I Get Email

For the past few days I’ve been receiving emails similar to this one:

Hi Chris,

I love the site, have for some time now. Hope you are well. The reason I’m contacting you is, I seen an advertisement for Scientology on your site. I’m sure you’re aware of how *bad* this organization actually is. I don’t know if you have any qualms about who advertises on your site. Thought I’d let ye know anyway, I’m not asking you to remove it or anything, just struck me as a strange ad to see on your logical, funny, cynical site.

Thanks for the blog,

I’m posting this because I’m sick of repeating myself about advertisements so the next time I’m asked about it I can just point to this post.

Google Adsense is context based and matches ads based on keywords. So on a post about how Mohammed was a pedorast, you may see an ad for Muslim singles. On a post about how God has killed millions more than Satan, you may see an ad for a Christian organization. On a post about vomiting up copious amounts of fruit loops and bile, you may see an Ann Coulter ad.

Adsense does allow you to block these ads which I haven’t done for the following reasons:

1. I’ve become ad blind and no longer look at the ads on my site.
2. If I started blocking ads that I didn’t agree with, I’d spend more time than I care to lose on blocking each individual ad.
3. I’m fairly certain that pro-religious ads aren’t going to do much swaying of a regular reader on this blog.

4. The ads have no effect on the content. I don’t check a list of advertisers to see if I’m going to offend one with a critical post.

So the only viable solution in removing all the ads that I don’t agree with is to remove Adsense. Advertising revenue is what is used to pay for hosting the blog (And Cynikitty’s caviar) . And no, I have far too much traffic for a $9.99 a month shared hosting special that people email every time I complain about hosting costs.

So to sum up. No ads = no blog. (No, I’m not going to ask for contributions in lieu of advertisements).


  1. @chinaman,

    Um, yeah. What part of ‘no ads = no blog’ did you not understand.

    I love the adblock people who have no problems visiting sites day after day in an ad-free environment who conveniently forget that without ads the blogger wouldn’t have the money to keep the site running.

    But keep coming back and suckling at the bandwidth though.

  2. Are these people daft? Ironic ads are one of my favorite “features” of this blog! Especially the religious ones! When an ad proclaims god’s love on the same page as a post about Christians wishing death upon gays or doctors, I get giddy!

    Perfect example: the ad on this very page, wherein people complain about Google ads, is an ad for Google ads! That’s ironic and recursive – a double whammy!

    Chris, don’t you dare ever start removing ads. I swear, if you do, I’ll start believing in Jeebus.

  3. i must admit, i get tunnel vision when I read this blog- i know there are ads, i know why there are ads, and i am very happy getting content for free, so i don’t want that to change.

    i also do try to click one ad each time i visit- i never buy anything, but i assume that someone is keeping track of that kind of traffic, and it somehow helps the cause of ad revenue.

    i like to click the most outrageous, as a game.

    so- everyone play along and quicherbichin’

  4. if you dont want to see ads, download noscript for firefox

    allows you to close off other websites and spam from showing up on your screen

  5. How about a link under the ads, pointing to this post? Something like “See an ad you don’t agree with? Click here”

    Sometimes you need to force-feed info to people.

    Keep up the site.

  6. My general problem with the ads is that my weight and marriage are both suffering. I look at the giant rare steak and I do get hungry. So I head upstairs and rip into the package of raw hamburger (no time to cook). I’ve put on 50 pounds this year already. Then when the Christian and Muslim dating sites come up I feel compelled to click. I’ve been on so many dates with religious women my wife is starting to get pissed. I think she’s afraid I may catch some religious disease and start preaching to her (at least that’s the only explanation I can come up with for her anger). So I may have no choice but to stop coming here.

  7. Your list is missing an item:

    5. If you see an ad for an organization you don’t agree with, and you click the ad, the organization loses money.

    Of course you can’t say that because, while it’s true, you’d be encouraging click-fraud and that’s something that the site owner can’t do. However I’m just a commenter and don’t run this site.

  8. While I absolutely understand the need for ads and agree to you chris; I have a personal problem with ads of any kind. They are forced down our throats all the time in all places we go. They are more than often a personal insult to myself and play with parts of our brain we can’t control. For me that simply cannot be. So I try to minimize the amount of advertisement reaching my brain. I use adblock to remove every single ad I can, I switch the channel when the ads are starting, I don’t allow ads in my letterbox or my inbox and I don’t read magazines that are overloaded with that garbage.
    The point is that I am one of the few people that are convinced to be able to think for themselves and who know what they want; Exactly. I need no one to tell me how my live would be better. I especially despise people who try to evangelize to me in any sort of way.
    And what I hate the most are blinking seizure-inducing flash ads with sound when I want to read a good post.

    I feel sorry for you chris, because I am in a way stealing from you, but I am just too stubborn and tightened in my believes to change my ways. Even for a very good blog like yours.

  9. @aziraphale:

    I too feel compelled to think for myself. However, ads are a part of man’s innate nature; we’re goal-driven beings who often need to persuade others to meet said goals.

    When I watch an ad, I always “look behind the curtain”. I try to see what methods they employ to trick me (or convince me) to purchase their ware. Aside from moving in with some Aborigines, you’ll never get away from ads. My advice: Teach yourself their tricks so you can be less affected by them.

  10. I’ve seen complaints about Scientology ads on several sites, but I have yet to see one myself. I see other ads, but not Scientology. Could it be something like the Amazon contextual ads, where the content is based on the surfer’s history? Every once in a while, someone will write about the hilarious Amazon ad I host about this or that –when I’ve never seen it myself, but it tells me something about the person who wrote to me!

  11. I love how the “Meet your meat” ad that Abbi mentioned has a huge steak, claims to link to a video that “exposes the truth about humanity’s cruelest invention—the factory farm.” and quite ironically ends with “want fries with that?”
    They really should check where THEY’RE advertising through Adsense…. this ad is often paired with a post about how awesome bacon is. So by the time you get to the “want fries with that?” the answer is usually “Yes, please!” rather than “I want to help stop the madness”.
    Way to go, Meet your Meat people. FAIL!

  12. Oh – and for those who can’t compromise their hate of ads to visit this site (and since Chris has mentioned that he won’t take contributions in lieu of ads), why don’t you advertise here yourself? Problem solved! You can put up an enormous ad mentioning how much you hate the other ads…. everyone is happy. Problem solved!

  13. Now I’m going to start paying attention to the adds. I checked the “Advances in Ass Wiping Technology” post but the associated adds added no humor.

    Out of curiosity, does Adsense filter the comments for add keywords or just the original post?

  14. I have no problem with the ads here. In fact, I typically don’t even notice them.

    What I DO hate are the 75 commercials that play before the previews whenever I go see a movie.

  15. I’ve loved the ironic nature of the Ad’s on this site for ages, I was wondering how aware you are about the exact content of the advertising material however, Chris.
    Now that I know your aware I have no problem with it, I come here for the always interesting posts, and nothing more.
    Besides, if we as an audience expect to receive our content on the net for free, we have to expect that providers have to subsidize that content somehow. Most advertising companies are moving away from traditional media and focusing on digital marketing, this is only going to get more and more lucrative for advertisers. So whatever, people need to learn how to become better consumers of their information and start taking it for granted that all providers have an agenda.
    To be honest, I embrace the push of advertising on the internet, because I honestly believe that we are entering a new period where consumers just do not expect to pay for media or information (much to the chagrin of traditional media providers) and if that means distributors are being forced to look to advertising as a means to finance themselves. So be it.
    Free content is better than pay-per-view any day.
    That’s my rant.

  16. Laura, I think the Meet Your Meat ads are actually well targeted. Who better to receive their message than a bunch of bacon lovers. And the Christian singles ads are on posts that probably draw irate Christians. So the adsense really may be working and the Meat people know their target audience. Time to go get some more raw meet for breakfast.

  17. I’m kind of in the “there are ads?” group, but once in while I notice one that is ironic and it cracks me up.

    I was really here for the content – even whale sharks have remoras so I don’t even notice the ads!

  18. I’m with those that find the delightful irony of most of the ads very amusing. The only ad I have ever taken issue with is the big juicy steak one. It looks so very delicious that I get hungry when I visit this site, which leads to me doing even more procrastination, but alas, such is the burden I must bear to be hardily amused when I should be earning money for my company.

  19. As someone in advertising who absolutely loathes most ads, I’m going to highly, highly second the wonderful comments of Rev. Snarfleez J. Cattleprod.

    Even if you think you’re blocking out advertising, the shit is just too fucking ubiquitous to escape and it fiddles with your mind.

    Try not to continue in your mind (if you’re of a certain age):

    Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese….

    At any rate, yes, learn what logical fallacies are implicit in most advertising (if…then is HUGE), learn what psychological games are being played, analyze the content for subtextual messages. I see shit all the time that absolutely enrages or amuses the hell out of me.

    And by all means, if you haven’t seen “How To Get Ahead in Advertising” do yourself a huge favor and watch that film because it’s sheer 100% genius.

  20. Oh how I wish I could attach an image – there is an ad up here on how to advertise with adready… Oh the IRONY!!!

    @ the critic – I so have to see that film – I’m in packaging (can you say CARNY SIGN) so I can relate. Funny how I never buy the products made by the companies I whore, I mean, work for…

  21. so far my favorate add was when you had the posting of the super strong magnets and the guy´s finger nail stuck between them. the adds were trying to sell those same magnets! I wonder if the AD peop0le ever check things like that out…

  22. so um… uh… hey man, where have you been the past couple days?

    you aren’t really abandoning the blog, are you?
    did i miss a notification of you going on vacation or something?

    come back, chris!

  23. Goddamn, that Ann Coulter has eyes like a dead cobra.

    To me, Chris’ ads actually underscore the point of the site, since the program that matches the ads to his posts is obviously incredibly bad at what it’s supposed to do, which is match up ad content to people who’d be interested.

    All the end results mean is that your cynicism is justified.


  24. Ads do pay for the internets, people.

    I will own up to emailing Chris about an adult-themed ad a while back. I wasn’t complaining about seeing ads per se, although I’m getting the feeling there is no difference.

    Ad block plus, a FF add-on, has a function to allow you to choose what sites show advertising. A decent compromise–it helps specifically support the blogs you like while allowing you to ignore ads on others.

    what say everybody go visit http://www.misscellania.com/ until the cynicism continues?

  25. So, why do I always see this disgusting «Meet your meat» sponsor ad?

    First of all, the meat I eat doesn’t look like that. Secondly, animal cruelty in unserious factory farms, isn’t a good reason for quitting eating meat. Instead of quitting eating meat (beeing passive), I sincerely suggest to improve animal welfare through law and control where you live.

    It doesn’t make sense.

  26. I love that the Ann Coulter ad reads “Ann Coulter – Free!” If only those spaces weren’t there, then it would be “Ann Coulter-Free” and I could click the link.

  27. Seeing as it’s ALL made up, what’s the real difference between Scientology and the “legitimate” religions, Xenu? Which is more criminal–their behavior or that of the Vatican, what with their protecting pedophiles and such? They’re both just money-making ventures, when it comes down to brass tacks.

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