Monthly Archives: July 2012

Free Puppies (OK – I’m just trying to get your attention. There are no free puppies.) Free kittens….

This post is reproduced in its entirety, as in I copied and pasted the whole thing off of John Hartness’ website.  Feel free to do the same thing.

The Oatmeal is a satiric cartoon site run by Matthew Inman. About a year ago, he noticed that his content was being uploaded without attribution to a site called “The FunnyJunk.” The FunnyJunk is a site that contains user generated content. This means that account holders post things that they like from all over the internet. Maybe a pre-Pinterest sort of site. The Oatmeal writes to the FunnyJunk requesting that the information be removed.

FunnyJunk took down the comics but proceeded to create a mirror image of The Oatmeal’s website. The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers what to do.

The FunnyJunk responded with a call to action to its own users asking them to inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox and facebook page. The FJ’s users responded in droves using their arsenal of retorts such as gay slurs and incoherently misspelled sentences to insult The Oatmeal and his biological predecessors for having the gall to procreate and, I guess, learn how to spell and draw.

According to Ars Technica, after the furor died down, the FJ admin acted somewhat responsibly, possibly realizing that its site could be in jeopardy due to all the copyrighted material illegally reposted there.

When the flame war finally died down, the FunnyJunk admin issued an unsigned note saying, “We’ve been trying for the longest time to prevent users from posting copyrighted content” and “I’m having all content, comics, comments, etc. with the names of your comics in them deleted/banned by tonight… The site barely affords to stay alive as it is and has enough problems.”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there in November of 2011, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history. But no.

The FunnyJunk for some reason came into contact with Charles Carreon, Esq., an attorney who came into national prominence during the domain name lawsuit. Carreon penned a letter on behalf of FJ, threatening The Oatmeal with a lawsuit for the post where The Oatmeal points out that the FJ has copied his website. Carreon, on behalf of FJ, wants the post to be taken down and $20,000 in damages.

The Oatmeal gets a lawyer and responds back with well worded, backed by research, rebuttal. The Oatmeal also goes on to decide to raise money off this ridiculous situation because so many of his readers want to help but the money isn’t going to Inman, instead he raised money for charity. Initially, he only thought to raise $20,000 for charity but the donations came in thick and fast and in the end, Inman raises over $200,000 which is donated to The American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history and with its own Wikipedia entry. But no.

The situation gains the attention of the mainstream media and Carreon begins to make personal threats. He expresses wonderment and dismay at the internet’s reaction (he calls it bullying) toward his legal demands of Inman and The Oatmeal. He suggests that there might be other legal problems for the Oatmeal such as the fundraiser being violative of IndieGoGo’s term of service.

The internet continues to make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that’s more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns’ undergarments. ”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there later on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history, with its own Wikipedia entry, and a few mainstream media mentions. But no.

Charles Carreon’s pride has been wounded. In his delusionary state, he must see that the only way out is to double down on the Jack and the Six (i.e., worse blackjack hand in the deck). He takes the situation to DefCon 5. Last night, Popehat was alerted by another legal watcher that Charles Carreon has filed a lawsuit against The Oatmeal, IndieGoGo, American Cancer Society, and National Wildlife Federation.

He transcended typical internet infamy when he filed a federal lawsuit last Friday in the United Sates District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland. He belonged to the ages the moment he filed that lawsuit not only against Matthew Inman, proprietor of The Oatmeal, but also against IndieGoGo Inc., the company that hosted Inman’s ridiculously effective fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

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.

Popehat is a site run by a bunch of lawyers and they are offering Inman pro bono legal work and they are asking the internet the following:

1. Kevin and I have offered pro bono help, and will be recruiting other First Amendment lawyers to offer pro bono help. It’s not just Mr. Inman who needs help. IndieGoGo does to. So do the charities. No doubt the charities already have excellent lawyers, but money that they spend fighting Carreon (whatever the causes of action he brought) is money that they don’t have to fight cancer and help wildlife. That’s an infuriating, evil turn of events.

2. You could still donate through the IndieGoGo program The Oatmeal set up. Or you could donate directly to the American Cancer Society or the National Wildlife Federation. I like animals, and I loved my mother who died at 55 of cancer, but I have no qualms whatsoever about encouraging people to donate to those causes as part of a gesture of defiance and contempt against Charles Carreon and the petulant, amoral, censorious douchebaggery he represents.

3. Spread the word. Tell this story on blogs, forums, and social media. Encourage people to donate as part of a gesture of defiance of Charles Carreon and entitled butthurt censors everywhere. Help the Streisand Effect work.

4. Do not, under any circumstances, direct abusive emails or calls or other communications to Mr. Carreon. That helps him and hurts the good guys. I don’t take his claims of victimhood at face value — not in the least — but such conduct is wrong, and empowers censors.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part IV from Popehat.

Feel free to copy this entire post and repost it (even without attribution) anywhere you can.

Sweatin’ to the Oldies

I saw recent pictures of myself, and have decided that I am too heavy right now.

I’m not overly concerned about my weight. I go up and down the scale pretty regularly, and just happen to be on the heavy-side right now. I tend to refer to these periods of weight gain as my body’s need to feel more substantial – a need to be a larger presence in the world when my spirit is feeling small. I eat too many candy bars and donuts because I am always craving sugar, and end up not fitting into my jeans.

But, like all phases, my desire to lose weight eventually kicks in and I make efforts to lose the belly fat. Plus, I have a wedding to attend at the end of July – a gathering of Aunts, Uncles, and over 30 cousins whom I have not seen in over 5 years. I would like to look halfway decent when I go to this family reunion, and losing 15 pounds would be a good start.

I will be making smoothies, going for walks, and probably trying out this Advocare cleanse stuff that I’ve had in the back of my pantry for a long time. I have good recipes for cinnamon apple water and lemon cucumber water, and I have a lot of free time right now to focus on this.

I would post a photo of how I look ‘now’ – but I don’t want to. I wish I could find my DVD of Richard Simmons’ Sweatin to the Oldies, but I think it got thrown away at least three moves ago. Think I’ll go on Ebay and see if I can find one for sale.

Drinking a blueberry strawberry smoothie right now. I think I’ll add a touch of honey next time. Things are looking up.

Summer time

With my son, known around here as the Big Bopper, at Camp Grandma for the next few weeks, I am blissfully able to write all day, every day.

I have 5 different short stories and novellas all in various stages of completion. Two of them require a LOT of research, and I spend hours trying to unravel big scientific words about the International Space Station and golems (not in the same context, mind you).

My husband is not a teacher, and therefore does not have eight weeks off like I do. In between resentful snarky remarks involving housework and meal preparation (or lack thereof) he just kinda lets me do my own thing. His requests tend to revolve around asking me not to start cocktail hour until after 4:00pm and following up to make sure I paid the mortgage on time.

So my days are pretty quiet. Wake up whenever, drink coffee, sit on sofa and write. Eat food (today I had a bowl of vegetable soup and some marshmallows) and drink lots of white wine. Go to bed really late, usually after reading a book or watching a bad horror movie on cable. Repeat every day, as needed.

My goal is to finish all of these works in progress by the end of summer, as well as put a business plan in place for the new publishing adventure, Andromeda Eve.

Did I mention I have been transferred to a new middle school in the fall? It’s a good thing. Life as a Special Education teacher is always a study in patience and flexibility – and that’s just with my coworkers, not the kids. I will give public education another few years to get its act together before I throw up my hands and roll my eyes at the self-induced chaos and find something new to do with myself.

I’m going to try to be more faithful to this blog, as well. I’m not promising great words of wisdom, or advice on becoming a best-selling author, or any crap like that. There are lots of people out there already doing that, and doing it much better then I could ever muster.

So I’ll chat about little things that came up this year, like Savannah, GA and paranormal activities, and entities called “hags”, and movies and books and people I meet and things I think about.  And you, dear reader, are encouraged to comment and share and interact however you see fit.

Sound fair? Good. Comment below, and win a free goldfish.



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