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Genius or Insane? 8 Rejected Cracked Photoshop Entries

As a Cracked Editor, part of my job involves combing through the entries in our Photoshop contests to find winning entries. In case you're not familiar, each week, we post a new topic or ask a new question in the forum and have our users Photoshop their best interpretation or answer. The Editorial Monster goes in, picks its favorites and the winner gets cash money.

Lots of people check out the contest, that's no surprise. We have a ton of talented people in these forums (also one time the prompt was just "Put Boobs On Things That Wouldn't Ordinarily Have Boobs.")

What you don't know is that anyone can enter anything into this contest. And while we feature the top10 or 20, there's a brilliant and beautiful kind of additional contest happening just beneath the surface, one that you won't see. But these entries are special.

These aren't necessarily about weak Photoshop skills, in fact they're awesome, in some cases. And this isn't really about weak jokes. These are about entries that have so profoundly missed the point that they transcend the contest. Sometimes I can tell where an entry went off the rails, or where a joke fell flat.

But sometimes, it's impossible to spot what the poster was going for and, as a result, I'm not quick to call the entries weak. These are just flat out baffling, but why? Just because I don't understand them doesn't mean they don't make sense on some level. Unless, of course, they don't. Which brings me to the point. Are the 'shoppers behind these entries lunatics, or geniuses?

The Prompt:

If Sex Education Was Actually Useful

The Entry:

If He's a Genius...

...then it's a brilliant satire on our education system. He's not necessarily saying that this image is a completely useful visual aid, he's just saying that it's more useful than whatever is currently being taught in schools. He's saying, "Sure, this image is absurd, but not as absurd as the abstinence-only horseshit they're trying to sell kids these days, amiright?"

It's subtle, but it's there.

If He's a Lunatic...

...he thought his sexual discovery would've been better if the unexplainable lesson represented by this image was taught to him at an early age.

The Prompt:

Show Us How to REALLY Scare People This HalloweenThe Entry:

If He's a Genius...

...then this must translate to a very specific nightmare. That button, is that from an XBox? That's an XBox power button, right? Alright, if he's a genius, it means that we've come home to find our girlfriend has merged with our XBox, but in a way that renders both useless. The Box, without a screen or controllers is unplayable and meanwhile the, uh, box, now blocked by the power button, is equally unusable, despite the lady's perplexing eagerness to show it off. If that was the intention, it is a nightmare, as it takes away boning and the escapist fare of gaming in one fell swoop. That would be one frightening Halloween, sure.

Also Gordon Ramsay is there, screaming. Look at him, he's probably yelling, "Boo." That is spooky.

If He's a Lunatic...

...then that particular image represents his biggest fear. Not cancer, or war, or bees. XBox Vagina and Gordon Ramsay is a fear that this person genuinely deals with every day.

The Prompt:

Why I Was Late For Work Today

The Entry:

If He's a Genius...

...then he's making a commentary on the staleness of both the contest and the responses that contest received. Here's how. Jerry Seinfeld, as classic and timeless as he is, has sort of become with synonymous with hacky, stale comedians. Think about it: Whenever you hear someone doing an impression of a deliberately terrible stand up comedian, they inevitably start with "And what is the DEAL with...," and then they describe some object, event or scenario wherein the accompanying deal is questionable. That go-to impression of a hack comedian? That's Seinfeld, for some reason. Most people even use the Seinfeld voice when doing it.

And there's another layer of staleness to this picture. Jerry's doing the universal gesture for "I caught a fish THIS BIG," an old, tired phrase that always gets an eye roll.

The Photoshopper is trying to say that the contest and all of the contestants are stuck recycling lame, outdated jokes. It's a commentary on the state of Internet comedy and, by association, me. Fuck you, guy.

If He's A Lunatic...

...he thinks Jerry Seinfeld works for Conan O'Brien and that people talk in fish.

The Prompt:

April Fool's Pranks We WISH Happened

The Entry:

Let's really look at this for a second. The prompt is an April Fool's prank We--the collective, "Non Shit-Eating-Crazy" We--wish happened. The setup to this imaginary prank is incredible. You've got a grinning idiot in a banana suit who's coming home to an aerial primate assault, courtesy of the most patient eight-year-old on the planet, who also happens to be dressed in darkness. The monkey would be dropped and attempt to eat the man. As a prank.

If He's a Genius...

...Dammit, he's right, I do want that prank to happen. Fucking desperately. I'd ask my boss if we could make this image our president, if I wasn't so busy buying a carrot suit and rigging a giant rabbit over his office door.

If He's a Lunatic...

...All the great ones are.

The Prompt:

If Schools Were Truthful

The Entry:

In case you can't read that, the building says "Milwaukie High Cruel."

If He's a Genius...

...then the joke is on you. And, really, me. If you're anything like me, your immediate response upon looking at this entry was "Cruel. I get it. But why did he change the spelling of Milwaukee? What an idiot!" Then, because I'm a responsible Cracked Editor, I did some light Googling and, it turns out, Milwaukie High is actually a place. It's in Oregon. Here I was, talking about what an idiot this Photoshopper was and it turns out I was an idiot.

The lesson here is that if schools were truthful, they'd tell me how much of an idiot I am. You got me.

If He's a Lunatic...

...then he's an uncreative one. Nothing changes the fact that he changed the word "School" to "Cruel" as the entirety of his joke.

The Prompt:

Historical Moments Ruined By Modern Technology

The Entry:

If He's a Genius...

...the hell do you mean "if"? You see those glasses? That's comedy gold.

If He's a Lunatic...

...then he thinks the Biblical Story of Adam, Eve and the talking snake was a historical moment, he thinks glasses with a rubber nose is modern technology and he thinks wearing them would ruin history, even though funny noses are fucking hilarious.The Prompt:

I could tell you, but it honestly won't make a difference.

The Entry:

If He's a Genius...

He's not.

If He's a Lunatic...

He is.

The Prompt:

When Superpowers Go Wrong

The Entry:

If He's a Genius...

...he's represented everything that's truly difficult about being the Hulk into a single, poignant image. When we consider problems that face the Hulk, we think "Oh, gosh, SUPERVILLAINS are ATTACKING," or "Oh, no, the GOVERNMENT wants to DISSECT and STUDY ME," or "FUCK ME, I can NOT AFFORD ANY MORE PANTS."

But that's because we don't think outside the box.

What is really tragic about the Hulk is that, regardless of supervillains, government, pants, the simple truth of the matter is that Bruce "David" Banner, former scientist, will never truly be normal again. From the moment he was hit with radiation, his life changed in profound ways, ways that separated him from everyone he knew and loved. No one knows what it's like to be the Hulk, so he can't relate to or share with anyone. Similarly, he can never go back to the normal life he once had.

That’s what this Photoshopper calls attention to. It's not the obvious supervillains that cause problems for the Hulk, it's the fact that all of the simplicity inherent to living a normal life is gone, and Hulk can never get it back. The fact that a task as normal and simple as getting jelly from a jelly jar (with your, uh, fingers) is impossible for the Hulk perfectly illustrates that his problems are different from the problems that normal people face. Because he's not normal, not anymore. The comfortable reliability of a mundane life is a thing of the past, for Hulk. You may wish that you had super strength, but all Hulk wants is the delicate simplicity in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with his fingers. But he can't have that life anymore.

Just look at that picture. He's not at a party, or in a kitchen; he's surrounded by total blackness.

He's alone.

If He's a Lunatic...

...he honestly thought "not being able to insert your giant fingers into a jelly jar" was the hardest thing about being a green, screaming monster.

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