Last week The Onion launched a much-discussed clickbait parody site called Clickhole, dedicated to the gleeful skewering of all things viral and vapid. The express purpose of Clickhole is to satirize sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed, which, in turn, frequently read like parodies of traditional news.
What you end up with, then, is a parody of a parody: A thing so inherently ridiculous, so exaggeratedly stupid, that no one could ever mistake it for fact. Right? (Gulp.)
Admittedly, people mistaking Onion Things for Real Things is nothing new: There’s an entire Tumblr devoted to shaming such illiterates, and in its three years of existence, it has never wanted for new subjects. But taking a Clickhole story literally requires a further suspension of disbelief: In order to take a headline like “10 Hilarious Chairs That Think They’re People” seriously, you have to truly believe that Internet media knows no lows.
And judging by @Clickhole’s @-replies, a lot of people feel that way — for better or worse.
“Can Somebody Tell Me What Monsanto Is So I Can Hate It?”
— iamtheciphe (@theciphe) June 18, 2014
@ClickHole it’s a multinational agriculture business deeply involved in GM crops. Plenty to hate
— Pippa Musgrave (@PippaMusgrave1) June 18, 2014
— Siren out of Brixton (@SirenofBrixton) June 21, 2014
“Woman Takes One Photo of Herself Every Day For A Week”
— The Blue Baron (@Ryan__Blake) June 19, 2014
@ClickHole Sorry for my igorance, but why is this special or breathtaking?
— NexusPau (@Terceranexus6) June 22, 2014
— New999/Xindictive (@TSKNew999) June 19, 2014
— E-Shang (@swim97) June 19, 2014
“It’s Time to Stop Saying ‘Buxom Wench’”
— d w donahoo (@esugrad72) June 20, 2014
@ClickHole I think we should chip away at language until nothing is left but articles and conjunctions, except “but” which is offensive.
— IA_Adam (@IA_Adam) June 20, 2014
— Karey Jackson (@Karey1975) June 21, 2014
“10 Messy Animals Who Need a Bath”
— Muz (@muzthekid) June 18, 2014
“We Took an Israeli Child And A Palestinian Child And Put Them Together In The Same Room. And We’re Going to Keep Them.”
— Rahel Sivan (@RahelSivan) June 23, 2014
“How Many Off These Noir Films Have You Seen?”
— Mark Hurne (@MarkHurne) June 18, 2014