Heed them.

November 16, 2011

5 Reasons Cracked.com Sucks

I can't say I hate 'America's Only Humor Site Since 1958' since I have read a lot of it, and laughed at the content, if not the tepid joke in it's header. Yet whenever I continue to read past whatever article someone posted a link to on facebook, I begin to cringe, for these reasons:

1. "5 reasons, 7 things, 6 bad-ass something-or-other..."

Titling every article with the promise that the article will be broken down into tiny, easy to understand pieces is condescending, because it assumes that the reader(me) is lazy. It's also lazy on the part of the writer, as he is only promising to make one point over and over again, like I'm doing now! Every article might as well be titled "[7] Paragraphs repeating [this point]"

2. "[7] Paragraphs repeating [this point] about the Zombie Apocalypse."

Will this boring folklore ever die? It's been done, it's dying, it's dead.(Get it, Huh? Cracked.com Gold!) Maybe it's just me,(all of my peers have assured me that it's just me,) but I think Zombies are a played-out subject and that the Z-apocalypse will never happen. I get the lure: it's much more difficult to admit to yourself that your life will be filled with boring alive people who are incapable of bringing about the apocalypse for the next EIGHTY FUCKING YEARS.

But have some faith in the destructive power of average humans!

3. Paternalist tone.

Scratch the surface, or read between the lines of any more political article, and you'll find a pudgy, cowardly boogeyman typing from a basement behind a mask like the phantom of the opera - A generation-X member.
These people, just like your annoying and ignorant older brother or sister, were never asked to fight in any wars, had an unlimited supply of LSD throughout middle and high school, and had decent white-collar jobs available to them but decided to become ravers or indie-rock musicians instead because their parents house wasn't being foreclosed on yet.
It was these same people, along with the baby-boomers, who turned an ironic, too-smart-to-raise-a-fuss blind eye to our country while it circled the drain and flushed everyone under 30 today along with it. And now they want to give us life-advice?
Fuck them.

4. Refusal/Aversion to profanity and the mythical 'obscenity'.

It's easy to notice the network-TV-safe 'yay titties!' beavis-and-buttheadist appreciation for sexual content on Cracked.com, and I guess they have to try to be work-safe, but c'mon: it's the INTERNET! Act like it! Elementary-school students everywhere are exploring the internet now and you better bet they'll pass up Cracked.com for hardcore Slave-rape stories(I guess it's not rape if it's a slave? I dunno... historical context... Thomas Jefferson, etc.).
Todays internet 'standards' are that you have to use all the 'seven dirty words' the late George Carlin used plus advocate an unpopular, illegal activity(like robbery or kidnapping) explicitly. Keep up, nigga.

5. Commenters

Hell is other commenters on the internet. Other people, IRL, are actually pretty decent by comparison. I can't completely blame Cracked.com for this one, because since internet immemorial shit-talking commenters have observed that shit-talking commenters use the anonymity of the internet to post shit-talking comments they wouldn't own up to in person. However, one glance at Cracked.com's comment section reflects on its readership- at least the readership that would be proud enough of having read to actually register to comment. Comments on better-written articles hosted by other sites are merely stupid.
Cracked.com comments can induce an out-of-body yet somehow still-nauseating experience.

Pass that shit!


  1. A lot of the badness of the internet is that ad-supported sites get paid by CPM, that's cost per impression—more people seeing more pages means more money. This is why TV is often less good than films: when you see a movie, you pay $10 for a ticket, and that's it. Filmmakers make movies you want to see, and that you then recommend to your friends. TV shows are designed to hook you, because more money is made for each episode you watch. This is fine if you like stories that go on forever—I like Battlestar Galactica, and it wouldn't have existed in the same way as a film—but this incentivizes creators to make stuff that you can't pull away from instead of stuff that you enjoy.

    So, that badness is applicable to any sort of ad-supported medium. Cracked is a special case because they've refined the technique of sucking you in. I think this explains points 1, 2, 4, and 5 to some extent. Lists, in particular, are a plague on blogs. They are, as you note, easy to write. They're also easy to spread over several pages, making more pageviews. On Lifehacker (I do read the Apple and iPhone feeds), there are oodles of dumb posts, like the top 7 task management apps. This is idiotic: you tried 7 task management apps, you tell me which one is the best, don't confuse me by talking about the 4 of those 7 that you think suck. Also, commenters normally ruin big blogs and are only there to drive pageviews.

    I agree with you on all of these points, and most importantly, #3. I agree with Mr Andrews, in noting that "5 Ways We Ruined the Occupy Wall Street Generation" was an idiotic, smug, condescending, incurious piece.

  2. Interesting points about driving page-views. I always wondered why they split every article into 2 pages(since it doesn't save anyone the trouble of scrolling down anyhow)- now I know. I guess one could call this TV-style internet. And there's a reason I don't watch broadcast TV.

  3. Number 3 is probably my largest peeve with Cracked. What makes this point even worse is when the author does not follow up with any sources or actual research.

    There are two cases that I can mention immediately for this. The first one is found in (http://www.cracked.com/article/127_5-ways-to-hack-your-brain-into-awesomeness/). A red flag here is number 5, which targets polyphazic sleep patterns. The article does not mention the drawbacks and consequences of polyphazic sleep, and its only given source is a sketchy article on an open-submission web site. Polyphazic sleep is dangerous, but the article glorifies it with promises of more time for gaming.

    Speaking of gaming, the second article that supports my argument is found at (http://www.cracked.com/article_16983_the-11-most-retarded-fictional-weapons_p2.html). This is undoubtedly one of the worst Cracked articles I have ever read. For starters, number 2 his completely inaccurate (the first red flag being that they refered to the weapon Squall uses a "gunsword", which is actually a different weapon that uses completely different mechanics... namely that Squall's weapon does not fire bullets. This bit of the article is as accurate as saying the internet is incompetent because television programing isn't interactive). Two places before that though, in number four, is just as awful. The author criticizes a weapon that he can not imagine using, even though a weapon similar in concept known as the chakram can be mastered and used efficiently. My largest grievance with this article, however, is that it reverses number 5 entirely; the article is filled with fans and critics correcting the author and pointing out obvious flaws in the article that should be present in the first place.

  4. Don't take Cracked too seriously, i mean, it's a comedy site. Sometimes (actually a lot more) they exaggerate things, but that's to make people laugh. By the way, Squall's gunblade does fire bullets. It's a sword and a gun. A gunsword. You're judging the entire site because of 2 articles. Remember, everyone is different. Not every Cracked writer is exactly the same. Some are good, some are bad. You're also saying that the author (basically any and every author) does not follow up with any sources or actual research, which is ludicrous. Most (well actually,nearly all) articles do mention the research AND the source. Some writers are terrible, and others great, but you shouldn't judge the entire site JUST BECAUSE of some bad articles or authors. BTW this is a reply to the other Anonymous. I forgot the reply button and instead clicked comment. :P

  5. I agree. As a student and historian, I found it to be horrible, how inacurrate most of their articles (like "X things that...") are. Take the topic about "5 Weapon Myths You Probably Believe (Thanks to Movies)" (http://www.cracked.com/article_20052_5-weapon-myths-you-probably-believe-thanks-to-movies.html): the paragraph about swords is absolutely incorrect. Many medieval fighting manuals in fact DO tell you to use the edge-on-edge parry. The author quotes ARMA for the tradition of swordmanship by fencing master Johannes Liechtenauer, but is completely ignorant, that we have sources on more than 60 different fencing styles in the medieval times in europe, not just one (it was a continent). A lot of these styles DID favorise the infamous edge-on-edge parry, the styles used in kingdom of heaven IS actually historically accurate and facts about the mentioned style can be found in the Züricher Fechtbüchlein from 1564. They even hired a fencing master who was familiar with this fencing style. This article shows, that the author did not even try to understand the very basics of the field he was writing about. The part with the armoured combat shows a video with some amateurs, trying to beat each other in armour. This barely resembles the historical styles, despite that there are fecing masters on YouTube, who represent the actual styles with great effort.

    Another badly researched part would be the "Silencers Turn Gunfire Into a Gentle Whisper"-segment of the article "5 Ridiculous Gun Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)" (http://www.cracked.com/article_18576_5-ridiculous-gun-myths-everyone-believes-thanks-to-movies.html?wa_user1=5&wa_user2=Movies+%26+TV&wa_user3=article&wa_user4=recommended). They mention, that silencers were not how they are presented by Hollywood, but ignore the fact, that there are many different versions of silencers who have different abilities and get used for different reasons. The sound the silencer makes in the video games "GoldenEye" is the ACTUAL sound a silencers for the Walther PPK makes. If you ask me, how I know this: I was a member of the infantry in my country and we frequently used Walther PPKs with silencers for target practice. The author obviously never used a Walther PPK with a silencer.

    People read these topics and take them for real, this only leads to more superficial knowledge about actual historical events. The parts with aliens and zombies are terrible. They mix real data with fantasy, which is misleading. Do not forget: most people take all data - that is presented to them in a "right" looking way - they can get and take it for serious.

  6. Agreed, number 3 is especially a strong case against Cracked. While I enjoyed them a lot on the past, good writers are less and less common on that site. Overly-simplistic, condescending articles written with little fact and much person opinion mixed in is what killed Cracked.

  7. #1 is, like you said, exactly what you are doing. Stop calling me lazy.

    I don't know how many zombie articles are on there (#2), but I haven't seen as many as you seem to think. You make it seem like that's the content of half the articles on there.

    There are an awful lot of assumptions made in #3.

    Are they supposed to sound exactly like every other website (#4)? I don't see a whole lot of that kind of language in this post outside of #4, by the way. "Keep up" and so forth.

    You don't like the comments section on Cracked (#5). At least you're willing to say it's not their fault.

    No one is saying you have to like Cracked, just like I don't have to like your blog. Then why am I here? I don't know, I'm drunk.

  8. Cracked is nothing more than faggot propaganda.

  9. They are becoming more and more a click bait resource for page views. Sensationalist articles are outweighing the "comedy". (10 SCARRRYYYY THINGS ...BLAH BLAH.)
    I use Ad-block, but I white list sites I respect. But I now purposely block as much as I can when I go there to attempt to find something.

  10. Cracked: All fags, all the time.

  11. Cracked has always had a problem with insulting its own readers. Since GamerGate, it has become an obsession. A lot of their advice articles talk down to the reader and assume that he (always male) is a whiny, immature, entitled etc. failure in life. A lot of their political and social commentary articles are not just biased (which is to be expected) but speak as if anyone with different views is evil and/or stupid, often outright calling you an asshole for ever disagreeing with the author's viewpoint. Both of these types then set up mental traps by saying you're "part of the problem" or "just proving me right" by criticising the article at all.

  12. If anything, the ignorant n*g*ers over at Cracked.com need to scale back the level at which they feel comfortable cussing at because cussing is inherently lazy when it comes to writing an article. For realsies.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I haven't read Cracked.com much in years, but I recall the cussing and "writing like you talk" to sound edgy and appeal to people with no attention spans. No one who matters will take you seriously as a writer, but then if you have Cracked.com on your resume, then no one will take you seriously at all.