I first learned about Poe’s law in reading about IDiocy. RationalWiki defines it as such:
Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.
Jonathan Coulton is one of my favorite musicians of late. He has lots of hilarious music on his website and I enjoy it a lot. Yesterday, on his blog, he wrote:
In other news, some attorney friends of mine say it’s probably a good idea for me not to say anything about this.
The page he’s linking to is a google.sites page made by some person, titled “Jonathan Coulton Stole My Dead Cousin’s Music.” It’s an entirely straight-faced account of “Ernie Wade,” the author’s skillful songwriting cousin who made a bunch of cassette tapes of songs that JoCo supposedly stole:
He would make his albums and make several copies,draw up the artwork for the covers and then try to sell them around Moosup. Of course the problem was not many people were using cassette players anymore. Everybody had CDs now.
Eventually though the folks at the Riverview Pizza place agreed to put some of his cassettes on sale at the register, although they stopped short of playing the tapes in the restaurant. I think they just felt bad for Ernie. However, low and behold a few of them sold and made it out into the world. My cousin was never happier in his life. He kept on making his albums. I don’t know how many different ones he made int he end. Sometimes he would change them up with mixes of songs from different ones and give them new names. I think that was when he was getting tired of making new songs. He even did a Greatest Hits.
Ernie died in 2003 at the age of 40 from a disease of the liver. I miss my cousin still. He may never have done much with his life but he was always good to me and always tried his hardest at whatever he did. His parents sold most of his things at Garage Sales to help make some money and because he had so much stuff that reminded them of him and made them sad. I kept a few of his tapes for sentimental reasons but never really listened to them much.
Then this past December, my friend Ronny started playing me some songs from a guy named Jonathan Coulton who was apparently a big hit musician on the Internet. His songs were pretty good and I liked that he was giving them away on the Internet. Something about the songs reminded me of Ernie. So when I got home I started listening to some of his old tapes.
THEY WERE THE SAME SONGS!!!
They’ve got a couple mp3s of his versions of the songs, and photos of the tapes. There’s really no way to tell whether they’re serious or being funny. They even acknowledge and deny the April Fool’s Day connection. The commenters generally think JoCo did it himself. A few think it’s a hoax. The only ones who seem angry at JoCo seem to be pretending anger.