Table of Contents:
1.2 Murders, Perpetrators, and Victims
1.3 Communities and Societies
1.4 Interesting People
II. BUILDINGS, PLACES, AND LOCATIONS
III. URBAN LEGENDS AND FOLKLORE
V. NATURE, SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY
VI. SPACE, ALIENS, EXTRATERRESTRIALS AND UFOLOGY
VII. MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
VIII. METAPHYSICAL, RELIGIONS, AND CULTS
IX. MENTAL DISORDERS, DISEASES, HEALTH PHENOMENA
X. HISTORY, TRADITIONS, EXCAVATIONS AND ARCHAEOLOGY
1.2 Murders, Perpetrators, and Victims:
1.3 Communities and Societies:
1.4 Interesting People:
II. BUILDINGS, PLACES, AND LOCATIONS
III. URBAN LEGENDS AND FOLKLORE
V. NATURE, SCIENCE, AND PHILOSOPHY
VI. SPACE, ALIENS, EXTRATERRESTRIALS, AND UFOLOGY
VII. MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
VIII. METAPHYSICAL, RELIGIONS, AND CULTS
IX. MENTAL DISORDERS, DISEASES, HEALTH PHENOMENA
X. HISTORY, TRADITIONS, EXCAVATIONS AND ARCHAEOLOGY
“These are the Wikipedia Links for /x/’s Semi-Official Wikipedia Links thread”, as found on Pastebin via a thread on 4chan/x. Plenty of good reading.
Redditor maanu123 satirizes your average online atheist storyteller.
A KKK, conservative, creationist, pro-life Westboro-Baptist-Church goer and homophobic gun shop-owner professor was teaching a class on Theology.
“Before the class begins, you must put your hands together and pray to Jesus Christ, and accept that you are sinners and that he is your lord and savior”
At this moment, an enlightened, euphoric, and intelligent atheist, who had spent some time making quotes and was immersed in the teachings of Darwin stood up, and took off his fedora.
“How old is this fedora?”
The narrow-minded professor sneered rather in a republican manner and cockily replied “5000 years, you bigoted atheist”
“Wrong. It’s 4.6 billion years old. If it was 5000 years old, as you say, is real, than that means that God is real and I wouldn’t have failed my biology midterm.”
The professor was visibly shaken and dropped his copy of the Bible. He stormed out of the room sobbing uncontrollably, partly because of him being proven wrong, and partly because a priest molested him as a kid and those memories were resurfacing.
The student’s applauded and all registered democrat that day and renounced all phony religions. A cat named “Mao Tse-tsung” ran into the room and sat on a copy of Darwin’s Origin of The Species and shed a tear. Several biology text-books were read, and Neil Degrasse Tyson showed up and was elected president.
The professor later quit to spend more time at his favorite gun range, where his gun accidently shot backwards and killed him because guns are dangerous.
To give some background the creator, Bill Watterson, rarely gave permission to licence this IP and this “Calvin peeing on ‘x’” drawing is an unauthorized depiction lifted from one of the Calvin and Hobbes strips. In the original Calvin is filling up a water balloon.
The problem I have with it is not the idea that Calvin would want to destroy or deface something, it’s that doing it in this way is so far beneath him as to be an insult to his very character.
Calvin is an artist, an ideologue. His destruction of something is a statement, not wanton careless destruction. If he throws a snowball at Susie it is a finely crafted masterpiece or the snowball becomes Yorick’s skull, a prop that he uses to opine over the morals of such an act. In this way he mirrors the artist, who could have made a boatload of super easy cash selling Hobbes plush dolls, but he didn’t and he stuck (some might say arrogantly) to his ideals as an artist.
This takes all that away and makes him look like a mere deviant. It is a bastardization of a character that is one of the best in its genre and I hate it.
Redditor JonBanes replying to a thread where the infamous “Calvin peeing on ‘x’” drawing is used to heckle gaming company EA for fucking up the Sim City release. I’m thankful for JonBanes way of eloquently putting words on what I’ve been feelings for this drawing since I first saw it. He also finished his comment off with a quite cunning reference:
Every idea about prehistoric man in the public sphere is at best inaccurate, at worse nonsense. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the other prehistory flairs came in here to say the same thing; we’re not a very well publicised field and we’re usually quite bitter about it.
Anyway, here are some big ones, off the top of my head (not repeating Pachacamac’s well made point about ‘caveman’ intelligence, and mostly focusing on Europe because that’s the only area I really know):
- That life was “nasty, brutish, and short”. We really have no reason to think that prehistoric life was really, really bad in any prehistoric period. Hunting and gathering (the economic strategy pursued by all humans until roughly 10,000 years ago, i.e. the vast majority of our history) has been famously described as “the original affluent society”. Typical modern hunter-gatherers spend just a few hours a day foraging for food which is easily accessible. They needn’t worry about starvation and their low population densities and flat social structures mean disease or violence aren’t big concerns either. And they occupy some of the most marginal environments on the planet – prehistoric hunter-gatherers, with their pick of where to live, will have had it even better. Prehistoric farming was also pretty laid back: it had a relatively light environmental footprint leaving people comfortable and with little reason to go to war or set up oppressive political regimes. In both cases the trope about prehistoric people “dying before they’re thirty” from disease, injuries, etc. is untrue: obviously lacking modern medicine they did have a lower average life expectancy than us, but it was comparable to that of premodern Europe, and largely a function of high infant mortality; if you lived to adulthood, you could comfortably count on reaching your fifties. That image of bleak drudgery, disease, being at the mercy of some armed group breezing through and taking everything you’ve got, really belongs to the age of cities, states and empires, not prehistory.
- That life was all sunshine and roses. The other most common misconception about prehistory is the exact reverse of the above: the idea of “the noble savage”. It goes something like: prehistoric people lived simple, fulfilling lives in harmony with their environment, free from the cares of the modern world, enlightened by traditional ways of knowing that we’ve shunned at our peril. Notwithstanding what I said on the last point, this is a fiction. While not worthless, “folk” medicine and ethnoscience is no substitute for modern biomedicine and science-science. People were almost certainly slaves to superstition, couldn’t hope to have anything approaching the diversity of experience you and I have access to, and commonly died deaths that could be trivially prevented today. We have evidence of low-level but endemic violence right back into the Palaeolithic. Significant differences in wealth and political power within societies start developing early (around 6000 BP in Europe) and although they did reach their crescendo in urban civilizations, there was plenty of time for prehistoric societies to develop warrior aristocracies and elites many times richer than the lower classes they exploited. Gender inequality, too, seems to have long roots, and intensified through time. And of course, if you happened to live in a technically-prehistoric society adjacent to one that wasn’t, there was always the chance that a massively superior force of professional soldiers in silly hats might turn up to impose civilisation on you.
- That prehistory is a story of monolithic “peoples” or “races” careening around the globe like billiard balls. In its worse form, these peoples are seen to be the direct ancestors of classically-derived macro-ethnic groups from later European history: the Germans, the Slavs, the Indo-Europeans, etc. Admittedly, archaeologists laboured under this misconception for a long time before it was realised to be nonsense, and personally I put the blame for the popular discourse not catching up on that score squarely on our shoulders. We also struggle to provide a convincing alternative narrative for explaining things like large scale language shift (the spread of Indo-European) or apparent population movements (the ‘barbarian invasions’ of the migration period). But we really are quite certain that things just didn’t work that way. In the types of societies we see in prehistory ethnicity is an convoluted, ephemeral phenomenon. People will have identified first and foremost with people they knew or were closely related to, and had only a vague, highly relative sense of a connection to groups beyond that. Borders between different cultural forms, languages, and so on, will have been hazy and prone to change, and people will have moved freely across them (to marry, for example). Larger entities (like the named barbarian groups that appear on the historical stage in the classical era) were probably ad hoc federations of disparate groups which, if they hadn’t been enshrined in the records of their influential ‘civilised’ neighbours, would have faded as quickly as they appeared.
- Prehistory is full of exotic “mysteries” and “lost civilisations” waiting to be “unearthed”. This is my particular pet peeve. I like to think of prehistory as a science. Some of my colleagues would disagree and pursue it as more of a humanistic endeavour. Either way, it is a systematic field of study, not an action film. We gain knowledge incrementally through painstaking empirical research and grappling with immensely difficult theoretical and interpretive problems. It is not simply a case of falling into an old ruin and finding some spectacular artefact that “changes everything”. The nature of our evidence is very limiting, and there’s much we’ll never know as a result, but that doesn’t mean it’s plausible that we’ve missed something huge like a lost civilisation or Atlantean aliens (and we certainly have no reason to ‘cover up’ such things). We also try not to just blithely assume things without evidence, so every time I read a newspaper report saying that a new find or theory has overturned what archaeologists have “previously assumed” I want to shoot myself in the face.
(Referring to the earlier answer of Redditor Pachacamac)
Redditor alexinedh describing an event he could not explain from his career as air traffic controller. From his AMA thread.
This was in the late 90’s, during the Clinton administration. I was working at Oakland Center, around 4pm in the afternoon. Conditions were clear, with visibility 10+ statue miles. Bill Clinton had just flown through our airspace in Air Force One, leaving from a trip he had made to San Francisco. Now, when special aircraft such as Air Force One travel through our airspace, they’re given special treatment. This mainly means that we aren’t allowed to give them delays, or vector them around other traffic. Bill Clinton had traveled through our airspace, and we had handed him off to the next controlling agency.
Now, since we had been controlling Air Force One, Secret Service had visited our facility to ensure everything was running smoothly, and there was no interruption of service. I get a situation report from an aircraft saying he had close proximity traffic. I check his position and see no traffic around him for at least 10 mines, despite his announcement saying unknown type aircraft, same altitude, 3 miles, speed greater than 400 knots. Again, nothing was showing on the scope. I ask other aircraft in the area to make position reports on the UFO. We get various reports of UFOs traveling faster, and making wild climb/descents within a close proximity of the aircraft. I call my supervisor over, as protocol. All the other controllers start shifting eyes towards my area to see what is going on. We continue to get reports of unknown aircraft (never described as flying saucers or even having wings).
10 minutes later, we have every off duty controller around my scope, and have my frequency playing out the speaker. I don’t know what to do, because my scope isn’t showing anything moving like the numerous pilots are reporting. We have pilots start asking for lower/higher altitudes to stay away from the traffic. I approve their requests, and they state the traffic is following. We aren’t clear how many UFOs are spotted, but there were more than 4. At this point, all radio etiquette is out the door. We have pilots talking to other pilots (which NEVER happens, EVER) trying to verify the number of UFOs. The secret service checks with all military bases to verify they aren’t running missions outside of MOAs (Military operating areas) thinking they were stealth aircraft. There were no stealth aircraft in the skies of California that day, as most military aircraft were dealing with the President and maintaining TFRs (temporary flight restriction radiuses around important events, such as presidential visits, the super bowl, etc.)
When the pilots start breaking the chat etiquette, people start to freak out, and start making humor of the situation to ease some of the tension. We had a couple pilots ask me to tell their wifes they love them, should something happen, although they wouldn’t identify themselves. One man said “You are now entering a world of imagination, next stop: the Twilight Zone.” 35 minutes after the first UFO appeared, the reports stopped coming in. Every pilot lost sight of their aircraft and reported no problems. Not one of the pilots, when asked, wanted to file a report.
Now, when a pilot makes a call for a UFO, the controller has to check for traffic, and verify whether it is or isn’t a controlled aircraft. If it is confirmed as a UFO, the pilot has the right to either make a report, or not make a report. When you make a report, it has the obvious implications that all UFO reports have; it makes you look crazy. For a pilot, the exceptional consequence to making a report, is you have to file paperwork with the FAA, and subject yourself to hours or even days of interviews. Everything you say on the radio is recorded on the controllers side. This brings scrutiny to every move you made while flying your aircraft. If you did something against FAA regulations, by bending a rule even the slightest, such as not reading back a clearance correctly or descending/climbing 100 feet past your assigned altitude, you’ll be interrogated by it. Your flight license can be revoked or suspended, and you can lose your job. There is so much risk in pilots filing UFO reports that they are so very uncommon.
While I wasn’t interviewed for this event, my supervisor made me sign a paper the next day verifying that I was told the tapes were being submitted to the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) for investigation. I wish I was able to get a copy of those tapes, this event made me a believer. It truly would take a UFO to make so many adult pilots, who have nothing in common, act frightened the way they were.
This is the interview I did with David Firth, the man behind web series such as Salad Fingers and Devvo. This is the whole thing, straight from the transcription, so bear with me if its badly spelled. I hope you’ll understand anyways. A vastly shorter adapted swedish version of this interview can be found on Nyheter24.
Who are you?
I’m an animator, I make animations. Trying to discoverer and explore some of the dark sides of my mind, as well as comedy. I try to experiment in any way I can. I have always been interested in animation, as a kid I was obsessed with it. First opportunity I had when I was younger to play around with cameras I took and moved straight into animations. Trying everything I could, you know, animating toys, animating people. And until I eventually I got a computer. I was about 13, 14, and it wasn’t long before I discovered animations software, and that I could do my own cartoons with audio. Previously I had used a camcorder so I couldn’t use any audio track. It was generally silent before that.
How did you start animating?
It appeared early on, yeah. I used to do a lot of gory animations, I was quite obsessed with Mortal Kombat as a child, and then South Park came along just about the time I started animating so that was a big inspiration for me. And, yeah, I suppose it kinda just got darker since then but there has always been a slightly sort of horrific angle that I’ve gone for.
What do your parents think about your work?
My parents like my work, and they always have done.
So, you started off on Newgrounds?
Yeah, I mean it wasnt quite as easy to get stuff online back then, because you didnt really have much webspace, there was no Youtube or Google video or any kind of video posting site. You had to make them as small as possible in some kind of format, like RealMedia or WindowsMedia. They looked awful, and usually, the free websites I used to sign up for, the free web space, you’d only get ten mb max, so it was very hard to get cartoons or distribute stuff online back then. But then I discovered Newgrounds, which would host Flash, so that was a reason for me to learn Flash so I could host them on Newgrounds.
How new was Newgrounds when you ended up there?
Yeah, well, I think Newgrounds started in about 2000, 99-2000 it went online, and I started out doing stuff in 2004 so it had already established itself. It was already leading the way in Flash, by the time I signed in. I didnt really watch anything on Newgrounds, I didnt actually watch much on the internet, I used to watch South Park and Simpsons and stuff like that. I watched a few things on Newgrounds and I thought: this is impressive, but not really my cup of tea. So I didnt see anything dark or strange or abstract really on Newgrounds, mostly video game parodies.
Did you get inspired by others on Newgrounds?
I mean, I didnt come across much that was that strange online. When I first started putting things out, people had nothing to compare it to. But I found things since, based on peoples recommendations based on what they’ve seen on my work. Back then I found it difficult to find quite surreal stuff. As soon as I started to post on Newgrounds, really. Before that I hadn’t much of an audience, and it was Newgrounds that changed all that. I post all the Flash stuff on Newgrounds, because it’s still good, it’s still a good way to get an audience. Youtube is better for video based stuff, but if it’s Flash then Newgrounds is the best place for it.
There is a difference in comments between the two sites also, right?
The same comments pop up over and over again. I just tend to ignore the comments. I don’t really know if people are saying that in a good way or not, but, you know, it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I think Newgrounds comment system is more constructive, you’re supposed to write a review in it. So I think people generally has a higher quality of comments, and are more original, also because they are creators as well as viewers. Whereas Youtube attracts a much wider audience and therefor is open for more ignorant comments or throwaway comments. It’s not always the case, but I often feel that Newgrounds comments are more judged rather then Youtube comments.
So basically, Youtube is more mainstream?
Youtube is definitely more mainstream, and it also have a system of high-ranked comments. And people seem to see that as some kind of achievement, to get there, and the most likely way of getting a high ranked comment is to post something that someone else has posted that was funny or something. That’s why you see the same comments popping up again and again, because they just want to be on that high-ranked comments. On Newgrounds, on the other hand, it seems that every comment is original. Not always, but I think Youtube would be better if they removed that high-ranked system.
What do you think about people who don’t like your stuff?
I like it when people that aren’t used to see stuff like mine stumble upon it, even if they don’t like it. Because I’m happen for them that they’ve seen it. Even if they don’t like it, they may be ready for something similar or something else later on. Even if people aren’t enjoying it, they still might be effected by it in some way. The mainstream entertainment just bores me. I find it very predictable, so it’s an inspiration to not be like that. If my stuff can stand out in a different way, that’s a good thing really. I do take inspiration from how banal, dull and saney and unoriginal american mainstream media is.
It just seems to me that the most annoying videos get popular. I don’t get why, but it has always seen that way to me. If someone makes something that’s so annoying, it tends to get popular just for the fact that it’s annoying. Everytime I see something that I think is really unbelievably terrible, it always seems to have hundreds of millions of views. I don’t understand it, is people showing this around because they don’t like it? Or maybe it’s an ironic thing, or maybe I’m just missing it every time. For me, I absolutely cannot see why Gangnam Style has nearly a billion views on Youtube. Maybe I’m missing something.
Yeah well, the first episode of Salad Fingers has over 16 million views - so its not only that kind of stuff that gets popular.
That’s huge number of views, and I really can’t understand why it has so many views. I mean, I wouldn’t make something like that again. The series has progressed, and it’s very different from how it was then. For me, it seems odd that that’s the most popular of all of my videos because it really is the worst. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it so many times, or maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I made it, but it’s the one that requires the lest thought, I think, of all my videos.
I guess people don’t like to think?
Yeah, well, that’s the answer really. But I didn’t want to have such little faith in the masses. It’s a good thing that that’s got many views, because then people go and watch other stuff based on there. They see episode 2 isn’t quite so innocent, and from there it gets worse and worse – well, not worse as in quality but worse as in nightmarish – but it was just an introduction really. I can kind of understand it at the time, but I can’t understand why it still continues to get to people. I still don’t understand why it got popular.
On the latest episode of Salad Fingers, you collaborate with Marcus Fjellström, a swedish musician. How did that happen?
He sent me some samples some years back, and I used them for a different cartoon – Men from up the stairs – and he said he preferred to actually compose something for me. So I made the stop frame animation ”Crooked Rot” without any sound at all, and I sent him that. And he composed the soundtrack over the top, set to my video. And I set the music to the video, and was really impressed, so I asked him to do an episode of Salad Fingers. I just thought I wanted a different approach to the sound, it was getting a bit samey.
Is that the way you find the music you use?
Yeah, I mean a lot of composers contact me, and say ”I’d like to compose something for you”, and sometimes I don’t really need any music so I don’t have time to listen to anything sent to me. Occasionally I’ll search through all my e-mails and find composers that contacted me, and just give’em a try. I don’t think it’s any harm in it. He found me, and I liked what I heard, so we worked together. I asked him to compose a sound track for my film. The Medow Man. But it’s so far in the future, it’s not really worth thinking about yet. I don’t very often contact people. I did contact a dark, ambient musician to ask for permission to use of his music in one of the Salad Fingers episodes. It proved to be a bit difficult though, so in general I try to work with either someone I know or make my own music. I don’t like the whole copyright-licensing thing, I prefer to just use my own music so that I own every part of my video. So I can sell it if I want to.
What do you think about the memes that originated on Newgrounds?
A lot of those is kinda mysterius, like I don’t know who did All your base, or I don’t see any name attached to that. I guess thats was during the same time as the Numa Numa, or Charlie the Unicorn, but they’ve gone on to bigger things. Apart from that, no, I didn’t really get absorbed by the Newgrounds culture, I enjoyed a few videos when I used to be there regularly. But ordinarily, I used to feel like an outsider. I think it’s because those things only came along once in a while. Mostly, it was video game parodies or anime things, so I didn’t really fit in to any part of the Newgrounds scene. I didn’t have much contact with the other Newgrounds animators.
Do you never do videos and stuff anonymously?
I realized early on that it’s probably a good idea to attach my name to it, so it’s not just lost in a sea of anonymous internet memes. So I always attached my name to everything, so people were able to find more. I think just because I’ve seen things online without names attached, and thought ”well, how am I supposed to find any more?”. So I always like the idea of being able to (connect yourself to your stuff), even though it’d be more interesting if I was some mysterious unknown person. I did always make sure to credit myself, so my work wouldn’t be passed around, forgotten, lost or escaped me.
I think, in the first place back 10 years ago on the internet, my main goal was to people on my web site, and I realized the way to do that was to post stuff on other web sites and direct back to my own. I didn’t know why, I just wanted people to be on my web site. That was it, really.
So, no anonymous stuff then?
I’ve done that loads of times, but I’ve found that it’s much harder to make it anonymously, or as a fake name. It’s to tempting to link in from a site that already has traffic, rather than have one sitting there, building an audience on its own. Because building an audience takes years. People always think you might be able to just randomly and luckily pull in a brand new audience, but it’s not really the case.
Is there any other things you’re watching online for inspiration?
Charlie the unicorn. And there was a guy called Al in the box, who did a few quite strange animations, much less violence- and action based then the usual Newgrounds animations. It was stuff that actually seemed to have a plot, and quite much dialouge. And I found that very refreshing. But it didn’t get very popular. Also Jim Ether, his stuff was very bizarre. I’ve always liked the bizarre, arty stuff that wasn’t quite explainable. Adam Phillips, his stuff is high quality animations. He used to be an animator för Disney. And his stuff was always sort of topping the Newgrounds charts when I was on there. A few interesting artists I found on there. There’s loads more, I just can’t think of their names.
What do you think about 4chan?
I never really went on there, but I am familiar with the name and what originated there.
When I see Dolan comics, I think about your stuff. Do you know them?
No, but I often find with those things that the original creation is the funny one, and then the ones that it spawns just kinda becomes the bad replicas. Turning into something that is annonying, from something that started off quite funny. Like the lolcats, I’m sure the first one was funny but it got annoying when people started seeing a formula. As if there was a comedy formula. I don’t believe it, I believe the element of surprise and originality is fun. If anyone stumbles upon a comedy formula, they wear it out quite quickly. The internet is so aware of how things (utvecklas?). It used to be that something would last longer, now it seems that something can be around for a week, and then it’ll be old and there’ll be a new one. I think sites like Reddit speeds up the process. On the other hand, if the process is sped up things aren’t around long enough to get boring, so it’s a good thing really. Maybe the concept of a meme is just a meme, and it’s gonna fade out. I don’t know.
Where do you get the Salad Fingers surroundings from?
I like to make places that don’t particularly look very nice, but it’s not hell either. I always draw places that I’d like to explore – not particularly be in, but explore – and the way it seems like an alien planet is because I try not to have any obious references to where it is or what time it’s in. I don’t like to have any cultural references in there, so it’s timeless. If I make something that has no indication of where or what age it’s in, then it’s my own world. That’s how it feels like it’s a foreign planet. I think its the same way I try to avoid any fashion at all.
He has a number 22 on his house, why?
It could be that he found the number, it’s always open to interpretation. (hostar, dricker vatten) I don’t even have an answer for why he has a number 22 on his house, but I think he’s a collector who wanders around digging things up. He might have found it on a scrap yard or something, but you don’t see a scrap yard because that would be an indication that there be people around. Who knows? Certain things I’ll leave oute. It’s quite important that he’s alone, cause his mind then can create friends and people to talk to. It’s never clear whether he talks to an actual person or it’s all in his head, and I like that as well. Loneliness is the main theme, really.
And what about the way Salad Finger talks?
He’s supposed to sound like, I take influence from old english. Aiming for sort of wartime language, I don’t like it to be too slangy. I feel he’s kind of an old character, so the last links he would have to communication would be a long time ago, so I try to keep it old fashioned I guess. It’s kinda poetic and metaforical, but I don’t really put to much thought in that.
How’s your work process?
I try to come up with an idea before I come up with the reason for the idea, I just decide when I’m writing the script that this or that would be an interesting thing for him to say. I just like to find different ways for him to talk, really. It’s just until it interests me, what I’m writing, then it goes in. It doesn’t matter what it means. I prefer people to come up with it themselves, I try not to read the analysises too much. I don’t want to be influenced, I don’t want to say ”yeah, that’s probably what happened”. I think the whole idea would be destroyed if it was explained, but there’s definitly images in his head from wars. Apart from that nothing is decided, it’s like I don’t know. I’m working it out myself. Putting it into fiction myself.
So, you’re never gonna tell the story behind Salad Fingers?
No, that’d be dull. That would bore me. I like having every episode expand the mystery, rather than explaining it. People find it interesting, and so do I. As long as I find it interesting, its worth continuing.
Why do you think people do find it interesting?
Because they’ve never seen anything like it, and because they’re interested in the character and what he does. I think they might want to know what happened, but don’t realize that if it was explained, it would ruin the mystery.
If youve got an image of a stick man, walking down the street, you don’t need to know where he came from, how he managed to be a stick man, or who his stick parents were or anything like that. It doesn’t really matter, it’s just that you can take from it what you can take from it. The most interesting art and visual things are just enterily one’s way to wonder about it. I don’t want to put people off, and not try to lead them on saying ”there’s gonna be an explanation” and then just keep cheating them out of it. I just want to keep make it interesting, and if there’s a mystery its open and people will always see it as interesting.
As a kid I used to watch a cartoon, ”Dungeons and Dragons”, it was just a cartoon of it really, and they never ever got out of the place they were in. They were stuck in this world and they never got out. And I found it depressing as a child, that there never were an episode where they got out. But after a while it felt fruitless, because it felt like they would never get out of it and why was I watching it? So I don’t want to make people feel like they have to give up on something because it haven’t been explained. I want, you know, the story to unfold even further. Even if stuff is explained, there is more mystery to think about. And I think the reason people like it is because they have to think. If people don’t like it, they might just not like it. Or it might be the fact that they don’t enjoy having to think or work anything out themselves.
So everything about Salad Finger could be a lie?
He might never have had a brother, he might just have found a dead body, he might have had a brother, buried him, and dug him up againg. There’s so many possibilities. I’m never gonna do an episode that explaines the childhood, or the history, because I just think it would ruin it completely.
The girl in episode 5 interests me - she’s the only one who talks with another, own, voice.
Yeah, he usually provide the voice for all the charachters. He likes to be in control, and when someone else… He also has a problem with the crow, he’s scared of the crow because there seems to be another being that makes sound that isn’t him. I think he likes to control his world, and also… It was something I wrote when it wasn’t enterily apparant what had happened. But I always thought he was so freaked out by another humans voice, because he’d never heard one before.
Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
That’s the question people always ask. The mind, I think? The brain. I think thats where most of it comes from. Some of it, I guess, is observed but changed. My mind just invents possibilites of stuff that could happen to me, or to someone else, and sometimes I get into a spiral of bad thoughts and they’ll get worse and worse. Sometimes I write that down, because rather then dwell on it I could put it into some kind of positive form, some art, and some times I just think what I’m writing is just exactly what I want to happen. If i’m in control I could decide, you know, what will happen. I make a lot of notes over time, dreams and so, and it might fit in in some other thing I’ve written or thought about. It’s almost like a template for a story.
How much do you think that your work inspired other flash animators into doing something similar?
I see occasional things that look like they might have been inspired by my stuff, usually more visually more than anything else. Dark themes and strange things have always been around, but when I see inspiration from – visually and sometimes in the voices or the esthetic elements I add - I see it now and again. But the problem is with animation that it takes so long to learn. You get inspired by something, like I was from South Park, but you can’t really tell I guess because it took me so long to learn animation that once I’d learn it I had already moved on being inspired by South Park to being inspired by so many other things.
Have you seen Rusty Spoons, a web comic that’s inspired by Salad Fingers?
Sometimes I google Salad Fingers, just to find out where it’s mentioned, but I havent seen that before. I like to see something I havent seen before, so if I saw something that was inspired by me I probably wouldnt be too… If it so obviosly inspired by me, it wouldnt be very new to me.
You don’t google yourself much, then. You don’t like criticism?
I’m find with it, I just dont want to get too caught up in it. Usually its badly spelled, and thats all right, cause then I just think someones just trying to be offensive. When its really well written critizism, thats the worst cause you think ”aw, someones intelligent enough to understand it but still dont like it”. Thats the most hurting really. But I dont generally care about it that much, because if people do like it they’ll watch it. And otherwise, they’ve learned not to watch my stuff by now.
This is a comment of the Jerry Jackson parody of Salad Fingers: ”I’m glad to see that my assumption about how David must feel about the typical Salad Fingers “fan” is correct. They really don’t get it, do they? So, they make ”tributes” and call it “fucked up” or “creepy” instead of seeing the art for what it is.”
What do you think it says that even the pretentious ones can’t tell the difference from your stuff, and bad fan stuff?
Maybe people take it a bit too seriously some times. Jerry Jackson was a joke, really, and it wasnt making fun of bad animators or fans. It was meant to be a fun character, a little kid whos got animations aspirations and hes putting stuff on Newgrounds. It was slightly inspired by bad monotonous voices, but I never saw anything that actually seemed like a Jerry Jackson cartoon. It was just a character me and Christian came up with. We used to do monoton voices to eachother – it’s supposed to be when people type in all caps. It be a fun idea to make a salad fingers parody, but it wasnt much thought put into it. Its not having a digg at anyone. I just think some people take it much more seriously than others, and the idea is that its something I made and people can take it however they want. People can take it seriously, they can take it funny, sad, just nonsense, it doesnt matter because everyone takes something different from it. When we made Salad Fingers, me and Christian ”Chrust” Pickup, we were laughin about the dialoge for the first few episodes. But then in the episode, it seemed more serious, but it was still just comedy to us. The character whilst comedy at the same time was kind of tragic, so you know, it had different levels to it. If people wants to think its creepy, then that’s fine. But I don’t understand why this commenter were so angry, to think they were the only interpretor who saw it correctly.
Theres no pretentiosness in Salad Fingers, its meant to be entertainment and I think people often… You see these arty videos that arent very entertaining, I think maybe theres something about my stuff. They assume, because its dark and weird, that its some of that stuff that for a lot of people would have no entertainment value. The fact is that Salad Fingers is kinda entertaining, because its kinda funny and silly at the same time, I think maybe people think it’s a bit of elitism. The wrong type of people are viewing the arty videos, and I think its just elitism to say that there is only one way of interpreting it.
Are you a dark person?
No, I express myself through my animations. I think people that have to make it visually obvious that they’re dark its their way of expressing it, but my way is animations and art and music and writing. So I think its just a way of getting an emotion out of you. The fact that I can express it through my art saves me from having to express it through how I look.
Do you feel that your work has a purpose in terms of political and social commentaries? If yes, in which way?
There’s never a whole, overall, point that Id like to make, because there are philosofers and writers that makes these points every day. I think it chepens a piece of art if its got a purpose. I think its up to the people watching it to determ what its about. If I do have a point to make, I might be subtle about it, I might just throw it in there, but its never the main focus. If am angry about something I might express it but I might not be so obvious about it. I dont like preaching.
Could you imagine doing other stuff than animations about your characters?
I could image writing a story about Salad Fingers, I think that might be interesting, but apart from that I have no intention to making it into video or just audio. Maybe written, because then you can build the whole image in your head. I think it could be equally as disturbing, if people knew about the salad fingers cartoon they could build an image similar in their head, and if they hadnt heard of them I would have to try and describe an athmosphere as well as a video can. I dont know if I would, but thats the only thing I could consider. I dont know how Id do it though, I dont know if Id write it as if Salad Fingers was recalling it. Youre never sure about if hes controlling the events, or being written about or being watched. I think thatd be an confusing angle.
Because of the controversial and violent nature of the content in your animations, have you ever gotten into some serious trouble because of them, more than just harsh comments, from sensetive people or have sites ever banned your work?
People always claim that my videos was the reason something happened, but I think theyre just trying to get attention. Now and again, someone will say something like “my friend had a mental issue becuse your cartoon”, and they always claim I was behind some kind of violence but you know… Its never substational, their just trying to get attention. I read that it was mentioned in court once, someone had been showing it to someone, some kind of abuse. Not enterily sure what happened with that. I wouldnt be surprised if someone tried to pull it in, maybe one of my more violent ones. Salad fingers isnt that violent, a couple of bloody scenes but not… If someone tried to prove that Milk man was the inspiration, thats be more believable. Thats probably the most violent one Ive done. Or maybe Hell, I did a cartoon named Hell, it was just a lot of gore. I like the way gore looks in cartoons. Its not that I like violence, its just that its fun to animate. Guns are kind of loud, and the idea of a shooting doesnt seem to have the same effect on me as other ways of murdering. Itd take a lot more to stab someone, because a gun can off by accident but you cant stab someone by accident.
How much time do you spend every week on your animations?
Well, Im working on something big at the moment. Its a series of 11 minute episodes, a cartoon. Cant really say much about it, but its being funded. Im having animators work with me. Ive written it, and Im doing most of the voices, and Im directing and animating most of it but Im having animators help me. Its, you know, the first episode is being comissioned and if they comission further ones after that then great cause it could go on for a long time. Its for the internet, as a web service, but there was talk of teve. Im not sure how they syndicate these things, or DVD eventually, but I think itll be a web series. It would be distributed on Youtube, with some companies sponsoring it. I think it would be something like that. Sort of apocalyptic, about a town full of familiar charachters. But its mainly new characters. Spoilsbury Toast Boy is in it, but theres a whole world, and that is just part of this world. There is an over-all storyline but each charachter has an own story line as well. Its guite dense, it started off as a sketch show but then it became a world where a lot of different charachters live and interact with eachother. Its satarical and quite dark. I first started off writing it as a 25-30 minute episode, and then I wrote three 30-minute episode and planned three more. And then I took it to the producer, and we decided it would be 11 minute episodes. So I thought Id split them into two, and make them a bit shorter. But it turns out its more like three or four parts, which means there are probably 12-ish episodes written. And maybe more to come.
But you seem to have money enough for making a serious thing out of it?
I do a lot of jobs myself, so I try to keep it low myself, and I havent met the animators yet. We have just a few animators whos helping, and its quite low-budget at the moment. There is special care to how the money is taken, I dont have a studio to record in, I record in my house, and since Im the writer, the director and the voice artist myself it saves money that way. Im not sure when it comes out, Im working on episode 1 right now. Ive recorded some audio and drawn some story boards and designed some charachters. When it comes out, it comes out. Hopefully in a couple of months. Early 2013.
How long did it take for people to understand that ”Men From Up The Stairs” is about pooping?
Well, as soon as one person said it in the comments then everyone realized. So I blocked the comments on Youtube for a while, but then I decided that I should let them have it.
What part did youtube and facebook play for you, when they were launched back in 2004, in terms of getting you videos distributed? Did you get a considerable bigger fanbase with the help of youtube and facebook?
It took me a while to raise my profile on Youtube, but back in the early days of Youtube they used to do featured videos on the front page of Youtube and itd take, like, two days for one of those videos to get a million views. I got a couple of those, and they really set me off, but I kinda missed Youtube with my Salad Fingers stuff because Id done them before Youtube was even launched. Facebook, never really noticed any help from that. I guess they get posted around but Ive never noticed much.
Do you think Salad Fingers get more attention then he deserves?
Yeah, he definitely gets the most attention, more than anything, which is okey. Its always gonna be one thats the most popular and I guess hes the longest running series Ive done and its probably the most time Ive spent on any series so its good to have one thing that is sort of iconic, that people remembers, and it helps with the traffic for the others. Sometimes I try and divert people from Salad Fingers to the other stuff, but that thing is always gonna be the main one.
Do you do all the voices for your animations by yourself?
Yes, mostly. The only other voice in Salad Fingers is the girl, and that was done by Christian. I wanted it because I didnt want it to sound like me at all. Usually Ill try to at least get one voice from Christian or someone else, so that Im not listening to my own voice all the time. Most of the characters are me.
What kind of money are you making out of your animations?
I live in the north of England, so its quite cheap to live here, and I dont buy much and I dont drive and I dont buy many new clothes so its easy for me to get by. But its not comfortable living, its all right I guess. The payment for me for this new project looks generous, but Ive stated that I would rather it be more enjoyable to make then get payed properly. So if it means not tiring any more animators, Ill take it out of my salary. Id rather have less money than enjoy my job then be under a lot of strain or pressure and have a lot of money. The enjoyment of the work comes first.
And have you gotten laid for being the Salad Fingers guy?
Ive met a lot of people through my work, so yeah, I guess. Not that easy, but most of the time Ive had a girlfriend so Ive never had groupies. While I was popular I always had a girlfriend. But then again, I did meet my girlfriend through a screening of my work. I met her sister through the screening, actually the most girl Ive ever met has been through my work somehow. They are pleasantly surprised Im not as weird they thought I would be.
I’ve seen the porn based on Salad Fingers, isn’t that the weirdest thing that could ever happen?
Well, Ive seen weirder porn. I mean, a lot of people strangly get aroused by Salad Fingers, and its kinda worrying… Or not. Some people are into digging up bodies and stuff, and the weird always attract the weird people. A very small amount of those will get sexual pleasure from it. They think about sex a lot, and they think about Salad Fingers a lot, so theyll just put those two together. Maybe they just thought it was a way to get my attention, and it was. Maybe itd be good to see a video of Salad Fingers porn. Itd probably be time consuming though. I could imagine doing that just for fun, and releasing it anonymously. Just search for it one day, and itll be there.
How’s the progress going on all of your series? Can we expect new episodes of Burnt Face Man, Salad Fingers or anything soon?
Im currently working on this thing, but Burnt Face Man appears in it. Its a town, an entire town…. did you just trump? I thought you farted… It feels like hes got more of a purpuse rather than just being shit solving crime. He fits in quite nicely. The rest of it is very much new. But there will be more episodes of everything eventually. Right now Im concentrating on this thing, but Ive definitely been writing more Salad Fingers because Ive got sort of an urge to do that again. Then this came along - Ive been doing this for years, but it only just managed to get through, get onto things. So Im gonna take this chance for the moment.
I always like to sneak something dark och sinister into Burnt Face Man, and it always takes people by surprise. Darkest is Sock, or Spoilsbury Toast Boy.
What’s your favorite of your own stuff?
I dont really have a favourite. Its always something I havent done yet, its always something Im planning that is my favourite. So I guess its what Im doing now.
Are your characters based on real persons?
Most of them are based on me, and some of them are based on other people. Salad Fingers has elements of my grandmother in there, things that she says, and the way she’ll be confused by things, but its not her. All the charachters are based slightly on someone, but its never one person.
What do you think about horses? Sorry, wait, why is that even important? They’re still horses. Nothing you can ”think” will change that, even though this social media-”what are you doing right now, everybody cares, I promise”-arabian spring-society that we live in right now tries to tell you otherwise. Right?
Nope, not in Sweden at least. Here we have a Facebook page that’s amassing a huge following, and they’re all convinced. They all agree. They have seen the truth behind what we mortals call ”horses”. Ready? Here we go.
”There are no such thing as horses, a fact that is scientifically proven. We also support the science that claims horses to be a fruit. Horses is a fruit that does not exist.”
They are fruits. That doesn’t exist. Are you getting this? Horses are not animals, they are fruits. But that don’t matter really, because in the end they don’t even exist. No matter how much of a fruit they are.
Some 92 000 people have pressed the like button on the page that’s spreading this news; ”Hästar finns inte”, which translates to ”Horses doesn’t exist”. When I wrote about it earlier this week, they had only about 44 000 likes. They told me they wanted to change the way we’re thinking about horses… before it’s too late.
– A lot of people in the world still believes in horses, but luckily our society hasn’t collapsed thus far. The purpouse of this page is to get people to really think about it, and question what you’ve heard. We want to get the truth out, the pages anonymous 19-year-old founder told me over the Facebook chat.
As one could expect, swedish people interested in horses didn’t find this funny. At all. One Facebook wall post that spread quickly, commenting the stupidity of the horse-page, read ”you’re fucking stupid. I’ve been riding for, like, my whole life and you can’t just come and tell me I’ve trotted around on a fucking fruit that don’t even exist!”
Another person who found the page appalling was Carin Wrange, editor at the information site HästSverige (Horse Sweden), who told me the claims from “Horses doesn’t exist” were atrocious.
– I you’re seriously involved in the swedish horse sphere, you don’t have time for insipid things like this. To claim that horses are fruits, that’s not even worth commenting on. It’s like saying the earth is flat, she told me.
Quite a few pages contradicting the Horses doesn’t exist one as well, take this for example. “Horses doesn’t exist doesn’t exist”. Not to mention “Horses do exist! (a resistance group against the page “Horses doesn’t exist”)”. They’re getting their asses handed to them by the doubters, though. To quote one of them:
“Poor deluded people who have been cheated and deceived by the horse propaganda. What does it have to take for your eyes to open, so that you can understand the conspiratorial lies you are a part of?”
But ptroo, this whole thing didn’t end there. A mere day later, the god damned swedish minister for Rural Affairs contacted the swedish newspaper HD.se through his press secretary. And the swedish government, the people with the most power in all of Sweden, did this to say: Yes, horses do exist.
– The Minister of Rural Affairs, Mr. Eskil Erlandsson, wants it to be known that there is no reason to be worried. Horses exist. They even exist in a lot of different races, they said.
This lead me and my co-workers to the conclusion that the government wanted this story to go away. Why were they so afraid? Do they have something horse-related to hide? The answer we got didn’t make thing clearer.
– I can understand that fruits are hard to keep track of. Tomatoes and eggplants for example, that’s fruit, the press secretary of Mr. Erlandsson told us.
So there. Horses are not uncommon as internet phenomenons. Everybody knows about @horse_ebooks, bronies and the sewer horse, but here in Sweden we also have the old classical snel hest meme. Horses simply seems to have a bit of that cat quality. It’s almost a shame that they are fruits that doesn’t exist.
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