As a Cracked Editor, part of my job involves combing through the entries in our Photoshop contests to find winning entries. In case you're not familiar, each week, we post a new topic or ask a new question in the forum and have our users Photoshop their best interpretation or answer. The Editorial Monster goes in, picks its favorites and the winner gets cash money. Lots of people check out the contest, that's no surprise. We have a ton of talented people in these forums (also one time the prompt was just "Put Boobs On Things That Wouldn't Ordinarily Have Boobs.") What you don't know is that anyone can enter anything into this contest. And while we feature the top10 or 20, there's a brilliant and beautiful kind of additional contest happening just beneath the surface, one that you won't see. But these entries are special. These aren't necessarily about weak Photoshop skills, in fact they're awesome, in some cases. And this isn't really about weak jokes. These are about entries that have so profoundly missed the point that they transcend the contest. Sometimes I can tell where an entry went off the rails, or where a joke fell flat. But sometimes, it's impossible to spot what the poster was going for and, as a result, I'm not quick to call the entries weak. These are just flat out baffling, but why? Just because I don't understand them doesn't mean they don't make sense on some level. Unless, of course, they don't. Which brings me to the point. Are the 'shoppers behind these entries lunatics, or geniuses? The Prompt: If Sex Education Was Actually Useful The Entry:
If He's a Genius... ...then it's a brilliant satire on our education system. He's not necessarily saying that this image is a completely useful visual aid, he's just saying that it's more useful than whatever is currently being taught in schools. He's saying, "Sure, this image is absurd, but not as absurd as the abstinence-only horseshit they're trying to sell kids these days,
If He's a Genius... ...then this must translate to a very specific nightmare. That button, is that from an XBox? That's an XBox power button, right? Alright, if he's a genius, it means that we've come home to find our girlfriend has merged with our XBox, but in a way that renders both useless. The Box, without a screen or controllers is unplayable and meanwhile the, uh, box, now blocked by the power button, is equally unusable, despite the lady's perplexing eagerness to show it off. If that was the intention, it is a nightmare, as it takes away boning and the escapist fare of gaming in one fell swoop. That would be one frightening Halloween, sure. Also Gordon Ramsay is there, screaming. Look at him, he's probably yelling, "Boo." That
If He's a Genius... ...then he's making a commentary on the staleness of both the contest and the responses that contest received. Here's how. Jerry Seinfeld, as classic and timeless as he is, has sort of become with synonymous with hacky, stale comedians. Think about it: Whenever you hear someone doing an impression of a deliberately terrible stand up comedian, they inevitably start with "And
Let's really look at this for a second. The prompt is an April Fool's prank We--the collective, "Non Shit-Eating-Crazy" We--wish happened. The setup to this imaginary prank is incredible. You've got a grinning idiot in a banana suit who's coming home to an aerial primate assault, courtesy of the most patient eight-year-old on the planet, who also happens to be dressed in darkness. The monkey would be dropped and attempt to eat the man. As a prank.
In case you can't read that, the building says "Milwaukie High Cruel." If He's a Genius... ...then the joke is on you. And, really, me. If you're anything like me, your immediate response upon looking at this entry was "Cruel. I get it. But why did he change the spelling of Milwaukee?
If He's a Genius... ...the hell do you mean "if"? You see those glasses? That's comedy gold.
If He's a Genius... He's not. If He's a Lunatic... He is. The Prompt: When Superpowers Go Wrong The Entry:
If He's a Genius... ...he's represented everything that's truly difficult about being the Hulk into a single, poignant image. When we consider problems that face the Hulk, we think "Oh, gosh, SUPERVILLAINS are ATTACKING," or "Oh, no, the GOVERNMENT wants to DISSECT and STUDY ME," or "FUCK ME, I can NOT AFFORD ANY MORE PANTS." But that's because
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.