5 Sucky Things That Suck On Purpose
This may come as a surprise, but I like it when things don't suck. In fact, I would say that I devote 80 percent of my efforts toward avoiding suckage. Sadly, though, I can't control the actions of others, and I won't ever be able to until The Device is perfected. But until then, some people make shitty things, and the rest of us have to deal with it. And while we can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that everyone makes mistakes as we eat a pizza which inexplicably arrived topped with double olives and pineapple, there's no solace in the knowledge that some people do shitty things entirely on purpose. On that note, here are five terrible things which people made fully knowing that they'd be terrible.
The Google Glass Battery
If you were sober or literate in 2013 and 2014, you may have had to endure the deluge of tech profiles and extremely not-boring thinkpieces on Google Glass. If you could not in fact read or legally drive in 2013 and 2014, Google Glass was basically Google's answer to the question "What's a super expensive piece of shit I can intrusively wear on my face which will obscure my vision and make anyone around me fearful that I'm videotaping them like some kind of creeper?" You know, a question that we've all asked.
While most of us immediately dismissed Glass as being about as appealing as a herpes scab parfait, there were naturally a few fans who couldn't wait to be the dollar store version of Geordi LaForge. But even amongst those die-hard tech fluffers, there was a clear issue: Glass had a battery that sucked like a leech in the coldest recesses of the vacuum of space.
The battery life of Google Glass clocked in at around 45 minutes, meaning that you had just enough time to stream yourself watching one episode of Young Sheldon and then crying about it afterwards before it shut off. Google tried to explain this away as an intentional design feature that was actually beneficial and not an example of a battery assembled by a one-eyed guy in an flea market who smells like cats.
According to Google, your cellphone is just a dangerous espionage device constantly listening to you from your pants pocket and maybe sending all that sweet, sweet pants gossip back to Samsung or the Kingsmen or whoever the fuck cares what you're doing. So in an effort to heroically protect you from filthy spies, Google intentionally made a shitty battery so that the New World Order agents will only be able to watch half of your masturbation session before they're left hanging. Suck it, dickholes! You'll never know how this one ends!*
*Hastily, with a climactic yawp.
Low-Quality Viral Commercials
In 2011, the internet was blessed with one of the worst commercials for a taxidermy business that anyone had ever seen. I say this not as a connoisseur of taxidermy ads, but as a logical human being. Also, do taxidermy places really need commercials? What more needs to be said, other than "Hey! Do you like wolves, but hate the bitey, movey kinds?"
This commercial for Ojai Valley Taxidermy featured the one-two punch of Chuck Testa's taxidermy skill and acting, and made us all fall in love with the stuffed corpse of a coyote and the overall awfulness of the entire experience. It was poorly made, clearly cheap, and its only redeeming quality was that all of the badness made it charming as hell. Chuck Testa became an internet hero. And it was all bullshit.
Testa is just one of many viral commercial stars made famous for being in videos often shared as "the worst commercial I've ever seen." One commercial for a mall from 2014 featured employees singing a jingle that sounded like a cross between 3 a.m. barf-in-your-own-shoe-drunk karaoke and a cat stuck in a well. It sucked large, and people went nuts about it.
For a local business trying to drum up some attention, you have two options: Legitimately make a forgettable, boring, low-budget commercial which blandly explains whatever you're trying to sell, or roll the dice on potentially going viral by making an abomination. Create such an abysmal crime against advertising that the sun refuses to shine when the video is playing and birds immediately stop singing and synchronize-shit on your car. Make it so bad that everyone immediately shares it with everyone they know. And then your craptastic commercial becomes an internet sensation.
They say people are ten times as likely to share a bad experience with a business than a good one. People like to complain more than they like to praise, probably because if something goes right, it fits in with your expectations and is therefore unremarkable. It's only when things go wrong that you get worked up and make a stink over it. So when you see a commercial that damn near offends you with its utter fuckshittery, you'll share that monstrosity with everyone. And that's exactly what they want.
When I first got the internet in my house as a kid, we got a state-of-the-art, badass, lightning-fast 56k modem. I could download an MP3 in like ten minutes, and sometimes an entire dirty picture would load up before something went buggy and the poor woman was cut off at the knees. And seven out of every ten websites looked like a low-res My Little Pony pony ralphed cotton candy and Four Loko across a small-town church bulletin board.
As time passed, we all grew up and became better people with better websites. Dancing baby GIFs gave way to interstitial ads and Flash videos. Designs that looked like they were made by a guy with vinegar in his eyes working in the dark faded away, and sleek, professionally designed mega porn sites took their place. It was a great time to be alive. Or so we thought, because I guess people got sick of things that don't look like shit and Web Brutalism was born.
If the terribly cheesy name didn't give it away, Web Brutalism is a kind of artsy shitsy internet aesthetic. You purposefully make your website look like the south end of a northbound horse. Ugly, disorganized graphics, shockingly off-putting colors, a veritable dumpster of design techniques shat out onto a screen -- if your site doesn't look a fourth-grader's glue and cardboard collage, you've failed.
A classically bad website was designed on Angelfire by your aunt who collects figurines of Jesus playing sports when she wanted to do something to commemorate her love of beat poetry. Some links were unclickable, images didn't quite line up right, and it had charm in the same way your macaroni artwork had charm to your mom, who never told you that it looked like shit because she loved you. By the way, your macaroni art looked like shit. It's cool, though, mine looked like the shit that shit takes after eating shit sandwiches. And somehow, someone decided a forced version of that was a good idea.
Web Brutalism seeks to make a website harder to navigate and uglier to look at than a fine, upstanding site, like the one you're currently enjoying. Why? The answer is best summed up in this quote I heard from a guy in a bar once: "Fuckin' because."
Bioware's Female Designs
Back in the day when I had an NES, there were basically two female characters you could name across the spectrum of video game characters: Princesses Peach and Zelda, and I don't even think Zelda was actually in her game. But I did beat Super Mario Bros. 2, and Peach helped a brother out on that one, so yeah, you could say I'm like a video game feminist or some such. Which is why Bioware's curious history with female characters is such a headscratcher.
Bioware makes some pretty impressive-looking games, like Mass Effect, and the character designs are amazing. There is a definite problem with some of them, though, insofar as that amazingness is in how straight up nuts-on-a-donkey ugly they are.
When Mass Effect: Andromeda was released, fans were quick to notice that the male version of the player character, Ryder, looks super badass and cool and almost exactly like the male model who lent his likeness to the game designers. The female version of Ryder looks like the model if you rolled her in a sack of sadness and didn't let her sleep for four days while feeding her a straight diet of CHUD.
So why, if you have the ability to render characters in a way that makes them look like not vaguely emotive ballsacks, would you make your character look like a vaguely emotive ballsack? This one requires a bit of creative tinkering in the ol' thinky bag, but it does make sense. Female characters in gaming, as you may be aware, have a bit of a lackluster history in terms of realistic representation. After Princess Peach, the next big name in lady characters was Lara Croft, who was at first presented as polygonal boobs on blocks, and then later as well-vectored boobs on well-vectored short pants. And thus began a tradition of most video game women being little more than boobs and confusion. So maybe Bioware makes their female characters less appealing on purpose so as to not be considered sexist or douchey.
Bioware has never come out and said they've made purposefully ugly characters. They have acknowledged abhorrent animation issues and terrible facial expressions which they set to work on fixing, but fans were all pretty convinced that there had to be more behind the distractingly objectionable visages of the female characters. As noted gamer nerd and feminist Lisa Kerzner argues in her video, it looks an awful lot like Bioware put considerable effort into downplaying the character's face to make her more of an ugmo hero type (but just in the face), while trying to pawn it off as a technical limitation. Despite the fact that numerous other games can feature women who don't look like victims of barnyard mad science, including a lot of Bioware's previous games.
Unfortunately, dealing with matters of sex, sexism, and gender in video games is like opening a bag of cat shit lined with explosive squibs right in your damn face. If you recall anything to do with Gamergate, you know this is ground no one wants to tread on, so you almost can't blame Bioware for not saying jack shit about it, as you don't want to feed any trolls. But at the same time, when it's obvious that they can make a nearly identical male character, there's clearly a reason they're not putting that same kind of effort into their females.
Scam Email Grammar
Usually when I send emails, I spell the multi-syllable words incorrectly and use grammar that's about as fucked as a friction-burnt Fleshlight. But that's my own bugaboo to deal with, and has little-to-no bearing on the world of scam email.
The odds of you having never received a Nigerian scam email are slimmer than Slender Man's weird dick, which I'll tell you about sometime if you buy me a few beers. But for the sake of the kids in the audience who are reading this on the wall I inscribe all my articles on and have never received email before, a Nigerian scam email is a poorly worded piece of fuckery that shows up in your inbox claiming to be from some African prince who has millions of dollars tied up in banks overseas, and if you could just help pay some transfer fees, you can keep a buttload of it!
Typically, these emails use terrible grammar and atrocious spelling, not because the person sending you the email is a blithering idiot, but because they need you to be so gullible that you believe a Wakandan prince personally sent you a one-way ticket to being a millionaire, and he typed the message with a greasy turkey leg in his hand while riding a homemade roller coaster.
Most of us can identify a scam email right away. Another subsection of people will be suspicious but interested. And an even smaller division will write back to test the waters. The scammers want nothing to do with any of those people. They want the person who immediately responds with their bank account number in the signature line, because they only want to deal with people who may have mistaken a ham bone for Tony Danza more than once in their lives. So don't be too proud if you recognize right away that someone sent you a weak as shit attempt at ripping you off; they just didn't want you to waste their time.
Ian's Twitter is awesome on purpose. Go look.
Subscribe to our YouTube find out why we're lost in a sea of confusion in How Classic Disney Movies Made an Entire Generation Suck, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page. Because you deserve the very best.