crimes on heard of
April 15, 2015 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Cereal Milk Jail; or, how my fake post is still being passed around as oral history years later and i learned to love myself because of it
posted by Potomac Avenue (47 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is this the link you meant to post, or am I missing something, because this is just a list of tweets that are all variations on the same joke.
posted by Sternmeyer at 11:41 AM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't get it; is there something more here? Are you, Potomac Avenue, the original poster of this joke? Is the author of the linked "article"?

On preview: seconded.
posted by johnnydummkopf at 11:43 AM on April 15, 2015


Sorry, this is an original tweet by @leyawn from 2011, that he's tracked over the years as it's grown from merely folks stealing the joke to wholesale urban legend responses where a girl's dad texts her worried she's actually going to jail. Leon has posted these in chronological order with a service called Storify, and the phrase in my post here was copied from his title there. Hope that helps.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:46 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The article is written by leon/@leyawn. In 2011 he made a funny joke. Since 2011 and until literally today that joke has been rephrased and passed around as the original joke of whoever is repeating it.

"third, i think the whole thing is awesome. what makes people like this? and last, it's STILL happening. there are three so far this month"

By accident, the guy basically created one of those forevermore unattributed jokes everyone knows a dozen of.
posted by griphus at 11:46 AM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


The narrative here is that the pictured post in the background at the top is the storify author's original joke, which has since turned into a wild, free-roaming humor unit among the amber fields of internet non-attribution and joke-filching.
posted by cortex at 11:47 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or, uh, what they said. Also I added italics around it so it's clearer the post text is a quote.
posted by cortex at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2015


And somewhere, as prom season approaches, some high school senior is hearing how this one guy my cousin knew was driving down a dark road and stopped to pick up a distressed girl in a prom dress... I'm pretty sure he didn't go to jail, though.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:50 AM on April 15, 2015


The narrative here is that the pictured post in the background at the top is the storify author's original joke

I think the pictured post in the background at the top is just another example of someone stealing it -- it looks like it's from 2013, while leon made the joke in 2011.

I also was expecting some of the "how... i learned to love myself because of it" part.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The thing is, the narrative here is that the pictured post in the background at the top is the storify author's original joke, which has since turned into a wild, free-roaming humor unit among the amber fields of internet non-attribution and joke-filching.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:58 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The post is confusing because the actual order is milk, cereal, jail.
posted by ckape at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


What a weird phenomenon. Apparently we now live among a legion of genuinely banal plagiarists, waiting eagerly for their chance to peel the coating of irony away from every mock banality. O Twitter, o mores!
posted by RogerB at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


the actual order is milk, cereal, jail.

U can go to jail for just suggesting this order as a possibility wat ch out
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:03 PM on April 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


...a legion of genuinely banal plagiarists...

I believe part of the genesis of this is this buzzfeed article from today on profiting from large-scale plagiarism of internet writing.
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


By accident, the guy basically created one of those forevermore unattributed jokes everyone knows a dozen of.

Is he the creator, or is that just being assumed?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:04 PM on April 15, 2015


However, the size of the Social Chain network has led to its version growing faster and receiving a better response than any of the others. “If you tweet something out to that many people, you expect it to be redistributed,” says Berragan.

But Bartlett doesn’t think this is an issue. In fact, he describes the culture of Twitter as one of inherent theft: “In the Twitter space, the issue of copying is like breathing.”

He also argues that Social Chain loses as much as it gains from copying: “The thousand people that copy us every single day, they gain followers which is going to help them on some level too.”

“We have quite a strong moral compass,” says Ash, describing how the team arrive at a consensus on what is acceptable and isn’t. “I said we couldn’t post about Ebola,” says Bartlett. “I know we would have got a big payoff for it, but people are dying.”
posted by griphus at 12:05 PM on April 15, 2015


Is he the creator, or is that just being assumed?

I think most people in some way familiar with him and what he does (including myself for a certain concept of 'familiar') believe he is the genesis of that joke. Plus, saying anything along the lines of "these people stole/copied/etc. my joke" is effectively an open challenge to the entire internet-paying-attention-to-you (which in his case is a large swath of individuals) to find an earlier version to prove him wrong. I'd bet dollars to donuts no one is going to pull up anything like that. The dude is legitimately funny and has at no point come off like the sort of individual who needs to steal jokes.
posted by griphus at 12:09 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


True story:

Just this most recent Monday morning my third-grader started to pour milk in his bowl before putting the cereal in. I told him to do it the other way 'round.

Close call.
posted by notbuddha at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I used to do this! Yet I did somehow (admittedly narrowly, and contrary to stated to my face predictions of several of my elementary school teachers, one of whom I told I already am in jail) avoid jail.

I did it because the cereal would then float on top and not get soggy.
posted by jamjam at 12:12 PM on April 15, 2015


what really bugs me about this joke is that it should be prison not jail.
posted by sweetkid at 12:20 PM on April 15, 2015


what really bugs me about this joke is that it should be prison not jail.

Oh man you know this guy's third-grade friend and his present whereabouts?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apparently everyone does.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


My friend put Hope in a bowl and then Jobs now he has no Cash.
posted by mmmbacon at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The story here is that the post at the beginning is an original joke, submitted by the guy who wrote this page, which has since been copied and retold by other people as though it were an original joke, a wild, free-range joke pattern roaming the fields of internet non-attribution.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apparently we now live among a legion of genuinely banal plagiarists

No-one ever told a joke without attributing it before the internet.
posted by walrus at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


sweetkid, but jail is two characters shorter than prison, allowing you to cram in 1.4% more joke into your tweet.
posted by ckape at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


The jist of it is that the initial image tweet is an original joke, created by the person who set up this page, and it has since been stolen and reused by others as if they thought of it, a free-roaming goof trope, traversing the purple mountains majesty of online anonymity.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:24 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


i lov goof trope

goof am favrite charactor
posted by griphus at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, some context here would have helped a ton.

Basically, leyawn (and other pals of his from FYAD (a sub-forum from the something awful forums)) have all become sort of immortalized as "weird twitter." One of the things they tend to rally against, when possible, is plagiarism of their jokes. The largest scale example of this has to be when a minister named Sammy Rhodes started accruing hundreds of thousands of followers and retweets from celebrity comedians by literally stealing every joke he tweeted from other funnier twitter users. People like Rainn Wilson leaped to his defense while Leyawn and his compatriots spent literal months tweeting examples of his theft multiple times a day every day. Eventually Rhodes deleted all of his tweets and started again from scratch. I stopped following the drama after that and I'm not sure if his new tweets are also plagiarized or if he's just a shitty twitter failure now.

Beyond that, there was the Guy Fieri menu site fiasco (the original of which was contributed to by several of mefi's own) where some dude stole a fake Guy Fieri menu idea, again from weird twitter among others, and built a site around it that got a ton of national attention. That turned into a PR disaster for the dude.

Plagiarism of many kinds is, naturally, now a pretty big target for weird twitter dudes. Crushingbort and blippblappo famously got the execrable Benny Johnson fired. and moved on to higher stakes plagiarist Fareed Zakaria and even Malcolm Gladwell over at their blog Our Bad Media.

So while this is a relatively harmless and funny way for leyawn to track a low stakes instance of joke theft on twitter, it exists in a kind of fascinating maelstrom of twitter, jokes and plagiarism.

RIP treebro and UtilityLimb.
posted by shmegegge at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ah fuck, sorry. I typoed that whole thing. What I meant to say was:

The story here is that the post at the beginning is an original joke, submitted by the guy who wrote this page, which has since been copied and retold by other people as though it were an original joke, a wild, free-range joke pattern roaming the fields of internet non-attribution.
posted by shmegegge at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure if his new tweets are also plagiarized or if he's just a shitty twitter failure now.

the weird thing is that neither, he's an originally but shitty success now
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:15 PM on April 15, 2015


His friend got married.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:19 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


No-one ever told a joke without attributing it before the internet.

Leon here. Joke plagiarism is definitely a thing, and it happens, and people massively profit of it. Yes, people retell jokes irl all the time, but this is different to me. Retelling a joke usually goes "hey, you want to hear a joke" and you tell it, and no one assumes that you wrote the joke. You obviously heard it from somewhere and are retelling it. This particular instance, because it reads more like an anecdote, or a story, is akin to someone hearing a funny story, and retelling it as their own. Which happens, but it's a much more conscious effort of subtle plagiarism. It's when you're at a party and don't have any cool stories to tell, so you tell the one your friend told you about how wasted he got, except you pretend it's you, and then someone hears that, and at the next party they tell someone else, and so on.

It's low stakes and funny, especially when you take into account how people are actively trying to hide the original facts, changing third grade to another grade, changing the friend's gender, etc. It's more urban legend now than joke plagiarism imo.
posted by leyawn at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


YO! That mutation is what I love about this too Mssr. Leyawn. That and the fact that now you can actually go to jail for doing this in some places thanks to the liberals.

Actually have you tried searching for other outcomes where people change the joke?

"He's dead now"

"He's married with 5 kids now"

"He works for Gawker now"

"He's a Missouri State Senator now."

"He's filled with shame and Jon Ronson wrote a book about him now."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2015


"He got banned from metafilter and now he works for buzzfeed."
posted by shmegegge at 2:45 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=milk%20cereal%20gamergate&src=typd
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2015


"He works for Gawker now"

Look out for my Gawker article tomorrow, haha
posted by leyawn at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Let's all listen to Milk & Cereal by G.Love!

Milk and cereal
Milk and cereal
Milk and cereal
Cereal and milk!

I heard that their label wouldn't let them release the album until they added that last line, for legal reasons.
posted by moonmilk at 3:27 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


cram in 1.4% more joke into your tweet.

I knew this kid who put cram in his tweet, then joke. He's in prism now.
posted by chavenet at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


My friend taught me to put orange juice on my cereal (in no particular order). And I haven't spend more than a couple of hours in jail in my whole life. QED.
posted by sneebler at 5:56 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That can be rewritten as "I've put orange juice on my cereal, and I wound up in jail."
posted by gilrain at 6:14 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Orange juice? Try tap water, hoss.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:55 PM on April 15, 2015


🎵🎵She uses vaaaseliine🎵
posted by idiopath at 8:02 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


One time I woke up feeling shaky so I made a pb&j sandwich for myself and then put cereal on it. My blood/glucose levels are much higher now.
posted by mcrandello at 11:05 PM on April 15, 2015


Cheers for the reply Leon. Makes sense.
posted by walrus at 11:08 PM on April 15, 2015


In third grade I had a friend who stored cereal in the fridge, next to the milk. A few years back he turned state's evidence and put some dangerous people in jail. I never talked to him again.
posted by Phssthpok at 1:21 AM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I apologize for this offtopic comment but this creeped me out: I pressed 'down' to see more of the story, but the cursor was in the search box, and I was presented with a list that seems to sample at least several months of my google search history. I don't visit Storify often and I have never used its search box. Where did Storify pull the search box texts from?
posted by hat_eater at 5:16 PM on April 16, 2015


Your browser pulled those suggestions from previous things you have typed into search fields with the same "name" attribute. Storify's search field has name="q", just like Google.
posted by Phssthpok at 10:42 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


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