4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

Have you ever been drunkenly careening through the Internet, feeling like the captain of the free world, only to smash headlong into a website that seemed designed specifically to fuck with your brain? No? That's never happened? This is a neurotic, panicked experience that I must endure alone? Oh. Well in that case check out this thing that apparently only happens to me.

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4
These Goddamn "I'm A Writer" T-Shirts

There's a great old movie called Hearts Of The West in which young Jeff Bridges plays an idealistic writer traveling out West in the 1930s to make it in Hollywood. In the beginning, he's a super-annoying character, constantly introducing himself to everyone as "a writer," talking with weird affectations and saying stuff like, "I wandered parched and thirsty across the barren waste." It also contains one of my favorite quotes about writing ever, which is when Andy Griffith tells him, "When someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer. Not before."

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I lost track of where I was going with this, but I hate these fucking T-shirts.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity
"I Insert My Hobby Into Every Conversation. Talking To Me Is Going To Be Exhausting."

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Writing, like most crafts, has a romantic air about it that says that being a "writer" is something special: We drink a lot, have crazy promiscuous sex, and wander around the desert tripping balls and figuring out how to get rid of inconvenient corpses. Hell, just look at the daily routine of Hunter S. Thompson's utterly fabricated professional "character." But, for most of us, the reality of writing is sitting in front of a keyboard, usually sober, typing. Endlessly typing. There's no drug-magic, no sex-muse, and no special insanity aside from the one that makes us OK with sitting in the same dark room for 14 hours trying to figure out how to make a joke about SpongeBob's butthole "land." I wish I could live like Hunter S. Thompson says he did and just get wasted with a bunch of hookers and wake up to find brilliant writing waiting for me on my desk. But instead, I worked over the weekend and completely forgot to call my friends who were visiting from out of town.

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I'm not just rambling about how time-consuming my job is -- teachers, doctors, and most single parents work a lot harder than I do. But they don't have those fucking T-shirts burning a rageful hole in their Facebook feeds. Taunting them with false promises of a glamorous lifestyle that they can never enjoy. Twisting a knife into the wounds of our sacrifice- ... Ah, shit, I'm going all "parched and thirsty" on you. Let's move on.

3
This YouTube Scam

I'm sorry to show this to you, but I can't not -- this YouTube video is like the tape from The Ring or the sex-demon from It Follows: The only way I can escape it is by passing it on.

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Every time this ad comes up on Wikipedia I watch it all the way through, and I just can't believe that any of it is real. I can't keep up with his batshit crazy long enough to even make fun of him: He brags about driving his new Lamborghini through the Hollywood Hills before insisting that he doesn't care about materialistic things because he reads a book a day. In fact, he just bought 2,000 more of them. And he doesn't call money "money" anymore -- he calls it "fuel units."

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It's around this point that you realize that this isn't filmed to imitate the kind of shitty talking-head YouTube videos we see all over the place espousing utter nonsense; that's actually what this is. Only he didn't just upload it; he paid for it to be an ad with his own damn fuel-units. Wait, why does he keep his library in his garage?

No other ad in the history of the world has ever captured my imagination the way this one did. The first time I saw this, I abandoned whatever it was I was supposed to be doing and clicked through to his website (which I won't link to because fuck this guy), where I discovered that the "three simple tricks" he promised were actually "67 Steps To Health, Wealth, And Happiness." And seriously, why does he keep his library in his garage? It's not like he's reading in there.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On HumanityEasternSnap/iStock/Getty Images
Does the car read too?

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I'll tell you why: It's because he's a goddamn scam artist (not that you didn't already know that -- after all, the guy is offering to sell you health wealth and happiness just for a fuel measly fuel-units). That's right: He's been driven to dishonesty by his all-consuming lust for fuel-units. Tai Lopez (oh yeah -- that's his name) is pretty much your standard get-rich-quick schemer who's realized that you can make more money selling pans than panning for gold (as one of those links says), but that's not why I've chosen to mock him on this soapbox. No, I've chosen to do this for a far simpler reason:

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I cannot skip his fucking videos. When his voice is prattling at me, my mouse-clickin' finger is limp as a dick in church. Doesn't matter what kind of deadlines I'm facing, whether or not my pizza bagels are burning -- I gotta see what he's going to say next. what crazy bullshit he's gonna spit. He follows me into my dreams, guys, with his Lamborghini and 2,000 books, promising me health, wealth, and happiness if only I accept him as my mentor and pay 67 fuel-units a month to be a part of his fucking mailing list that apparently you can't cancel. And you know why? Because he read some "Get Rich Quick" books, and they told him how to hack my brain and steal my attention.

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Give it back, Tai! Give me back my fucking brain!

2
Wikipedia's Lists

Wikipedia is most known for, oh gosh, listen to me prattle on. You're a smart shit, you know what Wikipedia is known for: real articles, with no numbers in the title unless the number is actually part of the title or the article is about a number. But, every once in a while, they take the coward's way out and write a fucking list, and most of them are designed to destroy me.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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Listen, Wikipedia: I love words, and I love jokes, and I'd cut a hole in my dictionary and fuck it if my roommates didn't hide all our knives for some reason. But if you explain every joke ...

According to Douglas Adams, the idea that the answer to "the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything" in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is 42 is funny because it is an "ordinary, smallish" number ...

... I'm just not going to be able to ...

In The Simpsons episode "Homie The Clown," Krusty The Clown tells Homer during a lesson at his clown college: "Memorize these funny place names: Walla Walla, Keokuk, Cucamonga, Seattle." In the episode "Faith Off," Krusty refers to hard K's as well: "Have you gone completely ferkakta? Hey! I got my comedy K's back. King Kong cold-cocked Kato Kaelin."

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... get my dick in a book-stabbing mood anymore. So don't do this. Get rid of this page. It clearly has no reason to exist except to make me sad.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

The very first entry is "Party Center," so ha! The world's not that beautiful. You can't fool me, Wikipedia; you showed your hand far too early this time.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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What fucking sorcery is this? Math is numbers, you assholes. Shapes is geography. But even if this article were real, it boggles the mind to imagine when the 3,500 words of it were useful to someone. Has any Mathematician ever thought to himself "hey -- what comes between a Lorenz attractor and a Mandelbrot set?" and then glanced at the following...

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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... to get the answer? No, no of course not. Because every single one of those things is a sex position.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

Nope, Wikipedia, you hack liar sonofabitch cunt thief twatbucket. Those are flowers. You can't fool me.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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This would've fooled me if I hadn't remembered that "Prismatoid" was Smaug's uncle in Lord of the Rings. Next.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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I mean, well obviously that one's a shape.

1
Whenever TVTropes.org Talks About What It Thinks "Real Life" Is

TVTropes.org is a wiki that tries to catalog every single appearance of every single trope in all of fiction, in all of human history, and beyond. According to their main page, they "encourage breezy language and original thought. There Is No Such Thing As Notability, and no citations are needed," and if you're at all familiar with the Internet, you're getting your stupid-proof gloves on right now.

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A trope, for people who don't know, is a commonly used narrative device: Their "Chekhov's Gun" page lists every single time an insignificant object in a movie, book, TV show, play, or whatever, later turned out to be significant. Their "Red Herring" page lists every time something was made out to be important but then didn't actually matter. After those lists were complete, TVTropes got creative and started noticing new tropes, like "Clark Kenting" -- which is when a show/movie/etc. gives you a superhero with an absurdly transparent disguise and asks you to just kinda go along with it.

And once those lists were done, everyone at this website lost their goddamn minds. Let me be clear here. TVTropes is a lot of fun for reading (often inaccurate but whatever) trivia about pop culture, but once you get into any discussion of real life, things get weird. Let's start small.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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That's from their Misaimed Fandom" page, which describes whenever a text accidentally earns a fanbase that it shouldn't have for one reason or another, because fuck the word "trope" and what it actually means. Now. If I can give advice to some of the people who are reading my articles, please go have lives outside of this stuff. Get context for the art you consume. Go ride your bike, or hit on someone and get rejected, or break into an abandoned farmhouse to smoke weed, or get in a fight with someone in real life -- because, if you don't, you're going to end up like the deranged basement goblin who thinks that people fuck to Seth Rogen.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity
"Aaaand I came."

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Moving on.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

I don't think either of those things happened, primarily because I've met people before. Heroin and Nazism aren't cigarettes and Converse All Stars -- you don't try them just because Clive Owen did it. Sorry for having so much faith in America's youth, but please leave the moralistic scaremongering to our generation's collection of racist grandparents.

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Now, the "Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming" page is supposed to be a collection of "beautiful moments" that will make you "cry tears of joy." For their "Real Life" page, their header image is a homeless man struggling to keep warm with his dog.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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Showing someone that image and asking them if they feel happy is how the CIA screens sociopaths out of their Bourne programs. Describing that image as heartwarming should put you on a government watchlist. If you went, "Awwww!" just now and clasped your hands together like Audrey Hepburn, then I'm willing to bet actual money that you have a corpse in your freezer. Seriously, for the safety of your neighbors, go check.

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It gets worse from there, once they start listing examples.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

This illustrates why I hate the word "feels"; when you lump the entire spectrum of human emotion into one bland ball of intensity, it confuses your brain-thinker and makes it difficult for you to distinguish between, say, horror, disgust, pride, and joy. Let me be clear. You shouldn't feel ashamed if 9/11 made you cry. But if it made you cry tears of joy, then do you ever suffer from "missing time"? When was the last time you really looked in your freezer? Do you actually remember buying all that horse meat?

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Then there's this happy little story about a guy who was nice to a homeless person once.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

TVTropes, I'm glad you figured out what "heartwarming" means but treating a homeless person like a human being for thirty goddamn seconds is an awfully low bar for "noteworthy kindness." I hope you never meet an actual social worker because you'll probably cum so hard you die. And just in general, please don't express absolute italic shock at the idea that someone can survive on the street without turning into that pile of voodoo garbage from The X-Files. Because that's rude.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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His "motives" are indeed simple: He's not as big an asshole as the person writing this. There are no links here to give us more context (all that lit-up text just goes to other TVTropes pages), so the assumption here is that if a guy is publicly nice to a homeless person, he must be an outcast too. Because that's the only way he'd ever be desperate enough to do that. Fuck. What a sour perspective on people and the world.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

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Stop stalking this guy, you bunch of fucking lunatics. Moving on again.

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Their "Real Life" page is set up exactly the same as one of of their pages about The Dark Knight or When Harry Met Sally. On that page, they describe all of the actual physical world we all inhabit as if it were a collection of film, video game, and literature tropes. Which would probably be something of a quirky little joke if it weren't 33,000 words long. That's a Goosebumps and a half an Animorphs of stuff like this:

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

This is like when you jokingly flirt with one of your friends and then he jokingly flirts back and then slips his arm around your waist and pulls you roughly against him, his arms thick and strong around your frame. You're so close now that your face brushes against the sturdy black bristles of chest hair peeking over the top of his soft cotton V-neck. Breathless and desperate, you look up and he stares down at you. Seconds, so many seconds tick by before he whispers, "I know. I've always known," and then your lips meet and there's an explosion like nothing you've ever felt before. You get married and adopt kids and grow old together, and when the time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil it's OK, because you spent your life with someone who truly understood you, and you're able to face the unknown with bravery and no regrets. Whether or not there's anything else to see, whether or not love transcends the shimmering veil of life doesn't matter, because you know that you'll always be at the sides of each other, holding hands, right up until whatever end awaits.

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Because of how funny it would be if you were gay. Right?

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

'Cause you're super not.

4 Websites That Are Clearly Elaborate Pranks On Humanity

That last one depresses me badly, so I don't want to make a joke: I want to be straightforward. You are fucking wrong. Most people do not think real life sucks. Most people think that the world has its problems, but it's so full of dumb, beautiful, sexy, crazy shit that it's worth diving into anyway. Probably because they don't try to describe it with a fan-made shorthand for mass-media-marketing techniques.

JF Sargent is an editor and columnist for Cracked with a new column here every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and YouTube, where you can catch all our video content, such as The Entire Internet In Five Minutes and other videos you won't see on the site!

For more from Sarge, check out 5 Ways College Screws Over Poor Kids and 5 Reasons Everyone Getting Married Can Suck It.

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