Juggalos Are OK, Cupid; or, Don’t Be a Tumblr Asshole to People Trying to Find Love
Something like 70 percent of the internet is people going, “Hey did you see this cute/funny/sad/tragic/OMG/WTF/fail thing?” and passing around the meme du jour—a wacky crime story from Florida, an amazing photo of natural phenomenon that just has to be seen to be believed, a fake video of an eagle snatching a kid in a park, a cat that looks like something other than a cat. Yesterday, the hot, clickable content being viewed, blogged, reblogged, shared, and no doubt monetized was a Tumblr called OkCupid Juggalos.
Juggalos, of course, are diehard fans of the crypto-Christian rap duo Insane Clown Posse, and OkCupid is a really popular free online dating site. Combine the two things, and you get awkward, posturing selfies of men and women with painted faces and poorly done tattoos, coupled with their ungrammatical statements about being “chill,” loving Faygo, and being “crazy.” Hilarious.
The site is part of a subgenre of Tumblrs devoted to pointing out people, usually men, who have bizarre OkCupid profiles that sometimes make them sound like psychopaths or rapists. (It’s such a popular trope that OkCupid Juggalos isn’t even the only Tumblr devoted to Juggalos on OkCupid.) OkCupid Goldminedocuments a grab bag of creeps and weirdos; Okc_ebooks gets gullible users to respond to messages that are actually gibberish tweets from bot/poet @Horse_ebooks; the creator of OkCupid Enemies sought out people who weren’t good matches for him or her to find freakish profiles (that one’s apparently now defunct); Fedoras of OKC targets the usually nerdy, Reddit-using, neck-bearded gamer types who think they look good in fedoras; and Nice Guys of OkCupid (also defunct) went after dudes who claimed to be “nice guys” but were clearly entitled, misogynistic dicks who had some fucked-up thoughts about women.
Did a Murderer Just Give Himself Away on Yelp?
Image via Yelp
On May 3rd, a 36-year-old Iraq war veteran and college student named Maribel Ramos (pictured above right) was reported missing by her family, after failing to turn up to several events in Santa Ana, California.
A couple of days later, a friend of Maribel’s named Emily C started a Yelp thread called “My friend Maribel Ramos is missing!!” in an effort to track her down.
Somebody posted asking if Maribel’s roommate had been questioned by police yet.
This is where the roommate, KC Joy (who is pictured at the very top of this post with Maribel), joined the conversation. Posting that Maribel was his BFF, and giving details of the police’s search of the apartment they shared.
Then a user called Grant K joined the thread, pointing out that it was suuuuuuuuuper suspicious that KC was referring to Maribel in the past tense.
How Are We Supposed to Know What the Government Does?
You should probably be afraid, at least a little, of the federal government. The reason for this doesn’t have anything to do with conspiracy theories about fluoridation or the Obama administration hoarding ammo to keep it out of the hands of True Patriots. It’s simpler than that: you should be worried about the US government because it is huge and well funded and powerful and, most importantly, you don’t know what it’s doing.
The civics class version of government—that there are three branches, each with its own checks and balances and blah blah blah—is hopelessly outdated. For one thing, the legislative branch is paralyzed by partisanship and a set of rules that make it impossible for it to do anything but stop laws from getting enacted. For another, as documented by the Washington Post in 2010, the governmental agencies that are in charge of “national security” have grown like not-all-that-benign tumors, consuming billions of tax dollars, constructing massive top-secret facilities, and employing hundreds of thousands of people whose job descriptions you don’t have the security clearance to know. The national security state is vast and unknowable, practically its own branch of government at this point, with its own secret history. Millions upon millions of documents are classified, many unnecessarily. By some counts, there are more pages of classified documents in the US than there are unclassified—and the government spends $12 billion a year keeping all that information under wraps.
OK, last question. I’m gonna ask a hard-hitting one. Tumblr. Why no “e”?
We checked the domain name for ‘Tumbler.com’ and it was this mom and pop store for tumbler glasses. We thought it’d be pretty fun one day, when we got enough money, to acquire their whole business. No joke! Actually, that’s a joke.
—VICE’s 2009 interview with Tumblr founder David Karp is newly relevant
How Awful Are Those Free Porno Games on the Internet?
Most of the internet is devoted to games and porn, but the overlap between the two categories—video games that let the player pretend to fuck fictional characters—are often ignored, because ew. But it should come as absolutely no surprise that there are a lot of weird entertainments floating around for those who love gaming and jerkin’ it and are too impatient to do those activities separately.
A lot of these games are very lousy, and I should know—in a never-ending quest to reach the bottom of the internet, I’ve come across several of these depressing artifacts. I want to share my discoveries with the world so you too know that these things are out there. This is by no means a complete consumer’s guide, but I doubt you’d want to read that, anyway.
The VDateGames website hosts 23 different games featuring 26 different digital girls, all the work of one dude with too much time on his hands who calls himself Chaotic. He’s spent countless hours creating strange, sweaty point-and-click adventures—sometimes he makes people pay money for them, sometimes he releases them for free out of the goodness of his heart. His dedication is sort of admirable, in a way.
In the course of the average game on the site, a plasticky, laughably endowed 3D model arrives at your apartment door for a date, and then you navigate around a slideshow of urban imagery, taking your “girl” to a casino, a park, and even a strip club if you’re feeling particularly risqué. (It should be said that all of these locations are ripped directly out of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Hitman: Blood Money. I recognized them right away, and yes, I know what that says about me.) If you play your cards right, you can get your internet dick wet in a number of obvious sexy-fantasy conclusions. Threesomes! Public blowjobs! You can fuck an alien in one of them!
Problem is, these games are fucking impossible. To earn your gross sex scene you have to get a very precise set of circumstances to line up on your date. You’d have to be a legit psychopath to go through all the permutations and figure it out. Luckily (?) there is a legion of legit psychopaths on the internet who can provide detailed walkthroughs for every cum-soaked ending there is. But without those walkthroughs, you’ll probably spend a lot of your time on VDateGames getting frustrated instead of laid—just like real life. It’s seriously a byzantine process: “If you want to get her naked in the hotel room, you need to have had three drinks, win roulette at the casino, and purchase the camera at the store. What’s that? You bought the candles instead of the camera? Tough shit, horndog!”
I’ll admit that a lot of these models are remarkably well constructed, for what is essentially one man’s project that was likely cooked up in some creepy basement. But does this turn you on? Warning, don’t click on this; it is a GIF of computer-generated sex.
No, it doesn’t, because the VDateGames chicks are MAD DEEP in the uncanny valley. Unless you’re turned on by cyber-human nymphs who crave polygonal cock, these are probably not the games you’re looking for.
The Company Helping Movie Studios Sue You for Illegal Downloading Has Been Using Images Without Permission
As you may already know, Voltage Pictures, the company responsible for the movie The Hurt Locker, (as well as a million movies you’ve never heard of) is currently in court, attempting to get an Ontario-based internet service provider to release the names associated with over 1000 IP addresses that they claim belong to people who illegally downloaded their copyrighted material.
These IP addresses were gathered by an extraordinarily douchey company called Canipre, the only antipiracy enforcement firm currently offering services in Canada.
Canipre, as a company, offers to track down people who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from record companies and film studios. According to their website, they have issued more than 3,500,000 takedown notices, and their work has led to multimillion dollar damages awards, injunctions, seizure of assets, and even incarceration.
But it’s not like Canipre is doing this just to get rich. In a recent interview, Canipre’s managing director Barry Logan explained that it’s about much more than just money—he’s hoping to teach the Canadian public a moral lesson:
”[We want to] change social attitudes toward downloading. Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it… Our collective goal is not to sue everybody… but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property.”
Here is a screenshot of the front page of the Canipre website as it appeared when I visited it this morning.
The image you see in the background is this self portrait, by Steve Houk.
I contacted Steve and asked if they had sought permission to use the picture. Steve said, “No. In no way have I authorized or licensed this image to anyone in any way.”
So, just to be clear: Canipre has written “they all know it’s wrong and they’re still doing it.” Referring to copyright theft. On top of an image that they are using without the permission of the copyright holder. On their official website.
VICE: What made you decide to hack the Onion this week after spending so much time targeting serious news organizations?
The Shadow: We are well aware of the satirical nature of the Onion, but this does not detract from the fact that the basis of their “humor” was rooted in the narrative promoted by most major corporate media. What convinced us to make our move was an article titled “The Onion Website Joins the U.S. Anti-Syria Club” by Shamus Cooke that details how the Onion can be a more effective wartime propaganda tool than even “serious” and seemingly credible media. The irresponsible promotion of chemical weapons claims and attribution of all the mayhem in Syria on the one side attempting to keep order is very much an assumption of their focus on Syria. This is why the majority of informed people do not find such articles funny.
Why did you accuse the Onion of taking “Zionist money” in exchange for defaming Syria?
We have various tactics when we penetrate a media outlet. For the Onion, we decided to loosely follow their style. We do not seriously suggest any kind of money transfer from unnamed “Zionist” sources, we realize it is more likely that the Onion follows the corporate line as a matter of ideology. During the Second World War, both the Germans and the Americans used satire to attack one another. The Onion serves the same sort of wartime role that the Disney anti-German short films did back then.
What do you think about the Onion’s response?
Many readers found it in poor taste. One Twitter user responded with a simple “yikes.” This reaction was exactly what we were hoping for, as the writer placed all their anger in it, dropping the mask of the real situation in Syria. The rebels were depicted in the exact same manner as reality, so it cannot really be classified as satire except with one difference—the Syrian army will win and we don’t have a “base” that can be attacked.
—We spoke to an alleged member of the Syrian Electronic Army about hacking The Onion’s Twitter. Full interview
It Was Probably the Internet, Not Chechnya, That Radicalized the Boston Bombers
The Tsarnaev brothers are the first Chechens to have been implicated in alleged jihadist attacks on US soil. But the more we learn about Dzhokar and Tamerlan, the blurrier their motives become. Why would these two seemingly well-integrated young men indiscriminately kill citizens of the country that welcomed them with open arms? What has America done to Chechnya? And is the horror we witnessed in Boston the beginning of a frightening new trend—an amalgamation of foreign and domestic terrorism into a bouillabaisse of confused and largely undefined hate?
While we’ll still be searching for more information about the Tsarnaev brothers and what motivated them for months—if not years—to come, their roots in Chechnya and the history of that country are a good place to start.
In the early 19th century, Chechnya resisted Russian attempts to occupy their small mountainous motherland, nearly 1,000 miles south of Moscow. The fight intensified when the region was assimilated into the Soviet Union. To quell rebellion in the 1940s, Stalin forcibly relocated the entire Chechen population to remote areas of Central Asia, repopulating the mountains with ethnic Russians. Some 200,000 people, one-third of the Chechen population, lost their lives to this process, called Operation Lentil.
A family takes an afternoon walk amid the rubble and burned-out apartment blocks destroyed during the fighting between Russian forces and Chechen rebels.
While Islam remains a central part of Chechen identity, religion didn’t play a major role in the nationalist struggle until recently. In the mid-90s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chechens again attempted to wrestle their independence from Moscow. Volunteer fighters, preachers, and NGOs espousing Wahhabism (an Arab Gulf version of ultraconservative Islam) flocked to the region to fight against Russia and instill Chechens with their radical views. A Chechen administrator explained at the time, “They [the Wahhabis] went to the market, and they paid with dollars. There was no power here; there was disorder everywhere, and their influence was very strong. The poor Chechen people were already suffering so much, and our young guys simply couldn’t think. They were ready to accept any ideas.”
How Much Does the Church of Scientology Spend on Advertising?
The Church of Scientology has, for a long time, been putting a lot of money into advertising, most recently with the super expensive-looking Super Bowl ad embedded above and their disastrous attempt at running sponsored content in The Atlantic.
But if you’re one of the five people in the world who doesn’t use Adblock, you might have noticed that they sometimes pop up as the sponsored result when you google things.
So how much are they paying to do this?
I’ll do my best to explain this as quickly as possible, because it’s pretty boring. Here’s how cost-per-click advertising works on Google: a company sets a maximum bid that they’re willing to pay for an internet user to click on one of their ads. These bids are associated with keywords that internet users type when searching. Based on the ad’s relevance to searched keywords and the maximum amount that the advertiser is willing to pay per click, Google determines where to place those ads.
For example, if a dessert company wanted their ads displayed any time a user searches for “ice cream cakes,” it would cost, at the time of writing this article, about $0.60 per click in English-speaking countries.
To figure out how much Scientology pays, I tried to advertise for Scientology myself. I set my maximum bid at one dollar per click and selected multiple keywords involving Scientology. All of my bids were rejected, meaning that the person who is currently paying to advertise on those terms is paying more than a dollar per click.
In order to advertise on the first page of Google’s search results for Scientology-related searches, I would have to shell out a minimum of three dollars per click for “creed of the Church of Scientology.”