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Everyone has opinions, but one man posted them online
December 6, 2009 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Joshua Peter Tubbs is a self-proclaimed "kool" kid - class (co)president, Mr. Timberlane, a national honors student - who decided that for NaNoWriMo he would write an honest review of all 349 students in his senior class
"In order to accomplish 50,000 words, I’m going to have to do a lot of stuff, write about a lot of stuff and a lot of people. So I thought that I should just write about the more than 350 people in the Senior class at Timberlane! That seems like a good way to get a LOT of words with little work done. So this book is basically a description of each and every person through my eyes."


the Timberlane community is abuzz about this book.
posted by rebent (240 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't see what he did as "wrong". Everyone has opinions. A lot of people have opinions about him that are similar to the opinions he has that they decry him for.

What he did was stupid, no doubt. On the other hand, it is really hard to do NaNoWriMo.
posted by rebent at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope this idiot does not plan to ever leave his house again....
posted by HuronBob at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every senior will be placed into a category of some sort, which will be listed later, given a rating from 0 – 10, described as “cool” (which is bad/sarcastic) or “kool” (which is good) and described for why I gave them that rating.

I hope all of these 350 people write a "review" of him, but it'd probably be better if they just don't pay him the attention he clearly craves.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:13 AM on December 6, 2009


Clearly, this is a guy who never read Harriet the Spy growing up.
posted by emjaybee at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2009 [49 favorites]


I am rather cocky in my intelligence, and I am definitely an intellectual elitist so if the stupider children would like to leave, that would be fine by me.

It's amazing how many dumbasses mistaken themselves for elitist geniuses.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:15 AM on December 6, 2009 [51 favorites]


Metafilter:
III. Categories of People (in no particular order)

1. Josh Tubbs/Mandy Knight: equivalent to infinity on the 0 – 10 scale
2. Tool
3. Emo/Goth/Punk/Scene (there is no difference, really)
4. Wannabes
5. Nerds
6. Annoying kids
7. Dark, promiscuous five year olds
8. Band-geek
9. Timberlane Players
10. Fake girls
11. Gays/Lesbians
12. Sporty
13. Jocks
14. Quiet kids
15. Special education
16. Advanced Placement/ Accelerated
17. Gray kids
18. Performing Arts Center (PAC) Kids
19. Artistic
20. “Different”
21. Teachers
22. Druggie
23. Extremely Over-Involved and Over-Worked
24. Just living life
25. Gangstah
26. Trying their hardest to be stupid
27. Nice
28. Bwitches

posted by escabeche at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


What is a Gray Kid? It's one of his categories but I can't figure out what he means by it.

High school brings out the absolute worst in people. Or that's how it seemed when I was in high school anyway.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you want some insight into the writer's psyche you can do no better than looking at his reviews of the "dark, promiscuous five year olds."

"He likes to get kind of philosophical in my psychology class, and he thinks that he is so different from everyone else. However, these people do not understand that because everyone is not exactly the same and likes different things, there is really no such thing as conformity. He tries to make people think, but he makes me want to vomit. Even though he thinks he is such a philosophical person, he is probably one of the most obnoxious and immature people out there. He is one of those people that will have somebody on their lap at one point, then I take a bite of food, then someone else is on his lap making out with him or doing dirty things."

Somehow this reminds me of Leon Kass.
posted by escabeche at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


1. Molly Adams: Bwitch. 5. Kool. It is kind of hard to put her in to this category because she isn’t totally a bwitch, but she is pretty close enough that I am allowing myself to put her in this category. She was in my lunch, and she would make jokes that you would hear adults trying to make small talk make. I would say that she is my friend, although I don’t really talk to her often.

Heh.
posted by delmoi at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2009


Voted most likely to be on reality tv
posted by ghharr at 11:20 AM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Apparently Gray Kids are like this: She is very dirty and gray. She is just like all the other gray girls because they are all so easy to stereotype. They are all having smooth skin, their skin is very pale, as if they powder it a lot of times during the day. They also have smooth, straight, flat, greasy, disgusting, blond and dyed many times hair. They also wear sweatpants most of the time and short shirts that show off their mid drift. She is just like all of the other gray girls in that she wears the really tight and small shirt that deliberately shows off her belly button and the multiple piercings that inhabit her belly button. She then wears the really baggy sweat pants or pajama pants that like to show people that she is open for many advances and has little inhibitions. She has a totally smooth face that is blemish free and full of make up, if there is a blemish or a touch of acne, it is wiped over with the pure gray make up that makes her look really fake. She is always trying to start a fight with other gray girls and is ready to pull some hair and rip some earings when she gets the chance.

I don't think they had these in my high school. Also, still with the Leon Kass!
posted by escabeche at 11:20 AM on December 6, 2009


I can totally understand this as something to write during NaNoWriMo. But to then subsequently PUBLISH it? Jeez. Some things are best left stranded and alone on one's personal harddrive.
posted by hippybear at 11:21 AM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Man, what if he had actually done this well? Like, what if he had the wherewithal and composure and mad skills to write this incredibly insightful look into contemporary high schooler's lives and loves, and they all read it and were moved to become better people, and where inspired by the subtle magnificence of other individual's lives.

That would be an awesome story. Too bad.
posted by redsparkler at 11:23 AM on December 6, 2009 [34 favorites]


She then wears the really baggy sweat pants or pajama pants that like to show people that she is open for many advances and has little inhibitions.

I had no idea sweatpants were so sexually provocative.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:23 AM on December 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm going to infer that he's a little chubby and people called him by his last name in high school derisively.
posted by Veritron at 11:23 AM on December 6, 2009


Right now he is in my Teaching class and I think he aspires to be a gym teacher. I guess it goes that when you don’t know much you become a gym teacher, which seems to be the case with many of the gym teachers that exist today.

bawhahahaha.
posted by delmoi at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2009


hahahahaha. This is such a typical pompous high school sen10r thing to do. Not the smartest idea of course, but hey he wanted to write about the classmates in his life, and he did so. I love it in concept. In execution I think he wasn't so smart (categorizing everyone? really? pft), but he probably just doesn't know any better, for he is young, and not A Writer.

My own class is full of so many interesting characters; I personally think it'd be awesome to try to capture them all in a novel or something! But I've got more than 350 in my class and also I'd be terrified if any of them read whatever I wrote about them, because I'm more self-conscious than this dude.... but then again I also wouldn't write dumb stuff like "this kid is a tool" because I'd have more interesting stuff, like "this happy mellow fellow stands out because he rides a skateboard to class, and dresses in suits most of the time," except it'd be even more interesting because it'd be written better.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Great idea!

1. a Never posted, so I have no opinion.
2. aa Never posted, so I have no opinion.
3. aaaaa Seems to have a disturbing obsession with sexualizing children's literature.
4. aaaaaa Never posted, so I have no opinion.

I'll keep working on this.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:28 AM on December 6, 2009 [55 favorites]


"Lucas Alper: Tool. 2. Cool. He is a big jock that does not seem to have much going for him. He slaps around his buddies like all the rest of the jocks and makes jokes about how gay they all are and that they all want to have sex and blah blah blah kind of stuff. He is big and muscular, so he fits the stereotype quite nicely, and, get ready for it, he plays football too. This guy is probably one of the best examples of a jock and a tool. All he is concerned with is the latest football play, the hottest girl, and being the toughest guy. He was in my gym class in 8th grade as well, he was next to Abby Alper and was the apple of the gym teacher’s eye. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success."
Hoo-boy. Nice way to set yourself up as a target, Joshua.
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I also scored a FOUR on the Advanced Placement United States History exam last year, so I like to say that a lot.

Only a 4? Sad.
posted by kylej at 11:29 AM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


He sure uses the word 'different' a lot.
posted by box at 11:31 AM on December 6, 2009


Can someone please explain to me how this qualifies as a novel?
posted by marble at 11:34 AM on December 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


The education system has failed this boy, as he has a clear misunderstanding of what the word "novel" means.
posted by Caduceus at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2009 [11 favorites]


I hope whatever colleges he's applied to hear about this and reject him.
posted by kylej at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


For his transgressions, the other class members have meted out the worst punishment that could befall an American high school senior. From the newspaper link:

"In addition to being elected class president, Tubbs also was chosen as Mr. Timberlane this fall. Students said yesterday he had been stripped of his title and the parking spot that came with it."
posted by webhund at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how this qualifies as a novel?

Because there's no such place as Timberlane High School and "Josh Tubbs" is really a bitter old guy who hates teenagers.
posted by escabeche at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2009


Jinx
posted by Caduceus at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2009


He seems to be unclear on what a novel is.

I could see using a format like this to actually write a story, but he hasn't, at least as far as I could bear it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2009


While this is clearly a disaster for Mr. Tubbs I guess it might be a net gain for the class as a whole. I mean, I think if I had learned in high school that someone thought I was a huge dickwad I might at least try to consider why they would think that and maybe adjust the way I treated people.

That's probably giving highschoolers too much credit though.
posted by ghharr at 11:38 AM on December 6, 2009


Julie Guzman: Over Involved and Over Worked. 10. Kool. She is basically the complete opposite of me, except that we both are over involved and over worked. She is from a very unsheltered background, and it shows in her very experienced experiences.

Heh.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:39 AM on December 6, 2009


He is big and muscular, so he fits the stereotype quite nicely, and, get ready for it, he plays football too.

shit, i wasn't ready for it

i wish he'd warned me to get ready a little earlier in the paragraph so i could have been ready for it
posted by Greg Nog at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2009 [46 favorites]


very experienced experienced

As opposed to inexperienced experiences?

Also, thanks escabeche for clearing up what Gray means.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2009


Letter [PDF] from Principal Don Woodworth, Timberlane Regional High School, to students, parents and the community regarding the incident.
posted by ericb at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


what

69. Ryan Cullen: Living Life. 9. Kool. He is half black and has an afro that I like to touch, but he does not let me. He just goes around and has fun in his blackness and loves to make fun of himself and take on the jokes of others for him being black. However, sometimes he goes too far with it and it gets a little too adult and disgusting for me. He is really fun to goof around with though and he is just trying to live life and stay kool. I hope he grows his afro out a lot and then donates it to some place that could put it on display or show it off in some fashion. I would like to meet up with him again after college and show my family that I have a black friend.
posted by avocet at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2009 [15 favorites]


...I am definitely an intellectual elitist...

...short shirts that show off their mid drift.



what
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:45 AM on December 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


"I am also in the class that is called Advance Placement English."

There are so many things wrong with this statement, and the missing "d" is only the least of them.
posted by HopperFan at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2009 [14 favorites]


I actually feel pretty bad for this guy, I mean, what kind of teenager actually drives out 50,000 words of critique on people who he can't really know that well? I mean, yes this is a douche move, and yes it's pretty stupid, but seriously, this kid has to have some emotional issues going on to do put that much work into something like this in the first place.
posted by emperor.seamus at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


There are so many typos in that letter from Don Woodworth I can see where Joshua Tubbs got his writing skills.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


This exactly how William Gaddis got his start, too.
posted by Bromius at 11:48 AM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


i can't believe this guy a) wrote about charlie brown's christmas special for his college application essay and b) used the phrase "fighting back the sudden pressure I feel in my bladder" in it.

charlie brown has never made me feel the need to fight back the sudden pressure i feel in my bladder.
posted by kerning at 11:49 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I preferred not knowing what Gray was. There was kind of a Stephen King "low men in yellow coats" thing going on there, or perhaps they were poorly disguised aliens. Now the mystery is gone.
posted by Foosnark at 11:49 AM on December 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


Wow, on reading more of this, I suspect this kid is going to suffer quite a bit before he graduates, too. And I'd have a tough time arguing he wouldn't deserve it.
posted by Caduceus at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2009


... it'd probably be better if they just don't pay him the attention he clearly craves.<>blockquote>"'It's not true, so why let it bother you?' said senior Jesse LoCascio. 'People are going to talk about you no matter what. It's high school.'"*A good attitude, but not one likely shared by all in the school.
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2009


Creepy, yeah, but better than the list written by one senior at my high school of the students he was planning to rape/kill
posted by jtron at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I actually feel pretty bad for this guy, I mean, what kind of teenager actually drives out 50,000 words of critique on people who he can't really know that well? I mean, yes this is a douche move, and yes it's pretty stupid, but seriously, this kid has to have some emotional issues going on to do put that much work into something like this in the first place.

Uh, it was for NaNoWriMo, so the point was to type out 50k words in a month. This is just the topic he chose to expound upon.
posted by delmoi at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2009


MOVE OVER, CORMAC! THERE'S A NEW KOOL KID IN TOWN!
posted by jason's_planet at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also, while I imagine it's 50,000 words, I'm not sure this is a novel.
posted by box at 11:52 AM on December 6, 2009


Unusual? Sure. Novel? Not so much.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:53 AM on December 6, 2009


^ redsparkler:"Man, what if he had actually done this well? Like, what if he had the wherewithal and composure and mad skills to write this incredibly insightful look into contemporary high schooler's lives and loves, and they all read it and were moved to become better people, and where inspired by the subtle magnificence of other individual's lives. "

"That would be an awesome story. Too bad."

You know, observation isn't an easy thing to do well, and certainly not for for 350 school kids. The kid should be commended for his discipline. But the excercise?... Ehhh — not so productive.

I wish he'd had some advisor tell him to change all the names and consider the presentation of his material to make it more fictiony and novelesque. As redsparkler said, too bad. Art Education aparently needs to be better everywhere.
posted by vhsiv at 11:53 AM on December 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


What box just said.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:53 AM on December 6, 2009


>: They also have smooth, straight, flat, greasy, disgusting, blond and dyed many times hair. They also wear sweatpants most of the time and short shirts that show off their mid drift.

I always thought of these girls as orange due to their fake tans rather than gray. They generally seem to have no interests besides looking like that and partying.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:54 AM on December 6, 2009


I am a straight-A student and have never ever gotten a single detention or similar punishment in my life. I am proud of this and plan to continue it by not ever going to jail.

by the time you get your senior year over with, son, you'll wish to god you'd done something to go to jail for
posted by pyramid termite at 11:54 AM on December 6, 2009 [10 favorites]


All of this is incredibly homophobic.

He is obnoxiously gay. He talks like a girly girl that is really trying her hardest to be a girly stupid moronic girl. He thinks that he is so cool because he is gay, and just acts immaturely with his friends and makes stupid sex jokes about all the sexes. He has to calm down because the majority of the people think he is an annoying gay person. He has to let all of his obnoxious qualities out with his small group of friends because every other person would never be able to tolerate his idiotic ways of talking.
posted by kylej at 11:55 AM on December 6, 2009


13. Kevin Baker: Tool/ Sports. 0. Cool. He is a football player ... He sits at the “cool” kid table and throws food at people ... I think he is going out with Rachelle, or at least he should be because he hangs out with her a lot and has probably done some things with her and things to her, but we will not get into those details.

Prediction: Baker beats the shit of Tubbs, receives accolades from his cool friends, presides over a celebratory food fight, then goes home and bangs Rachelle. Thirty years later, we refer to him as Senator Baker.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:55 AM on December 6, 2009 [40 favorites]


Into NaNoWriMo AND a total asshole? This kid's a real winner.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:56 AM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Reactions compared to profiles:

"I think he's a very cruel person, and I think he had no right to do it because he doesn't know half of us," said senior Sam Jones.
Sam Jones: Bwitch/ Gray. 3. Cool. She stole my hat in fifth grade once and I chased her around the playground. She thought it was cool, I thought it was annoying. What would she want to do with my hat? It seems like she has slipped under my radar now. Now she is just a lazy bwitch that eats all the time and tries to solicit sex with other really lazy, dirty, profane and disgusting people that are also looking to solicit sex from Sam Jones. She hangs around that icky area outside of the café who wants to make drug deals and be as black as possible, but she will only be gray.
"It's not true, so why let it bother you?" said senior Jesse LoCascio. "People are going to talk about you no matter what. It's high school."
Jesse LoCascio: Gay. 0. UnKool. He is almost obnoxiously gay, but not yet. However, he still makes stupid sex jokes and talks about the sex lives of his friends that are girls (not girl friends because he is incapable of that). He has a look on his face that people are icky and that he is smelling every other person’s bad body odor, then goes over to his friends and shows off how gay he is. He is kind of quiet, at least when I see him with his friends, then other times he is obnoxious and laughing obnoxiously like a stuck up gay person laughing about the stupid sex jokes that he absolutely needs to survive or something of that nature that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for me to write about.
posted by delmoi at 11:59 AM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


i'm gonna write one about metafilter
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:01 PM on December 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Reading some of these descriptions breaks my heart, especially about the kids he labels "special education." I hope this kid someday sees the huge gulf between raising money for autism and the way he treats the kids he sees as "special education". Normally I'd roll my eyes at a stunt like this because who didn't do something incredibly egotistical and stupid during high school, I know I certainly did, some seniors are less mature than others, etc. But it seems like there's a deep layer of hypocrisy in him that is absolutely toxic. I hope the other students call him out for this the next time he goes around during Autism Awareness Month badgering them to donate money just so he can stroke his own ego about how awesome he is.

Good luck with that whole becoming-a-teacher thing, kid.
posted by lilac girl at 12:01 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


See this thread is fun because it makes it clear that judged not lest yeeeeeee be judged is literally true. It very much feels like I know this Tubbs kids whole deal. I probably don't but I feel like I do. I'm judging the fuck out the kid.
posted by I Foody at 12:03 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Uh, it was for NaNoWriMo, so the point was to type out 50k words in a month. This is just the topic he chose to expound upon.

I know he did it for NaNoWriMo, but that doesn't remove the fact that he put the effort required into finishing his novel into criticizing everyone he knew. I don't know, It still sounds like you'd have to be seriously lacking in emotional intelligence to follow all the way through with that and not like, work out that you were being a massive prick at about 700 words.
posted by emperor.seamus at 12:03 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


This guy's writing reminds me of Junie B. Jones... and if I remember correctly, no one in my AP English class wrote so poorly.
posted by Huck500 at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2009


While the book may have the school community boiling, it has not risen to the level of a criminal matter.

Plaistow Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones said she was familiar with the incident, but it had not been referred to them and was not a criminal matter.


That's some excellent reporting right there. They probably edited out the bit about the fire department for space:

"Plaistow assistant fire Chief Bill Johnson said he was also familiar with the incident, but it had not been referred to them either. 'It looks like this has nothing to do with fire so we aren't going to be involved,' he said."
posted by grouse at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2009 [21 favorites]


Also, in review of my original comment, I may have phrased this wrong in the first place...
posted by emperor.seamus at 12:04 PM on December 6, 2009


Well, there is a difference between "lacking in emotional intelligence" and being "having serious emotional issues" or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 12:05 PM on December 6, 2009


He should subtitle it: 'I'm sucking around for an ass-kicking and figured this was the best way to go about it."
posted by jonmc at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2009


All of this is incredibly homophobic.

He is obnoxiously gay. He talks like a girly girl that is really trying her hardest to be a girly stupid moronic girl. He thinks that he is so cool because he is gay, and just acts immaturely with his friends and makes stupid sex jokes about all the sexes. He has to calm down because the majority of the people think he is an annoying gay person. He has to let all of his obnoxious qualities out with his small group of friends because every other person would never be able to tolerate his idiotic ways of talking.


Funny, I really don't see much homophobia in that passage. He's not putting the guy down for being gay, he's putting him down for being obnoxious. Maybe the bits about talking like a girly girl and such. But believe me when I say: the faggots who put on exaggerated effeminate airs in order to underscore their sexuality and make every conversation about sex... they're totally obnoxious. I've known that kind of person to utterly kill some of the most hip and happening gay scenes known to man just by walking in the door.
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (except for Tiger Woods).

What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet (especially for Joshua Peter Tubbs).
posted by ericb at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2009


that doesn't remove the fact that he put the effort required into finishing his novel into criticizing everyone he knew

Aren't those, like, pretty much every Washington political memoir in existence?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


What an obnoxiously juvenile move from this kid. We need classes, starting in grade school, about how NOT to dump more hate, pain and anger into this world
posted by porn in the woods at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


What an obnoxiously juvenile move from this kid.

A kid? being juvenile?
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Judge not lest ye be judged -> Be judged not lest ye judge others
posted by rebent at 12:12 PM on December 6, 2009


I'll be in the next room, recovering from highschool flashbacks.
posted by CKmtl at 12:14 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


I swear to gawd, if someone buys the rights to his NaNoWriMo "novel" and then flips it down and reverses it so that it's a story about a kid who actually takes time (as much as possible in one school year) to get to know every single kid in his class before writing a book about them, I will cry.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


you know, something's just occurred to me - what evidence do we have that he was the one to actually write this?

if i was someone who wanted to get back at my senior class, what better way to do it than by posting a sarcastic description of all the members and putting the class president's name to it?

sure, i could be wrong, but isn't this a possiblity?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Man, he should've spent a good 1,000 of those words explaining his classification system. Are the 'dark promiscuous five-year-olds' the school sluts? Do they act childish? Both?

This has to be one of the worst ideas I've ever seen to be fully implemented. Have to give him props for that, I guess.
posted by graventy at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think he's a medium sized fish in a very small pond. Just for refrence, my graduating class has something like 1400 kids. That's just the seniors.

His subject matter was badly chosen, and the writing left much to be desired. This could have been a huge success if he had taken the time to get to know the kids and did something novel like trying to write something good about each person. Instead it just seems pathetic, some kind of online 'burn book'.

He's probably enjoying all of our attention. I just wish we could check in on him in a few years when he goes to college. Let's hope being a little fish in a huge pond humbles him.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh god. My recent snark aside, I had to read some of this. You should , too, because the combination of complete naïvety and cocksureness only found in someone this young is utterly priceless. Go ahead; I'll wait.

This is a disingenuous jeremiad of the highest order. Completely unreadable, of course. (Though, technically this should never have been published; it should have remained what it was: private writing practice.)

You know what's funny? Kids who grew up during a time when there has always been the internet. Because they sure are internet savvy, but not quite as savvy as they think they are. Some of these kids are really missing the "online actions have consequences" thing that is so obvious to the rest of us.

If this kid makes it to 25 without getting his block knocked off, he is going to wish his young thoughts were trapped in journals in a box in the garage, instead of on MySpace and Google Docs for all internet eternity. My god, there are some cringe-worthy moments in there. Real comedy gold.

True irony might take decades, however. Ideally, we want this guy to get married and have kids, so they can find this online one day. Thank god my kids will *never* find my journals (in a box in the garage, naturally.)

On second thought, perhaps I better destroy those journals now before I actually have any kids.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's no shortage of people here who want to tear Tubbs apart for poor grammar or spelling, and that's great if you don't mind missing the point.

I'm finding this an enjoyable read.
posted by l2p at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2009


They are all having smooth skin, their skin is very pale, as if they powder it a lot of times during the day. They also have smooth, straight, flat, greasy, disgusting, blond and dyed many times hair.

What's with his syntax here? It sounds like a parody of an eastern European accent, with the weird sentence order ("dyed many times hair") and non-idiomatic conjugation of verbs ("they are all having smooth skin"). I would expect a high schooler to deviate from Standard Written English in ways that reflect how he talks casually, but anyone who talked with the syntax of that passage would come across as a non-native speaker to me. It's weird.
posted by invitapriore at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


'Cool' is sarcastic and 'kool' is the sincere version? Wtf, kid. Get the fuck outta here. Here being my lawn.
posted by rifflesby at 12:18 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 PM

One of the commenters in the news article brought this up, and someone mentioned that the kid admitted to writing it on his Facebook page.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2009


Joshua Peter Tubbs: 0. "Different". Voted most likely to type, at some point in his early 20s, "Contrary to your ASSertions I do not have "ass burgers." I can't believe you are so immature. Why don't you go bakc to your Wee and leave Counter Strike 8 to the adults. I will have the admin ban you, yuo fagot!" Also, I think he has hemorrhoids, because he's always butthurt. Reminder to self: check back on this kid in about a decade to see whether he's gone Unabomber or immolated himself in front of a NOW office after being unable to resolve his difficulties attracting women despite many sessions with paid "therapists".
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:21 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


someone mentioned that the kid admitted to writing it on his Facebook page.

i saw that, but i didn't see a link
posted by pyramid termite at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2009


I just have to shake my head and think about how this is going to follow him for the rest of his life. Maybe he can escape it if he changes his name. But if there is someone who was particularly pissed off about this, he or she could easily make sure it followed him even then.

Then I giggle a little, because this guy makes obnoxious into an art form. Maybe he'll learn from the repercussions

"I am rather cocky in my intelligence, and I am definitely an intellectual elitist so if the stupider children would like to leave, that would be fine by me."

but I'm guessing not.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:26 PM on December 6, 2009


During a particularly boring time in my life about 10 years ago, I dated a guy I'd met online. He seemed fine when we started e-mailing, but it soon became apparent that he had some very strict standards about... everything. Scrubbed a little too long, refused to acknowledge the aesthetic qualities of non-blond-wood furniture, the works.

Right around the time I noticed that he didn't really have any friends who actually hung around, he brought out his high school yearbook and proudly told me that he had spent much of his time methodically categorizing each person by whether or not they were at his level. And if they weren't, where they fit in the hierarchy, and why. Needless to say, verrrrrry few people made the cut.

Then he told me that he only did this for the white people, because the black people didn't count.

And then he took Mein Kampf out of the library and stated that he had no problem with abortion as long as it didn't involve any babies of good Aryan stock and I was all OH MY GOD SERIOUSLY AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
posted by Madamina at 12:27 PM on December 6, 2009 [36 favorites]


I feel bad for this kid insofar as one day he's going to really, really regret this. Either that or continue on and still be angry about high school jocks when he's 40, which is also sad.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:27 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


The writing betrays the fact that's he's padding out to aim for the 50,000 word count, and is too time-pressed to edit, so I'll forgive him that.

I'd say that, if this were written well, and actually funny, it could be forgiven....but the execrable comments on the special education students make this--to pad out my word count--the opposite of forgivable.
posted by availablelight at 12:28 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's with his syntax here? It sounds like a parody of an eastern European accent, with the weird sentence order ("dyed many times hair") and non-idiomatic conjugation of verbs ("they are all having smooth skin").

Oh my god....Lie Bot wrote this, trying to frame Vlad!

"Do ... do not DO this! You are havink such DICKNESS, Lie Bot!"
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:31 PM on December 6, 2009 [16 favorites]


He'll be lucky if his peers don't save this and send it to whatever colleges he applies to. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets thrown into the dumpster a few times, or gets the shit kicked out of him.

But yeah . . . the writing is horrific, and his "intellectual elitism" is ironic to the Nth--I can NOT believe this.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2009


The writing betrays the fact that's he's padding out to aim for the 50,000 word count, and is too time-pressed to edit, so I'll forgive him that.

Congratulations! You just described every NaNoWriMo written!
posted by hippybear at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I feel bad for him.

Back when I was his age, in the late nineteen eighties, we were just as obnoxious and socially challenged and annoying.

But we didn't have the same opportunity to leave traces of that awkward period all over the Internet to be preserved forever.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:40 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]




its spelled k3wl jeez
posted by klangklangston at 12:54 PM on December 6, 2009


What I want to know is, why is Miami PD allowing people who haven't graduated high school become detectives? And what does Crockett think of all this?
posted by Sangermaine at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, he is a cheater:

4. Lucas Alper: Tool. 2. Cool. He is a big jock that does not seem to have much going for him. He slaps around his buddies like all the rest of the jocks and makes jokes about how gay they all are and that they all want to have sex and blah blah blah kind of stuff. He is big and muscular, so he fits the stereotype quite nicely, and, get ready for it, he plays football too. This guy is probably one of the best examples of a jock and a tool. All he is concerned with is the latest football play, the hottest girl, and being the toughest guy. He was in my gym class in 8th grade as well, he was next to Abby Alper and was the apple of the gym teacher’s eye. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success.

323. Justin Trodella: Tool/ Preppy. 4. Cool. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success. However, he has to rely a lot on his clothes looking nice because he is not tough and huge, but actually rather scrawny and weak.

329. Kevin Vadeboncoeur: Tool/ Jock. 0. Cool. He stayed back a year!! Ha ha to him because he is stupid. Man, I wonder what I must be like to have to go through high school five years instead of four. I bet he feels like a really stupid person and is just like Jared Thibault. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success.

332. Will Valvanis: Tool. 6. Cool. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success.

You get the idea.
posted by prefpara at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2009 [11 favorites]


Back when I was his age, in the late nineteen eighties, we were just as obnoxious and socially challenged and annoying.

But we didn't have the same opportunity to leave traces of that awkward period all over the Internet to be preserved forever.


Yes, thank you sweet Jesus, we didn't. I would hope I would not have been this stupid, but my highschool self did enough stupid things that it might have been a close call.
posted by emjaybee at 1:03 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I want to know what's up with Mandy. Are they really BFF, or is he just the weird neighbor who she humors because she feels sorry for him? And did she know he was posting this?
posted by craichead at 1:05 PM on December 6, 2009


clvrmnky: "You know what's funny? Kids who grew up during a time when there has always been the internet. Because they sure are internet savvy, but not quite as savvy as they think they are. Some of these kids are really missing the "online actions have consequences" thing that is so obvious to the rest of us."

I think it's the opposite: they don't really consider any of the consequences as negative. They grew up in a world where it's common practice to "leak" a sex tape to get publicity / fame... and it seems to work. At least if your endgame is to be like Paris Hilton and star in a reality series instead of working an actual job.
posted by sharkfu at 1:07 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don’t swear, and I’ve never had sex, so if you’d like to call me religious, go for it, but I don’t call myself religious.

Why do they like each other? They are probably having sex, then going on to the next person that they really like a lot.

Girl on lap is leaning very close to boy with black clothes. Are they trying to have sex on a wall?!? What’s up with these alcoves and icky people leaning on each other in them. How much do they love each other?

I am very certain that she has experimented with lesbian sexual activities, and she is one of those kinds of people that hang out in those icky alcoves that just stick their lips onto the boyfriends lips and never leave.

He is the kind of kid that will pretend to be nice to people, when he knows that he is so kool and much more different than them and has many more sex partners, despite the fact that he is going out with a girl that is graduating early.

Now she is just a lazy bwitch that eats all the time and tries to solicit sex with other really lazy, dirty, profane and disgusting people that are also looking to solicit sex from Sam Jones.

He has probably had like 4 girlfriends just this year and has probably had sex with all of them, then done something stupid like go to school and sit on every other lap that exists in the dark promiscuous five year old realm.

etc etc


Some problems just analyze themselves. I predict that this kid's emotional enlightenment will begin about 30 minutes after his first mutually enjoyable sexual encounter. (Assuming it ever happens, now that he's made this bonehead play...)
posted by DaDaDaDave at 1:16 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Egads, Mr. Tubbs (like generations of teenagers before him) exercised some profoundly poor judgment. How do you return to your school after writing something like that?

As for the work itself, from what little I've read of it, its a profound mixture of bad writing, arrogance, naivety, slander, and obnoxiousness disguised as "telling it like it is."

Insert your own joke about how he'd make a perfect FOX talking head here.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want to know what's up with Mandy. Are they really BFF, or is he just the weird neighbor who she humors because she feels sorry for him? And did she know he was posting this?

Upon examining the link to his Facebook account above, they are using the same picture of (I assume) both of them as a profile picture.
posted by Caduceus at 1:32 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was maybe a sophomore in high school (1987), I took a spiral-bound notebook and scrawled two lists on the cardboard backing. One list contained the names of those fellow high school students that I perceived as friends. The other contained those I saw as partial friends. The partial friend list was longer and had the occasional asterisk to indicate the kids that had potential to be better friends, either through talking to them when I had an opportunity or by mutual acquaintance.

I've thought about that list from time to time, wondering if I was doing something quite odd by developing a kind of taxonomy. I've decided that it was mostly normal, especially given my still-extant leanings toward High Fidelity-esque lists.

I'm not saying that Young Master Tubbs is completely of sound judgment here, particularly in light of making this list public given the incredible amount of detail ... but I think I get why he did it.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:34 PM on December 6, 2009


Also, he is a cheater

Man, if I was gonna reuse a sentence over and over again it wouldn't be a run-on sentence that starts with "He could not care less with school." And I didn't even get into Advance Placement English.

Also, this is priceless:

I don’t swear...Now she is just a lazy bwitch

That's swearing you knucklehead.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:35 PM on December 6, 2009


Doublewhiskeycokenoice, if you had taken advance placement English you would know that "bwitch" isn't a swearword. It's a taxonomic category.
posted by mmmbacon at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Can someone please explain to me how this qualifies as a novel?"

I've never read anything like it, so it's definitely novel.

A novel, though? Probably not.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, skip to the conclusion:

Conclusion

Well! I sincerely hope that this was an enlightening experience for the people that were not enlightened about the inner workings of Timberlane and the general idea of high school that people have to realize. I hope that these people realize their faults and build on their strengths, or make some if there is an absence. If you go to Timberlane and you find your name, I hope you learn from this because we both know all of this stuff is true!! Silly people. And the moral of my story? Please take these people into consideration as you live your life, whatever your age may be, because as we all know, high school never ends.


And for this kid, it probably never will.
posted by embrangled at 1:39 PM on December 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


Man, if I was gonna reuse a sentence over and over again

I mis-bolded, it's actually two sentences. And that's just the fragment I happened to notice... efficient way to hit 50k!
posted by prefpara at 1:41 PM on December 6, 2009


They grew up in a world where it's common practice to "leak" a sex tape to get publicity / fame... and it seems to work. At least if your endgame is to be like Paris Hilton and star in a reality series instead of working an actual job.

Do people really think that a significant amount of Americans born after 1985 want to be Paris Hilton? What a tiresome point to make.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:43 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


I can't be the only one who expected the [more inside] to be
"Police are treating the incident as a suicide."
can I?
posted by Pinback at 1:43 PM on December 6, 2009


I moan his wasted opportunity to liken this work to Proust and Capote and their scathing critique of their social circles. Ass.
posted by Free word order! at 1:43 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still want an explanation of his categories.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:44 PM on December 6, 2009


How can someone write this badly and still get A grades? This is how a 12 or 13 year-old writes.

Every time I watch Charlie Brown and his friends I remember my life as a child as I reminisce through the years of seeing Linus convincing Sally of the Great Pumpkin, and of course Charlie Brown’s fruitless attempts to send that pig skin flying. I am glad I have stayed connected with my childhood through “Peanuts” because I think that everyone should keep in touch with their inner child. Just through Charles Schulz’s cartoon, I have learned that it’s necessary for everyone to remember their childish imagination and to always know that being a kid is not always a sign of immaturity, but a sign of creativity, exuberance, and lifelong smiles.

BEING A KID IS A SIGN OF LIFELONG SMILES I REMINISCE OF SEEING LINUS CONVINCING SALLY OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:46 PM on December 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Did you know that he got a FOUR on his AP US History exam? Did you? A FOUR? AP stands for "Advanced Placement" if you didn't know. Really. He got a FOUR. Impressive, huh?

Somehow I think his class skipped over the parts of US history that involved those who made lists of people.
posted by zachlipton at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2009


Of course he's "devoid of sound judgment". He's mentally ill. This essay is written in purest crazy-talk.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Timberlane should give their advanced programs a bit of a rethink. This has to be pretty embarrassing for them. Advance classes, indeed.

Maybe in a week or so he'll reveal the whole thing to be some sort of Kaufman-esq put on.



I really, really hope this is the case.
posted by defragmeout at 2:01 PM on December 6, 2009


On one hand, this guy sounds like a total jerk and definitely rather a bully, himself.

On the other hand, I do find it very strange that the same Metafilter that was (justifiably) upset over 13-year-old Hope's suicide just a couple of days ago, an tragedy incited by a young person's perhaps not-well-thought-out actions over something that could be transmitted easily through technology, turns around and seems to hope this slightly-older guy gets bullied for the rest of his life, and "gets his block knocked off." Surely more bullying is not the answer, as fun as it is to mock him.

I'm not defending the kid's actions or the quality of his writing (ugh) but the juxtaposition of the two stories was a little weird for me.
posted by ilana at 2:02 PM on December 6, 2009 [12 favorites]


Pop culture Observation #2: Wasn't this the plot to Mean Girls?
posted by Sangermaine at 2:03 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's only 350 kids in his class. Being in the top 10 of a 350-person class isn't all that impressive...unless that's all you have to compare yourself to.

This guy is going to get the shock of his life when he goes to college.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:10 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think he's a medium sized fish in a very small pond.

I grew up in the next town over and I can count on the fingers of one hand exactly how many times I have been there. That may give you an idea of how insignificant it is. It's not a small pond, it is more like a puddle.

Another precocious memoirist from New Hampshire is Joyce Maynard who wrote An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life before she decamped to live with JD Salinger. But she can actually, you know, write coherently.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:11 PM on December 6, 2009


I think there's a difference between not-well-thought-out internet postings that only embarrass the sender, ilana, and not-well-thought-out internet postings designed to humiliate other people. I'm not saying that I wish violence on this kid, but what he posted is hardly analogous to emailing someone a topless photo of yourself.
posted by craichead at 2:12 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


ilana: That's a false equivalency.

Hope sent out a photo to one person that she liked that was then sent out by a third party to people who then judged her to be a slut and tormented here mercilessly.

Mr. Tubbs posted a lengthy screed that specifically criticizes nearly everyone in his high school class.

Hope's action was inoffensive.

Mr. Tubbs' action was specifically offensive.

While I'm certainly not advocating that any violent action be taken against Mr. Tubbs (far from it), Mr. Tubbs' action is the sort of thing that one would reasonably expect would lead to confrontation.

To whit, the guy at the end of the bar might in fact be smelly, but if I tell him he is to his face, I should not be surprised if I get punched in the face.

The lady at the other end of the bar showing a nude pic on her phone to a single friend should be surprised if the smelly guy at the end of the bar punches her in the face over that.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:12 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


And then he took Mein Kampf out of the library and stated that he had no problem with abortion as long as it didn't involve any babies of good Aryan stock and I was all OH MY GOD SERIOUSLY AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

You sure know how to pick 'em.
posted by MikeMc at 2:16 PM on December 6, 2009


I always thought this was more middle school stuff than high school stuff...

by high school everyone in my tiny k-12 school had gotten fucked up in everyone else's basement, or gone to their lan party or slept with someone's brother or worked for their dad or whatever
posted by kathrineg at 2:21 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does not count for purposes of NaNoWriMo! Does not count!


What a wad.
posted by Neofelis at 2:21 PM on December 6, 2009


and by that I mean that we were all one big happy family except with more sex and more Boone's Farm and/or counterstrike. Too bad this guy didn't have the same experience, it's fun to have friends, way more fun than being cooler than everyone.
posted by kathrineg at 2:23 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wish I had gone to kathrineg's high school.

My high school was more like Tubb's.

it's fun to have friends, way more fun than being cooler than everyone.

This. The moment you learn this is the real moment you graduate high school.
posted by mmmbacon at 2:28 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


This guy never would have made it to senior year in my high school (than again most didn't - our graduting class was only 1/3 the size of the original freshman class). He would have beaten so many times his parents would have pulled him by junior year and moved to the 'burbs. As for the "gray" thing I think he means it like; white+black = gray as in Eminem (chavs for you English MeFites).
posted by MikeMc at 2:33 PM on December 6, 2009


I thought he meant gray as in blending in with the background.
posted by kylej at 2:40 PM on December 6, 2009


The Devil Tesla: "Do people really think that a significant amount of Americans born after 1985 want to be Paris Hilton? What a tiresome point to make."

Paris Hilton wasn't the point. The point was I think it's a mistake to think those that grew up in the internet era are oblivious to consequences from what's said / done / posted on internet.

Certainly the drive for fame by any means necessary is alive and well in our culture. Maybe those are isolated incidents and not the norm, but studies have shown there's a fair amount of sexting going on as well as people putting a huge amount of their life on the net through blogs/ facebook/ etc. Do you think they're unaware of the consequences of such activity or the consequences aren't necessarily considered negative?

I'm genuinely curious.
posted by sharkfu at 2:41 PM on December 6, 2009


Between the Something Awful reference and the kidding-on-the-square about "immolating himself in front of a NOW office," I'm going to guess this kid needs help before he hurts himself or someone else. Guys like this can snap and hurt women because they don't think they were adequately rewarded by the world for their specialness. In fact, in a sense, he already has.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:45 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's NHS, he's a senior, he's class president, and he goes to a public school. That means there's an extremely high chance that he would have gone to the (phenomenal, wonderful, extraordinary) St. Paul's ASP program in Concord last summer. Can any of y'all with a Facebook account confirm or deny that theory? If he went, I'd be curious about which class he took.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:46 PM on December 6, 2009


Saved. Keeping it forever.
posted by jscott at 2:46 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


Countess Elena, I think that was Inspector.Gadget's own entry. I couldn't find the quote in the original text.
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2009


I'd certainly be glad to be wrong then! Although I personally wrote very cruel (and very private) things about other students in high school, I also wrote very cruel things about myself, so it seemed believable.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:51 PM on December 6, 2009


I mis-bolded, it's actually two sentences.

Fair enough. Still, "He could not care less with school," sounds like someone doing a bad Borat impression. As if there is another kind of Borat impression.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:03 PM on December 6, 2009


His facebook account is locked to nonfriends, Greg.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:04 PM on December 6, 2009


Late to the party here and with no intention of reading the document in its entirety (three teenagers of my own so far with one more to come, I teach public school and am still possessed of some imagination) I can't help but harp on what others have said already:

This is not a novel. NaNoWriMo is about 50,000 words of FICTION. (I may have made it to only 18k, but I knew what the goal was.)

What happens when this person who has never received anything but an A (grade inflation?) is not allowed into the Winner's Circle, even after his prodigious output?

Third graders are introduced to fiction/non-fiction as distinct categories, and high schoolers, AP or not, are taught about "the novel."

There is a serious disconnect here, even before he starts his character assessments or assassinations or whatever it is he does.
posted by emhutchinson at 3:06 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just out of curiosity do we know for certain this kid wrote the book. It seems possible that someone else wrote it just to wreck him.
posted by humanfont at 3:06 PM on December 6, 2009


I can see what he did wrong. A poetry collection is not a novel.
posted by shownomercy at 3:20 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, being in the top 10 of a school of 350 puts you in the top 2%.

If that's not something guidance counselors, your parents, your teachers, and your peers tell you to brag about, I sure as hell don't know what is.
posted by shownomercy at 3:22 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


@Humanfont
One of the comments on the linked article states that he admitted to it on his facebook. Though, as popeguilty discovered, his facebook is private, so we've no actual proof that he did admit to it.
posted by defragmeout at 3:28 PM on December 6, 2009


Well, he's about to have a teachable moment, isn't he?

Sheesh. When he applies again for college and scholarships next year he'll have the making of a great essay. 'I messed up big time, and here's why I won't do that again.'
posted by bilabial at 3:43 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I only got a 3 on my ap exam, but that's probably because I was on a hp lovecraft kick and they probably didn't think 'squamous' was a word.
posted by empath at 3:45 PM on December 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


Also, being in the top 10 of a school of 350 puts you in the top 2%.

I read it as a class of 350, not a school. A typical school would have 1400 kids if the senior class has roughly the same number of students as all the other class. Top 10% is still something to be proud of, of course, but this kind of illiterate self-aggrandizing is uncalled for. To the extent that parents/teachers/guidance counselors are responsible for this mentality (and I strongly suspect that they are) they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Moreso than this knucklehead kid who should have known better but obviously didn't. He's in high school, what's the guidance counselor's excuse?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:45 PM on December 6, 2009


And then he took Mein Kampf out of the library and stated that he had no problem with abortion as long as it didn't involve any babies of good Aryan stock and I was all OH MY GOD SERIOUSLY AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Mefite, I married him.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:49 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Amazing, how one stupid act can completely change your life. Completely, and for the worse. And not in a small way, either. I mean, this has the potential to be one of those permanent things that follows you around for at least a couple of decades. That's a real shame. But, hey, great object lesson for the rest of us, though. So, thanks!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:51 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I love how he brags about raising money for autism research (and giving it to the horrible anti-science Autism Speaks) and then spends a tremendous amount of time making fun of the special ed kids, several of whom from his (nasty) descriptions sound like they might be autistic.

and I got a FIVE on my US History AP test (a long, long time ago).
posted by hydropsyche at 3:51 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha. Kid thinks driving on the right hand side of the road is something Americans do to be different. Rather than, you know, the way it is in most of the world.
posted by padraigin at 3:54 PM on December 6, 2009


I got a 5 on the English AP test and was told that, despite my working hard and sacrificing my GPA (because my high school didn't weight your GPA to account for AP, something which caused a girl who took mostly remedial classes to be the valedictorian in my brother's class- hilariously awful speech though!) for it, all it would do for me in college was to get me out of a couple of classes that I wanted to take anyway. So it's not the biggest thing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:58 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd say it was about time to have a "long talk with that boy."
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:59 PM on December 6, 2009


My senior class was 71 people. He's lucky he didn't go to a school that small or he'd have to actually get to know his subjects to have enough material for 50,000 words. Hell, we only had 250 students in the WHOLE SCHOOL.

Also: in my high school, doing some shit like this would guarantee being peed on by the whole hockey team. Not that I advocate such things, but just sayin', that's how it would go down.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:10 PM on December 6, 2009


The accumulated filth of all their sex and football will foam up around their dark, promiscuous sweatpants and all the gray kids and jocks will look up and shout, "Save us!"

...And I'll look down and whisper, "No."
posted by homuncula at 4:21 PM on December 6, 2009 [36 favorites]


Josh Tubbs: Josh Tubbs/ Mandy Knight. Infinity. KOOL. No explanation needed, I am just the best thing since canned bread.

Geez already.
posted by Xere at 4:22 PM on December 6, 2009


It's too bad that this probably preempts the ability for the author to attend his 10 year reunion and have the pleasant realization that everybody became pretty mature afterall and either turned out alright or has that improved impulse control that lets them be pretty alright for at least one night every 10 years.

I finished high school right when the Information Superhighway was dawning and this is definitely a case of same old shenanigans, new hyper-efficient medium causing totally different outcomes. There were several one-off, photocopied underground newspaper instances from different authors at our school and at least one senior hit list kind of deal. One kiddo managed to get his underground newspaper written about by his New York Times columnist momma because she wanted to brag about the fact that he scored an interview with Steve Buscemi. Momma obviously didn't fact check enough to read the actual product, because it was also littered with high school libel. He was suspended by the high school administration after the NYT article. FWIW, I had had my own run-ins with the prior review style suggestive censorship on the student newspaper. Local radio personality Lars Larson stood up for the kiddo on a few episodes as well, also without mentioning the libel. But, the thing is, despite all that attention, that shit eventually blew over just as it was meant to.

I have a friend who wrote a parody about a lazy teacher by utilizing a pseudonym and he totally fruedian slipped the real name while reading it aloud to our AP English class. That was pretty funny.

I'm actually pretty heartened to see that the administration at Timberlane is handling the issue pretty well. I'm assuming that the revoking of the Mr. Timberlane title/parking space was a student initiated kind of deal, which feels closer to the civil reprimands of libel suits.

Here's hoping that when the Hazelwood Decision is inevitably reconsidered in the Internet age, that it gives more credit to that fact that kid gloves are exactly the types of gloves to use on kids who are learning about the boundaries of where freedom meets the social contract. Hell, Hazelwood seems so quaint... they wanted to write about birth control and teen pregnancy for crying out loud. That wouldn't even be controversial enough to make the cut for a first season episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

The Student Press Law Center lists a shitton of young writers who are more deserving of our attention than this kid: http://www.splc.org/newsflash.asp. (e.g. Stevenson High School censorship)
posted by Skwirl at 4:32 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


50k words in a month is about 6 pages a day. This Tubbs kid didn't even do the minimum. Fail.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:33 PM on December 6, 2009


I think some of you gaming out the consequences of this past may or 2010 are being a little delusional. I'm not sure exactly but don't most kids apply for college in the first semester of their senior year? He may not be able to go back to this highschool but I'm not sure how it would impact colleges that have already been applied too.

And as far as effecting his life after highschool, why would it? So someone googles him and maybe finds this story, then what? I don't really think many people would care.
posted by delmoi at 4:35 PM on December 6, 2009


I think some of you gaming out the consequences of this past may or 2010 are being a little delusional. I'm not sure exactly but don't most kids apply for college in the first semester of their senior year? He may not be able to go back to this highschool but I'm not sure how it would impact colleges that have already been applied too.

The deadline for most colleges is around January 1st, so he might not have applied yet, but even if he had the decisions don't get made (unless they're early decision) until spring.

If colleges admission offices hear about this, there's a good chance they won't want them for their school. Whether it becomes noteworthy enough to garner this much attention I don't know, but if it does it could definitely negatively affect his chances. It's like posting incriminating pictures on your facebook page except much, much worse.
posted by kylej at 4:46 PM on December 6, 2009


exlotuseater: I'm surprised he still has a FB account

NotNoMo,Yo.
posted by Decimask at 4:55 PM on December 6, 2009


Writers who believe they should write about what they know are often terrible storytellers.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 4:56 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


>: My senior class was 71 people.

My senior class (at an alternative school) was fifteen people.

To an extent I can understand his annoyance at the special ed students.
When I was in high school we had a student who was... very, very strange. He was a wonderful anime artist with a profound lack of social skills and a penchant for walking around bent over looking at the ground. His two younger siblings were the same but lacked the artistic skills and tended to hump people and things. Nobody was sure if it was genetic or due to their mother, who was also socially clueless.

Other people would just ignore him, but I didn't realize that there was a good reason why so I acted nice to him, listened to what he said and humored him when it didn't quite make sense. Big Mistake.
He became convinced we were friends and followed me everywhere. He would follow you to your car when you were leaving and try to get in. He would follow you into the bathroom and try to talk to you when you were doing your business. He would show up at your house. If you trying to get work done he would sit down next to you and start talking at you. I began dreading going to school because he just wouldn't go away- and I wasn't enough of an asshole to tell him to go the fuck away like other people did, which seemed to be the only thing that worked.

Another non-neurotypical kid had a penchant for taking people's food out of the fridge, sitting on it, and running away. Yes, he couldn't help himself, but I can absolutely understand why people hated his guts and didn't want to be around him- it's not normal behavior.

That doesn't really excuse this kid writing this whole thing, though. He must have thought he was really, really clever.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:05 PM on December 6, 2009


To an extent I can understand his annoyance at the special ed students. When I was in high school we had a student who was... very, very strange.

Does this one guy you knew in high school justify mistreatment of all disabled people?
posted by hydropsyche at 5:16 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Was my school--jr. high, not high school--the only one that had slambooks? Someone took a notebook and wrote the names of anybody and everybody at the top of each page. The notebook was then passed around to everybody, each person writing an opinion of the above person on the page. The point, though, was that it was anonymous, and people would even try to disguise their handwriting lest someone recognize it.

Did anyone else have slambooks? Apparently in the internet age, kids have websites providing the same function, where it's even more anonymous.
posted by zardoz at 5:23 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I actually feel pretty bad for this guy, I mean, what kind of teenager actually drives out 50,000 words of critique on people who he can't really know that well?

The kind of teenager that takes drugs. This reeks of the kind of good idea you have when you're reallyreallyhigh on stimulants and the writing style is pure tweaker.
posted by fshgrl at 5:28 PM on December 6, 2009


>: Does this one guy you knew in high school justify mistreatment of all disabled people?

Hells no!

>: This reeks of the kind of good idea you have when you're reallyreallyhigh on stimulants and the writing style is pure tweaker.

the need to make huge, long, rambling lists also jives with this theory.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:37 PM on December 6, 2009


I had no idea sweatpants were so sexually provocative.

They are easy to get off.
posted by Caviar at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but the way he talks about drugs does not. Dude has about as much experience with drugs as he does with sex.
posted by box at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


If colleges admission offices hear about this, there's a good chance they won't want them for their school. Whether it becomes noteworthy enough to garner this much attention I don't know, but if it does it could definitely negatively affect his chances. It's like posting incriminating pictures on your facebook page except much, much worse.

I'm gonna go ahead and say that this will disappear in a month or two, and no admissions office is going to really care all that much.
posted by Think_Long at 5:41 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


IF MARION HAWTHORNE DOESN'T WATCH OUT SHE'S GOING TO GROW UP INTO A LADY HITLER.
posted by weston at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but the way he talks about drugs does not. Dude has about as much experience with drugs as he does with sex.

One plausible scenario: diagnosed with ADD and given stimulants as a treatment. It often takes a while for doctors to get the dose right, and I can see a kid writing this during a couple weeks of being completely wired on legal speed.

Scenario two: bipolar disorder or some other manic state, which can produce similar effects. I have one bipolar family member whose writing while manic actually looks a lot like this. He's living a fairly normal life now, and is actually an excellent writer; that does jibe with this kid's supposed "intellectualism". On the other hand, Mr. Tubbs's writing samples are all terrible, so I think it might be a failure of the American educational system rather than drugs or mania.
posted by vogon_poet at 5:49 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm gonna go ahead and say that this will disappear in a month or two, and no admissions office is going to really care all that much.

Everyone in my school (counselors, administrators, etc) has been warning the student body about being careful about what they post online because colleges do supposedly look for it. Whether that's legitimiate or not I don't know, but it is being made into a big deal in my high school, and probably others as well.

Any people working in college admissions chime in please!
posted by kylej at 5:58 PM on December 6, 2009


If you want to slander your entire class, become head of the yearbook staff.
posted by benzenedream at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Re: the likelihood of college applications back-firing: a friend of mine has a sister who got accepted to Harvard, then showed up to school drunk one day and was reprimanded. Somehow Harvard got wind of it and her acceptance was revoked, so it's not like a similar thing couldn't happen here...
posted by johnnybeggs at 6:05 PM on December 6, 2009


Rather than diss this for not being a novel, I prefer to imagine it's the first draft of a masterpiece akin to 253 or Life: A User's Manual.

It's puerile junk now, but hey, the first draft of everything is crap.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:17 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


i dunno.. this kinda thing seems like it would be a gold mine for future historians. Imagine this as a metafilter front page post 100 years from now.
posted by empath at 6:30 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


This would be an amazing format for a real novel...
posted by Kirklander at 6:56 PM on December 6, 2009


This would be an amazing format for a real novel...
Kind of an inverted Spoon River Anthology.
posted by lumensimus at 7:01 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna go ahead and say that this will disappear in a month or two

anyone in the world could have saved it to their hard drive and might later repost it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:01 PM on December 6, 2009


Kind of an inverted Spoon River Anthology.

Interesting, hadn’t heard of that, thanks.
posted by Kirklander at 7:05 PM on December 6, 2009


who decided that for NaNoWriMo he would write an honest review of all 349 students in his senior class

Well I decided not to read the accompanying articles or any of the previous comments but I'm going to go ahead and say that I think that was probably a pretty bad idea.
posted by nanojath at 7:12 PM on December 6, 2009


"I think he's a medium sized fish in a very small pond. Just for refrence, my graduating class has something like 1400 kids. That's just the seniors."

"There's only 350 kids in his class."

"It's not a small pond, it is more like a puddle."


Holy crap; America must be the greatest mindfuck of a place to go to school.

1,400 kids in a single fucking year?!?? 350 is referred to as 'only' a 'puddle'?!??

Over here, an entire school of kids from years 7-12 is consdiered pretty big if it gets near 1,000 students in total, and graduating years might typically have around 100-150 kids.

No wonder you guys go in for all that jock v nerd v cool kid v grey people v whatever cliquery & stereotyping so much; how else are teenagers gonna cope with trying to maintain a sense of their own identities within such a mass of peers?

And I'm also wondering why Columbine isn't repeated every single day.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:38 PM on December 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


America must be the greatest mindfuck of a place to go to school.

Having graduated from a class of 484 myself I can say: yes, yes it is.
posted by grouse at 7:47 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


No wonder you guys go in for all that jock v nerd v cool kid v grey people v whatever cliquery & stereotyping so much; how else are teenagers gonna cope with trying to maintain a sense of their own identities within such a mass of peers?

Actually, my experience is that a small class can be much more vicious than a larger class. With a large class of 300+ kids almost everybody can find a group of people they fit in with and the class is large enough to sort of fade into the background. In a small class, on the other hand, quite a few kids can find themselves with nowhere they really belong and without a refuge from the assholes.

There are a lot more options and possibilities with larger groups. Find yourself not fitting in to a group of 70 kids whom you are stuck with for 5 years or more and you're basically screwed.
posted by Justinian at 7:59 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


140 in my class, and still was a mindfuck. However, I could never imagine writing anything even similar to what he wrote about my classmates, knowing they would read it, and then going back to school with them. Never.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:08 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


> because as we all know, high school never ends.

If that was really true, I would have killed myself by now.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:26 PM on December 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've been part of a class of 30, part of a class of 13, and part of a class of 400. The more the better! I completely agree with Justinian. Not only is there a better chance that you'll find a friend in the larger class, but if the small class turns against you it's suffocating.
posted by prefpara at 8:34 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would actually be kind of interested in reading a critic of myself now, lo these 25 years later. I would also be interested in reading my critic of my classmates, seeing as I can barely remember some of them now. It would be interesting to see if I've become kinder or meaner over the intervening years.
posted by maxwelton at 8:39 PM on December 6, 2009


> I actually feel pretty bad for this guy [...] this kid has to have some emotional issues going on to do put that much work into something like this in the first place.

This. I feel like in an alternate universe this headline might have been more along the lines of "Timberlane community mourning after horrifying cafeteria shooting". Obviously those are very very different journeys, but I can't help but think that their starting points aren't very far apart.
posted by adamt at 8:45 PM on December 6, 2009


I agree with vogon_poet that this seems a lot like the product of mania or something similar. (symptoms: 1, 2)
posted by taz at 8:46 PM on December 6, 2009


Mostly I've gotten a bit sadder about my classmates, because 6 years post-high-school it's gotten really clear who is having a rough time. And almost everyone has had a few experiences that they shouldn't have had.
posted by kathrineg at 8:46 PM on December 6, 2009


Actually, my experience is that a small class can be much more vicious than a larger class.

Oh, this, for sure. Big schools really prevent a lot of that nasty gossip which is the worst part of high school. It's very freeing to not have everyone know your business all the time except the people you actually want to and choose to hang out with.

(I went to a relatively small high school. My university has over 38,000 undergrads. I love it!)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:55 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


95. Rich Early: Tool. 1. Cool. He plays cards and poker and I think he wants to go professional. Of course, that is one of the many things that can make you cool, so that is great for him. That is of course sarcastic and I hate him that he thinks he can just make it big really quickly by knowing how to play cards. There is very little intellectual value in playing cards and there is not contribution made to society by those people that play cards. He just thinks that he deserves all the money in the world right now and he is the best player in the world and he is going to get all of the money that exists in the world. He is a great example of a tool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success.
posted by jayder at 8:56 PM on December 6, 2009


I went to a high school with a thousand-plus in each class. The thing that strikes me as the hardest to believe about that was that most of us knew almost everyone else by name, even if we'd never spoken. If I look at the yearbook, I can muster up some little fact about almost every face there, and that was over thirty years ago.

I agree with the bigger is better philosophy. We knew who the bullies and jerks were in our school, and it wasn't hard to avoid them. It was harder to do that in the smaller middle school and the even smaller elementary school that I came from.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:00 PM on December 6, 2009


Seattle's The Stranger recently ran a feature on the different kinds of people that there are. It's pretty much a definitive guide. The writing is better, too.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 9:01 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


There are so many typos in that letter from Don Woodworth I can see where Joshua Tubbs got his writing skills.

I'm so glad someone else said that. It was truly awful.

It would have been devastating to me to read something like Josh Tubbs' "novel" in high school. In ninth grade, I accidentally overheard a classmate giving her scathing assessment of me at length. Her harsh and unthinking words ruined my self esteem for years and years. I just hope that his glib assessment of these people doesn't hurt his classmates in similar ways.
posted by gemmy at 9:09 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


From blindcarboncopy's link:

People Who Let Their Cat Walk Across Their Kitchen Cutting-Board, Even Though Those Are the Same Fucking Paws That Have Been Tramping Around That Shit-Filled Cat Box and I Don't See a Kitty Foot-Washing Station Around Here, Do You?

True, that alone has more literary & observational merit than Joshua Tubbs' entire "novel".
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:11 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


The way he talks about himself and others - especially so obviously not taking into account he might cause quite a bit of distress - makes me think he might suffer from Asperger Syndrome.
posted by kidsdoctor at 9:12 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder about everyone who condemns or "diagnoses" this guy. Many of the things I have seen you all write about this guy could have been from his "novel" about others. As I said in the title, everyone has opinions. He wrote his online, but I don't think he wanted anyone from his school to read them. As for having a mental handicap, this guy is incredibly successful academically and socially. I don't think he has a handicap. Maybe he is cock-sure and has a large ego, sure, but to give him the excuse /slash/ write him off as having a handicap doesn't do him justice.

I have had similar opinions about everyone I come into contact with. I don't make lists, and I surely don't write it where they will see it, but I do judge. This is something I have been trying to stop - I would rather accept people as people.
posted by rebent at 9:19 PM on December 6, 2009


Oh. Do you think all of the kids he outed as gay were out to their parents? I hope so.
posted by prefpara at 9:30 PM on December 6, 2009


Anyone else wondering what the deal is with the link at the top of the Google Doc? It goes to a personal blog called "AskACapper." I don't really know what to make of the entire site, or what its doing at the top of the Doc (esp. given some of the above comments about Special Education students). Genuinely curious if anyone has any insight.
posted by scdjpowell at 10:01 PM on December 6, 2009


My friend and I wrote a book with these kinds of descriptions of some of our friends and non-friends, and a whole lot of other very embarrassing content, in the summer after 8th grade. (I have to say, I think our descriptions were far better written.) We made two copies of it, one for her and one for me. I am SO GLAD we didn't put it on our website. God. SO glad. That was such a good move on our part. We contemplated wider distribution, but her mom nixed the idea before we got much past "Hey, what if we - "

Whew. I didn't realize there was a bullet there to dodge, but we dodged it. I cannot imagine reading the few sentences of this boy's magnum opus that I read, knowing that I had done the same moronic thing 10 years earlier. What a poor life decision that would have been.

Sure, I put other dumb stuff online that I regretted, but nothing this bad.

God. I'm SO glad. I can't even express how much it would have screwed up the rest of my life thus far to have had this kind of vitriol, by me, posted in a place where the people in question could have read it. So many people are dear friends now who I mocked in that book; one person who I excoriated turned out to be a lot scarier of a person than I thought and I'm glad not to be on record having called that person, I quote, "a dork and a jerk" in 1999.

I feel so sorry for this kid. He didn't know what a bad choice this was and he will never know how many of these people might have ended up being his best homies. Weird things happen in the summer after high school and they are just not going to happen to him because he froze his feelings in freaking carbonite right here.

Hahaha. God. This really brightened up my day, knowing that I never did this. Thanks, Metafilter! I love anti-regrets.
posted by crinklebat at 10:29 PM on December 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I went to a public high school where my graduating class had 300+ people. Also, I was the only one who was in Special Education (Speech impediment; once a week I had to sit with a teacher and say 'bird' a thousand times) and the Gifted program. Wonder if that would have blown his little head.

Also,
"284. Callie Schena: Fake Girl/ Bwitch. 8. Kool. She is the kind of girl that has to have a boy friend or else she will explode strange colors in strange smoke formations that would defy science. She was going out with Cam Hendershot, then broke up with her before the beginning of this novel, and is now going out with him because she is useless without a significant other. She can be nice sometimes, but just to the people that she has something in common with, in my case it is group I will call Glee Club to keep some kind of anonymity."

If he gets his act together, I could see him actually learning to write well. He does have a bit of an imagination here.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:31 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Come on folks, he's only got a month! That's certainly not enough time to both write and proofread 50,000 words. What can you expect, given that he's failed to develop a subtle sense of empathy, let alone a shred of common sense, in his 18 years.
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:49 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe he is cock-sure and has a large ego, sure, but to give him the excuse /slash/ write him off as having a handicap doesn't do him justice.

I don't think it's writing him off as having a handicap as much as saying that a previously bright and well-liked teenager who suddenly morphs into Courtney Love's Facebook page should probably be checked for mental illness/ drug abuse by anyone who cares about him.

That or this is some kind of school-wide Mean Girls related prank by the graduating class, which seems unlikely.
posted by fshgrl at 11:07 PM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy crap; America must be the greatest mindfuck of a place to go to school.

1,400 kids in a single fucking year?!?? 350 is referred to as 'only' a 'puddle'?!??


UbiRovas, while there are similarities among school districts in the U.S., there are also a lot of differences. My graduating class had about 250 students. Some schools have more, some have less. It has to do with the size and population of each school district, size of the city, rural vs. urban vs. suburban, etc. There's a lot of variation from district to district, county to county, state to state.
posted by zardoz at 11:14 PM on December 6, 2009


Kind of an inverted Spoon River Anthology.

Interesting, hadn’t heard of that, thanks.


I'd thought of Spoon River Anthology, also. And if this thread only exists to introduce one person to SRA, then it has served its purpose. Amazing work, that.
posted by hippybear at 11:55 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


He describes himself thusly "No explanation needed, I am just the best thing since canned bread. "

What? Is that an expression commonly used in that part of the world, surely it is sliced bread. Also I'm a little disturbed by the notion of 'Dark promiscuous five-year-olds'
posted by electricinca at 12:33 AM on December 7, 2009


Novel? Ha! I'd call it a Reality Show essay. Fascinating, in all its strangeness; it's very edgy and odd. There's something weirdly "pure" and naive about it, all at the same time - it's a Raskolnikov moment, in writing.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:52 AM on December 7, 2009


He'd have been Raskolnikov
But mother nature ripped him off.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:17 AM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Tubbs has a future as a Dept. of Homeland Security profiler.
posted by abakua at 2:32 AM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


One plausible scenario: diagnosed with ADD and given stimulants as a treatment. It often takes a while for doctors to get the dose right, and I can see a kid writing this during a couple weeks of being completely wired on legal speed.
Or another plausible scenario: Dumbass, yet over achieving kid staring down a 50k word goal, a one month deadline, and no quality requirements comes up with hair-brained scheme get to the end and sticks with it.

He obviously didn't intend for any of this stuff to become public, maybe he shared it with a few friends who thought it was funny enough to pass on. The idea that typing something out like this requires some form of madness or drug induced mania is a little over the top.
Re: the likelihood of college applications back-firing: a friend of mine has a sister who got accepted to Harvard, then showed up to school drunk one day and was reprimanded. Somehow Harvard got wind of it and her acceptance was revoked, so it's not like a similar thing couldn't happen here...
Maybe at Harvard. But come on, this guy ain't Harvard material here. I don't think admissions at Podunk State U. are going to care.
1,400 kids in a single fucking year?!?? 350 is referred to as 'only' a 'puddle'?!??
How many people were in your university class?
posted by delmoi at 4:51 AM on December 7, 2009


Haha, on Facebook he has only 67 friends, but his BFF Mandy (with the same picture) has over 400. I'm guessing he got dropped by everyone when this hit the local news...
posted by autoclavicle at 6:11 AM on December 7, 2009


What an immature kid. He has a greater chance at success if he learns how to get along with the people he deems as inferior.
posted by anniecat at 6:58 AM on December 7, 2009


So I'm the only one that basically gets a "Holden Caulfield with a Netbook" vibe from this? Swap in "flit" and "phony" for a few key words, and you're almost there.

Honestly, Tubbs could be a great fictional creation: intelligent, but not as intelligent as he wants to be; angry but he's not sure why; judgmental but blind to his own flaws; raising money for autism while hating people not as smart as he is. This would also be a great format for a novel, if the descriptions built and became more referential to earlier entries, as you fall further and further down the rabbit hole of Tubbs' private lexicon and mania, with entries that continue to reflect that the students suspect something is terribly wrong with Tubbs as he pursues his project.

NANOWRIMO '10 HERE I COME
posted by Shepherd at 7:07 AM on December 7, 2009 [10 favorites]


Everyone in my school (counselors, administrators, etc) has been warning the student body about being careful about what they post online because colleges do supposedly look for it.

"Colleges also recognize they must be wary of their online presence. Kaplan states that 71 percent of admissions officers reported potential students had "friended" them on Facebook. Many schools believe befriending applicants allows them to see a more accurate portrayal of the student..." *

College Admissions Officers Use Social Networks to Conduct Background Checks
"There is a high-school graduating class nationwide of 3.3 million students. Colleges are expected to be sifting through a record number of applications this year. Personal branding is important for this crowd as well, especially for those wanting to gain acceptance from ivy league schools, such as Harvard University....

Kaplan Survey (Top 500 Colleges)
◦10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants
◦38% said that what they saw 'negatively affected' their views of the applicant
◦25% of schools checking social networks said their views were improved
◦21% of colleges used social-networking sites for recruiting prospects and gathering information about applicants.
'The school will do an Internet search, including Facebook and other sites, if an application raises "red flags," such as a suspension from school.' – Thomas Griffin, director of undergraduate admissions at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

...'My staff is free to check out anonymous tips about social-networking sites or make use of the information if the admissions committee is evaluating a "tight” decision."' - Greg Roberts, senior associate dean of admission at the University of Virginia."
WSJ: College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page Is Showin .

Chronicle of Higher Education: Admissions Officers Peek at Applicants' Facebook Profiles.
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on December 7, 2009


*Showing*
posted by ericb at 7:28 AM on December 7, 2009


If you change the names and create more of a plot, you can totally get away with this sort of thing. At my 200 student high school, where just about everything was an expulsion-level offense and many of my classmates' parents would have unleashed the lawyers at the first sign of something like this, the campus literary magazine was an extremely popular outlet for barely concealed confessions and character assassinations. Sometimes they even rhymed!
posted by thivaia at 7:31 AM on December 7, 2009


And if this thread only exists to introduce one person to SRA, then it has served its purpose.
Seems a good time to bring up Richard Buckner's adaptation.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:35 AM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and my high school was so big that there were 250 people in the marching band. I was a band geek, but I was the coolest koolest band geek, and I had 250 like-minded band geeks to have fun with.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:38 AM on December 7, 2009


I wonder about everyone who condemns or "diagnoses" this guy. Many of the things I have seen you all write about this guy could have been from his "novel" about others.

Well, I think based on his ACTUAL WRITING that it's safe for me to diagnose him as a clueless prick. Let's hope his former friends don't decide to beat the shit out of him or taunt him about this until he snaps. Life for him is going to be hard enough for the next few months.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:05 AM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


A young Truman Copote, but only in the jerk department.
posted by milarepa at 8:41 AM on December 7, 2009


Uh, it was for NaNoWriMo

Excellent, this is my new excuse for everything!

(Shit. It's only December 7th.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:50 AM on December 7, 2009


He may be an honor student, but he's gotta be flunking logic based on the timing of his "novel." The school year is barely half over, and he's just paved himself a pretty shitty road for the rest of the year. Have fun, and good luck getting a date for the prom.
posted by VicNebulous at 8:56 AM on December 7, 2009


I predict he will do well in the conservative book circuit after he fails to perform adequately in college.
posted by fuq at 9:07 AM on December 7, 2009


this guy is incredibly successful academically and socially.

How do you figure? I'm not getting "incredibly successful" here at all. I'm getting more of a "Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore, only a jerk" vibe.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:05 AM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was gonna do this about my high school class, but those stone tablets were a bitch.
posted by fixedgear at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was pondering the play The Misanthrope by Moliere today. In it, the titular character (Alceste) rails against the personal failing of everyone in his society but is incapable of recognizing flaws in himself. Far from converting anyone over to his way of thinking, all Alceste manages to do through his railing is alienate those around him (except for some especially good hearted friends) and specifically chase away the woman he's pursuing (who is particularly vain and shallow - traits he chooses to ignore in her, while attacking them in everyone else).

Alceste isn't as smart or perfect as he thinks he is, though he seems to genuinely believe in honor and honesty. He just doesn't see the value in politeness, which he views as dishonest.

The play was written in the seventeenth century.

I propose that Moliere didn't pluck this character out of the air. There were probably ample real life examples of this sort of misanthropic behavior in 17th century France.

I've known people like the alleged Mr. Tubbs. I've worked with a few. I've seen a few on TV (for instance, interrupting Taylor Swift). I don't know him personally, but I suspect Mr. Tubbs doesn't have any particular mental problems. He's a naive kid with an inflated sense of his own perfection (almost an oxymoron).

In a way, its good that this has been discovered now when he still has people around him who can help him change. Plop somebody with this attitude into a position of authority and they ain't never going to change.

He'll likely be a happier person if he learns to not assume he's the smartest dude in the room.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:06 AM on December 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Christ, what a teenager.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:00 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was pondering the play The Misanthrope by Moliere today.

Ah Metafilter, I loves you all up.
posted by benzenedream at 12:26 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can't stop reading it. It's like reading the graffiti on the boxcars of a train wreck.
posted by aftermarketradio at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Intelligent? Possibly. Short-sighted? Mais oui. Now, every time some schlub doing a background check searches for his name while contemplating his college enrollment submission form, or his job application, or whatever, that silly little diatribe will pop up and he'll have to explain himself, over and over again. Eventually, he'll lie about it, further compromising his already-compromised image.

If you can't back it up, don't publish it on the net. Why is that so hard to grasp for some folks?
posted by FormlessOne at 1:01 PM on December 7, 2009


Am I the only one imagining a "Hogwarts" version of this?

Ron Weasley. Wannabe. 0 Cool. Always hanging out with Harry-freaking-Potter and basking in his reflected glory and trying to nail his rejects.

Hermoine Granger. Nice/Extremely Over-Involved and Over-Worked. 2 Cool. Over-achieving know-it-all, always hanging around Harry Potter, are they more than friends? She probably does his homework for him.

Vincent Crabbe. Tool/ Jock. 0 Cool. He is only working out every day of his life and drinks and does illegal things like that to make himself seem really cool, but then he compromises his school work and grades and does terribly in school. He does not care at all with school and could not care less about how he does in school and what he is going to do in the future because he only wants to be muscular and tough, which will be lost when he is in his 60s and will deal with a sorry life and very little success.
posted by fings at 1:46 PM on December 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


Being in the top 10 of a 350-person class isn't all that impressive...unless that's all you have to compare yourself to.

*whimpers* I'm proud of the fact that I made top 25 at my near-400 member class three out of four years of high school. It even was one of my resume points when I first started looking for work after college.

However, I think that the phrase "dark promiscuous five-year old" is pretty evocative, and I, too, am curious about exactly what he means by "gray" as a category.
posted by TrishaLynn at 2:13 PM on December 7, 2009


Just through Charles Schulz’s cartoon, I have learned that it’s necessary for everyone to remember their childish imagination and to always know that being a kid is not always a sign of immaturity, but a sign of creativity, exuberance, and lifelong smiles.

Yeah, remember that great story arc where Lucy decided make lists pointing out everybody's faults? Remember how Snoopy almost bit her because of it?
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2009


How many people were in your university class?

OK, so high schools (roughly, ages 12-18) are usually up to around 1,000 students, so up to approx 200 per 'class'.

Universities are something like 20,000 - 40,000 students, though it doesn't make any sense to speak in terms of 'classes' in that context, because there isn't any identifiable sophomore (etc) structure, with people pursuing different programs - diplomas, undergrad degrees over anything from 3 years to 6 or 7, full-timers, part-timers, higher degrees & postgrads.

My experience at uni was that most people tended to hang out with their classmates from their own faculties. So, for example, I don't think I knew a single person from the hard sciences, maths, medicine, architecture, engineering, etc etc etc. So, your peers are effectively much fewer than 20,000. Also, mature-age students (eg doing degrees outside of business hours) had very little or no crossover with the rest of us.

On top of that, I'd only have something like 20 hours/week of formal lectures or tutorials, and the rest of the time I'd be off campus, either working or studying or whatever, so there was - in fact - very little need to socialise or have much at all to do with anybody, if I didn't want to.

High school is very different, because you are stuck with the same people, all day, every day, for six years. And, obviously, those people are a hell of a lot less mature than uni students.

But the main reason I find the concept of huge highschool classes so horrific is that teenagers are so competetive for perceived status, at the same time as they don't have a whole lot of intellectual or emotional tools to understand their evolving personalities & situations.

So, within a year of a couple of hundred, chances are you'll be in the top group for something, and even if you're not in the top sporting team or math class or whatever, then hey, the 3rd Rugby XV is still alright, and B English is commendable enough, so jsut about everybody can have some sense of self-esteem from whatever they're best at, or least bad at.

But in a class of 1,400 there's gotta be a whole lot of people who end up seeing themselves as complete mediocrities in everything, by sheer weight of numbers - your B English student is suddenly not in the top 40, but lumped in around 200 or 300 down the list, and that's gotta be all kinds of disheartening, and would most likely play itself out in the more obnoxious kinds of teenaged behaviour, and teenagers are already nauseating enough without that kind of extra competition & pressure.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:49 PM on December 7, 2009


This is sort of heartbreaking, not because it's so well-written, but because who doesn't remember that weird experience of growing apart from your childhood friends even though you still live in the same town and see each other at school every day?

48. Sarah Calder: Quiet. 8. Kool. Mandy, her, and I used to be super kool friends, then Mandy and she went out on their own path, then Mandy and I are on our own path and she seems to have no friends and she is really quiet and sticks her chin in her coat or shirt. It was nice to have the playgroup seniors, because we were the oldest kids in playgroup in our neighborhood, but then that ended when I was like 6 and we had a nice reunion when I was like 12 at my house. She does sports, but it is still annoying that she thinks she is better than me and Mandy because she does not talk and just shoves her chin into her coat. It would be nice to have her back and the playgroup seniors back. But now we are actual seniors, which is kool. She is very standoffish to people and just about everything that breathes and it is really weird to see her and not talk to her.

Also, my friends and I did something sort of similar in high school. We made this document that contained top-10 lists of the hottest guys, the bitchiest girls, the biggest posers, etc. Of course, one of us lost the list, and we were terrified somebody would find it and figure out it was ours. I can't imagine willingly putting something like this on the internet.
posted by lunasol at 4:18 PM on December 7, 2009


@UbuRoivas

Interesting hypothesis, but that's just not really how it is. My graduating class had eight-hundred students. There are similarities to college, in that you don't get to know everyone, even by name. Our class didn't publish a huge list ranking us all academically, and if they did, only the people at the top would have defined their self-worth that way. Is 30th of 100 much better than 300th of 1000? Didn't the kids in your school get any sense that there were other kids out there during the occasional academic or athletic competition? Must have been a little scary! I joke...

The kinds of problems that you're talking about are no worse for kids than they are for adults, trying to fit into a planet of 6.8 billion souls.

Also, high school didn't last for six years in my district. Our district had one high school for grades 10-12, and two junior high schools for grades 7-9.

And finally, coming from New York and my 800-student graduating class, I was blown away upon meeting kids from Wisconsin whose graduating classes consisted of less than 50 other students. There's a lot of variation. To me, coming from where I came from, that seemed claustrophobic. Not to mention the fact that, in a school that small, you can't expect a great diversity of class offerings. In high school, I took classes in film history and comparative government.
posted by Edgewise at 12:16 AM on December 8, 2009


What the fuck is "Mr. Timberlane", Americans?
posted by snoktruix at 2:08 PM on December 8, 2009


This would also be a great format for a novel, if the descriptions built and became more referential to earlier entries, as you fall further and further down the rabbit hole of Tubbs' private lexicon and mania

John Shade: Quiet. 7. Kool. Writes awesome stuff but doesn't explain all its hidden meanings or acknowledge how much he owes to the other kids that hang out with him, especially that Zemblan exchange student.
posted by RogerB at 2:14 PM on December 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, I see... the high-school is called.. ahh. See, I thought it was like some weird nationwide title for an uber-valedictorian student who achieves the highest level of excellence in the perverse game of high school pwnage. Wouldn't put it past you freaks, gotta luv ya.
posted by snoktruix at 2:18 PM on December 8, 2009


Timberlane officials quiet on controversial issues -- "Administration quiet on past, present controversies."
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on December 8, 2009


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