It's a popular cliche to say that the internet is mostly cat videos. And it's entirely true. You're watching a cat video right now. This article is a cat video. You're just so super saturated with them that the words have lost all meaning to you. Cat cat cat cat cat. It's like breathing.
Now that we know where we stand, it's worth looking under our feet, which is an awkward metaphor for suggesting that not all those adorable videos are what they seem! Or rather, there's some weird shit going on in hilarious animal videos that you may not be pondering during the ten seconds it takes you to share them on Facebook. But I spent three hours on the toilet thinking about it for you.
Ever seen a bird video? I know, right? "Birds? Yeah, I've seen birds. I live in a goddamn tree, son! Don't you tell me what to do!" Calm down. Let's just acknowledge that there's a pretty substantial number of bird videos online featuring birds that cuss. And let's be honest, if you for some reason drank so much that you thought owning a bird capable of speech was a good idea, you'd probably teach it to swear too, right? I'd have that bird screeching "twat!" all the time and love every second of it. But before we go too much further, let's think about those seconds.
I've never trained a bird to speak before, and I'm aware that there's over a dozen species that can learn human language. But just what goes into training a bird to talk? I had to look that one up and from what I've seen, you need to talk to this bird over and over again, numerous times a day, every single day, for months. Months. And this isn't idle chit chat. This is you literally saying "fuck you!" to a bird 50 times a day for 60, 90, 120 days in a row. That's the kind of shit that makes crazy people back out of a room.
So when some Average Joe posts a video of him and his bird just relaxing, and suddenly the bird snaps like a bread stick and cusses like the unholy spawn of a convoy of truckers and a boatload of stevedores, don't be suckered in by the "oh my goodness, what a little Dickens!" bullshit someone's selling you. This borderline sociopath cursed that bird out until its brain was Swiss cheesed with f-bombs and a hunger for seeds. There's nothing else going on up there.
Name something more adorable than a polar bear petting a dog. Did you name it? And did you also name yourself Lietholomew McLiarstein? Because you're a deceiver! There's nothing more adorable than a polar bear petting a dog. Look at it and witness the truth!
God, that's precious. Less precious is when a bear, off camera, in the same area eats another dog. I mean, listen, you can be sad about that but let's put this in perspective. A couple of years back, I found myself at a petting zoo where I fed a tiny ice cream cone full of seed pellets to a cow and a pig, among other barnyard beasts. Did I later eat a bacon cheeseburger? Of goddamn course I did, because that cow and that pig are step one in a multi-step process that leads to delicious. And maybe when they still have faces and nuzzle my hand, I'm not in the eating mood, but only insofar as I had no plans to eat those specific barn denizens. I was fairly confident that their cousins were fucked, though.
So maybe a polar bear can both adorably pet a dog and then less adorably eat that dog's friend who is also a dog. It doesn't negate the first cute thing, right? It might ruin it a little bit in hindsight, but it doesn't mean it never happened. If a tree falls in the woods and startles a bear while it eats your dog, did you still think it was cute when they hugged for a sec? I think we all know the answer.
Probably the best and only thing you can do with a hamster is make hamster videos. The animal was actually invented by NBC to help people deal with Seinfeld coming to an end. So say you get a hamster, which, if we're being honest, is just a mouse with slightly better PR, and you bring it home. What the hell do you do with it? If you're a goddamn supergenius, you make it a little burrito.
This video, in which a hamster eats a small burrito is basically Citizen Kane if Citizen Kane also ran a chain on Pulp Fiction, Casablanca, The Godfather, Mad Max: Fury Road and Rashomon and popped up a mutant hamster-video baby of awesome at the end. It has heart and soul and really makes you think about the scale of burritos. The loving parent of this little fur baby opened up their mildly obsessive heart and showed us the joy of treating your pet like a real person and that, my friends, is what life is all -- what's that? This little fur baby video was produced by a media company just looking to force viral content as a method of creating income and exposure for their brand? Ohhhh.
Most people take it for granted when a precious little animal video is put up by someone who just loves their quirky pet. Like Grumpy Cat, as far as I know, is legitimately the malformed and weird pet of real people who just wanted to make Aubrey Plaza love them. And that's a noble goal that I share. Isn't this article grumpy? Aha haha haa! Adorbz! But I digress -- that's what you think goes on. Our little hamster friend and his delicious fiesta were created by Denizen, an ad agency that's had numerous high-profile clients and prides itself on taking risky ideas and running with them. So when some mad bastard at work had a sit down with the crew over cronuts and soy mochaccinos one day, they tossed out "deconstructed Speedy Gonzales" and probably took 30 minutes to refine this idea.
Did an ad firm just buy a hamster, film some videos, and then throw the beast in a dumpster? I never said that. I'm sure it's their office mascot to this day, assuming hamsters live that long. But an ad firm did create the video and that means true cuteness is manufactured in the greed mines of advertising and not homegrown down on the ol' hamster ranch.
For a day and a half, this hilarious-turned-maybe-tragic-turned-sorta-heroic video was 40 percent of what people could talk about. That's a lot of people, by the numbers. It has everything a good viral video needs: a somewhat adorable animal, a child, a fail/comedic mishap, danger, and a hero. To put it another way, a sea lion drags a kid into the water and some stranger rescues her. Exciting!
As presented, this is a video that presents nature as an unpredictable lunatic. What ghastly thoughts must stir in the mind of such a brute? Is he still angry about missing out on the lead in the 1998 sea-lion opus Slappy And The Stinkers? Well, that makes two of us. But the difference is that I don't drag children to the briny deeps like some kind of vindictive sea hag. Often.
Lucky for the child and their poor center of gravity, a bystander with no tolerance for sea-lion shenanigans is quick to leap into the fray and potentially rescue the kid who I guess everyone assumed was moments away from either drowning or being eaten. And that's not something that I'm even sure that sea lions do, but then again, they do have "lion" in the name so you gotta stay on your toes.
What you don't get to appreciate in this video is the fact that the area it takes place in is a pretty common stomping ground for sea lions. So common, in fact, that there are posted signs all over warning you not to feed them. Because as every handless zoo patron and person who drives a bear-crushed car home from Yellowstone soon learns, feeding a wild animal is a dumbass idea. That didn't stop this girl and her family from tossing bread to the sea lion and getting close enough for it to, you know, leap from the water and pull someone in.
The family denied feeding the salty rapscallion but you can literally see food falling into the water at the beginning. And the dude filming says it happened, so let's just accept that the sea lion was chock full of sweet, soggy bread and, like anyone at the end of a basket of bread at Olive Garden, was now ready to feast on the blood of a child. This of course means your zany video is less "oh man Nature, you crazy" and more "we're morons!"
If you're not sitting down, I find that weird. But also, you may need to sit because your worldview is about to get so shaken that you may find yourself suffering from a serious case of prolapsed rectum. Just try to imagine how shook you'd need to be for that shit to fall loose. Well imagine no longer, because I'm about to take you on a journey through ass-falling-out craziness.
You remember Pizza Rat? Capital P, capital R? Yeah, you do. He was the lovable New York scamp who taught us all that no amount of fleas or hepatitis can keep you down if you have a goal in mind and the willpower to see it through. That little sack of pestilence wanted a slice of delicious, New York-style greasy cheese on flattened dough and he got that shit. He was like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club, all triumphant but still basically shitty because really nothing changed. Or so we thought.
According to noted oddball Zardulu, Pizza Rat is a load of bunk. There's a lot to unpack in that sentence, I know. It's all basically English, but why doesn't it mean anything? To begin, Zardulu is what I guess is best described as a hoaxster. Her real identity is unknown and she apparently dressed up like Zoltar from Big in order to be interviewed by The Washington Post. And the point of that story was for her to explain that a number of your favorite viral videos may or may not be just BS she did on the weekend for shits and giggles. And by shits and giggles, I mean she creates "myths" to provide "pearls of merriment for the world to enjoy." So yeah, she probably drinks a lot of chai tea and wears silk.
Zardulu assures us that Pizza Rat was a trained rodent, like Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, only instead of the ancient art of ninjutsu, this one just knows how to purloin your Domino's. The guy who filmed Pizza Rat says it's legit, but who are you going to believe? A guy who saw a rat making off like a bandit with some pizza, or a lady who dresses like a fortune teller and infamously fooled the internet by floating a stuffed raccoon on a stuffed alligator?
So did a rat abscond with pizza? Hell yeah, it did. But was that just a plucky, young disease vector anxious for the taste of salty, cured meat and cheese? Or was it some corporate stooge strategically released unto the public with a delicious slice of deception after months of having its cholesterol raised with slice after phony slice of fraudulent pizza? They say if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is (with the noted exception of ham and yours truly -- I'm real, baby!). In this case, it seems like we all just wished a little too hard for a miracle when in reality, none of us wanted to deal with the terrifying implication that someone trains rats to carry pizza around so that it can be filmed and turned into a meme.
Hey Cracked Podcast fans: Join Alex Schmidt, Daniel O'Brien, Katie Goldin, and our favorite LA comedians for a deep dive into which animals could conquer the world if they tried. Get your tickets here.
For more check out 5 Crappy Sides Of YouTube Stardom No One Talks About and 6 Dark Secrets YouTube Doesn't Want You To Know.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out 6 Types of YouTube Videos That There Are Waaay Too Many Of - Does Not Compute, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook. It's just a click.
The main benefit of watching TV is seeing the plight of sad bastards who aren't you.
Most people have a pretty basic idea of what it's like to be a parent.
There are gaps in the fictional universe that multiply from one film to the next.
There's no shortage of downright absurd conspiracy theories out there.
Given everything we know, there's cause to be worried about these movies.