#2. Belgian Newspaper Beats the Onion by 45 Years
When the Germans marched into Belgium in 1940, they shut down most of the newspapers and only kept a few operating to spread propaganda throughout the conquered territory. A few workers at one of those papers, Le Soir, finally got sick of it around 1943. And so they fought back the only logical way they could: with satirical news. Yeah! This is what happens when you enrage news dorks, Jerry.
They'll kick you in the nut graf and op you in the ed.
With the help of the Belgian Resistance, over 50,000 copies of the "Faux Soir" were printed, and 5,000 were distributed to vendors in secret. American B-17 bombers were captioned "In Full Action," while a nervous Hitler looked up from another picture, saying, "That's not what I asked for." Known collaborators and Wehrmacht leaders were listed in the obituaries. The movie listings featured films like OLYMPIAD -- Part 1: The Marathon from El Alamein to Sidi Barani, starring Field Marshal Rommel and the Afrika Korps, and Where Is This Editor? a detective film starring Heinrich Himmler and the Gestapo.
Every article, cartoon, and advertisement was an Onion-like mockery of the Nazis and the occupation. It was childish. It was petty. It was glorious.
It's almost worth learning French just to read it.
Unfortunately, later in the day the Germans realized that there was no way people were this entertained by their approved propaganda. The presses used to print the Faux Soir were eventually found, but only a few of the hundreds of individuals involved were caught and sentenced to the awful, inhumane fate of trying to explain satirical humor to a group of Germans.
Oh wait, no, it was torture. Sorry. They were tortured. The first phrasing was less of a bummer, though, right?
#1. Fighting Oppression With a Bulldozer
Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia (and later Yugoslavia), is the closest thing to a real-life cartoon villain we'll ever see. When all was said and done, he racked up a final body count numbering in the hundreds of thousands, a feat that stood in stark contrast to the man's total ineptitude as a military and political leader. (Turns out mass murder is way easier than balancing a budget.)
Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Plus, his name can be rearranged to spell "bacon mold is so vile."
When the Yugoslav people finally decided to stand up to Milosevic in 2000, they knew they needed a genuine superhero to help them. They knew they needed ... Captain Bulldozer.
A massive protest was planned for October 5, and construction worker Ljubisav Dokic was invited to bring his bulldozer as a date to the festivities. When Dokic and protesters congregated outside of the Parliament building in Belgrade, they were met by a wall of riot police. On the one hand, the police were armed with tear gas and a guaranteed presidential pardon for any skulls that may end up cracked in the skirmish. On the other hand, Dokic had a fucking bulldozer.
Which they later used to clean the pile of bricks the cops shat.
In a game of Pretty Much Anything vs. Bulldozer, Bulldozer always wins. All the police could do was get the hell out of the way as Dokic smashed the Parliament windows and hoisted other protesters onto the building to bypass the gates. Obviously, Dokic was doing all of these things wearing a gas mask, both to combat the tear gas and because it looked really, really bitchin'.
Ultimately, with Dokic's help, the protesters stormed Milosevic's headquarters and forced the man to step down. This was presumably followed by six straight hours of bulldozer wheelies.
A.C. Grimes is a raving Cracked fiend who enjoys writing. Feel free to check out some of his other writings and reflections on the Web.
Related Reading: Keep the anarchy train uh, wildly off schedule, with these pictures of badass protesters being glorious. Follow up with some people sticking their fists in The Power's nose and looking ridiculous at the same time. Cracked is all about sticking it to the man, but if you think the Vietnam protest movement had much to do with ending the war you are sadly mistaken.