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Cracked Magazine used to be a so-so ripoff of the considerably better Mad Magazine. Instead of Alfred E. Newmann, they used a dopey janitor guy as their mascot, and they aped Mad's look and feel as much as possible. It was always a poor also-ran, and fell into obscurity in the late '90's.

However, a few years ago, Cracked was reborn as a pretty good pop culture website. Much of the humor is still pretty juvenile, but overall they've done a good job, and a lot of their "Top (x)" lists are pretty interesting (and better sourced than most "real" journalism, I might add).

With that in mind,'s latest list, The 6 Worst Jobs Ever (Were done by children) provides a half-dozen excellent examples of what the U.S. might look like if today's GOBPBaggers were to have the control over things that they seek.


#5: Coal Carriers

Coal remains one of the most vital sources of energy the world over, but mining the stuff continues to be an ugly, incredibly dangerous business. So picture how rough it was prior to the 20th century when coal provided virtually the only power source, and the height of safety technology involved ropes, carts and yelling, "Run!" when stuff blew up.

You couldn't imagine worse working conditions. Explosions, shaft cave-ins, asphyxiation, black lung; it was all in a day's work for Ye Old coal miners. To put it in perspective, we have more than once left work early because we felt "itchy."

Of course, the only way to ensure any measure of safety and success back then was to rely on the most experienced and well-trained coal miners. Or children. Yeah, screw it, children will do.

From ages as young as four, children were employed in the art of hurrying: pulling giant sled loads of coal through tiny shafts. Children made perfect carriers because their short stature allowed them to crawl around two foot tunnels in the bowels of the Earth for 12 hours a shift. You might wonder why midgets were not employed. Because midgets are people too, jerk.

Oh, and did we mention the children were often forced to do the work naked? Perhaps clothes were forbidden because loose articles might catch on shaft walls. Or perhaps the idea of a fully-clothed child crawling on their belly in an ink black hole deep underground came off as too dignified.

The fact is, there was no physical need for mine shafts to be constructed that small, and therefore no need to employ children. Building shafts over 24-inches wide just cost more. It's simple Supply and Demand: people kept supplying disposable children, and mining companies kept demanding those kids to shimmy their little asses down the scary, dark hell mouth.

You get the idea.

Read the whole thing. These lists actually read pretty quick and provide a nice perspective (and occasionally a bit of actual insight) on things.

Oh, yeah, and when you're done, please give Lance Enderle a hand over in MI-08. He's running the most grass-rootsiest of grassroots campaigns, a write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress. Lance is a progressive Democrat who's trying to save MI-08 the awkwardness of running the only candidate who's on the primary ballot: A guy who dropped out of the race last month!

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "When even Arlen Specter is asking why the Dems got him to be their 60th Senator if they weren't gonna use the 60 votes, you know something's wrong!" --nyceve

    by Brainwrap on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:11:20 AM PDT

  •  Rather than the coal carriers, I would've (5+ / 0-)

    Probably used the Whipping Boy as the best "Cracked" example of Republican philosophy:

    Back in the 17th century, people believed the body of a prince, like that of the king, was sacred and could not be harmed. So what to do when the sacred vessel was acting like a royal prick? The answer: Whip the prince's friend while he watched.

    The practice started with King James the First, who instructed a peasant whipped for his son Charles's crimes--clearly demonstrating both his authority and complete lack of understanding of little boys' sociopathic nature. While the royalty assumed the young prince would learn his lesson after watching his only companion take violence for the prince's own misdeeds, more likely the royal shit assumed the position of a unfuckwithable little tyrant with no regard for the pain and suffering of others. But history clearly shows this is just a phase they grow out of toward becoming benevolent and perfectly reasonable rulers.

    I had forgotten "Cracked" even existed! Thanks for the memories - and link!

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

    •  Well, if you read their history on Wikipedia (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snud, millwood, Greasy Grant, luckylizard'll conclude that the original Cracked really doesn't exist in anything more than the name.

      The magazine pretty much sucked IMHO; the website is pretty awesome in the snarky vein of The Onion and so forth.

      "When even Arlen Specter is asking why the Dems got him to be their 60th Senator if they weren't gonna use the 60 votes, you know something's wrong!" --nyceve

      by Brainwrap on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:31:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That may explain why Charles I was such a twit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snud, millwood

      Or maybe he would have been an obtuse jerk with or without a whipping boy. In the long run he incurred a punishment that no one else could take in his stead: beheading.

      His son (Charles II) spent his teenage years and early adulthood on the lam, mooching off relatives, chasing skirts, and absorbing Continental attitudes. So when he was offered the job of King (the English having finally gotten fed up with Puritan "Lord Protectors") with significant strings attached, he gladly accepted. And he brought some Continental ideas with him, one of which was that women could and should play women on the stage. (Naturally, he got involved with at least one of the new-fangled "actresses", namely Nell Gwynn....)

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:42:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cracked is good at this stuff. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, TheBlaz, millwood, Greasy Grant

    Their political satire rivals The Daily Show.

    Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here.

    by djtyg on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:31:50 AM PDT

  •  This article will get Sharron Angle horny. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, millwood

    Free market economy with no regulations?  No organized labor?  Oooooohhh....

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:36:22 AM PDT

  •  I love that website. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, millwood

    Some of it is extremely juvenile, but just as much is hysterical.

    A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. --Muhammad Ali

    by TheBlaz on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:01:38 AM PDT

  •  MI-08 has been (0+ / 0-)

    gerrymandered into a wingnut haven to make Mike Rogers safe, after he won his first election by only a few hundred votes. That fact alone makes Enderle's mission tough; his lack of cash and name recognition will seal the deal for Mister Rogers yet again.

    Democrats have never bothered to mount a credible challenge to Rogers, and I can't figure out why. His list of "accomplishments" is very short, he's mostly a rubber stamp. He posts YouTube vids like a madman though.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:26:07 AM PDT

    •  Agreed on all counts. HOWEVER... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      ...if Enderle is able to at least win the nomination, that will at the very least accomplish the following:

      --force Rogers to at least spend some time, money & resources defending his seat
      --prevent Rogers from being free to spend all his time campaigning for the GOP in other districts where freshmen Dems are defending their seats (MI-07 and MI-09)
      --save face for the MI-08 Democrats, who are otherwise faced with an embarrassing situation (having a phantom candidate on the ballot in November)

      I realize that seems like weak tea, but that's also what the 50-state strategy is all about: cede NOTHING to the GOP, run candidates in every district.

      "When even Arlen Specter is asking why the Dems got him to be their 60th Senator if they weren't gonna use the 60 votes, you know something's wrong!" --nyceve

      by Brainwrap on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:44:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree that it's better (0+ / 0-)

        to have somebody than nobody, but I wish the party would at least try next time to recruit an honest to God candidate and put some resources into unseating this oily bastard. He reminds me of a used car salesman.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:51:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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