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"There should be a law about these people
March 16, 2002 8:56 PM   Subscribe

"There should be a law about these people with web diaries or they should all wear identifying clothing or something, so that innocent bystanders who don't need some perverse kind of public fame can know to steer clear." Or, using Google to flush out potential dating disasters.
posted by Psionic_Tim (73 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It never fails to amaze me the way webloggers (and I myself am guilty of this) assume that no one in the "real" (read:non-internet) world reads their writing. I've never had an experience this bad myself, but I've certainly heard about them.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:08 PM on March 16, 2002


That's just swell. And I find myself wondering, most of all, how long it'll be before someone finds this Joel's site. (C'mon, MeFi, don't let me down...)
posted by pzarquon at 9:09 PM on March 16, 2002


I searched based on the excerpts given but neither google nor daypop knew where Joe(l) was.

But on to the bigger point: Why is 'Stacy' upset? She found out this guy she might like is actually a loser looking for a handjob. Shouldn't she be happy to have found this out? It's not as if he posted her name and phone number on the blog, and she was obviously triyng to find out more about him. Shouldn't she be singing the praises of blogging?

If the problem was that she didn't want intimate details of her courtship put on public display, then how could the irony flow faster than her 'friend' the reporter writing a piece about the whole ordeal, including his own recounting including bits like, "They went to dinner, made interesting conversation, and concluded the evening with some light to moderate petting at Stacy's house. "

Rag journalists are getting pretty kettle-black when they start talking about the abuses of weblogers...
posted by kfury at 9:30 PM on March 16, 2002


hmmmm..... this scares me really. something similar happened to me. a person i talked to online through aol/aim got rummaging through the links in my old aol homepage, and found a site that belonged to my ex. this person not only stole this girl's pictures, uploaded them to her site, but then turned around and tried to run us all off the internet when i asked her nicely to take them down. why do people feel that they're 10 foot tall and bullet proof online?
posted by Kafei at 9:32 PM on March 16, 2002


Me thinks it is this blog.
posted by destro at 9:36 PM on March 16, 2002


This sounds like a happy ending to me. People keeping diaries online have two choices: either keep stuff you don't want everyone to know out of them, or be willing to live with the consequences if you're an ass and everyone finds out.

No luck on the journal in question, I spent five creative minutes with google, trying combinations of "library" and "handjob" and "screenwriter," as well as trying the supposed quotes.

On preview: good job destro!
posted by Nothing at 9:39 PM on March 16, 2002


Wow, go destro. I'm thinking we have a winner.

40 minutes after my original post, MeFi amazes me sometimes.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 9:45 PM on March 16, 2002


This guy is about to be Googlebombed into handjob hell.

Great story.
posted by solistrato at 9:49 PM on March 16, 2002


i think it's the right one too. very, very strange.
posted by Kafei at 9:50 PM on March 16, 2002


hmm. interesting. i think the chick should just count her lucky stars.

i think it's unfortunate that screenwriter boy was not only an ass but a shit writer on top of it. in addition, i question what her impression would have been if he'd been an excellent writer, and if his blog had contained sincere affectations for her, not to mention more confidence in himself.

i tell all my dates, on the first date or prior, that i write and have a lot of readers and that i write about the people i date. if they're not cool with that, i don't go out with them, or if i'm really taken with them, i don't write about them--which can be very difficult.

i take great pleasure in my daily writing and it would be weird to be involved with someone i didn't feel comfortable writing about because of their worries (i never use people's real names unless they insist i do--which oddly happens very frequently).

i'm curious as to what MeFi folks with blogs experiences are in this realm. my own experience with my "blog" (sorry, don't really know what to call it) have been enlightening and, for the most part, tremendous. do others feel likewise or are their experiences closer to "Joe(l)'s"?
posted by dobbs at 9:54 PM on March 16, 2002


MeFi rocks. Thanks destro.
posted by Marquis at 9:54 PM on March 16, 2002


urm...

Seem weird to anyone else that he only has 1 week of archives? Am I missing something?
posted by ODiV at 10:05 PM on March 16, 2002


or maybe I'm just an idiot and can't understand how to navigate his site.

help?
posted by ODiV at 10:07 PM on March 16, 2002


I would never be involved with a member of Fark dot com. This is why I don't masturbate.
posted by Settle at 10:13 PM on March 16, 2002


Me thinks it is this blog.

That blog doesn't appear to have been spidered by Google since ~January 25. Yet this March 14 article is referring to posts made around the beginning of March.

At the very least, there appears to be more going on here than the article lets on.
posted by aaron at 10:40 PM on March 16, 2002


I noticed the lack of archives too. It makes me wonder if this may be some kind of planted publicity stunt article. Hmm...
posted by Dreama at 10:43 PM on March 16, 2002


archives

He should get some good material for a screenplay out of this....
posted by alterego at 10:51 PM on March 16, 2002


archives

Ah! Weird! Spoke too soon! If you check that out, the first three (of four) archive links are dead, and the fourth takes you to a page on the same blogspot with a month's worth of entries by one Dervala Hanley, now of Dervala.net.

WTF?
posted by alterego at 10:54 PM on March 16, 2002


ah, that was one of the more interesting things i've read lately (the article, not the blog.). i'm looking forward to seeing the blogger write about the situation, if he ends up doing so.
posted by lotsofno at 10:57 PM on March 16, 2002


Perhaps someone else read the above mentionned article and decided to have a little fun using quoted text from it?
posted by ODiV at 10:59 PM on March 16, 2002


I think someone is trying to pull a fast one here. Very strange. The Dervala blog seems like a real one, but not the Joel one.
posted by bjgeiger at 11:01 PM on March 16, 2002


Aaron brings up a good point: google doesn't have anything indexed after January. She couldn't have found it via Google unless they've removed the relevant pages from their index since.
posted by Nothing at 11:03 PM on March 16, 2002


I doubt it. The comments are actually stored in blogback and it'd be hard (and surprisingly thorough) to post-date them, not to mention going to the lengths of even *including* comments in a fabricated site, since they weren't mentioned in the article.
posted by kfury at 11:07 PM on March 16, 2002


hrm... it seems like the Joel from the original article thinks hand job is two words, whereas the Straight Outta Compton one thinks it is one.

That and while the subject matter (hand jobs from a girl at the library) is the same, it doesn't seem to have any of the same text.
posted by ODiV at 11:08 PM on March 16, 2002


I'm stupid. Of course she could have searched for his name, found the google-indexed pages, and gone from there to the current entries. Sorry.
posted by Nothing at 11:09 PM on March 16, 2002


The weirdness continues. Compare:

http://begleiter.blogspot.com/?/2002_02_03_begleiter_archive.html

to

http://begleiter.blogspot.com/?/2002_02_01_archive.html (the Dervala one)

Maybe Mr. Evan Williams could explain how this might be possible. I for sure don't get it.
posted by alterego at 11:16 PM on March 16, 2002


hrm... I'm wondering how much I should dig up on this guy, but I'm interested.

It seems that our Joel went to Brown and has an aquaintance that goes way back.
posted by ODiV at 11:20 PM on March 16, 2002


Hrm.

Well, I don't really think this guy is a 'jerk' for wanting a hand-job. Quite stupid, for attaching his full name to these comments (I mean, who dosn't do a google search on a potential mate), but not nessisaraly an asshole. He did mention that he was intrested in romance with this girl as well as, um, digital manipulation.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 PM on March 16, 2002


i'm curious as to what MeFi folks with blogs experiences are in this realm. my own experience with my "blog" (sorry, don't really know what to call it) have been enlightening and, for the most part, tremendous. do others feel likewise or are their experiences closer to "Joe(l)'s"?

aside from the racist remarks and threats that i get from time-to-time from people who don't even know me in the real world (outside the 'net), i've written about people in my daily life, from complaining about my wife when i first met her, to what i buy people for birthdays, christmas, etc. i know they read the site. even when i was a blogspotter myself (way back.... last week). i never really gave it much thought until now. i mean, i know people read my weblog, and i know i've pissed off a few people who have read it. good thing i don't talk about anything....... incriminating in any form. and that doesn't mean law-wise, either.
posted by Kafei at 11:51 PM on March 16, 2002


I agree with Delmoi. I don't think he's so much an asshole as he is utterly stupid for using his real name as he chronicles such excruciating personal inner dialogue (monologue? blah, whatever). How bloody well embarrassing. I'd hope the earth opened up and swallowed me whole.
posted by eclectic glamazon at 12:26 AM on March 17, 2002


Rule #1: Do not romanticaly piss off a reporter.

Strangely, the Dervala Hanley page also turns up at another completely unrelated blogspot, andyjacobs.blogspot.com. I suspect al Qaeda. Or a rogue ftp process.
posted by dhartung at 12:26 AM on March 17, 2002


If the article is sourcing the content of this blog(and it looks that way), it seems embellished. Same story and content but much different wording. Weird indeed.

I dont know, are David H. Goldberg and Tod Goldberg the same person? Looking at some of his articles makes me think that David and Tod are not the same(Tod has a wife). Maybe Tod wanted to jazz things up for his article.

Then there's this:
Makes me nervous. It's only a matter of time until someone prints all this out and ruins my bid for the presidency. Interesting Joel would write this and then a month later, the story.

It also sounds like Joel Beglieter is an aspiring writer trying to break into hollywood, and interestingly, Tod sold a book for a possible movie. Collaboration is possible? Definitely. I'm having trouble believing any of this is real, the more I look into it.

Someone should try to write a biography about a person they've never met, using Google. Google is scary.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:51 AM on March 17, 2002


How fascinating too, that the girl he met is working on a novel. All three main characters in this little story are writers, another fascinating 'co-incidence.'
posted by insomnyuk at 12:58 AM on March 17, 2002


It seems that blogspot has some how gotten its archives real messed up.
posted by bjgeiger at 1:03 AM on March 17, 2002


It may just be a publicity stunt for Tod Goldberg, who seems to have a book due out in May called Living Dead Girl. Tod is probably familiar with our little community here, since he and the missus seem to be addicted to WilWheatonDotNet, who has a history with MetaFilter. Wouldn't be surprised if Tod was following this thread. Also, he's written a book called Fake Liar Cheat. I'm just sayin'.

I don't see anything on Joel's weblog (if he even exists) that I haven't seen on a hundred others. He doesn't come across as a creep at all - just a bad writer who wants to get laid.
posted by iconomy at 1:04 AM on March 17, 2002


More on Joel, plus Tod Goldberg. I'm done now, honest, it's just that I have found this whole story really interesting.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:04 AM on March 17, 2002


I don't think he's so much an asshole as he is utterly stupid for using his real name as he chronicles such excruciating personal inner dialogue ...

Woody Allen made his career out of excruciating personal inner dialogue. What are we faulting Joel for, exactly: wanting handjobs, writing under the influence of shrooms, or being honest?

If online diarists were color coded in real life, it would be the best thing that ever happened to dating. People would seek them out. It's not like the current system is so great, where you don't learn how truly freaky a person is until you're mired in a serious relationship.
posted by rcade at 6:21 AM on March 17, 2002


The archives are there, but you gotta hack the URLs to see them: posted by rcade at 7:00 AM on March 17, 2002


Now that I've read the diary for the period Goldberg is writing about, it's clear he wasn't quoting Joel's diary. Instead, Goldberg made up short fake entries that cover the same things Joel wrote about in less space.

It's a shame, because Joel's entries are a lot funnier -- and not as unflattering as Goldberg's version of them. The one at the top of this page, describing the enormous tongue of Goldberg's friend Stacy, is hilarious.
posted by rcade at 7:11 AM on March 17, 2002


This post is what I found the funniest:

I've been sexually active for 9 years, and have slept with 5 women in that time. And I always figured I was pretty average, or even slightly ahead of the curve. But this movie makes me feel like a complete social reject.

(Still can't wait for it, though. Hope Josh Hartnet takes his shirt off...)


So he has done 5 women in 9 years, and he hopes to see Josh Hartnet without his shirt on. Ok people, I think I figured out why he has so many problems with women.
posted by benjh at 7:44 AM on March 17, 2002


I just emailed him the url of this thread.
Happy Christmas.
posted by davidgentle at 7:55 AM on March 17, 2002


I had already done so. His reply (whether faked or not, it amused me):

Good fucking lord.

Ultimately, I suppose this is a fair comeuppance...

Ugh.

If you don't mind me asking, who are you? And how did you stumble on my blog?

posted by Marquis at 9:46 AM on March 17, 2002


Could this man possibly be any gayer? First of all, the rhapsodizing about "Josh Hartnett taking his shirt off" and "Raj's awesome shoulders"...second of all, his weird turnoffy things about women ("her *tongue* was too big??? WTF?")...third of all, the fact that he's only had sex with 5 women in 9 years...

and most important of all, HE WAS IN AN A CAPELLA GROUP AT AN IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY.

A FREAKING CAPELLA.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:12 AM on March 17, 2002


I got exactly the same response that Marquis did... Weird.
posted by swell at 10:25 AM on March 17, 2002


His reply (whether faked or not, it amused me):

This whole thing seems pretty genuine to me. Still, I don't think there's anything all that bad in it, for anyone (though it sucks to have people gawking at you). It's a pretty funny story, and, if anything, this guy has guts for expressing his thoughts so honestly. (I don't particularly like weblogs of the personal-diary nature, but it's not because I don't respect their authors for writing them.)

I hope he gets a good laugh out of it, and maybe a good story. Maybe he can sell the book rights -- or write the screenplay for the movie....

I got exactly the same response that Marquis did... Weird.

Maybe he's just found the exact expression of his response to all this, and is saving on typing?

OK, I don't know what to think.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:32 AM on March 17, 2002


Joel blogs a response. I dunno about the conspiracies, but the guy seems real.

Maybe he's just found the exact expression of his response to all this, and is saving on typing?

I read the "good fucking lord" comment as an expression of surprise, and thought it odd that we both got that. He uses the more specific "Holy Shit" wording on the blog, which is a more reasonable interpretation.
posted by swell at 10:56 AM on March 17, 2002


The story is currently in the queue at kuro5hin and it looks like it'll be posted. I pointed them to this thread and Joel's blog.
posted by ODiV at 11:07 AM on March 17, 2002


so it was the same person... tell me, what's the motivation of this thread again?
posted by Kafei at 12:26 PM on March 17, 2002


i should mention that my own comment (screenwriter boy was not only an ass but a shit writer on top of it.) was based on the journalist's, um, paraphrasing the blog as when i started writing my post, the link to Joel's blog hadn't been found yet (even though the link now appears before my entry). the guy doesn't seem nearly as much of an ass or a shit writer. the journalist just seems like a dink.

still, i think it's an interesting story. thanks again for the link.
posted by dobbs at 12:58 PM on March 17, 2002


Question..

third of all, the fact that he's only had sex with 5 women in 9 years...

Is that actually low nowadays?
posted by wackybrit at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2002


Poor Joel. The kid didn't do anything wrong, in fact his actual weblog was pretty amusing and fairly well written for the style he's using.

That Stacey was offended when he described her kissing performance as like unto eating beef-tongue is not particularly surprising...but still no reason to hold him up to public defamation...especially since she didn't even have the balls to do it herself, but had to have a "friend stick-up" for her. I guess she's just too delicate a flower to have written it herself. Either that or she's just been too traumatized to write...who can tell. Note that she doesn't seem to have made any of her writing available so as to compare it to, as Mr. Goldberg said, "Joel's inadequate" abilities.

I think Goldberg is a whiney, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual ass who should probably be fired for making up facts that fit his premise. I think Stacey has been made out to sound like a vindictive little priss. I feel kinda sorry for Joel, who reads just like an average guy trying to make his way in the world.
posted by dejah420 at 4:22 PM on March 17, 2002


dejah has a point. The longer I think about it, the more Joel comes across as the most likeable of the trio. And he's got half a dozen friends replying to practically every post in his blog, like a mini little.yellow.different.
posted by dhartung at 4:34 PM on March 17, 2002


Okay, let's review, shall we?
Joel Beglieter: humorous, unlucky, perhaps lacking judgement, good taste in music, unlucky
"Stacy": Uptight, prudish, no sense of humor
Tod Goldberg: Irresponsible if not dishonest 'journalist' who writes books intended for movies

Complain to the editors(maybe demand an explanation) about the misleading content of the article:
gschumacher@lasvegasmercury.com
akiraly@lasvegasmercury.com

Closing thoughts on this saga.
1) Cover your tracks with Google, you never know who could be watching
2) Don't just blog away anything you would say in casual conversation with your buddies, it might bite you in the ass
3) MetaFilter has the power to potentially destroy us all (If it weren't for Psionic Tim and then Destro, JB's name may not have gotten out, K5 might not have picked it up)
4) MetaFilter has the power to clear your name. A little bit more digging has mostly exonerated Joel
posted by insomnyuk at 4:45 PM on March 17, 2002


What's the betting on Wired writing about this over the next day or 2?

Joel - you've got a crowd now. It is your obligation to keep us entertained ;-) Get blogging.
posted by RobertLoch at 6:18 PM on March 17, 2002


Apropos of nothing, but if anyone out there would like to buy a belated wedding gift for Tod Goldberg and his wife Wendy, they're still accepting them.
posted by rcade at 6:51 PM on March 17, 2002


i'm assuming it was tod's own idea to write about this. i don't see how anyone can fault stacy for tod's "revenge".
posted by dobbs at 7:19 PM on March 17, 2002


Tod must have had her permission to use her name and so many details -- or their friendship would be over. A professional editor would have seen to that, so the management is also involved up their elbows.
posted by dhartung at 9:57 PM on March 17, 2002


And the saga continues with responses to MeFi, from our now well-known protagonist.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:41 PM on March 17, 2002


Psionic_Tim: 40 minutes after my original post, MeFi amazes me sometimes.

I've come to count on it. Heck, any anonymous online author or blogger can probably expect to have that anonymity stripped away within an hour of a FPP.

dhartung: The longer I think about it, the more Joel comes across as the most likeable of the trio.

And that's priceless. Thanks, Destro, for your supreme sleuthing. I think I've found a new regular read.
posted by pzarquon at 12:50 AM on March 18, 2002


Psionic_Tim: 40 minutes after my original post, MeFi amazes me sometimes.

I've come to count on it. Heck, any anonymous online author or blogger can probably expect to have that anonymity stripped away within an hour of a FPP.

dhartung: The longer I think about it, the more Joel comes across as the most likeable of the trio.

And that's priceless. Thanks, Destro, for your supreme sleuthing. I think I've found a new regular read.
posted by pzarquon at 12:50 AM on March 18, 2002


I can't believe I didn't find this sooner. Here is Tod Goldberg's website, and here is one by his brother, TV Producer Lee Goldberg.

It's comforting to know that people who produce nationally syndicated television shows and write published books suck horribly at web design. A little schadenfreude on my part, I guess.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:03 AM on March 18, 2002


Tod has found us. He just sent me an e-mail letting me know that they're still short a gravy boat.
posted by rcade at 5:34 AM on March 18, 2002


Tod must have had her permission to use her name and so many details

I got the impression from Joel's site that "Stacy" isn't her real name.

or their friendship would be over.

And, who knows? Maybe it is. (Or will be.)
posted by rodii at 6:23 AM on March 18, 2002


I gotta say, by the way, that this whole "bad kisser" thing just doesn't work for me. Unless you're some sort of love god with a kiss surplus, or she damages your new rayon shirt with her tongue or something, anyone who will kiss you is a good kisser. And "big tongue"? Whee!
posted by rodii at 6:39 AM on March 18, 2002


"According to my less-than-reliable counter, I've had 4,000 hits in the last 24 hours. 3 of them were not nerds. And 1 was a girl."

So accurate. Metafilter gets its grubby hands into everything.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 6:47 AM on March 18, 2002


I got the impression from Joel's site that "Stacy" isn't her real name.

He calls her Susan in the Feb. 20 entry where he suavely asks her out in the library's quiet room.

Considering the lengths to which Tod went in explaining the name change from Joel to moron to Joe, I question his artistic decision to rename her Stacy without sharing that with the audience.
posted by rcade at 6:54 AM on March 18, 2002


Unless you're some sort of love god with a kiss surplus, or she damages your new rayon shirt with her tongue or something, anyone who will kiss you is a good kisser.

This isn't really true. I don't get kissed that much, but I'm not so desperate I can't tell a good one from a bad one.
posted by kindall at 7:25 AM on March 18, 2002


so now this guy is gonna get super popular because he has a hand job fetish. yes, our culture rewards interesting personalities!
posted by mcsweetie at 7:43 AM on March 18, 2002


This isn't really true.

Is too.
posted by rodii at 8:08 AM on March 18, 2002


Is there an inherent difference between saying something to a friend and saying something in a web journal? is there an inherent difference between saying something to one person and broadcasting it to the english-reading population? maybe joel has learned a valuable lesson in life. that said, his journal is a great read, and at times downright hi-larious. i'm bookmarking it.

oh, one more thing: an updated, futuristic version of "The Wind In The Willows" from Disney? what!?
posted by Dean King at 8:10 AM on March 18, 2002


I just wish that the TD tag holding body content was ALIGNed to TOP... as it is, all the content is being centered relative to the long archive listings.

Grr.
posted by silusGROK at 8:37 AM on March 18, 2002


Watching this story has been like watching a car wreck online. Oddly magnetic and hard to turn away from.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:59 AM on March 18, 2002


I'm with kindall on the kissing thing. I haven't kissed as many girls as, say, Josh Hartnett (I would assume), but there is a definite skill involved that some people have more than others. And there are some people who are just so bad at it, that losing yourself emotionally in the kiss just becomes impossible.
posted by bingo at 9:13 PM on March 18, 2002


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