The Ultimate Fisk

I’m not up to speed on the author of The Oatmeal and his many fights with others on the Internet, but he does know how to take apart a Buzzfeed column. In the same vein, Louis CK has some funny responses to dumb questions.

In case you can’t tell, I’m out of topics, so here’s an open thread.






74 replies
  1. 1
    Bulworth says:

    Latest Gallup has Romney up by 6.

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    That giant FU at the end is a nuclear attack on the buzzfeed guy.

    for those who feel TL;DR it is evidence of the guy having done a tasteless ‘birthday card” for Palins downs syndrome son. The punch line being “Because he is retarded!” (hint: if thats your punch line the joke better have one hell of a set up or it ain’t funny)

    It cost the guy that job so reposting that & linking it to him could easily torpedo him at buzzfeed and will for sure get him an inbox full of hate mail like you wouldn’t believe.

    I don’t think I would screw with the oatmeal guy, he arrives ‘heavy’ as they say in the business

  3. 3
    piratedan says:

    thought this summed up the attitude our Galtian Overlords have about the workforce….

    http://www.someecards.com/chri.....nny-ecards

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Interesting post on the New Yorker site, Hertzberg on DeMInt:

    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin.....entry-more

    This is in case you thought Sen. DeMint was merely an asshole.

  5. 5
    kc says:

    I am sorry I read that.

  6. 6
    different-church-lady says:

    So this is what today’s internet has come down to? Nobodies doing lengthy hit pieces on other nobodies?

  7. 7
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Just because you don’t know who Inman is doesn’t mean he’s a “nobody”.

  8. 8
    Tractarian says:

    Hey, Matthew Inman is not a nobody!

    He’s a pretty funny internet cartoonist.

    OK, he’s a nobody.

    Still, that BuzzFeed guy seems like a real a$$hole.

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    That giant FU at the end is a nuclear attack on the buzzfeed guy.

    @Schlemizel: I was impressed. I started to get bored, reading through all this, well, trivial bitching about the Buzzfeed guy’s complete lack of journalism (which is kind of impressive but boring) and then BOOM AWWW SHIT he unloads the Tagg Palin Retard Card incident at the very end, which, as you note, may well cost him his current job and will certainly earn him an inbox full of hate mail for months.

    I’ve also followed his adventures with Charles Cameron over the last year. His comic is frequently not my thing but he does “arrive heavy” as you say and I for one would not fuck with him, he’s lacking that fear gene.

  10. 10
    Keith G says:

    Anything that displays the ass rabies rot that is BuzzPeed is a good thing. Jack Stuef sure acts like a talent-less, cognitively impaired hipster. That was very redundant, I know

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma: Screw that, let’s go out on the street and find out if one out of say, 37 people even know what Buzzfeed is.

  12. 12
    Joel says:

    @different-church-lady: Inman is actually pretty huge. Most people round here would find the Oatmeal LMAO funny.

  13. 13
    Joel says:

    @different-church-lady: More than would know Krugman, FWIW.

  14. 14
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Call us when you’ve raised over $200K for charity on the strength of your popularity.

  15. 15
    different-church-lady says:

    @Joel: Define “huge”. Huge as in, say, the largest frog in our puddle, or huge, as in, say, maybe 1 in 5 people have heard of the online cartoon he draws, outside of its merits?

    Being the biggest thing in the telescope doesn’t mean you’re big, ya dig?

  16. 16
    Keith G says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I donno if Oatmeal is run by a “nobody” or not, but his treatise on Killer Cats is very chuckle inducing.

    I….I think he might be somebody.

  17. 17
    different-church-lady says:

    @Joel: Well, probably not, but yet, exactly what I’m getting at — the view out our window is not the world.

  18. 18
    piratedan says:

    I do admire how Inman isn’t afraid to defend himself against all comers be they bullshit lawsuits or internet drive-by hit pieces. He does do a lot of nifty stuff, how he turned his lawsuit into a fundraiser and his own efforts on promoting the creation of a Tesla museum and spreading the gospel on just how cool a guy like Tesla really was.

    seems kinda strange though, he writes a niche (granted a big niche) series of comics that have found a certain popularity and through no fault of his own, has had people try and take advantage of him just because he wouldn’t give his own work away (the lawsuit) and some lazy pseudojourno takedown looking for page hits.

    You would think after the lawsuit fiasco, someone (i.e. a Buzzfeed journo) would have done a better job of due diligence before starting to assemble such a piss-poor golem of smear.

  19. 19
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma: So, I, being a lesser nobody than somebody else, actually means that other person is a somebody?

    Fuck all people, I ain’t trying to diss the guy and his cartoon, I’m saying the hit piece is completely out of proportion to the subject matter — it’s like the guy is trying to do a scale model of yellow journalism.

  20. 20
    different-church-lady says:

    @Keith G:

    I….I think he might be somebody.

    OK, fair enough: “So this is what today’s internet has come down to? Nobodies doing lengthy hit pieces on other nobodies someone who might be somebody?”

  21. 21
    different-church-lady says:

    @piratedan:

    seems kinda strange though, he writes a niche (granted a big niche) series of comics that have found a certain popularity and through no fault of his own, has had people try and take advantage of him just because he wouldn’t give his own work away (the lawsuit) and some lazy pseudojourno takedown looking for page hits.

    OK, that means what I said better than what I said does. If everyone could forget what I said and go with this instead, that would be nice.

  22. 22
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I’m assuming Jack Stuef used to work for Wonkette? That’s a pot calling a kettle black.

  23. 23
    Scott S. says:

    I’d like it if people with pseudonyms commenting on a blog would not sneer at nobodies. Ultimately, we’re all nobodies, but maybe some nobodies are more nobodies than all the other nobodies.

  24. 24
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @different-church-lady:
    No, you’re a lesser person for reading the entire piece and then hurrying back to smirk about “nobodies” because you, of course, are far more superior.

    I ain’t trying to diss the guy and his cartoon

    But you did, Blanche. You did.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:

    @different-church-lady: Well yes, that….and those who needlessly wank on about other’s creative efforts on the net.

    Why, oh why, do you hate the Makers so much?

  26. 26
    redshirt says:

    The word “fisk” is my least favorite suddenly popular word. Damn you Sullivan!

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma: No I freakin’ did not — I don’t know whether his cartoon is any good or not. (I think I’ve seen it maybe three times, and never formed an opinion on it.) I’m just trying to point out that there’s a sense of scale going on here that apparently people are really really emotionally invested in ignoring.

  28. 28
    Morbo says:

    Well, he certainly succeeded in deflecting criticism of his rape joke at least.

  29. 29
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Because no one else would have figured that out without you, right? No one else here would have thought, “Hey, internet slap-fight!” unless you bravely, boldly, stated the glaring truth for all, right?

    Or, you know, you could have just not said anything since you believe they’re both nobodies.

    Shit, I don’t expect anyone to know who the Foglio’s are and they’ve been enormously popular cartoonists, online and off, for decades.

  30. 30
    Walker says:

    @Morbo:

    Hey, at least he somewhat recognizes it was a problem. Penny Arcade still acts like they did nothing wrong, and that the people who didn’t like it had no sense of humor.

  31. 31
    Schlemizel says:

    I love the oatmeal & my guess from what I have read is that the guy does a whole lot better than many syndicated cartoonists – both money wise & readership wise (we know he is funnier than many dailies)

    But here is a small symbol of how ‘nobody’ the guy is: when some nutbag lawyer threatened to sue him for calling out a shit site for posting his work without attribution the oatmeal asked for donations in lieu of of a defense fund. He raised over $200,000 in a matter of days. 200k . . . compare that to how proud we are around here that we can raise 2 grand for the pups. We here should not be tossing off ‘nobody’ at that sort of internet fire power.

  32. 32
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma:
    The Oatmeal (and its recent controversies) seem to be really popular with techies, most of whom are probably white and upper middle to upper class. That’s great he donated all if that, but even (white, wealthy) geeks live in their own privileged bubble.

  33. 33
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    No shit. Thank you for this stunning and brilliant insight that I otherwise would not have known.

  34. 34
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma: I appear to have unintentionally touched some kind of nerve in you that I cannot comprehend.

    It’s an online hangout. I made a comment. In the comment section. That’s kinda how this works.

  35. 35
    mandarama says:

    I haven’t followed any of his various beefs, though this takedown was amusing…but as a teacher, I’ve loved Inman for his Oatmeal comics on punctuation:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon

    …and then he hit this home run right out of the park. I will forever remember this comic, especially on the day I have to say goodbye to my excellent dog. “Hello, friend beast, I’m 15 years old now…” ::soblaughsob::

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox

  36. 36
    Schlemizel says:

    BTW – he gave that money to a couple of charities as promised & posted a picture of himself sitting with $200,000 around him.

    The lawyer went into hiding because of the shear volume of hate directed his way – not something to be proud of but an amazing breadth of reaction even by Internet standards.

    Also too: the guy probably is an asshole, he comes off that way when he believes he has been slighted or attacked in any way at all. But maybe he is just very sensitive about that sort of thing. But I would think after these two examples nobody is going to want to go after the guy any time soon.

  37. 37
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Schlemizel: well when you’re popular with tech workers who make 6 figure salaries, donations ahoy hoy.

  38. 38
    different-church-lady says:

    @Schlemizel:

    …at that sort of internet fire power.

    Oh FFS… I give up. I’m clearly not trainspotter enough for the internet any longer…

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I love the oatmeal & my guess from what I have read is that the guy does a whole lot better than many syndicated cartoonists – both money wise & readership wise (we know he is funnier than many dailies)

    I get the impression that the best webcomics can pull in more money than all but the very top syndicated cartoons. I know that Randall Munroe gave up his day job as a physicist because XKCD was earning him more money, and he’s not even top tier among webcomics. I don’t know if any of them are making Charles Schultz/Bill Watterson money, but they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.

  40. 40
    Peregrinus says:

    @Morbo:

    He did apologize for it, but I agree to the extent that I think others in similar situations would continue to be vilified regardless of apologies. Not to say that I think Inman isn’t genuinely contrite, though.

    @Walker:

    I think that’s mostly driven by Gabe (I forget which one he is just now) – from the Debacle Timeline I followed it looked like Tycho tried to apologize, and then Gabe went and pissed all over that effort.

    Someone from some kind of anti-rape charity recently signed up to do an event with PA and was asked what he thought; he said something about how maybe it was worth trying to show them that while the joke was widely disliked it didn’t invalidate the years of work they’d put into PA. Gabe seems to have reacted really badly to the idea that he could touch on any other controversy he wanted to, and had been getting away with the same sort of language for years, but this one joke kept coming back to bite him in the ass.

  41. 41
    Peregrinus says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I think when someone (probably mistermix, come to think of it) posted the last time about the Oatmeal/FunnyJunk dustup someone here commented that they knew Carreon and he was usually one of the “good guys” as far as lawyers go, and they were quite surprised to hear that he was heading up this lawsuit.

    The problem with “Internet firepower” is that 1) it’s quantity, not quality, so a few guys with the right software can make your life hell and 2) it can make your life hell without affecting the person on the other end. Which is why you shouldn’t fuck with Inman – he knows what he’s doing in this realm.

  42. 42
    jlow says:

    @mandarama: Every time I read the dog paradox I laugh and I tear a little at the end. Hell I tear just thinking about it. That makes for great art in my book.

  43. 43
    The Moar You Know says:

    …and then he hit this home run right out of the park. I will forever remember this comic, especially on the day I have to say goodbye to my excellent dog. “Hello, friend beast, I’m 15 years old now…” ::soblaughsob::

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox

    @mandarama: My dog’s going to be fifteen in January. Mentally, she’s ready to go for another twenty. But sadly, it isn’t going to work out like that, she’s gotten really frail and weak this last year. I can’t read that comic any more because it’s a little too close to the edge. It’s brilliant, of course.

  44. 44
    Keith G says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: There certainly are tech workers who are wealthy. The ones I know are freelance contractors and are very happy when a new job is booked within a few weeks after a previous one ends and who feel their six figure student loans are following them about like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. About half of them are not white, but then I live in a wonderfully diverse place.

    I’ll have to start surveying their on-line comic preferences.

    with edit

  45. 45
    Jamey says:

    @piratedan:

    You would think after the lawsuit fiasco, someone (i.e. a Buzzfeed journo) would have done a better job of due diligence before starting to assemble such a piss-poor golem of smear.

    Why would you think that? I kinda like Buzzfeed (great DIY food and gift features–seriously) but Buzzfeed workerbees are paid to produce content and clicks. Any good journalism that ensues is purely incidental.

  46. 46
    Keith G says:

    @The Moar You Know: Thanks for the link. That is one I had missed. Was a pleasure.

  47. 47
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Roger Moore: XKCD isn’t top tier? What could possibly be above it? Scientists and people who think they’re scientists all read it.

  48. 48
    Joel says:

    @different-church-lady: Anyone can play the “everything you love sucks” game. Chances are, everything you love sucks, too.

    Outside of President Obama and Taylor Swift, what qualifies as huge in your book? You realize that 1/2 of America probably doesn’t even know who John Boehner is, right?

  49. 49
    Joel says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: A lot of us, erm, them, post here.

  50. 50
    Jamey says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  51. 51
    Schlemizel says:

    @Peregrinus:

    I never said (and never would say) that Internet firepower is a good thing. I was only pointing out that oatmeal brought the kind of pain people like Malkin try to generate at levels even the wingnuts would envy. That is still a judgment neutral observation.

    I am not sure if the lawyer is a good guy or not but the letter he wrote and the approach he took was legally stupid to such a gross degree that the nuke he got in return seemed appropriate.

    @The Moar You Know: Sorry to hear about your googie. I can’t read that comic either even when its not close to that time. Hope you have peace.

  52. 52
    Schlemizel says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Not sure what your point is. I was simply pointing out that the guy has a lot of viewers and a lot of them are willing to act when he posts something right up to the point of raising a quarter of a million dollars on a whim. Thats hardly a nobody by Internet standards.

    Could he compete with a Brad Pitt or Katie Perry? No but that hardly puts him in the nobody category. The day BJ gets a C&D from a brain damaged law firm & asks for 50k then generate 200k in a few days while also bringing the law firm to its knees with a flood of emails & phone calls (over something relatively insignificant in the scheme of things) you would not suggest BJ was nobody.

    Think how pathetic this makes our firepower! We can’t generate a few hundred calls to Congress over a critical matter.

  53. 53
    kyle says:

    @different-church-lady:

    So this is what today’s internet has come down to? Nobodies doing lengthy hit pieces on other nobodies?

    That’s how it started, and that’s what it was in between.

  54. 54
    Peregrinus says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Fair enough, as far as your judgment and the neutrality thereof. I meant more to say that such nuclear attacks are aided by the way in which the Internet works.

    Though it’s worth pointing out, I think, that the relatively un-“critical” nature of Inman’s appeals to his community might actually help rather than hurt his case. He doesn’t play them as legal or political matters but as personal slights – which, in this case, it is anyway – and so it works on a really different level from a Tim F. post.

    Agreed that he’s certainly not a “nobody,” though.

  55. 55
    The Red Pen says:

    I am glad to hear that Inman (The Oatmeal) is doing well. I really enjoy his work.

  56. 56
    kuvasz says:

    To the buzzfeed buzzard; if you sup with the Devil, its best to have a long spoon.

    Great takedown by Inman.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    The Oatmeal (and its recent controversies) seem to be really popular with techies, most of whom are probably white and upper middle to upper class. That’s great he donated all if that, but even (white, wealthy) geeks live in their own privileged bubble.

    Sometimes being a techie is its own kind of bubble.

    Aside from this, I did a contract job a few years ago with der google. All my bosses were women, and only one of them was white. They came from a range of class backgrounds.

    One of the things that continues to amaze me is how diverse the tech world is and yet how often the tech world itself pushes the image of the white male hipster as the face of tech.

    Also, I just how the Oatmeal fought back against stupidity and journalistic laziness. More of this, please.

  58. 58
    Mister Harvest says:

    @different-church-lady: Um, I’m not aware of any Great Good Time that the Internet was really any different.

  59. 59
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Walker: What was particularly unfortunate about the PA incident is that the original cartoon was actually a very clever and spot-on critique of the trivializing of rape in games and culture. Sadly, Krahulik really does seem to value his “right to be an asshole” above pretty much anything else.

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    As the expression goes: assumes facts not in evidence.

  61. 61

    @Scott S.: Ultimately, we’re all nobodies, but maybe some nobodies are more nobodies than all the other nobodies.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring blog!

  62. 62
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    It also wasn’t the first time they’d joked like that – I was recently reading through the archives (God only knows why) and found a couple similar jokes that seem to have invited no comment whatsoever.

  63. 63
    redshirt says:

    I never even knew about Oatmeal. Thanks, Internet! The dog paradox cartoon was pretty good.

  64. 64
    MosesZD says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma:

    I know who the Foglio’s are. The first time ran into Phil was when “What’s New with Phil and Dixie” ran in the back of Dragon magazine in the early 1980’s. It was one of the funniest comic strips I’d ever followed and when he moved on from Dragon magazine to a different magazine, I stopped reading the Dragon.

    He, his wife and colorist that works for them have won three Hugo Awards for best graphic novel. He refused the nomination this year because he keeps winning it…

  65. 65
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @MosesZD:
    Wow, thanks for telling me something I couldn’t possibly have known, what with having followed their work for so long.

  66. 66
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @MosesZD: They’re still nobodies by different church-lady’s exacting standards.

    By the way, I wonder how many people in the street could tell you who Mitch McConnell is? Hell, how many could tell you who John Roberts is? Not all that many, I’d wager, so those guys must be nobodies too. Because we measure people’s importance by how many random idiots in the street can name them, rather than the things they do with the power they wield. Apparently.

    ETA: I just asked my roommate who Susan Rice is, and he said he didn’t know. So obviously Rice is just a nobody, and we should never speak of her again. KKthanxbiyee

  67. 67
    kc says:

    @Joel:

    He seems like a giant WATB based on that linked piece, but then that’s the only thing of his I’ve ever read. Or will read.

  68. 68
    The Red Pen says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I get the impression that the best webcomics can pull in more money than all but the very top syndicated cartoons

    I just realized that conservative-and-unfunny “Day by Day” has been blegging for money to stay afloat. In light of other’s success, it’s failure is particularly sweet.

    I guess humor for smug, conservative, buttholes is just not a lucrative niche.

  69. 69
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @kc: Yes, just imagine! He got angry when some hack wrote a hit-piece on him that was full of outright lies. How whiny. Where’s that stiff upper lip we require of our cartoonists? Obviously he should have just let that libel slide and done nothing to correct the record.

    Remember, when people tell lies about you, the proper thing to do is absolutely nothing, lest some fuckheads in the peanut gallery think you’re whiny or defensive. Remember how well that worked for John Kerry? Now there’s a mensch.

  70. 70
    LanceThruster says:

    The Oatmeal Guy RULZ (the Buzzfeed Guy DROOLZ)!

  71. 71
    Strangepork says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Shorter: guy who raises $200,000 for charity is probably a privileged asshole anyway becasue his readership is male and white in this mental survey I just made up.

    Get help.

  72. 72
    Royston Vasey says:

    At first glance, I thought the Buzzfeed guy was called Jack STFU.

    Lol

    Oh well. I’ll get my coat.

  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    They’re still nobodies by different church-lady’s exacting standards.

    When I typed out my little snark I had no idea people were going to take it so damn literally.

    By the way, I wonder how many people in the street could tell you who Mitch McConnell is? Hell, how many could tell you who John Roberts is? (snip) ETA: I just asked my roommate who Susan Rice is, and he said he didn’t know.

    I’m rather tempted to say, “Should we ask these people if they’ve ever heard of their ass? Or their elbow?” But that would be mean.

    Signed,
    Nobody (and pseudonymous to boot)

  74. 74
    nun of ya says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma: wow, you seem to be rather invested in this topic and are coming off as a bit of an asshole.

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