Modern Classics Summarized: 1984

It’s the mother of all dystopias! Long before YA dystopia rose to power, before the age of Young Attractive Heroes who Rebel Against The State and Also Find Love, there was just Winston Smith – a middle-aged man in poor health who Rebelled Against The State and Also Found Love. It just ended much less prettily for him. 1984 codified most of the modern dystopia tropes – absolute control of the media, black-bagging people who spoke out, and a lot of popular terms like “doublethink”, “big brother”, and “thought police”. Unfortunately, a lot of those terms got stripped of context and thrown around for the sake of Extra Edge, and as a result they get used a little haphazardly. And there’s nothing Red hates more than misused terminology, so here’s the video outlining the ORIGINAL meaning of 1984!

People Are Sharing How Siblings “Ruined Their Lives”

BY PIPPA RAGA  Distractify

Growing up, I thought I was going to have a smooth, super chill, only-child life. Until I turned five, that is, when my parents decided to bring home a tiny blob of a human and said she was my sister. Not entirely thrilled by this addition to my easygoing and relaxed lifestyle, I waited until she was old enough to talk, and then surreptitiously used my five years of seniority to fill her head with all kinds of nonsense that still haunts her in her twenties.

There was the time I told her she was adopted (how original), and the time I lied and said she had to give me hour-long back rubs to be allowed to watch (just watch, not play) me win at Pacman on the computer.

And although as an adult I’m a bit traumatized by my past self’s actions, a recent reddit thread made me realize I’m not the worst sibling out there. In fact, I’m kind of bummed I wasn’t more creative at dragging my sister.

Below, 15 people who were bullied so bad by their siblings, it’s a wonder they lived to tell the tale.

1. A painful lesson in trust.


“We were eating at a Japanese restaurant and my older brother told me that little piece of wasabi was ice cream. :(“

– botanicalextracts

2. Here’s one way to make sure your siblings learn about Santa.


“My brother told me that if I was naughty around Christmas time Santa would take me away and turn me into an elf to make toys forever. I was freaking out to the point where my parents sat me down and told me that there isn’t a Santa. I was relieved and distraught at the same time.”

– FultonHomes

3. Wait, they’re not?


“I told my brother that the rough treads on the side of the freeways were to alert blind people when they were drifting off the road. He came to me about two months ago saying he had brought that up among friends and embarrassed the s–t out of himself. He’s 23, lmao.”

– operachick209

4. Sooooo good if you’re the pranker, so terrible if you’re the prankee.


“One of the first times my brothers and I were allowed to stay home by ourselves while our parents were out and about, we were playing some video games innocently when my older brother says he hears something coming from the bedrooms. My younger brothers and I didn’t hear anything, so we just kept playing. My older brothers persisted however, saying he heard something again. After a few more claims, he starts acting genuinely scared and tries to call my mom, but she doesn’t pick up (probably because he didn’t really call her).

“We were pretty young, so at this point he basically had us convinced there was a murderer or something in the house. He then proceeded to tell us he was going to check it out, and went off through the hallway into the dark. My other brothers and I waited for him on the couch for like 2 minutes until we decided to go make sure he was still alive.

“We cautiously searched all the rooms in the house, but we couldn’t find him anywhere. My youngest brother is nearly crying with fear at this point, so we chicken out and head back to the living room where it’s safe. As we were walking through the dark hallway though, my brother literally drops from the ceiling and lands in front of us, wearing a mask and wielding a butter knife. He has been perched up at the ceiling using both hallway walls like some sort of monkey child, waiting for the opportune moment to strike, and boy did he scare us good. My youngest brother called my mom for real just to tell on him, but I’m not sure she understood anything through my brother’s sobbing.

“Looking back, I can’t help but recognize my older brother’s genius, but at the same time it meant we weren’t allowed to stay home by ourselves for another year or so. Good times.”

– saberdude21

5. I honestly wish remotes worked this way.


“When I was very young, my older brother told me that if you pointed the TV remote at someone and clicked the power button, it would ‘turn them off’ in the same way the picture on a CRT quickly minimizes. He was able to keep me in line for a few years by pointing the remote at me and threatening to shoot.”

– YungBeepis

6. This is cruel. But hilarious. But nonetheless so cruel.


“Bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries……..I was not a smart kid so there I went trying to sniff the bottom of the pool.”

– TequilaBeans

7. At least they didn’t pull out the dye in her sleep.


“Mom dyed her hair and did something wrong and it came out orange. Not kind of orange, orange. So two of my sisters and I convinced our baby sister that her hair would turn orange too when she grew up.

“She started crying and going on about how she didn’t want orange hair and our parents wanted to know what the hell we’d done.”

– muddyGolem

8. I’m going to keep an extra close eye for dogs and babies next trash day.


“My sister would tell me my parents found me in a trashcan and thought I was a really ugly dog, and by the time I realized I was a kid it was too late to return me.”

– octodile

9. I think child-me would have loved to meet this mastermind.


“My brother convinced me and pretty much all of my friends that he was a spy when we were about 7 years old. He even convinced us that he was in the movie Spy Kids in one of the action scenes waaaay in the back. He had me and my friends complete missions so that we could become spies too. Eventually these ‘missions’ turned into ‘Get me a glass of orange juice or you can’t be a spy.’ He would do fake phone calls to the ‘headquarters’ knowing that we would overhear him so that we would believe him. He had a spy name and spy number for all of us for when we would eventually be old enough to be initiated.

This went on for two years and all of my friends still thought we could one day be a spy. Even my parents played along probably not realizing how serious I took it. I believed him for so long because up until that point I didn’t think anyone especially my brother was capable of lying about something like that for so long. The day he finally told me he was so serious because I think he truly didn’t expect this joke to stick for this long. When he told me let me tell you I was crying so much because I spent two years doing meaningless tasks because I wanted to be a spy. All of my friends growing up were equally pissed and we still give him beef for it now that we are all in our 20’s.”

– lamiller0622

10. I would have taken this kid to the school science fair.


“I told my little brother that he was a robot. I would walk up to him with a screwdriver and ask him to hold still so I could adjust the settings when he was being annoying. Poke him in the back a bit and then tell him that he’s good to go. I’d leave Allen wrenches and socket sets on his bedside table after he went to sleep. When he asked about it I’d say things like ‘Dad’s always working on new upgrades…’ or ‘You probably don’t even remember the headache/spasms/glitches you were having last night.'”

– Leaga

11. Now here’s a prank I would just *love* to reuse.


“When making my communion in the Catholic church, I was seated waiting to be called and just before I left my seat to get the bread of communion, my big bro grabbed my hand and said, ‘You can get it plain or with jam, but you have to ask the priest, he doesn’t offer it.'”

– itsjustgav

12. Siblings. It’s all about the mind games.


“I convinced [my little brother] I could unlock car doors via mind control using a remote fob in my pocket and I told him if they practiced enough it would work for them too. And I unlocked the car door on about his sixth or seventh try concentrating and then immediately locked it again, told him to keep practicing in his spare time.”

– OneChrononOfPlancks

13. Wait, you DON’T know about chachis?


“The age gap between my brother and I is six years. Normally it’s never been an obstacle, except for the few years I was just gullible enough to believe the lies he was just clever enough to come up with.

One last piece of background information, my family is Asian/Pacific Islander. We eat a lot of rice, always have.

When I was about 10 years old, I was putting rice into the cooker to start for dinner, and my brother leans over;

‘What are you doing?’

‘Washing rice what does it look like?’

‘You just cook your rice without checking for chachi? Wow bold move’

Consider me baited..

‘What’s chachi?’

‘Chachi look just like rice, except they’re actually small insects who’s defense mechanism allow them to remain really still from predators. They prefer warm moist climates like rice fields. If you eat chachi they burrow in your intestine and lay eggs for their future generations.’

My brother had made it very clear that the only way to make sure I was consuming real rice was to go grain by grain. This only happened 2 or 3 times thankfully before my mom caught on and made him apologize.

TL;DR my brother made me check rice grain by grain just so he could laugh at my expense.”

– LittleBupBoy

14. Now you know why the family’s poor.


“My brother, (male) step cousin, and I told my sister and female step cousin they crash landed in my families garden in a space ship and that’s why there was a low spot that often flooded. My sister argued that they weren’t green and didn’t have antennas. I told her that it cost a lot of money to make them look human by removing the antenna and bleaching their skin and that’s why both our families were poor. She cried.”

– ichosethis

15. This sounds like an ambitious prank to keep up as a child.


“I taught my brother the the color red was called ‘green’ and vice-versa for a couple different colors.

“My parents found out when his teacher at school recommended he get tested for colorblindness. My parents forked out a couple hundred bucks just to discover I was an a–hole.”

– overmitts

New Study Finds Talking to Yourself Is Actually A Sign of Intelligence

By Gabrielle Bernardini – Distractify

Have you ever gotten weird looks after someone asked you, “Who are you talking to?” And you responded, “Myself.” Well, fret no more, because you’re not actually going crazy. Good news for your social stature, because according to a recent study, talking to yourself may indicate a higher level of intelligence.

According to scientists at Bangor University, speaking out loud to yourself was found to be a trait of higher cognitive function. During the UK-based school’s study, 28 participants were given instructions that they were told to either read out loud or quietly to themselves. The researchers then measured how the participants performed the tasks.

It was found that the participants who read the instructions out loud were more concentrated and performed  the task more efficiently. So, no, it’s not a sign of mental illness if you’re seen mumbling under your breath.

What did the researchers of the study conclude?

Psychologist and co-author of the study, Dr. Paloma Mari-Beffa, found that the benefits of talking to yourself may come from “simply hearing oneself, as auditory commands seem to be better controllers of behavior than written ones.” She added: “Even if we talk to ourselves to gain control during challenging tasks, performance substantially improves when we do it out loud.”

Dr. Mari-Beffa sited sports players as people who regularly talk to themselves for performance improvement. For example, she wrote how tennis players are typically found saying to themselves, “Come on,” out loud to help with their focus. She explained: “Our ability to generate explicit self-instructions is actually one of the best tools we have for cognitive control, and it simply works better when said aloud.”

Psychology Living also recently tweeted about the topic, writing, “Generally, talking to yourself is a sign of higher intelligence. In fact, those who talk to themselves tend to achieve more in life.” Unsurprisingly, Twitter users were happy to find out that speaking to yourself is normal.

This person was excited to learn that after 40 years, he was in fact, not crazy…

Source: Twitter

Not only does speaking out loud to yourself reportedly help with cognitive function, it also helps with self-esteem.

Source: Twitter

She basically tweets what all of us are thinking.

Source: Twitter

Good news, you’re not.

Source: Twitter

So, when you go out into the world and find yourself having a conversation with … well, yourself — just keep thinking that you’re actually the smart one. You’ll end up valedictorian or the first up for that promotion, and you’ll certainly get the last laugh.

Everyone around you just doesn’t understand you because their intellect is not on your level.

Disney Fan Theories To Ruin Your Childhood

By Mustafa Gatollari – Distractify

It’s no secret that our favorite children’s movies and cartoons had some pretty dark moments in them that may or may not be responsible for our collective subconscious childhood traumas.

Whether it’s the not-so-wholesome imagery found in The Little Mermaid, or naughty clouds in Aladdin, there are all types of “subliminal messages” found in kids movies that we could go on and on about for days.

However, these are just singular moments in otherwise wholesome films, so it’s easy to just chalk it up to an animator or writer being frustrated with their job and pulling a Tyler Durden on whoever’s kid was unfortunate enough to witness the movie on the silver screen just got an eyefull of something they were too young to understand.

Source: 20th century fox

Now if you’ve ever delved into the world of fan theories then you’ll know that people spend lots of time connecting the dots between plot points while inserting a bit of subtext of their own to not just read too much into single moments of a film, but completely re-imagine what the movie’s entirely about. Like some of these crazy Disney movie fan theories.

That’s right, innocent old, whole Disney films have got some fans thinking very, very dark thoughts, and their “alternate storylines” may have flown over your head as a child.

Like this Snow White one that says the fair-skinned princess was actually dead at the end of the movie.

Source: disney

Someone in the comments section of a BuzzFeed article served up the controversial take that, the more I think about, makes a lot of sense. It imagines that the Prince isn’t actually a charming hero at all, but the Grim Reaper himself giving Whitey a smooch before taking her to the afterlife.

Source: disney

“The prince is supposed to be kind of like an angel of death, basically a happier version of a grim reaper. When Snow is being careless around the well at the beginning of the movie, the ‘prince’ hears her and goes to investigate. She gets her first glimpse at the prince when she gets her first glimpse at death; when she almost falls into the well and dies.” 

User Matt Morgan’s metaphor goes even deeper:

“He arrives on a pale white horse (which is what Death was often portrayed riding at the time). He kisses her. The ‘kiss of death’ is a way people knew someone had passed before they knew about taking pulses. When you die, the air is expelled from your lungs. Folklore said this was death kissing you to take the ‘breath of life’ from you.” 

That crazy bit of imagery that could totally be coincidental starts to paint a real morbid picture when you take a closer look at the way the film ends, specifically the Prince and Snow White’s interactions with the Seven Dwarves and that Golden castle in the sky:

“Snow and the Prince say goodbye to the dwarfs rather than bring them along because they’re going somewhere the living can’t follow. They then ride off to heaven or a heaven-facsimile afterlife, where we see the last shot of the movie: a castle-shaped cloud surrounded by golden light.” 

Source: disney

Yeah, crazy, I know. But it’s an otherwise trippy fairy tale that doesn’t make much sense as a face-value, pretty girl vs pretty Queen story. I kind of like Matt Morgan’s more “out there” approach. There are some fan theories that seem to take too many liberties, however.

Aladdin is set in a post-apocalyptic world — our world.

Source: disney

Agrabah, on its surface, is a hybrid Indian-Arab universe tailored for the Disney universe: the perfect backdrop for a story about a street rat who falls in love with a princess that has a tiger bodyguard.

However, the fact that Genie knows a bunch of pop culture references that couldn’t exist in a far away land from over a thousand years ago got someone thinking there was more to the story than meets the eye.

Source: disney

Aladdin: In one scene, Genie calls Al’s clothes “so 3rd century.” Genie has been trapped in the lamp for 10,000 years, so there’s no way he could know of the fashion trends which have happened since he’s been trapped. Which means the latest Genie could have been trapped in the lamp is the 3rd century. If he spent 10,000 years in there, it is now AT LEAST the year 10,300 AD when he gets out.

Conclusion: Aladdin takes place IN THE FUTURE. A post-apocalyptic world where only Arab culture (and some Greek) survived. It has been so long that the name “Arabia” has been corrupted to “Agrabah.” The Muslim religion has atrophied to the point where there are no mosques, Imams, or prayer mats, but people still give praise to Allah in moments of happiness. Amazing technological marvels left behind by the previous civilization, like sentient flying carpets or genetically engineered parrots which comprehend human speech instead of just mimic it, are taken for granted by the locals or considered “magic.” The Genie proves this by making impressions of ancient, long-dead celebrities like Groucho Marx, Jack Nicholson, etc.

Up is actually Carl’s trip to the afterlife, which is why the movie has such a huge shift in tone.

Source: disney

If you managed to watch Up without crying, then congratulations on having a heart of stone. Watching Carl meet the love of his life, get married, grow old together, and then lose her all in the first few minutes of the movie’s opening is about as somber and heartbreaking as an animated film could ever be.

The rest of the film becomes surprisingly uplifting and fantastical, which lead some people to come up with an interesting theory: that Carl’s journey is actually a trip through the afterlife before he’s reunited with Ellie. But what about the boy scout?

Source: youtube

Kevin’s actually his guardian angel who’s been tasked to help the old man who actually passed away in his sleep out of heartache right before he was taken to the “Shady Oaks” retirement community.

Sure, the whole, “it was actually in his imagination the whole time” is kind of a cop-out for what happens in the film, but when you think about just how different the first half of the movie is from the rest of it, it could totally make sense.

Source: disney pixar

I just refuse to believe it because I’d rather Carl and Kevin live happily ever after and no I don’t want to think about what happens after that thank you very much I’m well aware of Carl’s age I don’t need to imagine a CGI Kevin weeping over the loss of his friend.

Don’t Be a Sucker – The War Department’s Anti-Fascist Film of 1947

Like The House I Live In, this film warns that Americans will lose their country if they let themselves be turned into “suckers” by the forces of fanaticism and hatred. This thesis is rendered more powerful by the ever-present example of Nazi Germany, whose capsule history is dramatized as part of this film. There’s a great deal of good sense in this film and more than a bit of wartime populism: “Let’s not think about ‘we’ and ‘they.’ Let’s think about ‘us’!”]
It’s interesting to think of this film in the light of Cold War anti-Communist politics, which really came into their own in the year this film was made. Were the witch-hunting politicians and citizens of the late Forties and early Fifties protecting the people, or were they themselves acting like “suckers?”

Ken Smith sez: Everyone has something that can be taken away, explains the narrator of this film, and so does average everyman “sucker” Mike — he stands to lose “America.”
Mike watches idly while a street corner soapbox orator rants against Negroes, “alien foreigners” and Catholics. Mike thinks this is pretty agreeable, until the rabble-rouser adds “freemasons” to his list. Hey, wait a second, Mike says, I’m a freemason. Over wanders an elderly man with a Hungarian accent (so he says) who proceeds to set dizzy Mike straight.
The Hungarian reminds Mike that Germany was “a nation of suckers” who allowed “crazy people; stupid fanatics” to use prejudice to “cripple the nation.” “We must guard everyone’s liberties, or we can lose our own,” he declares. “Let’s not be suckers! Let’s be selfish about it; let’s not think about ‘we’ and ‘they’. Let’s think about ‘us’!”
Good direction and an obviously decent budget make this film very watchable, and it’s interesting to hear the old man appeal to our “good, hard, common sense” in that Bugs Bunny/blue-collar worker colloquial slang that was the accepted voice of Average Joe in postwar America. “America is minorities,” the old man proclaims, “and that means you and me!” This populist New Deal view would disappear as quickly as evil German references in the Republican 1950s.