Believe it or not, there was once a time when the media's prime directive was a search for truth, as opposed to devoting all manpower to coming up with the most click-worthy headlines possible, whether they happen to be true or not. As we've pointed out with our everlasting series about these various journalistic sack taps, the "not" camp seems to be winning right now.
And if you thought for even a second that the stories about giant sperm and Beyonce college courses were as ridiculous as the Woodward/Bernsteins of today could get, think again. This time, we've got plenty of word combinations we never thought we'd see in our lifetime, like ...
#5. No, a Woman Didn't Confess to Having Sex With a Dolphin
"Dolphin fucker" is the kind of moniker that sticks with a person for most of their life, even if it was just one time during a boozy trip to SeaWorld ... not, uh, that we'd know anything about that. Moving on, this is exactly why sites like Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, the Daily News, the Telegraph, and Gawker no doubt took extra special care before unleashing this insanity of a headline:
"So long, and thanks for all the fish taco."
Appropriately, raising the show about fantasy espionage and murder to this seemingly untouchable position can only mean that it's about to get cut down in its prime, thanks to a series of inescapable problems looming on the horizon like a shambling horde of White Walkers that both George R.R. Martin and HBO seem as content to ignore as the people of King's Landing.
#4. They're Running Out of Books
Seasons 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones were primarily a split-up version of A Storm of Swords, Martin's third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. (Seasons 1 and 2 knocked out the first two books.) The end of Season 4 also covered some material from the fourth book, A Feast for Crows. Now, although A Song of Ice and Fire is projected to eventually be seven books long, only five of those books have been written, and the show has already covered four of them. That means we have roughly one and a half more books of story left (two stretched-out seasons at most) before all of America unanimously turns to Martin and politely coughs. When questioned about this in interviews, both Martin and the show's producers have been breezily optimistic, because two seasons of show should be plenty of time for Martin to fart out a sixth book, right?
Actually, it took Martin six goddamn years to write the last one, and that came out in 2011. He spent five years apiece on each previous novel in the series, meaning that at best the sixth book will be out sometime in 2016, and at worst it will be out sometime in "Who the hell knows?" which was literally the projected release date Martin gave back in 2011. Even he doesn't know when the fuck that book is going to come out.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
He was 19 when the first book was released.
If you had told us 20 years ago that there would come a day when we could buy stuff like movies, clothes, and shipping containers full of Kit Kat bars while sitting on our toilets and without having to talk to a single human being, we would have passed out and not woken up until this wondrous future had arrived. Such is the miracle of Internet shopping.
Unfortunately, online retailers are getting more and more afflicted by the virus known as corporate bullshit, getting to the point where the long lines and sweaty people of the days of yore are looking mighty tempting. For example ...
#4. If You Disagree With Amazon, Your Books Stop Existing
Amazon's dominance over the book market is so complete that it's reaching existential levels: If you have a book, but it isn't on Amazon.com, does it really exist? Some lucky authors are finding out the answer to that question after the rain forest-size retailer had a disagreement with their publisher (Hachette, one of the biggest in the world) and retaliated by unleashing every desperate shopper's worst fear: the "Currently Unavailable" button.
"We originally had a giant middle finger, but parents complained about it being in the children's books section."
For those of us fully immersed in Westeros and the lives of all its inhabitants, it's easy to forget that Game of Thrones' cast members aren't actually the badass men and women they play on TV. Well, it's easier to forget with some actors than others.
"He's just an actor playing a role. He's just an actor playing a role. He's jus-"
They're all regular working-class Joes who've put in their time with some forgettable roles. Fortunately, we haven't forgotten them.
#5. Rory McCann: The Hideous Hound Got Half-Naked for Porridge
If you know the show, you know the Hound had to get tortured by his sadistic brother to become a vicious killing machine (albeit a complete sissy about fire). In fact, he appears to take to water much more, er, swimmingly.