Good morning, Friends!  It’s What the…What? Wednesday and I’m so excited to be back this week so I can bring you this next story!

What’ve I got for you?  I found today’s story completely by accident.  I was out surfing the web last night – not even looking for material for today’s blog yet – when a story literally jumped out at me and made me laugh so hard that I just had to share it.  Let this next story be a good warning to all of you bloggers out there:  Whatever you do, do your very best to give credit where it’s due.  If it’s possible to site your source, do it!  And, if you don’t or can’t, don’t rattle the cage of the one you’ve stolen from because that big dog bites!

Okay, so here you go:

Matthew Inman, “The Oatmeal”

Today’s story concerns two online blogging websites, FunnyJunk and the The Oatmeal.  According to a story posted on the MSNBC website, there seems to be a dispute between these two blogging websites.  Apparently Matthew Inman, a popular cartoonist and host of his own blog, The Oatmeal, recently alleged that another comedy blog, FunnyJunk, has made a  habit of reposting his original comics without benefit of crediting the source.  When confronted, Inman reports that FunnyJunk removed some of the “borrowed” content, but not all of it.

We’ve all seen Inman’s work, though you probably don’t recognize the name.  He’s the cartoonist who’s responsible for some of my favorite comics about the importance of using proper grammar.  For instance, let me know if you recognize the following Matthew Inman original:

You’ve seen it, right?  For those of us who are grammar geeks, it’s an absolute classic!  Matthew Inman is my hero!  But I digress…

So, according to the story, the FunnyJunk website has made a habit of “borrowing” original images such as the one above without giving credit where it’s due.  After contacting the website and requesting that his images be removed and only receiving a lukewarm response, Inman decided that it just wasn’t worth his time and energy to pursue a legal avenue, and so he decided to just “let it go” and moved on with his life.  Unfortunately, FunnyJunk has some rather large cojones because in an interesting twist, the website hired attorney Charles Carreon to send a letter to Inman threatening to file a federal lawsuit unless Inman agreed to pay $20,000 in “damages” for (what I’m assuming is) FunnyJunk’s belief that the website had been defamed by content regarding the dispute that Inman posted on his blog, The Oatmeal.  And that’s when the proverbial poop hit the fan.

Remember that old cliche about letting sleeping dogs lie and not rattling the cage of that big dog because he bites?  Well, our friend Matthew Inman apparently has had enough sleep and doesn’t like it much when you rattle his cage!  In an extremely funny twist, Inman has decided he has a better plan.  In a rebuttal response on his website, Inman drew a new cartoon wherein he outlined his much improved plan.  In lieu of paying $20,000 to FunnyJunk for their (bogus) lawsuit, Inman states that he will initiate “Operation BearLove Good.  Cancer Bad.”  As part of this operation, Inman states that he will:

  1. Try to raise $20,000 in donations.
  2. Take a photo of the money that is donated.
  3. Mail that photo to FunnyJunk, along with an original drawing of  “Your mom seducing a Kodiac bear.”
  4. Then he’ll take 1/2 of the money and donate it to the American Cancer Society and the other 1/2 of the money and donate it to the National Wildlife Federation.

The bottom line is that Inman has said he doesn’t have time to mess with this type of idiocy.  He just wants to write his blog and be left alone!  And it would be great, I’m sure, if anyone reposting his original content would give him credit for that content.

Within an hour of beginning “Operation BearLove Good.  Cancer Bad” and posting the link on his blog,  Inman had met the $20,000 goal and, within 24 hours had raised almost $120,000!  His current total is over $130,000 in donations.  Awesome!

The MSNBC website quotes FunnyJunk’s attorney, Charles Carreon, as saying “I’m completely unfamiliar really with this style of responding to a legal threat — I’ve never really seen it before…I don’t like seeing anyone referring to my mother as a sexual deviant.” (In reference to the image Inman posted of his mother and the Kodiak bear).  Apparently Carreon goes on to tell the MSNBC interviewer, “It’s an education in the power of mob psychology and the Internet.”

In my mind, I imagine the folks at FunnyJunk and their attorneys sitting behind their desks, scratching their heads and saying…“What the…What?”  Yes, I think Inman’s response is the ultimate What the…What?  

To see Inman’s response to FunnyJunk’s lawsuit (and, really folks, ya gotta see it!) follow this link. Please note that some of the content may be offensive and not appropriate for young children.

To read Rosa Golijan’s original MSNBC story that inspired today’s What the…What?  you can follow this link.

To contribute to Matthew Inman’s Campaign, you can follow this link to make a donation.