Tumblr's Newest Target Is Jon Arbuckle, Garfield's Horrible Owner - Atlas Obscura
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Tumblr’s Newest Target Is Jon Arbuckle, Garfield’s Horrible Owner

The new face of Internet shame: Jon Arbuckle. (Courtesy of Tumblr)

Over the past couple of days, a new meme has been rocketing through Tumblr. It seems that the internet pitchforks have been raised against a new offender: Jon Arbuckle.

That would be, the cartoon owner of cartoon cat Garfield. The world of Jim Davis’ comic strip has been fodder for digital hijinks before, as it can be terrifying as well as soothingly nostalgic. A shocking number of fake Twitter accounts have tried to inhabit the laughless existential melancholy of the cat, to varied effect. Garfield Minus Garfield, a digitally-altered strip made by an Irish IT manager, became huge in 2008, spawning a book of the same name. Davis himself has called such internet remixes “fascinating.”

But now, the focus has shifted Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle. Quick to anger and often needlessly cruel to both of his animals (lest we forget poor, horrible Odie), Jon has previously been painted as a lonely lunatic in Garfield Minus Garfield and Garfield Without Garfield’s Thought Balloons. But a bigger storm is brewing over in the recesses of Tumblr, where a small-but-vocal group of activists are taking a stand on the “I Hate Jon Arbuckle” blog, with the rallying cry, “DOWN WITH ARBUCKLE!!!!!”

Rather than trying to find what drives one of fiction’s most hated men, the blog simply looks at all of the instances Jon being awful, making a case that he must be stopped. A few choice examples of Arbuckle’s nastiness:

http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/137255815531/this-one-im-submitting-separately-because-jon
http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/134833157271/either-hes-admitting-he-abuses-garfield-or-he
http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/134155505021/this-is-animal-abuse-and-a-waste-of-food
http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/133629060436/this-is-disgusting-if-my-cat-was-in-a-body-cast-i

If treating his pets like (sometimes) silent accomplices to his crimes, and cathartic dumping grounds for his bottomless loneliness weren’t enough there is an entire section of the blog devoted to Real True Facts About Jon Arbuckle that are clearly made up, but somehow entirely believable.

http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/132980183356/real-true-facts-about-jon-arbuckle-20
http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/130362659141/real-true-facts-about-jon-arbuckle-16
http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/131388933281/real-true-facts-about-jon-arbuckle-18

According to the FAQ, I Hate Jon Arbuckle is no joke. As the author puts it, “although jon arbuckle has never done anything to me personally, i have empathy so i care deeply about the people and animals he has hurt.” And apparently they are not alone. “Arbuckle Adversaries,” as the blog has dubbed those faithful to the anti-Jon cause seem to be a rapidly growing base. Many of the posts have well over a hundred likes and comments, and allied blogs have even begun to pop up, like Ban Jon Arbuckle and I Hate Grandma Arbuckle. There are also jokes-on-the-joke blogs like I Hate Don Jarbuckle and I Hate Jonar Buckle.

If you want to join the Arbuckle Adversaries, you can go ahead and share the below poster that pretty much sums up this weirdly identifiable outrage.

http://ihatejonarbuckle.tumblr.com/post/135280611891/shoot-heres-the-right-version