We're at a really weird time and place in American politics. Not that it's not always pretty weird, but in the days of the internet, sarcastic "news" shows like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, and free-falling standards of journalistic practice it's SCARY how quickly misinformation can spread and cement itself as truth even in the face of thorough debunking, especially when a senator can lie on the senate floor, ADMIT to lying by explaining anyone who took his lie seriously missed the point, and then have his lie scrubbed from the public record so that the damage can propagate with no evidence of where it started. So really it shouldn't surprise you when articles from The Onion, a newspaper I normally wouldn't have to point out is completely satirical except that it's relevant to the blog, show up in people's Facebook and Twitter feeds with various comments about how shocked, horrified, disgusted, or amused they are that such a thing is happening. Now there's a single, handy archive for just these sorts of things, with Literally Unbelievable.
No doubt inspired by the rash of angry and completely misinformed rants about this piece on a fictional "Abortionplex" (most of the posts so far are comments about it), Literally Unbelievable takes the more righteous, angry, and clueless people on Facebook and posts their comments for all to mock. Before you move to defend people for the innocent crime of letting a joke whiz over their heads, know that their names are censored to prevent harassment. And also, they shared this stuff on Facebook; it's not like someone stole their diaries.
If you're anything like us, the first few entries will evoke cynical laughter as you marvel at how some people can be so clueless, followed by a slow shift to concern as you see how many people are already posted on the site. Finally, it dawns on you that each of these people gets to vote, and will do so under the same bizarro-world prism that makes them completely immune to sarcasm and irrationally-quick to anger. And then you'll just want to curl up in a ball and cry.
Have you ever fallen for an Onion headline? Would you be the smug jerk who points it out to a Facebook friend? Think we're all jerks and The Onion shouldn't even be making fun of such serious stuff? Let us know in the comments.