“I do not think that means what you think it means”

I feel very strongly there is no situation in modern life for which you cannot find an appropriate quote from The Princess Bride. Seriously. Try it.

Asking your prickly boss for a long awaited raise:
“Have fun stormin’ da castle!”

Signing up with an online dating site:
“Get used to disappointment.”

Running into that bitch from high school, 25 years later:
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You stole my boyfriend. Prepare to die.”

Oops. Inside voice. Anyyyhowww….

In the so-called “real world” of online life, the opportunities to use Princess Bride as a point of comparison become even more plentiful. To my absolute schadenfreude-y delight, there is a glorious and inexhaustible supply of people out there (known commonly as “fucktards”) picking fights on the Internet from which to choose. Usually with targets who are about a zillion times smarter. And the best part? These unfortunate folks (i.e. “morons”) don’t realize how utterly outmatched they are in the battle.


So let’s first take this famous Princess Bride scene to illustrate the ultimate miscalculation:

“Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders — the most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’ — but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line’! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha… ” [he stops laughing suddenly and falls over dead].

Remind you of anyone on the internet? FlameBullying has become so rampant on the ‘net its amazing that they keep making the same mistakes. So after a Web Comic called The Oatmeal launched an epic good-trumps-asshole campaign in response to The Stupid, I think we can update that slightly less well-known blunder to “Never fuck with an Internet comic when copyright infringement is on the line.”

If you’re not familiar with The Oatmeal and this latest chapter in their public life, let me ‘splain. No, there’s too much. Let me sum up. A bully with balls bigger than his brain stole an artist’s stuff, posted it on his site without credit and then tried to extort $20,000 in “legal fees” for his trouble. So what’s the punch line? That karma on the internet is fast, brutal and often altruistic.

The Oatmeal’s artist, in his own unique style, announced that instead of paying the thief a penny, he would instead:

1. Raise $20,000 in donations.
2. Take a photo of the raised money.
3. Mail The Bad Guy that photo, along with this drawing of The Bad Guy’s mom seducing a kodiak bear
4. Take the money and donate one half to the National Wildlife Federation (for the bears) and the other half to the American Cancer Society (because cancer is shitty)

Within 64 minutes, The Oatmeal’s loyal online community donated the $20,000. Within 36 hours, the total raised was $155,387. And when the 15 days of this brilliantly simple (and pointed) fundraising campaign is over, I have little doubt the total will come close to a quarter of a million dollars.

The lesson? That the best character you can ever run into on the internet is a bully whose brain was secretly replaced with cold and lumpy tapioca (“Let’s see if anyone can tell the difference”). Because not only won’t he ever get your lunch money, but we will all make damn sure that his mistake feeds everyone else.


p.s. Have you donated yet? No? Why the hell not? Do it NOW.


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