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June 11, 2012 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Last year, TheOatmeal and FunnyJunk got into it over rehosted comics. Now FunnyJunk's lawyer wants TheOatMeal to pay FunnyJunk $20,000. In response TheOatmeal has instead decided to ask for $20,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Association to augment the picture of FunnyJunk's lawyer seducing a kodiak bear. That goal was passed within minutes.
posted by waraw (236 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I clicked a few of the links of supposedly still hosted TO comics on FJ, but none of them showed up; either Inman's list is old, or FJ did some super-quick scrubbing.
posted by waraw at 3:08 PM on June 11, 2012


The irony of TheOatmeal pissed about content theft isn't necessarily thick, but it does exist.
posted by incessant at 3:09 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am not a fan of Mr Inman's work, but that is kind of a sweet Pterodactyl.
posted by koeselitz at 3:12 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Uh, incessant, you linked to a comic all about how he really really wanted to pay HBO for the privilege of watching Game of Thrones, but was stymied. I'd say the irony isn't so much "not necessarily thick" as much as "nonexistant."
posted by Inkoate at 3:13 PM on June 11, 2012 [24 favorites]


Perhaps you missed the part where he torrented the show because he felt cable+HBO was too expensive?
posted by incessant at 3:15 PM on June 11, 2012


Uh, incessant, you linked to a comic all about how he really really wanted to pay HBO for the privilege of watching Game of Thrones, but was stymied.

Dillution of trademark. See you in court.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:17 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you missed the part where he torrented the show because he felt cable+HBO was too expensive?

Did he crop the HBO watermark out, remove the credits, and rebroadcast it with his own advertising?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:18 PM on June 11, 2012 [70 favorites]


Uh, isn't that a picture of the owner of FunnyJunk's mother, rather than lawyer?
posted by figurant at 3:18 PM on June 11, 2012


Yes, indeed. This was a social commentary explaining why people torrent tv shows: they don't feel that one television show is worth $80+ a month but would gladly pay a smaller amount if there was any feasible way to make it happen. I don't think making that commentary makes him unworthy of being pissed when someone else presents his work as their own.
posted by Inkoate at 3:19 PM on June 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yes figurant, sorry. Hot bear hentai got me all flustered and confused.
posted by waraw at 3:20 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Hot bear hentai got me all flustered and confused.
posted by not_on_display at 3:22 PM on June 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


The irony of TheOatmeal pissed about content theft isn't necessarily thick, but it does exist.

There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on June 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


this whole thing isn't even about him being pissed at his content being stolen - that was all a year ago. this is about the people who stole from him demanding he take down an at the time truthful account and pay them 20k for hurting their feelings. this isn't about the stolen content. the only way the conversation about torrenting game of thrones would be applicable is if he or the torrent site tried to sue hbo for saying bad stuff about them.
posted by nadawi at 3:24 PM on June 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


Actually, maybe it's the lawyer's mother. I'm not entirely clear on that.
posted by figurant at 3:26 PM on June 11, 2012


There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Meh.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Based on that thread from last year, a lot of folks don't like Inman, apparently. However, if he stays good on his promise and donates all the money he gets to fight cancer and protect wildlife, he's an OK guy in my book. I'm checking right now, and it's already up to $33,000+.
posted by King Bee at 3:26 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I laughed out loud at the hidden pterodactyl evidence.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:30 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


>>There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

>Meh.


One is a form of lying. The other is a violation of a government granted monopoly on speech. Simple, really.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:30 PM on June 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


Based on that thread from last year, a lot of folks don't like Inman, apparently.

Yeah, no matter how just the cause, I find it hard to like a guy who advocates for it by posting "a picture of the owner of FunnyJunk's mother" (who is depicted rather hideously) "seducing a bear". Maybe I'm missing some compelling backstory which explains why "Well, your mother is an oversexed hag" is a funny response to getting sued. In the immortal words of the dude, "You're not wrong, Walter. You're just an asshole."
posted by muddgirl at 3:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [43 favorites]


A similar thing happened to a photographer I know a couple of weeks ago. The story was on Petapixel and slashdot and I wondered if we'd discuss it here. Many of the commenters at those sites are convinced the lawyer to him he issued the DCMA notice is literally crazy. She's shown up in those comment sections to make her case and may have made a better case for "crazy".

He is less reckless and less able to raise $20K in minutes than The Oatmeal, so he's basically clammed up on advice of his lawyers. He may yet need a defense fund, because even if the other side isn't right, it's expensive to be in a federal lawsuit.
posted by Mad_Carew at 3:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh - that's the problem with not liking people for one thing; sometimes they go and do something cool and then you have to spend time you could have been wasting on Diablo3 re-evaluating them as a person.

Good on you, Inman. Cancer sucks and bears are awesome.
posted by Mooski at 3:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I get that, muddgirl. Just based on what people were saying about him a year ago (being an SEO whore, etc), at least he's using all that traffic he gets for something good for once, right?

And if you don't like the people who'd find the oversexed hag joke funny, then Inman is taking their money and donating it to good causes, which should also make you happy!

I just want you to be happy that he's raising a ton of money really quickly for good causes. You don't have to love the means, but the ends are sweet in this case.
posted by King Bee at 3:35 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


>>There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

>Meh.

One is a form of lying. The other is a violation of a government granted monopoly on speech. Simple, really.


Double meh.

Actually a billion meh if you're in the "copyright should not exist" camp and have an opinion on image rehosting.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doesn't TheOatmeal kind of .. trace pictures?
posted by Malice at 3:35 PM on June 11, 2012


Without the hag joke, he wouldn't raise any money? I don't think that's true in a general sense - internet-savvy folks tend to like to screw over guys like the owner of FunkyJunk, even if symbolically.

And again, this is just my personal opinion of Inman. Every time he gets a little press it's like "One thing that's pretty admirable, and one thing that's not really worth my attention." I recognize that many people disagree.
posted by muddgirl at 3:37 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doesn't TheOatmeal kind of .. trace pictures?

Don't pictures kind of... trace reality?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:38 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


One is a form of lying. The other is a violation of a government granted monopoly on speech. Simple, really.

Walk away sloooowly from the keyboard, incessant. Slooooooooowly. Put down the mouse. Put it down. Now take this ativan and ignore the rest of the thread.
posted by incessant at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reality infringes on copyright.
posted by Malor at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2012


>>There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

>Meh.

One is a form of lying. The other is a violation of a government granted monopoly on speech. Simple, really.


Even if copyright didn't exist as a government grant, some form of it would exist as a type of common law.

Both are profiting off the work of someone else without their permission.
posted by gjc at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2012


I laughed out loud at the hidden pterodactyl evidence.

I pointed at it and shouted OBJECTION and realized that my entire life is too ridiculous for words.
posted by elizardbits at 3:44 PM on June 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


What, pray tell, is an "SEO whore"?
posted by KokuRyu at 3:44 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Inman's response seems to be along the lines of "this is is bullshit and it's going to get a lot of people fired up, but there isn't really a good way to leverage all that energy constructively here. But rather than let it go to waste, maybe I can judo-roll some of it into a good cause." I really can't find a way of looking at that that makes it a bad thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:45 PM on June 11, 2012 [29 favorites]



Doesn't TheOatmeal kind of .. trace pictures?

Don't pictures kind of... trace reality?


Not necessarily.
posted by Malice at 3:46 PM on June 11, 2012


What, pray tell, is an "SEO whore"?

Five dollars, same as in town.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:46 PM on June 11, 2012 [32 favorites]


I really can't find a way of looking at that that makes it a bad thing.

Soliciting donations is a great thing. Insulting someone's mother in a very specifically stereotypical way is an asshole thing (look at the attention to detail on the stretch marks on her breasts - I think that's the bit that creeps me out the most). Inman somehow always manages to cancel himself out.
posted by muddgirl at 3:49 PM on June 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


None of this is really about copyright (or torrenting) right? it's about getting sued about saying mean (but true) things about someone else on your website, right?
posted by garlic at 3:50 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


An asshole and his lawyer ineptly trying to extort money from a popular rich guy who responds by publicly shaming them and bootstrapping a hugely successful charity drive

The level of hate some people have for that popular guy seems to have become the only lens through which they see this reality, completely distorting their ability to perceive and react in a way that has much of anything to do with any significant aspect of the story
posted by crayz at 3:59 PM on June 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


Inman somehow always manages to cancel himself out.

Are we really in a time where an immature "your mom" joke that is clearly meant to be laughably juvenile to begin with "cancels out" a $33,000 charitable donation?
posted by Hoopo at 4:00 PM on June 11, 2012 [34 favorites]


> I really can't find a way of looking at that that makes it a bad thing.

Insulting someone's mother in a very specifically stereotypical way is an asshole thing


You do realize that he doesn't actually know the guy's mother and that's just a tongue-in-cheek generic spin on doing the dozens, right? No rational person could be insulted by that. Which admittedly says nothing about the reactions of SEO whores generally or lawyers of this particular type.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:01 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


With a masthead like that, you know this firm is serious business.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really do not understand the appeal of the Oatmeal. Dude's drawings are astoundingly crude and unappealing to the eye, and the text mostly comes off as angry whining. He draws this one gormless blob thing over and over. There is not even a crude sort of energy to his drawings.

Plus his day job is SEO.
posted by egypturnash at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Inman somehow always manages to cancel himself out.

This is basically the truest thing anyone has said about The Oatmeal, ever. One The Motherfucking Pterodactyl is approximately worth as much in awesome as one Marvelous Man Boobs is worth in not-awesome.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"..... maybe I can judo-roll some of it into a good cause" ..and I was totally there with him until the Mom-joke. I'd rather see a naked lawyer with sock-suspenders do the bear.

Seriously? He did a "yo momma". Oh puh-lease boy.
posted by dabitch at 4:02 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude's drawings are astoundingly crude and unappealing to the eye, and the text mostly comes off as angry whining. He draws this one gormless blob thing over and over. There is not even a crude sort of energy to his drawings.

To be fair (and this does not account for any issues one may have with the writing), the art is secondary at best to a LOT of web comics. Dinosaur Comics being the prime example.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:05 PM on June 11, 2012


Hoopo: “Are we really in a time where an immature "your mom" joke that is clearly meant to be laughably juvenile to begin with "cancels out" a $33,000 charitable donation?”

Oh, come on now. It's a sexist thing to say. And it wasn't his $30,000. Sure, "cancels out" is kind of silly ("I murdered a guy, but I gave a billion dollars to charity, so I should go free!") but there are clearly upsides and downsides in this whole thing. And that's not even getting into "ways to use a hooker" or "reasons to carry a shovel" or any of the other Oatmeal debacles of the past.
posted by koeselitz at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Plus his day job is SEO.

SEOmoz is a pretty astonishing and valuable resource.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:10 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously? He did a "yo momma".

A perfectly valid response to the legal bullshit he was handed.

Yo Momma : Humor :: That Legal Notice : Law
posted by Revvy at 4:10 PM on June 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


The dude raised $33k forfrom charity in minutes from a large number of apathetic slackers with a simple crass joke.

Shit. Put him in charge of the DNC.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:11 PM on June 11, 2012 [25 favorites]


The only sad part about this is that he's humiliated someone who almost certainly is either incapable of feeling humiliation, or fails to notice it in the way that a fish fails to notice water.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:14 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Okay, Inman, you win this round.

On preview, it's $40K $41K $42K now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:15 PM on June 11, 2012


KokuRyu: “SEOmoz is a pretty astonishing and valuable resource.”

For ruining the internet.
posted by koeselitz at 4:17 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I see Revvy, stupid lawsuit threats make tired sexist jokes okay. I had not gotten that memo, thanks for enlightening me.

Still would prefer picture of lawyer in sock-suspenders doing the bear. It was the lawyer who sent that stupid letter after all.
posted by dabitch at 4:19 PM on June 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


What can I do to help whoever makes Subnormality get this popular?
posted by wobh at 4:20 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


For ruining the internet.

Google is not the internet - it's a commercial platform with "search signals" that are regularly tweaked and discussed by Matt Cutts and others. AFAIK, SEOMoz doesn't target Duck Duck Go or Wolfram Alpha or other "pure" search engines.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:21 PM on June 11, 2012


i didn't like the mom joke so much either but, like with all things theoatmeal, it's best to either not take it in, or squint your eyes to avoid the shit you don't like. being offensive and trading on stereotypes is part of what he does. raising all this money for charity won't change that, but the charity thing is pretty cool in its own right.
posted by nadawi at 4:30 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do we know that letter isn't a forgery?
posted by bh at 4:32 PM on June 11, 2012


How do we know that letter isn't a forgery?

It would be spectacularly stupid to waste that much goodwill on something as easily debunked as a fake feeler from a lawyer, especially a lawyer who is ostensibly representing someone who probably wishes you dead.
posted by Mooski at 4:43 PM on June 11, 2012


So a lawyer and an asshole go into a bar bear BAR...
posted by sneebler at 4:47 PM on June 11, 2012


So can someone catch me up (tl;dr)? When you appropriate other peoples stuff, claiming it as your own and giving them no credit, and make money on it, is it:

1) Perfectly okay as long you don't like the content creator, how he markets his original content and you find what he makes unfunny and/or offensive, or:
2) It is always okay because it's just bits and since it doesn't cost anything to reproduce bits noone should get paid for bits.

Just trying to gauge the ethical bankruptcy of the discourse.
posted by kjs3 at 4:47 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


And that's not even getting into "ways to use a hooker" or "reasons to carry a shovel"

I am not familiar with these debacles. I know almost nothing about The Oatmeal or Funnyjunk. But looking at the list in the link, both of these examples were apparently among the work stolen by FunnyJunk. In the "battle of 2 guys who post sexist shit to the internet that koeselitz hates", one side has an additional your mom joke and a $40,000+ donation to charity, the other steals and publishes the exact same content you hate Inman for.

And it wasn't his $30,000

That is some disingenuous hair-splitting shit right there.

stupid lawsuit threats make tired sexist jokes okay. I had not gotten that memo, thanks for enlightening me.

I don't think it's supposed to make anything "OK". It's an insulting, wrongheaded, ludicrous response to an insulting, wrongheaded, ludicrous lawsuit.
posted by Hoopo at 4:50 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


[Folks? Have a real discussion with the other real adults on this site and don't make us wish that we had made a judgment call and deleted this thread. Maybe dial back the snark if you are trying to be sincerely understood.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:52 PM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


It would be spectacularly stupid to waste that much goodwill on something as easily debunked as a fake feeler from a lawyer, especially a lawyer who is ostensibly representing someone who probably wishes you dead.

I didn't mean forged by The Oatmeal. That would be very stupid. But how do we know who wrote it? Has anyone verified it was actually from that lawyer?
posted by bh at 4:58 PM on June 11, 2012



I don't pretend that this Inman guy is ever going to be my favorite cartoonist.

However, it seems pretty clear that the Funnyjunk people are the kind of assholes that trawl the internet for content, without any sort of compensation for the creators of said content, that whole eBaum's World kind of thing. Indeed, they send threatening lawyer letters to people who they have stolen ( or infringed, or taken without permission, or however the hell you want to say it ) content from, so that they'll stop complaining about how THEY'RE MAKING MONEY FROM THE CREATOR'S CONTENT WITHOUT COMPENSATING THE CREATOR.

But no, all that stuff I just typed out in ALL CAPS isn't important. The fact that a cartoonist drew a cartoon lampooning the mom of the owner of the web site THAT STEALS CONTENT AND DOESN'T COMPENSATE THE CREATORS is the real crime here.

Apparently, some Mefites carry around a huge, byzantine set of cultural bylaws and rules of 'proper' social conduct, and if ANY of them are transgressed, in ANY way, to ANY degree, whatever merits the transgressor demonstrates, they are completely and absolutely DISMISSED, with the transgressor NEVER EVER EVER being forgiven, and their transgressions NEVER EVER EVER forgotten.

Seriously, who would you rather give money to? A guy that says he'll give the money to some worthy charities, or the guy with the lawyer sending threating letters WHO MAKES MONEY...makes money off of other people's work without paying them?

Is that stupid cartoon that bad? Really?

What would you have this Inman guy do? Honestly, what should Inman do to draw this ridiculous situation to a conclusion you can agree with?

This is the reason I'll never feel like I'm truly a part of the Metafilter community.
posted by KHAAAN! at 4:59 PM on June 11, 2012 [62 favorites]


FunnyJunk is not actually what it says in the tin.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:00 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't mean forged by The Oatmeal. That would be very stupid. But how do we know who wrote it? Has anyone verified it was actually from that lawyer?
For whom would it not be very stupid to write a legal letter and falsely sign a real lawyer's name to it?
posted by Flunkie at 5:00 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


theoatmeal.com has been down for a couple hours (from over here at least). I wonder if it's mostly "good" traffic (take that SEO guy! too much traffic!) or if there's any DOS stuff going on. His comic is definitely hit or miss but I love the hits. A lot. I won't bother to link to anything and haven't checked the site out in ages, but I always find some great laughs and the art to me seems a touch above the typical "rage" style. There's a subtle amount of style that I can appreciate even if it's just magically generated by photoshop or whatever.

The charity component here is great. Dude says some shit, money goes to charity. He created value, straight up. Out of nothing, or so it would seem.

I love Metafilter but I am sometimes taken aback by the swooning and vapors when it comes to things like a crude "yo momma" joke. But I acknowledge we all come from different places. Me, a nerdy white boy growing up in a rough black neighborhood where "yo momma" jokes were a fact of life and I've never, ever grown up completely, whatever that even means.

The fact is, most good comedy writers are hit-or-miss. I LOVE Louis CK and Joe Rogan, for the most part. I love their shit. But I cringe every so often and that's OK. I grew up on George Carlin and Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and have been obsessed with comedy films and stand-up ever since. I watched a newer George Carlin special recently and cringed way more than I thought I would.

I think many writers simply have to fail often and publically in order to do well. I think that's supposed to be a common theme in general about like, life 'n stuff.
posted by lordaych at 5:02 PM on June 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Guys, stealing content can be wrong and sexist jokes can still be wrong. I get a lot more mileage out of the Internet since I started letting myself get offended by more than one thing at a time.
posted by milk white peacock at 5:07 PM on June 11, 2012 [47 favorites]


You've got to admire his Internet savvy in combining the appeal with the diss drawing. The Internet: where people are more likely to give to charity if they can do so and kind of be jerks at the same time.
posted by notionoriety at 5:07 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I certainly hope the Oatmeal guy cleared this with HIS lawyer.
posted by HostBryan at 5:11 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A) The laywer's masthead is funny, crappy, and looks very 1988.
B) The lawyer is an idiot. (pterodactyl "evidence" of ill-will? COME ONNN. Due diligence, mang.)
posted by exlotuseater at 5:14 PM on June 11, 2012


For whom would it not be very stupid to write a legal letter and falsely sign a real lawyer's name to it?

A troll?
posted by bh at 5:14 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I certainly hope the Oatmeal guy cleared this with HIS lawyer.

I hope he didn't. I hope he hasn't talked to a lawyer at all about this.

So many problems could be solved so much sooner if people didn't default to siccing lawyers on each other but instead just met, face to face, and honestly hashed things out.

Yeah, I know I how naive that sounds. Funny how our culture has turned honesty into naivete.
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:17 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also I will admit that comedy ("I was just kidding! " is often a refuge for bullies and bigots and joking about our dark side, arguably part of the essence of comedy, may also serve to legitimize it. A tough nut to crack for sure. Preemptive apologies for "swooning and vapors".. it sounded funny at the time but reads a little sexist, even though it's fun to picture men and women swooning alike. I like Bill Maher often but his misogyny blows. Life is a slurry of shits and McFlurries.
posted by lordaych at 5:20 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seriously, who would you rather give money to? A guy that says he'll give the money to some worthy charities, or the guy with the lawyer sending threating letters WHO MAKES MONEY...makes money off of other people's work without paying them?

Neither of them? Is neither of them OK? Because I'd rather keep my money. Or maybe give it to my bartender in exchange for a lovely beverage.
posted by grouse at 5:24 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


if someone, through a lawyer, sends a nastygram that boils down to "pay me $20k because i'm an asshole" you can probably rest assured that sitting down and talking over tea isn't going to be the best bet.

it's like in a divorce where once spouse freezes joint assets, gets a powerful attorney, and starts building a case for full custody, and the other one keeps saying "oh, i don't want this to get nasty. i won't get a lawyer." it's already gotten nasty, now is not the time for kumbaya.
posted by nadawi at 5:26 PM on June 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Since theoatmeal.com is currently being crushed by an overweight bear or the internet or something, I had to look at the post using the nyud.net mirror. It made me wonder: would Inman consider Coral Cache stealing?

Don't get me wrong. FunnyJunk's latest antics are pathetic, and I'm thrilled with his response, but the old post whining about FunnyJunk struck me as pretty damned clueless. I'm not sure what sites like that allow user-uploaded content are supposed to do about copyright infringement. It's the Youtube problem with lower stakes.
posted by brokengoose at 5:26 PM on June 11, 2012


Metafilter: Hot bear hentai got me all flustered and confused.

Been flustered and confused for so long it's not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Lots of people talk and few of them know
Soul of a grizzly was created below

You hurt and abuse bitin' me with your jaws
Almost tore my arm off with your sharp claws
Sweet little baby, I don't know where you've been
Gonna love you baby, here I come again

Every day I work so hard, bringin' home my mammon
Try to love you baby, but you just take my salmon
Don't know where you're goin', only know just where you've been
Sweet little baby, I want you again

Been flustered and confused for so long, it's not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Take it easy baby, let them say that it's true
Will your tongue wag so much when I send you to the zoo?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:29 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure what sites like that allow user-uploaded content are supposed to do about copyright infringement.

They're supposed to take it down when the copyright holder complains. In this case, evidently, they just search-and-replaced "the oatmeal" with "the fag". Maybe that is the correct response, though, I haven't read the entire DMCA.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:30 PM on June 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


He doesn't care THAT much that the guy is stealing his shit. If he did, he'd be issuing take down notices and/or suing him. He cared enough to write a blog post about how much it pissed him off, but that was the extent of it.

He seems a lot more ticked off that the guy is threatening to sue him, but I think if he was really upset about that, he'd have actually like hired a lawyer and countersued.

So basically, this is a notorious self-promoter self-promoting.
posted by empath at 5:31 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


And yeah, as far as I can tell, funny junk is protected by DMCA, and if he wanted his comics taken down, he'd have to follow the DMCA process to get them taken down.
posted by empath at 5:32 PM on June 11, 2012


Actually a billion meh if you're in the "copyright should not exist" camp and have an opinion on image rehosting.
Well, if we don't care how you feel about copyright in general, why would we care what you think our position should be on plagiarism and re-appropriating people's work?

I don't personally care about copyright that much, but I don't have a problem with applying it to commercial use of works, or requiring the original author to be credited.

If people feel that's inconsistent or something, well, who cares? Why should I or anyone else care that you think it's inconsistent?

Also, this guy isn't even suing, he created something and then someone apparently threatened to sue him when he complained about it.
Even if copyright didn't exist as a government grant, some form of it would exist as a type of common law.
Copyright has only existed for a few hundred years. Throughout most of human history it hasn't existed. What an odd comment.

---

Anyway Inman is an annoying SEO d-bag. His drawings suck and his jokes aren't even funny. I'm sure the funnyjunk people are worse but whatever. I'm hardly shedding a tear over here.
Google is not the internet - it's a commercial platform with "search signals" that are regularly tweaked and discussed by Matt Cutts and others. AFAIK, SEOMoz doesn't target Duck Duck Go or Wolfram Alpha or other "pure" search engines.
Yes, and attempting to game that system as resulted in a terrible internet. Google may not "be" the internet but it obviously has a huge influence on the internet. In general, pretty good (especially before the whole Google+ thing) But the problem is that people make money by churning out SEO crap, and so that's what they do, and the result is an internet full of garbage.

It's like if a website that talked about how to spam wasn't a problem because "Your email box isn't the internet". Well, no. But that doesn't change the fact that spam sucks.
Oh, come on now. It's a sexist thing to say. And it wasn't his $30,000. Sure, "cancels out" is kind of silly ("I murdered a guy, but I gave a billion dollars to charity, so I should go free!") but there are clearly upsides and downsides in this whole thing.
*rolls eyes* Yeah because the biggest problem that women face in today's society is that they are more likely to be insulted then their husbands when people are trying to offend their children. Or something. Some of his other comics are problematic I guess by the idea that a "Your momma" joke is somehow degrading to women in general is kind of ridiculous. The whole point of that joke is that people care more about their mom's feelings then their fathers.
posted by delmoi at 5:40 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


It strikes me as odd that he links to silly photos of the lawyer but makes a cartoon of the lawyer's imagined mother. Why not cartoon the lawyer?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:41 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


If a guy stole some of my cartoons, and hosted them, then had the chutzpah to pursue legal action against me because I publicly bitched about the theft, I think I'd have done something similar to what the Oatmeal guy has done.

I tend towards the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. Lawyers and lawsuits are an anathema to me in concept and utterly alien in practice. Maybe it's the same with the Oatmeal guy.
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:42 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, let me get this straight...
Some of you don't like the idea of Inman gathering money for charity, as a kick in the teeth to this awful FunnyJunk "fuckchop". You don't enjoy Imnan's comic strip, so therefore you don't like the fact that he is responding to the threat of litigation with the threat of DONATING TO CHARITY?

Jesus Christ, I thought that metafilter had a better community than this.
posted by newfers at 5:50 PM on June 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


There is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Meh.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on June 11 [1 favorite +] [!]


(tm)
posted by Sebmojo at 5:55 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of his other comics are problematic I guess by the idea that a "Your momma" joke is somehow degrading to women in general is kind of ridiculous. The whole point of that joke is that people care more about their mom's feelings then their fathers.

Most your momma jokes are predicated on the belief that overweight women are gross and embarrassing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:01 PM on June 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm very curious to see how this pans out.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 6:48 PM on June 11, 2012


It strikes me as odd that he links to silly photos of the lawyer but makes a cartoon of the lawyer's imagined mother. Why not cartoon the lawyer?

You've never heard a "Your mama..." joke? Really?
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:58 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most yo' mamma jokes are predicted on having the most snap.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:00 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, I thought that metafilter had a better community than this.

You must be new here.
posted by kjs3 at 7:29 PM on June 11, 2012


It strikes me as odd that he links to silly photos of the lawyer but makes a cartoon of the lawyer's imagined mother. Why not cartoon the lawyer?


8=====D ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't like The Oatmeal. I find it more insulting than funny. I think Inman is an asshole. I pirate download occasional movies and TV shows.

But I also don't like material being reused without attribution, and I particularly dislike extortion attempts by legal weasels.

So I contributed a few dollars to the campaign.

Nevertheless, I intend to use this remark, without attribution, some time in the future.
posted by fredludd at 7:36 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


newfers: Some of you don't like the idea of Inman gathering money for charity

I don't think this accurately describes anyone in this thread. The people in this thread who feel uncomfortable about or actively dislike The Oatmeal are the people who know exactly who its author is. This is a good, quick summary from the Hacker News thread on this:
Matt Iman (guy behind TheOatmeal), was co-founder & original CTO of SEOMoz and left after his side project (Mingle2) blew up in popularity and was acquired.

He mentions in his departing SEOMoz blog post that the company that acquired Mingle2 wanted "to leverage my viral marketing and linkbait abilities" - back in 2007.

Fun to look at this through understanding that he's a SEO guru and viral-marketing genius.

Perfect David vs. Goliath headline, tons raised for charity so he comes out looking flawless, 3220 new inbound links for theoatmeal, etc.

Wow.
It's great that some charities are going to get a goodly influx of cash out of this. I admire those who've donated. The bad aftertaste some of us are experiencing isn't because of the money going to charity, it's because here's another example of how this guy works. He's scary-good at viral marketing and SEO, and, to some of us, the way he uses it to promote The Oatmeal is just bleh.
posted by gilrain at 7:38 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


"FunnyJunk is not actually what it says in the tin."

You're half right.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:57 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know what's more disappointing, that MeFites can't tell the difference between copyright theft and fair-use as commentary, or that they can't tell difference between SEO douchebags and SEOMoz, which are generally regarded as the whitest of white hats in the SEO world.

Either way, the hate-on is ridiculous. Inman knows linkbait, that much is true. But making linkbait does not correlate to open copyright theft.

I'm just imagining a certain set of MeFites in the parable of the Good Samaritan -- "And then a MeFite came upon the Samaritan, but when s/he remembered the Samaritan once posted a '10 Reasons Kittens Are Cute' linkbait post on their blog, s/he passed by on the other side...."
posted by dw at 8:23 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hate that people always link that "someone is wrong on the Internet" thing of his.
posted by Artw at 8:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yo momma so easily offended she saw a group of internet thieves try to misuse the law to bully and extort a guy who draws crude cartoons, and said dude what draws crude cartoons drew a crude cartoon in response AND raised tens of thousands of dollars for a charity she STILL try to both needlessly focus on the 'yo momma' aspect of the crude cartoon AND deconstruct the very concept of the 'yo momma' jokes via overzealous feminist critique DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMNNN
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:40 PM on June 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


Pardon me for not being up on the relative goodness of different SEO groups and generally considering it a douchebaggy field in general.

And for not really rooting for either side in this. On the one hand we have content stealers trying to sue someone for bitching about them doing just that. On the other side we have a guy who makes ugly comics that are often offensive. Am I a bad person for pointing out the faults of the guy presenting himself as the "good guy" even when I agree that the "bad guy" is, in fact, also being a dickweed?

the last straw for google plus, for me, was when they added that "popular content" thing and suddenly the fucking Oatmeal started showing up in my reading page.
posted by egypturnash at 8:43 PM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really do not understand the appeal of the Oatmeal

If you think of it as "Internet Ziggy" it makes more sense.
posted by device55 at 8:46 PM on June 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Some of you don't like the idea of Inman gathering money for charity

Possibly one of two phenomena are occurring here: either those people are way into cancer ('What th- ?! The flyer clearly said this was a Walk For Cancer, dammit!'), or you're misreading criticism of Inman and/or the how of what he's doing (Lazy, sexist, non-sequitery even for The Oatmeal, zinging the lawyer in a weenish way that doesn't really open Inman to retaliation) for criticism of what he is doing (Turning a ridiculous situation into a fund-raiser for good causes).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:53 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How's this then?

For $30K, I'd do a bear while I was dressed up as a prostitute lawyer (you know, like those 80's cheesecake films)...

Then I could pay off those hospital bills from a recent stay...
posted by Samizdata at 9:05 PM on June 11, 2012


It's 500 bones shy of $70,000 as I type this.

I'm looking at this more as "someone did something good" right now. For all his faults, both charities are going to get in excess of $35K. That's pretty good.

If Jerry Sandusky donated his entire estate to a charity which helps victims of sexual abuse right now, I would be happy about that. It wouldn't change how I feel about the guy, nor would I say "typical, trying to save his image" or whatever. I would just let the good thing that just happened be something that makes me feel a little bit better about being alive. So, that's what I'm doing here.
posted by King Bee at 9:11 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's up to 71,000 now.
posted by merelyglib at 9:11 PM on June 11, 2012


um, I think SEO, even if shaddy, is so not on the same level as sex abuse. But, YMMV.
posted by MikeKD at 9:13 PM on June 11, 2012


Well, right. That's sort of the point.
posted by King Bee at 9:16 PM on June 11, 2012


You've never heard a "Your mama..." joke? Really?

Imagine that one had never heard a Yo Mama joke before, and heard one for the first time as an adult. As a kid, of course, we just repeat whatever someone else says without thinking so much about what it means. But as adults, we ought to think about what we say before we say it.

Imagine that the lawyer who sent this idiotic email had been a woman. Do you think her mother would have been the one seducing a bear? Of course not -- it would have been her. In our society, we don't police mens' bodies and mens' sexuality. And that's what's going on here -- that's why the drawing is of a fat woman with varicose veins.

So when we laugh about someone's mother (in this way), what we're really doing is participating in that policing.

Inman is a guy who makes his living by his words (since his artwork is, to put it generously, not what draws one to The Oatmeal). He should think about what he says before he says it.
posted by novalis_dt at 9:18 PM on June 11, 2012 [20 favorites]


Huh. Wonder if posting cartoons on the internet is an attractive nuisance.
posted by maryr at 9:33 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: If you think of it as "Internet Ziggy" it makes more sense.
posted by secretseasons at 9:52 PM on June 11, 2012


I've never considered "Yo mamma" jokes that deeply, novalis_dt. You've given me a lot to think about. Not being sarcastic.
posted by Malice at 10:35 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, quite frankly, if this situation somehow results in both The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk being totally and utterly destroyed and removed from the Internets forever, we should consider that a good outcome.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:40 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So when we laugh about someone's mother (in this way), what we're really doing is participating in that policing.

I beg to differ. "Ya mama" jokes are not about women, or policing the bodies of women, or obesity, they're about hyperbole. The jokes are a form of the dozens, and for anyone who actually has playing the dozens as a part of their culture or childhood knows, the goal in any single joke is not to make commentary about the joke's subject, but to extend the hyperbole above and beyond that of the previous joke. It's a battle of wits, with the goal of besting the other person by outdoing them with an even more hyperbolic, ridiculous statement than any they've come up with. The players don't take the content of the jokes seriously, and while playing, there's a sort of mutual understanding that anything is fair game, because the goal is to be hyperbolic.

( Pause here for a musical interlude )

In this particular case, Inman decided to treat the whole exchange, which is pretty ridiculous, as a game of the dozens. The entire post is structured that way - as the lawyer's letter gets more and more hyperbolic and ridiculous, so do Inman's responses. They culminate with a "ya mama" joke, and it works like pretty much all such jokes - it's an exercise in hyperbole -- he goes farther than he needs to, because that's how the game is played.

I suppose, if one wanted, one could muster up an argument about why people tend to go for the mothers in these jokes and try to make a case that it's because of sexism, but I actually think it's not some insidious sexist thing -- it's actually just a natural extension of the tenderness boys (and often men) feel for their mothers. When playing the dozens, you're supposed to hit below the belt, and dogging someone's mom is as below the belt as it can get, even more so than any other attack. The real reason the lawyer's mom gets drawn seducing a bear and not the lawyer, is because drawing the lawyer doing it won't sting as much. Inman wants it to sting.

Yes, it's uncharitable and mean. But I think that was kind of the point.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:42 PM on June 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


YO MAMA SO SHELTERED SHE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE POINT OF YO MAMA JOKES
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:06 PM on June 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm familiar with The Dozens (and even considered linking to that article in my comment). That there is a cultural tradition of insulting women does not make it acceptable.

The actual content of the insult is very gender-specific. Replacing "mother" with "father" in that joke doesn't work not because men don't care about their fathers, but because we don't have the cultural trope that men who are fat are hideous; that men must to hide their bodies if they're unattractive, that mens' sexuality must be controlled.

When you say that it's not a "insidious sexist thing", you can't possibly mean that it does not involve differential treatment of men and women, since clearly it does. (You even you note that this is something "boys" and "men" say to each other, rather than being something that people in general say to each other. Do boys (men) have feelings for their mothers that are more "tender" than girls (women) do?) So since anyone can see that there is a sex-related difference here (that involves attacking women who aren't involved in the game), you must be saying that it's not *intended* to be sexist. But nobody cares about that (or said anything about that). What matters is the effect: women are told that they should be the target of insults if they're fat.

It wouldn't destroy The Dozens to simply not insult women in these sex-specific ways. It would make it stronger by forcing people to come up with original insults, rather than just regurgitating "Yo Mama" from their mental cache.
posted by novalis_dt at 11:21 PM on June 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


GUYS! Guys, do you not understand that THE POINT OF THE JOKE is that it is CHILDISH, IMMATURE, AND CLICHÉD? Seriously, it is okay to not have noticed that, so long as you understand that it wasn't meant earnestly!

Or, if you want, you can go on a diatribe about Society As A Whole, but then I guess you can't really use that as an excuse to complain about the The Oatmeal guy.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:25 PM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


It would be equally childish and immature to draw the lawyer in sock-suspenders doing a bear. No? If not, why not?
posted by dabitch at 11:30 PM on June 11, 2012


Malice, I actually hadn't considered them that deeply either. But when I read muddgirl's comment, I realized that I should have. Not that I was likely to use them at any rate; I prefer to tell people what they are doing wrong rather than insulting them.

DoctorFedora, nobody thinks it was meant seriously. Why can't jokes be problematic?
posted by novalis_dt at 11:33 PM on June 11, 2012


Mertafilter - where jokes come to be dissected and then die
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 11:43 PM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Malice: "Doesn't TheOatmeal kind of .. trace pictures?"

.. which is legal under copyright law.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:10 AM on June 12, 2012


KokuRyu: "What, pray tell, is an "SEO whore"?"

SEO = Search engine optimization.

The phrase implies that he doesn't actually generate any site content; instead, his site is populated with content harvested by search engines, and thus, all he does is aggregate other people's work. Said work is usually (and certainly in this case) reposted for profit without regard for copyright.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:17 AM on June 12, 2012


Let's try a non-Black&White look at this issue.

FunnyJunk reposted some of The Oatmeal's original work for profit without permission, attribution, nor compensation.

The Oatmeal complained, as is his right. Some of the complaints were childish, which is still his right.

FunnyJunk's owner hired a lawyer to be a dick and extort some money from The Oatmeal, not because of copyright infringement, but because of supposed defamation and loss of (illegal) revenue from the copied Oatmeal comics.

The Oatmeal is far from the funniest thing on the internet. On a scale of 0-10, with 0 being an antisemitic version of Ziggy, and 10 being xkcd, ... he's no xkcd.

The Oatmeal's cartoon response was a childish and misogynistic cartoon. Yes, it's an old trope. So is "Black people steal cars, and like watermelon!" It's funny because it's true!! (wipes tear from eye, chuckles again.)*

The Oatmeal's charity drive produced good results. In that particular respect, he outclassed FunnyJunk.

So, there's good and bad on all sides! (Except, I guess, FunnyJunk. I tried, but I can't think of any good there.)

* (That was a sarcastic joke; I don't think black people all steal cars, and all right-thinking people love watermelon.)
posted by IAmBroom at 12:32 AM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


and all right-thinking people love watermelon

Imagine that you've never heard of a watermelon before...
posted by MattMangels at 1:21 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


and 10 being xkcd

You're just asking to derail this further
posted by palidor at 2:01 AM on June 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


It works if it's actually out of 100 and XKCD is still a 10 and the Oatmeal is still a 0.

Although if the XKCD guy published only one in every four or five comics it could be a 60 or 70.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:07 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently, some Mefites carry around a huge, byzantine set of cultural bylaws and rules of 'proper' social conduct, and if ANY of them are transgressed, in ANY way, to ANY degree, whatever merits the transgressor demonstrates, they are completely and absolutely DISMISSED, with the transgressor NEVER EVER EVER being forgiven, and their transgressions NEVER EVER EVER forgotten.

Yeah, it's victim blaming pur sang, no better than thinking a woman wearing a short skirt was asked to be raped.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:59 AM on June 12, 2012


Metafilter - On a long enough timeline every thread will have a mention of rape.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 3:01 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, hey, thanks for reminding me why I come here less and less.
posted by waraw at 3:11 AM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can't judge Metafilter based on a thread like this, come on. This is like bottom of the barrel Internet navel-gazing coverage. No one likes the Oatmeal guy, no one likes douchebags stealing content and then turning around and demanding money for it, so this thread was inevitably going to be a bunch of shit-stirring. And you're never going to produce gold in a barrel of shit if shit is all you start with. Metaphors.

And sorry, but I'm in favor of people being forced to confront their culturally inherited attitudes towards gender in any context. The Oatmeal guy trades in juvenile humor and it's why a lot of folks don't like him.
posted by palidor at 3:36 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


[Folks need to seriously calm down, and dial back the shouting caps, the ironic racism, the rape metaphors, etc.; you can do better. If you just want to drop in to complain about Metafilter, there's a space for that.]
posted by taz at 3:45 AM on June 12, 2012


Imagine that one had never heard a Yo Mama joke before, and heard one for the first time as an adult. As a kid, of course, we just repeat whatever someone else says without thinking so much about what it means.

Kid at my school used to tell one that involved one's mother being so fat, that people would stand outside McDonald's to watch the numbers change. Aside from it being a mostly white and South Asian place, where there was no cultural history of the dozens, it didn't work because they don't have 'numbers' outside McDonald's in the UK. But he kept repeating it in the hope it would one day turn funny.
posted by mippy at 4:02 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Imagine that the lawyer who sent this idiotic email had been a woman. Do you think her mother would have been the one seducing a bear?

No. It would have been her father getting his poorly-drawn groove on. You really, really don't understand the point of a "Yo Mamma" joke...
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:16 AM on June 12, 2012


No. It would have been her father getting his poorly-drawn groove on. You really, really don't understand the point of a "Yo Mamma" joke...

Man, I have heard a LOT of jokes, and I have never heard a "yo daddy" joke. Not once.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:26 AM on June 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm just imagining a certain set of MeFites in the parable of the Good Samaritan -- "And then a MeFite came upon the Samaritan, but when s/he remembered the Samaritan once posted a '10 Reasons Kittens Are Cute' linkbait post on their blog, s/he passed by on the other side...."

Yeah, this. The guy's doing a good thing. I wish people could appreciate that.

The actual content of the insult is very gender-specific. Replacing "mother" with "father" in that joke doesn't work not because men don't care about their fathers, but because we don't have the cultural trope that men who are fat are hideous; that men must to hide their bodies if they're unattractive, that mens' sexuality must be controlled.

Look, I get that "yo mama" jokes are not tasteful. And many of them do involve the old classic of a variant of "Yo mama so fat..." But seriously, picking on an essentially initially black - culture tradition for its sexism because it dislikes women who are heavier than normal is just...weird. Especially because in fact it's one of the best cultures for accepting women who are larger than the stereotypical beauty standard. As a result of that, for example, there are /also/ "Yo Mama So Skinny" jokes.

The reason why the insult is gender-specific is not because we don't have the cultural tropes about men. It's because the black inner-city community has been systemically destroyed to a point where sometimes, someone's mother would be the only person they would know or count on. It is in fact because many young men engaging in these traditions did not know their fathers, or knew them only as people who weren't around, or who were ineffective providers. Because there's this enormous anti-sexist reversal and history of black women being the providers for the family. There is this enormous tradition of matriarchal culture, which is kind of the opposite of anti-woman sexism, which is, again, why those insults stung.

And there's also this enormous history of white feminists having no knowledge or appreciation for that and getting it completely wrong by imposing their ideas on it. Like for example, the stereotypical example of white feminists coming into black communiities and talking about how lucky black women were because they got to work.
posted by corb at 4:26 AM on June 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


And there's also this enormous history of white feminists having no knowledge or appreciation for that and getting it completely wrong by imposing their ideas on it.

There's also a rich history of white people generally appropriating and using black cultural traditions, to the point where their existence and form can indeed be argued to be separate from its cultural genesis, at least in certain contexts.

...or do you want to tell me all about how Matthew Inman is an African-American inner city child whose father was a poor provider, or grew up in a pervasive culture of the same? Because it looks like while your analysis might well account for the origins of the 'your momma' joke, they don't speak the whole picture about the position it occupies in modern anglophone culture today generally, especially outside of the cultural context it originated in.
posted by Dysk at 4:44 AM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Apparently, some Mefites carry around a huge, byzantine set of cultural bylaws and rules of 'proper' social conduct, and if ANY of them are transgressed, in ANY way, to ANY degree, whatever merits the transgressor demonstrates, they are completely and absolutely DISMISSED, with the transgressor NEVER EVER EVER being forgiven, and their transgressions NEVER EVER EVER forgotten.

Word.

Recently, somebody famous (I can't remember who) posted a really excellent, well-reasoned, well-written essay on income inequality. Really really good stuff. And people on MeFi totally trashed it just because it contained a fat joke. It's like, let's forget about the out-of-control income inequality that's slowly destroying the county. Instead, let's get all bent out of shape because someone made a fat joke.

You know what? I actually try not to get offended by things. I mean yes, some stuff is truly beyond the pale, obviously. But for the most part, I get nothing out of working myself into a lather over small things. I feel no need to be ideologically pure; I'd rather laugh.

Yes, I sometimes find myself at odds with the community here.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:07 AM on June 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think going off on a stupid tangent in a thread about a a really excellent, well-reasoned, well-written essay on income inequality is probably more of an Internet crime than a thread for a story like this going off the rails. I mean, come on, this story is just some Internet Bullshit. If it was up to me, all comments in this thread would just be horrible puns that have nothing to do with the topic.
posted by palidor at 5:25 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was Stephen King explaining why obscenely rich people like himself should pay more taxes. And he took a shot at governor Chris Christie for being fat. Which. Okay, of all the things you can despise that man for...
Anyway I don't like the cartoon because why couldn't the lawyer be a homely bearfucker?
posted by gingerest at 5:31 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think what it comes back to is this need for ideological purity. That, to get behind someone or something, it has to be 100% politically correct free range organic.

I think the picture of the lawyer's mom violating a bear was hilarious. And I'll even take it a step further and posit that the decidedly non-PC humor in this comic (and his other comics) are at least partially responsible for the (ever-growing) charitable donations to these two worthy causes.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:33 AM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't find it funny at all, for reasons that have nothing to do with misogyny. It's like, why is it a bear? Why the lawyer's mom? How are those things important to the "joke"? Like, folks really need to step their non sequitur game up if they expect to humor me; I feel like everything I've read by this Oatmeal guy has similar asides that read like someone without a real handle on comedy thinking that if he throws out some random references or hyperbole or sex acts featuring hyperbolic random references that he is somehow making up for the lack of actual cleverness in his "comics."

Sorry, now I've done what I didn't want to do and contributed my own shit to this big barrel of shit, but I can't help it. And I haven't even tried to explain why disdain for culturally inherited misogyny has nothing to do with being "politically correct"!
posted by palidor at 5:53 AM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look, I get that "yo mama" jokes are not tasteful. And many of them do involve the old classic of a variant of "Yo mama so fat..." But seriously, picking on an essentially initially black - culture tradition for its sexism because it dislikes women who are heavier than normal is just...weird. Especially because in fact it's one of the best cultures for accepting women who are larger than the stereotypical beauty standard. As a result of that, for example, there are /also/ "Yo Mama So Skinny" jokes.

Except Inman's white? What a weird defense.

Like for example, the stereotypical example of white feminists coming into black communiities and talking about how lucky black women were because they got to work.

I think what it comes back to is this need for ideological purity. That, to get behind someone or something, it has to be 100% politically correct free range organic.

My, there are a lot of straw feminists in this thread.

C'mon, guys, yo momma jokes are sexist. A lot of things we love to do as kids are problematic. That doesn't mean you were an evil kid for liking them. That doesn't mean that Inman didn't do some good here. My own response is a lot more wistful than angry. Like, man, wish he could make his point without body policing a random woman who has nothing to do with this. But that's kind of this guy's schtick, and I sure wouldn't fault anyone for feeling turned off by it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:18 AM on June 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Afroblanco - perhaps it's because fat people are really tired of being othered, treated as invisible at best and disgusting at worst. Not long ago a passing reference to poofs wouldn't seem out of place, but the gay folk decided they'd had enough. Now we have the fat acceptance movement, and the knowledge that obesity isn't always just a greed problem but one that can come from a complex mix of social and economic factors (plus, there aren't many bona-fide medical conditions, which morbid obesity is, that we as a culture find hilarious) and it's starting to look less like a lol and more like a cheap shot, a crass comment, offending for its own sake.

I'm not a fat acceptance person - I'm not sure I'm even big enough to join their crew, and for me 'yo momma' jokes are a different thing to abusing people because of their shape or size - but given that income inequality is one of the causes of bad diet which is one of the causes of obesity, I imagine it would have seemed like a weird fit in an article about the same problem.
posted by mippy at 6:20 AM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's also a rich history of white people generally appropriating and using black cultural traditions, to the point where their existence and form can indeed be argued to be separate from its cultural genesis, at least in certain contexts.

Oh, this is totally legitimate! I was just commenting on the idea that all of the "Yo Mama" jokes were coming from a place of sexism and a devaluing of females. I don't know that I agree that the existence and form can be separated, but I definitely think that to say, "Hey, he's appropriating a tradition that he may not have claim to," is a valid criticism.

I mean, I think there's a lot of interesting thought there, in the cultural transmission of this particular tradition to different social but similar economic groups, and then to completely different social and economic groups. But none of that is "Yo Mama Jokes Are Sexist."
posted by corb at 6:44 AM on June 12, 2012


Okay, how about 'yo mama jokes are sexist in the sort of cultural context we're dealing with here'?
posted by Dysk at 7:34 AM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Much like the Swastika is a traditional Indian symbol with entirely benign meanings, but in a Western European context, it's still a racist symbol.
posted by Dysk at 7:36 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I sometimes find myself at odds with the community here

Without going through the comments and doing a proper tally, it feels to me like this FPP is fairly evenly balanced between "Inman's Done A Good Thing, I Just Don't Like Him Or How He Went About It" and "Inman's Done A Good Thing, Stop Beanplating And Being So Sensitive". It's silly and uncharitable to complain about how you feel 'at odds with the community' without seeming to consider that the Francises who need to lighten up may be feeling at odds with the community themselves. Characterizing them as dogmatic zealots isn't doing anyone any favours.

Recently, somebody famous (I can't remember who) posted a really excellent, well-reasoned, well-written essay on income inequality. Really really good stuff. And people on MeFi totally trashed it just because it contained a fat joke.

Oh, totally! Trashed! Trashed! Totally!

You can count on one hand the number of comments in that 200+ FPP addressing the fat joke. There's a weird I Know The REAL Hollywood dick-measuring thing in there that's way more disruptive. Stop being so sensitive to the sensitivity of others and lighten up, Francis.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:47 AM on June 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Slap*Happy: "Imagine that the lawyer who sent this idiotic email had been a woman. Do you think her mother would have been the one seducing a bear?

No. It would have been her father getting his poorly-drawn groove on. You really, really don't understand the point of a "Yo Mamma" joke...
"

"Yo Daddy"/"Yo Mama" = 1/20
"Yo Papa"/"Yo Mama" = 1/100

Survey says: Unlikely.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:03 AM on June 12, 2012


"Yo Mama so likely to get caught up on hyperspecific criticisms of minutiae..."
"Yo Mama so prone to measure cultural standbys based on benchmarks from a completely different social viewpoint..."

nope, still doesn't have the simple ring of "Yo Mama so hard to buy shoes for..."
posted by FatherDagon at 8:18 AM on June 12, 2012


Yo mamma has no biological offspring as you are adopted.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yo mamma so fat, she is in a higher risk category for deep vein thrombosis.

(Am I doing this right? Mods plz check)
posted by mippy at 8:23 AM on June 12, 2012


This thread leaves me disinclined to give up yo' momma slams, or on reading the Oatmeal, or on considering myself a feminist despite all that.

My momma such a strong, independent-minded woman, she taught me not to take offense on behalf of others with regards to yo' momma jokes.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:28 AM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


corb, there's nothing specific to black communities about insulting someone's mother.

And it appears that, cross-culturally, the insults are almost always about womens' bodies (fat or thin, there's still policing going on) and sexuality.
posted by novalis_dt at 8:29 AM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yo' Momma is a twenty foot tall biomechanical monstrosity that says HSSSSS and SKREEEEE and reproduces via a gross multistage process involving a larval form placed within an unwilling host.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on June 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Couple years ago, while teaching a high school English Language Learners class, the topic of Yo' Momma slams came up. In a class of Somalis, Turkish Russians, Malaysians, Mexicans and many more, it was universally agreed that insulting someone's mother was a dire offense... but when I said someone's momma was so fat she had to pay long distance when she talked to herself, everybody got a good laugh.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:41 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yo mama votes for politicians who promote disastrous oligarchical economic policies that leave worse off due to their pandering to her overly-rigid religious beliefs particularly regarding gay marriage.
posted by Artw at 8:47 AM on June 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Achewood completeness theorum, satisfied twice over.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:59 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, I was originally in the camp of "all yo mama jokes are sexist," but after explaining this thread to my boyfriend over tea last night I realized I'm not firm on that, though i don't buy the counterargument floated by some that such jokes are actually a gesture of repect towards women and their disproportionate contributions to the family.

However, this particular yo mama joke, with the oversexed fat lady with enormous veiny boobs spilling out of her ill-fitting red bra, is definitely sexist. I STILL THINK THE BURN SCORED AGAINST THE LAWYER, AND THE CHARITY FUNDRAISING AND EVERYTHING ARE AWESOME. I'm just mildly chagrined about the sexism.
posted by milk white peacock at 9:04 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yo mama so technologically naive that she retweets improbable quotes from fake celebrity accounts without first checking their provenance.
posted by elizardbits at 9:11 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yo mama is a cosmic principle of universal motherhood revered throughout the aeons and her curves are a symbol of her fecundity.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yo mama is so misguided and unconsciously swayed by the pervasive influence of modern society's patriarchal bent that she honestly believes the Twilight series is the romantic coming of age story of a healthy and loving relationship to which all young girls should aspire.
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 AM on June 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Yo' Mama likes Coldplay.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on June 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hi, back in this thread to explain why I don't like Inman's joke (BUT IT'S STILL AWESOME THAT HE RAISED MONEY I'M SHOUTING THIS SO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I GET THIS).

I'm a fat lady. Someday I will have kids. Those kids will probably be socially inept weirdos who step on the toes of people like Inman. Inman-Model-T will then send them this photo of a grotesque characture of me trying to rape a bear. No matter how thick my skin is in 20 years, that's going to make me feel like shit. I didn't do anything to Inman-Model-T. It's worse than a 'yo mamma' joke, because it's not even hyperbole. I don't even know where yo mamma jokes came in to this. "Yo mamma so fat she gonna fuck a bear" doesn't make a lick of sense. No kid would laugh at that. They'd probably walk away shaking their head. "Yo mamma so fat she is grotesque" also is not a joke - it's just a statement of cultural truth.

And as a fat woman, with stretch marks on my boobs, it still makes me feel like shit.
posted by muddgirl at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


This discussion has gotten a bit heated, so I thought I'd cool things off with the most offensive picture on the Internet.
posted by lukemeister at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2012



What if the guy who made cartoons from Metafilter comments sued Metafilter for talking about it?


posted by mmrtnt at 12:06 PM on June 12, 2012


If I got cut off in traffic and could point my finger and get people to pony up $100k for child-safety seats for the poor and a burn unit, would I be a bad person for flipping off the other driver and laying on my horn like a snack-trained lab monkey with OCD?

Also, your direct ancestor of weaker gender is so corpulent he/she was required to remit ten dollars for Metafilter access.


posted by mmrtnt at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


weaker???
posted by waraw at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2012


Take yer pick. Equal opportunity derision.
posted by mmrtnt at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2012


Wow, hey, thanks for reminding me why I come here less and less.
posted by waraw at 3:11 AM on June 12 [4 favorites +] [!]


Not to derail, but I've been around since 2001 (lurked long-term before getting an account) and I haven't really noticed any difference in the way people comment on threads. I just kind of thing that's an excuse to stop reading things you don't like to read. Which, by the way, is perfectly fine and acceptable.
posted by Malice at 5:15 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


thing=think*
posted by Malice at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2012


The Oatmeal tweets:
Also, just to be clear I drew FJ's mother making saucy advances on the Kodiak bear, not the lawyer's. I wouldn't disrespect bears like that.
posted by dabitch at 5:30 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I came here from parts elsewhere because I was hoping the thread here would clear up a question I have. It hasn't (unless I missed something), so let me ask about something I don't understand.

Inman has raised about $100,000 at this point. The lawyer for Funnyjunk demanded $20,000. So what is the plan here -- that the lawyer get his $20,000 and the remaining $80,000 go to the two charities?

Because charities are good, certainly, but it seems like a bad idea, that encourages this kind of stupid litigious behaviour, to just cough up the 20 grand, even if it gets Inman off the financial hook for it. I mean the whole thing is a grand fuck you, which I like, with happy results in some ways, but if that's the plan, it still means the lawyer and his douchey clients come out of this 20 grand richer for floating the idiotic defamation thing, doesn't it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2012


I think the plan is, Funnyjunk and his lawyer get zero, no matter how much money is raised. Inman has stated he will send the Funnyjunk guy a picture of the money he raises, and the cartoon of Funnyjunk's mom making advances on the bear, with the actual money received by Inman being split between the two charities.
posted by KHAAAN! at 6:50 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


He isn't going to give the money to the lawyer. I think he is saying I could give you guys 20 grand if I wanted instead the money is going to a Good Cause. It's interesting because the case will still stand if the lawyer files and Oatmeal guy will still have to go to court.
posted by meech at 6:51 PM on June 12, 2012


Hmm, OK, thanks. So if it does go to court, Inman's going to be out of pocket for legal expenses? I guess hopefully it won't come to that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 PM on June 12, 2012


Yeah Stavros, I'm with KHAAAN! (file under: things I never thought I'd say) lawyer & FunnyJunk get zip, charities get so much more! Yeay and happy rainbow unicorn bro-hugs.
posted by dabitch at 8:06 PM on June 12, 2012


Just out of curiosity, what proof are we getting that he's actually giving every bit of that money to charity? He only claimed he was giving $20,000 to charity. That's all he promised. Will we get to see the end result?
posted by Malice at 9:22 PM on June 12, 2012


Update, with response from FunnyJunk's lawyer

Just out of curiosity, what proof are we getting that he's actually giving every bit of that money to charity? He only claimed he was giving $20,000 to charity. That's all he promised. Will we get to see the end result?

I don't know, you could ask him on Twitter if you're worried about it.
posted by grouse at 9:35 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And further," said Carreon, "blurpedy derp derp derp."
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:25 PM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Someone should report Carreon to the bar for professional misconduct. That letter of demand was a freaking travesty, and nothing short of extortion. What a complete and total douche.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:38 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Carreon tells me that Inman's blog post was interpreted as a complaint — similar to a DMCA takedown notice — and that the content the cartoonist listed in it was removed from the FunnyJunk website promptly. He also explains that he believes Inman's fundraiser to be a violation of the terms of service of IndieGoGo, the website being used to collect donations, and has sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign."
posted by waraw at 2:45 AM on June 13, 2012


Wait, how in the world could he interpret the fundraiser as a violation of the terms of service of IndieGoGo? And doesn't this make him kind of a bigger jackass, for trying to shut down a fundraising campaign designed to go to curing cancer and the American Wildlife Society?
posted by corb at 4:13 AM on June 13, 2012


and has sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign

Profiting from the theft of other people's artwork = GOOD
Donating money to cancer research = BAD

i see
posted by elizardbits at 5:46 AM on June 13, 2012


"I don't like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant," [Carreon] added, referencing the drawing Inman posted.

vs.

"In the deepest sense, the essence of the dozens lies not in the insults but in the response of the victim. To take umbrage is to be considered an infantile response. Maturity and sophistication bring the capability to suffer the vile talk with aplomb at least, and, hopefully, with grace and wit. ... John Leland writes that the loser of the Dozens is the one who takes his opponent's words at face value, therefore ending his own performance in the back-and-forth exchange. *
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:02 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Perhaps some rude Oatmeal followers did actually send true threats or abuse to Charles Carreon's office — which I condemn. That's morally wrong and not helpful to the cause of free speech; it's harmful. But I fail to see why Charles Carreon sending that threat letter is more legitimate, admirable, or proper than ten thousand Oatmeal fans sending back the message that Charles Carreon is a petulant, amoral, censorious douchebag."
posted by waraw at 10:49 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Oatmeal's lawyer's response containing no bears.
posted by waraw at 10:56 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


$169,205 raised so far with 11 days remaining. Wow!
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on June 15, 2012


You do realize that he doesn't actually know the guy's mother and that's just a tongue-in-cheek generic spin on doing the dozens, right? No rational person could be insulted by that. Which admittedly says nothing about the reactions of SEO whores generally or lawyers of this particular type.

I feel that it is possible that a rational person could be insulted by that, for most definitions of rational.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:04 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: “Insulting someone's mother in a very specifically stereotypical way is an asshole thing”

George_Spiggott: “You do realize that he doesn't actually know the guy's mother and that's just a tongue-in-cheek generic spin on doing the dozens, right? No rational person could be insulted by that. Which admittedly says nothing about the reactions of SEO whores generally or lawyers of this particular type.”

What? Nobody is under the impression that anybody was deeply insulted or anything. "Asshole thing" = "obnoxiously sexist thing that perpetuates obnoxious sexist stereotypes." I would warrant that it's pretty hard to argue that that isn't the case.
posted by koeselitz at 12:27 PM on June 15, 2012


Lawyer Tries And Fails To Shut Down The Oatmeal's Charitable Fundraiser
Lawyer Charles Carreon's attempt to shut down Web cartoonist The Oatmeal's taunting charitable fundraiser has been denied, according to Indiegogo, the service used to collect the money. Carreon, who threatened to sue The Oatmeal (alias Matthew Inman) for defaming FunnyJunk.com if he didn't pay Carreon $20,000, has complained that the fundraiser violated Indiegogo's terms of service.

... Carreon told MSNBC that he believed that the fundraiser violated Indiegogo's terms of use, and "sent a request to disable the fundraising campaign."

"Charles Carreon did indeed reach out to Indiegogo with this complaint," Indiegogo told Ars in an e-mail. The company was working with its lawyer "to make sure everything was legit about the campaign," and determined it hasn't "seen any behavior to cause them to believe that this campaign doesn’t comply with their terms of service."

While that skirmish was lost, the fundraiser surged to $170,000 after just three days. Inman said he will choose two more charities in addition to the initial two among which he will divide the money. The campaign will continue on unimpeded for the 11 days that remain.
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're not going to believe this, but this douchecanoe is actually suing IndieGoGo and the two charities now...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by grouse at 6:02 PM on June 17, 2012


Yeah, he's a disgrace to the profession and pretty much a terrible human being.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:09 PM on June 17, 2012


I mentioned this in the MeTa thread, but this is the action of a crazy person, right? I mean like Orly Taitz level crazy?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:30 AM on June 18, 2012


I mentioned this in the MeTa thread, but this is the action of a crazy person, right? I mean like Orly Taitz level crazy?

No, I think it's just the act a stupid, entitled, selfish asshole. Assuming that he's mentally ill just lets him off the hook. He's entirely in control - he's just a total dick.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:01 AM on June 18, 2012


I believe the above links already cover this but :
FunnyJunk Sues the Oatmeal Over TM and "Incitement To Cyber-Vandalism"

Can we all agree to avoid directly linking FunnyJunk now?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:09 AM on June 18, 2012


I guess we answered the question "who likes cancer?"
posted by Artw at 7:20 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're not going to believe this, but this douchecanoe is actually suing IndieGoGo and the two charities now...

"But that level of censorious litigiousness was not enough for Charles Carreon. He sought something more. And so, on that same Friday, Charles Carreon also sued the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, the beneficiaries of Matthew Inman's fundraiser."

You're right, no matter how many times I read this, I can't quite believe it's real. Wow.
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


FunnyJunk's lawyer gave money to The Oatmeal's fundraiser: You gotta give if you wanna sue.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on June 18, 2012


So... The initial point of this was that they were worried about their public image, right?
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's getting to the point where FJ will be able to sue Carreon for loss of business and damage to their name.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:10 PM on June 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hugs and Sexy Bear Kisses.

The Oatmeal responds to the latest batch of lawsuits.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:26 PM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is exactly like 256's Ask response where the OP describes being accosted and threatened by a guy who parked in his driveway for a smoke. Except in slow motion. With lawsuits. And lots of collateral damage. And we know exactly how it ends: someone, like a judge, or the Bar association, is going to come along and grab this Carreon by the scruff of the neck and say, cut it out, and if he doesn't cut it out, they're going to take away his toys and send him to his room without any supper.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:56 PM on June 18, 2012


FunnyJunk's lawyer gave money to The Oatmeal's fundraiser: You gotta give if you wanna sue.

He may have standing because of his donation, but he has utterly no case. The new suit alleges that Inman is a 'commercial fundraiser', and has failed to comply with the obligations imposes on such entities.

But! From the California Attorney General's site:
What is a commercial fundraiser for charitable purposes?

A commercial fundraiser for charitable purposes is defined as any individual, corporation, or other legal entity who for compensation does either of the following:

1. Solicits funds, assets, or property in California for charitable purposes.

2. As a result of a solicitation of funds, assets, or property in this state for charitable purposes, receives or controls the funds, assets, or property solicited for charitable purposes.

3. Employs, procures, or engages any compensated person to solicit, receive, or control funds, assets, or property for charitable purposes.

(See here for a complete definition.)
Inman is not being compensated - he's giving it all to charity. The case against Inman fails, because he doesn't meet the definition of a commercial fundraiser.

However, IndieGoGo may have a problem, as they are receiving the funds and being compensated for doing so. I can't figure out whether they are a registered commercial fundraiser, but they host lots of charitable fundraising.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:56 PM on June 18, 2012


Ack! Sorry about the formatting error. The last two lines are me.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:04 PM on June 18, 2012


I can't figure out whether they are a registered commercial fundraiser, but they host lots of charitable fundraising

Seems to me that IndieGoGo isn't raising the funds, so much as providing the tools to do so. It'd be like suing Visa because someone used their credit card.

Ooh! Someone suggest that to Carreon!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:37 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we somehow trick him into suing himself does he dissapear in a puff of smoke?
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on June 19, 2012


No - he only grows stronger.
posted by maryr at 6:58 AM on June 19, 2012


Inman is not being compensated

Perhaps not monetarily, but I bet he's going to get a good deal of pleasure photographing the big pile of money to send to Carreon. He's only human.
posted by waraw at 9:53 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you start visiting their website, and following their comments on other sites, both of them (the lawyer and his wife) are pretty scary, in a time cube/time bomb kind of way.
posted by BurnChao at 6:59 PM on June 19, 2012


Carreon plans to supoena Ars Technica and Twitter to uncover his twitter imposter.
posted by waraw at 12:49 PM on June 20, 2012


"It's much harder for me to personify Charles Carreon as a force of evil after speaking with him."
posted by morganw at 4:42 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


even after reading the interview morganw posted, he still seems like a complete idiot. it's like claiming that because GTA has violence, and jack thompson went after GTA, and the fans of GTA went after jack thompson, than GTA is responsible for that. also, comparing the oatmeal to walt disney's propaganda films is looney toons and desperately out of touch.
posted by nadawi at 5:14 PM on June 20, 2012


I note that he doesn't actually answer the question.

Also... He his name trademarked?
posted by Artw at 6:10 PM on June 20, 2012


Also... He his name trademarked?

Distressingly common, now that the whole "dilution of trademark" idea has become fashionable.

Largely due to the lumping of what is essentially a consumer protection program under the recent concept of "intellectual property."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:37 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


> he still seems like a complete idiot

But a human idiot, not a be-horned, trident-carrying idiot. He doesn't even seem like an idiot to me, just someone who needs to take not just a walk around the block, but a walk around the state to cool off and get some perspective.
posted by morganw at 9:45 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


i guess we just took different things from that interview. his justification for trying to shut down the charity drive is that they didn't file the proper paperwork. that's like someone trying to shut down a special olympics because the parking lot isn't zoned for it. he got embarrassed and so he's lashing out in the weirdest ways and stomping his feet. evil or just idiotic, i'm not sure - but i do agree that he could use a nice long walk.
posted by nadawi at 11:34 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Electronic Frontier Foundation will defend The Oatmeal.
posted by waraw at 4:18 PM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Popehat's eviceration of Carreon's complaint is beautiful.
posted by waraw at 10:40 PM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, he's kinda right. Inman did sic the Internet on him. And that's kind of obnoxious. Yeah, I don't know if there's a legal recourse in that kind of situation, but it'd be nice if there were.
posted by koeselitz at 11:50 PM on June 21, 2012


The thing is, he's kinda right. Inman did sic the Internet on him.

No, he didn't. Inman merely pointed out that an utter bastard was trying to blackmail him. The good burghers of the internet went after Carreon on their own. Inman did not ask anyone to do anything, and later specifically requested that his supporters not pester the douchecanoe.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:15 AM on June 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Internet's most hated man -- "Ars Technica goes one-on-one with FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon."
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


“Whenever one loses control of a trademark, they are in danger of their image,” Carreon said. “It’s one thing to say, ‘He’s a jerk because he issues a legal demand to someone like Oatmeal—like Mr. Inman.' People want to say that’s a scumbag thing to do. That comes with the territory.”

But what crosses the line is when someone else starts making statements using words like “idiot” or “dumbass,” he says, which were used on the fake account.


What an idiot. Also, dumbass.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:08 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Carreon is tilting at windmills. He is apparently also an attention-seeking asshat.

Inman has become the one true love of this modern-day Don Quixote. That is a terrifying prospect. Dealing with DQs can be exhausting. It. Never. Ends.

On the other hand, perhaps Carreon and Inman are just balancing out one-anothers' karmic load. -1 x -1 = 1.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:33 PM on June 22, 2012


"Tara Carreon disagrees with the view that much of the hate directed at the Carreons is typically over-the-top, unserious Internet ranting"

Interesting, in the context of the Anita Sarkeesian harassment case

Where's the Jay Smooth video defending those who are legal bullies who are then internet bullied?
posted by morganw at 10:16 AM on June 26, 2012


FunnyJunk attorney ropes California Attorney General into The Oatmeal lawsuit
posted by homunculus at 10:41 AM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Total amount raised before Indegogo's cut: $220,024
posted by waraw at 6:18 AM on June 27, 2012


FunnyJunk lawyer aims to halt distribution of "BearLove" money: Carreon adds to lawsuit against Inman—asking no money go to him, ACS, or NWF.
posted by homunculus at 4:46 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kurt Opsahl, Senior Staff Attorney, EFF: Bears Good, Cancer Bad. Also Bad: Trying to Punish A Critic by Preventing Him from Giving Money to Charity.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Indiegogo's Opposition To Carreon's Application For Temporary Restraining Order.
posted by ericb at 1:25 PM on July 2, 2012


Carreon sued for declaratory relief after he threatens anonymous owner of charles-carreon.com.
posted by waraw at 7:06 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aaaaand, it appears that he's dropped the lawsuit.
posted by neewom at 5:23 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Such a disappointing document.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 7:00 PM on July 3, 2012


Aaaaand, it appears that he's dropped the lawsuit.

Aw! And my pitchfork was all sharp and everything.

But really, hooray! Douchebag admits defeat, is publicly humiliated, and his professional reputation, such as it is, is destroyed. Charities get money, Inman gets satisfaction. A good result.

Ideally, everyone would work to destroy Carreon now for his malicious SLAPP suits, but I doubt that anyone can be bothered.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:19 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw! And my pitchfork was all sharp and everything.

Well, you could point it my way. I have a few bales of hay I need to move (not really).

See, that's the thing - he didn't admit defeat. Indeed, he's proclaiming a victory:
But while it may look like Carreon has come to his senses, Ars called Carreon to comment, and found him declaring the lawsuit a success. "Mission Accomplished," Carreon announced on the phone with Ars.
Bonus quote from that article:
After asking for comment on his voluntary dismissal of charges, Carreon lilted over the phone, "I'm famous, I'm notorious."
Sick, isn't it? Especially considering that this was dropped without prejudice, meaning that he could just take this up at another time. Still want to know what FunnyJunk's admin think of all this.
posted by neewom at 10:39 PM on July 3, 2012


After asking for comment on his voluntary dismissal of charges, Carreon lilted over the phone, "I'm famous, I'm notorious."

For being an incompetent asshole. Nobody in their right mind would hire him now. The old adage 'any publicity is good publicity' has never been more wrong.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


via the oatmeal's twitter - As promised, here's the photo of $211,223 in cash we raised for charity
posted by nadawi at 4:21 PM on July 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Rapeutation": Charles Carreon still not done with The Oatmeal. Lawyer remains angry about "Distributed Internet Reputation Attack."
posted by homunculus at 5:38 PM on July 10, 2012


The Carreon Effect: The act of doubling and then quadrupling down on an untenable position.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:10 PM on July 10, 2012


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