becomes embroiled in a torrid love affair with "Cindy" and then physically harmed by "Dave."

The next link, "Rest Stop This Exit," is a cryptic one. Is Kremer commenting on the nature of the "Information Superhighway"? Is he toying with our preconceptions, dangling a dadaist carrot before our nose?

Again, Kremer keeps the merriment alive with the next two pages. We are introduced to "Brad," treated to obscure television references, and brought to a delightfully frivolous level with references to nachos, beer, and vomit. Kremer manages to package this lofty treatise on the nature of humanity without being intimidating. Bravo!

Parents are introduced in the following page, underscoring the ever-present struggle between one's own identity and that of one's immediate family. The character of "Cindy" is brilliantly brought back into the mix.

The reference to Prozac on the next page is just what the doctor ordered. The reader, by this point no doubt feeling exhausted by Kremer's tortuous trail through the human psyche, sees the reference to the popular anti-depressant and breathes a sigh of relief.

However, the final two pages leave us with a plethora of thought-provoking questions. The existence of an afterlife? Societal taboos on certain words? The struggle between good and evil? Uncharacteristally, Kremer does not seek to soften the blow of these final two pages, but instead leaves the reader to sit uncomfortably with the questions.

In conclusion, Kremer has designed a stunning philosophical masterpiece, lightened with dashes of merry hijinx.

John Hargrave, M.D.
Chairman of the Zug Endowment at The Media Shower Institute
February 1996

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