What Stupid Thing Is Trending Now? (8/27/2017)

What dumb crap is everyone talking about? Well...

It seems like a straightforward story. An out of touch celebrity rapper, Joey Bada$$, questioned the need for protective glasses to view the eclipse. He tweeted that he didn't see the necessity, and that he'd "sungazed" before, and though he "saw colors" for a whole day, he didn't die. What a fool! Then, he cancelled his tour due to "unforeseen circumstances." Unforeseen, eh? More like he melted his eyeballs out of his sockets! And people are latching onto the story that he now has to wear "special sunglasses." The evidence? He instagrammed a photo of himself wearing sunglasses and wrote, "Doc said I gotta keep these on in the daytime now."

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Sure, the sunglasses are nothing like one would expect medically prescribed glasses to look, but maybe his doctor is fashion forward! It certainly can't be that Joey Bada$$ is making a joke, why, look at the other evidence, where he rambles about seeing into the future. Not only is this poor man half mad with sun sickness, he has to wear two pairs of sunglasses now. Clearly this is not a joke, but a serious medical emergency he has brought upon himself by letting his eyes fry like bacon.

Except whoops, turns out there's a photo of responsibly wearing protective eclipse glasses, and no evidence that he actually stared at the eclipse other than his Twitter trolling. Surely though, news outlets will be cautious in their reporting and not jump to any conclusions.

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Buckle. Up. Your butts. This story is a euthanasia coaster of twists and turns.

It starts with a man, Phil Stamper, who found it odd that a brand new publisher got an unheard of book to the top of the NYT Bestseller List. He decided to look into it, and found himself tumbling down a rabbit hole of young adult novel scandal.

Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem had very little in terms of press upon its release. The publisher, GeekNation, has never before published a book, nor is Lani Sarem a well established writer. Still, that's not enough to accuse someone of a scam. But Phil Stamper did a little digging, and found that not only was it out of stock on Amazon, but no Barns and Nobles stores in his area offered physical copies of the book, an unusual occurrence for bestsellers.

As it turns out there's already an IMDB page for an "in development" movie based on this book nobody's heard of. And guess who's starring as the main character, "Zade?" That's right, the author! And who else? Nobody... except some dude named Thomas, who is also starring and producing, but whose name bears no significance. That is, until you find out that he is alleged to be the mystery caller ordering bulk books from stores. Bam. The penny is drop-kicked into orbit. In fact, that penny is now careening towards the cold outreaches of the solar system. Because according to the book sellers, every time this guy called a bulk order of Handbook, he made sure the bookstore reported their sales to the New York Times.

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But perhaps despite these alleged shady tactics, the book is actually very good and worthy of its spot on the list, and by now you probably realize I'm being smugly facetious. The excerpts from Handbook for Mortals follow the life of "Zade" and how she's special and has a music career, and she meets a lot of hot dudes who are just too hot for her taste, because she likes guys of a medium hotness, and she dives into a stage that turns into a pool somehow and... I can't keep going because I think I can feel the blood vessels in my brain throttling themselves. This Twitter thread dives bravely into the text, venture if you dare.

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When people heard the headline, "ESPN removes announcer Robert Lee" because his name sounds like the confederate general, there was a cacophony of people crying "snowflakes," "stupid offended people," "PC culture gone awry," "ESPN is literally Satan incarnate," etc. Turns out, ESPN knows that the internet is the gross, hair-clogged drain of society, and anticipated that the young announcer would be the target of memes and jokes about his name. "This wasn't about offending anyone. It was about the reasonable possibility that because of his name he would be subjected to memes and jokes and who knows what else," said ESPN, also stating that Robert Lee was asked (not forced) and agreed to switch games. He wasn't fired or shoved into a pit of ravenous "politically correct" hyenas.

But if there is a way to be terrible, the internet will find it. Now, in addition to memes and jokes, people are also attacking ESPN for being "overly sensitive," the irony of which they wouldn't notice even if it were a neon lion eating their face. It's politically-correct-correctness culture gone awry.

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There are some wonderful human traits, such as kindness, decency, empathy, and caring about the physical wellbeing of others. Unfortunately that kind of thing doesn't turn a profit. That's why the Calgary Airport decided to ditch their accessible parking spots for people with disabilities in favor of branded Lexus spots. Why would they do such a callous thing? For the reason anyone does anything stupid: sex or money. And unless they're trying to boink Lexus drivers, it's probably the latter.

Apparently they were planning on making new accessible parking, you know, at some point probably. In the meantime those with disabilities were supposed to just deal with it, I mean how hard could walking be when you have painful joint diseases or paralysis?

Lexus, for their part, say they didn't know the airport planned to replace accessible parking in favor of their Lexus only campaign. No, their snooty exclusive marketing ploy wasn't meant to actively trample those with disabilities, just anyone gross enough not to drive a Lexus.

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Can you imagine a day in the life of the unfortunate White House aide that had to yell at Trump to get him to stop staring at the sun during the eclipse? Babysitting an angry president with nuclear launch codes has to be the absolute worst gig in the world. Whenever the aide voices his concerns such as, "Please, sir, don't stick your fork in the toaster," or, "Sir, no, don't put that in your mouth," Trump probably threatens to fire him. Into the sun. That shiny thing he can't stop from staring at.

I imagine the aide gave him his protective glasses, pleading, "Sir, you must wear these to view the eclipse, it's very bad to look directly into the sun." Trump likely shoved him aside, yelling "Glasses are for nerds!" as he stomped outside. Then Trump gazed up into the fiery ball of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit burning gas and ultraviolet radiation, the smell of cooking bacon mysteriously wafting from his presidential balcony. "Don't look!" the aide cried out in desperation. Seriously, I'm not joking. Now this poor aide is going to have to deal with a temporarily blinded president ponderously stumbling around the White House while trying to jam his finger into electrical sockets.

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