As some of you know Yosomono and Gaijinass also write for Cracked.com one of the most popular comedy websites online. Famous for being the master of lists (coined listicles by wired magazine) Cracked actually used to be a popular print magazine (first published in 1958) in the vein of Mad Magazine.
Now it is run by head editor David Wong who also has written a book and movie that stars Paul Fucking Giamatti, John Dies at the End “a tale that required 150,000 words to tell and 36 of them are boner.”
The system at cracked allows anyone to pitch an article on their comedy workshop forum which has a small community of writers who pitch and help each other get published. After it is pitched there it goes through a number of steps before getting on the front page. First it is promoted to RFE or “Ready For Edit” by the cracked community. When it is RFE then it is looked at by the editors who tell you what they think of the pitch and where you should go with it. Usually they give it a tentative OK and tell you what you need to change. When they are satisfied with what you’ve got they send it to the Approved section and you write the article according to their feedback. After they are satisfied, which in my case usually takes months to get this far, they take the article. In their den of debauchery they proof-read it, check the sources, add jokes and do any changes they want, sometimes they’ll rewrite my whole article. Finally they will put it on their front page after which they give you a small payment for all your trouble. The amount of traffic that hits Cracked and the articles on the front page is insane. My most popular article 8 Actors Who Look Exactly The Same on Every Movie Poster has over 3 million hits!
Yosomono has got a number of published articles on the site and thought he’d go over a few of his favorites starting with the most recent:
5 Soldiers Who Kicked Ass In the Face of Death (and Logic)
This actually started out as X military people Who Never Gave Up (But Absolutely Should Have) with people like these:
Teruo Nakamura – The last Japanese holdout from World War II lived in the bush till 1974! When he was finally convinced Japan had lost the war he went home and received his pension from the Japanese government a whole … ¥68,000 (US $227.59 at the time now about US $1,000 in 2011).
Bud Day – Vietnam vet who escaped the Vietcong
Józef Franczak and Forest Brothers– Polish and Baltic freedom fighters who fought the Nazis and then the Communists for decades.
And others. Just to show you how involved the Cracked pitch process is, I had to change the whole list to the 6 different people that are in the article now as my original list didn’t impress the Cracked editors either to lack of info, wrong angle or just didn’t fit the cracked format.
6 Images of Abandoned Weaponry You Won’t Believe Are Real
This one started off as X fleets of abandoned ships but the editors thought the angle of “Abandoned Weaponry” would be better and since I’m actually interested in that sort of thing I was able to throw this list together quite quickly, and even had one of then entries I thought was too small posted on GaijinAss under Murmansk: The forgotten Soviet Cruiser.
5 Physical Details That Reveal Highly Personal Information
This I co-wrote with another Cracked writer, Kathy Benjamin who is immensely popular on Cracked. With her name attached to the article I was able to clear 1,000,000 hits in the first week it appeared on Cracked.
6 Absurd Pirate Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)
I co-wrote this article with another Cracked writer for the sole reason of getting this little factoid published: Pirates might have worn patches to fight in the dark. A lot of people still didn’t believe me that it was possible even though modern military units use the same techniques.
5 Soldiers Whose Horrific Injuries Only Made Them Angry
I’m always proud of my soldier articles and this is no exception. This one was really fun to research and write. It’s so cool that I can get these incredible stories out to more people but it didn’t do that well on cracked which I think is reaching a saturation point with badass soldier articles.
The 5 Most Extravagant Ways Cities Have Been Wiped Out
When I first read about Ubar, the Arabian city that sunk into the desert, I knew I had to write this article. It took a while to find enough cities that the editors like but I was able to scrap together this list which I think did rather well. Although the editors cut a few entries I really thought were cool, like:
Plymouth, Montserrat – Plymouth was the capital of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat which was buried by dozens of meters of volcano ash and mud in 1995.
The Hobbits in Indonesia – 18,000 years ago a great civilization of hobbits, called the Homo floresiensis, lived on the Indonesian island of Flores. With tools advanced for their time they stood at a little under 1 metre tall and presumably obsessed about rings and where to get their next “pipe-weed.” Other unique island life forms including a dog sized rat, huge lizards (read dragons), and a small dwarf elephant called the Stegodon that also lived on the island.
They lived on the island until 12,000 years ago when a huge volcanic eruption blanketed the island with a thick sediment layer that wiped out them and most of the flora and fauna on the island. Time has erased the cause of the eruption but crack’s own scientists have developed a theory that involves some sort of giant eye disapproving of the hobbits and their co-existence with the magical dragons and giant rats.
The 6 Creepiest Gifts Ever Given
This started out as “Presents from American presidents to horrible dictators” but expanded to “Creepiest Gifts Ever Given”. One that was cut was the skull of Big Nose George. Good old George was a career criminal in the American wild wild west who was executed on March 22, 1881 in Wyoming. He was then skinned and a leather maker turned his skin into a suitcase, shoes and his skull was used as a door stop.
6 Crackpot Conspiracy Theories (That Actually Happened)
This was really fun to write and get some of these little known government actions out onto the web. One of the entries The Government Is Poisoning What We Eat and Drink! had an some information cut about the poisoning of cocaine:
If you’ve done blow since the 80s you are almost guaranteed to have snorted cocaine that has been cut with something, the most common ingredient being Lactose (milk sugar). This allows the dealer to take 1 pound of pure snow, cut it with Lactose and then sell 2 pound of cocaine on the street that is actually only 50% cocaine. Unless you’re Lactose intolerant you won’t have a problem with snorting simple milk sugar but recently cocaine is being cut with Levamisole.
Levamisole is a white powder that may cause agranulocytosis, a horrible disease that causes something called Bleeding on probing, and in the worse cases death. It is being added to cocaine even though A) It’s more expensive than other shit that people put in happy dust. B) It makes some paying customers sick. C) It’s being cut into the cocaine before it hits the United States, making if more expensive to smuggle into the States. Basic good business sense is to buy a product as cheap as possible, ship it as small as possible and make sure it doesn’t kill your customers. These principles are the reason IKEA is so popular.
IKEA gets Santa’s elves to make their cheap ass furniture, ship said furniture in small easy to ship boxes and then the shelves and bed spreads don’t kill you! Yet someone is adding the poison Levamisole to Cocaine and contradicting all these principles as Levamisole is way more expensive than other products used to cut drugs, it’s being added before it enters America increasing the shipping costs and chance of getting caught and most importantly it’s KILLING people!
7 Insanely Advanced Weapons History Somehow Forgot About
As an avid history reader this was really fun to write about and the article started about how Japan at one point had the most advanced rifles in the world before deciding that to give it all up because the sword based samurai warriors didn’t want their ass to be capped by some dirty peasant with a gun. Leaders first outlawed the weapons for regional armies only allowing it to be used by the national forces then they outlawed it all together setting back the development of firearms for decades to come. They were able to complete this task in a typical Japanese way. The Japanese government set about building a huge statue of Buddha but they needed more Iron to complete it so he called upon all the Japanese people to give up their guns to be melted down to complete the statue.
The 6 Greatest War Heroes Who Got Screwed Out of History
I loved writing this one and it is probably my favorite article on cracked. I’ve being dying to tell Aaron Perry’s story, the one time world record holder for longest sniper kill, and how he was screwed over by the Canadian government for years. However another entry I included that was cut for some reason was Super spy Takeo Yoshikawa. Yoshikawa was a Japanese spy that collected all the data necessary for the Pearl Harbor attack. Yet after the war he was totally fucked over by the Japanese government. He died in 1993 living off a meager pension provided by his wife.
I’ve got a few Topics on Cracked too. Topics are articles that are basically image based but you can create and edit them when ever you want, like Wikipedia. Anyone can make Topics and have them published on Cracked. The editors were really pushing last year them but after the recent Cracked.com webpage redesign they seemed to have been sidelined. If your Topic page gets a lot of hits or the editors think its really funny they will publish it on their front page which has happened to me once for my Drunks Topic page. The topic started with me just playing around in photoshop till I got this graphic:
They didn’t like the graphic but they like the whole concept and so created their own on the Topic page here. It got a decent amount of hits that used to drive a lot of traffic to GaijinAss but after the web graphic redesign they changed how the Topic pages link. One of my favorite comments was the guy who knew all the cards even though I had photoshopped them, “Lesbian Attack is Serra Angel, Barfly is Take Possession. The fact that I knew this just by looking saddens me a little bit.”
I actually found this blog from Cracked. I was a big fan of Absurd Pirate Myths and all the badass soldier pieces, but I’m also an expat living Okinawa, so I can relate to your Japan posts on here. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.
Glad to have you aboard! Be sure to check out our Okinawa articles, like this one:
Same here, Cracked led me to your blog