The media are so apt at weaving beautiful tapestries of nonsense that we've managed to once again catch enough floaters to bring you another batch of news stories that were essentially nothing before the media got their hyperbolic hands on them.
So here we are again, dredging up some fantastic news that's more fantastic than news, in the hopes that news outlets will finally develop some shame and cut this shit out. Hey, it can happen, right?
#4. The "World's First Robot Suicide" Was Just a Malfunctioning Roomba
This one probably made it to your local newspaper: The first martyr of the robot cause is here. A "robotic cleaner" in Austria, fed up with its boring labor, reportedly switched itself on, climbed onto a kitchen hot plate, and ended its own life through self-immolation, taking its oppressive human owners' house along with it.
Many of the outlets that reported this story, including TIME and CNET, threw around words like "android" and "robot," but here's one they didn't use: Roomba. Because that's what this was: a Roomba that was left on a counter, activated by itself, and rolled onto a stove top into its adorable little demise. There are entire forums devoted to Roombas doing just that. It's usually caused by mixed-up signals or corrupt memory, not some secret AI that turns Roombas into Skynet's own Joan of Arc.
#3. Blockbuster's Last Rented Film Ever Wasn't Really This Is the End
After years of holding on like it mattered, Blockbuster surprised the world by revealing that they hadn't already gone out of business. Upon closing their doors for good, they tweeted the following:
"Hooray! We're unemployed!"
The movie they're holding is the recent comedy This Is the End. Get it? It's only fitting that the company responsible for pushing good video stores out of business with endless VHS copies of Point Break should end with Satan's cock (spoilers). It's an ironic sendoff that's been reported by the Guardian, TIME, CNET, and the LA Times as the "last film" ever rented out at Blockbuster. The only problem? It totally wasn't. At all. It turns out the fine detail that was left out of this viral story was the letter "A," as in "This Is the End was the last film ever rented at a Blockbuster."
This Is the Ongoing Enterprise.
Yep, as Variety points out, there are still plenty of stores open, and even 50 franchise stores that aren't going out of business. We're betting the actual last rental is one of those Point Break copies, still holding shelf space somewhere.
#2. A Man Did Not Successfully Sue His Wife for Ugly Children
The curse of the "man in China" story strikes again! Apparently one asshole in China has sued his wife over producing a batch of butt-ugly children -- the revelation being that she once had cosmetic surgery to conceal her barfy DNA. The judge sympathized with his awful situation and awarded him $120,000.
He would have made more had they not measured in metric ugly.
The story already made the rounds last year on the Huffington Post, Yahoo, and various ABC and Fox affiliates ... and guess what, it was as imaginary then as it is now. Most of those sites took the story back, and the only thing any of the sites reporting it this time around had to do was an image search to get this hard-hitting development:
The family photo is a plastic surgery ad from Taiwan. The caption reads, "The only thing you have to worry about is explaining it to your children" -- on the other hand, there's probably a website in China reporting "TALKING GECKOS AND A BALD MUSCULAR MAN WITH OCD TERRORIZE AMERICA."
#1. Tom Cruise Didn't Compare His Acting Career to Fighting in Afghanistan
In a controversial declaration that moved the usually cool-tempered Mark Wahlberg to call Tom Cruise a "triple decker chowdahed" (we're paraphrasing), Cruise reportedly said that his sprinting from movie location to movie location is just as hard as fighting in Afghanistan. The fuck, Lestat?
As referenced by AOL, TV Guide, USA Today (since corrected), and others, while being deposed for his current defamation suit against a magazine, Cruise said that serving in Afghanistan is what "shooting a movie feels like," adding "it's brutal."
It's a fucked up comparison that, in addition to Wahlberg, was also publicly condemned by another actor: Tom Cruise. It turns out it was his lawyer who said that, and when flat-out asked if he thinks acting is "the same" as war, Cruise actually responded, "Oh come on, we're making a movie." Because only a complete lunatic would think otherwise.
Well, a bigger complete lunatic.