Lets talk about pranks

For some reason I spent a large portion of last Saturday watching videos of people torturing other people with pranks. I was hungover, that’s my excuse.

I’m not generally much of a fan of pranks. For the most part I think they’re a low form of humor, often they are humiliating for the victim and sometimes they can even be traumatic. Pranks can however be incredibly funny…if done right and thought all the way through.

One problem I have with many pranks is that they have quite a bit of potential for serious injury or even death. Anything that involves causing people to fall, such as slippery stuff on the floor, removing furniture that would break a fall (this one does make one wonder seeing as the victim seemed to have something of a death wish already) or scaring people while showering (slippery bathtubs/shower stalls anyone?) are simply spectacularly stupid. I do wonder how many people have died as a result of such pranks. I also have a problem with deliberately hurting someone simply for laughs. A swat on the ass is mostly all right. Punching someone in the face (or in this case making them hit themselves in the face), hitting people over the head with solid objects and hitting men in the balls. Not so smart. People have been known to die from head injuries (duh!) and a solid kick in the balls can be quite dangerous.

I also have a problem with pranks that all about scaring people by messing with existing fears or phobias. A real phobia is no joking matter. Using a person’s fear/phobia against them in such a way is not only not funny but also incredibly cruel. Using a real (or even fake) tarantula to prank me like this would not only probably scare me to the point of a real panic attack, but also create a serious trust issue between me and the pranker.

When planning a prank it is also important to make sure you really know the person you’re pranking. Some people find this sort of thing funny, a lot of people don’t. Some people react violently, and as in the second example sometimes they are pretty much justified. Sometimes people react badly to fairly innocent pranks.

The worst pranks though are the ones where the victims are children! I saw quite a few of those and in all of them the perpetrator was the parent. Why would parents deliberately scare their children into tears? I don’t understand. The most common ones were parents filming their children while they play games online that end with that famous picture from The Exorcist and the screaming. You know the one? Yeah. It’s cruel. Here’s one, and another one, and another one, and another one. These aren’t funny, they are horrifying. In the last one the kid is crying and the dad is still laughing!!

Then there’s this one. I can’t even begin to describe how angry this one makes me. Tricking a poor kid into thinking he’s getting an Xbox when he’s not and then laughing at his humiliation? Disgusting. Some people aren’t meant to be parents.

There was one video I saw on Saturday which really, honestly made me think “this is going to have a lasting effect”. A woman is tricked into a basement where she sees a hanging body. Who thought this was a good idea?! She’s obviously seriously traumatized!

BUT! That’s not to say that I don’t have a sense of humor. My sense of right and wrong is simply stronger. :P I did find quite a few videos hilarious. Such as the snow in the shower one, wrapping everything in pink paper one, filling the room with newspapers one, almost all water+flour ones.

Basically my message is this: pranks can be funny, if done right. A lot of the time they aren’t.

To end this all on a good note, here’s a video of laughing babies. :)

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School, parties and links!

So school has begun. I have a feeling that my schedule this semester is going to be kind of mad. I have two research projects, one for sociology and one for geography. The geography one is a group project and next month we’re going on a 5 day research trip to Vestmannaeyjar. Before then we have to prepare pretty much everything. Then I have three other courses (criminology, sociological theories, and image interpretation and remote sensing). So I won’t have time to slack off. Rest assured, I will definitely be slacking off anyway. I’m stupid like that.

Tonight I am going to a crazy tequila/singstar party. I’ve bought some Strongbow and white wine and I intend to enjoy myself immensely. How can I not? I will be surrounded by crazy slasher chicks who have no sense of shame. We have been known to discuss necrophilia, watch gay porn, and play Supernatural drinking games. We’re insane.

Then tomorrow I have to start packing. I have to clear out my apartment before Thursday and I’ve hardly begun. See? I’m slacking off already.

I have to go get ready, so here are some links to interesting stuff.

BartCop’s letter to republicans.

I’m sick of the way you try to destroy the whole concept of government. You’ve tricked the people into believing that government can’t do anything right, always being careful to exclude the army because you love your bullets and bombs but you’ve so destroyed the public’s ability to reason that they don’t even think of interstate highways, the space program, the national parks program, etc. Government is always great when it’s doing what you tell it and inevitably corrupt when it isn’t. Fuck you.

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Pfizer Agrees to Record Criminal Fine in Fraud Probe.

“When a drug is marketed or promoted for non- authorized, so-called off-label uses, any use not approved by the FDA — as was the case here — public health may be at risk,” Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli said at a news conference in Washington.

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1/4 of teenage girls suffer physical violence, 1/3 sexual violence in relationships.

One third of girls age 13-17 have been forced or pressured into “unwanted sexual acts”, and a further one quarter have suffered physical violence by their boyfriends, according to a study by Bristol University and the NSPCC. A smaller number of boys reported being pressured or forced into sex or suffering physical violence in a relationship.

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FDA Draft Report Urges Consumption of Fish, Despite Mercury Contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration is urging the government to amend its advisory that women and children should limit how much fish they eat, saying that the benefits of seafood outweigh the health risks and that most people should eat more fish, even if it contains mercury.

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Interview with the author of Autism’s False Prophets, Paul A. Offit M.D.

It’s a statistic that’s quoted at parents constantly, almost casually: the rate of children diagnosed with autism in the United States corresponds directly to the increase in childhood vaccinations that’s taken place over the past ten years. Here’s the problem: it’s not true. Not only is there is no statistical correlation between the rise of autism and an increase in vaccinations, but twelve separate studies have shown absolutely no difference in autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

And here’s a bit of funny just because I love Zachary Quinto so much.

HOSTAGE: A Love Story with Zachary Quinto from Zachary Quinto