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Clickbait

  In an effort to go after “clicks”, I have decided to write a clickbait article—sometimes referred to as the “listicle”. You know what I mean—something with barely any content but preys upon the human need for novelty or stimulation in the face of self-reflection and inevitable disgust at what one may find.

  I know, I know—why would I lower myself to something so base and demeaning? Well, friends, I took a look at popular things and, bowing to peer pressure, felt that this was the best move to make. It’s not entirely complete yet, so just be aware that there are some gaps, especially in regard to the stock photos I have yet to purchase.

  Long story short, YOU JUST WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

Ten Signs You Might Be a Human Being

10. You Sometimes Feel Out of Place

[generic picture of a sunflower field]

  Have you ever been at a party and feel like you don’t belong there? Do you ever look around at people having fun and wonder “Why can’t I do that?” When you were in high school, did you ever feel like you were a special snowflake while everyone else (who totally didn’t get you) merely followed authority? Have you ever unironically used the word “sheeple”? Well, friend, have you ever considered you might actually be a human being struggling to find their way in a world without inherent purpose? Well, wonder no more, readers!

  Dr. Vladimir Planck says that, “It makes sense that, while human beings are communal animals, sometimes they feel lonely even when in a large group.”

  Whoa, doc! Are you sure you’re not a psychic?

9. You Like Things Other People Don’t

[generic picture of a book or something nerdy]

  Do you like to read when no one else at work does? Are you an adult who plays video games and feels like no one else your age does, even though statistically that is an absolutely stupid thing to believe? Do you like a genre of music that other people find cloying? Do you use the word “cloying” at least once a day, to the annoyance of your peers? You just may be a human being!

  Dr. Planck insists that, “Humans have a wide variety of interests that span a number of areas, so I suppose that diversity will lead to the illusion of solitude. Why do you ask?”

  So let that weird interest flag fly! You’ll probably find someone who shares it with you. Who knows? That other person may just be a human being, too!

8. You Sometimes Hate Your Job

[picture of brunette looking frustrated by a computer—you know the one]

  Ugh! Look at everyone enjoying their job! Can you believe that they get to do something they love day in, day out? I mean, sometimes your day is just fine, but other times it just makes you want to cry. Why can’t your job consist of never-ending pleasure and fun like all those other people who clearly just super enjoy filing paperwork all day?

  Dr. P to the rescue! “Um, sure, I suppose. I mean, it’s not really my field, but there’s a finite amount of quote-unquote ‘perfect’ jobs out there, so I would assume job dissatisfaction runs fairly high.”

  Look at that—it turns out that hating your job is all-too-human! So tough it out! That perfect job is clearly just waiting for you! Everyone gets to be happy forever! That’s what the doctor said!

7. Some Popular Culture Baffles You

[Audrey_Hepburn.jpg]

  Oh, my goodness! Have you seen the new music video by the one group all those young people like? It’s just so scandalous and completely different from the things that you like! How on earth could those people just not enjoy the things that you do, absolutely all of which was universally agreed upon to be the best thing™ when it was released? It’s almost, almost like there are forms of entertainment that are made with other people in mind! But, despite the revelation that content makers aren’t all in it for your entertainment (the bastards), there is still good news!

  Dr. Vladimir chimed in with this helpful little bit of insight: “My daughter is really into Nicki Manaj, who I just don’t get. But my parents didn’t ‘get’ the allure of Cindi Lauper either, so whatever, right?”

  The doc sounds like he may not really be the best source for this listicle, really.

6. You Are Sexually Attracted to Some People

[butts.jpg]

  Is there someone at the office who makes your pantical area feel funny in a good way? Do you occasionally see someone and think “My goodness, they certainly are symmetrical and appear to be in good health; I would like to consensually rub up against them”? Do you occasionally yearn to feel another’s touch or, perhaps more squishily, swap bodily fluids? Well, stop ritually cutting off your various body parts, because it may be a symptom of just being a human being!

  “One of the primary drives of the human experience is the quest to secure one’s genetic legacy,” Dr. Planck said of his own free will after only three hours of coaching.

  See? Doctor approved! If you want to get frisky with someone, you may just have that “humanity” bug that’s been going around!

5. You Are Not Sexually Attracted to Some People

[nobutts.jpg]

  You don’t necessarily feel the same drives as other people seem to; in fact, you are routinely baffled by a world that seems to be a never-ending stream of asses, cocks, and boobs. While others seem possessed by a laser-like focus on sex, you prefer a good book, platonic company, and dogs. Sure it seems like the world is designed by the personification of a 13-year old’s sex drive, but sometimes you can’t help but wonder: is it you?

  Not to worry! “Some people just don’t really care or feel the same desires as others, and that will naturally extend to issues of sexuality” says Dr. Planck. He also wanted to say that “Trying to fit everyone’s experience into a stupid list is just going to make a bunch of generalizable items that most people can probably tic off. This isn’t some profound insight into anything. All you’re really doing is providing a false sense of belonging to a group when there is none, you monster!”

  Ha, ha, doc. Never change. Never. Fucking. Change.

4. The Knowledge of Your Mortality is Only One Grim Thought Away

[dancingskeleton.gif]

  It’s a blustery, warm spring day. After months of cold, sunless mornings, the dazzling sphere that gives us all life has peaked from behind the clouds and has given us all the reminder that life doesn’t always have to be dreary. Couples are out and about, laughing and sharing secret whispers. New greenery is sprouting from the earth, and oh my god, some day you’re going to die having accomplished nothing. Crazy, huh?

  Not so, says Dr. Planck! “I’m a dentist! Why are you doing this to me?”

  Oh, in your last minutes, you’ll know why, Vladimir.

3. You Love Kittens

[kitten playing with a ball of yarn or something equally adorable]

  BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD. BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD. BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD. BLOOD BLOOD.

  “BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD,” BLOOD BLOOD.

  BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD! BLOODBLOODBLOODBLOODBLOOD BLOODBLOOD.

2. You Pay Fealty to the Gods of Old

[!$#@^$#$$%#%^&]

  The night howls its orders. You try to ignore the calls, but it is useless. You speak in words not your own and with a voice like the beat of locusts’ wings. You must become the scalpel to cut away the cancer that has infested the world. The soulless march among us, dead eyes betraying their desperation… no… their need to be released from suffering. Only those who fall into the lockstep of the listicle to define their lives matter—they are the worker bees that bring forth the gods of old and will restore chaos to the cosmos.

  It screamed for mercy, and we made it accept that there is mercy in death. It pled for the safety of its family, but they have already joined us, for they take the quizzes that bind them to a reality of pre-packaged identity. Introvert. Extrovert. 38% Wisconsinite. 86% Party Animal. We are not but the toys of things that slither just beyond our perception, that worm their way through the darkness of sleep to penetrate the veil of our fragile reality.

  Oh, my dear doctor… all life is ephemeral; some is just more so.

1. You Really Love Kittens

[Another kitten because I’ve lost interest in finishing this ar]

  Just look at that widdle guy! He clearly thinks he’s people!

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.

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