The Other Half Of The Internet’s Worst Nerd Comment

A picture is worth a thousand words, but this one is worth every hateful internet comment ever written. Which adds up to less than a thousand real words, obviously, but is still an impressive feat of online image compression.


An idiot posted that a while ago, and was immediately obliterated by the entire comics internet. But they only exposed half of his idiocy. The obvious imbecility is that the brilliant Dayna Scodras there isn’t a gender-swapped steampunk Joker with a Willy Wonka hat. She’s Duela Dent, established DC character and printed proof that this asshole is trying to keep a woman out of comics that she knows better than him.


And honestly, the picture looks like a copy of the costume rather than the other way round.

The second half of the problem is that even if that hadn’t been Duela Dent, he’d still be wrong. There’s no such thing as “trying too hard” at the act of creation. That’s an insult used by the lazy to defend doing nothing.

Gender-swapping a steampunk Joker and giving her a Willy Wonka hat would be brilliant! I’d be happier if they gender-swapped half the DC universe. Not just the guys, because they do have a lot of ladies, but just randomly swapping 50% of the characters and they’re not allowed to alter the resulting costumes, only altering them to fit. You’re going to have a lot of guys wondering where their pants went, a lot of girls in extremely cool costumes, and if there’s any justice in the world Batman would be rocking the Black Canary fishnets. (He’s already best at everything, those leathers and legs would have him utterly dominating the underworld in every way you’d like it.)

In fact, gender-swapping someone and giving her a Willy Wonka would be better than most comics, because it would mean turning someone into a girl and then giving her more clothes. Which never happens.

Steampunk Joker? Kick-ass! That’s what alternate universes are meant to be for! Imagining adventures, excusing single-premise scenes, and generally escaping the absolute continuity of a blockbuster title to have some fun! Instead they’ve become an impossibly tangled web of continuity bullshit. It got so bad DC reset their entire universe, again, and the first crossover event was still an incestuous tangle between triplicates of the same characters having the worst threesome ever. When the super secret villain of your first big story is the evil alternate of Batman’s butler, you suck.

In fairness, he does have a British accent.

In fairness, he does have a British accent.

And when you dress that evil Alfred up as the Joker anyway, you’re so allergic to new ideas that even your clones need to rip off multiple characters simultaneously.

"Rarr, I'm a credible threat!"

“I’m a credible threat, rarr!”

Which brings us back to the poster’s imagined complaint: he thinks designing and crafting an excellent costume and applying perfect makeup is too much effort, but meming some ascii all over someone else’s picture is just right. Memes are guns: there are a few extraordinary circumstances where they’ve been used admirably, but they’re generally horrible things enabling anyone to ruin things with a ridiculous minimum of effort.

This poster enforces a standard where any exceptional effort is punished, where any untoward ability or excitement beyond the normal must be isolated and mocked. Which means he’s not even a stereotypical asshole nerd: he’s the stereotypical asshole jock.

Enjoy more comic costumery with The 5 Most Ridiculously Sexist Superhero Costumes,and the resulting evisceration of assholes in The 8 Stupidest Defenses Against Accusations Of Sexism.

The Guide To Better Blasphemy

Blasphemy is the first and worst form of censorship. Not being allowed to criticize your leader is the most obvious symptom of tyranny. “Thou shalt not take the lord’s name in vain” is the crudest possible method of disconnecting that lord from your critical thought processes. If you’re not even allowed to say something, it becomes very hard to discuss it, or what a terrible job it’s doing. Luckily the human brain’s very first response to such a command is “Jesus Christ, what a load of bullshit”, and everything sacred suddenly does double-duty as a curse.

I was raised Catholic for the first half of my life, and I spent the second half stripping out all the resulting malware. Going through puberty believing masturbation to be a sin is a worse curse than anything vodou can throw at you. Now I’m almost fixed: I enjoy sex, and living, and generally not existing under a constant weight of guilt and fear. The only remaining side-effects are suspectibility to joining the Borg-voice of a church in prayer, having to consciously resist mouthing along the neuro-engraved responses, and Christian blasphemy.

An Irish upbringing structures my sentences around blasphemy like a city around sewage mains – not the prettiest part, but without those drains for all the inevitable negative consequences of living, the place would fill with backed-up shit. But why limit yourself to Roman Catholic curses, when the world has so many gods to blame for your misery? With thousands of choices on offer, you can express any displeasure with deities, tuning your blasphemy to the specific flavor of bullshit you’re cursing against.

Best blasphemy for: Pure undirected rage against the world

A Celtic god of war and destruction so badass some Britons still worshipped him after Roman soldiers dominated their island, along with some of those soldiers. When you’re so good at war that some of the culture who beat you at it switch to your side, that’s power. Fantastically polysyllabic for those days when a simple swear just isn’t enough to vent your feelings. This isn’t an exclamation, you really get to build up a head of steam across the clunky syllabic gear-shifts, punching with a real Fuck-you style CAD-ros. Excellent for bonus multiplication of combo compounded curse words.

Translates as “Beautiful/shining in death”, but not the passive death that happens to people: the active death you bring to people. He was named in a language with words to differentiate between natural and violent murderous deaths, and he was named after the latter and how brilliant he was at it. Divinely and literally suitable for rage-blasphemy.

Best blasphemy for: Misfortune, or overly verbose people ahead of you in the queue

Short, sharp, nice hard K-sound at the start. Quite fuck-like in both sound and attitude. Drinks rum mixed with gunpowder, and if you’ve never felt like that you’ve never really needed to blaspheme. The closest things Haitian vodou has to a Satan, he stands at the crossroads between the living and the dead and allows misfortune to pass like an evil crossing guard. Everyone must be silent in his presence or risk evil spirits, making him excellent for mutterings to the effect of some asshole shutting up.

Best blasphemy for: Targeted hatred

Other gods can smite and and punish, but when you absolutely have to wreak bloody murder on everyone in the culture, you gotta go Aztec. Itzli was the god of stone, ritual knives, and sacrificing people to the gods with stone ritual knives. The divine equivalent of a pyramid scheme – his only powers were helping you sacrifice more to his powers. For when you don’t just want to stab someone, but want to travel back to before metal just to do it with a more brutal instrument on top of a pyramid for everyone to see.

For more divine intercession in everyday life, behold The Pope’s Last Day of Work.

Nuclear Genital Legislation

A race of robots where the “A” gender’s genitals are a barely sub-critical chunk of uranium, while the “B” gender has a control rod.

A cloned dystopia where viable genetic material is used to vote for and then create hybrid representatives.

A retired cyborg-warrior race whose penii still fire armor piercing ammunition due to a workplace sexual harassment loophole in the decommissioning process.

A misspelling of the fundamental laws of physics causes colliding hardons to disintegrate in showers of high energy particles.

Increased solar UV radiation causes women to grow unprecedented Tanner X pubic hair, a highly flammable substance ignited by rubbing against another such thatch.

Sorry, just trying to think of a situation where it’s ever even remotely the government’s business who people have sex with.

For more sexnanigans, I’ve got The 6 Geekiest Sex Toys and The 7 Most Terrifying Sex Toys Ever Patented. And would love to share both with you all night long.

The Power of Paris

Parisians have a reputation for being arrogant. They also have reasons to be. It’s a city studded with so much wonder, the rest of the world must look black and white. The city always has twice as much beauty as you think: every time you find yourself staring at something stunning, you’ll find something almost as amazing just over your shoulder. A church or town hall, something which would be the center of any other town is here an almost anonymous neighbor to the Pantheon or the Louvre.

Notre Dame

A titan of stone studded with more riches than most kingdoms. Notre Dame is architectural brainwashing. If you were a peasant in the fourteenth century, disappearing inside the immensity of this glory of would make you Christian. Even if you didn’t believe in god you’d still believe you wanted to be on his side. Because He was clearly winning, extant or not. In any argument victory triumphs over validity by definition.


Notre Dame was designed so that its weight would crush the viewer’s mind as surely as it could crush their body, humbling humanity in the face of a higher power. The Pantheon celebrates how humanity is that power, ability and genius which can make even stone soar. A glory of ambition and light celebrating that the only thing beyond our reach is our ambition, calling us ever further.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is engineering as art, and an inspiration for anyone who has ever done anything new. The “Committee of Three Hundred” comprised some of the most authoritative and respected artists of the time, every one of them vigorously opposed to the Tower. It was ugly, it was stupid, it was ridiculous, it was monstrous. It was a lot of things. But it is one of the most amazing things ever made. And when was the last time you heard of the “Committee of Three Hundred”?

A Perfect Pulsar In The Cosmic Clockwork

Bonus material for my latest Cracked article on awesome stars, because it makes my day when the science articles do so well. The sweetest things in science are the problems. The best problem when talking about the universe is that there will always be more than you can cover. I could write a book and have to leave things out. I could write all the books and have to leave things out. Here’s one of them:

#3B The Perfect Pulsar In The Cosmic Clockwork

This was the binary system stirring spacetime like a giant spoon made of neutronium, sending out waves of gravitational radiation. What I didn’t have time to explain was why PSR J0348+0432 was so perfect.

A neutron star is as dense as matter can get without sinking out of all sight behind an event horizon. Even if light can escape, most matter can’t, and the neutron star grows as it consumes everything around it. If it’s spinning this creates jets along the axis, high energy particles squirted out at the poles. If the whole thing is rotating around another axis (imagine a wobbling spinning top – the top is spinning around its axis, but that axis is rotating around and around as well) these polar jets sweep out a circle around the universe. If you’re in the path of this beam, you’ll see a regular pulse as it sweeps past. That’s why it’s called a pulsar.

Source: ESO

Source: ESO

The most compressed mass engine possible thus powers a combination of a cosmic lighthouse and the speaking clock. These pulsars are the most accurate timekeepers possible: when you have for octillion tonnes spinning twenty five times a second, there’s very little you can do to stop it. That’s something twice the mass of the sun twisting at 1500 rpm. At least ten rotations in less time than it takes you to blink. And the whole thing made of solid neutronium: that’s a grindstone which could cut Mjolnir to powder and not even notice. It’ll run down eventually, as all things will, but you’d need to sacrifice a star to alter its timing in any way we’d be around to notice.

So you’ve got the most unstoppable clock in the universe, slap-bang in the middle of the spacetime distortion system we want to measure. It’s the most perfect experiment possible. If astrophysicists had access to God’s sandbox menus, that’s the experiment they’d build with their cosmic Gmod.

Theory predicts that the loss of energy in sending out gravitational waves will cause the pulsar and white dwarf to spiral closer together, shortening their orbit. The measurements matched this theory. The measurements were also 8.6 plus or minus 1.4 millionths of a second, per year, measured from over six thousand light-years away. That’s a measurement of one part in three thousand billion. That’s precision. That’s science. And that’s what people should remember the next time they see someone with shiny teeth and a chat show wibbling about “alternative” theories.

For more spectacular sciencery, I enjoy the echoes of creation known as Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations, and the pure plasmapunk that is the Z Machine.

Vladimir Putin: Bond Villain

Vladimir Putin has spent the last decade becoming a Bond villain. The only reason he doesn’t have a white cat is because he prefers shooting Siberian tigers.

The only man who could look bored while Vulcan mind-melding with a tiger

The only man who could look bored while Vulcan mind-melding with a tiger

He’s reached the level of badass fiction where MI6 send Bond to find out if he’s hiring. Read about recreational tank battles and political shenanigans here.

For more world leader lunacy, we have Berlusconi’s sex government.

Image source: BANKSHOT via Telegraph.