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Blog Post Win

April 20, 2009

fail1fail21fail3

If you’ve been exploring the internets recently, you’ve probably noticed that everyone is saying “fail” these days. Well, even if you haven’t noticed it, you should probably learn how to use it if for nothing more than to wow your adolescent children or pretentious co-workers. I came across a great article on Slate.com that suggests the fail meme hit the big time last May with the launch of Failblog, “an assiduous chronicler of humiliation and a guide to the taxonomy of fail.” Failblog, along with the whole fail movement, has grown exponentially in the last year. The economic crisis, including bank and mortgage “failures,” along with the surge of social media and user-generated content provided the perfect storm for the movement to take root and thrive. Last week, failblog.org, which is powered by our friends at icanhascheezburger, the creator of Lolcats (see previous post), was nominated for two Webby Awards. I like to think of failblog as a web 2.0 version of America’s Funniest Home Videos . The Bob Saget AFHV; not the lame Tom Bergeron AFHV.

4:20 Fail

An excerpt from the Slate.com article:

The highest form of fail-the epic fail-involves not just catastrophic failure but hubris as well. Not just coming in second in a bike race but doing so because you fell off your bike after prematurely raising your arms in victory. Totaling your pickup not because the brakes failed but because you were trying to ride on the windshield. Not just destroying your fish tank but doing it while trying to film yourself lifting weights.

Why has fail become so popular? It may simply be that people are thrilled to finally have a way to express their schadenfreude out loud. Schadenfreude, after all, is what you feel when someone else executes a fail. But the fail meme also changes our experience of schadenfreude. What was once a quiet pleasure-taking is now a public-and competitive-sport.

I couldn’t agree more. Maybe that’s why people post embarrassing TwitPics, upload and tag ridiculous photos on Facebook, and why I always have Sad Trombone open during meetings, ready to press that button in the presence of a “fail,” or if I’m so lucky, “epic fail.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    April 20, 2009 9:16 pm

    You are twisted with the trombone. Terrific post.

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