Our Brains Can't Handle This Without a Villain.
Craked... isn't wrong.
Amazingly.... no mention of President Trump. And only a veiled reference to "political leaders". And wow... no mention of China at all. Not even to mock Anti-Asian racists or conspiracy theorists who thought it escaped a lab.
That's right. In an article about people needing a villain in the Pandemic they won't even touch the two big villains in popular culture. (And it's not like they won't mock conspiracy theories, they'll mocked people blaming it on 5G).
That's a real "dog who didn't bark" right there.
The history of anti-government attitudes in America needs about 500,000
more words to go over than we have space for, but equating "We're
technically ordering you to stay at home so people don't die, but
ultimately we're just working on the honor system here because some of
you are fucking nuts" with Orwellian tyranny is the culmination of
treating every issue as having two equally viable and diametrically
opposed viewpoints. At a time when the deletion of a horny tweet
promoting a video game can be decried as "cultural Marxism," there has
to be a pro-virus side. If there are heroes tolerating the death of
loved ones, financial ruin or, most horrifying of all, hair that looks a
little shaggy, some villain, however improbably, has to be benefitting
from, and encouraging more of, all this human misery.
What's interesting is Cracked has a looong history of documenting horrific abuses of the US goverment has done to it's own citizens and other countries. And as for there having to be a villain... recall the whole "oh so you want Grandma to die" thing or the "Georgia genocide" or "grim reaper at the beaches". And that doesn't even get into the whole cancel culture around video games. Again... something Cracked has a long history of detailing.
And there's a few oblique gun references.
Maybe the people currently pushing American gun sales to record highs
aren't major cinephiles, but their apocalypse cosplay certainly puts
them in the center of a reality where their violence is conveniently
Less gun control and more.... well the standard classist "gun owners are stupid".
The article itself is... well it raises some good points on people using simple narratives and how pop culture depicts pandemics. And how it all has heroes versus villains versus sheep. And the privileged versus the meek
But when you take a meta standpoint... it's clear that the article itself has a group of villains who for various selfish, paranoid, or greed reasons are not "doing their part".
Of course, the obsession with giving every story heroes and villains has
also given the handfuls of people waving signs about how 5G will melt
your brain into goo outsized attention, because no one wants to read
profiles of the people who did their part by staying home and
re-enacting the entirety of Point Break in Animal Crossing.
The escapism of post-apocalyptic stories is that the hero only has to
be a little more ethical in their mass slaughter than the villains to be
worth rooting for, that the societies we've spent millennia
establishing will just melt away and never be thought of again.
It is... interesting that the article is valorizing... lazing on the couch. Which.... well being able to do that, for MONTHS at a time is pretty damn privileged.
For all the talk about "global empathy" there is little attempt to understand why some people... can't just play video-games on their couch.
And it was only.... about ten days ago that Cracked mocked the privilege of Celebrities.
.. for being able to stay home and make vlogs...
And this whole... wow, look at all these people making enemies.... has a meta component as also published today on Cracked is a piece about a nasty protest
And while it raises good points about the mobs and ill-conceived protests the whole thing has a very "only these garbage people protest the state, you don't want to be one of them do you?"
And no... that's not reading too much into it as also today Cracked posted.... The Senate's Two Biggest Trash Boys Could Lose This November
. Which is itself not too far out of Cracked's wheelhouse and tone. But when combined with the daily short articles that seem nothing more of agitating about the wrongs of the Trump Administration...
Well, it's kind of funny given today's article about the "need to make villains." I'm sure it's a coincidence that during the 2nd month of the pandemic lockdown Cracked decided to go even further on articles against the enemy they see in all of this.
So... the article is right.
And they were right to go "our brains", because clearly the Cracked writing staff needs a villain in all this as well. They just can't connect the dots, or openly admit that they're just as human as the rest of us.