By Kevin Leland
Good for you! You recognized that this video from the “woman thrown 60 feet in the air from an SUV caught on video dash cam” is a scam.
Before you announce that fact to the world, please read, and see the noble rationale behind the hoax, and help me spread it, Creative Commons style:
You found this out because you typed in the word “hoax” at the end of the search query. Again, good for you! When you heard that the word gullible is not in the dictionary, you were not convinced. P. T. Barnum said that there is sucker born every minute. Apparently, you were born the minute after.
This was the first piece of content that I’ve produced in my content producing career –that was a hoax. It started out as just a typical, Leland practical joke. I come from a family of practical jokers. My son Levi, even at five years old continued the family tradition when he would tape the spray spigot on the kitchen sink so when I went to make the morning coffee, I got a shocking, cold shower.
This practical joke was first directed at my sister. She runs the kind of Facebook page that is not only “G” rated but intensely politically correct as well. Sweet. She is immensely popular too. As she should be, because my straight and narrow sister balances out the bad behavior of her other siblings, namely –me. She deletes many of my humorous and politically incorrect comments. The latest example of my little sis’ censorship went down this weekend.
She posted a question she had heard on the “Today Show:”
If you could have any celebrity as a neighbor, who would it be?
About four comments down, after various celebrities from Julia Roberts to Selena Gomez were chosen by others, along with fervent “not welcomes” to the likes of Justin Bieber and Michael Vick, I felt prompted to post this question:
“If I choose a black celebrity, will my property’s value go down?”
I received my first “like” from my first cousin, once removed, in the thirty seconds before my sister removed my comment, calling it a “dickish” thing to say, and borderline racist. Neither one of us have a bigoted bone in our bodies, which is a fact that makes this joke one against racism. I thought it was funny on so many other levels.
- First level: I don’t even own property anymore.
- Second level: When would a celebrity of any color move into a neighborhood where the yearly property tax equals the value of the clothes they are wearing?
- Third level: Well, just watch the episode of All In The Family, where Archie meets Sammy Davis Junior.
I found this crash video online. When I noticed that there didn’t seem to be any shadows behind people and things in the video, I realized it was all special effects. I plan to research who made it and find out how they made it. Anyway, I posted it on my sisters wall, with this comment:
“I thought your back-handspring, back-handspring, round-off, double back was amazing until I saw this video!”
How insensitive and politically incorrect of me, aye? It definitely would have been truly rotten and worthy of immediate deletion by the straight-laced younger sister, if this was actually a real video of a real accident –especially if it was fatal. By the video, one would have to assume it was a fatal accident. I knew she would delete my comment right away, and tell Mom and Dad that I was being a dick on her Facebook wall again. Which, surprisingly doesn’t offend our Father, whose name is Dick…Probably because I inherited my sense of humor from him. Genetics, completely aware of what it’s doing, made my sister the only blonde in a family with four non-blondes, and therefore the brunt of many jokes, like:
“How can you tell when a blonde is having a bad day?”
“She has a tampon over her ear and she can’t find her pencil.”
So I made up a bogus story behind the flung, flipping female and portrayed the lucky woman surviving the accident, leaving my joke humorously insensitive, but not morbidly mean, even for a fictional victim. It kinda grew from there, and trapped my son into the ruse…I think. I still don’t know if he, and others, shared it to humor me or if they really believed that I caught this thing on video with my dash cam.
Next, the practical joke turned into an experiment as well as a valuable lesson about producing content for the World Wide Web. As I write this, this flung-woman post is not only getting more traffic than any other post, it’s getting more views than the rest of the entire site! This is ironic, considering that I risked my life, and spent more money than I can afford, to work with the Vermont Police, to solve a cold case murder, and get some pretty unique, interesting content. The story was featured on Discovery ID, and will be coming out on A&E this summer. I once thought that was a good scoop.
This hoax has received ten times as many views as the stuff I wrote about the murder I investigated, and reported on very candidly. I guess what my buddy Jack said to that whack-job Tom is very true when it comes to my Blog audience: You can’t handle the truth! The Bangari audience seems to prefer the kind of content found in The National Enquirer.
This is a game changer. In the spirit of “give the people what they want” –expect more phony stories. A discerning person, short on gullibility will recognize the clues, intentionally left for observant skeptics. Like, did you notice the name of the first responder in the bogus story about the woman who got thrown from her SUV 20 meters in the air?: Arthur Rytis, Get it? Arthritis?
I used this phony story to point to a real life story of an SUV crash survival, that’s being called a 2013 Christmas miracle. So, it seems I’m giving my audience everything they want, interesting facts and funny fiction, and getting a ton of traffic while I do it! Here is his true story:
Kudos to you for investigating the validity of Internet content! If you would like to do some real-life investigative blogger work, fill out the “join us” form, and let us know that you are interested in producing content gold in the “investigative blogging” category. If you think you could make up a good hoax yourself, and want to post it here, let us know in the “join us” page.
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