the DIY issue

just because you can craft something doesn't mean you should

Currently for sale on Facebook’s marketplace, the site’s version of Craigslist, is this piece of art.

This work was listed in the “Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port-Englewood.. Buy- Sell -Swap” group by artist Michael Struss. It depicts Rick Sanchez from the television show Rick & Morty in his infamous “Pickle Rick” form touching tongues with Larry, a cucumber from the series VeggieTales, which depicts Bible stories with characters who are living vegetables. They meet atop the words “ok boomers,” a phrase deployed sarcastically by young people who feel condescended to.

The idea of Pickle Rick and Larry making out is not Struss’s own idea. It exists as an internet-famous piece of fan art that has traveled widely online. A year ago, it was posted to a subreddit called “Confused Boners.”

Struss is well-known on TikTok (342.5 thousand followers) for his wooden creations, which often depict cartoon characters, and which he often sets up in the yard of his Florida home. He kindly responded to a few questions about his evocative work.

Alright guys all done!!! I hope you like it!!!! Rick and morty greeted by stewie and roger!!
November 22, 2019

I guess my first question is: what made you want to make this particular piece? How’d you come up with it?

So I had a lot of request on my tik tok videos to draw pickle Rick from Rick and Morty. I looked up some images to get a reference photo because I had no clue what the show was about. I happened to come across that image and thought it was funny and it might bring some joy to people.

And how did you get into making these? Is it something you do for work or just a hobby?

About 5 years ago I made a grinch out of foam board for a friend and after I gave it to him he wanted to put it on wood. He gave me the idea to just draw them on wood. After that I started looking up videos on how to do so and I was hooked on it ever since.

Do you just make them for yourself and put them in your yard? Have your neighbors said anything?

A lot of them I keep but some I also hide around punta gorda for people to find. Have not hid any recently though due to everything that has been going on lately

And how’d you get on TikTok? Why do you think you’ve got such a large following?

I saw other wood artists doing it on there and I thought it would be awesome to go on there and hopefully bring joy to people. I think [I have a large following] because making cartoons out of wood seems pretty kool

Has anyone bought the Pickle Rick sculpture or expressed interest?

No. There were actually a few that were interested in it but nobody bought.

If you can’t sell it what are you going to do with it?

I keep them. If it was more kid friendly I would hide it around town.

If you live in the Punta Gorda area, the listing for this exquisite piece is still live.

Briefly: the president (or more likely Dan Scavino) accidentally posted this reply or direct message as a fully public tweet and somehow it is still up. As far as I can tell, they are looking into a video that was shared widely on the right-wing internet, including by actor James Woods, that seems to depict a nursing home employee beating on an elderly resident.

A salute to this hero

Earlier this week, a Twitter user by the handle @SteeloCity, posted a TikTok he’d found online. The TikTok video was created by the now-deleted (probably because of cyberbullying) account @theoriginaljdems. “Holy shit this video just kept getting worse and worse,” @SteeloCity wrote.

The video, set to the song “Buttercup” by Jack Stauber, showed someone removing painter’s tape from their new custom beer pong table. The table is divided into triangular sections based on things they like.

If you are too feeble to stare at these images for more than five seconds, it shows: White Claw, Twisted Tea, Coors Light, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Vineyard Vines, “Shake It Off” (presumably the Taylor Swift song), Lilly Pulitzer, Svedka, Friends (complete with Joey Tribiani’s “How you doin’?” catchphrase), Grey’s Anatomy, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, the podcast Call Her Daddy, the American flag, and the Blue Lives Matter movement. It is a conglomeration of brands, cultural, and ideas that immediately activates my fight-or-flight response.

As the video started gaining momentum on Twitter, the inevitable happened: the dreadful website Barstool Sports posted it to their own account. "Have you ever wanted to fight a beer pong table?”* they asked as if this wasn’t their target demo.

The way videos work on Twitter is very odd. Users don’t need to reupload their own videos, they can just graft their own text onto a clip someone else has uploaded in a way similar to how a quote-tweet works (a small line of text below the video notes that it was uploaded by someone else). In effect, this lets users pretend that videos that they didn’t find and post are videos that they found and posted. It also lets media companies like Barstool take videos from smaller users without having technically “stolen” it. It’s basically Freebooting 2.0.

For instance, this video looks like it was uploaded by Barstool. The tiny banner of text reveals who actually uploaded it and which account is hosting it.

The flipside is that if Barstool were to try to snag a video from someone who hates Barstool and try to score internet point off of it, the original uploader could delete their post and screw over Barstool as well. Which is exactly what happened.

Thank you for you work.

*An added layer of intrigue to the beer pong table saga is the inclusion of the Call Her Daddy logo. That podcast is a popular Barstool show that is now on hiatus because the hosts are either feuding with Barstool or each other. For reasons related to my personal health, I’m not willing to look into this matter any further.


Something from Tumblr to ponder

Thank you for subscribing to BNet. I know I owe the paying subscribers some dog pics.