Creep Max Out Photoshop Contest

Last Thursday it was brought to my attention that a notorious reality TV hanger-on with a well-documented record of reprehensible behavior had posted to Twitter a crudely-photoshopped image that appeared to depict the two of us posing together. Though the image was obviously forged (the two of us were shot and lit from different angles; my entire left shoulder and portions of my hair were inexplicably absent; etc.) it nevertheless sent a chill down my spine. An individual with a reputation for deceit was circulating an image that not only linked me to him but that insinuated an association between the two of us. Even more disturbing was the fact that the photograph in question was quite easily one of the worst I have ever taken. Fashion blogger and man-about-town Colin Stone put it best when he described my look in the offending photo as “distinguished Clint Howard.” A modest request to all of the Internet stalkers reading this: if you’re going to butcher a photograph of me for your own nefarious purposes could you at least be so kind as to use a shot me from a flattering angle?

After 45 minutes spent scrubbing myself in a silkwood shower the icky feeling of defilement and contamination had still not gone away. At that point I decided that instead of being a victim of Internet creepery I would welcome it head on. I took to Twitter to post the following challenge:

Responses poured in over the next 24 hours from a variety of usual and unusual suspects. Some quoted memes or inserted recognizable pop culture figures. Others made visual puns or used in-jokes referencing my love of cats, kale, and myself. A selection of the more than 40 total entries appears below:


Click for larger version.

A full account of the Creep Max Out Photoshop Contest, including all submissions, can be found on Storify. Included below are the runners up and the winning entry:

A final word: If you’re the type who gets off on violating people’s privacy online or in real life, misleading or defrauding good-natured individuals or organizations for personal financial benefit or status, showing up at people’s homes uninvited, sending unwanted items or “gifts” to addresses that you shouldn’t have in the first place, threatening strangers via the Internet, harassing or bullying people on social media for confidential information, invading personal space or crashing private social events, acting inappropriately entitled to reciprocal attention from semi-public figures of the opposite sex, or crudely photoshopping yourself into photographs of people who have made clear their desire to have nothing to do with you, you might want to move on. In the past you might have been tolerated. That’s over now.


Podcast: talking Survivor, reality TV, and #RTVF330 on The Dom & Colin Podcast

Late last week I sat down with Dom Harvey and Colin Stone of The Dom & Colin Podcast for a long (135 minutes!) discussion about Survivor, reality TV, and social media. The resulting podcast is a pretty good representation of the sort of topics I touch on in my Northwestern University reality TV class, #RTVF330. You can listen to the interview on Dom’s and Colin’s website or download it for free from iTunes. Note: this will be on the quiz.


The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving TV’s New Reality Season 2


Last week marked the return of “The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving TV’s New Reality,” my class on Survivor and reality TV at Northwestern University. The class has evolved quite a bit since I first described it on the blog last January. Many of these changes are responses to the feedback I received while teaching it for the first time last year. When word got out in January 2012 that I was teaching a class on Survivor I received messages from fans of the show, journalists, and former contestants. While a few of my correspondents were skeptical about the idea of a college class on a reality TV show, many offered their encouragement, and a few volunteered to participate in one form or another. Over the course of the quarter the class was visited by critics and bloggers, producers and writers, and a number of former Survivor castaways. For our Survivor Summit event on February 9, 2012 we were joined by Stephen Fishbach and Erinn Lobdell (both of Survivor: Tocantins), John Cochran (Survivor: South Pacific; Survivor Caramoan), Mookie Lee (Survivor: Fiji), Jenny Guzon-Bae (Survivor: Cook Islands), and Kelly Goldsmith (Survivor: Africa). In addition, we hosted Skype q&a sessions with Survivor’s first winner, Richard Hatch, and two-time castaway (and perennial fan favorite) Yau-Man Chan.

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