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It's easy to look badass with careful planning: Whether it's entering a prize fight, acting in intense action scenes with the benefit of careful choreography or just waiting for the crowd to gather before you jump your dirt bike over 16 flaming tigers, the common thread is always planning and forethought. It's a lot harder to come off as a total badass in the heat of the moment, with no warning, no setup and no pretense. Hard, but not impossible:

Mildly Amused Riot Guy

Clearly, there is some serious shit going down in the foreground of this photo: an altercation, an argument, a dramatic scene or a hurried arrest. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on, but two things are certain: It happened suddenly and it is violently intense. But that smooth bastard in the background is wholly unfazed: He's just there, enjoying his beverage and the kind of cool breeze that only three unclasped shirt buttons can afford. If he's feeling anything at all, it's sure not shock. Mostly likely he's just appreciating the brief entertainment that Frank Stallone trying to forcibly gift-wrap Corey Haim to death has provided, before he has to go have sex with yet another supermodel on yet another yacht racing off yet another waterfall. Tedious.

New in Men's Fashion: Rocket Launchers

A good fashion sense is nothing if you don't know how to accessorize. Sure, this guy is looking slick in his leather boots, black jeans, frog-enclosure sweater, gray parka and ivy cap. But what really makes this outfit are the fireman's gloves, RPG and riot shield. But while you're busy just marveling at the casual, tongue-stuck-out-with-a-kind-of-good-humored-exertion expression of this armed to the teeth rioter, you're missing two important facts. One: Riots are not like playing action figures at your friends house; equal weaponry is not distributed to all participants. He took that RPG and riot shield from a police officer at some point. And two: Fanny pack. I know, right? Kind of ruins the effect, doesn't it? Somebody should say something.

P-probably you.

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The Frugal Pilot

Fake! I can tell by the pixels. There are literally thousands of them. This picture is basically nothing but pixels; that's how I know it's been modified. Plus, there's just no way somebody ejects 20 goddamn feet from impact. Life isn't that dramatic. Also, you're telling me somebody snapped that exact frame--the very instant a fighter jet starts breakdancing on the tarmac? Way too convenient. Oh, and finally: If this were real, why would the pilot eject that late? What kind of hardass sumbitch hangs on that long? Unless that jet was made by Knight Industries and talked like KITT from Knight Rider--allowing both man and machine to develop a long-standing bond over many years of thwarting smugglers and spies together--there's not a pilot alive who'd try that hard to save their plane. Why, one second later and he'd be...

Yeah, there. The craziest part? That little dude up there survived. That's not just laughing in the face of death; that's cumming on it after a night of filthy passion and promising to call later (but not).

Disappointing Fire Tornado

Image thanks to Mezrin

And here we have an angry old testament God practicing his fireballs. One could be forgiven for seeing this and thinking "badass, fire tornado!" But that's not why this picture is on this particular list. No, it's here because of the fireman. Look closely:

He is, if anything, a bit disappointed. That posture is not the one you adopt right before screaming "watch out guys, fire tornado!" or "holy shit magic is real and it's being used on me!" or even just "that was unexpected." That is the posture one adopts right before muttering "no, no it's okay I guess. It's my fault really: I've been hearing so much about this 'twister of pure, hellish fire' thing for so long - I guess I just expected it to be, I don't know, impressive."

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Epic Beard Rescue Squad, Go!

Unlike the previous photo, this picture is nothing but questions: Namely, what Middle Eastern army is employing old-timey pirates? Why is that magnificent bearded motherfucker wearing headphones? What is he listening to? And most importantly, what are they running from? Luckily, I have answers. In order, they are: The awesome kind, because this shit gets boring when it's your 9-to-5; Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" from the smash hit The Bodyguard (for atmosphere); and those cows look an ungodly level of pissed off.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is... Ah, Fuck It.

Depending on where you left the scroll button and what resolution monitor you're using, you probably saw this photo and chuckled a little bit at the audacity of those firemen at first--thinking that was the joke. There they are, apparently doing their best Daft Punk impression in the midst of an inferno, or perhaps just falling to their knees to worship whatever Elemental Gods Russians pray to these days. Then you scrolled down, and saw the half-naked Dr. House impersonator doing what he does best: Enjoying a Sunday afternoon smoke on the porch, because fuck you, Rigor the Fire-Czar, he gets one day off a goddamn week and you can rain all the hellfire you want, it's not cutting into his "me-time."

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Expensive Suit, Moustache, Uzi: Check, Check, and Checkmate

The scene depicted is the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, and the world learned something that day: Four out of five Secret Service agents are bad at their jobs, but that's OK because the one that's left is really, really fucking good at it.

He's practically a goddamn action figure up there: He comes complete with Uzi (mid-cock), Italian wingtips and a mustache made out of revenge.

The Amazing Unflappable Baby

"Hey. Honey. Holy shit, I just had the best idea."

"What's that, darling?"

"Let's put the baby in front of the bear window. He'll lose his shit!"

"Won't that scar him for life?"

"Psh, fuck him if he can't take a joke. If God didn't want you to put babies in danger, he wouldn't have made them so stupid. Are you in or what?"

"Let's do this thing."

Things in the Kersland house were never the same after that day. When little Jonathan walked into a room, Dan and Marie quickly averted their gaze. They didn't know why, exactly, it was just as if the power had shifted in some quiet, unspoken way.

Also, the necklace of bear-teeth was pretty intimidating.

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Grand Theft Auto: Vietnam Nights

The real story of this photograph: This man has just crash-landed this helicopter in Vietnam; he's fleeing before it explodes--either because he's seen too many movies, or he's crashed too many helicopters and knows something we don't.

The story his facial expression tells: He was cruising along in his 'chopper, casually tossing Molotov cocktails out the window after lighting a never-ending chain of cigarettes with them, when out of the corner of his eye he saw a better helicopter off to the left, hit the exit button and began sprinting off to hijack the next one before the first one even hit the ground.

This Happens Like Eight Times a Day

"...so, like I was saying: If I wanted the paper delivered every goddamn day, I'd have fucking well ordered it, wouldn't I? You keep delivering these papers and I keep throwing them away. It's like I wake up every morning to find that a stranger has littered, just once, right on my doorstep. It's bullshi- what's that? No, ignore it. It'll explode in a second and we'll both just walk away without looking. It's how these things go."


You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you can get a mirror and start practicing non-reaction in the face of extreme circumstances, like he's been doing non-stop for the past two days.

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