We like to fancy ourselves an enlightened society. But let's be honest: Whenever there's a dubious nugget of news about the latest cra-a-azy fad to come out of the eastern Pacific Rim, otherwise sane websites start frothing at the opportunity to scream about how Asian people are adult-shaped babies who are all 40 seconds from toddling off a nearby cliff.
Seriously, this isn't a new trend. In the past, we at Cracked have pointed out how Western news sites just plain don't give a fuck about publishing bogus articles on Asian people engaging in Muppet shit, from selling canned air to walking pet cabbages. And it's the same stupid formula every time:
Lazy Translation + Lazy Sourcing + Lazily Ascribing A Single Behavior To Millions Of People =
Inevitable Daily Mail Article With The Credibility Of A Bowlful Of Talking Farts
Again and again, year after year, we see this phylum of credulity-straining clickbait splayed everywhere, leading one to reasonably assume that everybody who writes for the Internet is in truth the same stoned intern. So what sort of aggressive bullshit has been making the rounds lately?
5Wearing Plastic Bags Is Not A New Fashion Trend
Seeing as it's probably hobo chic in some corner of Los Angeles somewhere, people shrugged it off when news outlets revealed that wearing a plastic bag like a unitard is all the goddamned rage through posting photos of Taiwanese young people doing exactly that. But the "incredibly affordable hot look of this season," as The Daily Mail calls it, raises some dire concerns. You know how the corner of a box will tear a tiny hole in a plastic bag, and the next thing you know, the whole thing has split apart? Well, doesn't this look ready to rip open any second?
"That's why you gotta go with hemp bags, brah."
What you can't see, due to the angle of the photo, is her entire vagina-crack on display for creeps around the globe. It's a shocker that more isn't visible -- those things are transparent as hell when you even slightly stretch them. It's not exactly practical street wear, is it?
But the above men are wearing them with 100 percent sincerity!
That's because it isn't. When Venus Wong of Refinery 29 actually bothered to look into it, she found that the first photos were the result of two bored models wondering, as we all would if given enough time and not enough to do, if they could fit their torsos into plastic bags.
Oddly enough, the photos of beautiful women in skimpy transparent material proved to be rather popular. What started as a joke, um, continued as a joke. All the subsequent photos are simply riffing on the originals after they went viral. We're so eager to believe that those wacky Asian people are willing to bounce around like Gummi Bears for the sake of a bizarre fashion craze that no one stopped to consider that someone on entire continent of billions might have a sense of humor.
4Chinese People Aren't Planking On Escalators To Avoid Dying
Lucas Schifres/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Last summer, it was reported that a Chinese woman fell to her grisly death when the metal plate at the top of an escalator gave way. In a major plot twist, this horrifying story turned out to be true. If you haven't already seen the footage, we have to warn you for ethical reasons and sheer concern for your well-being* that you don't want to. If morbid curiosity does get the better of you, enjoy your new escalator phobia.
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images News/Getty Images
*Our legal team knows how to empathize better than we do.
Incidents like this have been reported in China, where industrial regulations are regarded as polite suggestions. So how did we in the oh-so-civilized West respond to this horrifying public safety issue? We sent over a few spare temp engineers to work with the Chinese government to establish some regulatory procedures, and major Chinese metropolitan areas where escalators were regularly breaking down have reported zero injuries in the last six months, right?
Are you noticing a pattern? Every link contains these three photos:
As we keep telling our therapists, three occurrences hardly constitute a trend. But there's more: All three photos were taken before the accident, and one dates back to at least 2011. Unless the Chinese government has secretly built a time machine -- which we're not ruling out -- it's not possible for these hijinks to be a reaction to last summer's story. In fact, Snopes reports that these images simply depict "young people having fun riding escalators in unconventional ways." It's like coming here, taking pictures of hipsters in unnecessary scarves, and claiming it's a reaction to mass shootings. "Silly Westerners! They think extra fabric repels bullets."
Trinette Reed/Blend Images/Getty Images
To be fair, we don't have a better explanation.