7. Nigeria's Reputation
Once upon a time Nigeria was a sovereign African nation whose primary export was oil. Now its primary export appears to be bogus e-mail messages seeking people to help ex-government ministers steal millions of dollars. The country's name has become synonymous with advanced-fee fraud e-mail missives, better known as "419 scams," after the section of Nigerian law that they violate.
We have a way to fix the country's reputation, which we'd be happy to share--just as soon as someone there deposits $35 million into a numbered Swiss bank account.
8. Gud Spellng
You can blame the rise in texting (and sexting) as much as Twitter for the death of the King's English, though "relaxed" standards for bloggers have also played a role. Will the last copy editor left standing please turn off the lites--er, lights?
In the old days you usually had to be good-looking or talented to become famous. Now, thanks to reality TV, viral video, and social media, the fatter and more demented you are, the better your chances of becoming a household name. For example: Your last 17 movies may have totally sucked (Kevin Smith, we're talking to you), but if you've got over 1.6 million followers on Twitter, who gives a damn? In fact, the plus-sized director's tweet battle with Southwest Airlines over getting booted from a flight for being too fat was easily better than Smith's movie Cop Out.
It used to be mysterious and alluring. To watch two other strangers doing it, you had to either visit a XXX theater or become a Peeping Tom. Now porn is everywhere, and a new 'celebrity' sex video pops up online every few weeks. (Thankfully, none so far have starred Kevin Smith.) Anyone who's seen more than five minutes of "1 Night in Paris" is more familiar with Ms. Hilton's anatomy than her ob-gyn. Yes, sex is more plentiful than ever thanks to the Internet. You know what it isn't any more? Sexy.
Next: The Things That Escaped Ruin