Today is September 11, and most normal people are observing the 12-year anniversary of this tragedy with memorial services or quiet contemplation. But if you manage a corporate Twitter account, chances are you careened out of bed this morning, poured yourself a big bowl of muesli and mescaline, and screamed into your milky reflection, "MY TRUE NAME IS DON DRAPER 2000."
#5. AT&T Says "Remember the Twin Towers, Phones"
Finally, you can offend your entire social group at LTE speeds.
As we've previously noted, companies have zero scruples commandeering national catastrophes to shill random bullshit on Twitter. Also, some folks inexplicably carry on conversations with corporate Twitter accounts as if they're distant cousins.
And on September 11, these two impulses dovetail, so you end up with faceless fast food monoliths like Chick-fil-A and the Cheesecake Factory wanting to deliciously solemnize the day. Such gestures are sort of like attending your grandmother's funeral, only to have Pizza the Hutt from Spaceballs barge in and delivery the eulogy.
She'd have preferred the dancing alien.
But some companies ratchet up the tastelessness even more so -- namely AT&T, which used the deaths of almost 3,000 people as a framing device to remind its followers that their wireless service allows you to upload photos to Instagram.
Was this the work of an excruciatingly naive college intern who wanted to bedazzle the telecom industry on his first day on the job? Did AT&T's Twitterbot become sentient and make a clumsy attempt to display genuine human emotion? We'll never know, as AT&T deleted that shit pronto.
#4. Esquire's "Relaxing" Non-Apology
Earlier today, a technical bug caused Esquire magazine's website to display the famous photo of a man falling from the World Trade Center next to a headline on commuter fashion tips.
When readers pointed out this ghastly juxtaposition, Esquire's not-quite-contrite Twitter account apologized for the gaffe, but not before asking everyone to "relax" about the "stupid technical glitch."
Unsurprisingly, this laid-back plea had the opposite effect. Remember, anonymous apologies rarely work if everyone ends up imagining Michelangelo from the Ninja Turtles saying them.
#3. Expedia's Tropical Memorial
Should you choose to commemorate one of the worst aviation disasters in human history -- one that has rendered Orville and Wilbur Wright's dreams a national nightmare for everybody who can't afford a Gulfstream -- you probably shouldn't be a travel website.
On the other hand, maybe boning in a beach house is how we beat the terrorists.
Furthermore, you probably shouldn't slap such solemn sentiments atop a background depicting a happy couple en route to totally bone in a Gaugin painting. Speaking of somebody's idea of fun in the sun ...
#2. 9/11 Tanning Discounts
We'll only describe this with our first reaction, which was "ahhrhrfhncn434566gvdgsfsd=;;;"
Yes, actual human beings at this Minnesota tanning salon thought this was a good idea. To be fair to them, they weren't the first to propose such bargains -- a Wisconsin golf course offered a discount on nine holes for $9.11. Yes, somewhere in the past 365 days, 9/11 somehow became the next Flag Day.
Estimated date when September 11 mattress sales will become acceptable: A.D. 40569.
#1. The Lakers Urge You to Never Forget Kobe Bryant's Afro
And finally we have the Los Angeles Lakers, who posted this confusing photo of an at-his-prime Kobe Bryant. It's unclear why the Lakers posted this, until you see a tiny 9/11 memorial patch tucked below his somewhat constipated countenance. (This too was promptly deleted.)
"Always remember my invisible kazoo."
Yes, this was a day of remembrance and regretting anybody ever invented the Internet. Play us out, Donald.
Cyriaque Lamar is a senior editor at Cracked.