1. Jersey Shore somehow just ending.
No one really knows what the actual response to the final episode of Jersey Shore, aired this Thursday, MTV was aiming to solicit. Excitement? Panic? A vague film of disgust with oneself for having participated in even a moment of this degrading spectacle? Possibly. The internet’s reaction, however, was almost universally one of “Holy shit, that abomination is still on television?” Three years — and a baby, and several hundred ghostwritten books, and various spinoffs — amounts to an unimaginable eternity for one lowly reality franchise. Can any of us picture where Honey Boo Boo will be in three years, after the insatiable pop culture vultures have picked her once-ample appeal down to a withered pile of bones? No, and we don’t want to. The Shore clearly overstayed its welcome in the cultural conversation, and seeing it end only elicited a vague sense of relief around the internet (perhaps punctuated by cries of injustice over the amount of money they’ve accrued in the process, simply for being human anal fissures).
2. The Westboro Baptist Church being awful again.
So basically something terrible happened to our country, and the Westboro Baptist Church was there to swoop in and remind us that we are capable of being so, so much worse. Rinse and repeat. Aside from making sense only as a tax shelter/lucrative means to sue for violation of free speech at this point, the WBC incited in everyone around the internet the familiar feeling of “no matter what the party lines, we all hate these people.” Once again, red held hands with blue, Christians with atheists, all united in a common goal of passing around memes and informational posts about how terrible these people are and how we can prevent them from being terrible near the people who are least capable of dealing with it right now. The Patriot Guard Riders once again formed a valiant human shield, warming our hearts enough to forget, even for a moment, what we were originally upset about.
3. The end of the world approaching/not happening.
Essentially, if we were playing a drinking game in which every time someone posted a status or Tweet about how the world was going to end, how it wasn’t going to end, how it wasn’t ending, or how everyone needs to shut the fuck up about the Mayans — we would all be long since dead of alcohol poisoning, drowned in a pool of warm vodka and our own blood from the open wound incurred on the fall to the floor. It’s interesting how even the most strong-willed social media presences among us are not immune to cracking a joke about this, no matter how much we want to dress it up in metaphor or snappy cultural reference. At the end of the day, making a joke about the end of the world is the several-hour-old McDonald’s French fry of humor. We would do best to avoid it.
4. A video on the internet being fake!!!
Hey, you guys remember that video of an eagle swooping out of the sky to pick up a baby for a while while adorable Canadians spoke their mongoloid French to one another? Yeah, it was fake! It was a fake thing on the internet, that we all thought was real for a minute! If someone else doesn’t know it yet and you do, time to yell at them in the comments section and admonish them for being a neanderthal and not understanding that this clip is clearly a ~total fabrication~, created by some students to hoodwink the usually entirely foolproof internet. Who is more resistent to be taken in by hoaxes or rumors? Up until this week, we would have said the internet. Now, nothing makes sense anymore.
5. The NRA coming out of its shell to be humiliating.
On a more serious note, the NRA’s VP took to the just-revived official Twitter account to prove that, in case anyone still had any lingering doubts, their organization is amongst the worst and most tone-deaf in the country. The entire internet was abuzz this afternoon with what, of all of the absurd Tweets, which legitimately suggested that having an armed guard in every American school would be the beginning of their terrifying plan for safety, was the most offensive to the human spirit. Perhaps it was the idea that “good” people with guns are the only line of defense against “bad” people with guns, or perhaps it was the mere fact that expressing these horrendous sentiments while everyone is still reeling from a terrible event is akin to taking a generous handful of salt and rubbing it into an open wound while telling the injured all of the things they could have done to prevent themselves from harm. It appears that if anything is to be taken from this mystifying implosion of a PR spectacle — aside from the obvious base-drumming-up they’re attempting to accomplish for fundraising — it is that when we feel that America is often the laughing stock of the Western world, we know exactly the kind of things which are hitting the punchlines.