If you look hard enough, the Internet will provide evidence for anything you want. Anything. Obama is guarded by lizard-men? Here you go. The Titanic was an inside job? Oh, for sure, man. The job of the media should be to take all that news-feed and forum swill and show us the true light ... or, as our zillion-part series continues to prove, just go with whatever headlines they think will get the most rage and/or boner clicks.
Here are a few recent examples that might have fooled your friends (but not you, because you've read, like, 20 of these by now and know better):
#4. North Korea Didn't Trick Their Citizens Into Thinking They Were in the World Cup
North Korea has risen in the ranks of egregious lunacy so much that visiting it was Dennis Rodman's rock bottom moment -- which is saying a whole lot. Thanks to this, the country has also become the Swiss Army Knife of irresponsible journalism, with pretty much any and all stories coming out of it appearing believable. Like this one:
Presumably, Rodman was team captain.
It's hard to be a militant organization without looking like the bad guy. Image is more important than ever, particularly when anything you say or do can be beamed across the world in an instant on Twitter and Facebook. Consequently, once-terrifying groups are deliberately taking steps to cultivate a more Internet-friendly image, which is why we're seeing neo-Nazis doing the Harlem Shake on YouTube and the Chinese secret police making recruitment posters of their officers spin-kicking their way through explosions.
#4. The Russian Troops Who Invaded Crimea Take Happy Pictures With Anyone Who Wants It
2014 has been an interesting year for Russia and its neighbors. Winter Olympics fever took Eastern Europe by storm -- that is, all of the parts of Eastern Europe that weren't totally screwed by it -- and as soon as those two weeks of pretending to care about obscure athletic competitions tenuously connected to cold weather dried up, Russia went and invaded Crimea while simultaneously denying they were doing so, because global politics is occasionally a cartoon show.
However, not everyone in Crimea totally hates their Russian invaders, because not all of Crimea was completely down with becoming part of the European Union (which was theoretically on the table before the previous Ukrainian president suddenly changed his mind and was booted out of office for his trouble). The invading troops extended an olive branch to these pro-Russian citizens the only way the 21st century knows how -- by posing for adorable selfies.
Moments before Granny's hand got uncomfortably lower.
Besides being the summer of flaccid box office results (not to gloat, but we kind of told you so), 2014 has also seen another bizarre trend emerge in the floundering forest of big-budget blockbustery: shitting all over science. Five of the year's biggest films depend entirely on the conceit that scientists are lazy, stupid morons, and that the pursuit of scientific discovery is a ridiculous waste of time that could be spent on punching and explosions.
#5. Everything About Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Happens Because of One Lab Full of Terrible Scientists
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows us a world where apes have risen to power after humanity was decimated by a horrific virus, two events that can be directly traced back to a single lab full of terrible scientists in the first film. More specifically, a single terrible scientist: Frownbeard McMustardStain.
20th Century Fox
"That's Dr. Frownbeard McMustardStain."
So you've decided to cancel your cable subscription -- maybe you're tired of all the shady crap these companies have been pulling recently, or maybe you figured out how to use that Netflixster thing your grandkids keep telling you about. In any case, well done! Now you don't have to put up with their ridiculous bullshit anymore!
Unfortunately, here's a taste of the even more ridiculous bullshit you can look forward to after you decide to pull that plug ...
#4. Canceling Your Subscription Is Absurdly Difficult
Say you want to leave Comcast, so you decide to handle this the same way you'd end a relationship: through the Internet, obviously. After all, just a few clicks on Comcast's site can you get you a subscription, so it should be equally easy to opt out, right? Nope, for that you have to call a representative, who, as this recorded call that went viral last week shows, might hassle you for 10 minutes to try to get you to stay. If your monitor doesn't have a fist-shaped hole by the time you reach minute two of that recording, you're a better person than us.