ScoopGods: Exposing Existential Truths Using Humor
ScoopGods is a news website unlike any other, owed mostly to the fact that while none of the articles on ScoopGods are, in fact, real, all of them are really funny. The brainchild of a small team of writers with jobs in the computer industry, ScoopGods is a website filled to the brim with eccentric, off-the-wall humor. Articles lampoon everything and anyone; from President Barack Obama to the Pope; and from Apple Computers to the Hadron supercollider.
The news stories are relevant to the issues of today in the same way that eating a burrito is relevant to the Mexican-American War of 1846; loosely. Articles about current celebrities alternately exaggerate their most notable characteristics to legendary ends or mock their self-aggrandizing behavior by “exposing” their secret side. Other articles are sheer nonsense; studies of ridiculous human behavior in a world where insanity, crazed sexuality, extreme juxtaposition, and irony writ large are par for the course.
ScoopGods realize that their humor may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Subtlety doesn’t exactly factor into their comedic sense and toilet-humor abounds. Certain articles are Monty-Python-esque (in a good way), while others simply beat you over the head with the gag, until you’re left a whimpering, quivering, cowering blob. The best stuff on ScoopGods, in my opinion, are the articles written more tongue-in-cheek rather than fart-in-face, but if you read through a few stories you’ll undoubtedly find something brilliant that will make you smile.
This range of humor works to their advantage as well as to their disadvantage. It would be easier for ScoopGods to skew their articles toward the mainstream, to make things less offensive, and to play it safe, but one gets the feeling that this would go against everything the ScoopGods writers stand for. They write what they think is funny, and if you don’t like it, you can go elsewhere. They don’t really care if you like it because they had a blast writing it. It’s precisely this devil-may-care attitude that will attract kindred spirits, and should be admired, even if you can’t appreciate the product itself. If funny was universal, the world would be a tired and boring place.
In a world where snap judgments are standard practive, we dub things “hot or not” in a matter of milliseconds. We expect our humor to be presented in bite-sized chunks, which isn’t what you’ll find at ScoopGods. The articles are longer than you might be used to reading and sometimes the joke set-ups are long and the pay-off is near the end. The use a rural analogy, the journey to the well is a long one, but the bucket rarely comes up dry.
If ScoopGods can be compared to The Onion, it’s only in a favorable light, and only on the surface. While both websites deliver a comedic slant on the news, ScoopGods is an entirely different flavor of humor: much more personality-driven, like joking between good friends or with a brother. The Onion, on the other hand, feels like it’s written by a bunch of elitist, sarcastic, cardigan-wearing haters with “everything sucks” attitudes. While I love reading The Onion, I wouldn’t want to relax and have a beer with any of the writers, whereas I would probably enjoy having a beer with the guys who run ScoopGods. As long as I didn’t have to pay.
ScoopGods claim to be “determined to push [their] influence around the world and possibly the universe,” and that news today misses the “core message”. They don’t go on to explain what that core message is exactly, but I think I can take a guess. It’s that, despite the serious tone of the news, and contrary to the panic-spreading stories that pollute the airwaves, the human experience is, at heart, a humorous one. From the first caveman who laughed when his friend tripped over a rock, to the latest homosexual escapades of anti-gay congressmen; we are a ridiculous species who like to shoot ourselves in the foot at every possible opportunity. It is only our ability to laugh at ourselves that allows us to continue forward, towards more absurdity. It also gives us our most underrated characteristic: resilience.
Comedy is the funhouse mirror held up to society’s reflection; they don’t invent, they only exaggerate what’s there. A joke shows us some truth about ourselves or our idols that we wouldn’t normally be able to stomach. We laugh because “it’s so true”. We laugh because we think it’s crazy, sure, but we also laugh because we know it’s pretty close to our reality.
To that end, perhaps the articles at ScoopGods are prophetic, or like windows into a parallel dimension where things are only slightly different but seem ridiculous because we’re on the outside looking in. Maybe there is some divinity working through the ScoopGods, a deity that get’s its rocks off by showing us an approximation of what we really look like and then watching us laugh. And that would be the scariest thought I’ve ever had.