Regarding the whole feminism debacle, don't you think that a website like Cracked should probably not take sides on issues like this and begin alienating fans?
[Speaking on behalf of myself and not Cracked-at-Large, the policies and shape of which are not under my sole jurisdiction.]
I’m not talking/thinking about every sub-faction of feminism and every misguided protest or action that has resulted from a misinterpretation OF feminism, because feminism is such a huge thing and, as Soren pointed out, not everyone is going to be getting it right, all the time. There will be feminist spin-off groups that don’t quite grasp the message, there will be groups that pervert and distort it for their own agenda, and there will be groups that go overboard and so on, but that is true of literally every movement (civil rights-related, political, religious or otherwise) in the history of time.
I’m by no means an expert, which is why I’m trying to learn, but what I think about when I talk about feminism is what I remember being articulated to me by my sisters-in-law and what I saw/see embodied by my Mom’s example (and my Dad’s, for that matter), and it’s a really simple and clear message to me: Equal political, economic and social rights for men and women. There are smaller and more specific aspects of this broader conversation that are a particular focus of mine (representation in fiction/pop culture, educating people to help make an America where a woman can walk down the street at night feeling exactly as safe as I do, every night of my freaking life [which is to say, very]), but the core remains the same: Equality where it doesn’t currently exist.
So, when you talk about “taking sides,” my knee-jerk response is, uh, what’s your side? I’m not trying to be glib here. I could be wrong but, according to my slow, caveman brain, if my side is equality for men and women then the other side must be inequality, right? And if that’s the case, then, no, I don’t feel any responsibility to give the other side representation in my writing. There’s the potential that in doing so I’ll be alienating readers that either want men to have more rights than women or women to have more rights than men, but that’s a risk I’m absolutely fine with.
hey, I'm a massive fan and I have been for a while now and I was wondering if you could maybe give me some advice on writing dialogue between characters for comedy because I'm really kinda struggling, thanks and sorry about wasting your time.
Reeeeead a lot. I may have mentioned this before, but I was lucky because, in high school, our theater department had a really robust library of plays. Starting sometime in my Junior year I committed myself to reading a new one every single week for no reason other than I liked reading plays more than paying attention in certain classes. Plays are a great writer’s resource, especially if you’re struggling with dialogue.
I would also suggest trying some exercises where you write with a particular person in mind. If you’re writing a scene between two buddy cop characters, Jim and Megatron, for example and you can’t seem to wrap your head around making them sound real or fleshed out, just cast them (when I was writing Dan in Agents of Cracked, I was alternately writing for Jason Bateman or Tobias Funke).
Pretend Jim is going to be played by Michael Cera (who I’ve chosen because he’s got such a specific way of speaking). When Megatron asks Jim if he likes to party, nonexistent Jim might say “Sure” or “I like to party,” but Jim-as-Michael-Cera would say “Party? Oh, I mean, yeah, if you- I’m not exactly, I wouldn’t call myself a party…partysaurous, but, yeah, no yes. Yes. I’m party. I have partied. Yes.” It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t get Michael Cera to play this part (and it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a book where the “parts” aren’t played by ANYONE); what matters is now you have a character with a distinct voice.
Then just pick someone else for your voice inspiration for Megatron (could be a famous person or someone in your life whose cadence and mannerisms you know really well), and see what organically happens when two people with established voices do when stuck together in a specific situation. Michael Cera and Omar from The Wire are in a police car together, on a stakeout. What would they say to each other?
Years ago I was listening to old interviews with young girls given during the height of Beatlemania and you can hear that, as they try to articulate what the Beatles mean to them, they start legitimately hyperventilating and freaking out and suddenly they can’t breathe and I remember thinking “Weird, I love the Beatles to bits and pieces but I can’t wrap my head around having such a real, physical reaction to a piece of music or art” and then Beyonce and Nicki Minaj dropped the Flawless remix and then Nicki put out the Anaconda video and now my fucking body is fucking changing.
So why does Cracked CONSTANTLY push Feminist propaganda so hard? And let's not bullshit ourselves. You do. Just yesterday you published five articles. Two specifically referenced either Feminism or Feminist backed statistics. Conversely whenever you cover anything related to the opposition you not only mislead about their views... you straight up fucking lie about them and people let you get away with it because you're a "humor magazine". So I'm wondering why you propagandize *so hard*. Why?
Because we’re true believers!
Let me take this moment to say how Cracked could have gone another direction 7 or 8 years ago, a more Maximy, Booby Gallery of the Day direction if not for the steadfast resistance of David Wong and Jack O’Brien. I barely acknowledge the side that opposes feminism, but Wong goes out of his way to understand people who are mad at feminists, and he writes about those views with more sensitivity and understanding that I could ever muster.
To sum up: We don’t have an explicit agenda but if one comes across, It’s not one I’m ashamed of.
Alright, i’m gonna sit down and basically explain the situation in this ask so everyone of my followers knows why i’m so pissed.
Michael Brown, a 17 - 18 year old african american boy was unlawfully shot (8-10 times supposedly) by police in St Louis, Missouri on saturday, august 9th, 2014. He was unarmed, and had done nothing to attract suspicion other than the fact that he was black. His body was left in the street for 4 hours. (beware: somewhat graphic image linked)
There are several claims from witnesses (see: Dorian Johnson’s account and video [HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UP ON HIS ACCOUNT, ITS VERY SPECIFIC] — Brown’s friend who experienced the situation first hand, La’Toya Cash and Phillip Walker— Ferguson residents nearby the incident), that fall together in generally close claims. However, the only one who’s claim seems out of place is the police officer’s who shot Brown. Who, by the way, is put off on paid administrative leave AND who’s name remained under anonymity for his safety (However, attorney Benjamin Crump is looking for a way to force release his name). He claims that Brown began to wrestle the officer for his gun and tried attacking him after he told Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson (22) to “get the f*ck on the sidewalk”.
According to Johnson, after a minor confrontation on the officer’s part where he grabbed Brown by the neck and then by the shirt, the officer pulled his gun on Brown and shot him at point blank range on the right side of his body. Brown and Johnson were able to get away briefly and started running. However, Brown was shot in the back, supposedly disabling him from getting very far. He turned around with his arms in the air and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By this point, Brown and the officer were face to face as the cop shot him several times in the face and chest until he was finally dead. Johnson ran to his apartment and by the sound of his account, seemingly had some sort of panic attack. Later he emerged from his home to see Brown still laying in the streets. People were gathered with their cellphones, screaming at the police.
Numerous rumors are sweeping around such as Brown stealing candy from a QuickTrip, the store he emerged from calling the cops on him, Brown reaching for a gun, Brown attacking the cop first, ect. But these have all been debunked. (I know a lot of these have been debunked, but im having a hard time finding sources. if anyone could help out and link some legit ones id be SO grateful)
The event in and of itself was terrible, but now it has escalated beyond belief. Around 100 or more people, mostly black, went to the police station to protest peacefully. Things quickly turned bad as martial law got involved and authorities were bringing in K9s, tanks, heavy artillery, ect. The heavy police presence only made things worse as riots began to break out and looting and vandalism started. [ x ] [ x ] [ x ]
Now, as of very recently, the media has been banned from Ferguson. There is also a No-Fly zone above Ferguson for the reason of “ TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES ” as said on the Federal Aviation Commission’s website. Cop cars are lined up on the borders to prevent people from entering/leaving. Media outlets are being threatened with arrest. It completely violates our amendments and everything.
It’s becoming increasingly scary and difficult to find out whats going on over there. I’m afraid this is all the information I have, though. If anybody else knows anything about the situation, please feel free to add on or correct any mistakes i’ve made as i’m no expert on writing these things.
And as a personal favor, i’d really appreciate anyone to give this a reblog in order to spread the word. I think it’s a shame that this is going on in our own country yet so few people know about it. Help me make this topic huge and get this as much attention as possible.
I've been wanting to pitch an idea for an article to Cracked but I, being shy and anxiety-filled, am terrified to actually post the pitch. Do you have any advice?
Eesh, good luck, buddy!
Shyness is a comforting and useful “tool” for lack of a better word, and my instincts for a long time sided with shyness and caution, and there’s a lot of merit to that. Let’s talk about some things that my shyness, nervousness or anxiety accomplished for me:
They have, without question, resulted in me being comfortable, I won’t pretend that they didn’t. I’d be in class, in college, listening to a bunch of people talk about something that I didn’t agree with and I’d think “Maybe I should interject,” and then I’d remember that I’m probably the only one with my opinion and it wouldn’t help anyone if I rocked the boat, and anyway if all of these people thought the same way they were probably right, so shush, Daniel. And boy, sitting in a classroom quietly will always feel more comfortable than having a bunch of eyes on you when you’re saying something you know a bunch of people won’t like. And that comfort is nice and reassuring. Mmmmm, tasty comfort.
Or I’d see a cute girl reading a book at my coffee shop [or bar or office or The World] and think “Maybe I should introduce myself and find out what she likes,” and then instead I’d ultimately choose to read my own book and, sure, sitting on my own without having to talk to someone new who could potentially hurt my feelings, I didn’t start breathing fast and I didn’t start sweating and I felt very comfortable, so much more comfortable than if I’d tried to stutter my way through an introduction.
Or I’d have an idea for an article and I’d write it up and I’d consider submitting it to a magazine I liked, but then I’d imagine the cold, rejection letter that could potentially follow. And I’d think about how depressed that could make me, how embarrassed I’d feel, how maybe the rejection would sting so hard that I’d quit writing altogether. And then I’d decide “Nah, this is another one just for ME. Not going to submit it.” And, PHEW, what a sigh of relief! It’s legitimately comforting and wonderful.
But I should be clear right now, I don’t actually remember any of those things. I don’t remember sitting quietly in class. And I don’t remember not approaching the cute girl at the [insert place], and I can’t remember the names of any of the magazines I didn’t submit to. Which isn’t to say that those things didn’t happen; I’m positive that they did. I’m sure that they happened a bunch of times, I just don’t remember them with any clarity.
I can’t remember specific examples where I bit my tongue in class, but I remember how amazing/terrifying it felt to be the first one in a room saying “Wait, let’s rethink this,” and people listened.
I don’t remember every interesting woman I didn’t talk to, but I remember the smile of every single one that I was (temporarily) brave enough to try to make laugh.
I was too nervous to submit probably 200 articles or short stories or one-act-plays to websites, magazines and contests. I don’t remember any of those pieces of content (or the names of any of the sites, magazines or contest). What I DO remember, with eternal specificity, is the first article I had submitted, completely cold, to Cracked. The rough draft was written in red pen in one of those College Ruled notebooks. I wrote it when I should have been paying attention in Astronomy, a Summer Semester class I was taking my junior year of college. I typed it up when I went home that night and submitted it. The minute it was accepted by then-editor Jay Pinkerton, I told my big brothers, and then I took out my friends Joe and Jaclyn for a late night snack of cream-of-turkey soup at our favorite piece-of-shit diner to tell them the good news, and then a few days later I told my Mom because she seemed bummed that day and I thought it might cheer her up (I originally planned to keep my Cracked writing a secret from her, because there were curse-words in it and I didn’t want to upset/embarrass her. For the record, when I DID tell her I’d sold my first article, her response was “I’m sure they’ll buy more and more articles and then just hire you full-time,” and then of course that happened, because Moms know more than us).
It may not have been comfortable, but I sure do remember it, and other moments like it. In fact, before falling asleep at night, I have never comforted myself with idle thoughts of the chances I didn’t take. Even when things DON’T work out, it’s more fun to relive the chances you took than it is to dwell on the ones you didn’t.
Anytime you do something like that, something that scares you or makes you breathe fast, you’re going to feel uncomfortable. But, I don’t know. Do you think you were put on this big, silly Earth to sit around being comfortable?
“There comes that phase in life when, tired of losing, you decide to stop losing, then continue losing. Then you decide to really stop losing, and continue losing. The losing goes on and on so long you begin to watch with curiosity, wondering how low you can go.”—
My name is Caylyn, I’m 18, and I had a horrific experience with a guy. The two pictures above are pictures of the two outfits I was wearing the two times I met this guys, the first being weeks before our encounter and the second being only a few weeks ago. So here it goes… I went…
“I’m not sure where this new installment falls in your franchise, but if it’s the third film you should consider titling it ‘L3prechaun.’”—I woke myself up this morning by saying that out loud. Apparently in my dream I was brought in as a consultant for the Leprechaun franchise (a series of horror films that even in my dream I still have not seen) and that was my first contribution. It stands to reason that I probably I had Leprech4un up my sleeve as well but was likely holding it back to dazzle them later.
John Mayer has a lyric that goes “I wish there was an over-the-counter drug for my loneliness. FOR MY LONELINESS!” I can’t stop thinking about him saying that in earnest to a therapist who is just trying to keep it together. I’m going to challenge myself to slip it into a conversation. I want to do a joyful painting of how that lyric makes me feel. I want John to sell the rights to that song to an anti-depressant medication so the commercial starts and that lyric plays and then the guy from the All State commercials says “Now there is, John. It’s called ‘Artaxal,’ and I think you’ll find it’s what’s been missing.” I want to hear Tracey Morgan read that lyric as Tracey Jordan. I want John to get married and in his vows say “I thought I wanted an over-the-counter drug for my loneliness, for my loneliness, but really all I needed was you, by my side, Lana del Ray or whatever.” This lyric is the best thing to happen to me in such a long time.
Quick question: Do you know where your book "How to Fight Presidents..." would be located in a Barnes & Noble, or if it is even in them? I want to read it but prefer to buy my books in person rather than online. Which is curious because I am far too anxious to actually approach a B&N employee for help searching for your book. Any and all help is appreciated, thanks!
I think it most often shows up in History sections, and that varies depending on how specific the History section at your particular Barnes and Noble is. Some have a “US Presidents” section and some have a general “American History” section and some just have an even MORE general “History” section, nothing else. I’ve never seen it in the Humor section, which is fine by me, because I don’t think any of the funniest books I’ve ever read came from the Humor section of a bookstore, and a few stores occasionally rotate it into their “Helpful, Humorous and Odd” tables (though probably not anymore, this far away from the release date).
This week former congressman Todd Akin reaffirmed his beliefs that victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant & that the female body “has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” A lot of people don’t believe him, but that’s why I’m here! To explain why he’s DEAD RIGHT, using SCIENCE!!
I’ve been re-watching a lot of Looney Tunes cartoons recently because there are so many amazing comedy/writing lessons that can be learned from those old cartoons (pay close attention to speed, efficiency, and jokes-per-second). Anyone who wants to write comedy should really watch a ton of those old cartoons, just to be blown away. The amount of jokes they cram into an episode is humbling.
But watching these cartoons brought something else up. The Bugs-Fudd relationship has really been sticking out to me lately. To begin with, I always felt alienated by Bugs. Even as a child, as someone who identified more with Daffy (confused, incapable underdog with a completely unearned sense of self-confidence), I always felt Bugs was kind of a jerk even though intellectually I understood that I was SUPPOSED to hold him up as a hero (he is, after all, the closest thing Looney Tunes had to an official mascot). It was always weird. I knew I was supposed to like Bugs because he was the face of this cartoon show I liked and he always won, but I never quite wanted to be/hang out with him.
Rewatching now, as an adult, I have even more problems with Bugs specifically related to his dealings with Elmer Fudd. Fudd isn’t Yosemite Sam, he’s not some violent jerk with a hair-trigger temper; he’s a simple worker. Nothing about Elmer Fudd is high status, he’s not handsome or bright or rich or important. He can’t even remember if it’s Rabbit Season or Duck Season, he’s just trying to work the only job he can do. It’s very telling that he’s not a master hunter, he’s not tracking lions or rhinos. He’s tracking ducks and rabbits, because that’s his level. It was also important to me to note that he paid strict attention to what season it was. He wasn’t a horrible, destructive poacher like George C. Scott’s character in The Rescuers Down Under, he sat around patiently waiting for the time when he could legally hunt rabbits and ducks and then acted accordingly.
And he is the villain, according to Looney Tunes law.
That seems very unfair to me. Bugs was always Elmer’s bully. We were supposed to root for Bugs, but he’s the bully. Tormenting the sweet, kind-of-slow guy who talks funny.
I don’t know. I wrote this thing because Elmer Fudd is the Forest Gump of the LT universe, and it’s weird they made him a villain. I added the Mom stuff to really drive home how sad Fudd’s life must have been.
Hi Mom! Gosh, where do I start? The weather’s been good (perfect for rabbit season), sessions with my speech therapist seem to be going well (I hope to be able to wish you a “MERRY” Christmas this year, not “Mewwy.” That’ll be my gift to you!) and I’m making lots of friends.
But holy cow, all I REALLY want to talk about is this girl I met. Sorry, this woman. I met someone, Mom, someone special.I know I have a habit of rushing into things but, Mom, I think she’s the one. She’s so beautiful, she’s so sweet (but still kind of sassy) and she doesn’t even seem to mind my speech impediment. She accepts me, just when I thought that kind of thing would be impossible. She’s so confident, she’s on another level, I just want to give her everything to see what she can make out of it. What she even sees in a dummy like me is anyone’s guess.
OH, and best of all I met her while hunting, if you can believe it. She’s into hunting! She was just out in the woods and I found her—well, we found each other. We didn’t even speak at first, because we didn’t NEED to, there was just this CONNECTION. Instantly. So much went unspoken, it was like we were waiting for each other. She wasn’t shy about approaching me and, bizarrely, I wasn’t shy either, because we just worked together, immediately. We kissed! Right when we met! I love her. I LOVE HER!
I don’t think I knew what love was, before. I had a dim understanding of it, from movies and songs, and I remember what you and Dad were like together, but until I met Her, I only understood love anecdotally, as a bystander. I finally feel like I’m a participant, and I never thought I would be. Beyond that, I feel lucky. I’m not saying “I’m lucky because I get to be with her,” I’m saying “I’m lucky because I get the privilege of loving her.” Do you understand that, does that make sense? Even if she didn’t love me back, I will forever be grateful just for getting the opportunity to love her. Because I know what my life was like before I loved her, and I don’t even think I would call that a life, now. It feels so good to love her, to have love inside of me, to feel what normal people feel. I get to love her, do you understand? I get to. I’m allowed to. I weep at how lucky that makes me. Mom, I weep.
Listen to me, going on and on about this woman. We’re supposed to meet up in the woods again tomorrow. I’m going to ask her if she wants to go dancing with me. I don’t really dance, but I know most women like doing it so I looked up places that offer Salsa lessons for couples and there are some affordable ones in my area. I figured a dancing class would be a nice date. We can be close and we can talk, and we can move together.
I’ve rambled enough. I gotta get ready for tomorrow. I don’t even know how I’m going to sleep!
Love and Respect Forever,
Your Son Elmer
PS I know things must get lonely around the house since Dad’s passing, but remember that your “Lil’ Elmmy” loves you and is always thinking about you. I wish I could be by your side right now, but of course I have to try to catch and sell enough animals so we can afford to keep the house (I’ve included a check for $25; it’s all I made last week). It’ll get easier, Mom, I swear to God it’ll get easier. It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.
May 15, 1972
Disregard previous letter. It was a boy rabbit in a dress. I don’t know why he did it. Don’t ask me about it.
Hello Mr. O'Brien! I hope you are well! I just read your Cracked article about adopting a dog, and saw the picture of your dog from May. I am really happy for you! Could you please show us more pictures and tell us a bit about your dog?
I made a promise long ago that I would only run for president if Ole Dirty Bastard could be my running mate (for reasons that should be obvious). He is, as far as you’re concerned “dead,” as is my campaign.
Hello! My questions are: I can't find any information on any, (IF any) acting training you have had. You are extremely good in front of a camera; it took me a fair bit into my own acting degree to learn how to get out of my head and make eye contact, heh heh. If the answer is none, What is your impression of what "the process" is like, and have you ever dealt with the questions, "who am I", "what am I doing", etc for a role? kloveyoubye.
Someone writes words down (sometimes me!) and then when all the lights are in the right place, someone says “Action,” which is code for “Pretend you’re the person who thought the words that are on the paper or, failing that, say them in the right order. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is to remember what you were doing with your hands because when we move the camera around and shoot this same scene from a different angle we need everything to match up for continuity.” It’s just playing pretend. Acting is easy which is why it’s literally the only job children can legally do.
After a very long time away, I’m happy to announce that my Hate By Numbers video series might be returning. It’s been a long road for Hate By Numbers and the show might not be known to all of you. Some of you know me from my novel, some from Twitter, and some only as a Cracked columnist. I’ll…
Hate by Numbers will come back if YOU want it to. I dream of a future where all content happens this way.