Adam Tod Brown

As the story goes, Miley refused the sexual advances of Disney executives and asked to be let out of her contract. They allegedly obliged by beating her to death and dumping her body in the desert east of Los Angeles.

The theory also claims that L.A. radio station KCAL reported that the body of Miley Cyrus was found and continued to report on it for an entire day, before retracting the story the next day and apologizing for spreading blatantly false information. Unfortunately, any video or audio of these reports has since been scrubbed from existence by those same villainous Disney executives.

So how do they explain the fact that Miley Cyrus is still very obviously making music? Simple: After her death she was replaced by another actress who sort of looks like her. A few plastic surgery appointments later, the plan was complete.

The 5 Best Conspiracy Theories About Celebrity Impostors

Are musicals the Disney-ed-up, Broadway-safe, sing-song-y choice for children’s entertainment because they should be…

…or because we as a society have made a tremendous mistake?

THIS WEEK ON THE PODCAST: host Adam Tod Brown and Mayor Of Podcast City Brett Rader welcome comics Maria Shehata and Sophia Benoit to dig into the Serge Gainsbourg-y, claymation-riffic terrors we all get subjected to as impressionable people.

On Scaring Children

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Listen. I get it. The sound that this precious little desert rain frog makes in this video is indeed one of the most grin-inducing noises I’ve ever heard.

I understand the appeal. I really do. But you probably don’t even need me to tell you that, for the most part, animals don’t make noises for our entertainment. Right in the description of the video, the guy who filmed this refers to what you’re hearing as a “defensive cry.” Nothing cries out in defense when it’s content. That this frog is repeatedly calling for help means someone is most likely prodding it in some way. That would explain why the camera starts moving once the frog stops making noises. Something has to be done to make it start squeaking again, and sticking a camera in its face did the trick the first time.

5 Viral Animal Video Stars You Didn’t Know Were Being Abused

Critics weren’t especially kind to Pitch Black, but Vin obviously felt otherwise. He walked away from the Fast and Furious franchise after the second movie, but was coaxed into doing a cameo in the third movie in exchange for the rights to the Riddick franchise.

Shortly thereafter, we were treated to the batshit insanity that is The Chronicles of Riddick, a highly enjoyable film that everyone hated, possibly because there’s no way to look at the evil army and their stupid helmets or hear their insane name (Necromongers) said over and over without feeling like a little bit of a dork. 

However, if you can get past all that (which critics and moviegoers definitely could not), it’s the most fun you’ll ever have watching Vin Diesel scowl his way through a space set.It took another decade for the third installment, simply titled Riddick, to roll around. But when the Deez outwits an angry space dog by appealing to its innate desire to play fetch within the first ten minutes of the film, you know the wait was well worth it.

5 Movie Franchises That Don’t Get The Respect They Deserve

Let’s start with what you probably already know. Rodrigo Duterte campaigned for president of the Philippines on a platform of zero tolerance toward crime, promising to dump the bodies of 100,000 criminals in Manila Bay within his first six months in office.

While the numbers he’s put up in that regard so far aren’t quite that dramatic, they’re still terrifying. Almost immediately after his inauguration, Duterte declared open season on drug dealers and drug users alike, encouraging both police and citizens to kill them on sight. In the month following his declaration, more than four hundred alleged drug criminals were killed and an additional 100,000 more had surrendered out of fear of being killed. Both numbers have been growing at an alarming rate ever since.

These are things you’ve already heard. It’s also most likely come across your radar that Duterte expressed a desire to up his death toll by killing three million drug users. He compared himself to Hitler (like it was a good thing) in that same speech, which makes sense purely from a “next logical crazy thing to say” standpoint. That a person would want to compare themselves to Hitler makes absolutely zero sense. He later apologized to “the Jewish” for making that comparison, but doubled down on his goal of putting half a Holocaust’s worth of drug users to death.

All of this has very little to do with why the title of this column implies that a war might break out soon. Don’t get me wrong, in a perfect world, this is precisely the kind of thing we’d deploy the military forces of the world to stop before it even starts, but things just very rarely work that way. We didn’t even get involved in WWII until FDR did Pearl Harbor. That’s not something I actually believe, it’s just that it makes for a perfectly reasonable segue into talking about what’s really going to make Duterte the next world leader to commit suicide by U.S. military invasion.

How World War III Could Start In The Last Place You’d Expect

Adam Tod Brown’s not afraid of that. In fact, he thinks it’d be the best way to go.

4 Ways the World Can Actually End (That Would Be Worth It)

#1. Neutron Star

A neutron star does exactly what you see there to anything in its path, which, ideally, will include us some day. Don’t take that to be negative. The world is going to end. It’s inevitable. Everything ends. Everything dies. When that comes to pass, this is what you want. Your world explodes and everything flies away. No muss, no fuss. There’s nothing to think about. There’s no time for questions. It’s perfect.

Almost every other apocalyptic scenario involves at least some chance of survival. It’s temporary survival, though. You’re just putting off the inevitable. You don’t want to see the aftermath, you want to see the event. Way less suffering that way.

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In his earliest days, Vanilla Ice was very much accepted by the rap community. In fact, the gig that led to him finally signing a record deal was an opening slot on the legendary Stop the Violence tour, which featured legitimate rap legends like EPMD and Ice-T. He was in the tenth grade at the time. How’s that for a start to your Vanilla Ice movie?

It’s rumored that Chuck D of Public Enemy tried to persuade Def Jam into signing Ice before he finally settled on a deal with a different label. From there, he had one of the most action-packed eight months or so in music history. His debut album, To The Extreme, became the fastest-selling rap album of all time. He appeared on Saturday Night Live. He had sex with Madonna, you guys. He did so much.

He also went to great lengths to protect his family from the glare of media attention, and weirdly enough, that was his undoing. Because he was so unwilling to talk about his background, his label, SBK Records, took … extreme … measures to give the world the info they so desperately craved. They accomplished this goal by writing a completely fake biography and releasing it to the media without his knowledge. Among the wildest of the claims was that he attended high school in Miami with 2 Live Crew founder Luther Campbell.

A lie like that is fairly easy to debunk, and people quickly did just that. Vanilla Ice did his best to explain, but it wasn’t enough. He was officially labeled a fraud by the rap community. 

5 Famous Bands With Backstories That Would Make Great Movies

Almost every assassination has a slew of accompanying conspiracy theories to go along with it. What makes Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination different is that even King’s family thought there might be some truth to the story that James Earl Ray was framed. In fact, they believed it enough to hold a joint press conference with the accused killer to publicly state their belief that he was innocent.

Two years later, they were in court, suing the federal government and alleged real killer Loyd Jowers, a restaurant owner in Memphis, for conspiracy to commit murder. The trial lasted four weeks. The jury deliberated for just one hour before deciding that the government was indeed liable.

5 Details That Make Famous Conspiracy Theories Seem Legit

Almost every true crime documentary comes to this one same conclusion: If you’re poor, the chances of you successfully defending yourself against false allegations are slim to none. That’s very obviously true when it comes to O.J. Simpson. If he didn’t have the expendable cash necessary to hire a huge team of defense lawyers, the “Trial of the Century” would’ve lasted about a week, and it damn sure wouldn’t have ended with him being found innocent. The same can be said for Steven Avery. The only reason Making A Murderer even exists is that he settled that now-famous $36 million lawsuit he’d filed against the Manitowoc County Sheriffs Department for just $400,000 and used that money to pay for his defense in the Teresa Halbach case. If not for that, he wouldn’t have been able to afford those lawyers.

What Steven Avery And O.J. Simpson Both Prove About Justice

In 1971, Ronald Reagan reportedly told California State Senator James Mills that the “fire and brimstone” mentioned in Revelations referred to the nuclear weapons that would destroy Russia, who played the role of “enemies of God” at the time. It also came up repeatedly during his 1984 reelection campaign, when he said on television that America had plans to fight and prevail in a nuclear war with Russia.

So, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s a former two-term president who not only believed that he was a key figure in an impending apocalypse that would usher in the return of Jesus, but also that he’d live to see it all happen. … And Reagan wasn’t just some doom-obsessed anomaly. George W. Bush, who you might remember actually started a couple wars in his day, has even dedicated a good portion of his post-power years to trying to get Jesus to come back, speaking at fundraisers for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity. Why? Because Jews converting to Christianity in huge numbers is one of the things that has to happen before we can get on with the End Times. That’s what that group does. They convert Jews to Christianity in the hope that it will someday lead to Armageddon. There are also Evangelical Christian groups who spend millions of dollars to pay for Jews to immigrate to Israel, because some interpretations of Biblical prophecy say half the world’s Jews have to be there before Jesus can return. These people do not see a cataclysmic war in the Middle East as a bad thing. It is the end game of their entire belief system. Making sure it happens is what they feel like they’ve been put on Earth to do.

Evangelical Christians are nothing new, nor is their desire to run this country, but what makes their line of thinking particularly scary is that, in ISIS, we now have an “enemy of God” with an almost identical vision for the end of the world. As Robert Evans touched on in his brilliant examination of the official ISIS magazine, Dabiq, the group views war with the United States as inevitable, and that war is meant to play out almost exactly as it does in the Bible. Dabiq is the town in Syria where the apocalyptic conflict is supposed to start.

From there, a drawn-out war with the West ensues, culminating in the return of Jesus. That’s right, ISIS is also banking on Jesus being the one who comes back to fix things in the end; they just disagree over who he’ll be coming back to save. What both sides agree on, though, is that they definitely want this war to happen.

Realistic Reasons WWIII Could Start Anytime Now

Beavis And Butt-head Do America came out in 1996, just a few short years after the infamous ATF siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. While the precise facts and details of this incident are and probably always will be something people argue about, it’s generally accepted that the what the government did in the name of ending the standoff was a little heavy-handed – and by that, I mean that they may or may not have set a compound filled mostly with innocent people on fire.

So in light of all that, it should come as not that huge of a surprise that one of the key storylines in Beavis And Butt-head Do America involves the pair going on the run to escape a pack of rabid ATF agents. (Well, not really. In typical Beavis and Butt-head fashion, those two think they’re just traveling across the country to do a chick.)

5 Movies from Your Childhood That Are Even More Relevant Now

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Like so many rappers before him, Action Bronson spent some time as a petty criminal before finally finding his true calling in life … gourmet chef. After working in his father’s restaurants for a few years, he took the plunge and enrolled in culinary school at Art Institute of America in 2004. From there, he filled his days and pockets by making a name for himself in the kitchens of New York City. He even had his own YouTube cooking show called Action In The Kitchen.

His career path changed on January 30, 2011, when he fell and broke his ankle outside a restaurant he’d been working at. Unable to stand long enough to work in the kitchen, he did the only other thing a person in that situation can do to make money. He started rapping. Understand, I don’t mean he’d been pursuing rap on the side and was finally motivated to go at it full-time. No, he had not rapped once in his entire life. It was something he’d always kind of fantasized about, but he was afraid he’d look stupid if he tried. This was just a little over four years ago. Since then, he’s had a career’s worth of releases credited to his name, including four mixtapes, two EPs, and three studio albums, one of them being his major label debut, Mr. Wonderful.

5 Stories That Will Compel You To Quit Your Day Job

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Sure, the evidence that dogs and cats can sense impending earthquake danger days or weeks in advance and plan their mass exodus accordingly is anecdotal at best. But even websites that end in “.gov” agree that pets with keener senses can pick up a particular earthquake wave that humans can’t, and that it arrives seconds before the earthquake we actually feel starts. That’s the most likely explanation for this famous video, in which a verrrrry good girl named Sophie can be seen sniffing the floor, and then taking off at full speed to look for her owner, seconds before a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Eureka, California in 2014.

5 Things You Didn’t Know Are Signs Of Impending Danger

By the end of the ‘60s, the bulk of CBS’s most watched programming consisted of “country” type shows like Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies. They were massively popular, but also completely irrelevant to the lives of almost everyone in the country at the time.

Gil Scott-Heron called them out in 1970’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which is kind of ironic, because what happened to those shows next actually was kind of revolutionary, and everyone who owned a television got to see it.

To put it simply, CBS cancelled all of their highly rated hillbilly shows in one fell swoop and replaced them with shows that were more of a reflection of what life in America was like at that time. Quite awesomely, we’ve come to know this moment in television history as the Rural Purge.

The Rural Purge: 5 Ways The '70s Changed Everything Forever

One of the problems with any haunted house is that, unless you’re signing a waiver first, what you’re in for is just going to amount to a series of jump scares, maybe accentuated with the occasional pitch-black room for variety. Most family-establishment-type haunted houses rely on the fact that there are some people who will just never be immune to the inherent terror of being caught off-guard, which we need to set the mood for everyone else. If you’re standing outside in line and hearing bloodcurdling screams from inside, rest assured they’re coming from the most easily scared among us.

5 Minor Details That Ruin Every Haunted House Experience

You don’t just choose a crippling fear of abandonment as a quirky lifestyle, like being a goth or an introvert. Something happens first – usually (but not exclusively) the death of or separation from a parent during childhood.

Starting around the 7th grade, I experienced a string of deaths in my family. Big deaths. Important people. Even those who were maybe less important died in such spectacular and unsettling fashions that it stuck with me anyway. First up was my grandfather on my dad’s side. (My grandparents on my mom’s side were dead before I made it out of kindergarten. Shout out for sparing my feelings, you two.) He was a lifelong smoker who was diagnosed with throat cancer in his mid-70s. There wasn’t a whole lot they could do besides let him die in peace. He did that from a hospital bed placed squarely in his living room. I lived with my grandparents at the time, which meant that for the next few months, I watched him die. Slowly.

If there was a bright side, it’s that we weren’t especially close. I cried a lot, but I think I was mostly just sad for my grandmother, who was the closest thing I had to a best friend at the time. I knew she was sad, and it made me sad. Four months after he passed, my grandmother died as well. We were all gathered in the living room, getting ready to go to Red Lobster, when she suffered a stroke right there in front of us. I was looking at her when it happened, and I can still see her eyes rolling in the back of her head and everything else about that moment vividly. She slipped into a coma and never came out of it. She was gone two weeks later. I wasn’t excited about going to Red Lobster either, but fuck, Grandma. Way to overreact.

“6 Reasons Fear Of Abandonment Will Ruin Your Life” by Adam Tod Brown

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The Drive-By Truckers song “Three Great Alabama Icons” plays like a six-minute TED Talk about all the surprising things you don’t know about the South. Like the fact that the aforementioned George Wallace, most known for being the monster who stood in school doorways and vowed that black kids and white kids would never walk through them together, eventually became one of the most racially progressive governors that state ever elected. Sometime in the late ‘70s, he claimed to be a born-again Christian and apologized for his segregationist past. During his final term, he appointed more black people to state positions than anyone before him, a record that was matched at one point, but has never been surpassed. Sure, a few songs later they say exactly what most of you are thinking right now, which is that it was probably in large part just a ploy to keep getting elected once being openly and vehemently racist became taboo. But it’s still pretty surprising, right?

5 Albums You’ll Learn More From Than Any History Book

America is great at gentrification. Liberal oases like Portland and Austin are quickly being renovated to cover up their quirky charms, we knock down and rebuild stadiums to revitalize urban areas like it’s our job and the city of San Francisco is basically one giant wifi-enabled Starbucks. But to think the organized displacement of low-income and minority communities is a 21st century invention is foolish.

America has been the Lebron James of that game since the Mayflower!

THIS WEEK: Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Adam Tod Brown and Alex Schmidt to talk about America’s history of forced gentrification, assimilation and deportation. The guys look at some of of the unique cultural communities completely wiped off the map by the course of history and examine the mechanism by which some populations are remembered and others are forgotten.

Important Chunks of American History That Got Erased

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Sorry, Portland, but you brought Californians and gentrification and everything else you hate on yourself. You practically demanded that things be this way. See, there’s a detail about the Portland gentrification problem that lifetime residents consistently leave out when demonizing California for all of their city’s woes. In 1999, home builders in Portland pressured the Oregon Home Builders Association to lobby the state senate to impose a ban on something called inclusionary zoning. What’s that? Oh, just a type of zoning regulation that requires developers to dedicate a certain percentage of any new construction project to building affordable housing for residents. … The only other state in the nation that bans inclusionary zoning is Texas, if that gives you any idea what realm of progressiveness residents entered into when they decided to “keep Portland weird” by preventing poor people from moving to the hipper areas of their eventual Utopia.

5 Narrow-Minded Facts About The Most Liberal Places On Earth