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Cracked.com's bullshit got under my skin again.

Disclaimer, June 2017:  I'm going to apologize in advance to the folks at Cracked.com and their readers before you read the rest of this post.  I try not to be the obnoxious fat nerd type who spouts off righteously, and that's pretty much all this is.  I guess I was having a bad day or something when I wrote it.  I never wanted my blog to just be petty bitching about meaningless nonsense; if I was smarter, I'd have found a way to turn this into some good-natured ripping instead of "WAH WAH THE INTERNET IS BAD."  I'm leaving the post up since it would be far more cowardly to delete it and pretend I never wrote it, but take it all with a grain of salt.





You ever read something that strikes a nerve and you just can't let it go?  Something that just bothers you so much you feel an irrational need to complain and fret about it?  Maybe it's because the content itself enraged you or confounded you, or maybe it's just the context in which it was presented.  But either way, you find your mind going back to it?

That's been going on with me and this one stupid Cracked.com Photoshop list.  (I'm reluctant to call anything on Cracked.com an "article.")  It was titled, "21 Jaw-Dropping Sex Stories (That Happen to Be True)." The list as a whole is pretty dumb, but what specifically got to me was the very first entry:

Source: Cracked.com, occasional purveyor of obvious bullshit.
It's just so... stupid.

First of all, it's not news.  It's cheap celebrity gossip that's been dragged around for over twenty years already.  Why go back to this well now?

Secondly, the claim itself is obviously made up.  Basic math proves it wrong.  Wilt Chamberlain only lived to be 63 years old,  Even if we make some incredibly broad assumptions about his life and expand his definition of the term "sex" to include all sexual contact, and even if we apply his claim to his entire life span instead of just however many years he had lived up to the point that he said it, and even if we assume that he started having sex when he was 12 years old, and even if he had sex with one woman a day every single day of his life after that, he would still have reached only a little under 19,000 - an admirable number, but still less.

Thirdly, it's absurd to think that somebody would be able to keep up that pace during all major changes in their life across that span and while maintaining celebrity status as an all-star basketball player with commitments across the globe.  Think about the amount of time it takes to convince somebody else to sleep with them - not counting the times you pay for it - and imagine doing that every single day of your life. Even if you're good-looking and rich, it still takes some effort, and it would still get exhausting eventually.

Twenty thousand isn't "an impressive figure."  It's a commitment.  It's a career.  Somebody who plans to have sex with 20,000 different people cannot possibly do anything else meaningful with their life.  Unless you plan to have really shitty sex and disappoint 20,000 different women.  Though, I have to admit, that would be a funny reality show.  The post-sex interviews with the rubes participants would be priceless.

Hell, if you really need to be convinced that a clear lie is a clear lie, check out Mental Floss's more detailed examination of the statistic.

Of course, the key to all of this is the term "claimed."  You can "claim" anything.  Doesn't make it true or even worthwhile.  And that's why it's so clearly an exaggerated boast, which makes it totally inappropriate to include it on a list with a subtitle implying that the claim itself is true.

Reporting other people's claims in little mindless tidbits - especially self-provided claims coming from a notorious braggart and athlete with a competitive personality - is a waste of time.  You're just repeating bullshit over and over again and, quite honestly, making people dumber.

I don't know why this exact Photoshop entry got to me.  Cracked.com has reported obvious bullshit many times in the past.  Usually under a similarly-phrased headline like, "12 Insane Things You Won't Believe About Stapling Your Nuts to a Pine Board (That Happen to Be True)."

(7. The Surgery Is Brief, But the Humiliation Lasts Forever....)

Maybe it's the way that Cracked.com has just become a hole of clickbait that relies on hyperbole and buzz words, riding on a crest of inanity to drive traffic to content-light entries.

Maybe it's that they sometimes do still have interesting articles based on actual interviews and research, but when you put these factoids-that-aren't-really-factoids in the same exact context and status as their better stuff (such as those that promote a better understanding of women's hardships), you devalue the legitimacy of the rest of your content.

Maybe I'm just annoyed that they've gotten tired of coming up with new bullshit and are just dragging out old, tired bullshit.

Maybe it's that this was an AuntieMeme list, and those are always the laziest and worst.

Or maybe it's just that I'm depressed by this figure:


Over one and a quarter million views in a matter of four days.  For what amounts to somebody taking stock photos and putting text on them copied from the 1997 edition of 101 Zany Pieces of Trivia they found in the flea market for a penny.

Ugh.  That makes me sick.  The Internet frustrates me.




I'm sorry, guys, I'm just getting pissy now.  You know I still love you.  Can we just try a little harder, though?