The Hoax Museum Blog
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 11, 2004
What would you be willing to do for a brief shot at fame? Would you embarrass yourself on national TV? Of course, who wouldn't nowadays. But would you lock yourself in a lab and allow yourself to be exposed to all manner of infectious diseases? That sounds a bit dodgy, but this was the premise of the new reality TV show, Quarantine, recently advertised in the Daily Mirror. Remarkably, hundreds of people applied to be on it, and the applications are still rolling in. Thankfully the whole thing was a hoax, an experiment "to discover just how far people will go in their pursuit of fame." (Thanks, 'Ed the doc').
The Truth About Loch Ness
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 11, 2004
Greg Atkins (or someone calling themselves Greg Atkins) has created a website, truthaboutlochness.com, in order to expose an incident he claims occurred on the loch during filming of Werner Herzog's upcoming movie, The Enigma of Loch Ness. He says that one of the production company's boats was rammed by something in the water (could it have been Nessie!!!), resulting in the death of two of the crew. All this has been hushed up, of course, which is why there were no news reports of these deaths. He also has video footage on his site of a large creature…
Stephen Hawking is on the Mic
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 29, 2004
You may know Stephen Hawking as the brilliant theoretical physicist and best-selling author of A Brief History of Time. But did you also know that in his spare time the man is a gangsta rapper? Perhaps you're familiar with his album, A Brief History of Rhyme. Hawking's other career as a 'lyrical terrorist' is lovingly explored on this fan site, MC Hawking's Crib. Yeah, it's a hoax, but it's amazingly detailed, even including MP3 samples of Hawking's songs. (And thanks to Bill Boldt for gently pointing out to me my initial misspelling of 'Mic').
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 27, 2004
As Gawker reports, a great 'take-this-job-and-shove-it' email has been making the rounds recently. It's penned by Bob Rubenstein, a publicist for a record label, who lost his job soon after the lead singer of the band he was supposed to promote, Pre)Thing, died of a heart attack. Bob, embittered for being fired, dishes some dirt on the company he was canned from, revealing how they brought in a psychic to talk with the departed spirit of the singer to see if he'd be willing to do any interviews with music journalists, via the psychic, from beyond the grave. But it turns out there's more to this story than Gawker realized. Rolling Stone reveals that…
Katz, Cohen & Phelps
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 27, 2004
Are you a woman who needs a really good divorce lawyer? Then check out the law firm of Katz, Cohen & Phelps where their motto is "Is he cheating? Let's nail him." Actually, that's not really a law firm. It's just another fake website used to promote an upcoming movie, in this case The Laws of Attraction starring Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan. In this case, it's a really half-hearted attempt at a fake website. I mean, that's obviously Julianne Moore posing on the website, and they stuck a movie rating on at the bottom of it. Still, it continues the trend of using fake websites…
Petition to Stop the Godsend Institute
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 18, 2004
I talked about the Godsend Institute (the website of a cloning lab that's really a promo for an upcoming movie of the same name) a few days ago. I said that I really didn't think the site was that convincing. But maybe others have been fooled by it because someone started an online petition to ban the Godsend Institute. Of course, I'm not above suspecting that the petition was started by the movie studio itself as a way to generate faux controversy. This was a favorite ploy of P.T. Barnum. Back in 1835 he was exhibiting Joice Heth, an elderly black woman whom he claimed was the 161-year-old former nurse of George Washington. When attendance at the…
Godsend Institute, and other movie sites
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 15, 2004
A few people have written to me about the Godsend Institute, which is supposedly a Massachusetts fertility clinic that offers human cloning as an option for its patients. Its website is quite slick and well produced, but the Godsend Institute is, of course, not real. The site is part of the advertising campaign for the upcoming movie Godsend starring Robert De Niro. Wired published an article about this yesterday. Ever since the Blair Witch Project succeeded in creating such a buzz five years ago with its companion website, movie studios have sought to repeat this trick by creating sites that try to convince websurfers that their fictional characters…
Reality TV is Rigged
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 14, 2004
Keith Hollihan lives downstairs from an apartment that was featured on an episode of The Apprentice. The show's contestants were challenged by Trump to renovate and rent the apartment (as well as other ones throughout the city) for the highest price possible. Hollihan writes about how after the show was done, he got to know the new renter and discovered from her that the rental price she had agreed to on tv was a sham. It was far higher than the price she actually paid. In other words, the outcome of that episode was rigged. And if that episode was rigged, one can assume that other episodes of The Apprentice are also rigged. In which case, are Survivor and…
New Zealand Rapper MC Emu
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 13, 2004
On the Fighting Talk weblog journalism student Patrick Crewdson gives an example of how hoaxes can make the leap from being fiction into becoming fact. He once edited a journal called Critic that published a joke article about "New Zealand's least-known musician": rapper MC Emu. Of course, MC Emu was fictitious, but now references to this rapper have begun to appear in serious histories of New Zealand music... references that seem to credit MC Emu with being a real character.
Actor Wanted, Preferably Dead
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 25, 2004
A British theater group is auditioning actors for a part in its next production. But there's one catch. They're only interested in people who can promise that they'll die before the play begins its run. Your body, if you get the part, will then lie lifeless on stage. Evidently it's not a speaking role. It's hard not to suspect that this is all a big publicity stunt and that when the time comes there will be no body on stage. Wouldn't you need a license for something like that? It reminds me of Hell on Earth's Suicide Stunt from last September.
The X-Files of Music
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Did you know that David Duchovny released a record of trashy love songs with titles such as "Alien to Your Arms," "You Must Be From Venus," and "X-File of Love"? Or that Herman Melville wrote a novel called "Symmes' Hole" that was lost for decades but has been recently rediscovered and is now available as an audiobook read by David Byrne of the Talking Heads? I certainly didn't. So I was surprised to discover these rare CDs (and others) discussed at the Entropic Empire. Now I've decided that these rare CDs are all fake, but I only concluded that after spending fifteen fruitless minutes searching for that rediscovered Herman Melville…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 10, 2004
Kingdom Hospital. It's the 'Hospital that brings out the best in you.' From its website you would think that it's a real hospital, until you start poking around it a bit. Then it gets creepy. It's a tie-in, of course, with ABC's Kingdom Hospital miniseries. But it's pretty well done. (submitted by Brian Flynn).
David Manning Update
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 04, 2004
In 2001 Sony Pictures got caught promoting its movies by using glowing quotations from a non-existent movie critic named David Manning to hype them. When the non-existence of Manning was pointed out, Sony pulled the ads, but to this day it has maintained its right to have printed the quotations, claiming they were protected as free speech. Yesterday Los Angeles Justice Reuben Ortega disallowed that defense. His remarks were notable: [if the case against Sony succeeds] "no longer will people be seen lurching like mindless zombies toward the movie theatre, compelled by a puff piece. What a noble and overwhelming undertaking."
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 02, 2004
Half of America saw Justin Timberlake 'accidentally' expose part of Janet Jackson's breast on live tv during the Superbowl halftime show. But now a great controversy is sweeping over the internet. Was the exposure really an accident? Or was it planned and staged? Matt Drudge is reporting that it was planned and even approved by high-level CBS officials beforehand. Plus, the accidental exposure fit in remarkably well with the lyrics of the song, which made references to getting naked before the end of the song. Finally, how exactly does one 'accidentally' rip away part of a costume? I mean, it wasn't like something got snagged. He quite purposefully reached over…