KWGN’s Chris Parente didn’t watch Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig’s movie and got exactly what he deserved.



What every Tumblr / Twitter activist does when they’re not in front of a computer.



A Brief Kevin Smith Story

The month I got married to the ex-wife in 2008, I had an idea for a comic. It was about how people would deal with the fact that there is no afterlife. 

I never got to working on it though because my ex-wife and I were both burnt out from SUNY Potsdam, where we both went to school, and a couple of months later we both became substitute teachers in the city of Albany. And if you know anything about teaching in an inner-city school, you’ll know how intense that can be.

BUT! I had a lot of fun character ideas, and one of them was a devout Catholic who, after learning there was no Hell, decided to create his own version in New Jersey. It would be a place he could punish who he thought was wicked.

We’ll skip over the easy “Hell is in New Jersey” joke here. Besides, I’m pretty sure Futurama made the same joke at some point.

Anyway, I’m a big Kevin Smith fan. So we reached out to the View Askew people and asked permission to use Kevin Smith as the model for the character’s likeness. They were totally awesome about it (and even shared the completed image on their website) when it was done. So I’d like to think the character has his stamp of approval, but I doubt he or any of those guys remember this.

So, the character, who had a really clunky name at the time of “The Replacement Devil” (or as I called him in my notes “Satan’s Neighbor”) builds his own version of hell under, you guessed it, a convenience store.

This character is a little tricky to put into the “Liberty” universe, especially because there’s a fucking archangel running around killing superheroes, so the whole “there is no afterlife” thing doesn’t work here. But I floated this picture around today and people seemed to like it, so I may find a way to work him in, even if it’s a brief appearance. 

image

P.S. Keep in mind, this is from 2008, and I know Kevin Smith now always wears a jersey modeled after the Edmonton Oilers, not the New Jersey Devils. The jersey above is from a hockey team I used in an old comic strip of mine. If he appears in “Liberty”, the logo will be changed to something from their universe.








7 Reasons Why You Should Join Me In Saying, “Fuck Reddit”

I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time, but after The Fappening, I think other people are starting to see what I’ve seen for years now about Reddit.

So, this would be the best possible time for me to share seven reasons why I think you should join me in saying, “Fuck Reddit”.

Reddit isn’t a “government” as they now claim to be. Reddit is a business, one whose business model is entirely predatory. You may see a lot of griping on Reddit about Buzzfeed and Huffington Post repurposing content found on there, but it’s an illusion. Reddit is no different than Buzzfeed or The Huffington Post. They take other people’s stuff (usually from 4Chan, SomethingAwful, FunnyJunk, and others), repackage it in some fashion, and then make money by bragging to advertisers about all the traffic they’re getting. It is absolutely no different than Buzzfeed, HuffPo, Upworthy, Viral Nova, or any of the other sites receiving a lot of scorn in the press for being repackagers of content.

The fact we all pretend Reddit is somehow better than Buzzfeed, or above the disgusting bullshit Buzzfeed tries to pull every day, is insanity. 

Think about it:

#1 Digg Ripoff

Reddit was started as a ripoff of a popular website (Digg) by a couple of already wealthy kids. When the original Digg fell apart, Reddit received a boost in traffic. Namely from members of the media who were now using Reddit to mine for content instead of Digg. In a lot of respects, Reddit is a creation of the media because of this.

Those wealthy kids who co-founded Reddit, by the way, would later sell the site and become millionaires. Not only did the rich get richer, but none of the site’s (real) users were compensated for the amount of time and energy they put into posting content to the site, including the content creators whose stuff was being passed around on Reddit.

So every time Alexis Ohanian, one of Reddit’s co-founders, pops up and says he’s the “mayor of the Internet” and that he wants to reform copyright law, just remember how he made his money and whose best interests he has at heart. (Hint: It’s not content creators.)

#2 You Won’t Believe How Reddit Actually Got Popular (Part 1)

Reddit grew the site using hundreds of fake accounts to make the site appear active. (“Growth Hacking”, ladies and gentleman.) This is really important to know because:

#3 You Won’t Believe How Reddit Actually Got Popular (Part 2)

At one point, “jailbat” was the second most popular search term to bring traffic to Reddit. r/jailbait, featuring underage girls, brought the traffic millions of pageviews. In 2008, three years after Reddit was founded, “jailbait” was voted “subreddit of the year”. After r/jailbait was banned, r/creepshots emerged where women’s pictures were being posted without their permission before also being banned.

That would mean Reddit’s growth was entirely fueled by fake accounts talking to each other, pictures of scantily clad underage girls, and pictures of girls being shared without their knowledge. This is what Conde Nast got when they bought Reddit for $20 million dollars. (Reddit was later spun off as a separate entity under Conde Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications, before spinning it off again as an independent company with Advance Publications serving as the site’s largest shareholder in the new company.)

#4 The House That Bullshit Built

We’ll get to The Fappening in a second, but other subreddits that either exist or have existed include: r/sexwithdogs, r/whiterights, r/sexy abortions, r/killingwomen, r/beatingwomen2, r/rapingwomen,r/mensrights,  r/watchpeopledie. Previously there was also r/niggers, which was only banned after multiple “warnings” not for hateful content, but for breaking Reddit’s rules.

And while we’re at it: r/rapingwomen, r/cutefemalecorpses, r/necroporn, r/killingboys, r/hurtinganimals, r/beatingcripples, r/picsofdeadkids are all active subreddits.

#5 Nobody Knows Where Any Of This Stuff Came From

Within the #2 and #3 most popular subreddits, it is often impossible to identify the original source of the content. I tried for over a year to credit the original content creator, but after asking each of the posters on reddit who the original source was on both r/pics and r/funny, the response was often “I don’t know”.

So if you don’t know where the content came from (or you’re just reposting it because it was popular a week ago), why exactly do I or any of us have to credit you? It’s not yours all because you found it. It also doesn’t belong to Reddit. 

By the way, given the #2 and #3 most popular subreddits TODAY, Reddit is still a site fueled very much be stealing and repurposing other people’s stuff.

#6 Hypocrisy, Now In Smiling Alien Form

With The Fappening, it took over a week for Reddit to do anything, collecting 250 million pageviews and making a ton of money in the process. So Reddit will protest against the NSA for invading your privacy, but it’s totally cool with looking at stolen celebrity photos.

#7 “You Have No Power Here” (In Reality)

In the past Reddit took credit for helping to defeat “SOPA”, but as explained in Social Media Is Bullshit, “The Internet” had nothing to do with it. It was millions spent on lobbying by companies like Google and Facebook, among other tech companies, that stopped it. If this sounds familiar, Reddit also claimed to be the cause for success behind the Rally To Restore Sanity, but as PEW reported, only 6% of Americans actually use Reddit, meaning the rally was actually a success because it was promoted on two hugely popular television shows, not Reddit. 

Put another way: The site’s “power and influence” is often exaggerated.

#fuckreddit

Reddit is not your friend. It’s not the Internet’s friend. It doesn’t represent “The Internet”. It’s not better than Buzzfeed. IT IS EXACTLY LIKE BUZZFEED. We just look the other way and give it a pass because we’re sometimes just as hypocritical as the site itself, but you shouldn’t look the other way anymore. The days of Reddit being known as this little hive for my fellow geeks and I are long gone. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that those days never actually existed, given what was fueling the site’s popularity. Now it’s clear today what Reddit has been since Day 1: It’s a corporate asshole just like any other website out there that relies on advertising revenue to survive, and it does not give a fuck about you. It exists to make money for its shareholders at your expense and anyone else’s. 

So, fuck Reddit. (Or if you’re the journalist type trying to look hip and cool #fuckreddit.)

From now on, I encourage all of you to repurpose and reuse stuff you find on Reddit without guilt and without crediting them. And if you work in the media, don’t link back to them. If anyone should be getting your time, traffic, and attention, it should always be the original content creator and nobody else. And if you can’t find that original content creator? Keep the time, traffic, and attention for yourself.

Why give it to Reddit? What exactly did they contribute exactly? They don’t own that content. Heck, most of the time they have no idea where it came from, so why exactly are you linking to them? “From Reddit” or “Via Reddit” doesn’t mean anything to a reader except that you were too lazy to find the original source for something you used in your post. Don’t be that person. Nobody likes that person. Everyone thinks they’re kind of a dick.

Are you worried Reddit is going to get mad at you for not linking and ban your links from their subreddits? That’s fine. Let them. If you’re depending on Reddit for traffic, you have much, much, bigger problems to be worried about. Like the fact that you’re allowing a place that’s easily gamed by fake accounts and bribery to dictate how much traffic your site is going to get today. 

And don’t you worry about Reddit if you think not crediting them or linking to them is going to harm them in anyway. They’re currently valued as a company at $500 million dollars. Reddit is going to be just fine. And as they laugh all the way to the bank, they’ll be laughing at you in the process.