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September 12, 2010 4:39 PM   Subscribe

The San Luis Obispo County Sherrif's Department has an important warning for parents.
posted by empath (76 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, fuck.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:40 PM on September 12, 2010


If only they wore special suits and decals....
posted by acheekymonkey at 4:43 PM on September 12, 2010


Inside of five years I expect to see a TV news segment about Boxxy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because.... why? Because pedophiles want to be publicly identified using a symbol so they can wave to each other on the highway? Pedobear is the equivalent of a rainbow flag sticker, or something? Pedo Pride?

Sometimes the "authorties" can be a bit foolish.
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Although there have been no reported sightings of the image on the Central Coast, individuals dressed in the bear costume and car decals have been seen in Southern California."

Wow its a good thing they warned everyone to BOLO for something that no one does!
posted by MrLint at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2010


The Gawker story would have made a (marginally) better post.
posted by Gator at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


If anyone from the Sheriffs office is reading this, they can check out this link to the pedophile ring that is currently using this as their mascot.
posted by dr_dank at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Doesn't anyone in this sheriff department have a nephew to explain 4chan?
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2010 [11 favorites]




Then there's the Goatse gang. They run the west end of town. East end, that's the Tubgirls. And of course Leeeeeeeerooooy Jeeenkins, the power behind the throne.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:50 PM on September 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


...individuals dressed in the bear costume and car decals have been seen in Southern California.

Ten bucks says the sighting was at SDCC.
posted by griphus at 4:51 PM on September 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Someone needs to inform these folks about a grave threat to our kittens.
posted by felix betachat at 4:52 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's easier to fear the fake evil that you can see than the true evil that you can't.
posted by SNWidget at 4:53 PM on September 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ok that article and this thread have me laughing out loud. This totally made my night.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:53 PM on September 12, 2010


I wonder how many years it's going to take until people can't be routinely tricked into believing that something is dangerous about the internet. I'd guess ten, give or take two. It was about ten years ago that it was a common stand-up-comic-type complaint that people spent too much time yapping on their tiny tiny cell phones; now it's just something people do. Same way with the alleged hilarity of "fancy" coffee drinks. A time will come when people don't believe this kind of thing any more than they would believe that Disney is trying to slip subliminal sex messages into its movies.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:54 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I kind of expected to see "Also, don't forget that D&D leads directly to satanism" in the footnotes.
posted by mhoye at 4:56 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Next: PETA warns people not to feed their cats cheezburgers, no matter how bad they DO WANT them.
posted by HostBryan at 4:57 PM on September 12, 2010 [28 favorites]


Honestly, if I were the guy in the Pedobear outfit at comic-con, I'd sue the shit out of them for slander.
posted by empath at 4:57 PM on September 12, 2010


This is even BETTER than the Scarlett Letter.
posted by Senator at 4:58 PM on September 12, 2010


Ten bucks says the sighting was at SDCC.

Apparently, it was.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:58 PM on September 12, 2010


Checking the department's press release page, I'm not seeing anything related to this... could someone have hoaxed the news?
posted by HuronBob at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2010


I bet they sit around all day doing jenkem.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know we all love a good "cops suck and are dumm amirite" thread, but the Gawker story shows that it's not quite as bad as people think.
posted by Gator at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2010


I think SLOCSD got their grubby little mitts on those LSD Mickey Mouse stamps Grandma warned me about.
posted by codswallop at 5:01 PM on September 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


LOL! I went to an anime convention in May and someone was there dressed as Pedobear. He chased a bunch of teenage girls who were screaming gleefully. I laughed, then realized that there was no way I could explain why this was funny to anyone who doesn't get internet humour.
posted by Calzephyr at 5:02 PM on September 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


the child snatchers could use the chips that some sheriff offices encourage parents to implant in their children:

Without real security, RFID chips could actually make preschoolers more vulnerable to tracking, stalking, and kidnapping. Someone who wants to do children harm could potentially sit in a car across the street and scan the children’s jerseys without teachers, school officials, parents, or children ever knowing that any information has been read. And if this information can be read, it can be copied easily to a duplicate chip. A child could be taken off campus while the duplicate chip continues to tell RFID readers that the child is safely at school.

http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty/dont-let-schools-chip-your-kids
posted by robbyrobs at 5:04 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"could someone have hoaxed the news?"

Or somebody in the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department did in fact have a nephew to explain 4chan to them and it was pulled.
posted by MikeMc at 5:18 PM on September 12, 2010


That makes me a sad panda.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:19 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I feel like if police officers had 4chan explained to them, it would somehow not make them feel better.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:26 PM on September 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


   ∩_____∩ 
   | ノ     ヽ
  /   ●   ● | 
  |    ( _●_) 
 彡、    |∪|   \
/ __  ヽノ  /´>  )
(___)   / (_/
 |      /
 |  /\ \
 | /   ) )
 ∪    (  \
       \_)
posted by killdevil at 5:29 PM on September 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


"beware of the image"? marshall mcluhan's rolling over in his fucking grave.
posted by kitchenrat at 5:37 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The chosen mascots of the 2010 Canadian Olympics caused quite a stir.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 5:44 PM on September 12, 2010


marshall mcluhan's rolling over in his fucking grave

Ooh ooh can I quote from Debord's Society of the Spectacle again?

18. When the real world is transformed into mere images, mere images become real beings—dynamic figments that provide the direct motivations for a hypnotic behaviour...
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:44 PM on September 12, 2010


Then there's the Goatse gang. They run the west end of town. East end, that's the Tubgirls. And of course Leeeeeeeerooooy Jeeenkins, the power behind the throne.

When can I buy my "Rickroll" sticker at Hot Topic?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:07 PM on September 12, 2010


If only pedophiles actually had a obvious costume. Instead, the real ones dress up as 'neighbors', 'relatives', and 'priests'.
posted by benzenedream at 6:08 PM on September 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I remember about the LSD stickers. Then there were the endless e-mails about gang initiations where someone blinks their headlights.... Oh please.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:15 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are two groups of people in the United States. Apparently only one group actually understands the internet.

I am both greatly appalled and greatly amused by this story.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:21 PM on September 12, 2010


Hopefully they won't react like the Boston PD bomb squad did to the Mooninites.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:38 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn, and I was gonna wear my pedobear outfit to Poly Royal this year.

Do they still have Poly Royal since the beer riot of the 1990?
posted by Xoebe at 6:42 PM on September 12, 2010


Shit. Just when I got the new paint job on my van.
posted by sanko at 6:50 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I never got that ASCII art. Is that supposed to be a bear with a peg leg?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:55 PM on September 12, 2010


You know, I've tried to explain pedobear to normal people. You know, folks who don't read 4chan and watch Youtube video about memes and don't spend a lot of time thinking about Internet metacommentary. It doesn't go very well.

It's very hard to explain the concept of Pedobear. "He's a cute bear, a mascot for men who rape little girls! Only it's ironic. See, really, it's making fun of pedophiles. Or people who post child porn on this Internet forum.." Usually about then I start looking for an exit.
posted by Nelson at 7:08 PM on September 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Damn. My adopted hometown was just starting to get over the humiliation of the "Annie the Dog" story (a custody battle over a lost dog that turned into third-party threats) that was literal front-page news here for weeks. But this hasn't been our Sheriff's department's most embarrassing incident lately (no, I'm not linking).

If I can say a couple good things about San Luis Obispo, it is the home of iFixit and Cal Poly, the local college's football team just upset the #1 team in Division 2 (with a quarterback who may be a relative of ALF).

And Weird Al. Don't forget Weird Al. This town has a reputation for being able to laugh at itself. It's really gonna need it now.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:34 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Road trip followed by costume party/parade! Who's with me?
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 8:03 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's very hard to explain the concept of Pedobear.

This is how I explain Pedobear:

"Can you imagine looking at society, seeing how completely screwed up it is, and being so depressed that you have to self-medicate with laughter just to make yourself feel better?

Yeah? Now laugh. Feels good doesn't it?

Hahaha.. Yeah. You feel that? Pedobear's inside you."
posted by hanoixan at 9:01 PM on September 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


Ten bucks says the sighting was at SDCC.

You know, when I saw Pedobear pull over a four-year-old and give her free candy at SDCC, all I did was pull off to the side of the aisle and nearly pass out laughing.

Especially when she ran back to her parents all "DADDY DADDY I GOT CANDY."

That's probably why I'm going to hell.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


I think SLOCSD got their grubby little mitts on those LSD Mickey Mouse stamps Grandma warned me about.

I saw this flyer when I was 13 or 14. Also the LSD-on-phone-handles one. Even at that time I thought "one of us doesn't understand the drug economy and I'm pretty sure it's not me."
posted by griphus at 9:10 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ten bucks says the sighting was at SDCC. --Griphus

But of course.
posted by Lukenlogs at 9:12 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is an amusing coincidence, as I have a Pedobear pamphlet* I need to put together for con security for an upcoming anime/comics/sci-fi convention. As a meme-aware person (who has posted their share of image macros), it's a frustrating position to be in, but I have to acknowledge:

1) The San Luis Obispo County Sherrif's Department is not the first to misrepresent the "threat" of Pedobear. It happens a lot. And once people get a whiff of a threat vs children, it's pretty hard to quell, especially considering the next point:

2) There's a significant number of people who cannot (or will not) see any room for satire/parody/irony when the subject is pedophilia. Like Nelson, I have a hell of a time explaining Pedobear to normal people.

3) Having worked cons before, 4chan costumers suffer from a socially inept minority (which is sadly growing each year with copycat costumers) that ruins things for everyone else. A Pedobear who keeps to himself isn't funny - a Pedobear who chases people, is. And posting pics/video of yourself as Pedobear to the internet makes you e-famous. The problem just compounds itself every year as people try to one-up each other. Add to the fact that the one-uppers know they are being disruptive, so sneak in without a badge... it's an enormous headache.

The biggest problem I face is with #3. My cons typically get the same people every year who pull the same stunts and have to be asked to leave. And woe be to any who has the misfortune of being ejected by a police officer instead of con security. Because in most cases, while con security will just roll their eyes and tell you to go home, the police officer will be a person who thinks like #1 and #2. Then you've got a hell of a time explaining yourself.

Not everyone gets internet humor (and this includes some 4chan costumers). I don't like it, but I caution anyone who is making a Pedobear costume for a con or other event - know your audience and the attitude of the staff.

* This is not the first time a meme has gotten out of control and banned from conventions. Several have a "no signs" policy due to the "Free hugs/glomps" phenomenon. Many also ban yaoi/yuri paddles as a disruptive minority of guests will hit non-consenting guests with them. So, this is why Pedobear can't have nice things.
posted by Wossname at 9:33 PM on September 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


As a resident of San Luis Obispo county, I fear for the Farmer's Market's mascot, who just happens to be a brown bear named Downtown Brown.

Here's a pic of him, up to his usual antics, from some random picasa album.
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:35 PM on September 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


So glad someone posted this, because the Fark thread on the subject includes a link to this image, which itself is a screen capture of a 4chan thread from 2008, and (late last night, at least) made me laugh so, so very hard. And there was no legitimate way to share it with all of you, until now.
posted by davejay at 9:37 PM on September 12, 2010 [36 favorites]


Davejay I'm thinking of registering a sockpuppet just to favorite that comment again.
posted by griphus at 9:50 PM on September 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the police alert in the Gawker article: Disguised as innocence, this underground community that would make victims of our children teasingly reaches out into the light of day.

Truth is far awesomer than fiction!
posted by miyabo at 10:11 PM on September 12, 2010


Don't forget Strawberry Meth!
posted by symbioid at 10:47 PM on September 12, 2010


Paedogeddon!
posted by Grangousier at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2010


Obligatory Paedofinder General link.
posted by benzenedream at 11:07 PM on September 12, 2010


Reminds me of when the Onion ran the story Report: Al-Qaeda Allegedly Engaging In Telemarketing and then the Branch County, Mich., Sheriff's Department issued an alert.
posted by mlis at 12:40 AM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia made this perfectly clear at the end of the Pedobear article:
Categories: Fictional pedophiles | Fictional bears
*sigh* Anything else I can clear up for you, Sheriff?
posted by ryanrs at 12:41 AM on September 13, 2010


Ok, so I just went over to the SLOB Sheriff website to find out the guys name. I thought a little more info would help hone my snark. But I never made it to the Sheriff's bio. Before I could, I clicked on the FBI Most Wanted List.

Holy crap! JAMES J. BULGER, that's the kinda, most complementary Most Wanted poster I've ever read.
JAMES J. BULGER

Remarks: Bulger is an avid reader with an interest in history. He is known to frequent libraries and historic sites. Bulger may be taking heart medication. He maintains his physical fitness by walking on beaches and in parks with his female companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig. Bulger and Greig love animals. Bulger has been known to alter his appearance through the use of disguises. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
For fuck's sake! His Most Wanted posted is better than my online dating profile! They take his extensive international money laundering and drug running and frame it as "extensive travel".

If I ever murder 19 people, I hope the FBI lets my mom write my Most Wanted Poster, too.
posted by ryanrs at 1:15 AM on September 13, 2010 [29 favorites]


forgot the link:

FBI TEN MOST WANTED
JAMES J. BULGER

posted by ryanrs at 1:19 AM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong that I want a stash of "squiggly-people" style pedobears to add to "family" lineups on the back of minivans and SUVs?
posted by maxwelton at 3:56 AM on September 13, 2010 [6 favorites]



"I wonder how many years it's going to take until people can't be routinely tricked into believing that something is dangerous about the internet. I'd guess ten, give or take two. It was about ten years ago that it was a common stand-up-comic-type complaint that people spent too much time yapping on their tiny tiny cell phones; now it's just something people do."

Didn't they enter popular consciousness and everyday life at about the same time? Although I suppose everyone seemed to get a phone in about 1999, and everyone seemed to get broadband in 2004.
posted by mippy at 4:42 AM on September 13, 2010


"DBL" is short for "Dusty Blonde Lulu", meaning a male paedophile disguised as a lion.
posted by acb at 7:03 AM on September 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


JAMES J. BULGER

That's 'Whitey' Bulger. of the Winter Hill Gang. His brother ('Billy') was President of the Massachusetts State Senate and president of the University of Massachusetts.

Jack Nicholson's character (Frank Costello) in the film The Departed was largely based on Bulger.
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fox show on Bulger depicts cuddly animal-lover. Uh-oh!
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on September 13, 2010


As a resident of San Luis Obispo county, I fear for the Farmer's Market's mascot, who just happens to be a brown bear named Downtown Brown.

This was my first thought. It's like a newscaster talking like a wanted man who happens to resemble that same newscaster. I was half expecting a newsclip to include stock footage of kids at the Farmers Market running past Downtown Brown.

I never got that ASCII art. Is that supposed to be a bear with a peg leg?

He's running towards you, so that back leg is pointed, toes (claws?) down, like so.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM on September 13, 2010


"I wonder how many years it's going to take until people can't be routinely tricked into believing that something is dangerous about the internet. I'd guess ten, give or take two. It was about ten years ago that it was a common stand-up-comic-type complaint that people spent too much time yapping on their tiny tiny cell phones; now it's just something people do.

It'll be something else. If you look at the older stuff on Snopes, stuff that now gets sent to you by your aunt in a chain letter is the kind of thing that Mildred at the Shoprite used to tell everyone when you were checking out. Why do you think no one ever went to that house on the corner on Halloween? How did anyone even know to start a rumor about it? Word of mouth. It was just as effective, it just didn't go as far as fast.
posted by micawber at 11:05 AM on September 13, 2010


ryanrs: "JAMES J. BULGER"

I definitely read this as "James J Bugler" and thought "Wow, that's awfully on the nose."
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:45 AM on September 13, 2010


Do they still have Poly Royal since the beer riot of the 1990?

Not really. It ended that year, and came back in a less wild form as Open House in 1994. In 2001, Open House added an element of (marketing) history with "Open House presents Poly Royal" (pdf), though I'm not really sure what all actually changed.

Oh, and even though the Mardi Gras parade organizers had to sue the city of SLO to continue the pared, Mardi Gras ended in 2004, following the Mardi Gras riots (which some saw as fueled by the heavy police presence). SLO City even has a (now out-of-date) website clarifying that Mardi Gras is still over.

/local history derail

posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on September 13, 2010


Man, on the one hand I have to say I laughed so hard at that image from Davejay's post that it instigated cramping in several sensitive areas. And then I realized that neither the San Luis Obispo's sheriff's office, nor roughly 50% of the US could EVER be made to understand why I laughed so hard. I mean EVAR. And that's kind of depressing for some reason...
posted by umberto at 12:51 PM on September 13, 2010


Can you imagine looking at society, seeing how completely screwed up it is, and being so depressed that you have to self-medicate with laughter just to make yourself feel better?

This is what Kurt Vonnegut was for. Now that he's gone, pedobear seems a poor substitute indeed.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:37 PM on September 13, 2010


Pedobear really gets around. He was recently seen in Malta with the Pope.
posted by homunculus at 12:42 PM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ball-less America, where our police warn us to be afraid of a picture.

(Say it with me, kids: 9/11 changed everything!)
posted by orthogonality at 7:57 PM on September 14, 2010


And of course Leeeeeeeerooooy Jeeenkins, the power behind the throne.

WWLJD?
posted by homunculus at 8:36 AM on September 15, 2010


Update from Tulsa.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:01 AM on September 16, 2010


That Tulsa report is just pure Chris Morris Pedogeddon... I literally can't tell the difference.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:28 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


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