Category Archives: Miscellaneous America

Do you want to know about America’s craziest patents? How about our worst reality TV shows? Are you curious about competitive beard growing? Do you wonder what that weird boil looking thing on your back is? We can tell you about all of those things (except the last one) and much much more in our Miscellaneous America section.

Six Constitutional Amendments That Were Nearly Ratified (And Four that Still Could be)

“Hmm, a constitutional amendment against child labor? Seems a bit radical for my tastes.”

~Voters in the 1920s, apparently

constitution

The United States Constitution defines this nation more than any single document, and as a result it’s also a thing that a lot of people get really mad about sometimes, and that very few people have probably actually read all the way through. And really, what’s more American than getting pissed off about strongly defined positions you have based on nothing more than a few tidbits of information and a gut feeling? That said, it is an incredibly historically significant document, probably the most impactful pieces of government writing since, um, what, the Magna Carta? We really don’t know or care about government writing that isn’t the US Constitution, which we assure you we have not even tried to read.

Now, the most important part of the Constitution is the fact that it’s not set in stone—it can be changed. You know, that whole Amendments thing? It’s easy to forget that we can actually do that—go into our founding document and say, “You know, we don’t like this anymore, let’s change that part,” because even though we have submitted over 11,000 proposed Amendments since the founding of the nation (seriously), very few ever come close to even become a real thing. Sure, the ten year span from 1960 to 1971 saw a bunch of quick passing Amendments become a reality (The 23rd let’s Washington D.C. have Electoral College votes, the 24th has something to do with poll taxes and voting rights, the 25th solidifies presidential succession, and the 26th was arguably the most monumental, lowering the voting age to 18) but since then we’ve only had one Amendment come through, the 27th, which was originally proposed in 1789 and didn’t get ratified until 1992.

But since 1992? No amendments have really gotten close. Sometimes an Amendment will get vote on, but it’s almost always dead on arrival. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to get traction an any changes to the supreme law of our nation. For example, we almost got rid of the Electoral College in 1970. We were extremely close. It passed Congress, and it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the only reason it didn’t pass into law because the Senate filibustered it, so it never came to vote. Which made us think—are there any Amendments that actually passed, but were never ratified by states? The answer is not only yes, it’s yes to six different Amendments. And four of them could still be passed today! Which seems weird, right?

Anyway, let’s simplify legislation in a way to make any lawyer worth their salt piss themselves out of pure rage, and talk about…

Six Constitutional Amendments That Were Nearly Ratified (And Four that Still Could be)

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Every American Video Game Movie (Pretty Much Sucks)

“We’ve got established characters, set action pieces, and an iconic plot. How can we best fuck this up?”

~Hollywood Producers

koopa

For the longest time, the entertainment industry didn’t know what to do with super hero movies. With the exception of 1978’s Superman and the Tim Burton Batman films, comic book movies tended to be either bad, box office bombs, or both. Sure you had a Spiderman 2 here and an “let’s forget there was a third X-Men movie” there, you couldn’t find many great representations of comic books on the big screen. It’s hard to remember those days now that Marvel has come along and made comic book movies that pretty much print their own currency while D.C. um, well, you know, they try hard and we love them for it.

We bring this up because comic books had to exist for a long time before anyone figured out how to translate them to the silver screen with any modicum of success. And that’s where we are now with video games. Video games have been “things that exist” for only about forty or fifty years at this point, and we’re sad to report that America has yet to unlock how to make those games work as movies. It’s a little surprising, honestly—we have hundreds of popular video games that are basically movies that you play, yet we haven’t managed to turn that into compelling cinema.

Don’t believe us? Well fuck you, then. Wait, wait, sorry, that was maybe a bit defensive. But we’ll show you. Below we’ve listed every movie based off a comic book that’s been made in America, and listed them in reverse order of their critical score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. And folks, it is…dire.

Every American Video Game Movie (Pretty Much Sucks)

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Teddy Roosevelt Wanted To Hunt the Snallygaster, America’s Mythical Dragon-Bird

“What’s that? A new animal I can kill? I’m IN!”

~Teddy Roosevelt

snallygaster

Compared to other, older nations, America doesn’t really have a lot in the way of monsters in our folklore. Sure, we’ve got Bigfoot, and we guess there’s the jackalope, but compared to the sheer volume of mythical creatures in stories around the world, America’s got relatively few entries in that particular genre. This isn’t too surprising—outside of Native Americans, most Americans haven’t been on this continent long enough to really nurture any good folklore. Hell, the first reported sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was 1500 years ago—considering that, it makes sense that we’ve only got a handful of random monster sightings in our history.

While the relative scarcity of American “strange monsters” doesn’t really shock us, the relative obscurity of the Snallygaster does. Because with so few things going bump in the night in America, how is everyone focusing their attention on finding some big hairy forest ape when there’s supposedly a dragon-like beast hanging around Maryland and Washington D.C.? Well Teddy Roosevelt apparently asked that very question.

Let’s talk about America’s least-talked about mythical monster then, shall we?

Teddy Roosevelt Wanted To Hunt the Snallygaster, America’s Mythical Dragon-Bird

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The Five Funniest (Relatively Harmless) Conspiracy Theories In the United States

“Making fun of conspiracy theorists means you must be PART OF THE CONSPIRACY.”

~Conspiracy Theorists

conspiracy

We never would have expected that “obviously wrong conspiracy theories” would be a topic that gets people riled up, but it’s the 2010s and the Internet is still going strong so that’s probably just naivete on our part. For example, about four years ago we wrote an article about wacky conspiracy theories that exist out there, ranging from flat Earthers to a theory that Saddam Hussein had a fucking Stargate. We chuckled and moved on to more important topics (if memory serves, the article we wrote next was on the worst Mountain Dew flavors of all time) but a beacon was put up on the internet, and apparently conspiracy theorists do not take kindly to being called whacky. One crazy man in particular went on a rant that contained three comments, 500 words, Sandy Hook false flag and 9/11 inside job accusations, the insistence that our staff should “read you twisted sick fuck” along with an implication that we were on “the cabal’s” (?) payroll, and no fewer than 12 colorful references to sodomy. Not exactly what we expected when we wrote, “You at least gotta hand it to the conspiracy theorists. They’ve got a wonderfully healthy imagination.”

Looking back, maybe the issue was that we called the wacky people wacky. Who knows. But we’ve decided to accept blood money from the psychopathic satanic cabals desperate to hide THE TRUTH talk to you about some other out-there conspiracy theories we’ve discovered in our increasingly pointless quest to be Always Very Online. But maybe, just maybe, we can avoid pointing the Batshit Crazy signal into Arkham by rephrasing what we mean by “wacky.” What we’re really talking about are funny, and mostly harmless, conspiracy theories. There’s no way that could offend anyone, right?

(And suddenly, a sea of neckbeards screamed out in anger.)

(And we swear to God if you jump into our comments to talk about Jeffrey Epstein we will find where you live and send a fucking glitter bomb to your house.)

The Five Funniest (Relatively Harmless) Conspiracy Theories In the United States

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We Need to Drop Everything and Talk About the New Lou Bega Song (Seriously)

Scatman-John-Lou-Bega-–-Scatman-Hatman-Officia

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8 Actors With Academy Award Nominations You Completely Forgot About

“Ha, shit, wait, I’ve been nominated for more Oscars than Burt Reynolds? Haha, what?”

~Nicolas Cage

oscars

We talk about the Academy Awards a lot around these parts (some might say to a “dangerous to our health” degree). Now, there are a lot of reasons for that. Movies take a lot less effort to get through than books, first of all. Also, as manufactured and imperfect as it is, the term “Academy Award nominee” lends a film or actor an impressive amount of prestige. But mostly, it’s the randomness. Yes, being an Academy Award winner or nominee is an achievement that you can carry with you to your grave, but 80% of the time these nominations are extremely random and hardly make any sense. If you look at their history of work, it’s sort of strange that Charlie Chaplin and Angela Bassett have the same number of Oscar nominations as Andrew Garfield and Abigail Breslin, but that’s just how the Academy throws down, baby.

And we love it. We love it so much in fact that we went through a list of all the actors who have been nominated for acting’s highest honor to remind ourselves of a few actors whose nominations, in retrospect, seemed kind of bonkers. We’re not saying that these actors did not deserve the honor—in fact almost every one put up an award-worthy performance. We’re just saying that if aliens landed on Earth, took in the entirety of our cultural history, and were told that Gary Busey was once nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, they would probably respond, “Wait you mean that toothy guy from Point Break? Is this one of those ‘pranks’ you Earthlings seem so fond of?”

Let’s dive in.

8 Actors With Academy Award Nominations You Completely Forgot About

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8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

“So anyway, after my divorce, everyone said I should have a hobby. Until I told them that I was planning to write a mystery novel where Alf solves crimes.”

~Some of These Writers, Basically

detectives

Mystery novels serve many important functions in American society. They’re read on our sandy beaches, they’re packed and probably not read on our family vacations, and they’re an easy way for lazy screenwriters to fast track a screenplay in Hollywood. We, as a nation, love a good mystery, be it the deductive sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes, or trying to figure out why there are used condoms in the bathroom garbage can when you and your wife have been trying for kids the last three months. If that sentence took a shocking turn, that wasn’t this feature’s writer oversharing about his debilitating divorce, it was a twist that you didn’t see coming!

Americans love mystery novels because they’re light, easy to read, enjoyable, and there’s something genuinely exciting about finding yourself shocked by an outcome you never saw coming. Which is why it is such a popular genre for not only American readers, but for American writers. We don’t have the numbers to back this up, because it’s not like we make enough money on this site to hire an actual research team, but every year roughly 900,000 mystery novels are written by recently retired business men and women who have not yet decided to take up fishing.

And sure, every once and a while we’ll get a Gone Girl out of this slurry of mid-life crises, but more often than not we’ll get someone that just goes, “Okay so it’s a mystery, but like, what if the detective was David Duchovny?”

Which, duh, if Duchovny was the detective it would have to feature aliens. Actually, there’s some nuggets there, we could make that work. So while we work on our masterpiece Murder on the X-Files Set, here’s a list of eight detective novels that have actually been published where the detectives are fictionalized versions of real-life people.

8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

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Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

“Welcome to my museum devoted entirely to my very specific strain of ADHD.”

~The Founder of the Umbrella Cover Museum

ramen museum

Museums. You may know them as the big buildings with a bunch of old stuff that your friends start going to instead of day drinking on Sundays because “they have kids now, Johnny” and “Jesus, you mean you still went to the bottomless mimosa place by yourself? Are you okay?” But did you know they can be more than a “fun” date destination for couples who have just become the type who host “game nights” on Saturdays? They also can be completely batshit crazy and unnecessary!

We tend to assume that museums exist to hold things like dinosaur bones and mummies, but there’s not really much in the way of criteria for what counts as a museum. Anyone can start a museum about anything, and society just calmly lets this happen. The difference between a person running a museum out of their house and a hoarder is that the hoarder at least has a variety of interests.

To that end, we’ve gone out and discovered five museums that, frankly, shouldn’t exist. Is this our way of telling intrepid Americans everywhere that they should not turn their over-sized collections into galleries that preserve the past for the future? Yes. Absolutely.

Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

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8 TV Shows That the Emmys LOVE (and the Golden Globes HATE)

“Wait, Mrs. Doubtfire won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical? I’m not sure if that lessens our opinion of the Globes, or improves it…”

~AFFotD’s In-House Film Critic

golden globes

When honoring television series, there are only two award shows we trust—The Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. The Globes, of course, award television and film, and are ruled by the whims of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a secretive group of people with some questionable credentials and qualifications, while the Emmys celebrate all aspects of television production, not just best shows and actors, and are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a group of producers, writers, and actors dedicated to the advancement of the television industry. Both awards are broadcast on national television in a national event filled all sorts of well-respected and regarded celebrities and also Mel Gibson sometimes is there. But outside of their categorical differences (the Globes have movie stars! The Emmys have a prize that’s just “Outstanding Production Design For a Narrative Period of Fantasy Program [One Hour or More]!”) these two organizations also differ in one major way.

Taste.

While the Golden Globes are notorious for nominating, and even awarding, shows that never even catch a whiff of an Emmy nomination (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for example, won Best Comedy and Best Leading Actor in 2014, two categories it has never even been nominated for in the Emmys), there are a whole slew of well-regarded shows that, apparently, the Golden Globes think are butt.

There could be a lot of reasons for this! It could be that the Foreign Press prefers to award less “popular” shows than the Emmys do. It could be that they are inclined to lean more towards non-American-created content. Or it might be that the Emmys are run by a group of people who work solely in television, and the Globes are run by like 90 people who do things like write fake interviews with Drew Barrymore for inflight magazines. We could do a deep dive, dig up research, and examine social trends, and get to the real meat of why this happens.

Or we could just randomly pick like, oh, what’s a good number…eight? Yeah, if we were really lazy, we could just pick eight shows the Globes hate, and laugh about it. But this is a respectable publication, so we would never do that to you, right?

8 TV Shows That the Emmys LOVE (and the Golden Globes HATE) Continue reading

We Need to Talk About Dr. Seuss’ Weird Ass Taxidermy Creatures

“May I kill them with a knife?

May I rid these things of life?

They give me nightmares I can’t stand

Please burn it all, Sam I Am”

~Seriously Though, These Are Freaky As Hell

dr seiss

Dr. Seuss is one of those true American heroes who have reputations that are impossible to tarnish. Like, sure, he did some racist political cartoons about the Japanese back in World War II, but we’re usually pretty okay ignoring that. It was war after all, and compared to his peers his cartoons were, um, well almost quaint. Besides, he’s an all-time American, and his books are timeless for a reason. Brimming with whimsy and imagination, every red-blooded Americans who didn’t have a mom or dad that took the whole “alternative parenting” thing too far grew up reading Green Eggs and Ham or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (fun fact about the latter—he wrote it on a fucking dare. Someone bet he couldn’t write a book using just 50 unique words or less. He used 49).

The point being, Dr. Seuss is a treasure, and nothing he could do would make us say otherwise. You could tell us he lived a second life killing farmhands in rural Nebraska, where he was known as “The Scarecrow Killer” and we’d be like, “Well, let’s just say he had a complicated legacy, but he probably did more good than bad.” So with that in mind, we’re going to talk to you about his “collection of unorthodox taxidermy” which is almost enough to tarnish his reputation. It doesn’t, but it does weird us the fuck out, and we need to talk about it.

We Need to Talk About Dr. Seuss’ Weird Ass Taxidermy Creatures

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