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James' Face
March 20, 2011 9:50 AM   Subscribe


 
What the hell?
posted by serazin at 9:52 AM on March 20, 2011


Metafilter: Very clever. I'm going on a computer course now to learn how to do that. I hate you.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:54 AM on March 20, 2011 [31 favorites]


That's hilarious. "SLIGHTLY."
No, it really is hilarious.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:55 AM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ok... this is quite funny.
posted by bz at 9:55 AM on March 20, 2011


Wait a minute. Is the implication that he's putting the photos back in the same place he found them? How?

The future discomfort of all of my friends demands an answer.
posted by cmoj at 9:57 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Making him scowl at that kid in the wedding picture was a nice touch.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 AM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


That is hilariously evil. Truly twisted.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:00 AM on March 20, 2011


I think it's scary.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The dude is seriously talented.
posted by bz at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: that's not my bushbaby
posted by killdevil at 10:03 AM on March 20, 2011 [47 favorites]


The fact that there is anybody out there who thinks this is funny fills me with despair. I think I will go back and read more of the DailyKos Fukushima thread now to cheer up.
posted by localroger at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait a minute. Is the implication that he's putting the photos back in the same place he found them? How?

I think he's just modifying them and tagging him.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


He just needs to add, "But I am a complete asshole so I will keep doing it." after "He doesn't like me doing this." and he's there.
posted by Mike D at 10:05 AM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


These people are idiots.

Not because of the pictures, because they're all into Facebook.
posted by jonmc at 10:05 AM on March 20, 2011 [22 favorites]


It's no Nod Flenders.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:07 AM on March 20, 2011


I think you mean Woll Smoth.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:08 AM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dude needs to change his Facebook privacy settings so other people can't tag him in photos.

Also, check out the Brylcreem ads on that site for a fabulous herp derp Obama.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 10:08 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


This made me sad when I saw it on reddit. I'm glad I don't have a friend like that.
posted by polly_dactyl at 10:09 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's what I meant. Sorry. I thought they were the same meme.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:10 AM on March 20, 2011


Such a "friend" would be an ex-friend one more photo after I asked him to stop. Meanwhile, the best privacy setting for Facebook is to not use Facebook.
posted by localroger at 10:10 AM on March 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


it's false front for the big break-up.
posted by clavdivs at 10:11 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was in college someone using her laptop on our resnet unwisely left file sharing with write permission on. I copied a photo out of her pictures folder; it was nothing special, just a close-up photo of three friends' heads. Using my amateurish photoshop talents, the flat angle and hard lighting of the photo, and a prodigious amount of bad beer, I took one face and photoshopped it onto all three heads. Through some unlikely set of conditions it turned out to look reasonably convincing at first glance. Then I renamed the file to DSCN_3484.jpg or whatever was logically at the end of the sequence of images in the folder and put a copy on her laptop.

Sometimes I remember this and snicker and wonder if anyone's uncovered that buried gem and become completely weirded out.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2011 [51 favorites]


He probably bought that bushbaby from a smuggler.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2011


Such a "friend" would be an ex-friend one more photo after I asked him to stop. Meanwhile, the best privacy setting for Facebook is to not use Facebook.

I assume it's just a friendly thing. You could always just block him or something.
posted by delmoi at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find it funny that so many think that the friend isn't playing along. Who would say "that's not my bush baby"?
posted by zephyr_words at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2011 [40 favorites]


Um... someone who has an easily identifiable bush baby and who sees that the one in the photo isn't actually that particular bush baby?
posted by hippybear at 10:16 AM on March 20, 2011 [23 favorites]


Oh you're right. It's totally real outrage.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:21 AM on March 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


It is not a friendly thing. The guy asked him to stop. The first time you do it it's a misunderstanding. A lot of people would react to this by saying "hey, cool, I can't wait to see the next one," but a lot of other people have serious issues about their self-image. The guy doesn't like him doing it, and he should fucking stop. Doing it after you're asked to stop isn't being cute, cool, or friendly, it's being an asshole.

I have run into way too many people like this and nowadays I have a zero tolerance policy for people attempting to wind me up. You get one chance and if you do it again I will walk away from you and never talk to you again. Back when I was young and stupid and gave people another chance I was always sorry, because someone who thinks this kind of shit is funny can't help themselves. They will always escalate. If you have no empathy for the small stuff, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff either.
posted by localroger at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


localroger -

They will always escalate. If you have no empathy for the small stuff, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff either.



I totally agree. those who continue to wind people up way beyond limits and think its funny are sociopaths, the internet is creating its own mental illnesses. I'm quite serious about this. Give someone access to a piece of technology that allows them to mess with someone's head and you need to start issuing licenses based on psych tests.
posted by infini at 10:28 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're all winding me up by DELIBERATELY digging for something to be outraged about in a joke that could be easily stopped by the receiving party at any time if it were real. It's not cool and it's not funny. Please stop.
posted by cmoj at 10:29 AM on March 20, 2011 [41 favorites]


Is this actually real? The friend in question seemed a bit too composed to not be in on it.
posted by biochemist at 10:29 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have run into way too many people like this and nowadays I have a zero tolerance policy for people attempting to wind me up. You get eight chances and if you do it again I will walk away from you and never talk to you again. Back when I was young and stupid and gave people nine chances I was always sorry, because someone who thinks this kind of shit is funny can't help themselves. They will always escalate. If you have no empathy for the small stuff, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff either.
posted by fullerine at 10:32 AM on March 20, 2011 [31 favorites]


I have run into weigh too many people like this and nowadays I have a zero tolerance policy for people attempting to start me up. You get one chance and if you do it again I will talk away from you and never walk at you again. I am young and stupid and give people another chance I was always sorry, because someone who thinks this kind of shit is funny can't help themselves. They will always escape. If you have no sympathy for the devil, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff ether.
posted by localroger at 1:23 PM on March 20 [+] [!]
posted by hal9k at 10:34 AM on March 20, 2011 [25 favorites]


Fortunately, Fullerine, that doesn't happen to be one of my buttons.
posted by localroger at 10:34 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm saying the guy is in on the joke and playing along so they have a nice little 15 minutes of internet fame, not that he should accept being teased.

If you want project your own issues and feel all beat up inside about something that's obviously meant to be humorous, go for it.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:37 AM on March 20, 2011


These people are idiots.

Not because of the pictures, because they're all into Facebook.


Talking about how you're too good for Facebook is seriously the new 'I wouldn't know about this because I don't have a television.'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:38 AM on March 20, 2011 [119 favorites]


I don't have a television or a facebook. Did I just win something?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:40 AM on March 20, 2011 [22 favorites]


I propose a law: "As a Metafilter discussion dealing with an internet wind-up gets more than a couple of comments long, however petty the incident and however obviously bloke-y the wind-up is, the probability of the winder-upper being called a sociopath or being arm-chair diagnosed as being mentally ill approaches 1."
posted by ob at 10:42 AM on March 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yep, if he's not smart enough to figure out how to stop it, let Darwin take over!
posted by tomswift at 10:44 AM on March 20, 2011


Oh, yeah, about the post - that's why I came all the way down here.

I don't think I care much whether the guy in the photos is in on it or not, being proud of bullying and being proud of fake bullying are both pretty arsehole-ish. It's not even as if it can in some way redeem itself by being good photoshop work - make it look like he was at a wedding dressed like a one man band in a mankini and I might have been amused. This is the photographic equivalent of repeatedly flicking someone's ear...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:45 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked the part where people were able to deduce all sorts of motivations and relational backstories just from some doctored photos.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on March 20, 2011 [47 favorites]


He called him 'mate.' That means they're married, doesn't it?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:49 AM on March 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think the whole thing is funny. I guess I'm going to hell.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:50 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


You think THAT's "bullying"??! Wait, let me go buy a slushie....
posted by tomswift at 10:51 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


You think THAT's "bullying"??! Wait, let me go buy a slushie....

I think that's well and truly on the bullying scale, yes. And that's the reason that bullies get away with it, because no matter how the fuck they make their victims feel, if it's amusing to others, they are tolerated and the victim gets told to grow a thicker skin.

Teasing is fun while both parties are enjoying it. As soon as one party has had enough and the other doesn't back down...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:54 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Teasing is fun while both parties are enjoying it. As soon as one party has had enough and the other doesn't back down...

I agree with this.

I disagree with the characterisation of this situation as being like this.
posted by fullerine at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


dude works at w+k London, the odds of him being a real wanker, or doing it for intarwebs-fame are exactly 50-50 with this info. ;)
posted by dabitch at 10:59 AM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you have no empathy for the small stuff, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff either.

I kind of feel like this is a misuse of the term. I really doubt anyone here can empathize with James' frustration at seeing doctored photos of himself. The ridiculousness of his frustration to the event is bizarre, and because it is percieved as benign, ultimately humorous. I don't think its empathy that you are looking for if you want people to stop something just because it frustrates you. Empathizing is understanding, but James is not seeking to be understood. He just wants the behavior to stop out of deference to his wishes. If the auther stopped, he would have done so not motivated by empathy, but by respect.

And it is most certainly not true that if you have no respect for the small stuff, you probably have no respect for more important stuff either. Importance implies respect. It's practically the definition of the term.

Clearly the author doesn't empathize with and doesn't respect James enough to stop, but to say he lacks empathy is utterly ridiculous. Unless you are saying James' frustration with having his photos doctored is something you understand at an emotional level; a place you can put yourself in.

In which case I ask you, completely ignorant and genuinely curious, why is the photo doctoring so profoundly bothersome?
posted by Bobicus at 11:02 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was bullied ferociously well into high school. And it was girl on girl bullying, which is of the truly evil sort. My nickname was something I am not going to tell all of you, because of the remnants of adolescent pain, some twenty years later. Anybody who bullies my niece is going to hear from me in a substantial way.

THAT SAID THIS IS FUCKING HILARIOUS
posted by angrycat at 11:05 AM on March 20, 2011 [22 favorites]


I once went to Facebook on my television. I must be a total moron.
posted by brundlefly at 11:06 AM on March 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


Because it represents an unhealthy amount of time spent by a guy altering a friend's face. It's in the realm of the creepy. Once is verry mildly ha-ha-internet-jokey-thing, 6-8 times is off. It's the time commitment ...
posted by thinkpiece at 11:07 AM on March 20, 2011


When I saw that first picture, I thought, 'Who the fuck are these? The Ad Men guys?'

And weirdly enough, that's what they are.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:08 AM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Huh. I just noticed that these are the same folks who did the recent romance novel cover recreations.
posted by brundlefly at 11:10 AM on March 20, 2011


This looks like someone promoting their work on Metafilter. This post from to sir with millipedes and the post from whimsicalnymph on the recreations of Mill & Boons book covers is from the same advert agency of Oli + Alex ... coincidence or not...?

The color of this thread is Pepsi Blue to me or, self-link = you posted something to MetaFilter that is on your own site or that you contributed heavily towards.

They are funny and creative post, but this is not a forum for advertising one's work.
posted by analogtom at 11:11 AM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


This instantly reminded me of Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington (and the intro to "Idiot Abroad," wherein Gervais says something about his intention to "poke Karl with a stick" just for the/his sheer joy of doing it). And, yes, there's another relationship the authenticity of which one may waste time deliberating upon. And, yes, somehow I stand behind the preceding particular grammatical construction.
posted by eric1halfb at 11:11 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


bobicus, it's bothersome because the victim says it's bothersome. That is all that is necessary. Whether it's a put-on on the victim's part or not, you are laughing at someone else's distress, which is a very creepy thing no matter how ridiculous you think the cause of that distress is.

I would guess the neat divide and the cause of ob's law is that the longer the thread gets, the more likely someone will find it who has encountered a person like the photoshop artist when they got the bright idea to put laxative in your brownies or forward something to your boss that's likely to get you fired.
posted by localroger at 11:12 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well if it's an ad they've certainly ensured they will never get any work from someone like me. Great going.
posted by localroger at 11:13 AM on March 20, 2011


I once went to Facebook on my television. I must be a total moron.

Heh. I just got a TV that has embedded Facebook and Twitter apps. If we want to live in a future where we get jetpacks, we may need to jump to an alternate universe.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 AM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't breathe, I laughed so hard at these.
posted by Lou Stuells at 11:15 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why are you all taking this at face value? Is there any evidence at all that this isn't BS?
posted by merelyglib at 11:20 AM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't have a television or a facebook. Did I just win something?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:40 PM on March 20


A sodium light. You'll find it on the horizon.
posted by NoMich at 11:24 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm voting for funny. Also voting for the guy's probably not that bothered. But even if he is, sometimes its ok to wind someone up that much for lulz, sorry but it is. Its not striking him down with boils, it's a wind-up, he can always choose to live with it
posted by criticalbill at 11:26 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can I be cool too and say that I don't use Facebook? I don't have a TV or a fixie either.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:29 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, it depends on how close friends they are. Obviously if they only sat on adjacent tables at Burger King once, it might be a bit weird
posted by criticalbill at 11:30 AM on March 20, 2011


We absolutely NEED to do this to all of our friends on Facebook so that it becomes impossible for Facebook to harbour only the earnest and banal of the species.
posted by kneecapped at 11:33 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for the book, or TV show, or whatever.

I'm serious I have to leave now.
posted by polyhedron at 11:40 AM on March 20, 2011


They are not my teeth and that is not my bush baby.
posted by Grangousier at 11:44 AM on March 20, 2011


I don't know/care if James was in on the joke? But seeing this scared me into changing my Facebook tagging preferences, and that makes this a public service.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 11:54 AM on March 20, 2011


The guy's first and last name, and his picture, are on the page. And now (in living color) on MetaFilter.

Doesn't that make us participants in this uncool thing? (If it's real. If not, then we're dopes for falling for it.)
posted by merelyglib at 11:59 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Linked to on MetaFilter, I meant.
posted by merelyglib at 11:59 AM on March 20, 2011


C'mon, it's totally contrived. Of course we're dopes.
posted by polyhedron at 12:01 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't actually upload images back over someone else's profile in FB without account access. Also, there's no first-hand evidence this actually happened. Just screenshots of images and eminently fakeable clips of FB-styled text.

Ultimately, they work for one of the biggest ad agencies in the world. Flag it as deceitful and move on. These people's bread and butter is to manipulate the public sphere, and letting them corrupt my private sphere is a step too far.
posted by davemee at 12:06 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't actually upload images back over someone else's profile in FB without account access.

No, but you can upload an image and tag someone in it, causing it to appear in that persons' page of pictures of them, as well as in the bar across the top of their profile.
posted by Nomiconic at 12:11 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


"bobicus, it's bothersome because the victim says it's bothersome. That is all that is necessary. Whether it's a put-on on the victim's part or not, you are laughing at someone else's distress, which is a very creepy thing no matter how ridiculous you think the cause of that distress is."

What?? Seriously? Laughing at other's distress is practically the foundation of comedy.
posted by stenseng at 12:14 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


They are not my teeth and that is not my bushbaby.

That's what she said.
posted by drlith at 12:18 PM on March 20, 2011


I laughed until I cried at the bush baby.

This kind of thing could fall anywhere on a continuum from "friendly teasing that is enjoyed by all" to "frightening stalkery behavior", and we just don't know where it falls without actually being friends with these people. Because of the "I'm going to take a computer course and do this to you" comment I suggest it lies closer to the harmless fun side of the equation.

I agree with the comment that suggests this is close to the Gervais/Pillington dynamic, which is also simultaneously hilarious and disturbing.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:21 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


We all know this isn't "real", right? Or are we falling for it again?
posted by muddgirl at 12:22 PM on March 20, 2011


I am in the same camp as dabitch. The guy is from w+k and posted on his site where he & his creative partner link to all their work. Real = no.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:29 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi. I posted this.

I didn't know it came from reddit.

I don't necessarily think it's real.

I guarantee you I had no part in, nor do I know anyone who had a part in its creation.

Real or fake, it does not strike me as falling on the spectrum of "bullying."

Real or fake I laughed so hard at it that I cried.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 12:30 PM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


What do you mean "real" and "falling"? It was put on the Internet and I got a good several minutes of enjoyment out of it. I could care less if it actually appeared on someone's Facebook account.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:33 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


The date for the comments is 2007, this might not be the first time it's made the rounds.

(And yes, I found it hilarious, but then I didn't. Now that I've decided it's fake, I'm going back to hilarious. I just...don't like public humiliation. It's a thing.)
posted by merelyglib at 12:49 PM on March 20, 2011


FUCKING CHRIST PEOPLE
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:49 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh please, next you'll tell me that Spock's Facebook video is fake.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:51 PM on March 20, 2011


Good funny.
posted by kafziel at 12:58 PM on March 20, 2011


It still amazes me how much people feel like they can be dicks to each other on Facebook.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:05 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my best friends (my mate if you will), a PhD candidate in philosophy, once brought up at a cocktail party that he was seriously interested in the biological implications of people who have sexual urges towards animals. He went on for 20 minutes about it. Ten years later, you better believe that his Facebook wall and email box at Big Name Software, Inc. are still regularly assaulted with articles about dolphin sex, penguin sex, octopus manga, and barnyard accidents by all those in attendance that night.

I think it is totally ok to fuck with your friends on the internet, but cannot rule out that I may be running with a circle of internet sociopaths.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:09 PM on March 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


this is way better than having one's tools super glued into the toolbox...or having one's locker moved to the other locker room. fake outrage or not good impish fun!
posted by ironbob at 1:11 PM on March 20, 2011


What the hell is wrong with you people. This is hilarious.

Also, I cancelled my Facebook account because people kept tagging photos of me drunk at clubs.

Now that I think about it, that probably wasn't a facebook problem.
posted by empath at 1:13 PM on March 20, 2011 [18 favorites]


It's hilarious, but it's a collection of images from an ad person. Our very first impulse should be to assume it is viral advertising, and nothing in it is real.

I will not participate in any discussion of whether this is bullying or not, or if it is nice or not, until somebody can demonstrate to me that it is real.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:14 PM on March 20, 2011


What do you mean "real" and "falling"?

I mean that people are approaching this as if James is a real person with real feelings that must be taken into account when it comes to assessing the comedic value of the piece. James is presented as a real person because without a target the joke doesn't work. But we shouldn't waste a lot of sympathy for a construct who only exists as a strawman erected by the comedian.
posted by muddgirl at 1:14 PM on March 20, 2011


I really want to hate Facebook and delete my account, but it's the most convenient way to communicate with my friends, and any damage I could do to myself with my identity online, I've already done on MetaFilter. I know to not feed Facebook any info I wouldn't tell an employer.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:15 PM on March 20, 2011


Oh, and you can untag yourself from photos on Facebook. Takes one second.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:15 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


bobicus, it's bothersome because the victim says it's bothersome

I got that. I was trying to say I couldn't empathize and that I would be surprised if anyone else in this thread could either. If you truly understand James's frustration at more than a superficial level, if you truly empathize, it would be nice if you could attempt to convey that because I am genuinely ignorant as to what is causing his extreme distress. It is so bizarre it seems exaggerated and comical.

My comment was merely a statement on your word choice, your use of empathy rather than respect. Altering one's behavior is more about respect than empathy. I find certain accents grating to listen to. If I were to tell someone to please be quiet because listening to their voice causes me pain, I would expect them to at least empathize (I think everyone has found someone's voice to be irritating at some point in their lives), but I would not expect them to respect that request. Similarly, while I can empathize with, and feel to a degree, the frustration that he is so clearly showing (though I cannot empathize with his frustration as a response to this particular event), I have very little respect for it.
posted by Bobicus at 1:16 PM on March 20, 2011


Also, I never get invited to parties, so photos of myself at embarrassing times never make it online. :(
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:16 PM on March 20, 2011


Sometimes I think that metafilter exists to make me feel like I'm a terrible person for liking the things I do.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:19 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


If it's any consolation I think it reflects more on our society than on any individual. We all like things that others hate. Enjoy yourself.
posted by polyhedron at 1:29 PM on March 20, 2011


Yeah, seriously, has anybody here actually used facebook? Nothing will force these pictures to appear on James's page. If the perpetrator tags the pictures with James's name, he can use the prominently displayed "untag" link to remove them from there. James can't remove them from the instigator's own facebook page, but he wouldn't be able to remove them from some random blog either.
posted by whir at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


James is presented as a real person because without a target the joke doesn't work

It's just as funny to me if James is fictional.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hitler.

There, that should about do it.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:35 PM on March 20, 2011


sometimes its ok to wind someone up that much for lulz

HOW DARE YOU! THIS IS SO OFFENSIVE I AM LAUGHING AT YOU SHIT NOW I HATE MYSELF TOO LOL ROFL ARGH
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:39 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's just as funny to me if James is fictional.

I didn't say that James had to be real, I said that there has to be a target. Would it be as funny if they were just pictures without the fake Facebook comments? I would say no.
posted by muddgirl at 1:39 PM on March 20, 2011


MetaFilter: Like Digg, but with insightful lulz
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:01 PM on March 20, 2011


Talking about how you're too good for Facebook is seriously the new 'I wouldn't know about this because I don't have a television.'

Now I get Facebook on my TV. SUCK IT HATERS!
posted by mazola at 2:10 PM on March 20, 2011


I didn't say that James had to be real, I said that there has to be a target. Would it be as funny if they were just pictures without the fake Facebook comments? I would say no.

No, you are right. I was missing your point. I thought you were saying it's not funny if it's not real. I will work on my reading comprehension skills.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:13 PM on March 20, 2011


Yeah, they're putting Facebook and a bunch of other internet services like Rhapsody and Netflix on most all internet-enabled TVs nowadays. Even WiFi!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:13 PM on March 20, 2011


Why are you all taking this at face value?

Please, take it at Facebook value: $50 billion.
posted by chavenet at 2:30 PM on March 20, 2011


> If you have no empathy for the small stuff, you probably have no empathy for more important stuff either.

It made me laugh despite myself. I'm going to use my newly-found status as a horrible person to go out and do some pretty heinous things. Who's with me?
posted by ardgedee at 2:34 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


God, it is so obvious that the target is either a/in on it or b/too stupid to hit "untag" or "unfriend." The captions are dated over two years, the most recent in 2009. There is absolutely no reason to feel bad about laughing at this.


make it look like he was at a wedding dressed like a one man band in a mankini and I might have been amused.

See, I wouldn't think that was particularly funny. Subtly raising a guy's hairline and corpsifying his skin tone, that's funny.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:52 PM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


bobicus: I was trying to say I couldn't empathize and that I would be surprised if anyone else in this thread could either. If you truly understand James's frustration at more than a superficial level, if you truly empathize, it would be nice if you could attempt to convey that because I am genuinely ignorant as to what is causing his extreme distress. It is so bizarre it seems exaggerated and comical.

Fair enough. Yes, I empathize with James. I sense his frustration and helplessness that his image, perhaps in important ways his sense of self, is being manipulated and displayed to strangers, not just randomly, but specifically because the artist knows it bothers him. I feel the howling unfairness in his belly as he tries, tries, tries to think of a way to stop this nuisance and constantly comes up empty. I feel him knowing that this is being done to him precisely because it makes him feel this way and it makes me want to smash the artist's head through a plate glass window.

For reference, I also do not find pratfall comedy such as Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges funny. I have been known to laugh at those funny home video things where people look ridiculous. You know what the difference is? If someone botches a skateboard trick, they are not the victim of a tormentor who is deliberately being cruel.

If someone goofs and looks silly and it's on them and, particularly, if they're the one who sends the video in with a note that says "I fucked this up, have a laugh," I have no problem with that. But I have a big problem with deliberate cruelty, even small deliberate cruelty, because my experience is that people who are capable of small deliberate cruelty always escalate to not so small cruelty. All five of the people like this that I have made the mistake of befriending ended up ending our friendship by doing something they thought was hilarious, which risked either serious injury or serious property damage or financial loss. And I could not make them see that the joke was not worth it. For them, the joke was everything and they didn't want to see past it to the damage they were risking.

I think it is experiences like that you will find separate the "aw shucks its humor" voices here from the "no, it really isn't" voices. Yes, there is a natural tendency to laugh at these things, but it's a bad tendency and we can be better than that.

It was not all that long ago that a public execution was seen as an opportunity for a fine family outing and picnic. I do not see any bright line separating humiliation pratfall comedy from that. In fact, I've seen would-be comedians smoothly transition from relatively tame things to major property damage and injury causing practical jokes without missing a beat, and the progression to enjoying a fine hanging or wheeling from that point seems quite natural to me. I hope you will forgive me if I seem to have Godwinized myself here but that is not a roller coaster I'd like to be riding.
posted by localroger at 2:53 PM on March 20, 2011


Viral advertising professionals make viral spec piece to sell more viral ad services.
posted by BillBishop at 3:00 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was not all that long ago that a public execution was seen as an opportunity for a fine family outing and picnic. I do not see any bright line separating humiliation pratfall comedy from that.

Really? I'm not snarking. I am honestly stunned that you believe this and thus feel compelled to ask if you're not trying a wind-up of your own. If so, well done. You got me hook, line & sinker.
posted by ob at 3:31 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


i love it. i want to do this to everyone.
posted by millipede at 3:35 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate advertisers - and I hate viral advertisers all the more. They give me a headache - a tense, nervous headache that normal painkillers can't relieve.

That's why I use the fast effective relief that new Anadin gives me.
posted by panboi at 3:42 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


It was not all that long ago that a public execution was seen as an opportunity for a fine family outing and picnic. I do not see any bright line separating humiliation pratfall comedy from that.

It was not all that long ago that bear baiting was seen as an opportunity for a fine evening's entertainment and wagering. Do I really need a "bright line" to separate the the plight of dogs repeatedly taunted with foodstuffs from the vicious, visceral, extended and bloody death experienced by those animals?

In fact, I've seen would-be comedians smoothly transition from relatively tame things to major property damage and injury causing practical jokes without missing a beat, and the progression to enjoying a fine hanging or wheeling from that point seems quite natural to me. I hope you will forgive me if I seem to have Godwinized myself here but that is not a roller coaster I'd like to be riding

If you're deriving your sense of the way the world works from "would-be comedians"... that's a problem.

But let's grant your premise. This is the roller coaster you're riding, like it or not. What are you going to do about it?
posted by dogrose at 3:49 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


What he is doing is unconscionable, stalking and harassment are both serious crimes and any "friend" who posted defaced pictures of me online would be in jail by now. It is not a huge leap from defacing somebody's picture to causing physical harm, defacing is an attempt to hurt or change a person through your own actions. How long were these two together? I don't think the realities of abusive same sex relationships get enough attention, I would hate for it to take a murder before we finally take it seriously.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:01 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh please, next you'll tell me that Spock's Facebook video is fake.

I don't do Facebook, so it has to be.
posted by spock at 4:04 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


How long were these two together? I don't think the realities of abusive same sex relationships get enough attention, I would hate for it to take a murder before we finally take it seriously.

Why do you think they were in a same sex relationship?
posted by ob at 4:12 PM on March 20, 2011


shakespeherian: "These people are idiots.

Not because of the pictures, because they're all into Facebook.


Talking about how you're too good for Facebook is seriously the new 'I wouldn't know about this because I don't have a television.
"

No. Facebook actually sucks. No doubt about it.
posted by Splunge at 4:15 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, I'd like to take pause for a moment and say that the level of projection on this thread is almost as amusing as the photos themselves. Well done everyone!
posted by ob at 4:19 PM on March 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why do you think they were in a same sex relationship?

I actually think it is just a gag that pretty much just part of the guy's portfolio but I figured I would get on the train to indignation town with everybody else. Don't want to be left behind.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:35 PM on March 20, 2011


Anyone who posts pictures of themselves on Facebook and doesn't understand the risk of this sort of thing happening doesn't understand the Internet well enough to be using it.

Facebook is, by intentional design, a privacy risk. Assuming the friend doesn't think it's funny, he should lighten up a bit. It's all in good fun. If it's not, he can hide his photos from his friend and de-tag the ones that his friend put up. They'd still be there, but they'd be hard to find. That's as much as you can ever expect once you upload pictures of yourself to the Internet.

And really, "that's not my bush baby!" Come on. That's hilarious.
posted by unknownmosquito at 4:37 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it is experiences like that you will find separate the "aw shucks its a bushbaby" voices here from the "no, those really aren't my teeth" voices. Yes, there is a natural tendency to laugh at my enormous pale forehead, but it's a bad tendency and we can be better than that.

Well said, localroger. Well said.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:37 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


We absolutely NEED to do this to all of our friends on Facebook so that it becomes impossible for Facebook to harbour only the earnest and banal of the species.

There's a bit of this going on in my circle, albeit in a different league. People's heads sometimes show up grafted into screen captures, celebrity photos, album covers, etc. All in good fun. I have one friend who always tags photos of guys on their crotches, effectively framing their genital bulges, because... why not? There is not a lot of reason to take this sort of whimsicality badly, as if the meticulously cultivated (often illusory) online personas we craft for ourselves were inviolable. This Halloween, Thriller eyes for everyone!


I guess if you're dealing with someone who's really sensitive about their appearance, there's a line between being funny and being mean, and if this is real perhaps that line is being walked. But while it's kind of heartwarming to read some people here empathizing with the subject's exasperation, at the end of the day, if a fella is really bothered by this, it would actually take less effort for him to stop it than to respond to it.
posted by millions at 4:56 PM on March 20, 2011


When I was in college 25 (eep) years ago, one of my fellow student computer consultants who also worked food service, took the box tops from Cheerios and made good on their offer for a free stamp of any face. He used his roommate's ID photo, which was absolutely unmistakable.

Then, after the stamp arrived (a little thing, about 3/4" in diameter), he stamped it everywhere. EVERYWHERE. You saw this guy's stamp in every building. He went through the deck of add/drop cards. He put it in most of the major classrooms. He put in on note slips in the library. He put in on desks.

In short, he made his roommate's life a living hell. His roommate really got tired of hearing, "seen your face around campus". He got tired of having to explain that he wasn't so narcissistic as to do it himself.

I was on shift in the consultant's office and had just hand digitized the stamp into a Mac icon and then changed the hard drive icon to his face and changed the background to it as well.

He came by and saw me doing this and I say, "oh hey Dan - I just finished making the icon and I was about to post it to comp.mac.programmer as part of a demo app I wrote - it should make it around the world pretty quickly." "Dude - that is SO NOT FUNNY."

Yeah - didn't do it.
posted by plinth at 5:09 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


No. Facebook actually sucks. No doubt about it.

The mocking of people who loudly assert their lack of a television is not, in itself, a defense of the quality of television programming.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:22 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


millions: it would actually take less effort for him to stop it than to respond to it.

How? The whole point is that there isnt any way for him to stop it. Yeah, he's stupid because he doesn't know his Facebook interface or better, not to use Facebook at all. But it's still a "friend" being cruel. Fuck that friend and put his face through a window.
posted by localroger at 5:40 PM on March 20, 2011


I am sorry for not reading through the whole thread, I usually do-- but I'm posting from my phone and I simply wanted to tell you all that a) I laughed myself sick and almost peed (autocomplete said "pureed," which is also almost true) myself, and b) I am totally going to do this.

I will read the thread shortly.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:42 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


He came by and saw me doing this and I say, "oh hey Dan - I just finished making the icon and I was about to post it to comp.mac.programmer as part of a demo app I wrote - it should make it around the world pretty quickly." "Dude - that is SO NOT FUNNY."

Still have that icon?

No reason.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:43 PM on March 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is simply one of Oli's genius practical jokes says Alex, and yes James is a friend.
posted by dabitch at 5:44 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


No one who thinks practical jokes are funny is your friend. I have real lfe exprience to back me up on this.
posted by localroger at 6:07 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of Warner Brothers' best cartoons was Duck Amuck, which featured Daffy Duck getting all sorts of abuse from the cartoonist who was drawing him. It was unclear whether Daffy really deserved the abuse, but his reactions were hilarious. As such, it's rightly remembered as a classic. (There's also a variation that I can not find, where Bugs Bunny is the one getting re-drawn and made fun of -- partly because Bugs is a less pompous character, and partly because the premise is a re-tread, the cartoon is not nearly as funny.)

It took me a moment to realise that the same sort of joke is at play with the pictures of James. Part of the humour is the alterations to the pictures, which get more ridiculous over time. But James' reactions are what really sell it. If he wasn't getting more and more upset, we wouldn't laugh so hard. Whether he deserves the repeated embarrassments is beside the point, at least where the humour is concerned.

Now if you believe that James is a real person, empathy kicks in; the joke becomes crueler, and less funny. No doubt there are many people who don't care whether a persons' feelings get hurt, or worse (the high ratings for Tosh.O are partial proof of this), but most of us don't care to see someone get humiliated repeatedly without cause. However, it's fairly easy to suss that there isn't someone taking pictures down from Facebook, altering them, and re-posting them -- otherwise Zuckerberg and company would have had a flood of court cases and lawsuits by now. If James is not a real person, he is at least in on the joke. And in any case, how hard is it to put together a webpage claiming that you're copying and re-posting photos like this, complete with angry reaction captions?

So yes, if James was a real person who was not a willing party, this wouldn't be funny at all. But if James is an actor like Daffy, it's frigging comedy gold.
posted by spoobnooble at 6:08 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen Duck Amuck and yes, laughed my ass off. But that was torture of an obvious cartoon character, not a potentially real person. It makes a difference.
posted by localroger at 6:12 PM on March 20, 2011


I hate most practical jokes and I think this, if it's real, is pretty aggravating and creepy.

That said, "They are not my teeth and that is not my bush baby?" Comedy gold. I wet my pants a little. Damn, that was funny.
posted by perilous at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not even potentially "a real person" in the sense of an authentic victim. If James isn't entirely fictional, he was in on the joke and crafting his responses with an audience in mind.
posted by muddgirl at 6:37 PM on March 20, 2011


I'm one of those people who's constitutionally incapable of distinguishing teasing from bullying. I mean, I can appreciate the distinction in the abstract, but whenever I am teased in even the mildest way I tend to assume I've offended someone, or something like that.

When I learned about BDSM, teasing started to make a lot more sense.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:50 PM on March 20, 2011


I was going to do a FPP about a funny series of slightly photoshopped plates of beans, but thought better of it.
posted by usonian at 6:57 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm starting to think this post needs a trigger warning.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:00 PM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am completely dumbfounded that there are actually people with enough intelligence to type "www.metafilter.com" into a browser who believe this is anything but a collaborative joke. Please google "taking the piss". I mean, the guy's friend plays a pretty good straight man, but if you really think he's seriously offended by any of this, you need to step away from the computer and head down to your closest pub, ASAP.
posted by dvdgee at 7:18 PM on March 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


>it would actually take less effort for him to stop it than to respond to it.

How?


Lots of ways.

1. delete the tag

2. change your preferences so that you can no longer be tagged in photos

3. delete/ block the person who is downloading your images and manipulating them

4. report the images to Facebook as stolen images

5. assign the offending friend to a group and change privacy settings so that certain photos are not visible to that group

Any one of those should do it. Slightly more effort is to pay the guy a visit, tell him how you feel in person, see if you can't talk him out of being hurtful. Totally worth a try before making a big deal about it. Again, that's assuming this is a genuine prank and not just fanciful internet fun. In any case, I don't think the subject is "stupid": he's just going about things the wrong way.

"Fuck that friend and put his face through a window."

I gotta think that would be a lot worse for the man's reputation and serenity than doing absolutely nothing.
posted by millions at 7:18 PM on March 20, 2011


as a Facebook addict, i don't think this is that funny, i don't think it's bullying, i don't get it and I honestly don't care
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:45 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


actually, his friend looks hilarious. like an unaware Bill Bailey
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:46 PM on March 20, 2011


something something is the highest form of flattery.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:49 PM on March 20, 2011


localroger, i'm sorry. i tried hard to emphathize. i really did. but this:
Fair enough. Yes, I empathize with James. I sense his frustration and helplessness that his image, perhaps in important ways his sense of self, is being manipulated and displayed to strangers, not just randomly, but specifically because the artist knows it bothers him. I feel the howling unfairness in his belly as he tries, tries, tries to think of a way to stop this nuisance and constantly comes up empty. I feel him knowing that this is being done to him precisely because it makes him feel this way and it makes me want to smash the artist's head through a plate glass window.

response to an Internet prank/viral marketing was the funniest thing in the thread
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:51 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


being a very annoying person who is always online, this sort of thing has happened to me a few times. the only time it really bugged me was when some asshole on a local music forum was doing it out of malice. otherwise, the fact that someone put up a whole MySpace gallery of altered photos of me was... creepy, but nothing that really bothered me
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:54 PM on March 20, 2011


On my monitor, the Facebook mockups are barely legible. The main impact of the "James' Face" page is contained in the original/altered image pairs.

And. They. Are. Riotous.

The transformation of James's smile to a lower lip bite, the thinning of his eyes into slits, the evacuation of facial tension into slackjawed mouthbreathing, the protrusion of his brows into hairy promontories.

Shit is funny, people.

The visual inflections that transform James's appearance from a genial to a dyspeptic is hilarious. Please recalibrate your countenance readometers, yo.
posted by mistersquid at 8:30 PM on March 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


it makes me want to smash the artist's head through a plate glass window.

and

Fuck that friend and put his face through a window.

Recalibrate is right.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:49 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has anyone actually checked that these are Photoshopped and not part of a game involving James the actor? Or that they aren't a combination of Photoshopping and double photos, all the with the aim of going viral? Because that was what occurred to me.
posted by acoutu at 8:49 PM on March 20, 2011


You guys are like the people who were up in arms at bonsai kittens. WOULD SOMEONE THINK OF THE KITTENS IN THAT GLASSWARE THIS IS ANIMAL CRUELTY OMOMOMG. James is so incredibly in on it and he's laughing with his friends together at the pub about the one where he's holding the animal and oh did you see the one where he was scowling at the kid? Either that, or it's a marketing stunt.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:01 PM on March 20, 2011


Will somebody please think of the bushbabies?
posted by arcticseal at 9:08 PM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seems this is easier to get away with than I thought.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:37 PM on March 20, 2011


Jesus you people are uptight.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 4:18 AM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


dabitch: "This is simply one of Oli's genius practical jokes says Alex, and yes James is a friend"

Did we drastically lower the bar for genius when I wasn't looking?
posted by Splunge at 5:28 AM on March 21, 2011


empath: "Also, I cancelled my Facebook account because people kept tagging photos of me drunk at clubs.

Now that I think about it, that probably wasn't a facebook problem.
"

You know they have meetings for that, don't you? The drinking, on the other hand, I can't help you there. You're on your own.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:18 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have been doing a variation of this my entire life. Whenever a picture is taken of me I look slightly not myself. Every single time. I do the same with voice recordings. Not once has my true likeness been captured except for by the Madman Avatar generator. That was me.
posted by srboisvert at 6:45 AM on March 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


This guy would be my new BFF if I had it my way. Trust me, his friend is impressed and feels loved by this kind of teasing. This is the relationship I have with most of my close friends. As the recipient of the joke, you're supposed to play along and act outraged in front of everyone to show your respect for the level of pranking that's going on. I always thought MeFites had better senses of humor.
posted by madred at 7:45 AM on March 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


How unfortunate to have a friend that would do that!!!!!!! but seriously, thank you, cause I just spend ten minutes laughing.
posted by Fascinationist at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2011


For reference, I also do not find pratfall comedy such as Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges funny.

Neither do I, but that's because I'm dyspraxic and it reminds me of the countless times I've fallen over and hurt or, worse still, embarrassed myself in front of others. However, if it's animals falling over I can get behind that. They have no shame!

I found this amusing, and I'm way too thin-skinned for pranking.
posted by mippy at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2011


Localroger, it seems to me that your reaction to this post says quite a bit more about you than it does this totally innocuous and hilarious prank.

But your response has proven to be nearly as amusing as the post itself.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:40 AM on March 21, 2011


You know how I know it is fake? It took the comment about that not being his lazy eye to point out that the guy had a lazy eye in the doctored image.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:43 AM on March 21, 2011


People strenuously insulting other people for being uptight for not recognizing what seems to them to be an obvious joke is pretty fucking uptight, y'all.

I still think practical jokes suck, but at least I'm not calling anyone an asshole for thinking theyre funny. Chill pills all round are in order, it seems.
posted by perilous at 10:27 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought this was pretty funny and that the friend was obviously either made up or in on it. (Are we still voting?)

Inspector.Gadget's comment reminded me of the time in my first term of uni when my dad emailed me a picture of himself, me and my two brothers at a cycle race day, on bikes and wearing matching team skinsuits. It was not a flattering picture of me (pink and spotty) but I was glad to have the family photo. What I didn't realise was that I'd saved it to the desktop of a shared computer without user accounts.

The next time I went to the computer room, that computer's desktop image had been changed to the cycle photo, with my face pasted over all the others.

I picked up a lot more computer skills pretty quickly but I never found out who did it.
posted by daisyk at 2:28 PM on March 21, 2011


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