I love satire.
Nothing makes me happier than poking fun at the zietgiest du jour.
And hilariously doctored photos are some of my favorite examples.
That love affair began in the Fall of 1963 when I saw my very first one:
Fast forward to the Fall of 2001.
In December of that year, we were still nursing wounds from the terrorist attacks of September 11th. By the start of Advent, we really hadn’t laughed at much since that fateful day and a sad, sober nation was in need of comic relief. So, someone edited a few photos that helped teach an emotionally fractured nation how to laugh again.
Some genius with enough time on his very skilled hands, found a picture taken of a Hungarian tourist vacationing in NYC in 1997. This particular pic was snapped as he stood atop Tower One of the World Trade Center on a bright, sunny morning…not unlike the one Gotham awoke to on September 11th, 2001.
The only difference was a temperature of about 55 degrees.
Tuesday, September 11th was warm; balmy even. The picture of the tourist was taken on a cold very day…his heavy winter clothing was the dead giveaway. And never mind the fact that tours to the very top of the 110th floor, hadn’t even begun when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower.
Well, long story short, someone took the snapshot and inserted in an image of an American Airlines Boeing 757 that looked as though it was taking dead aim at Tower One.
Here it is:
With the exception of the actual angle and attitude with which Flight 11 was in upon impact, this (probably) would’ve been a fairly accurate vantage point had someone actually been standing atop the Observation Deck that morning. As fake photos go, it’s very well done.
In fact, it’s so good it’s frightening.
This photo was distributed all over the web with many claims attached to it: “Tourist Guy”, the moniker pop culture bestowed upon him, had miraculously survived the impact and collapse. There was another story that he’d been killed and the camera and undeveloped film were found in the rubble. All kinds of rumors abounded.
Then someone with a wickedly, devilish sense of humor took the picture one step further. “Tourist Guy” started showing up in photos of major disasters, in the still frames of some beloved American films and also in photos and artist’s renderings of other history making events—some that had occurred more than two thousand years ago.
They make hilarious anachronisms.
Some of the photos even have authentic looking timestamps.
When released in the weeks after September 11th, these obvious “fakes” provided some much needed comic relief for a grieving nation.
Considering the current global climate, I think we can all use a little of that same inspired comedy today.
So, here they are again.
Many of these photos I’m sure you’ve seen before. Some you might be seeing for the first time. Either way, they’re just so damn funny, they’re worth posting.
And finally, one from the “Don’t We Wish!!!” file…….