Two Truths and a Lie

Fake news or real? Worshippers bless AR-15s, Baldies hacked online, Facebook doesn’t get the joke.

Fake News is very much like stocking a library with books you’ll never read. You think you look smart, but everyone knows you’re actually dim as fudge. Sorry, Dad.



Whether you believe anything below is entirely up to you and your mental dexterity. It’s worth mentioning that we at The Big Smoke take no responsibility for what lies within the box, nor do we trifle with the troll gods or meme lords who created it. We’re simply the vessel. Or carrier.




Internet Curio #1: Ceremony blesses weapon type that committed school shootings, forces a nearby school to cancel classes.

Yes, it happened. The crown of thorns has been replaced by a belt of ammunition. Yes, a ceremony was held soon after the Florida school shooting to bless the weapon that did the deed, and yes, a school nearby had to cancel their classes because of it.

Yes, this is the reality we’re now subject to.



However, let’s ignore the entirety of that situation and focus on something wholesome, the plot synopsis of 1994’s The Santa Clause. 

Divorcee Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is disgusted to learn that his ex and her husband have tried to explain to his 6-year-old son that Santa isn’t real. Stop thinking about the gun cult. On Christmas Eve, Scott receives an unexpected visitor on his roof. Santa Claus. When he’s startled by Scott, Santa falls off the roof, leaving only a reindeer sleigh and a suit with instructions to put it on if he’s involved in an accident. Stop thinking about the gun cult. Scott puts on the costume and is transported around the town dropping gifts through chimneys until he’s taken to the North Pole and informed by a group who claim they’re elves that he is now Santa. Stop thinking about the gun cult. Scott is convinced it’s all a dream until his hair turns white, his beard refuses to stay shaved, and he gains weight inexplicably. He might have accepted it, there’s just one problem: you can legally buy military grade armaments at supermarkets in the United States. I mean, will he convince his son that Santa is real?



Internet Curio #2: Users believe if you get bald you get hacked, miss actual point.

Over on the murky neon bludgeoned streets of the Internet, one can change one’s appearance easily, because…lol? You can switch genders, age 80 years, and you can remove the amount of hair on your head.



Oh, Judy. You are much too much. However, the reason why I bring this up, is not because it’s a front of a scam, which it isn’t. For the purposes of objective journalism, here’s the completely fabricated Facebook warning:



There is a website link traveling around Facebook at an extraordinary rate which allows you “to see what you would look like as the opposite sex” and also one that lets you see what you look like “as a bald person”.

DO NOT enter these links, they are controlled by extreme hackers who are now gaining control of people’s personal information and selling it on the black market. As soon as you have clicked share to Facebook it gives these hackers instant access to your own personal details and puts your family and friends personal details at risk.



Extreme hackers! Whoa! Radical!

Anyway, it’s fake, but I bring this up due to the larger moral issue. Mirth at the expense of the follicly impaired. Feel free to laugh at your bald self, safe in the knowledge that it’s not actually happening to you. But to those people choose that path, I hope that day comes when you realise the final remnants of your once-proud hair community is now the property of your bathroom sink; and at that moment I hope you think of me, and this moment, and hear the distant sound of me laughing last.



Nb: I am already bald, and I’ve already accepted it. I’ve already trudged through the barren forest of the real that you’ve just wandered into. And no, I will not be the Virgil to your Dante. You have made your bed, scalp shamer.



Internet Curio #3: Facebook loses mind, punchline, over washing machine half-truth.

Despite the fact that we’re not prepared to admit it, the concept of satire is beyond some of us. Which leaves those who carve it in the same position as Ranier Wolfcastle, left stranded by his punchline that the audience didn’t get, a situation that has us reaching for the machine gun.

Anyway, the following is so stupid it calls for straight journalism. Satire fanciers The Babylon Bee published an article that made light of CNN’s perceived left bias entitled: “CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication.”

The article goes on to state: “…the custom-made device allows CNN reporters to load just the facts of a given issue, turn a dial to “spin cycle,” and within five minutes, receive a nearly unrecognizable version of the story that’s been spun to fit with the news station’s agenda.”

So far, so stupid, right?

Well, my pedigree chums, we’re merely cracking the top of the stupidity brûlée. Snopes, the internet debunking collective decided to debunk the obvious falsehood, their actions motivated by the populace. As per their submission guidelines: The inputs we use for the process of determining reader interest include the tabulation of terms entered into our search engine, reader e-mail submissions, comments and items posted to our Twitter and Facebook accounts, external social media posts, Google Trends, Twitter’s Trending Now, Facebook’s Trending Topics…yadda, etc. In short, enough people thought CNN actually fed their news stories into a branded washing machine.



The loser of the entire incident (other than my faith in humanity) was the publication in question, as the Facebook hammer dropped, labelling the piece as a fake news, severely crippling how far the joke could spread.

It’s funny because it’s not true.

The founder of Snopes, David Mikkelson reversed the finger of blame, poking into the ribs of Facebook, stating:

“The issue, in this case, seems to be that Facebook is apparently flagging and/or penalizing (sic) The Babylon Bee site for this one particular article that many people think should be obviously recognizable as satire, and the social media audience is perceiving that action as unfair,” he said. “But we don’t have any control over what articles Facebook flags for their audience, or what measures they choose to implement, in response to fact checks…the Facebook arbiters of what is or is not ‘real’ satire based upon our presumptions of the creator’s intent.”

Way to ruin the joke, guys.




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