Upworthy-Like Parody Site's List Probably Includes More Useful Information Than Most of Upworthy


who failed?
Iraqi State Television

Last month, The Onion launched, a parody of websites such as Upworthy that utilize the "You Won't Believe…" headline template to best take advantage of perceived social media consumption habit to hilarious effect. I may well have learned about it when a commenter here posted this story that at first glance looked like it was on a simple Upworthy knock off.

Yesterday, though, ran a piece, "5 U.S.-Backed Regimes That Failed So Hard They Won," that applied the irreverence the website's displayed toward the Things People Care About on Social Media to a topic, foreign policy intervention, that doesn't get as much play as, say, self-congratulations about speaking truth to power by rattling off slogans and talking points. The item on Iraq:  

The war in Iraq was an epic fail for sure, and even though it's finished now, the fail just keeps on coming! The government that the U.S. established to replace Saddam Hussein is trying to break the world record in fail, ceding power and strategic interests to extremist militants pretty much on the reg despite a $14 billion U.S. investment to stabilize the country following the troop withdrawal. Gotta hand it to us, when we fail, we fail HARD!

Read the rest here. There's an error in the last item placing Carter's presidency "throughout the 80s." I'd remind you it's a parody website to explain how the error made it into the live version, but actual news outlets sadly make mistakes about history too.

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  1. Defending American economic interests from Soviet aggression, the Carter administration generously aided Afghan insurgents throughout the ’80s

    Best part about being a Buzzfeed parody: the egregious factual errors that nobody on Buzzfeed would notice.

  2. …”websites such as Upworthy that utilize the “You Won’t Believe?” headline template to best take advantage of perceived social media consumption habit to hilarious effect.”

    I can only guess WIH this means: Is it an ironic take on meta-irony? A cultural Klein Bottle?

    1. What is truely sad, is that that gibberish makes sense to me.

      1. At least once a day, I have to stop and marvel at a sentence, usually one of mine, that would have been pure gibberish not that long ago.

        “Look, my wifi was down, so I didn’t get the Tweet, and I don’t do Facebook.”

  3. Someone gave MoveOn some venture capital. Here’s what happened next.

  4. I hope there aren’t any annoying ads like “One Weird Trick a Hamas Uses To Get $$$ From Jew Government”.

    1. I did notice a shocking(!) vid.

  5. “Look, my wifi was down, so I didn’t get the Tweet, and I don’t do Facebook.”

    But did you ever manage to get those eels out of your hovercraft?

    1. No, but back home I could bullseye womprats in my T-16, and they’re not much more culturally relevant than hovercrafts.

    2. But did you ever manage to get those eels out of your hovercraft?

      It’s an art installation, we can’t remove the eels.

    1. 10. If you’re stopped by a police officer, simply answer any questions truthfully and try not to remember that he could beat you to death with absolutely no consequences.

      1. That is true, but you should not answer every question truthfully. Some questions should not be answered truthfully, if lying both stands a good chance of succeeding and the lie’s success will shorten the encounter. So for example, the cop asks, “do you have any weapons in the car?” and you have a shotgun in the trunk, the answer should be “no, I do not”. Telling the truth there just opens up an avenue for him to fuck with you and chances are he won’t check in the trunk and will move along and leave you alone.

        1. Or potentially just do not answer the questions as is your fifth amendment right. I liked the list for the lulz, less for the legal advice:

          2. If you challenge a cop to a race, he legally has to race you. If you beat him, you are the cop.

          1. Disclaimer – this is not legal advice and I am unqualified to give legal advice.

          2. Legally, you are right. Practically, not answering questions just gives him an excuse to fuck with you.

      2. It’s funny because it’s true…

    2. A handy pamphlet that explains your rights.

  6. Ridicule is our greatest weapon. The Left cannot be reasoned with. They are however defined by their smugness and earnestness. And those who are smug and earnest cannot take ridicule.

    1. You missed a thread over the weekend, where Tony argued that the identity of the person making an argument is more important than the argument itself.

      Who care what you’re saying–it whether the person saying it is white.

      Then a bunch of his weirdo prog friends swarmed in to defend this idea–like it’s really smart! …and we’re a bunch of stupid conservatives for not seeing its genius.

      Yeah, arguing with people who do not care what your argument is–only the group identities of the people arguing–is not in any way helpful. Ridicule is the answer.

      It was on another Ames post, where this time, he was accusing Reason of being holocaust deniers!

        1. From that thread, this may be the most epic rejoinder to any of Tony’s bullshit ever:

          The Immaculate Trouser|7.26.14 @ 4:02PM|#

          Tony, a movement’s demography is immaterial to the validity of their opinions or propriety of their concerns. The best way to show this is through counter-examples such as the ones I show below, though one can of course use others. For example, you are a stupid, annoying faggot with murderous impulses towards the dissident and airs of superiority towards your fellows, even those who agree with you but are insufficiently educated to your taste. In a sense, one can say that your entire package of beliefs, being unique to yourself, is 100% composed of this demographic. Yet none of this *explains* why you are wrong: you are wrong because your logic is flawed; you are using a form of ad hominem because demography is a non-sequitur when discussing the validity of a governing principle. You are wrong because your chain of logic is broken; you being a terrible person is just a nice bonus.

          The strongest indictment of the modern liberal arts program is that they let you through it without understanding this very basic logic of reasoned discourse.


          1. That post was the best damn entertainment of my weekend.

            I laughed harder than when we kids found out the word cock is in the Bible.

      1. That is Marxism straight up. The entire thing is based on collective guilt and the denial of the individual. You are judged by your class not your merit. Fascism is just a variation of that that judges you by your race.

    2. “The Left cannot be reasoned with.”

      Yesterday while driving back from Texas I heard excerpts from an Obumbles speech on the radio. It was pure nonsense, just babbling blither. Some members of his audience asked him questions. The questions were even worse. They had no connection to reality whatsoever.

      “What if Africa united and wanted to join the United States?”

      “How committed is the U.S. to ending gender inequality in Africa?”

      Holy fuckin’ shit, what idiots. The left is an intellectual freak show.

      1. That’s high-larious that you stumbled upon that claptrap. That fucking Africa initiative is what has been making my working life hell for a year now.

      2. We laugh at this stuff so often, it’s hard to remember that it’s real.

        People really think this stuff.

        For reals.

  7. Remember: This man suffered a traumatic brain injury. I give you Matt Yglesias. He’s like the Man Without Soul from Amazon Women on the Moon.

    Given his enormous achievements as Secretary of State, John Kerry has to be considered a leading contender for the 2016 nomination.

    1. The fact that this can be said without a trace of irony or sarcasm is the strongest evidence that the DC set is completely disconnected from the rest of the country — to say nothing of reason, common sense, and good taste.

      If we’re going to have a political class, can they have something cool going for them like Bushido? Yglesias ain’t quite cutting it as an expression of the General Will.

      1. The funny thing about Yglesias is that he is too stupid to even be an effective hack. I get it that he views his mission in life as defending the Dem Party line. There are, however, better and worse ways of doing that. The worse way is defending every single point no matter how ridiculous. The better way is strategically giving ground and then explaining and excusing. The party line now is that Obama and Kerry have made the best of the horrible hand and bad luck dealt of them. The party line is not “everything is great”. Yglesias really is retarded. There is something wrong with him. No one, not even a hack, says things that fucking stupid without really being that stupid.

        1. Head injured. He got punched in the back of the head by a bunch of thugs in DC. So really, the fact that he earns his own keep is something that we should laud him for. Although, I bet Ezra’s counting him as the token disabled person on Vox.

          1. After his severe head trauma, ADA required that Slate make reasonable accommodations to keep him on staff. Slate accommodated him by placing him in one of their several village idiot positions. I imagine he was drooling when he tweeted about Kerry’s foreign policy achievements.

            1. I think he works at Vox now. And yes, it is good of Slate to give him a pay check and a roof over his head.

        2. “The party line now is that Obama and Kerry have made the best of the horrible hand and bad luck dealt of them. ”

          Hasn’t that been his excuse since the first day in the white house? Everything is someone else’s fault.

          Yesterday I heard him say that one of the flaws in our system is that congress is uncooperative. Yep, that is congress’s job, to follow his instructions. Even if the man were declared all powerful king, he would still fuck up everything he touches, and it would still be someone else’s fault.

          1. Yes. Obama never fails. He always succeeds. The results only vary based on the bad luck he is dealt.

            1. Its the TOP. MEN. trap. If their guy was capable of failure then they can’t really be better than the other TOP. MEN. So they have to continue to lie about how he “meant to do that”.

    2. Wow. While I actually agree with him being considered a leading contender for the 2016 Dem nomination, the first part of that sentence is hallucinatory.

      1. Sometimes I wonder if these guys aren’t just taking the piss. Hmm, what’s the most bullshit clause I can write today?

        Apparently, being unable to stop Clinton’s slide into not having a foreign policy, but an ever-shifting set of statements designed to salvage today’s media cycle counts as enormous achievement. Me, peronally, I’d be running primary ads saying: “Remember when John Kerry got his ass handed to him by that dumbass GWB? Why give the Republicans another win?”

  8. Gotta hand it to us, when we fail, we fail HARD!

    Fail by whose criteria? Sure, they were spectacular failures if judged by the ostensible purpose. As Robert Higgs observed:

    Anyone who listens to the news hears a lot about failed policies…
    But politicians who talk about failed policies are just blowing smoke. Government policies succeed in doing exactly what they are supposed to do: channeling resources bilked from the general public to politically organized and influential interest groups.
    When we take a realistic view of the political process, we see that so-called failed polices are nearly always spectacular successes.

    The post-9/11 wars have been particularly successful: not only did they channel riches and power to political elites, but they also reduced the once-proud denizens of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to a bunch of cowering serfs who are proud of their chains and who praise their betters for keeping them safe. War is the health of the State, not the accomplishment of its ostensible aims.

    1. True but it hasn’t been the foreign wars that have done it. It has been our domestic policy. We didn’t have to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to create the TSA.

  9. a topic, foreign policy intervention, that doesn’t get as much play as, say, self-congratulations about speaking truth to power by rattling off slogans and talking points.

    Maybe I’m not getting the joke, but that article sounds exactly like “self-congratulations about speaking truth to power by rattling off slogans and talking points”.

    For instance, the US didn’t orchestrate the overthrow of Allende. We knew it was oging to happen and did not trouble ourselves to intervene.

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