I don't like Oatmeal

Continuing the discussion from Mad Lib Your Own Adventure:

I just don’t like Matt Inman’s The Oatmeal. “Let’s find something that’s funny, pretend nobody thought it was funny before, and swearing and pictures, and take it to the bank!”

There was some profile/other comic that skewered his creative practice, but I can’t find it back.

UPDATE [2015.02.12]: I found it - see below (at one point, I thought it was Stuef’s article, but I was pretty sure it was a comic I was thinking of; maybe I saw it from the article, maybe not. anyway).

Jack Stuef’s 2012 Buzzfeed piece The Secrets Of The Internet’s Most Beloved Viral Marketer

Looks like the article generated a furor (expected), only also caused headaches for Buzzfeed (unexpected): BuzzFeed reeling from Oatmeal-induced nausea…just when it was getting serious

Here’s a 2013 DailyBeast article: The Oatmeal Creator Talks Comics, Lawsuits, His New Book, and More

NB: I inlined the author of the Buzzfeed piece because it generated such a controversy surrounding it and the author. Never heard of him, otherwise (same goes for all the other articles; maybe I’m just an ostrich).



You don’t like the lazy misogyny?

But the raising money for the Tesla museum stuff was good.

Plus, he lives around here somewhere.


Yes, but that’s so

At least the trains ran on time.


And what’s wrong with efficient public transport?

Bigger picture, dude.

Sure, a few people that weren’t me died, but whatever. My commute is good.


Figured that this was about @ironedithkidd


I appreciate what he’s done for charities, Tesla, etc. And I appreciate some of his comics.

But re-using the same Fireworks art for this card game and recycling a dozen other card game rules with “sure fire geek humor” (explosions, kittens, swearing, farts) is bottom-of-the-barrel laziness. I’m sad that it somehow made a jillion dollars, because it discourages originality.


It’s the lazy homophobia that turns me off.


It’s lazy point scoring where nobody explains what their insults are based in, with citations, that tends to turn me off. I’m all in favor of a good point made, but just name calling is not a point made. Would you explain a bit?

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There are a few cartoons he’s done that have specifically upset people.

5 Super Neat Ways to Use A Hooker he has removed from his site.

There was one clueless one about how easy it was to be a female gamer, and there was another one where his dog attacks a woman, thinkin “I’LL KILL YOU! MAKE-UP SLATHERED HORSEBEAST STILLETOS AND PERFUME LYING HORSEBEAST SLAGBUCKET” that raised some ire.

There’s a rape joke one somewhere too.


That’s covered at the top of this article.

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There were a number of times a while ago where someone disagreed with one of his points online, at which point he just ridiculed them and posted that ridicule as a new Facebook post. The general response was often along the lines of “yeah, I’m with (other guy) - you’re kind of acting like a douche”, so I don’t think he does that much any more. I don’t have any really strong opinions about him, I think he’s basically someone who has tapped into a fundamental frequency of the internet (like Randall Munroe) and become a sort of celebrity who helps to fund museums, organise races, give speeches and make massively successful kickstarters, while just being an average guy who can’t really handle the fact that he’s popular rather than right.

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However, Munroe’s online person (the comics) is not quite so much of an asshole.

Munroe panders, but he panders to a certain subtype of intellectualism.

The Venn Diagram of Inman’s comics and intellectualism has an intersection containing but Nicolai Tesla (see above).

Inman’s extended, whiny, butt-hurt rebuttal to the Buzzfeed article focuses heavily on the author – the link is even contains his name: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/jack_stuef.

He sidesteps and justifies. “So I make a lot of money instead of being an small-indie-webcomics-artist like I portray myself? Fuck You I do good things with the money!” Is indeed a just justification, but still sidesteps the whole issue of projected-persona-vs-reality.

He defends hiring people (as opposed to being an solo small-indie-webcomics-artist shop), he bizarrely claims he hires 2 or 3 retirees. Who… aren’t retired if they work for him? But they are old, so he’s probably doing it out of pity for their feeble faculties and general infirmities, as opposed to really needing their help, is that the implication I’m supposed to be getting here? And they’re all family members, or friends-of-family, so, stop with the Walmart-similarity-accusations already.


Gee, I dunno.

Sitting down to pee makes a man a sissy little bitch.

So does crying, I guess.

Inman is totally not gay.

And, you know, what’s wrong with using the word “retard”? It’s satire!

Or using rape as a lazy metaphor?

Or suggesting that being a woman who games is awesome, especially if you’re stupid?


And I see he’s taken down several and left whining in their place.


The “howtooatmeal.png” never quite captures the genius of the real oatmeal comics.

I have read and understand the complaints that yourself and many other commentators have conveyed.

Rather than piling on - I would like to share an Oatmeal strip that hits very close to home in regard to my motivation and passion for running:

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I have a theory about how fanboys analyze entertainment-- basically, it comes down to scarcity.

Suppose you don’t like how Whedon approaches the Avengers comic book movie-- but you still like the Avengers. If Whedon screws up, some guy at Marvel decides-- let’s move on to other properties. If Whedon excels, that’s another couple of movies that don’t fit your taste. Either way, NO ONE ELSE is going to do an Avengers movie, for years or decades. The fanboy feels he has a personal stake in persuading others of his opinion, because there’s no room for a diversity of opinion-- copyright monopolies ensure this.

Likewise, if you preferred Atari ST to Amiga, and the market didn’t, there was a chance that not as many games would come out for your computer. You had a stake, (however minor) in persuading people that you were right to buy the ST over something else.

But with webcomics, there are so many of them Don’t like a webcomic? Move on. Read something else for a change. There’s no need to get a community consensus that “oatmeal is/isn’t a homophobic misogynist reprobate”, because oatmeals comics are simply one among many.


I don’t really like or dislike the Oatmeal in general, it’s really hit-and-miss, but there are some good strips sometimes, along with many forgettables. But the Nikola Tesla strip is so incredibly bad. Between the Tesla hagiography that attributes inventions to him that he didn’t actually invent and completely misrepresents him, and for the shallow demonizing of Edison also meanders into fiction.


I think your fanboy theory is on the money. I often notice a tendency in various fandoms to laud works as AMAZING and wonderful, and talk about them as objectively and unimpeachably great. Often times those works are objectively, pretty not good. And you can point it out to these same people. The characters are one dimensional, the dialogue is poorly written and confusing, the plot is one big cliche, etc. They often will ignore it, argue in circles about how that’s not the case, or (oddly) fall back on the exact sort of “it’s just scifi/kid’s book/anime/video games” sort of defense that’s usually used to dismiss what their a fan of (and its a dismissal they’re incensed by). It often seems to me that given limited options (although that’s less and less a thing) they’re glomming onto whatever’s available and halfway decent. Effectively turning “pretty good for x genre” into “pretty good” and then into “pretty great” for lack of legitimately pretty great stuff to fill out their list.

But there’s also this nasty tendency people have to assume that if they like something it must be great (otherwise why do they like it), to be dismissive and mean to people who don’t like it or acknowledge its greatness, and to loudly and endlessly attack anyone who argues against its absolute greatness (or really anything else in regards to said thing that doesn’t match up and feed into its greatness). This tendency seems overblown especially on the internet. But its also rampant in the various fandom communities, and especially with people who have really specific interests.

And I don’t get it. I like all sorts of stuff. Some of it is pretty terrible. Some of it I like because it is terrible. Its more interesting to discuss the ins and outs than it is to shout at people because they disagree.

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