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funnyjunk, sex, bear, inman, oatmeal

Internet connections

POSTED AT 07:09 PM ON Jun. 24, 2012 

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Much as it has for most modern college students, the Internet has become a gigantic part of my everyday life. When I need to research something, Wikipedia is usually there as a jumping-off point.

If I’m having a bad day and need some consoling, a picture of a cat in a teacup will always be there for me.

And to be honest, I’m not even sure how people solved petty arguments before Google.

What if I needed to find out when “Alien” came out? Was there a number you called? Did the library have a section for that?

But for all its charms, the Internet continues to get a bad rap. Usually, naysayers point to Internet causing a disconnect from other human beings.

For instance, instead of using a cat to cure my blues, I should go out and actually
socialize with people.

And while the cat example is most likely a case of introversion gone wrong, I’d like to argue that, for the most part, these people are wrong.

Not only is the Internet not causing people to disconnect from others, it’s actually allowing people to connect on a level they never have before.

In order to explain this, we must turn to a web comic called “The Oatmeal.”

For those who don’t know, “The Oatmeal” creator Matthew Inman recently wrote a post about how frustrated he was at a comedy site called Funnyjunk.

His anger stemmed from Funnyjunk putting some of his comics on its site without asking him or giving him compensation.

Basically, they stole some of his content and made advertising money off it.

Hearing about this post, Funnyjunk’s lawyer wrote a letter, demanding “The Oatmeal” remove its post about Funnyjunk as well as give Funnyjunk $20,000 in compensation.

Though this was obviously an attempt to scare him, Inman moved forward, undaunted, and responded to this by setting up a donation account.

He planned to raise at least $20,000 through donations and, as a gigantic piss-off gesture, planned to donate this money to the World Wildlife Fund and the American Cancer Association.

Of course, this donation would only occur after Inman sent a picture of the money to Funnyjunk, along with a drawn picture of the creator of Funnyjunk’s mother having sex with a bear.

And while this Internet battle has been pretty interesting to watch, the real interesting piece of all this was the community backing “The Oatmeal.”

In a little more than 24 hours, “The Oatmeal’s” donation page received $116,000.
This is absolutely incredible to me, and it shows how amazing the Internet is at getting people together and focused.

In this situation, Funnyjunk is the big guy on the block. The website is gigantic; therefore, Funnyjunk collects a lot of advertising money. “The Oatmeal,” while pretty popular, doesn’t even come close in this regard.

In any other time, Funnyjunk would have ground Inman into the dust and then swept him aside so it could screw the next content creator on a clean floor.
But we don’t live in any other time.

And in this one, the Internet is an amazing tool that gets people connected.
In about one day, fans of “The Oatmeal” got together to tell Funnyjunk they would not allow such bullying.

That’s not exactly something that could have been done so easily without the Internet
connecting these people.

­— kevsjack@indiana.edu

 

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