Satire

5 Reasons You Actually Should Put Gorilla Glue in Your Hair

What's the worst that could happen?

Update 2/12/2021: Since publication, a 37-year-old Louisiana man named Len Martin reportedly attempted to jump on the social media wave and prove that Tessica Brown's hair mishap was a hoax by using Gorilla Glue to attach a plastic cup to his upper lip in order to show how easily it is to remove... Except that it's not easy at all, and he ended up in the hospital, as will anyone else who attempts the "Gorilla Glue Challenge."

It's not yet known if his lip will heal on its own or require surgery. So in case it wasn't clear from the disclaimers that this article was intended as satire, let's state it clearly: if you put Gorilla Glue on yourself, you will regret it, and will more than likely end up in the hospital... So don't.

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Culture Feature

Slow News Day: There's Just Not Much Going On

The world seems to have just taken a break from newsworthy stuff today.

As a pop culture news site, we here at Popdust uphold our sacred duty to keep the public informed of the major events of the world.

If Scarlett Johansson gets cast as Muhammad Ali in a new biopic, or Drake "accidentally" tweets a picture of a Jonas brother's junk, we know that you're counting on us to keep you up to date with all the hot takes and fresh perspectives on the situation.

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Chelsea Saunders

In 2005, while debating creationism in a thread on christianforums.com, a writer named Nathan Poe accidentally engineered one of the Internet's most prevailing theorems:

"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article."

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The internet is full of very bad places.

For example, you can have this doll in exchange for real human money.

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Opinion

In Defense of "South Park": TV Doesn't Define Culture (People Do)

Can one show ever really be held responsible for a culturally pervasive pattern of thinking?

Comedy Central

She-Hulk writer Dana Schwartz started a massive online conversation (debate? angry dude screamfest?) when she tweeted her take on South Park's negative cultural impact.

"In retrospect, it seems impossible to overstate the cultural damage done by SOUTH PARK, the show that portrayed earnestness as the only sin and taught that mockery is the ultimate inoculation against all criticism," Schwartz tweeted. She went on to polish her argument, recognizing that series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have seemingly reckoned with themselves over issues they felt they misrepresented (notably global warming with Al Gore and ManBearPig), and she clarified: "To be clear, I don't blame the show itself as much as I do the generation of boys who internalized it into their personalities. Which maybe isn't the show's fault!"

Sure enough, Very Angry Men™ showed up to offer slurs and death threats in response to (*gasp*) a woman expressing an opinion they disagree with online. To be crystal clear, the people coming after Schwartz are the worst kind of human trash––the sort of people who delude themselves into believing that they're intelligent and reasonable while simultaneously epitomizing every negative male stereotype in existence.

Of course, Schwartz is hardly the first person to criticize South Park's libertarian-skewed, "both sides are terrible and nothing is sacred" brand of humor. In a semi-viral Reddit post from 2015, one user made a very good argument for their categorization of South Park as a "safe space" for people who don't want their views to ever be challenged: "It's a show that teaches their audience to become lazy and self-satisfied, that praises them for being uncritically accepting of their own biases, and that provides them with an endless buffet of thought-terminating cliches suitable for shutting down all manner of their challenges to their comfort zones."

But as a member of the generation of boys who grew up with the show, and, as Shwartz suggested, maybe even internalized it into my personality to some extent, I do think that there are reasonable arguments to be made in disagreement. After all, I turned out just about as leftist as a Brooklyn-based writer can get, and I still love South Park.

Nuance is a necessity here, and that tends to get lost amidst all the vitriol online. For starters, I agree with Schwartz on her point about the fault lying largely with many of the show's viewers––the men who showed up in her comments and DMs prove that point better than any argument anyone could possibly make.

So with that common ground on the table, my main disagreement with Schwartz is that I don't believe any one show can ever be held responsible for a culturally pervasive pattern of thinking.

It's important to keep in mind that South Park is a satirical comedy. That's not to suggest it's an invalid target for criticism. In fact, the argument that "it's comedy, don't take it so seriously" is one of the most brain-dead, non-thinking arguments that constantly shows up online and, again, paints the people who make it in a worse light than I ever could. But it is to suggest that the job of satire is to hold a critical mirror up to society and that, by its very nature, any position that South Park takes is reflective of the culture surrounding it.

Let's take the 2006 episode "ManBearPig" as an example, considering it's one whereby South Park clearly ended up on the wrong side of history. In that episode, Al Gore visits South Park to warn everyone about ManBearPig, a horrible mythic creature that served as an allegory for global warming. The thrust of the episode involved Al Gore making increasingly dangerous attempts to catch ManBearPig, which never actually shows up. It's still a funny episode, albeit one that aged very poorly.

But even though the episode aged poorly, and even though we now know for a fact that Matt Stone and Trey Parker were wrong about global warming, it's incredibly unlikely that "ManBearPig" actually convinced anyone that global warming wasn't real. Back in 2006, global warming was not as accepted as it is today. Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth came out in the same year, and while it majorly shifted public awareness around global warming, doubt was still a lot more prominent. The movie's liberal sentiments and scientific accuracy were criticized in publications like The Boston Globe and even ScienceDaily, which would be inconceivable in the modern day.

People who believed the science surrounding global warming in 2006 were not going to be convinced otherwise by South Park. Similarly, anyone who took South Park's sentiments at face-value was almost certainly not someone who would be doing research for themselves in the first place.

Therein lies the main point here. South Park can't be held responsible for the beliefs of its viewers. Anyone who uses a show like South Park as a form of confirmation and protection for their beliefs is, at best, deeply ignorant, and someone like that is going to be ignorant regardless of whether or not they have a show like South Park to back them up.

ManBearPig Comedy Central

When I was a suburban edgelord sh*thead in the mid 2000s, I agreed with South Park's general outlook on the world much more than I do now. But I wasn't an edgelord sh*thead because of South Park. Plenty of angsty teens going through puberty act like assh*les, and that was a fact long before South Park ever existed. Moreover, my political views were shaped far more by the conservative household I grew up in than they ever could have been by a TV show.

But as people grow up, they mature and hopefully question the "f*ck anyone who cares about anything" ideology that tends to plague angsty high schoolers. Of course, the people who cling to that outlook tend to become adult assh*les, but the ability to make it through adulthood while staying closed off to outside world views is much more closely related to complex, systemic socioeconomic issues (class mobility, the ability to afford a higher education, freedom to travel/leave one's hometown) than it is to what a person watches on TV.

Even as someone who strongly disagrees with a lot of the political views that South Park currently suggests, I still find the show funny. I enjoy the PC Principal character, for instance, and I like being able to laugh at some of the more absurd elements of my own opinions and beliefs. It's important to note, though, that I don't face the same sort of discrimination as someone who is non-white, non-male, or LGBTQ+. I'm capable of admitting that South Park can be genuinely super-problematic on a lot of issues (first and foremost, its frequent transphobia) and that I fully understand the reasons that a lot of people dislike the show and refuse to watch it. Not liking a show is valid, as is calling out the ideologies it supports.

But the truth is that TV shows, even incredibly culturally prescient ones, don't dictate people's views. People are either interested in doing the work or they're not.

CULTURE

In Defense of Not Making Women Playable in Video Games: An "Escape from Tarkov" Dev Speaks Out

"We want to set the record straight on why we don't like women (in video games)."

Battlestate Games

Hey, it's me, one of the developers of the Twitch-famous hardcore realistic shooter game, Escape from Tarkov.

Here at Battlestate Games, we've been getting a lot of flack recently for our decision not to include any playable female characters in our hardcore realistic shooter game. Some people have even gone so far as to dredge up a 3-year-old interview with another one of our developers who said, "Women can't handle that amount of stress [of war]. There's only place for hardened men in this place." This quote is being taken completely out of context, and, even if it's not, that developer's views do not reflect our official position, which we've clarified in recent Tweets.

Our official position is that the real reason "there will be no playable female characters [is] because of game lore and more importantly - the huge amount of work needed with animations, gear fitting, etc." As one of the game devs, I'd like to expand on our position a little further, so you can hopefully understand our thought process in excluding women from our game.

1. Our game lore is about making men feel hardcore, and they can't do that if vag!nas are around.

Escape from Tarkov Battlestate Games

Escape from Tarkov is not your average shooter for average gamers; Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore shooter for hardcore gamers. Considering the fact that most of our core player base consists of shapeless softboys who could never survive the real trials and tribulations of war, the primary goal of our lore is to create an environment where these players can feel like they are realistic powerful men. It is impossible for men to feel this way when boobs and vag are all up in their faces, nagging them about shopping, and unless we wanted to turn the game into a hardcore sex simulator (which we considered, but decided was not in line with our vision), we ultimately decided that women should not be playable in our game.

In Norvinsk, the fictional war-torn region in Northwest Russia where our game takes place, players step into the shoes of skilled private military contractors (PMCs), a job which can only be performed by men with pen!ses. Allow me to paint a scene: Imagine yourself as Petrov Molotov, bad boy Russian soldier and the best shot in your private military company, BEAR.

You round a corner and a bullet narrowly misses you. You retreat to form a game plan. The enemy knows exactly where you'll be coming from, and one shot is all it takes to bring you down. But he missed the first time, and you never miss. You're a better shot, a more hardcore soldier. If you can shoot him first, and you're pretty sure you can, you can also loot his corpse. Then, just as you round the corner, you see...a female character. There she is, with her giant vag in the middle of the war zone.

Your immersion is broken. No longer are you Petrov Molotov, top BEAR soldier. Now you are just Greg, a lonely softboy sitting in your $1000 gaming chair, spilling Mtn Dew® Code Red® and Cool Ranch Dorito crumbs on your overgrown beard. You remember that time you gathered up the courage to talk to the girl you liked at school who you always wanted to talk to, but when you did, she said she didn't know who you were and refused to touch your pen!s. And in that very moment, a bullet enters Petrov's head on-screen, and the fantasy of Tarkov is dead.

2. Playable female characters are too hard to animate.

Escape from Tarkov Battlestate Games

Many people mistakenly think that making playable female characters in video games is as simple as animating a few alternate models, but that could not be further from the truth. When animating a female character, especially one in a hardcore realistic shooter game like Escape from Tarkov, you can't just swap a few facial features and make a more petite character model. To create playable female characters correctly, you need to have a complex understanding of Jiggle Physics.

If there is one thing I know to be true, it is that all women have giant tiddies. While this is nice in p*rnography, it makes animating playable female characters a major challenge for our team of all-male developers, many of whom have never actually seen giant tiddies in real life. In fact, as far as we know, every game that has ever had playable female characters needed to hire an entirely separate team of animators to properly discern the physics.

Think of it this way: If every man had a giant pen!s dangling out of his pants, it would be a lot harder to program character actions. Would the pen!s swing while the soldier runs? Would the pen!s bounce when the player jumps? How would recoil from gunfire affect the pen!s' trajectory? In a hardcore, realistic shooter like Escape from Tarkov, these are all questions that would need to be considered for the sake of immersion. Hopefully now you can imagine how hard it would be to properly animate massive boobs for our female characters, considering that is the only shape of women in existence.

Moreover, how could we possibly fit our in-game equipment to the specifications of such big bazongas? It is a well-known fact that women are not able to serve in the military because their milk-makers can't fit into the proper gear, and if no army in human history has ever figured out how to properly dress a woman soldier, we're certainly not going to be able to do any better. There's a reason that men go to fight in wars or develop video games while women stay at home and make babies in the kitchen.

3. Playable female characters just do not fit in line with our vision.

escape from tarkov Battlestate Games

If I'm being totally honest here, the truth is that here at Battlestate Games, we just don't like or respect women very much. Women are whiny and they mostly refuse to have sex with us, so why should we put them in our video games? More importantly, why should we subject our majority softboy player base to that, the very thing they hate. Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore realistic shooter game, and if you can't grasp my dog whistle, allow me to make it crystal clear. This is a game for strong men, or more accurately, doughy men who want to feel strong. If any women don't like that, they can suck our d!cks. Also, please, if you actually know anyone who is willing to do that, please send them our way.

Sincerely,

Battlestate Games, Escape from Tarkov