Monday, June 18, 2012

The Oatmeal, Funnyjunk, Carreon, and the Internet, maintained by Matthew Inman is one of the websites that I routinely checked. Why not? It is witty, funny, and repeatedly hits bullseye, so it makes my day frequently. 

In 2011, Inman complained about funnyjunk posting his works without any attribution. Inman was too lazy to make a legal complained about that problem, so he only posted the complain on After some hassles with Funnyjunk and its reader, basically all of them decided that the matter wouldn't worth the hassle of lawsuits. Or so it seems ...

Fast forward to 2012, almost exactly one year after that complain, suddenly Inman received a letter from Funnyjunk lawyer, Charles Carreon. In essence, funnyjunk accuses Inman of defamation, then ordered him to erase all mentioning of funnyjunk from, and as the final insult, ordered him to pay $20.000,00. 

Unlike many others, Inman refused to back down. He responded not only by contacting a lawyer and send funnyjunk a legal response, but also by starting not one, but TWO charities while giving funnyjunk the finger. Surprised, surprised, the donation reached $ 20.000 in an hour, and most internet turn against funnyjunk, including many funnyjunk readers. 

That was the time for funnyjunk and their lawyer to backdown. But no. Not for Carreon. He want to continue this hassle by doing interviews with medias like MSNBC, and Forbes, declaring that he is the champion of justice who is bullied by Inman. He pointed out that Inman's response to his legal threat hurt his feeling. Geez, looks like Carreon took "the never quit" mantra too seriously. Then Carreon upped the ante by suing not only Inman, but also American Cancer Society and National Wildlife Federation because these 2 organizations will receive the charity money from Inman, and Indiegogo, since Indiegogo is the service provider for Inman's charity and it refused to bow to Carreon to take the charity down. Congratulation, Carreon just make the whole internet his enemy.

Because all of this, the internet digging deeper. They want to know more about Carreon. They found out easily that Carreon maintains another website, other than his official website for his legal practice. That other website posted a cartoon depicting George W. Bush make love with Condolezza Rice. Remember how Carreon said Inman's drawing hurt his feeling? And if that is not enough, everyone pointed out the contradiction of Carreon's statement that he is an internet-expert lawyer with the fact that he stated that he was surprised by the internet reaction to him in one of the interview. Looks like Carreon will find the word "ironic" mentioned together with his name ad nauseam.

So, what kind of lesson can we learned from this fiasco?

1) Lazyness or kindness is not equal to weakness.
This is a mistake that a bully often makes. They are often too confident, thinking they will get everything easily. Funnyjunk think Inman's lazyness or kindness is sign of his weakness. They found how wrong they are, unfortunately they learned the hard way.

2) Fight back the bully.
Since bully often do mistake #1, they often surprised when their target hit back. Fight back. The essence of a good offense is maximum power of ours in the opponent's weakest point. Hit back creatively. Hit back where the bully never imagined before. That means, after creatively found their weakest point, hit back as hard as possible. 

3) While in a fight STAY FOCUS!
Only an idiot starts a 2-front war. Only a lobotomized idiot starts a 10 front wars after already have a 2-front war. By suing Indiegogo, National Wildlife Federation and American Cancer Society, Carreon changed the nature of the fight. Now, instead of fighting against Inman and his fans, he has to fight those 3 organizations and the whole internet. 

Just quit now Mr. Carreon. It is hurtful to see you embarassed yourself. Inman also offered you the same advice. Really. You still have the chance.

UPDATE: Carreon really likes to fight the whole internet!

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