Confessions of a Bitter Man
We don’t know Jack Stuef. But after reading The Oatmeal’s Epic Fisking of his BuzzFeed article about the cartoonist, we feel like we know way too much about him.
And it’s very, very ugly.
If you know Jack Stuef at all, it’s likely from his stint at Wonkette, which we missed, because our strike is almost five years old. And if the name still doesn’t ring a bell, think about the Blingee calling Trig a retard.
So Jack’s moved on, but not to a better place. His BuzzFeed article, framed as a hard-hitting exposé of a comedic fraud, can easily be boiled down to a simple thought:
That asshole got away with it and I didn’t.
What did The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman get away with? Why, he also published — and also retracted — a cartoon that rubbed some people the wrong way. But unlike Stuef, Inman wasn’t punished for it — The Oatmeal remains beloved by its army of fans, its book approvingly pitched by a modest satirical website that has yet to live up to its world-dominating potential.
How intent was Jack on making The Oatmeal pay for his sins? He apparently invested some (failed) quality time trying to get other webcomic artists to dish some dirt. He used a blatantly fake SodaHead profile to call Inman a married Republican with daughters, when Inman is actually a single childless Democrat. He derided Inman as a former spam king when Inman spent all of six months long ago on an SEO venture.
Worst of all, Inman earns a comfortable living drawing The Oatmeal. The nerve!
So what does Jack say are Inman’s sins? Here’s how Jack describes the cartoon retraction:
At first Inman ignored the criticism, but by Tuesday, he felt enough heat to remove the panel with the rape joke.
And here’s how Jack originally responded to the Trig criticism:
I regret this post and using the word “retarded” in a reference to Sarah Palin’s child. It’s not nice, and is not necessary, but I take responsibility for writing it.
Here’s how Jack explains Inman’s reaction:
Inman is finding what big American businesses have known for decades: Keeping your mouth shut is generally better for business.
And here’s what Wonkette replaced Jack’s Trig post with:
We have decided to remove the post as requested by some people who have nothing to do with Sarah Palin, but who do have an interest in the cause of special needs children. We apologize for the poor comedic judgment.
Here’s what Jack says about Inman’s fundamental crime against comedy:
Inman is also a fitness buff. Though he draws himself on The Oatmeal as a blob of a man, he’s actually young and attractive.
And here’s the blob of a man who wrote that:
There’s more, but that’s the flavor of it. Jack Stuef is a bitter, bitter man, which is a terrible thing to be when you’re 23-ish. You’ve got decades ahead of you, kid. Don’t waste them seething in resentment.
Especially when you could have nailed the damn thing.
Jack, as much as anyone, knows what it’s like to be an Internet comic whose stuff hits the fan. Instead of resenting Inman for his success, Jack could have told the hilarious story about being on the receiving end of an online shitstorm, how that one thing you did, which you thought uproariously clever at the time, resulted in Epic Fail.
And for Jack, who aspires to TV writing, it’s Sitcom 101: Make it relatable. Tell the joke on yourself. People like that. It’s human.
Like, y’know, The Oatmeal.