The Book of Ratings and Fail Nation: like the Internet, only on paper!


Read Fail Nation: A Visual Romp Through the World of Epic Fails

Read The Book of Ratings: Opinions, Grades, and Assessments of Everything Worth Thinking About

Two of the funniest Web sites ever to make their way through the tubes of the Internets are, without question, the Book of Ratings (part of the sorely missed Brunching Shuttlecocks) and Failblog.org. When I say funny, I mean consistently laugh out loud funny, day after day, year after year. Funny once in a while is hard enough. All the time? Amazing. I’m happy to report that the books are every bit as funny.

The Book of Ratings, as you can likely guess from the title, rates things, offering grades from A+ to a very rare F on everything from Aspects of Bowling (shoes, beer, and even bowling itself) to sports and Superfriends. The commentary that accompanies is absolutely hilarious. The more recent video versions, in my humble opinion, aren’t quite as sharp as the good old text ones, but they still rise above the excellent bar. This is Daily Show level of funny.

If you haven’t yet discovered Failblog.org, shame on you. The site is updated several times a week with photos that have to be seen to be believed. I’d describe a few, but honestly, it’s probably better for everyone if you just take a couple of minutes and take a look for yourself. Go ahead. I’ll wait. When the laugher subsides, we’ll continue.

Okay? Now then. I mention these sites because some the best content from both sites has been repackaged into books. Sort of like print outs, but conveniently bound, and at a size that’s perfect for … well, anyplace where you might want a few good belly laughs as you, as my Uncle Roger would say, relax privately while spending a little quality time with yourself. And in living color! How cool is that?

Like I said, in both cases, the books are every bit as funny as the sites themselves. That’s not a great surprise, I suppose, since the content is the more or less the same. All the same, the print versions are worth their respective prices for a few reasons. First, it doesn’t cost that much, and it’s nice to see the content creators rewarded, at least a little, for their efforts. Second, you never know when the Apocalypse might come along, causing the Internet tubes to fall forever as civilization descends slowly and inevitably into barbarism. If that happens, you’ll be glad to have a few chuckles, I dare say. Finally, again, perfect reading for the bathroom (other places, too, yes, but perfect for a few short laughs when there’s not much else to keep you occupied for those few moments). But who wants to take even a laptop in there? The risk of, um, water damage and the danger of (very unfortunate) shock would be a enough discouragement, one would think. Thankfully, the paper version is available.

For the record, the other funniest sites, Hawtness, There, I Fixed It, People of Walmart, FmyLife, and It Made My Day, have not yet been collected. Yet. Here’s hoping. Improv Everywhere would also qualify, but I doubt a site that primarily composed of (hilarious) videos will ever be collected in book form. Alas.

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