9/14/2017: The Shopping Apocalypse Is Nigh, So Pray For A Swift Death
By Lydia Bugg
The Bible says that the apocalypse will be announced by seven angels blowing seven trumpets, but we at Cracked think there is a much more subtle indicator that the end times are near, which we have all been missing: this article from The Atlantic titled “The Future Of Retail Is Stores That Aren’t Stores.” I don’t want to be over-dramatic here, but try to read this entire article without taking to the street to proselytize about the apocalypse.
It’s impossible to get through the first sentence without realizing society doesn’t deserve to continue to exist. An Apple executive says, “We actually don’t call them ‘stores’ anymore — we call them ‘town squares.'” If you haven’t passed out from internal hemorrhaging, the article continues with choice bits like “Starbucks, watching with distaste the rise of high-end competitors like Stumptown and Blue Bottle, a couple years ago opened a 15,000-square-foot ‘roastery’ in Seattle. ‘We’re going to take the customer on a journey, immersing them in an interactive environment where they’ll be introduced to handcrafted, small-batch coffees within feet of where they’re being roasted,’ Howard Schultz, Starbucks’s CEO, told The New York Times.“ A … a “roastery?” Well. Maybe we’re already dead, and this is Hell.
What is going on here? Are retail stores super out of touch with reality, or are we the problem? If you’re one of the few brave souls who can make it five paragraphs into this article without feeling the cold hands of death wrapping around your neck, you’ll come upon a section that discusses Urban Outfitters’ acquisition of a pizza chain: “The idea is that pizzerias might be placed near, or even in, the stores. ‘Now you can order a sofa on the internet,’ Marc Vetri, the chain’s founder, told Bloomberg, adding, ‘if you want to eat at the hot new restaurant, you have to leave your living room and you have to venture out.'” Again, this is about Urban Outfitters acquiring a PIZZA chain. It’s literally the one food you don’t have to leave your house to obtain anywhere in the U.S.
The most comforting thought I had reading this article is that we may finally have concrete proof that the world is secretly being run by lizard people. Corporations’ only understanding of people seems to be “They eat, they drink, then they go to the gym to work off the things they ate and drank. Most curious. How can we take advantage of these puny humans’ consumer needs? How can we get them to buy our poorly constructed T-shirts? They enjoy pizza. Perhaps if we ply them with pizza, they will take the shirts? Perhaps we must construct a shirt that can be eaten?”
I’ve never before read an article about retail shopping that so reminded me of my own mortality. Happy Thursday, everyone. Doesn’t it feel like a Friday today? We’re all going to die.
9/13/2017: The Fast & Furious Beefs Are Now A Marketing Tool
By John Cheese
There’s another highly contrived, very marketed beef going on with the Fast & Furious crew. This time, it’s between Tyrese Gibson and the Rock — because if you’re going to use a public spat to market a movie, it absolutely has to include the Rock. Tryrese went on Instagram and posted (then deleted) the following:
If you move forward with that #Hobbs movie you will have purposefully ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter — I don’t wanna hear from you until you remember what we talked about — I’m on your timeline cause you’re not responding to my text messages — #FastFamily is just that a family…we don’t fly solo.
Here’s the thing: Their most successful movie was the last one, which did around $1.2 billion worldwide. That went hand in hand with the now-famous Rock vs. Vin Diesel beef — which, by sheer coincidence, made approximately 1.2 billion headlines in the lead-up to the movie. So let’s say you’re a marketing executive and you see that a project rakes in over a billion dollars. What do you do with the new movie? Or a spinoff from that movie? You do exactly what you did the last time. Every trailer needs to be recreated. Every interview needs to be repeated. Every beef needs to be rebeefed. Make no mistake, this is absolutely a marketing strategy. And it’s going to continue with every new film they produce.
The thing is, it’s gotten really transparent at this point, and it’s making my eye muscles hurt from all the rolling. Because if I’m wrong, and it’s not contrived, it means that every single person who works on the crew of the Fast & Furious franchise is a moronic fucking child. And it means that Tyrese Gibson has no idea how movies or money or actors or human brains work. So I’m going to prefer to think of it as a genius form of advertisement, because I can’t handle the thought of grown-ass adults being that ungodly fucking stupid.
9/12/2017: Please Learn Another Acting Trick, Christian Bale
Alright, Christian Bale. We get it. You’re really good at putting on and losing weight at a rapid pace. It’s very neat, and I’m sure that you’re a hit at parties, along with Guy Who Can Blow Vape Smoke Rings and Guy With An Acoustic Guitar Who Wasn’t Invited.
If you hadn’t heard, Mad Libs has become reality now that Christian Bale is playing Dick Cheney in an upcoming movie. Hollywood is apparently so devoid of people who even faintly resemble the Chensmoker that they had to go with Welsh Greek God Christian Bale. And how has Bale prepared himself for the role? “I’ve just been eating a lot of pies,” he said, presumably as mashed blueberries dropped from his pockets.
Let’s quickly recount Bale’s epic weight loss/gain saga, which has more drama than his Batman films could ever muster. And as an added bonus, we’ll use his favorite unit of measurement: pies.
To play a Wall Street sociopath with the body of John Cena in American Psycho, Christian Bale gained four pies. He maintained this weight to look rugged in Reign Of Fire, but dropped six whole pies to garner the emaciated frame required for The Machinist. Christopher Nolan came a-knocking with four pies stacked precariously in each hand. “Christian, will you be my Batman?” Later, Nolan received an empty pie tin, and written in tiny crust pieces at the bottom of it was the word “Yes.”
Christian lost more pies to portray a POW in Rescue Dawn, and terrorized every pie shop in Philadelphia to get into shape for The Dark Knight. “No pies for you,” said the director of The Fighter, but Christian Bale was back in the habit for The Dark Knight Rises. Out Of The Furnace demanded a relatively pie-less daily regimen from Christian, but this was balanced by American Hustle necessitating the ingesting of a pie and that pie’s baker each day. He looked like a man who had never even heard of pies in The Big Short, and now we arrive at Backseat, in which Christian Bale, sitting atop his pie throne, can truly be at peace.
But pies alone cannot truly be the inspiration for Bale’s fluctuating body mass. In fact, I think it’s reasonable to say that this might be his superpower. How else can you explain this? “I’ve just been eating a lot of pies” sounds like the perfect cover up for Bruce Wayne just before he goes down to his cave and, in a matter of seconds, changes his figure to fit his next acting role. It’s why he played Batman. Batman doesn’t have any powers either, so it alleviates suspicion that anything abnormal is going on.
But look, Christian. You no longer need to hide your abilities from the world. We’re actually getting pretty sick of watching you do this to your body every few years , and I’m sure that your body is pretty sick of it too. Yeah, it seemed astounding when you went from The Machinist to Batman Begins, but you’ve become the acting equivalent of every stand-up comedian who ends their set with their freshest Enron and Monica Lewinsky jokes. I’m not trying to say that it’s not impressive, as my body type, no matter what I do, seems to maintain that classic “talking grub worm in an animated children’s film” look. But we know that you’re talented enough to go at least three movies without suddenly revealing that you’ve either acquired flawless sixpack abs or a sudden affinity for XXXL shirts.
Do it for your career. Do it for cinema. Do it for the pie makers of the world. They are so, so tired.
9/11/2017: PewDiePie Would Be Fired If He Had Any Other Job
By Lydia Bugg
Surprise! PewDiePie did something racist. What’s that, you say? You’re not at all surprised? This is something we’ve discussed before, and at length? Yet here we are again, shocked and surprised that PewDiePie dropped the N-word.
OK, maybe we’re not surprised, but there are people out there defending him, because apparently PewDiePie should be allowed to do a thing that would get you fired from McDonald’s and not have it affect his career at all. Think about it — if you worked at McDonald’s and you burnt your hand on the fry machine and your response was to call the fry machine the N-word, your manager Kyle would be asking to have a quick chat with you in his office.
Online gaming is PewDiePie’s job, and he makes a LOT of money from it — somewhere around $15 million in 2016. He went into work and said the N-word at his $15 million job. It’s almost worse than just saying the N-word at work, because he’s not just an employee; he is the brand, and his performance is his product. It’s equivalent to Coca-Cola casually dropping the N-word into a commercial.
Twitter currently has a trending hashtag called “PewDiePie did nothing wrong.” The overall sentiment of diehard fans seems to be that “he didn’t mean it in a bad way,” which is a thing he said in the video after correcting from the N-word to “fucking asshole.” I know that when I call people a fucking asshole, it’s always meant as a term of endearment. Sometimes I call up my mom on the phone and just yell “‘Sup, you fucking asshole,” because she’s chill and she gets that I mean it in a good way.
There’s also the argument that he said it “in the heat of the moment,” which makes it OK. Except that you don’t say that word in the heat of the moment unless it’s already locked and loaded in your vocabulary for future use. There are 171,476 words in the English language, and he chose to use that word. We’ve all said things in the heat of the moment. I’ve dropped things on my toe before, but there are about 171,475 words I would choose to say instead of that one. He could have called the guy a piano fucker, or a shit pigeon, or literally anything else, but he didn’t. He said the N-word at his job, where the majority of his audience is children.
Now video game developer Campo Santo is filing a copyright takedown request so that PewDiePie can no longer display videos of their games, and they’re encouraging other gaming companies to follow suit. So I guess the moral of the story is: Don’t say the N-word at work. That’s a thing that apparently needs to be said to a 27-year-old adult man in the year of our lord 2017.
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