The anniversary of 9/11 was a time for reflection, memorial and staggered disbelief at the ways some people tried to make money from it. We've already seen retarded references to 9/11, and the most retarded reference to 9/11, but here are the worst insults to America and capitalism not videotaped in a cave. We're not saying these cash-grabbers are despicable bottom-feeders, but they are parasitic worms that enter the human body through the anus (unless that anus belongs to these people).
Kevin Held raised almost three quarters of a million dollars to construct a vast 9/11 memorial quilt capable of covering 25 football fields, possibly as an early TSA test to see if shouting "terrorism" really could let you get away with anything. Even if it wasn't a scam, it was the worst charity of all time: His plan was to raise money to make blankets that were no use to the people who might need them. If charities get tax breaks, he should have had to pay the government extra.
Matt Rourke / AP file via MSNBC
Left: The real heroes. Right: The opposite.
He raised $713,000 to make a quilt, then moved into a
Lieb Cellars are selling "September Mission" wine for $9.11 a bottle, because a novelty drink price point is the most tasteful place to commemorate tragedy, and a "9/11 Memorial" wine for $19.11 a bottle, because even getting the date right is less important to them than making an extra 10 dollars. Either that or this doubles as a tribute to the Italo-Turkish War.
We shall never forget Tripolitania, Fezzan or Cyrenaica!
The problem is that no one orders wine to commemorate mass murder outside of a hollowed-out volcano lair. In fact, if someone does gaze across the romantic candlelight to toast you with terrorist-attack wine, well done on dating the baroness, but you've already been poisoned. The New York Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services found out this was being sold in restaurants and called Anthony Bourdain to do something about it. These people responded to 9/11 itself, but this wine was such a travesty that they needed external help. The way 6 to 10 percent of sales go to charity only reminded people that about 92 percent doesn't, and that shouting "charity!" doesn't actually undo disrespect. Bourdain responded in his trademark calm and reasonable manner:
The $20 silver coin certificate was released in 2008 and is made up of a $9 and an $11 certificate. That's more disrespectful to victims and capitalism than the "$9.11 for Rudy" campaign and couldn't be more anti-American if it killed Apollo Creed. The National Collector's Mint combined tackiness and numerology into a solid anti-respect -- if you rub these certificates on royalty, they become commoners.
This travesty has less chance of being worth $20 than a $10 bill, and not just because they sell it for profit at $19.95. The National Collector's Mint has already been censured for deceptive business practices in 2004 with their
As before (and after), it comes with a certificate of authenticity confirming that it's non-circulating currency in Liberia. You couldn't push dollar bills into uselessness faster with a lighter (although at least that way you'd gain some warmth for your money).
9/11 was an incredible challenge to Americans: Should we give up basic human rights to fight attacks that were already very illegal under the laws we had? This was a challenge airports would fail, but not as hard as hand-held LCD game makers (who are by definition exempt from, and unaware of, anything after the release of the Game Boy).
Laden vs USA was made in China and can at best be considered financial judo, with China using America's capitalism against us. At worst, it's battery-powered hatred. Someone had clearly been stuck with a warehouse of hand-held electronic parts since 1989, and the most appalling terrorist attack on American soil was when they thought "NOW I REVENGE MYSELF AGAINST CAPITALISM!" It was converted so quickly the instructions still describe it as a boxing game, and being repeatedly punched in the head is still better than playing it. The makers only had enough time to Photoshop news footage of actual 9/11 wreckage on the box and only had enough brain cells to think that it was a good idea.
If you actually beat a level, it plays "Deck the Halls," because if you play this game for an entire level you deserve to have every kind of happiness poisoned by the memory.
Really Big Coloring Books, who apparently forgot how to read their own company's name, decided that "terrorist attacks" and "someone being shot in the face while hiding behind a woman" fit in their catalog between "Dinosaurs!" and "Horses!"
Really Big Coloring Books
The book outraged pretty much everyone who knows what coloring books are but doesn't still use them. Publisher Wayne Bell insists that the word "Muslim" is never used in the book, which is technically true because it's always part of the longer phrase "radical Islamic Muslim extremist," which is used several times. In an astounding display of either balls or illiteracy, neither of which should be involved in a book for kids, he makes this "no-Muslim" claim on the
There's another page where kids are meant to color a child crying against a wall of death notices, complete with mugshots. That's perfect if you want your kid to spend an hour choosing skin colors for beloved martyrs of terrorist attacks, in which case you might want to skip to training them in marksmanship and body disposal. But of course it won't take them that long to choose colors because anyone making their kid do this would only let them color heroes in white and blond. The (childrens' coloring) book concludes that "These attacks will change the way America deals with and views the Islamic and Muslim people around the world." Nothing has been so horribly repackaged for children since candy in unmarked vans.
A gang of multi-ethnic kids, anti-terrorism and a time-traveling bike with a computer in it: That's a recipe for the coolest cartoon of all time, as long as you take the precaution of not using real terrorism. But Mike Huckabee is too patriotic for precautions!
And stealing helmets from Space Marines is pretty patriotic.
He's also too patriotic to rent computers built after the invention of the transistor. Necromancers have animated more natural-looking children, and the results have maintained more brain activity. The "TimeCycle Academy" series is about a group of incredibly Republican children who invent a time machine and then, in a spectacular dick move even for kids, travel back in time to just look at 9/11 instead of preventing it. You keep expecting Scooby-Doo to turn up and pull bin Laden's face mask off, then ask, "Why am I even more poorly animated than usual, Raggy?" And if he'd gone on to actually discuss terrorism with his stoner buddy, it still would have been more respectful than this.
Calling these videos biased is like calling an aircraft carrier a bad roommate: true, but missing the titanic scale of the errors required for that insanity to happen. In another episode, a Southern Baptist conservative has his kids travel back in time to meet their savior, the embodiment of hope made flesh on Earth, and it's
A Ronald Reagan who could double as Krang.
The Terrorist Lighter unfortunately isn't SEAL Team 6's pet name for flamethrowers.
The raised chrome bin Laden looks like a liquid metal Terrorist-1000, probably the only worse misuse of technology than this product, while an engraved "9_11" means even the blind know it's horrific. When you use it, a red LED lights up the explosion of the first crash and electrically confirms that, yes, you are going to hell. It then plays computerized Mozart. Because reducing an orchestral symphony to a zero-cent screeching sound chip doesn't even count as desecration at this point.
The only upside is that this will never arrive in America because it's an electrical circuit connected to a tank of flammable liquid. So anyone trying to carry one across an American border will be Tazed until he catches fire.
Douglas Edric Stanley commemorated Space Invaders' 30th birthday by by combining the game with the destruction of the Twin Towers. We can't confirm if his next project is a Pac-Man version of ebola, but only because he's been milking the 9/11 thing for 10 years -- he made the first version the month of the attack. Just in case you thought it was thoughtful reflection in art instead of a desperate lunge for attention.
His 8-bit adaptation features the unstoppable aliens demolishing the Twin Towers as the player flails (it's motion controlled to make sure everyone involved looks like a goddamned idiot), complete with pixelated victims leaping to their doom. He even reprogrammed the game with suicide-crashing space invaders. So no, '80s cartoon porn isn't the only the only way technology can ruin your childhood.
If you're not sure how a previously unknown artist could profit from sudden international controversy, wow, welcome to the modern world. Invaders! was shown off at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig, after seven years of work, and turned off a few days later, after the rest of the world heard about it. Taito threatened to sue the artist directly and the entire convention besides, and it was their own most popular game's birthday party.
Douglas then released his next work, a bold re-interpretation of the word "douchebag" in the modern poetic form of non-apology. "The American response to this work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown this work." Sophistication and maturity are odd concepts for someone who just made an exercise video game about murder. This considerate artist has brought the same level of depth, reflection and desperation for attention to his latest project: a camera app based on an Internet meme about cats.
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