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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Adventures in the First Amendment and Copyrights: Oatmeal Fans Dish Out One More Bowl of FU

Last night all the LLB's Delicious Oatmeal that Might Have Been money FINALLY cleared my account. The final amount donated was an astonishing $2500 by 113 funders. Squeeeeeee!!! :D

This is the part where most people who help raise money for charity get to talk about the AWESOME charities that will get the money that so many AWESOME people donated (and maybe share some of their reasons for donating).

Alas, this was no ordinary charitable fundraiser. Unlike most fundraisers, this fundraiser has a villain. And this villain's mere existence and thinly veiled threats have forced me to begin this blog with something far less moving, and, frankly, downright sinister.

I must begin this blog with math.

Now if you were to go to a charity bake sale, you might assume (or not) that some of the money you are paying for Miss Edna's scrumptious Macadamia Nut Snickermunchies would not go to Our Lady of Faith's Orphans With Acne Benefit Fund, but rather to pay for the table and chair rentals, the tent, the porta john for that lactose intolerant alter boy's ill advised consumption of Sister Gertrude's tres leches cake, and other various and sundry overhead expenses. You would assume this, because, presumably, you are not a moron.

Charles Carreon still thinks you are a moron.

So for Charles Carreon's sake, who I'm sure will take credit for the money raised (even though half of it went to the organization that squished him like a sickly water bug), let's breakdown exactly where every last red cent went.

Firstly, the money you raise on IndieGoGo comes from two separate sources: credit cards/bank transfers or PayPal.

Delicious Oatmeal raised $1280 in CC payments. The 9% IndieGoGo fee was $115.20, credit card processing was $38.40, then (because we raised more than the $1000 goal) we got a 5% rebate of $64.

So, we netted $1190.40 from CC/Bank donations.

Now PayPal.

Gross PayPal donations were $1220. IndieGoGo 9% was $109.80, PayPal processing was $36.60, and the 5% IndieGoGo rebate was $61.00.

We netted $1134.60 from PayPal donations.

Add those amounts together and $2325 of the $2500 made it to the charities. $1162.50 each. Although, for the purposes of being obnoxiously thorough, Americans for the Arts got an additional $.50, because they only accept whole dollar amounts. I'm sure Charles will nail me on that one.

(Aside: Every time more than 3 numbers are involved in an equation, an English major hurls themselves off a bridge.  I narrowly escaped this time.)

How would you like it if every time you donated money, you had to have all of that spelled out for you in order to donate? Obviously, that information should be made easily accessible by any donor, which it is on every page of IndieGoGo. But what if you had to have it shoved down your gullet before every donation?

This is what Charles Carreon claims he wants.

Worse, Charles Carreon wants you to only be allowed to donate if you are doing it for the right reasons. In his view, the right reasons cannot include bitchiness, vindictiveness, pettiness, humor, mockery, satire, publicity, or anything that doesn't make him feel warm and fuzzy inside (<---Read his real reason for suing).

Well, Mr. Carreon, the Internet has spoken. And it is a resounding "fuck off."

Some comments from Delicious Oatmeal:
ozzlander88 said 16 days ago
Yay free speach…. boo asshats
Will said 16 days ago
Made on behalf of Tara Carreon, for hours and hours of entertainment.
rus.sundholm said 16 days ago
Anything that is a stick in they eye of CC is alright by me.
Deborah said 17 days ago
Love to help show that I can donate money on my own behalf and to help the important work of the EFF and freedom of speech

It is none of your business why anyone donates to any charity. It is also not your job to "help" us  assess the legitimacy of charities. We are capable of doing that, without your help. I'm also waiting with bated breath for your donation of the additional $175 you find so egregious to pay for credit card processing and the use of IndieGoGo's web platform. You may send it PayPal to design at Just make sure to add a little extra for good measure, because like IndieGoGo AND you AND everyone else, PayPal doesn't work for free.

But here is something you can have for free.

Some excellent advice.

If you want people to believe you don't care what they think about you, then don't post their "hate" mail in your own museum of narcissism. If you believe in the First Amendment, don't threaten to sue satirists and then act surprised when they don't sit by and eat crow. If you don't want people to think you are a poisonous douche shrub, then don't liken people criticizing you to the horror of rape. Most importantly, if you don't like people shining a light on your bad behavior, then STOP BEHAVING BADLY.

We are waiting, Sir.

Tara is still jawing on Nader Library. Oatmeal is still writing hilarious comics. Charles Carreon still thinks he's a real attorney. People continue to fight against him, even when the Internet has moved on to the next sparkly object that's caught her fickle eye. But at least in this battle against censorship, four charities got to benefit. Matthew Inman raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. We mighty Oatmeal fans raised $2500 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Americans for the Arts.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated. Please remember to keep the spirit of charity and the war on censorship going.

Even when it's not hilarious.

Holding the receipts for EFF and AFTA Donations. Smiling the smile of the just. Hi, Tara!! :)


Mike Kayser said...

Math is fun by the way. Just imagine all the hours you can spend multiplying or adding numbers together just for the fun of it. Ok, I know I'm weird, but I really do have fun with math and have since elementary school.

I am rather disappointed not to see pictures of you spelling or drawing messages with money. I was really looking forward to that :(

Ann Bransom said...

I could never do it better than Matt did. A picture of me in an Oatmeal shirt with a cat riding a dinosaur will have to do. ;)

Kathryn P. said...

No need for disclosures in my book. But I understand and appreciate it as a donor.

The funny thing is that EFF wasn't even on my radar until Mr. C tried to bully Oatmeal. I could have gone my little existence ignorant of this battle. For that I have to thank Mr. C. Because it took him being a major douche to raise awareness on this issue.

azteclady said...

While it is sad to have to indulge the douches of this world (and thank you also for taking the hit and doing the math for us, non-math people) it's truly heartwarming to know how many people are willing to do something to defend the right to express themselves in any way they see fit--for any reason they may have.

Ann Bransom said...

I was also not aware of EFF before this, but I am very happy to know they exist now. They sent me a very nice e-mail thanking me for hosting the fundraiser. I thought that was very classy. Good folks.