Thursday, May 24, 2012


5/24/12: 5 Reasons You Should Never Take Advice from Celebrities

5/23/12: What People in Famous Photos Were Actually Thinking

5/22/12: The 9 Most Insane Vehicles that are Street Legal

If only I could write about stuff like this all day.

These three articles are among many on, a popular online magazine that posts humorous articles and infographics that satirize popular culture. Their popularity has risen from writing about popular culture in a critical perspective that is not usually seen in online publications.

Although the information presented in Cracked articles is mostly entertainment and humor driven, the odd thing about "America's Only Humor Site" is that it is not a blog forum. Cracked used to be a magazine similar to Mad magazine, but started only publishing online in 2007. Another odd trait of is their articles are backed by accurate facts and many of the writers post links to sources within their articles.

Another factor that is unique about is the writing style that emerges from each writer's clever opinions combined with their use of accurate facts. Most of the articles come off seeming like common sense to think a certain way about a subject, when in fact it may not be to most readers. For example, take a look at this exerpt from's article, "5 Reasons You Should Never Take Advice from Celebrities":

"The number one cause of stress in the average person's life is money, mainly because all of the other things you worry about (your job, your degree) are just other ways to worry about money. So when we get advice from Gwyneth Paltrow on "what to get the man in your life," it's incredibly hard to not burst into fits of psychotic laughter like the black guy from RoboCop. Seriously, take a look at what she suggests and tell me you don't want to punch her in the face:
  • "Room spray" (the size of a pill bottle): $125 
  • Sweater: $800
  • Belt: $420
  • Rug with silhouette of his head: $3,500

This writing form is persuasive and his reasoning is far from objective. However, many readers can relate to this author's assertion without truly agreeing with his claim. Most of's audience, comprising of mostly college-aged males, may get the pop-culture references and understand the stratification of income between celebrities, such as Gwenyth Paltrow, and the average person.

This form of writing, the humorous use of popular culture references and the interesting subjects written about are what keeps me interested in reading from this website also weekly, and possible guidelines to aid my own persuasive writing skills. It also adds credibility for a website that promotes itself as predominately a humor website.

Many readers learn from these articles while being entertained with the humor. Readers also share the articles they admire on social media sites to inform others of the information. By writing intelligent and amusing articles,'s readers create a lot of the promotion for the website and gain even more readers in the long run.


  1. I think satire is a great way to approach the disconnect between the ideals of American culture and what really happens in the culture. It let's one see that there are flaws with the way people think by exaggerating how irrational and ridiculous some people are. Sometimes we need to see the other side before buying into whatever culture tells us to consume. Satire is just an indirect method of delivery. If it were serious and direct, I don't think people would want to believe anything different, because it's like an attack on their identity. I wouldn't want to hear someone talking negatively about the actions that I do, sometimes even if it is the truth.

  2. A site like, which had a life in print before the Internet as a competitor to Mad magazine, is an interesting venue for short-form satire. You might want to make a clearer case for the connection to digital journalism specifically and the issues raised in our class, which I might see as critiquing the "news-you-can-use" format that is so often forwarded to other readers (at least based on studies of sites like the NY Times).