The 8 Most Shameless Attempts to Cash in on 9/11

"We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom" (Coloring Book)

Really Big Coloring Books, who apparently forgot how to read their own company's name, decided that "terrorist attacks" and "someone being shot in the face while hiding behind a woman" fit in their catalog between "Dinosaurs!" and "Horses!"

Really Big Coloring Books

The book outraged pretty much everyone who knows what coloring books are but doesn't still use them. Publisher Wayne Bell insists that the word "Muslim" is never used in the book, which is technically true because it's always part of the longer phrase "radical Islamic Muslim extremist," which is used several times. In an astounding display of either balls or illiteracy, neither of which should be involved in a book for kids, he makes this "no-Muslim" claim on the same page of his own website as sample pages involving that phrase.

There's another page where kids are meant to color a child crying against a wall of death notices, complete with mugshots. That's perfect if you want your kid to spend an hour choosing skin colors for beloved martyrs of terrorist attacks, in which case you might want to skip to training them in marksmanship and body disposal. But of course it won't take them that long to choose colors because anyone making their kid do this would only let them color heroes in white and blond. The (childrens' coloring) book concludes that "These attacks will change the way America deals with and views the Islamic and Muslim people around the world." Nothing has been so horribly repackaged for children since candy in unmarked vans.

9/11 & the War on Terror: The Cartoon

A gang of multi-ethnic kids, anti-terrorism and a time-traveling bike with a computer in it: That's a recipe for the coolest cartoon of all time, as long as you take the precaution of not using real terrorism. But Mike Huckabee is too patriotic for precautions!

TimeCycle Academy
And stealing helmets from Space Marines is pretty patriotic.

He's also too patriotic to rent computers built after the invention of the transistor. Necromancers have animated more natural-looking children, and the results have maintained more brain activity. The "TimeCycle Academy" series is about a group of incredibly Republican children who invent a time machine and then, in a spectacular dick move even for kids, travel back in time to just look at 9/11 instead of preventing it. You keep expecting Scooby-Doo to turn up and pull bin Laden's face mask off, then ask, "Why am I even more poorly animated than usual, Raggy?" And if he'd gone on to actually discuss terrorism with his stoner buddy, it still would have been more respectful than this.

Calling these videos biased is like calling an aircraft carrier a bad roommate: true, but missing the titanic scale of the errors required for that insanity to happen. In another episode, a Southern Baptist conservative has his kids travel back in time to meet their savior, the embodiment of hope made flesh on Earth, and it's Ronald Reagan.

TimeCycle Academy
A Ronald Reagan who could double as Krang.

Exploding Tower Lighter

The Terrorist Lighter unfortunately isn't SEAL Team 6's pet name for flamethrowers.

Asia Times Online

The raised chrome bin Laden looks like a liquid metal Terrorist-1000, probably the only worse misuse of technology than this product, while an engraved "9_11" means even the blind know it's horrific. When you use it, a red LED lights up the explosion of the first crash and electrically confirms that, yes, you are going to hell. It then plays computerized Mozart. Because reducing an orchestral symphony to a zero-cent screeching sound chip doesn't even count as desecration at this point.

The only upside is that this will never arrive in America because it's an electrical circuit connected to a tank of flammable liquid. So anyone trying to carry one across an American border will be Tazed until he catches fire.

Space Invaders Destroy the Twin Towers

Douglas Edric Stanley commemorated Space Invaders' 30th birthday by by combining the game with the destruction of the Twin Towers. We can't confirm if his next project is a Pac-Man version of ebola, but only because he's been milking the 9/11 thing for 10 years -- he made the first version the month of the attack. Just in case you thought it was thoughtful reflection in art instead of a desperate lunge for attention.


His 8-bit adaptation features the unstoppable aliens demolishing the Twin Towers as the player flails (it's motion controlled to make sure everyone involved looks like a goddamned idiot), complete with pixelated victims leaping to their doom. He even reprogrammed the game with suicide-crashing space invaders. So no, '80s cartoon porn isn't the only the only way technology can ruin your childhood.

Abstract Machine

If you're not sure how a previously unknown artist could profit from sudden international controversy, wow, welcome to the modern world. Invaders! was shown off at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig, after seven years of work, and turned off a few days later, after the rest of the world heard about it. Taito threatened to sue the artist directly and the entire convention besides, and it was their own most popular game's birthday party.

Douglas then released his next work, a bold re-interpretation of the word "douchebag" in the modern poetic form of non-apology. "The American response to this work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown this work." Sophistication and maturity are odd concepts for someone who just made an exercise video game about murder. This considerate artist has brought the same level of depth, reflection and desperation for attention to his latest project: a camera app based on an Internet meme about cats.

Luke McKinney also tumbles and has a website.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Luke McKinney

  • Rss

More by Luke McKinney:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!