Hey, folks!

I’m going to bury the lede a bit by explaining who I am first: For the past several years, I’ve been one of the most-active Redditors on the site. (You may have seen my stories and screenplays – many of which feature a guy named Dave – or ill-advised attempts at comedy.) I alternate between hunting spammers, yelling at people, offering quasi-humorous writing lessons, and creating my own original content.

That last activity got me into a little bit of trouble the other day.

I created this satirical piece shortly after COVID-19 started being recognized as a genuine threat. In the months that followed, quite a few different people ripped, cut, and shared incomplete versions of the video across a variety of social media sites. Worse still, many of those individuals insisted that they were presenting “proof” of the pandemic having been intentionally engineered.

Given that my original upload barely passed 60,000 views, I was entirely unaware of this… until fact-checkers from Belgium, France, and The Netherlands started reaching out to me. In the days that followed, I learned how far the “misinformation” had spread, and I found myself explaining not only that that the majority of my video content is absurd satire (like “The Mick Jagger Conspiracy Theory"), but that the viral piece in question was intended to lampoon the anti-science perspectives which were arising at the time.

Predictably, the news articles containing the truth haven’t spread nearly as far as the doctored videos, and it was only yesterday when Snopes confirmed that my piece was a joke.

Anyway, I’ll start answering questions about a half an hour after initially posting this, so ask me anything about writing, Reddit, production, satire in general… or anything else you want, really!

Edit: This has been a lot of fun, everyone! Thank you so much for the questions, the conversation, and the entertaining interactions. I'll be closing out this AMA for now, but chances are that you'll be able to find me around the site. As a final thought, remember to question the veracity of (and the motivations behind) what you see, hear, and read... because it might end up being a joke.

Comments: 564 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

PaxVobiscuit949 karma

Does this look infected?

RamsesThePigeon1351 karma

Sir, this is a Wendy's.

CambodianDrywall445 karma

These 10 questions originally came from a French series, "Bouillon de Culture" hosted by Bernard Pivot. They're better known as the questions that James Lipton asked every guest at the end of "Inside the Actor's Studio" show.

  • What is your favorite word?
  • What is your least favorite word?
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  • What turns you off?
  • What is your favorite curse word?
  • What sound or noise do you love?
  • What sound or noise do you hate?
  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  • What profession would you not like to do?
  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

RamsesThePigeon561 karma

  • Triboluminescence
  • Soporific
  • I find that I'm most inspired by abject ridiculousness. Speculating on how bizarre real-world situations came to be tends to get me going, so to speak.
  • I really dislike writing errors made out of laziness.
  • "Nails!"
  • You know that whine that turns into a resonant thrum when old plumbing starts heating up? That.
  • I can't stand the sound of Slack messages on my rare days off.
  • Carpentry has always held a weird sort of appeal for me. I'd probably hate it, but the few times that I've attempted it have been enjoyable.
  • I can't see myself having much fun playing professional football.
  • "Dude, that was hilarious!"

inmyotherpants79406 karma

  • What's the last thing you licked?
  • How many times a day do you think of Jane Fonda in her vintage exercise gear?
  • Do you think the Thief franchise can be redeemed or is it a dead game series?
  • Which was a better era, the 80’s or the 90’s?

RamsesThePigeon763 karma

  • Earl Grey ice cream.
  • Well, we're up to one now...
  • Dear Ra, I could go on for hours about how that excellent series was utterly and unforgivably corrupted by its 2014 installment. It could absolutely be redeemed, but it would need to be revived by someone who had actually played the original games (and understood the character).
  • That is not how apostrophes work.

Wild_Marker42 karma

Earl Grey ice cream.

They make tea-flavored ice cream????

RamsesThePigeon107 karma

I mean, I assume so. It may have been a spontaneous creation of the universe.

FillsYourNiche46 karma

How was it? I am used to tea, Earl Grey, hot. But ice cream? That's a new one.

RamsesThePigeon51 karma

It's actually really, really good.

Mister_Jay_Peg9 karma

Dude, where's my coin?

RamsesThePigeon13 karma

... Was I supposed to send you one?

If so, I'm assuming it didn't arrive.

S_B_B260 karma

Do you feel like youve contributed to fake news?

RamsesThePigeon483 karma

You know, I'm actually struggling with that question at the moment.

On the one hand, I think satirists have something akin to a responsibility to operate in the grey areas between reality and fiction. After all, if the intention is to make people simultaneously laugh and think, then coming clean kind of undermines that endeavor. On the other hand – as this whole ordeal has shown – the capacity to recognize satire is dangerously lacking on the Internet, so maybe a little bit of nudging and winking is necessary.

I'm currently of the mind that I've ultimately done no harm, given that intentionally ignorant folks were going to find something to support their unfounded claims. The fact that they're using something which I made means that there's at least the chance that some good can come out of it (even if that's just the comedy). Besides, I think it's a mistake to lower the bar to the level of the lowest common denominator. Instead, we should be encouraging people to improve themselves.

S_B_B76 karma

What exactly is the lowest common denominator, someone who is susceptible to unfounded claims? Or somebody who just accepts information online and doesn’t do any due diligence to find out whether or not a video was faked? Because that honestly seems like most people to me

RamsesThePigeon172 karma

I think we're all susceptible to unfounded claims, just as I think we all get lazy about fact-checking from time to time. The lowest common denominator comprises the people who actively reject those facts about themselves, substituting self-awareness with a misplaced kind of self-confidence (even in the face of compellingly conflicting evidence). As I said, though, I don't see that intentional ignorance as being something which can't be mitigated; I just think we need to encourage (and require) personal responsibility and introspection.

penny_eater32 karma

Why do you think it took hold mostly in non-english contexts? All the conspiracy posts i've seen so far that use the 2 minute version have been in a foreign language. Do you think your voiceover is cheesy enough for any native english speaker to detect the satire (i certainly do)?

RamsesThePigeon65 karma

I think you've hit the nail on the head, yes: There's a cultural undertone to the piece which relies on audiences having previously seen public service announcements from that era. Some of the jokes also require a familiarity with aspects of American culture (like the shot at Gwyneth Paltrow, for example) that probably weren't particularly noteworthy in other countries.

FillsYourNiche164 karma

Thanks for being here with us, though I can't imagine you anywhere else but on Reddit all the time. ;)

What made you want to start commenting here so prolifically? Do you ever go through slumps?

RamsesThePigeon170 karma

I first signed up for Reddit after a friend suggested that I promote a League of Legends-themed music video here. It got about twelve upvotes in total before vanishing into the aether… but in the months that followed, I discovered that the site was an excellent place to offer entertainment (particularly of the text-based variety). I’ve always been a storyteller, but I’d never really had a good place to share my anecdotes until then. When it turned out that folks seemed to enjoy my tales, I kept offering them.

As for going through slumps, I actually find that writing fiction is a hell of a lot more difficult than recalling events from my life. As such, while I’ve been known to haunt /r/WritingPrompts on fairly frequent occasions, there are definitely periods during which I take a more consumption-based approach to Reddit. Fortunately, the same thing that attracted me – the platform for offering entertainment – means that there’s rarely a dearth of things being submitted by other people.

pm_me_your_kindwords105 karma

What's your next plan for screwing up the country?

RamsesThePigeon157 karma

I'm actually focusing my sights on Scotland next, and I'll be employing questionably accurate history in my efforts.

tresser90 karma

when did you realize that your most violent use of the digital medium would be the end of humanity?

RamsesThePigeon122 karma

It was foretold in the ancient texts. I am merely a character in the story.

mookler68 karma

Is the pigeon your favorite bird?

If not, what is?

RamsesThePigeon113 karma

I think it would be difficult for me to pick a favorite bird, but pigeons are definitely up there. Contrary to popular belief, the common rock dove is one of the most intelligent animals – not just birds, but animals – in the world, being rivaled only by certain corvids and primates.

SorryEh63 karma

No questions, I just really appreciate your posts, and want to say thanks!

OK I lied - I'll ask 1 question: would you rather fight 100 pigeon-sized horses or 1 horse-sized pigeon?

RamsesThePigeon100 karma

I'd fight the horses, obviously.

Fighting the pigeon would be an act of betrayal on my part.

Kingsolomanhere47 karma

Having inadvertently muddled the thought processes of a large number of the elderly in the EU, is your next target somewhere in Asia?

RamsesThePigeon58 karma

This is genuinely true: My next planned project will be focused on Scotland.

Security_Chief_Odo47 karma

What do you think of your arch-nemesis, /u/Poem_for_your_sprog ?

RamsesThePigeon99 karma

Since when are we nemeses?

Sprog is great! I find it endlessly entertaining when the two of us have the opportunity to respond to one another.

yellow_yellow47 karma

This comment you made awhile back has stuck with me and occasionally I give it a re-read and reflect on my personal habits. Do you think spending so much time on Reddit has affected you in any negative ways?

RamsesThePigeon71 karma

As I mentioned elsewhere, I don't spend as much time on Reddit as it appears that I do. Even when I am on the site, I usually have other things going on at the same time. (At the moment, I'm in a call with my girlfriend, who is discussing the prospect of adopting a kitten.) Despite the popular perception of the "power-user," I'm actually pretty social, and I'm lucky enough to have a group of engaging and empathetic friends.

I will say that being a moderator takes its toll on me from time to time. It can be disheartening to see the constant stream of anti-intellectualism, pseudointellectualism, bigotry, and intentional ignorance that frequently washes through various subreddits... and the process of dealing with it is frequently decried by the very people who benefit. Even in those moments, though, I try to remind myself that no good deed goes unpunished.

StAUG121134 karma

Why are geese?

RamsesThePigeon39 karma

I know, right?

FatherofKhorne31 karma

Videos being taken out context seems to he a common issue.

Do you think this is an issue of people not understanding or realising that it's satire, or that people intentionally cut clips out as it supports their view?

Also, do you have any tips or tricks to identify satire, especially in text form?

RamsesThePigeon31 karma

I am quite convinced that the video was intentionally cut, given that the vast majority of the giveaway lines weren't included in the version that went viral.

That brings me to my other answer: When writing effective satire, there needs to be a specific, planned revelation of sorts. Said revelation can't be too overt – that would ruin the joke – but it does need to "stick out" in a way that casts a new light on the entire piece (even if only in retrospect). Larger-than-life examples often work for this purpose, as do intentional breaks in a given thread's internal logic. One can also give the entire thing a particularly bold or ridiculous quality, as I did with "Video With An ATTENTION-GRABBING Title." In text, that last tactic typically requires paying very close attention to how things are phrased, what words are used, and specific timbre of any explosions that may or may not be occurring outside of one's window.

Davidkob30 karma

How do you determine success?

RamsesThePigeon38 karma

That’s a tough question, if only because I think the word “success” means different things to different people. I’ve long said that if even one person learns something from my writing lessons, then I’m happy… but at the same time, I obviously want to have a positive impact on the largest-possible audience.

This is probably a bit of a cop-out, but I’d say that success – for me, at least – is more of an ongoing process than it is anything else: If I’m constantly entertaining, informing, educating, or inspiring, then I’m being successful. As soon as I stop doing that, I stop succeeding.

Krizzlin24 karma

Which will collapse first: capitalism or the two party system?

RamsesThePigeon57 karma

Sorry, I'm not allowed to reveal details about the future anymore.

I only have three points left on my time-traveler's license.

Nugatorysurplusage22 karma

We all know 2018 was all about anal-bleaching. Eating ass trended hard in 2019 but dropped off quite quickly around February. You’re obviously a grandpa but what is the new hip and cool thing that the kids are doing?

RamsesThePigeon46 karma

I think it has something to do with Chinese clocks, doesn't it?

Isn't that why all of the kids are obsessed with saying "Tick tock!" or whatever?

DoomGoober21 karma

Is satire dead? Millions will see your video. A large percent of those will believe your video is real. Tens of thousands will read this AMA or see the Snopes page.

In net total, those who agree with you already will find your video funny and those who you are skewering ... Will be driven further into their strange beliefs. Is it worth it?

RamsesThePigeon43 karma

No, I don't think satire is dead... but I do think that we're going through a period wherein people need to be exceptionally adept at offering it. This entire debacle has shown me that I am not yet as skilled as perhaps I should be. Still, that's just incentive to improve, right?

Following from that, I'm not convinced that my video will actually drive anyone further into strange beliefs, at least not permanently. Maybe this is naïve of me, but I've long been of the belief that humans reach for greater heights whenever they're sufficiently inspired to... and I'd like to believe that being told "Your primary piece of evidence is a really obvious joke!" will provide the beginnings of that inspiration.

I will confess to harboring some mixed emotions at the moment, but I'm doing my best to ride them out.

DoomGoober11 karma

I will confess to harboring some mixed emotions at the moment

I hope your primary emotion is pride and bemusement (followed distantly by worry about the crazy world we live.) Your video is great, regardless of how some subset of the audience misused it. I just wanted to ask a confrontational question as I'm fascinated by the idea of fun/amusement versus harm (strangely, I think a great example of this are people who love shooting guns... while guns overall do great physical harm to society, they really are fun. Not saying your video was a gun, but same philosophical vein.) Thanks for answering sincerely.

This whole thing plays out in miniature on Reddit every day: Do I add a "/s" tag at the end of my satirical comment? How obvious do I need to be? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

RamsesThePigeon17 karma

Personally, I think the "/s" tag lessens a joke's impact. If you're trying to appeal to the largest-possible audience, by all means, include it... but if you're trying to be the funniest that you can be, make your tell a bit more subtle.

billbapapa20 karma

Late the party but - don't you like, see music, or sing with your eyes, or something messed up?

RamsesThePigeon32 karma

I'm a full-spectrum synaesthete, which means that all of my senses are crossed with one another. I don't physically see, hear, smell, taste, or feel these phantom perceptions, but I am acutely aware of them. Think of it like experiencing an exceptionally strong memory, if that makes sense.

No pun intended.

KingOCarrotFlowers19 karma

Is this an intro post?

RamsesThePigeon25 karma

If it prompts a lot of confusing copypasta, then yes, it is.

thehonestyfish19 karma

Ever do anything with those custom Pigeon-coin-triangle-business card things you had made up, or are they all just sitting in a box somewhere?

RamsesThePigeon32 karma

I've actually given out close to a thousand of them at this point.

In other words, they're probably sitting in numerous boxes all over the place.

molrobocop19 karma

Is this a way to advertise your podcast?

Full disclosure, I'm banking on the odds that you have a podcast.

RamsesThePigeon26 karma

Unfortunately, I do not have a podcast.

I should probably remedy that oversight at some point.

In the meantime, I'll just keep hoping that Gus and Eddy ask me to be a guest.

tarzan32219 karma

How long was it after you released your video that you realized how big of a mistake it was?

RamsesThePigeon35 karma

I don't really view it as a mistake, honestly. If I were to remake it, I'd probably be a bit more overt with the humor, but I don't regret having released the current version.

Well... I don't often regret having released it, anyway.

jippyzippylippy17 karma

Do your parents know what you are up to?

RamsesThePigeon36 karma

They do, and they won't stop laughing.

I'm telling myself that they're laughing with me.

Caddy66617 karma

Times must be hard for you, are you doing ok?

RamsesThePigeon22 karma

All things considered, I'm doing pretty well! I recently lost my job, but all signs point to me landing on my feet.

cockamouse_16 karma

Favorite cereal?

RamsesThePigeon32 karma

Cookie Crisp, eaten straight out of the box.

ENFJPLinguaphile16 karma

Hahaha! Thanks for the AMA and what inspired you to become a satirist?

RamsesThePigeon22 karma

I think it just kind of happened, honestly. I've always been attracted to absurdity, and there's an ample supply of the stuff in the real world. Seeking it out and amplifying it tends to result in satire by default.

Dhanish0414 karma

What's the history behind your username?

RamsesThePigeon23 karma

I actually told that story already, if you'd like to read it!

tagrav14 karma

Del taco or Taco Bell and why did you choose Taco Bell?

RamsesThePigeon21 karma

My only experience with Del Taco involved having wet napkins thrown at the back of my head.

readerf5213 karma

About 20 years ago, I read an interview with Tom Lehrer and they asked him if he would be writing more songs, and he said the world was too satirical to write satire about it, yet you said (in another answer) that it’s still viable.

How do you do that? How do you hold on to the sense of absurd in an absurd world?

I admire all the people trying to make us laugh during a time when crying seems to be the only legitimate response, so, thanks I guess...

RamsesThePigeon19 karma

When faced with a world gone mad, sometimes it's best to sit back and laugh like you're the only one who gets the joke.

At first glance, that might seem insane or insensitive, but once you've found a glimmer of good cheer, it's that much easier to approach things as they are as opposed to how they "should be" or "shouldn't be." From there, you can almost always find (or create) a route onward and upward, and you'll soon discover that a productive path brings positive emotions by default. There will be obstacles, but when you assume that they can be overcome (and when you approach them with a slightly off-putting smile), you'll often find that they're more eager to get out of your way.

When in doubt, remember: Humor is just horror with a punchline... and laughter is best when it's shared.

stanleykubricksdad12 karma

Do you have a certain process or method you go by for your satirical work, or is it more so “off the cuff?” Do your ideas begin as reactions to events or patterns you see, or are they mostly spontaneous?

RamsesThePigeon16 karma

I'd say that it's a mixture of planning and improvisation. My projects usually begin with me noticing some trend or another, which will often prompt me to start considering the motivations – conscious or otherwise – that are guiding the people who are a part of it.

Take "One-Gun Everything-Melter Amara," for instance: I'd been trying to find a guide for building a Borderlands 3 character, but everything had the distinct smell of having been made for clicks (rather than for the purposes of providing information). Putting myself in that mindset gave me fodder for the script, after which the actual writing was just a case of mocking "myself."

shewolfromulus11 karma

Im thinking of writing absurdly detailed satirical Yelp reviews. I realize I may not be the first to do this sort of thing, but I think itd be fun.
What should my first restaurant be and what do I order?

RamsesThePigeon13 karma

You should visit Applebee's, and you should review the tap water.

metastasis_d11 karma

Is it true Llamas with Hats ripped you off?

RamsesThePigeon31 karma

Yes, the creators of Llamas with Hats saw my parody video, then went back in time and created the inspiration for it. The resulting paradox is what ultimately created the timeline in which we currently find ourselves.

Turtledonuts11 karma

If you had to pick one person to narrate aloud the horrific screaming that fills all our heads at all times in 2020, who would it be?

RamsesThePigeon21 karma

Am I allowed to submit myself for consideration?

If not, then Gilbert Gottfried seems like the obvious choice.

madman110111 karma

How do you feel about desk corners?

RamsesThePigeon10 karma

I can't say that I have too many strong feelings about them most of the time.

They become sources of rather significant unpleasantness upon being walked into or kicked, though.

t3hd0n11 karma

are you the person who did the voice-over or did you have someone else do it?

RamsesThePigeon13 karma

That's me!

TheDigitalGentleman10 karma

Can you rank all major ABBA songs in order of your personal preference? I personally always get stuck deciding between Dancing Queen and Happy New Year and would like a second opinion.

RamsesThePigeon15 karma

No, I don't think I can do that, if only because I once drove past Björn Ulvaeus's house and got the very distinct impression that I should keep from calling too much attention to myself.

Bardfinn10 karma

Why are you applying for this position Sorry, wrong set of interview questions

What music do you like to listen to on your own time?

RamsesThePigeon14 karma

I actually don't listen to very much music. I'm a full-spectrum synaesthete, and I've found that there are very few songs which don't smell, taste, feel, or look a bit "wrong" as I'm listening to them.

Something about a cappella renditions of melody-driven pieces always gets me to stop and listen, though.

NewWriterOnTheWeb9 karma

Are your absurdist ideals limited to comedy? Or are you also an absurdist in the philosophical sense? If not, then what sort of principals do you think underpin your work?

RamsesThePigeon18 karma

In a word, yes, but perhaps not in the way that most people would assume.

It's my opinion that the world is most wondrous when regarded with equal parts wisdom and whimsy. When either one is lacking, it's an opportunity to laugh and learn.

Burly_Jim9 karma

So, you have a pigeon fursona, right?

RamsesThePigeon16 karma

I have one of those rubber masks.

Does that count?

TheD1v1s1on58 karma

Do you like Trump?

RamsesThePigeon46 karma

So, the thing about Trump – and everyone is saying this, folks, you know, they're all saying it – is that... Trump is someone that you either like or dislike. A lot of people come up to me, you know – and these are smart, smart people, believe me – they come up to me, and they say "Oh, oh, Ramses! Oh, nobody knows more about Trump than you!" I know that. Everyone knows that. You can look it up... but there are people out there – and these aren't the smart people, these are bad, evil people – who say that they know more about Trump. Come on. Nobody believes that. Why are they lying? That's what we should really be asking, because if you like or dislike Trump, you know, that's the real question.

--cheese--8 karma

Is RamsesThePigeon your real name? Did you change it from the one your parents gave you? Why did your parents call you RamsesThePigeon?

What's objectively the best colour and why is it green?


What's the best kind of pie?

What number am I thinking of (hint: it's not 7)?

RamsesThePigeon13 karma

  1. No.
  2. Because you've mistaken blue for green.
  3. GIF, obviously.
  4. The kind that belongs to me.
  5. Threeve.

Dutch_Midget8 karma

What is your favorite cake?

RamsesThePigeon13 karma

I'm rather partial to spice cake with whatever that white frosting is.

Bananawamajama7 karma

After the current God of War saga is finished, I think they could make a dope ass saga about Kratos(or possibly Atreus if Kratos dies) taking on the Hindu pantheon, particularly Parashuma, who is literally just Indian Kratos. This will never happen for cultural sensitivity concerns, but what do you think?

RamsesThePigeon10 karma

I think we've already seen what happens when Assassin's Creed goes on for too long.

PelagianEmpiricist6 karma

If you were given a billion dollars to make a 5 season streaming show with Michael Bay as special effects director, what would it be about?

RamsesThePigeon10 karma

A recently unemployed engineer stumbles upon a quirk of physics which – when properly exploited – allows for the creation of numerous incredible technologies. His discoveries don't exactly fly in the face of accepted science, but they are outlandish enough to be dismissed as fantasies being entertained by a crackpot. Frustrated (but not discouraged), our protagonist outfits his car into an armed spaceship, then sets about trying to showcase his inventions to the world.

Unfortunately, the world isn't quite ready for them: Having suddenly acquired a target on his back, the engineer scrambles to stay ahead of every government, oligarch, and would-be tycoon that has suddenly set their sights on him. Aided only by a small cadre of trusted friends (and his younger sister, who proves to be a preternaturally gifted pilot), he sets about creating a safe haven for himself, all the while uncovering new uses for his singular discovery.

Then the aliens show up... and they aren't friendly, either.

jelvinjs76 karma

Since I’m always curious, might as well ask the important question: what’s the reason or story behind your username?

RamsesThePigeon42 karma

Back in eighth grade, I started writing a horrifically bad fantasy game in a program called RPG Maker 2000. Unfortunately, writer's block struck me almost immediately, and I was wholly unable to invent a name for my main character. I knew that I wanted it to be something like "Lancelot the Bold," but everything that I came up with felt either too lame or too derivative.

Finally, as a placeholder, I just wrote in "Ramses the Pigeon."

I don't know where that came from, exactly, but I suspect that my brain likened the term "feral rock dove" – which is what standard pigeons are called – with "pharaoh rock dove."

Anyway, at first, I absolutely hated the name and everything about it. It seemed to infect everything I did, turning what I'd hoped would be works of high fantasy into farcical pieces of absurd satire. Somewhere along the line, though, the feeling of it started to grow on me, and my friend Mike – who was making a game of his own – signed "RAMSES LIVES!" in my yearbook at the end of our freshman year of high school, which cemented things. Before long, I was "Ramses the Pigeon" in every medium. It was my go-to screenname, my alias, and my nom de plume.

That was over twenty years ago.

The name is all but indelibly linked with my real identity nowadays. There have been people in the offline world who have called me "Ramses." Significant others have used "Pigeon" as a pet-name for me. Whenever someone credits me for something, there's a good chance that I'll go by my handle in addition to my given name. I even have a theme song and "business coins" in the shape of my logo.

Despite once hating the nickname, I now think that it's pretty coo.

jelvinjs76 karma

My god, what a legacy to have. Are those coins legal tender anywhere?

I too hated my username when I first made it. Unfortunately, ten years later I still hate it.

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

They are not legal tender, but they make for decent shuriken in a pinch.

deltadeltadawn5 karma

I appreciate your writing style. Who are some of the other authors that have influenced you or that you enjoy?

RamsesThePigeon7 karma

In no particular order, I'd say that I most appreciate Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tim Powers, Alan Dean Foster, CJ Cherryh, Neil Gaiman, and Jim Butcher... even if I do have some thoughts about that last individual's style.

AFewStupidQuestions5 karma

I've been hooked on reddit for about a decade and I've seen a countless number of your posts on askreddit and other subs over the years. I've always wondered, are all your anecdotes and stories based in reality or are they mainly fiction?

RamsesThePigeon7 karma

The stories about my life are always true, albeit written in a way that makes them seem like larger-than-life tales. There have been two notable exceptions over the years, but each of those contained a pretty clear giveaway line.

Everything other than those stories is written on the fly, for the threads in which they appear.

ThatWasNotMyName5 karma

Hey Ramses, some of us have missed you! You got any of your special coins left?

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

I do, but I won't be able to send any out until December, unfortunately.

tonsofun085 karma

  1. Which bachelor/bachelorette is your favorite from stardew valley?

  2. If you were in the avatar universe, what element would you bend?

  3. Do you think satire as we know it will survive? Or will it either die out or evolve in some new way?

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

  1. I have not played Stardew Valley, so I'm going to say... Erika?
  2. I have not seen anything from the Avatar universe, but if the elements in question are the same five that appear in Wuxing, I'll choose metal. After all, that would give me mastery of elements!
  3. Satire will survive. It will have different foci and media, but it will always be satire.

ezrago5 karma

Why do we exist?

What’s the meaning of life?

Why are you so awesome?

Seriously though you’re one of the coolest people here thanks for bringing Dave into this world and a million other stuff that I can’t enumerate, oh and that April fools video that was great, you’re really funny by the way

Cool cool also can I be an honorary pigeon? Plsssssss

RamsesThePigeon12 karma

I hope you'll forgive me for copying and pasting this to you, but that whole "meaning of life" thing is something on which I've previously written.

Imagine, for the moment, that the universe began in a truly colossal flash of light.

For the first several eons, there was little more than dust, slowly being drawn together by a combination of gravity and electromagnetism. Then, as stars formed and gave birth to planets, and as complex molecules came together, the beginnings of life emerged.

At first, this life was incredibly simple; barely capable of surviving to reproduce, let alone contemplating its own existence. As the ages passed, though, it gave rise to more and more complexity, eventually resulting in beings who could look up at the stars that had birthed them and wonder: "Why?" These creatures, driven by something they could scarcely comprehend, set about trying to define their place in world and explain how they came to inhabit it.

They began to believe.

Like the organisms that had spawned them, these beliefs and suppositions grew and evolved. They incited terrible tragedies and sparked incredible developments, until the day that they finally fell away and were replaced by an ever-increasing awareness of the cosmos. However, the original drive – the desire to know and understand – remained, and it prompted the thinking creatures to combine their efforts in pursuit of an answer.

The inquisitive explorers reached toward the stars once more... and when they did, they encountered other beings, not terribly unlike themselves. There were rough patches in these meetings, of course, but as each species learned to understand and cherish one another, they all compounded their perspectives in pursuit of their goal. A single, interlinked mind rose from the trillions of individual beings, just as their individuals brains had risen from tiny connected cells.

It took millenia, but the entity – having come to include every creature in the universe – finally found the answer that it sought... and yet, it was not wholly content. Through its expansive consciousness and unfathomable technology, it was able to know everything that ever was, wasn't, or would be. It could control the whole of existence with little more than a passing thought... and as it contemplated, it realized what it actually wanted.

Space began to shrink in upon itself. Stars and planets were swept up in an invisible wake, being pulled inward at impossible speeds and across countless lightyears. It took eons more, but finally, all of the possibilities and all of the many celestial bodies were brought together in a single point, both infinitely dense and incalculably massive, yet persisting at a size seemingly too small to exist. Tiny adjustments were made and minute (but important) rules were put into place... but ultimately, the end result of the entity's influences would remain unknown.

Then, there was a colossal flash of light.

Planets formed. Life arose. Creatures scurried through the world. Battles were fought, love was found, and an entire history was written across an infinite number of unique minds.

Some of those minds delighted in sharing their stories, while others wanted nothing more than to hear them.

Remember to listen.

TL;DR: We are the universe entertaining itself.

FFkonked4 karma

So you did it on purpose but now it's an accident?

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

I released the video on purpose, absolutely.

At the time, though, I had absolutely no idea that it would get repurposed into a piece of misinformation.

Liagala4 karma

Does it annoy you that every time I find an AskReddit thread asking what the first words uttered on Mars should be, I quote your response to that question and tag you with it?

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

Not at all! I'm pleased that it has left an impact on people.

I can only hope that the first person to actually walk on Mars will be a Redditor.

smart_hypothetically4 karma

What do you think of Moses? And his show-off, holoer than thou ways!

RamsesThePigeon7 karma

He cheats at poker, and he still owes Death fifteen drachmas.

jelvinjs74 karma

Another question, slightly more serious, because why not: absurdism—how and why?

I learned a little bit about absurdist theatre when I did a project for my lighting design class last semester, and over the summer I found myself compelled to dive further into it and learn more when the existentialism of corona (plus graduating during a pandemic, I suppose) started to really seep in, and the theme overarching premise of "Everything is pointless, so why try to be meaningful" became clearer to me than when my grade depended on it. But other than reading a single Ionesco play and watching Looney Tunes's "Duck Amuck" a few times, I haven't done much of a dive. What does being "absurdist" mean to you, and what would you recommend to someone who wants to embrace it but doesn't know how?

RamsesThePigeon7 karma

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

- Douglas Adams

This short, deceptively simple sentence perfectly encapsulates the essence of absurdism, right down to the sudden change in tone at the end: The shift from formal to informal writing (executed by way of writing "don't" instead of "do not") causes a subconscious "drop" to occur in a reader's mind, which matches the nature of the described brick. The phrase "in much the same way that" offers just enough of a mental delay (which something like "just like" wouldn't have) to create the expectation that the entire sentence will be somewhat lofty in its execution, and the lack of any preceding descriptor for "the ships" forces us to focus on the elaboration that follows it. All of that is used to paint a ridiculous picture of a mundane (in context, at least) situation, thereby making it funny.

At its core, absurdism is the juxtaposition between different mental or emotional states. It isn't enough to simply eschew meaning; one needs to either manufacture said meaning or call it into question... and in either case, the end result needs to be humorous. With that in mind, please assume that I wrote this response while being watched by an impatient duck that is somehow wielding a blunderbuss.

shitgnat3 karma

When will I, will I be famous?

RamsesThePigeon3 karma

Ask not when you will be famous; ask why you will be famous.

KIgaming3 karma

Do you have any interesting stories of your spammer hunting?

RamsesThePigeon7 karma

You know, it's all pretty samey, truth be told. Spammers aren't usually the brightest knives in the cookie jar, which means that the process of dealing with them tends to be fairly predictable. Mind you, they're also constantly adopting new strategies, so that same process evolves pretty damned quickly from week to week.

I will say that my April Fools's Day joke still occasionally attracts actual spammers, which is better than any punchline that I could have written.

borisdidnothingwrong3 karma

Are you voting for the reincarnation of James Thurber, or the preincarnation of Khan Noonian Singh this time?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I will vote for whichever candidate promises to put a whoopee cushion on Europa.

tit_wrangler3 karma

Have you read any John Barth? He's an excellent absurdist/satirist/postmodern writer, and one of my favorites.

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I can't say that I have, but I'll have to look him up!

benicetogroupies3 karma

How do you find the time to be on Reddit so much?

Whats the funniest Reddit comment of all time?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

I'm actually not on Reddit as much as folks think that I am; I just read and write quickly.

As for the funniest-ever Reddit comment, I actually saved a screenshot of it... but I can't get to it at the moment, because Imgur won't let me look through my saved images. (I keep getting that stupid "Zoinks!" screen.)

Selipnir3 karma

What has Dave been up to since the pandemic started?

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

That's an impossible question to answer, because as soon as a person describes what Dave has been up to, he has moved on to something even more ridiculous.

Still, rumor has it that he somehow went back in time to found a Spanish mission.

Rafaeliki3 karma

Do you have plans to make more of this kind of satire? Any current ideas you are cooking up?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

I do have tentative plans for a video (or perhaps a series) that will hopefully be equal parts entertaining and informative. Without giving too much away, I'll say that the project is intended to lampoon the source of some common complaints about allegedly educational television programs.

GRAIN_DIV_202 karma

How does it feel to be a Doveskin shill?

RamsesThePigeon3 karma

To the best of my knowledge, Doeskin went out of business decades ago.

That was part of the reason why I chose them as a sponsor.

spqrtist2 karma

Would you describe your output as discordian?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

I tend to think of myself as being chaotic good, whereas Discordianism – based on my understanding, anyway – is more chaotic neutral. As a remarkably wise (albeit unforgivably stupid) individual once said, “My whole purpose in life is to make people laugh.”

Now, if I can prompt some twists in perspective or deeper thinking while still evoking said laughter, all the better.

Smgth2 karma

What’s your opinion on Malört?

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

I actually unironically enjoy Ouzo, so I think I might enjoy Malört. I've never tried it, though, having only been to Chicago for brief periods.

VerbableNouns2 karma

What is your favorite meal, why, and who first made it for you?

RamsesThePigeon5 karma

I don't really have a favorite meal. I'd love to be one of those individuals who can have a favorite anything for more than a year or two, but I've found that the only consistently strong affections I've felt have been prompted by people.

With that said, I'll confess that I've never been able to leave a tin of Pirouettes unfinished.

kingofvodka2 karma

What's your favourite colour?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma


SexySwedishSpy2 karma

What’s the most exciting experience or opportunity to have come out of your video going viral?

RamsesThePigeon1 karma


I think this AMA takes the cake... so far.

DrRonny2 karma

I want to invest in RTP coins. How do I get started?

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

Step one is to acquire some money, I believe.

Step two would be to hold on to that money, because the aforementioned coins are largely worthless.

Dr_Doctor_Doc2 karma

When is your next book being published?

Also, have you done anymore coin runs? I think I’m a year or two overdue for mine... 😉

I want a piece of Reddit history to hold dammit!

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

When is your next book being published?

Sometime after I finally get around to finishing it, I'd imagine. I keep saying "Soon!" but I don't actually have a concrete idea of what that word means.

Also, have you done anymore coin runs? I think I’m a year or two overdue for mine...

You meant "any more" there.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Ask me to send you one in December!

ZiegAmimura2 karma

Do you think we can ever return to how things were? Or should we start getting comfy with this arguably worse way of living?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

Things will never be the same, because things never were the same. Life is a constant river, not an immovable mountain... so the best thing that we can do is to keep swimming, floating, drifting, or diving, and hope that we can make a positive splash along the way. There will almost certainly be rapids, but those aren't necessarily obstacles, particularly if we help each other navigate them.

FartsWithAnAccent2 karma

Serious question: How many live, conscious honey badgers could you fit into a 50 gallon trash bag?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I have a counter-question: Is it still considered "a trash bag" if it has been torn to shreds by an ornery mustelid?

FartsWithAnAccent3 karma

Yes, however it does not count if they are no longer inside of it.

I'm pretty confident I could get 0 honey badgers into the bag.

RamsesThePigeon3 karma

Yeah, I'd probably answer with the same number.

johnmcdracula2 karma

How's 35 treating you?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I picked up a box full of dishes the other day, and now my back is yelling at me.

katcarver2 karma

Are there certain subs I could subscribe to to “run” into you more often? Ive not heard of you before this. But enjoyed this AMA

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

I've been known to haunt /r/WritingPrompts from time to time, but I don't really have an established routine. I'd suggest "following" me if I had any idea how that actually worked. (I stay away from the redesigned version of Reddit whenever I can.)

SheriffBartholomew2 karma

Which bear is best?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I've always been partial to raccoons.

MusicforEarthworms2 karma

What's your favorite fast food chicken nugget? There are wrong answers.

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

In that case, I choose one of the correct answers.

gorpadorp2 karma

Does Reddit pay you anything?

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

Nope. In fact, I actively lose money here, what with giving out Reddit Gold.

penny_eater2 karma

Is redditing your full time job?

RamsesThePigeon6 karma

Up until very recently, I was employed as the creative director – a glorified producer and editor, really – at a media outlet specializing in a niche (but surprisingly popular) variety of entertainment. Unfortunately, the fallout from COVID-19 resulted in a number of upsets, and I was one of several people to be let go.

Even now, though, I can't claim that Redditting is a job at all.

It's tough to pay the rent with upvotes, after all.

E70M2 karma

If you had to do it all over again, would you?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

I'd say so, yes.

BrianWilsonsSandbox2 karma

Are you a robot? It's rare we get an opportunity to interrogate a bird.

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

In the end, aren't we all just robots of some variety or another?

coleman572 karma

Seems to me that calling this video misinformation is misinformation. It's a well-done and mildly amusing mash-up of early-1950s newsreels and documentaries, with a new voice-over. But it doesn't contain any substantive misinformation, and I can't really see how anyone could use any part of it to mislead anyone else in any significant way. Aren't you just creating false controversy to promote your channel?

RamsesThePigeon3 karma

See, I didn't think it was going to mislead anyone, either!

Anyway, no, I haven't created any controversy. (Not intentionally, anyway.) As I said, the video got ripped, cut, and shared across a number of social media platforms, ostensibly as part of a misinformation campaign that eventually caught the attention of European fact-checkers. I wasn't even aware of how far my piece had spread until after reading those fact-checkers' messages to me, and it was something of a surprise to learn that Snopes had written an entry about me.

seraph772 karma

Ramsesthepigeon. I remember you from way back when reddit was fun. I've been noticing a distressing lack of bread crust necklaces in the local pigeon community, has this gone out of style? Do you think neglecting to wear a bread necklace may have facilitated the spread of COVID?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

Necklaces of that variety were a passing fad for younger pigeons, but they never really caught on as a trend with any staying power. You'll still see them from time to time, of course... just rarely on birds with any sense of class.

Anyway, no, necklaces made of bread do not protect against viruses.

KyleTheCookie1 karma

what antivirus do i use to stop corona?

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

Well, not McAfee, I'll tell you that much.

z64dan1 karma

Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

No, but I have occasionally enjoyed movies about gladiators.

XChainsawPandaX1 karma

How do you make it as a writer? Does it pay decent, or is it more rewarding in other ways? I've always wanted to be a published author, but I lack motivation lately because I dont think its really worth the effort.

RamsesThePigeon2 karma

If your goal is to be an author, your motivation should be to entertain people, not to make money at it. Chasing a paycheck will not only undermine the quality of your work, it will also turn an enjoyable pastime into a chore.

As for how to make it as a writer, well, it helps to look at writing as a service. You'll rarely find yourself offering your own ideas or stories, given that the people who are willing to pay you will typically have their own desires and ideas. You can branch out a bit once you've made a name for yourself, but if you're writing to pay the bills, you'll typically be focused on assignments that are handed down from on high.

Either way, a good first step is to work at mastering structure-based elements (like punctuation and the like). Not many people realize it, but they're arguably the most impactful and important parts of any written piece.

Just consider the difference between "Come on, people!" and "Come on people!"

_BindersFullOfWomen_1 karma

What is your biggest pet when it comes to grammar?

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

It's (with an apostrophe) simply means "it is."
Its denotes possession, much like "hers" or "his."

Everyday means commonplace, mundane, or benign.
Every day just indicates consistent points in time.

Your implies that something belongs solely to "you."
You're is short for "you are," which you already knew.

Whose is for possession; ownership again.
Who's gets used for "who is," like "Hey there! Who's your friend?"

There is a location, they're means "they are."
Their means it belongs to them. (It's the most misused by far.)

Two is just a number, too can mean "as well."
To is a preposition, like "Damn it, go to hell!"

Passed refers to passing, it's something that you did.
Past involves direction, time, or a period.

Than implies comparison, brought to mind forthwith.
Then is for progression, or the partner to "if."

If ever something fazes you, it might make you swoon.
Phases reference different states, like those of the moon.

Loose implies that something is neither firm nor tight.
Lose is what you do when you get into a fight.

Advice is something that you give when you try to advise.
Alot and everytime aren't words. Claims otherwise are lies.

Affect is a potent verb and effect is a noun.
(True, there are exceptions, but those do not abound.)

Now you know the proper use, your excuses are gone.
If you still misuse homophones, then you are a moron.

The_Proudest_Boy-2 karma

How big is a big cock?

RamsesThePigeon1 karma

You need to take "The Toilet Paper Tube Test" in order to define "a big cock."

See, it used to be that young men would use a toilet paper tube – that cardboard cylinder around which the butt-wiping material is wrapped – as a means of measuring their manhood. There were two "failure" conditions: If you were thin enough to fit inside the tube, you weren't thick enough... and if you were short enough that (at least) the head of your own "cylinder" didn't poke through on the other end, you weren't long enough.

Still, in this modern era of penis-enlargement spam, maybe we should start using Pringles cans.

Anyway, an average erect penis is about 13 centimeters (or about 5 inches) long and about 12 centimeters (or a little bit less than 5 inches) around. (Here's the source, if you're interested.)

According to the study:

All length measurements were made from the pubic bone to the tip of the glans on the top side of the penis. Any fat covering the pubic bone was compressed before measurement, and any additional length provided by foreskin was not counted. Circumference was measured at the base of the penis or around the middle of the shaft, as the two sites were deemed equivalent.

Now, with those numbers in mind, you could argue that anything above them is "big." If we're being honest, though, it would take a noteworthy amount of extra length or girth before anyone was at all impressed (or intimidated) by the size. As such, you'd likely need to be (at least) 25% longer or wider than average in order to be considered particularly well-endowed, which puts us at 6.25 inches for length (or roughly 16 centimeters) and about 6 inches (or a little more than 15 centimeters) for circumference.

Despite what pornography might suggest, those measurements are actually somewhat rare. The average size is that for a reason, after all... and by a stroke of luck, toilet paper tubes are approximately 10 centimeters long, with a circumference of 12 centimeters.

As such, if you pass The Toilet Paper Tube Test, congratulations: At the very least, you're average.