Killing folks indiscriminately is historically a poor tactic for winning over the neighborhood. Indeed, some of the most hated people in the world are realizing this and have begun taking steps to refurbish their image. And not by not killing more people and hoping that works this time around -- instead, they're trying adorable strategies that would cause the Girl Scouts of America to vomit up a gumdrop-flavored rainbow.
#5. Murderous Gangster on Trial Unleashes the Animal Cuddling Defense
James "Whitey" Bulger is an infamous mob boss indicted on charges of extortion, drug dealing, murder, and crimes so horrific that Johnny Depp almost starred in his biopic. Knowing that his claims of innocence would make his own mother laugh her ass off, Bulger's legal team switched to a more aggressive strategy: pictures of him cuddling with dogs, goats, and birds.
Out of frame: his pet crocodile, Dillinger.
Here Whitey exposes his soft, gooey center to the public in a rare break from exposing other people's soft, gooey centers to the inside of a garbage bag. After all, can you name one bad guy who likes to pet animals? Other than Vito Corleone. Or Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Or Hitler. OK, yeah, they didn't think this through.
Whitey will spend the rest of his life in prison, but at least said life inspired Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed, so it wasn't a total loss.
Boston Globe / Getty
And let us not forget Whitey's many contributions to the world of fashion.
#4. The KKK Is Putting Out Fliers for "Neighborhood Watch"
Every few years, the Ku Klux Klan crawls out from its racist hole to remind the world that it somehow still exists. And this time, they're giving back to the community, in the form of a well-intentioned and totally not terrifying neighborhood watch. People in Springfield, Missouri, woke up one morning to find fliers on their lawns that assured people that they "can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!"
"We're like The A-Team! But, y'know, without the black guy."
And this is an organized, nationwide effort: People in Des Moines, Washington, found the same thing. The news reports point out that these are all mixed neighborhoods, or as we call them now, "neighborhoods." Apparently the KKK saw the Facebook debates sparked by the Zimmerman trial and thought, "How can we make this worse?"
Also included in the fliers is a 24-hour Klanline that you can call. We're not too sure what that's for, but it's safe to assume they're not outsourcing to India.
Don Arnold / WireImage / Getty
Or maybe it's a bold new age for the Klan.
#3. Syria's Mass-Murdering Dictator Is Totally Killing It on Social Media
Syria's president, Bashar Assad, is the kind of guy whose idea of ruling a country begins and ends at using nerve gas against his own people. He's at the center of a bloody civil war with a death toll of over 100,000, and that sort of thing is just murder on your public image. So what better way to win the hearts of the world than to make like your 13-year-old niece and post bad photography online?
We'll spare you the selfies.
Assad started his Instagram account last month and quickly populated it with photos of him praying, wiping away a young boy's tear, and stumbling awkwardly into crowds of people. Did we say crowds? We meant mobs. Look at them. For every poor sap smiling for the camera, there are 10 displaying the intensity that only an assassination can satisfy.
Either that or they're all constipated.
At least he hasn't Instagrammed any food pictures, but we're pretty sure that Fillet of Orphan violates the terms and conditions anyway.
#2. BP Is Trying to Make Itself the Victim
Let's get one thing out of the way: If you're not one of the people whose livelihood was destroyed by 4.9 million barrels of black death during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and you're still trying to get some money out of BP, you're an asshole. Almost as big of an asshole as BP itself for putting out this ad:
"BP: Our logo sure is green. Like the environment. Makes you think."
The company spent a considerable amount of money buying a full page on the Wall Street Journal and New York Times just to say "See? See?! We're not the only jerks here!" Fraudulent lawsuits may be bad for American business, but dropping millions of barrels of oil in the ocean is worse. Here's a tip for you, BP: Any time you feel like making yourself look like a victim while reminding everyone that you killed 11 people with your negligence, don't.
#1. Al-Qaida Is Holding Ice Cream Eating Contests
As if things weren't fucked up enough in Syria, al-Qaida has also set up shop there, fighting in the civil war with the hopes of establishing a new, more oppressive regime. Naturally, the Syrian people aren't big fans of them either -- you know, on account of their tendency to blow up civilians. Well, apparently the terrorists saw President Assad's social media efforts and decided to prove they could be even more fun than he is by holding a family fair in Syria's largest city, Aleppo.
Al Qaeda via Washington Post
Canada Dry: The official soda of family fun and jihad.
The terrorist-organized fair included typical events like a tug-of-war competition between rebel groups, an ice cream eating contest for boys, and the always lively Quran readings for girls. Oh, and jihadist propaganda and such. Sadly, the YouTube videos documenting these activities have since been deleted, probably because you could hear Kelly Clarkson songs in the background.