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Friday, June 22, 2012

Delusions of Grandeur - Charles Carreon has Eaten All the Clothespins

UPDATE: After this blog post went *slightly* viral, it was brought to my attention that Mrs. Carreon exception to my commentary on her husband's behavior. You can see her reaction here, or here and here if the Carreons decide to initiate what @WillRossWriter refers to as "Code DFE" (Delete Fucking Everything). Rest assured, this "lying little bitch" is in no way fazed by Mrs. Carreon's threats, and I will continue to write as this saga unfolds. Enjoy the blog post. More to come.

UPDATE: For the latest on the Bear Love Campaign and to find out how you can help protest Charles Carreon's despicable lawsuit, go here

neon clothespins
Image courtesy of tauntingpanda. Jelly beans courtesy of Channone.
When I was in elementary school, I was the good kid. I was friendly, smart, helpful, and obedient. Teachers loved having me in their classes and fellow students wanted to be my friend. As a reward for my excellent behavior and good grades, I was compensated year after year in the same way. I was made to sit by the worst kid in class, so that I could “be a good influence on them.”

For a sensitive kid, with a major failure complex and crippling anxiety, this was a perennial nightmare. I could not abide other kids who were just bad for seemingly no reason, other than personal amusement. By fifth grade, I had had enough. As I walked around the room looking for my desk on the first day of school, I found my name placard neatly taped to a desk near the windows, underneath the clothesline where the teacher would hang students’ artwork with bright, neon, plastic clothespins. To my horror, the placard taped to the desk next to it read:


Brandon was indubitably the worst kid that has ever attended elementary school in any country at any point in history. Some of his claims to fame included nearly concussing himself by banging his head against cement walls, screaming bloody murder randomly throughout the day with no provocation, and urinating in his chair on purpose when a teacher would not let him get up and walk around the classroom.

“No. No effing way,” thought tiny Ann Bransom.

When Brandon entered the room, he didn’t even have to look around to find his seat, because when he made eye contact with me a huge Cheshire cat grin spread across his face. He could tell by the look on my face, exactly where his seat was.

When he sat down next to me, I leaned over to him, and in a hushed and stern voice said, “Look. You cannot be insane this year. So here’s what you are going to do. You are going to come in every day, sit down, shut up, and not screw up, because I am NOT going to get in trouble, because you are acting like an idiot. Tell me you understand the words I am saying to you.”

Brandon sat looking at me for a moment with his newly buzzed hair, meticulously teased out rat tail, and big blue watery eyes…

Then he got up and ate one of the plastic clothespins, metal springs and all.

Throughout history, teachers have struggled with how to maintain order in the classroom. Disciplinary tactics have ranged from bare-bottom birchings to non-verbal cues and humanistic i-messaging. In my opinion, the tactic that has historically been the most effective is the following:

“If one more person acts up, then no recess for anyone.”

The Brandons of the world could not be controlled by the fear of a teacher doling out a solitary punishment, or even the influence of sitting next to a good kid. But the fear of TWENTY good kids ready to murder him if they could not run around outside for thirty minutes like a gang of maniacs…

That gives one the pause necessary to reflect upon whether or not the behavior is worth the consequence.

Charles Carreon has eaten all the clothespins.

He has also threatened to burn the playground to the ground, gag the teacher, and hold us all at gunpoint with a water pistol.

The internet has rightly responded by saying, “Sit down, shut up, and quit being insane.”

I do not advocate the majority having the right to silence the minority. I think everyone’s voice has a right to be heard, Charles Carreon’s and his family’s included. That said, there is a reason that the audience was right 91% of the time on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or that the oft repeated Jelly Bean counting studies have proven that while individuals are miserably bad at guessing, as a group we are frighteningly accurate. We may disagree on which jelly bean tastes the best, and this disagreement is what leads to innovation and growth, which is a very good thing. But the number of jelly beans in the jar is not open to debate, and as a group we are very good at assessing what the facts are.

The rage that Charles Carreon is enduring is not born, necessarily, out of a disagreement over moral ambiguities like who was the bigger asshole, Inman or FunnyJunk. It is born of his stubborn refusal to accept facts as they exist, and understand that the entire rest of the world is not going to suffer gladly one individual’s litigious revenge for being butthurt. Moreover, the entire rest of the world is not going to suffer gladly, one person’s antics threatening our recess, or in this case, our ability to speak our opinions, share our frustrations and criticisms, and openly debate controversial issues without fear of costly, time consuming abuses of our legal system.

The time has come for Charles Carreon to accept how many jelly beans are in the jars. Here is the official count for each jar of cray:

“My haters have delusions of grandeur - they think 'they are the Internet' and their opinions matter to someone besides themselves.” 

Grandiose delusions or delusions of grandeur are a very real symptom of a mental disorder. If Charles Carreon were to seek professional help, and I believe he absolutely should, I am completely confident that any mental health professional would qualify starting one’s own religion, crusading against the “unwashed masses” with no support from anyone other than one’s own equally mentally disordered family members, and being legitimately surprised when corporations as large as Google do not personally respond to you or "pull the switch or click the box", as clear indicators of disordered thinking.

Also, point of order, we are the internet and our opinions do matter to others besides ourselves. That is why the internet exists.

In response to being questioned over the discrepancy between his claim of always using “tempered speech” and his categorically NOT tempered speech on his innumerable websites where he and his wife photoshop people they don’t like into sexual situations, rant on ad nauseum about the conspiracies that these people are no doubt a part of, and habitually refer to detractors and critics as “retards” and other less savory terms: “I am not a politician. I have not deceived anyone. I am not able to stand armies. It is entirely distinct. The grounds for engaging in savage satire of people who are murderers [is a] completely different situation. That’s like comparing touch football with warfare.” 

I’m pretty sure that (NSFW) Matthew Inman and (NSFW) Kathleen Parker do not have “armies” at their disposal to “stand”. What this boils down to is simply the delusional, wildly immature belief of a covert (and not even very covert) narcissist, in which “It’s not offensive if I do it, because…um…I’m the one doing it. And I’m special.”

Charles Carreon is not special, and neither is anyone of us. If I do something offensive on this blog, I have to own the consequences. Sometimes that means admitting when I’m wrong, exercising self-deprecation where appropriate, or simply enduring the criticism of those who oppose my beliefs. That is one of the many things Carreon doesn’t understand. No one is saying he is not allowed to be offended, or even believe and write about all the schizophrenic madness to which he and his wife subscribe. On the contrary, what we are saying is that he is not allowed to exercise that right, and then try to deny it to someone else under a veiled and tasteless attempt to hush them by fucking up their day with a lawsuit.

When asked if he will pursue his hopeless search for the people currently impersonating him online, his response: "Of course I will: Doe 1 in the Complaint becomes named defendant after Twitter and Ars Technica answer subpoena." 

This is yet another example of the disproportionate response of someone who has apparently been living under a rock for the last five years of social media evolution. If someone impersonates you on Twitter, and does not make it clear that it is a parody, you have every right to expect that account to be shut down. So you report the account to Twitter.

The end.

Twitter took the account down as soon as it was reported. Subpoenaing Twitter and Ars is like trying to put out a candle with a fire house, and only someone with a pathological amount of self-importance would send a subpoena to Twitter and expect anything besides the response of FOAD.

“I win by making the world a place where the law of charitable giving, wisely enacted over fifty years ago by the California legislature, will secure the rights of genuine charitable fundraisers to not have to compete with false advertising and unregistered charitable fundraisers who can take the money and vamoose, as so many have done.” 

Right now the only thing that two genuine charitable fundraisers are having to compete with, is an asinine attorney forcing them to spend money that might go to help animals or cure cancer, and instead give it to other attorneys who will have to use that money to teach Mr. Carreon how to read. The statute he cites as his basis for suing Inman, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation, and the American Cancer Society does not apply in this situation.

1. Inman is not a fundraiser. He is an individual raising money for charity.
2. IndieGoGo is not a fundraiser. It is web platform that allows users to set up fundraisers and/or donate to fundraisers. They are entitled to compensation for those services, just as porta potty companies are entitled for compensation for providing a hundred places for participants to take a dump at every charity walk/run in the country. Fundraising has overhead. That doesn’t mean that every service provider becomes a “fundraiser” themselves. Furthermore, they make that compensation structure perfectly clear in their terms of use policy easily located on any page of their website.
3. The National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society are not and should not be held liable for every dollar raised in their names, because the cost of hiring hundreds of psychics to know whenever a lemonade stand or paypal donor account is setup would be too cost prohibitive for them to help anyone.

I could go on labeling all the other jars of cray, but really why bother? Foaming at the mouth with the desire to prove just how hypocritical, greedy, self-involved, and insane Charles Carreon is is an understandable response to this cluster of a lawsuit, but given the fact that although there has been a modicum of support emerging for FunnyJunk’s part to play in this saga, I would challenge anyone to show me A SINGLE COMMENT in support of Charles Carreon that cannot be attributed to him, his wife, or his two daughters. Fred Phelps has more supporters outside of his own family than Charles Carreon does. I’m not sure that can be said about anyone else in the history of the Internet. So the only people we are really trying to convince are Charles Carreon (who can’t be convinced for this reason), Tara Carreon (who can’t be convinced for this reason), and his two daughters (who can’t be convinced for this reason).

Our new focus should be highlighting the legal aspects of this case by sharing the awesome analysis of the Carreon vs. Inman Lawsuit that is being done by the likes of Pope Hat, The Legal Satyricon, and Lowering the Bar. As social media users and bloggers, we need to become better versed in copyright and trademark law, so we can protect ourselves against those who would censor us for any reason, and, also to know when we have crossed the line and need to edit ourselves. Because that is what Mr. Carreon is the most unwilling to accept.

Integrity is not measured by our refusal to bend, redact, or edit ourselves, nor is it measured by our ability to draft and mail legal documents and pay court fees.

It is measured by our ability to hear other people’s points of view, temper those views with our own principles, admit when we are wrong, and stand up for what is good for everyone, not just ourselves.

32 comments : said...

When I get back from the dentist, apparently plastic and metal can mess up your teeth, I will respond more thoroughly. Suffice to say, you owe me 2 T-Rexes and a platypus.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ann - just wow. Excellent piece.

Czernobog said...

Very nice posts, both of these.

I'm confident that Carreon will soon have to "pass the spring" if I may use your analogy for my own childish purposes. said...

My official response:

Anonymous said...

Ann, absolutely outstanding post, both your insight and writing are admirable.

That being said, however, one very minor quibble regarding the facts. Specifically, you wrote:

" Also, point of order, we are the internet and our opinions do matter to others besides ourselves. That is why the internet exists."

Everyone knows that the internet was invented for pornography. All off the. internet's non-porn achievements have been pure coincidence.

Ann Bransom said...

What!? Since when has there been porn on the internet?!

Fair enough, Anonymous. Fair enough.

Ara Ararauna said...

Shiny colourful clothespins! *peaks them playfully*

But I must be a good birdie (bad birdie, went too lenghtly). Your post made me to recall elementary school of course; everyone have had their share of ups and downs of being shut in between the same 4 walls along some psychopath wannabes as classmates.

It was even sadder when by the years I noticed that the people in blame of the kids' insanity was their parents rather than being born "insane" (thing that everyone told me but that I found to be a stupid reason as when they told me that black people were bad at maths due to their primitive brains).

This being said, Mr. Carreon, we might ignore how he was back at school or how he came to get his "lawyer license", but from a psychological point of view, he's acting like a person with HPD, probably fruit of being for so many years with a dubious mate. I have seen this many times... mostly in the example of my brother, the coolest boy of the street, intelligent, athletic, funny... but after being for so many years with a "peter-panish" girl, all his cool dulled and went down the sewer, now looking like a zombie of his former self, fat, uninterested in sciences and life threatening his parents like an asshole just to appease his "wife's" ego (the same one that tricked on him more than once, even bearing a new baby that it is clearly not my brother's). Note he will not abandon her due to sheer stubborn pride, to admit he was mistaken all along and that our parents were always right.

So, more or less I'm saying that the reasons why Carreon is acting like he's doing might be more due to inner peer pressure rather than because he whacked off himself out of screws (which also it has a chance to be probable if he is an avid consumer of crack).
They both wanted to get the attention of people, and a example of that is their religion they wanted to run themselves, or the huge amount of websites and blogs they founded just to copy/pasta the same things over, and over, and over...

Ara Ararauna said...

However, seeing that they both failed miserably from the peaceful approach, and seeing that drama and controversies granted more eyes to stare and backslash them like no tomorrow (S&M?), their most obvious choice was to start to pick a squabble with something, either by raging on blogs or telling openly to the whole world that they are all insane but them, like some sort of Adam and Eve survivalists. I dare to think the squabble he's picking against Inman is not the first, not the last, in a long line of HPD symptoms, and he/she will not stop until they find themselves shut with other convict inmates to recall him about how futile is to try to bend masses of people against their wills for the sake of a "fee" and any other onanistic behaviour he and she undergoes every time both successfully achieves what both planned. Quite the tiny tyrant on the throne.

Obviously the drunk person will never admit that they are drunk... Picking a fight with your neighbour will grant you jail for a day or two. Picking a fight with the whole globalized world grants you... immunity? The drama he and his accomplice raised, causing damages to several individual people and groups must go unnoticed? Aren't we in the right to "correct" that which doesn't wants to stop a selfdestructive behaviour? I do think we are in right to protect defenseless people from the abuse of others that think themselves superior, and that brandish frivolously the rights of "freedom of speech" as a kukri to backstab anyone that interposes between them and their target. Carreon and Co. (and sadly those poor girls will get scarred for life due to them) did tresspass the line of what is permissible and what it is not, exercising licentious law procedures for the sake of a pityless ego crusade (because if I start to talk about FJ's admin, this post will go forever).

I'm thankful you shared your point of view about all this dramastorm that uncouth lawyer unleashed upon the internet. It is a pearl that must be mirrored. In the end Carreon will go out like the wick of a candle doused in greasy blubbler; it will suffocate himself.

Best wishes.

Bruce said...

Ann - you have dredged up a very sore point from my past and seems this was a tactic here in .au as well the US.

Names I had almost forgotten are now bobbing back to the surface. Screw you Ken and Jamie and Daniel and the teachers that inflicted all three of you on me for some utterly miserable times.

Ann Bransom said...

@Bruce - we should form a support group. The International Surviviors Forum for Exploited Overachievers.


Anonymous said...

Ann can you contact me:

azteclady said...

(following the breadcrumbs from Popehat)

This is most, most excellent. If you weren't married and you didn't have a long line of people already clamoring to marry you anyway, I would ask you to marry me and bear my children.

Thank you for this--it's full of awesomesauce.

Ann Bransom said...

@Azteclady - I'm not going to lie. When I saw "New Comment from Azteclady" come up in my e-mail, I had a small heart attack thinking my blog had been visited by a certain wife of a certain descendent of Cortez. Very happy to find kind words and a marriage proposal instead.

Also, if you look anything like Rita Hayworth, I wouldn't count yourself out just yet.

Thanks for reading!!

theperfectnose said...

Well said, Lady. Support your sentiments totally. BTW the thing you said about being punished for being a good girl, Tara Mohr wrote something about that for the HuffPost Also, any chance of installing disqus to save commenters from the blindness inducing hideousness that is recaptcha? Disqus handles spam blocking for you (it uses Akismet, the same algorithm that's built into Wordpress) and enables cross platform commenting while keeping tabs on comments, responses, pings and trackbacks. This means people from wordpress, typepad, livejournal, overblog etc will be able to keep track of responses without having to get a Google ID (OpenID is supposed to facilitate this but it doesn't actually work for non-Google IDs XS).

Anonymous said...

Ann, I have been following this story across multiple sites since its beginning. I don't usually comment on any of it since I'm usually too busy laughing at the a$$hat that is Charles Carreon, but I read this and wanted to say, it is one of the best written pieces of commentary I have read to date (on this subject and maybe any subject in general). Thank you for taking the time to write this.

Anonymous said...

I also followed this from breadcrumbs strewn about the interwebs. That man is nuts! He's not only eaten all of the clothespins, he's also been munching on plastic dinosaurs! Now, he wants you to go to the dollar store and get him more to nibble! His wife is an internet troll, a bully who lives for the fights she picks - ignore her unless she actually pulls a shiv - but she won't. I haven't looked for their daughters' posts as the poor dears have had THEM as their main role-models.
They're like rabid, demented weasels. Scary, though, if they snap at you.
You said it all. Like the first anonymous said, excellent piece. Keep up the good work.

Mika said...

Great post! The Carreons are truly insane, and the fact that they at times have deployed their extremely virulent lunacy against those many of us also despise does not mitigate their insanity one bit. The loopiest of the loopy has to be Charles's wife, Tara, who likens Matthew Inman (whose work I happen mostly to dislike but who is so obviously completely in the right in this controversy) to the loathsome cartoonist Andy Capp and then proceeds to rail for hundreds of words against Capp as if doing so had any logical relation to making an argument against Inman! The craziness of that non sequitur is breathtaking to behold and on display here.

Anonymous said...

It's stuff like this that gives one hope in the worldwide struggle against the a$$holes.

Ann Bransom said...

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read the piece. One of the few good things to come out of this ridiculous lawsuit is all the great conversations about copyright, trademark, free speech, and satire. It's rare that the Internet agrees so completely on an issue, but this appears to be one of them.

@theperfectnose - I'll have to go check out Tara's piece. Thanks for sharing! Regarding the comment setup, the ultimate goal is to migrate this bad boy over to WordPress. I plead epic laziness and having two kids under the age of 3 for why I haven't made the move yet. I have nightmares of lost comments and posts.

Leanna said...

Ann- I'm a fellow breadcrumb follower from popehat (which I had not visited until reddit directed me there in reference to this craziness) and I am also an English major. I just wanted to say that I have been enjoying the popehat thread and find this write up especially wonderful. Your allegories for the situation is spot on. I laughed, I cried a little, and I got a bit prideful that we, The Internet, are rather united against crazy. I guess I just wanted to say good job and thanks for the wonderful reading the past week or so.

Leanna said...

Well shoot, I self identify with my English degree and then write "your allegories is" instead of "are." Please forgive me.

James Moore said...

Whoa, I think I just fell in love.

Hope for all members of the human race: re-ignited.

Matt said...

Great commentary on this interesting saga, thank you Ann. I'm waiting of the movie now, it is bound to get made.

JCHarkins2 said...

I have to say, I am surprised not only at the amount of support Matt has received on his site, but from other savvy writers and legal overview sites. I hope you aren't relentlessly pursued in a frivolous lawsuit of an egomaniac and his off-the-rails wife. I haven't even seen the children's retorts to this, but I pray they are smart enough to keep their head as low as possible to not be hit and associated with the flak storm that the Carreons have caused. Keep up the excellent prose, you got another fan now.

BigZ7337 said...

This was an absolutely excellent post, though I was a little surprised/scared when I saw my name in your post. :)
I don't think I was at all like that kid in elementary school (I think I was closer to you as you described yourself) but I had to think about all I may have done for a second.

Nicole Santa Maria said...

Ann, excellent post! I tried to read Carreon's official response, but my network identified it as "Potentially Damaging Content." Innnnteresting...

Nicole Santa Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ollie said...

Best thing I've read about the situation all month. I'm literally making this my home page, you are a fantastic writer! I hope you keep it up!

Aaron said...

Sorry to be that guy, but it's "fazed" not "phased".

Ann Bransom said...

Damn you, Grammar Nazi Aaron. Damn you.


Whitehat said...

Unfortunately i will choose to be yet another "Hidden" Coward

Luckily i am sitting in a country where people like our dear Charles is not allowed, he would certainly not be allowed to practice law

Charles. I am legally allowed to tell you anything, make any kind of picture of you, slander you, call you, your mom or anyone ells horrible things. Where i am from Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. Cant really be limited now can it ;)

If you doou are welcome to track me down and sue me until you drop, wont help you at all ;)

So i am free to tell you that you are..

A douchebag

But the real problem here is not Charles, the problem is a system that allows Charles to "do his thing"

Please Americans.. you were our promising children, the brightest of europe going to build a new future.. But right now.. America is a monkey with a Computer.. All this potential but no way what so ever to use it

Sorry i do love america, just not your legal system

A European White hat

Mike Kayser said...

It's interesting to read about your experiences in school. When I was in elementary school, it was probably a class of 15-20 and I don't remember any bad eggs like that. I do remember that the closest thing to being punished for being good I ever really got was being assigned seating in the back of the room. As late as Calculus I was assigned a back row seat so I wouldn't distract the teacher while reading a free reading book. According to my cousin I was also the only to pass the AR test on 'War and Peace' in middle school. It may be obvious by this point, but I got incredibly bored in school and had a ton of time to read.