A lot of people like to think of the Internet as a savvy, cynical place where a girl can't even pretend to be slightly better looking than she is before amateur stalkers hunt down her other photos and "expose" the secret. (Secret: Girls do some things in between waking up and having photos taken.)
But there's a lot of pretty obviously fake stories the supposedly hard-boiled Internet will just swallow as easily as your grandma will fall for that "poor man from Nigeria that needs someone to help him get his money." Stories like:
Job Quitting Fantasies
The Internet jumps on elaborate job-quitting stories like a dog on sardines. (Dogs really like sardines. Try it if you don't believe me.) In August of last year, people went crazy about the "Whiteboard Girl," who supposedly stayed really late at work one day taking 33 goddamned photos of herself with whiteboard messages in order to embarrass her sexist boss and then quit. He allegedly called her a "HOPA," which was supposed to be "HPOA" aka "hot piece of ass." Now, she is remembered in most top Google searches as the "HOPA" girl, showing that there are more dyslexics out there than you would think.
This was of course a publicity-generating hoax by a site that milked it for a ton of traffic (6 million visitors in 24 hours), and the actress playing the girl started getting calls from agents and scored interviews on CBS News and Askmen.com. After word got out that it was a fake, disappointed people started clinging on to the Steven Slater story instead.
A day before the HPOA/HOPA hoax, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater lost his shit at a difficult customer, said goodbye over the plane's PA system and exited the plane on an emergency slide. The plane had already landed, or it would have been more badass.
"I have the weirdest feeling like I've forgotten something."
People everywhere adopted him as a folk hero. They ignored the fact that releasing the safety slide was dangerous and kind of inconvenient to all the other passengers who weren't being assholes and cost the company tens of thousands of dollars, and the fact that he apparently had a substance abuse problem, and was suffering from depression.
Because that gets in the way of what we need this story for, and what we need all stories of this type for. We can't make a hero out of a guy who was making poor decisions because he was having trouble coping with his dad dying and his mother getting cancer and was drinking to deal with it. We wanted a quipping action-movie hero who made a clever bon mot over the loudspeaker and slid offscreen with a smirk on his face and a beer in his hand while the huffy passenger (probably a fat woman) watched in shock and the rest of the passengers applauded with a slow clap.
Via Infrogmation of New Orleans
Every urban legend needs a slow clap.
Because work can be a bitch in the best of times, and in these shitty times, more of us than ever are stuck in jobs we want to get out of in some kind of clever, movie-like way, but can't, because the only other choice is no job at all. Believing someone else did it is the next best thing. That or making up your own fake story and posting it on a forum.
Unbelievably Spoiled Brats
Another story no one can resist is the incredibly spoiled brat. Like this girl who got a red Saab convertible for her birthday when she totally told her dad she wanted a blue one, oh my God.
Despite the poor acting, everyone swallowed it hook, line and sinker, leaving comments like, "Die, bitch," and longer, more expansive and colorful versions of, "Die, bitch." The same sort of comments continued on a five-video follow up series under the account MacKenzieheartsu, supposedly created by "MacKenzie," the spoiled rich girl, to defend herself and continue the story of how her dad finally bought her the blue Saab, and how she was going to sell the red Saab on eBay for $9.99. The final video, which I guess nobody watched, finished with a punchline where MacKenzie explained there was an even better deal where you could get a Domino's pizza for $9.99.
Via Pål Berge
They didn't actually show the pizza in the commercial, smart move probably.
That's right, it was a Domino's viral marketing campaign, probably the first pizza marketing campaign to get an almost unanimous response of, "Die, bitch."
The male equivalent seems to be the "spoiled gamer freakout," in such staged videos as "Angry German Kid" (previously mentioned on Cracked) and the canceled WoW account freakout, where a "WoW addicted" kid was so distraught over having his account canceled that he waved his hands around as if he was trying to figure out what a person would do if they were really freaking out, sweating frantically about precious webcam seconds ticking away, and then finally took off his clothes and tried to stick a remote up his ass in an attempt to substitute effort for quality. A visit to the uploader's account shows a series of 13 increasingly fake freakout videos.
Like his totally real audition for TheHappiestCompany.com
So why can't anyone see through these things? Because we don't want to. For the same reason people watch Jersey Shore or Real Housewives or follow the gossip about the latest drunk starlet (or football star) -- we need someone who is worse than us; who is more spoiled and entitled than we could ever be. That way, our minor little foibles of cutting in line or whining about a game on our favorite platform costing $59.99 instead of $49.99 or insisting that you "deserve" free downloaded music seem quite reasonable.
Sure, those behaviors sound kind of whiny when you put it that way, but when you compare it to "wrong color Saab girl," you're practically a saint!