I’ve noticed a few blogs I see in my RSS reader continually have something at the bottom of their posts like:

This post ‘CogDogBlog Now With Authentic Seals of Sarcasm’ was originally published at CogDogBlog on February 20, 2016

My first thought was “duh” I am reading your blog, but have guessed people are doing this to clarify and source/originally if some other person/gnome/entity republishes their posts elsewhere. It’s a sort of Seal of Authenticity.

For some reason, my mind started wondering about doing something like this with a bit more dose of …. sarcasm.

It also gave me a chance to toy with some basic WordPress judo — using a filter on the_content, which is a way to modify the content of a post anytime it is called to make it display- e.g. in the post itself, but also in the RSS Feed, anywhere the full content is displayed.

It’s pretty easy to do. But because I like random(), I decided to make it a bit snarkier by having the words changed each time some random post is loaded…


or on reload


For now this is just coded into my child theme’s custom functions, but could also be done with the My Functions plugin I recently discovered. I cannot imagine anyone every wanting such a thing, but if I wanted to be ambitious I could make it a plugin with some kind of options screen to edit your won sarcastic phrases.

// content filter to modify post content
add_filter( 'the_content', 'cdb_post_footer_smartass' );

// finction to add a smart ass seal of authenticity to all posts
function cdb_post_footer_smartass( $content ) {

	// an array of strings for the random verb phrases, always start with a past
	// tens of an action verb
	$smarties = array('dropped like a smoking hot potato', 'assembled from spare parts of a 1957 Chevy', 'squeezed out of the bottom of an old rusted tube of toothpaste', 'scraped from the bottom of the pickel barrel', 'zapped with 10,000 volts and declared "It\'s ALIVE" by Dr. Frankenstein', 'pushed out of the bottom of a purple jar of Play-Doh ', 'cracked open and scrambled from a rotten egg',  'emerged from the primordial ooze and first walked on land', 'thawed from a previous ice age and melted', 'pulled from under moldy cheese at the back of the fridge', 'rescued from the bottom of a stangant pond', 'pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven', 'yanked out of the teeth of a rabid chicken', 'slapped on the butt by a cigar smoking doctor yelling "It\'s a post!"', 'pulled like taffy through a needle\'s eye' );

	// append to the content, yuck hard coded styles, sue me
	// Use get_post_type() to differentiate between pages and posts
	// Put hypelink on title followed with a random phrase
	// followed by name of blog, podt URL, and published date
    $content .= '<p style="margin-top:50px;font-size:0.8em; line-height:1.1; font-style:italic">The ' . get_post_type()  . ' "<a href="' . get_permalink() . '">' . get_the_title() . '</a>" was originally ' . $smarties[array_rand($smarties)] .  ' at ' . get_bloginfo() .  ' (' .  get_permalink()  . ') on ' . get_the_date() .  '.</p>' ;

	// send it down stream!
    return $content;

Changing the phrases is an exercise left to the student, or just taking out the whole array thing and make it a normal “This post was originally published….”

!= rocket science

I also realized my “Random” link on the menu bar did not work. The old method of adding ?random to the blog URL seemed to know just pull pages and not posts. I want a link to go to a random post, damnit!

That’s easy, I have a method I use all over the place. Sure there are plugins, but where about the satisfaction of putting the blog on the rack and doing it myself?

So I create a template in my theme called page-random.php and inside of it I put:

< ?php
Template Name: Random Daily Picker

Send viewer to random post optionally

// set arguments for WP_Query on published posts to get 1 at random
$args = array(
    'post_type' => 'post',
    'post_status' => 'publish',
    'posts_per_page' => 1,
    'orderby' => 'rand'

// run query run
$my_random_post = new WP_Query ( $args );

while ( $my_random_post->have_posts () ) {
  $my_random_post->the_post ();
  // It's time! Go someplace random, have a great time
  wp_redirect ( get_permalink () );

The nice thing here I don’t have to match any theme page formatting since I am never showing anything. My template does a custom query on WordPress to get one published post, chosen at random, then I just do a re-direct to go to the URL of whatever post was returned.

Then all I need to do is create a page with the name Random. It needs no content, its a place holder.

Now I have a link http://cogdogblog.com/random that redirects me to any of 4,572 posts inside the dog house.

Hours of entertainment. And now each one has a random footer stamp of sarcastic authenticity. With 16 different random phrases, that’s like 70,000 possible combinations.

Wowza. Yowza.

Someone told me when I was 17 (because my sense of humor now has not evolved much beyond), “Alan you like sarcasm… do you know it comes from the Greek word ‘to cut flesh’?”

Lacking at that time an internet nor the mobile device to google it, all I could is reply with some line about the sharpness of Ginsu knives.

So now I can google it


CogDogBlog sarkazein-ing the web since 2003!

Just scroll on down and see what you get…

Top / Featured Image: I was hoping for some kind of stamp of “officialness” but failed to get close by searching Google Images (limited to licensed for reuse) on “official stamp” (too many postal stamps), “official seal” (to many graphic badges, frigging badges), and found this one searching on “old seal”. This image is a Gniezno seal from 14th century Poland. Good on ya, Gniezno!

Public domain image (sort of, all kinds of verbiage about different countries) By Unknown; original uploader was Kpjas at pl.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The post "CogDogBlog Now With Authentic Seals of Sarcasm" was originally yanked out of the teeth of a rabid chicken at CogDogBlog (https://cogdogblog.com/2016/02/cogdogblog-now-with-authentic-seals-of-sarcasm/) on February 20, 2016.


  • Sandy

    Ha! I skipped the eye glazing parts and got a good guffaw out of the whole concept. I love how you are always on the cusp of apologizing for some aspect of your character –you dodge across the street to pick something up then change your mind and come running suddenly unapologetically back! That’s entertaining all by itself. I hope I grow up to have half the self revelatory guts as you have?

  • D'Arcy Norman

    It’s at least partially to leave a link to the original source for the douches that scrape RSS feeds to republish stuff to farm Adsense etc. I don’t do it, but thought about it back in the olden days when ad farming was more common.

  • Adam Croom

    For me, it’s actually something that gets added both on the original blog post and on the Medium post syndication via the Medium plugin (they call it “cross link”). I’m curious to the idea of Medium becoming an RSS reader as Dave Winer has recently noted (https://twitter.com/davewiner/status/695278853577666560). I also like that Medium is building in the culture of syndication and attribution.

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

      Heck, my sloppy code does all that.

      I have a lot of mixed feelings about medium. I don’t like the way that posts and comments are essentially the same. And following a string of comments and replies is tedious.

      I read Winer’s post where he slightly expanded on this idea. I did not understand how medium does any kind of syndication besides reposting through RSS. I am less interested in syndicating out my blog posts just to hang as a copy in medium; if anything, I use it to bring stuff I have written elsewhere back to my blog (yes I am backwards POSSE).

      I dont see medium being a culture of attribution; especially on images, when they could have the means to require an attribution copy.

      Damn, I sound cranky. I blame Facebook.

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