CULTURE

From Bernie Sanders to Pope Francis, These Are the Worst Sentences of 2019

The Lyttle Lytton Contest has highlighted the worst sentences of 2019.

While many people appreciate great writing, sometimes terrible writing is so hilariously bad that it deserves attention, too.

That's the premise behind the Lyttle Lytton Contest, an annual competition held by beloved interactive fiction writer Adam Cadre with the sole intent of highlighting the comedy of bad writing.

Entrants into the Lyttle Lytton Contest imagine themselves as fictional authors writing fictional novels. They then compose the worst possible opening line(s) under 200 characters long.

The full list of 2019 winners, as chosen by Adam Cadre, can be found here. Highlights are as follows:

bernie sanders Senator Bernie Sanders And Group Of Bipartisan Legislators Reintroduce Resolution To End U.S. Support For Saudi-Led War In Yemen Getty Images


1. "The POTUS (President of the United States), who was Bernie Sanders instead of Donald Trump, started his job for the day." -Jake Scott

This is a beautiful entry, as it immediately breaks the fiction of its own narrative while still seeming like a believable opening to a Bernie Sanders fan fiction.

2. "Manfred, Freya the Viking goddess's last raid's 9-months-later surprise, cried for nursing. Meanwhile Blutdurst, the passionate and devoted battle-axe, urged for sharpening." -Dominikus Plaschg

What adventures does fate hold in store for Manfred the Viking God baby and Blutdurst, the dull battle-axe? These sentences are both so, so stupid, and yet somehow compelling.

3. "If I'd have known then that it would be my own brother under the clown mask, under the phantom pirate mask, I never would've agreed to split up and check it out, not for a million Scooby Snacks." -Gabriel Stevenson

Continually referencing Scooby Doo seems to be a key element of this hypothetical novel, which is actually frankly amazing.

4. "Natalie, an atypical girl, sat reading Beowulf as her uneducated girl peers sniggered around her." -Anonymous

YA fiction usually tends to revolve around children who are outsiders in some way, but usually that's explained with a bit more subtlety.

5. "Truant children mocked Jack Tranton as he walked. He could have easily dispatched them with his military training. But he ignored them." -Max Peake

The best way to connect audiences with a character is to describe their capability of killing children.

juggalos Joseph Bruce, Violent J, Joseph Utsler, Shaggy 2 Dope ASSOCIATED PRESS

6. "Tiffany had always dreamed of attending the Gathering, but even as Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J stomped triumphantly onstage, she couldn't take her eyes off Brian." -David Otto

The fact that there isn't a well-known Juggalo romance novel is a downright tragedy.

7. "Her perfectly formed breasts swayed soothingly as I (also a woman, this isn't a 'male gaze' thing) fell in love with them." -Greg Filpus

Don't worry, this male-authored lesbian romance is not about ogling women's perfectly formed, smoothly swaying breasts. It is NOT THAT.

8. "Light flowed like butter into the morning windowpane." -Anonymous

Can light flow like butter? If so, how?

9. "Sally was fully prepared to slide down the water slide to impress Frank akin to how her eggs slid from her ovaries down her pubescent Fallopian tubes." -Ryan Tang

This sentence reads so uncomfortably, it's frightening. Presumably, the author would later be outed as a pedophile.

2019's Winning Entry:

green parrot Creative Commons / Arthur Chapman

10. "'Are you okay?' asks my sister Tlaloc. 'You're as green as the parrots that inhabit this part of the continent.'" -Lachlan Redfern

This one's especially clever because good world-building revolves around detailing the world through showing, not telling. Lachlan knows this, so he tries to convey the setting as South America through a simile involving green parrots. Unfortunately—or fortunately—it is a very, very, very bad simile.

"FOUND":

The "Found" entries highlighted by the awards are real sentences found in the wild, not crafted for the specific intent of being laughed at. Too bad.

pope francis

11. "With her 'yes,' Mary became the most influential woman in history. Without social networks, she became the first 'influencer': the 'influencer' of God." -@Pontifex tweet quoted by Aidan Lockett

Pope Francis' tweet from earlier this year made the list, of course. It is possibly one of the most horrendous things ever written, and as a book's opening it would be wonderful.

12. "Papua New Guinea is so violent that more than 820 languages are spoken there." "Ask E. Jean: My Husband Is Sleeping with My Mother" quoted by Katherine Morayati

This seems objectively racist.

2019's "Found" Winning Entry:

Alex Rider Stormbreaker Puffin Books

13. "It was a soft gray night with a half-moon forming a perfect D in the sky. D for what, Alex wondered. Danger? Discovery? Or Disaster? Only time would tell." -Alex Rider: Stormbreaker quoted by Ben Roberts

There is a real book out there that opens with a character apparently discerning a secret, English-language-based message to himself from the moon.

CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: "Game of Thrones" Is Sexist and YouTube Gets Emotionally Violent

What's a "ProJared" and why should we care? Society has proven once more that we love sticking our noses into strangers' emotional conflicts and watching their personal lives burn.

VectorStock

But on to the really important news this week: Society has proven once more that we love sticking our noses into strangers' emotional conflicts and watching their personal lives burn. It's not that we love or condone emotional violence—we're just terrible people who are glad not to be one of the following individuals.

1. No One Knew What "Camp" Meant at the Met Gala—but Neither Do We?

All we learned from this year's exclusive event is that its theme of camp isn't gender-bending fashion, Zendaya in a Cinderella dress, or Lady Gaga removing layers like she's melting from all the attention. It might be Lena Waithe's historic jacket, though.

AsiaTatler

2. Game of Thrones Doesn't Know How a Woman Thinks or Speaks or Acts or Survives

With its final season winding down, Game of Thrones seems to believe that women can't be strong without men and that people can suddenly see in the dark. With female characters showing poor development, weepy dependence on others for validation, and given deeply problematic lines, it's almost like the show...maybe...just isn't that good or worth the hype in the first place? Sorry, never mind me: I'm a "Never Seen an Episode and Don't Care" type of viewer, according to our writer's Dan Kahan's Game of Thrones quiz, "What Type of Viewer Are You?"

popdust internet hell Brienne ugly-crying like the amazing, strong, beautiful woman that she isMetro

But on to the important questions: Was that or was that NOT a damn Starbucks cup in front of Dany?!

popdust game of thrones starbucks cup What was news like before "Game of Thrones"?USA Today

3. YouTube Gamers ProJared and JonTron Trended on Twitter

This man is an online "celebrity." Gaming YouTuber ProJared is apparently divorcing his wife, who, among other things, accused him of soliciting nude photos from his underage fans. Once again, this man earns his living by owning a YouTube account.

Twitter

4. Honor the release of It: Chapter Two's trailer by buying your very own Pennywise!

We loved Stephen King's classic novel It, we enjoyed the film adaptation, and we maybe peed ourselves a little when the trailer for the sequel premiered this week. So in the vein of evil clown fandom, please consider purchasing this eBay seller's "Haunted 20 inch tall CLOWN Doll spirit Vessel. Supernatural Paranormal power."

Meet Ollie, "a spiritual hobo clown vessel that is 20 inches tall. Sometimes late at night you will hear talking in his room. We have seen Shadow figures all around him. Ollie the hobo like's to play with the car keys, like hiding them at times and putting them right back where you first looked for them, he is a joker. He also likes to play with the lights and TV remote, Radio and much more. I got his name from my spirit box voice recorder and confirmed it on my Ouija Board as Ollie."

User: terris145 /eBay Everything Else>Metaphysical>Psychic, Paranormal

User: terris145 /eBay Everything Else>Metaphysical>Psychic, Paranormal

5. Please Let This "Nice Man" Drive Your Car to Florida

Here at Popdust Internet Hell we usually feature one of Florida's gloriously dumb criminals, from posing as a police officer to pull over an actual police officer to smearing your own feces all over a public picnic table. But this week, we just want to spotlight this lovely Craigslist user who wants the best for you and your car and is maybe also fleeing the state: "➡ Nice Man Will Drive Your Car To South Florida"➡ Nice Man Will Drive Your Car To South Florida." Good luck, Michael!

Craigslist



Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: A Bear, a Bunny, and a Bird (Also, Thanos)

The Easter Bunny is a criminal, and there’s still no joy in Idaho.

Venus via WeHeartI

Happy belated Easter! Did you hear that the Easter Bunny was arrested in Florida? Or that you can now stay in a giant potato in Idaho, because how else would you experience joy in Idaho? Also, Thanos is back. Welcome to this week in Internet Hell.

1. Thanos Is Google. Google is Thanos.

The release of Avengers: Endgame may have flooded Twitter with spoilers and broken box office records, but mostly it's real. I mean Thanos is real. Sure, Google is working a cool, kitschy marketing ploy here, but also it's a warning. Guys, he's coming.

2. 11% of the World's Population Lives on $2/DayBut Others Pay $200/Night to Sleep in a Potato Airbnb

With “hash browns for cushions, fries as shelves, and a giant bowl of fluffy mash to snuggle into at night," the cost of spending one night in the Big Idaho Potato Hotel is the same as sponsoring a child's education for six months. Also, where are the windows? How is this safe?

Popdust internet hell This Is Insider


This Is Insider


3. Killer Pets Deserve Homes, Too

Some pets murder their owners and are put to death. But, like humans, if you are too pretty to die, then you can murder whomever you'd like and probably get away with it.

4. The Easter Bunny Got Arrested—in Florida

Antoine McDonald dressed up as the Easter Bunny “for laughs," but then he saw a man in a parking lot spit at a woman, so he intervened. The unidentified man became aggressive, and so McDonald, who told WKMG that he's the type of person "to avoid fights," began punching the man until police arrived. He did it all in a bunny costume, guys—somewhere in Florida, a man has bruises from the Easter Bunny.

5. Anti-Vaccers Held a Rally and They Used a Grizzly Bear to Prove Their Point

Yes. This (sort of) occurred this past week. Gizmodo published, “This Was Supposed to Be a Story About a Bizarre Anti-Vaccine Rally and a Sedated Bear. Then It Got Weird." It got weird after you heard about the bear? How? When? Why? And how bloody were the inevitable injuries that ensued? I won't spoil it for you. Here is an excerpt of the organizers' proposed plans for the rally:

Gizmodo



Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: Clueless Men Pretend to Be in Charge and Jason Momoa Might Kill Us All

Aquaman's clean-shaven face could murder us all with its unbearable beauty before climate change does by 2050.

Screen Rant

The Mueller Report is out. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD. Please adopt this adorable succubus. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD. Not all Florida cops are real. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD.

1. Clueless Man Pretends to Be in Charge

Matthew Joseph Erris, from Pasco County, Florida, just wanted to be a police officer. Maybe he'd been dreaming of it since he was a little boy. Maybe that's why he put a police light bar on top of his Chevy Trailblazer, along with red and blue lights on its grill. Maybe that's why he flashed his fake police lights on Tuesday night and signaled the car in front of him to pull over; maybe he just believed in himself.

Unfortunately, as WFLA reported, he pulled over a real police officer, who was undercover when Erris stopped him. After reporting Erris and searching his car, the cop found found a "realistic looking" airsoft pistol in a holster. Impersonating an officer can result in up to five years in jail, but while Erris waits for his sentencing, at least he got to live his dream for a day.

"FLORIDA MAN PRETENDS TO BE A COP, PULLS OVER ACTUAL COP, GETS ARRESTED"

popdust internet hell florida man Newsweek

2. (A Different) Clueless Man Pretends to Be in Charge

If you want to understand the true, investigative essence of Robert Mueller's report on Donald Trump's alleged collusion, obstructions of justice, and most vicious firings on The Apprentice, turn to the art form of the meme. Twitter has graciously translated the most salient points of the 400-page report, which is mostly comprised of color-coded redactions. But that's fine; memes already proved we're living in a post-word society. The truth lies between the lines:

3. Jason Momoa's Jawline Can Save the Planet

Prior to this week, the Aquaman actor hadn't shaved since 2012. He finally unleashed the divine light that is his bare face in order to "bring awareness" to the environmental damage caused by plastic bottles and promote a new line of "infinitely recyclable" aluminum cans. It's pro-active and honorable, but since he's even more handsome now, he could murder us all with his looks long before climate change does by 2050.

4. Craigslist Missed Connections

Throughout the politically-charged week, everyone was craving a little love. As for SJ (a.k.a. "boot girl"), she's just "Searching for: Boot Boy," and she's not letting a little limp slow her down. Also, have you Googled "twin flames" lately? It's a stupid idea; we believe it whole-heartedly.

Craigslist

5. eBay Has a Succubus for Sale

For only $49.99, you can purchase this "HAUNTED RING: SEXUAL SUCCUBUS! DOMINATE YOUR PERSONAL DEMON LOVER! INTENSE! " from the trusted seller mysticmagicks. With 98.9% positive feedback, Laci is a proud mother, wife, and practitioner of "the art of Magick." More importantly, she uses her powers for good, using eBay to "re-home" many of her "spirit children," which are "very dear" to her. Be careful with this ring, however, for it holds great orgasmic power.

eBay

eBay

internet hell ebay haunted ring succubus eBay


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: The "Wokest" News Channel and More Human Feces

A tiny horse, a black dress, and Batman enter your search bar.

VectorStock

Are you under-employed and under-Woke™?

Are you eager to discuss pop culture like Space Ghost and The Outer Limits? Do you say "fuck it" and shit in the park instead of waiting for public restrooms? Then congratulations, you've had a great week on the Internet. Excuse the rest of us while we bounce between enjoying the early spring and feeling like an asshole.

1. Important Quiz about Toledo's Finest News Channel

This could be:

A) Performance art

B) Definitive proof that American exceptionalism is a myth

C) A Chinese psy-op designed to make American youths contemplate suicide

2. The Crime and Punishment of Being Online

One of this week's shining Twitter Moments updated us on Anna Sorokin, the 28-year-old Soho Grifter who conned her way into New York's social elite by posing as a German heiress. Her lawyer, Todd Spodek, confirmed to GQ this week that he'd hired celebrity stylist Anastasia Walker (known for her work with Courtney Love and G-Eazy) as a "courtroom stylist."

Spodek justified the decision with complete seriousness: "It is imperative that Anna dress appropriately for the trial. Anna's style was a driving force in her business and life, and it is a part of who she is. I want the jury to see that side of her and enlisted a stylist to assist in slecting [sic] the appropriate outfits for trial. However the logistics of dropping off trial outfits at Rikers Island doest [sic] not work in our favor. Thanks."

Anna Sorokin, aka the Soho Grifter, is using a courtroom stylist, GQ reports twitter.com

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Instagram

This is a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger chasing a small, thick horse on a small, thick bicycle. He used Tik Tok to make "Should Have Been a Cowboy" the backing track to this inexplicable footage. At the end of the video, Arnie gives the lil' steed a bite of a carrot. Climate change will be irreversible in 11 years.

4. Craigslist Is for (Somewhat Skilled) Writers

Firstly, all the best job ads are posted on Craigslist. Second, all the best Los Angeles job ads are posted on Craigslist: New York. Third, only the most competitive job ads offer "no pay" as compensation for "some" skill.

Craigslist - Manhattan - Gigs - Writing Gigs

"Do you love all things pop culture plus have some writing skill?

We are looking for people who want to take part in the launch of our new content platform. We're a bit like a gamified YouTube that offers videos and blogs.

Our difference is creators can charge micropayments for their content and viewers get automatically rewarded.

We are looking for writers to do:
Best of
Worst of
Show Recaps
Comic/Film/Series/Music analysis and more

We're open to letting you write what your passionate about!

During our beta testing you will receive your name in the byline of the article but no pay.

After beta you'll be able to earn money in two ways:
1. We hire you to keep writing for us
2. You charge micropayments for your articles ($.01 - $.05) and keep 100% of the profit

This is great for people who love to write and want to built an audience on a new platform.

We are based in Los Angeles but you can write from anywhere! If interested please send a little bit about yourself and a writing example that is pop culture based.

Thanks!"

5. Predating the Infamous Florida Man, Beware the Florida Woman

In the case of a "Florida Woman Accused of Spreading Human Feces on Picnic Tables, Grills Before Child's Birthday Party," the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Heather Carpenter, 41, on charges that she "spread human fecal matter on picnic tables and grills at a local park ahead of a child's birthday party. The act was reportedly in retaliation for a professional dispute at the school where Carpenter worked as a substitute teacher."

Newsweek


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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