On Sept. 19, a new Twitter handle was born: @Vice_Is_Hip. It's a parody account that slyly lampoons the Vice media empire's style of globe-trotting gonzo journalism with tweets that sound pretty much like actual tweets from the real Vice. Fake Vice on Twitter has quickly become one of the media world's favorite in-jokes, with everyone from The Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara to comedian Patton Oswalt retweeting up a storm.
To fully appreciate the joke, it helps if you contemplate a couple real Vice tweets first.
Getting Tattooed by an Irishman in a Secret Tattoo Parlor in Cairo http://t.co/xGhqfMezxx— VICE (@VICE) September 26, 2013
Meet the Art Freaks Conducting Sacrifices in Brooklyn http://t.co/I88C7PSLZ6— VICE (@VICE) September 22, 2013
Get the picture? Good. Now you're ready to bask in @Vice_Is_Hip tweets -- 11 of which we're presenting here to celebrate the one-week anniversary of Fake Vice on Twitter:
Meet the autistic teenage brothers from Minsk who bought a hospital with the money they made selling stolen laptops— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 25, 2013
We infiltrated the Hezbollah stronghold where they're preparing to relaunch Friendster— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 22, 2013
We drink Saki and pickpocket passengers on the Shinkansen bullet train with Japan's first fully robotic sociopath— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 25, 2013
Find out what happened when we played 24 hours of Need For Speed with Nicaragua's youngest sex-pest— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 22, 2013
Brainstorming in Dubai with the digital agency trying to make bed wetting cool again— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 24, 2013
We tried to sell used scud missiles to urban outfitters— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 24, 2013
Meet the defrocked priest taking the sport of fencing to knife gangs in the Nairobi slums— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 24, 2013
The Basque gangsters teaching amputees how to twerk— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 24, 2013
Why photocopying is the new urban paintball— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 19, 2013
Meet the Turkish Eminem who married his dad— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 19, 2013
Meet the Tokyo teens having surgery to look like Robert Mugabe— VICE (@Vice_Is_Hip) September 20, 2013
(Adding to the fun: Fake Vice has started to occasionally retweet real @VICE and @VICEUK tweets so as to directly juxtapose made-up Vice insanity with actual Vice insanity.)
Will @Vice_Is_Hip turn out to be a preemptive act of self-parody by the canny Vice crew? Stay tuned!
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.