An open letter to my favourite humour website in the world

Dear Cracked,

I was going to start this with a bad joke about how your website’s name is well chosen because you are as addictive as a certain kind of drug that shares your name, but let’s be honest – I am no internet humourist, which is why my dreams of writing for you some day will probably never be realised. Seriously, though, I just got done with a several-hour-long binge-read of your articles. I had even read some of them before! I just couldn’t help myself. You are that great.

There are loads of things I love about you. Obviously, the dick jokes rank near the top, along with all the titties. But I also love that you manage to deploy humour the way it’s meant to be used: pointing upwards. You don’t take cheap shots at people of colour, you don’t mock the disabled, and you’re actually pretty damn feminist for a website run mostly by dudes. I have found better feminism in some of your timeless list-based humour than I have on websites run by actual self-proclaimed feminists. That’s pretty freaking impressive. You really get it, you know? You get that jokes are funnier, cleverer and about ten thousand times less douche-y when they challenge the status quo. If we could lock Daniel Tosh in a room with all of you and not let him come out for a month, I think he might actually emerge as a half-decent comedian.

(I’m joking. Nothing could make Daniel Tosh a decent comedian. But I digress.)

I only have a couple of really tiny nitpicks. You know how sometimes you love your best friend to death, but they have one or two habits that make you want to punch them in the face? Well, I’m not saying I want to punch you in the face (nor am I saying you’re my best friends – though, call me!), but there are just one or two things you could do to achieve the near-impossible and become even more awesome. Here’s what they are – in list format, because I get that that’s kind of your deal:

1. Please stop it with the “hooker” jokes.

Most of the time, your attitude towards sex work is actually pretty okay (again – surprisingly feminist for a dude-run humour site!), but there are a couple of things you could be doing better. Can you please stop calling the ladies “prostitutes”, “hookers” and “whores”? Pretty please? That’s a form of whorephobia, and it’s led to the kinds of gruesome murders you could probably feature in some of your Hallowe’en urban legend articles. Societal discrimination against a class of working women, often leading to violence and murder being perpetrated against them, just isn’t all that funny. It’s always a little jarring when I’m reading a great article and out of nowhere, a derogatory term for sex workers has been slipped in for no real reason.

Fixing this is really easy! Just refer to them as sex workers and to what they do as sex work. It’s not so much your attitude that needs to change – just the terminology you use. Words like the ones I listed above are hurtful and damaging slurs, and as you’ve proven time and time again, you can be hilarious without resorting to cheap shots like that.

2. Find another word for “unintelligent” that isn’t “retarded”.

This makes me wince every time I see it. I know a lot of the people you talk about are absolutely ludicrously dickbrained. What they aren’t is suffering from intellectual impairment, which is a real series of conditions for which “retarded” is a very nasty term. Ditto for “lame” – you’re inadvertently hurting a lot of disabled people by using this to describe stuff that sucks.

You’re great at coming up with creative new insults, and there are already plenty there for you to use that aren’t ableist slurs – fucksticks, dickwads, fucknuggets, shitlords, the list goes on. Maybe consider using some of those instead? As someone who knows and loves a lot of people with both physical disabilities and intellectual impairments, it always makes me a little sad to see you throwing around the r-word like it’s meaningless. It’s not that hard to erase it from your vocabulary with a little effort and a lot of creative cursing, and it would make your site a lot more inviting to people who are disabled or know and love folks who are.

That’s pretty much it, y’all. You run a great site that produces high-quality content, and I’ll probably still be reading you twenty years from now because as you wrote in an article one time, our tastes kinda get fixed when we’re young, and many of my formative years were spent reading hilarious dick jokes and staring at boobies on Cracked. (Related: it may have been Cracked that helped me realise I was also into ladies…but again, I digress.) There is roughly a 0% chance that anyone who writes for Cracked will ever read this, but hey – I can hope, right? And if you do, by some miracle, happen to stumble across this blog post, I know that being the decent, smart, startlingly attractive folks you are, you’ll at least think about what I’ve said here.

I look forward to many more years of sexy, sexy all-American humour delivered straight to my inbox/news feed/one-day-ubiquitous Google Glass device – hopefully with a little less of the nasty stuff thrown into the mix.

Thanks for the laughs (and, again, for possibly helping me come out to myself – you were right, titties are amazing!).

Sincerely,

Jay.