July 9, 2000
5:46 AM   Subscribe

Are Jason and Heather secretly the same person, or is there some other reason (that escapes me) that his July 6th and her July 7th entries start out with exactly the same paragraph?
posted by lia (30 comments total)
Ahem. La la la.
posted by eyesandfists at 5:48 AM on July 9, 2000

Dammit, that's what I get for playing DiabloII instead of reading everything on MeFi! :P
If anyone's keeping track, I saw the bicycle story on LanceLog2000 as well.
posted by lia at 6:03 AM on July 9, 2000

I am keeping track.
posted by eyesandfists at 6:06 AM on July 9, 2000

This reminds me of something that happened as I was walking home this evening. This little girl was riding her bike in the middle of the parking lot. She still had the training wheels on as she struggled to peddle. It reminded me of when I was in the French Foreign Legion battling for my life against the germans while holding nothing but a severed limb and a cold pot of coffee. I wanted to smoke a joint badly but couldn't get one. My parents wouldn't let me experiment with psychedelic drugs until I was 12; my mom was too afraid I'd hurt myself. I'd pass the c-section in the hospital and just look, having given up asking my parents about it long ago. I eventually did get laid after much pleading and begging. Amazingly, getting morning sickness at 16 and the subsequent borrowing of the family summer cottage in Brooklyn passed without incident.

[In case y'all haven't noticed, this is making fun of blogging, journaling, and personal narrative in general. If you examine the paragraph of prose, you'll notice it has all the elements of a typical journal entry condensed within its framework. The inside joke is 1) no one's supposed to notice the difference and 2) if they do they're supposed to perpetually wax philosophically about it in places like Metafilter. Kottke, Meg, and perhaps others are having a good laugh at your expense. I find it fiendishly ingenious, and wish I'd thought of it first.]

Here's a woman after my own heart.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2000

Editing note: the above post should read "In case y'all haven't noticed, this cloning of blog entries about little girls on bicycles is making fun of blogging, journaling, and personal narrative in general." The way it presently reads, my previous post sounds like I'm saying "In case y'all haven't noticed, this metafilter comment I'm leaving right now is making fun of blogging, journaling, and personal narrative in general." That is not the case. I am endeavoring to make fun of the thing that's making fun of you. Not because I like you. I happen to think it's funny to make fun of funny things. Comes from drinking too many caffeinated beverages as a child. I am permanently scarred.

Y'know this reminds me of something that happened to me as I was leaving home one September. This little girl was drinking too much Mountain Dew in the middle of the playground. She still had elevator shoes on which made her look much shorter. It reminded me of when I was a member of The Village People. I believe I was wearing the cop uniform. I wanted my own g string but my parents wouldn't allow me to vote republican; my mom was afraid I'd hurt myself. Amazingly, getting cross with the neighbors and taking potshots at the dog with a rolled up newspaper passed without incident.

You people still hurt my head.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:39 AM on July 9, 2000

Louisiana's Supreme Court has upheld a two-century-old law that makes blogging about the little girl entry punishable by death.
posted by Zeldman at 1:51 PM on July 9, 2000

Okay, you are all paranoid thinking this is some big conspiracy. First off, Meg was the first one to post the little girl story, WAY before it was on anyone else's site. Then Tom from Barbelith pointed out that Meg and Kottke were talking about a lot of the same things in their weblogs lately implying that the two of them had some sort of love affair and were doing all of these things together. Obviously Jason from Kottke saw what Tom posted and THEN, in what i'm guessing to be an attempt to mock Tom, Jason posted the exact same story as Meg. I don't know why Tom then decided to post the story too unless he was just giving a big "screw you" right back to Jason, but from the on out everyone started posting the story thinking it was some big inside joke.

Anybody who's a pretty frequent visitor to Jason's site knows that Jason used to store his future weblog entries in the source code of his page. If you had the sense to view the source, you could read what he was going to post a week before he actually posted it. He doesn't do it anymore, but you can still look at the source right now and see that right after the little girl story he did a code comment that said "so, what do you make of that, Tom?". View Jason's source and see it for yourself. He obvioously posted Meg's story just to tell Tom that he's looking too hard into things and that he needs to back off of his personal life.

It is not some big conspiracy, it is not some huge inside joke, this is not "Wag the Dog". Basically it's just a pissing contest between Jason and Tom that got way out of hand because of everyone else wanting to be trendy.
posted by Ugh at 5:05 PM on July 9, 2000

So.... Now we have to figure out how Ugh fits into this whole thing.

You're not fooling anyone you know. We'll get to the bottom of this.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:09 PM on July 9, 2000

Now that someone's denied it, we can be sure it's a conspiracy! (My money's still on mass alien abduction.)
posted by harmful at 8:14 PM on July 9, 2000

I'm sure that's what they want us to think...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 8:22 PM on July 9, 2000

Actually, Ugh's proposed narrative is flawed on at least two pivotal points, namely chronology and motive. I know. I have proof. But it's, um, not a conspiracy.
posted by bradlands at 9:19 PM on July 9, 2000

shhh, brad, they're not supposed to know...
posted by megnut at 9:27 PM on July 9, 2000

Oh. Sure. Right. Sorry. BTW, Meg, I have a message for you from you-know-who: "The cheese stands alone. Beware the possum. Jethro is in the cement pond."
posted by bradlands at 10:46 PM on July 9, 2000

Kottkesexrumors.com is an exciting new online community where upscale Internet professionals can exchange the deepest dish and hottest half-truths about Jason Kottke's possible sexual liaisons. Compete for fabulous prizes in the Rumor Arcade, watch streaming videos of Jason accepting a Webby on behalf of someone else, and much, much more! Having no life while guessing about someone else's has never been easier ... or more fun!!! It's the perfect complement to your vicarious lifestyle. From the people who brought you derekquitsblogging.com.
posted by Zeldman at 6:35 PM on July 10, 2000

We all have lives. Guessing about other people's lives is part of some people's lives. I don't see anything wrong with that. It can be fun!

There are no nobodys. In fact there are no bodies here. It's all virtual. Like a big party. Everybody's a somebody to somebody else and some of us think we're nobodys but somebody is watching us which in theory makes each of us a somebody, even though we'd all be somebodys even if nobody was watching.

Warning: blatant selflink and now I'll go wash my mouth out with soap. =) AH WUVZ ALL YOUZE GUYS but you're still not getting my bud light.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:24 PM on July 10, 2000

Um. Chronology all buggered re: posting order of little girl story above. Check blogger search for partial details. Whole mess of weirdness about this thing. Thanks again M for sending me the e-mail. Some weird comments have been made. Have sneaking suspicion Ugh may be related to a certain saturn.org - but don't actually want to waggle digit. Eep.
posted by barbelith at 1:21 AM on July 11, 2000

Well, I think there are a lot of people being presumptious here... by assuming Jason's straight.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that. :-)
posted by baylink at 8:19 AM on July 11, 2000

>Well, I think there are a lot of people being
>presumptious here... by assuming Jason's straight.

Me? What about Meg? The short hair, likes sports/outdoor stuff, wears pants and not dresses most of the time, is into stuff only men are interested in (running a business, technology, etc.). The girl's a lesbian, for crying out loud.

(I hate saying this, but the above is a joke. Kinda takes all the fun out of it, doesn't it. But I wouldn't want anyone flying off the handle, now, would I?)
posted by jkottke at 11:55 AM on July 11, 2000

i guess i am just personally turned-off by public speculation about private lives. it was superficially fascinating (though ultimately cheap and boring and finally exhausting) when the subject was bill clinton. when it's about PEERS, it strikes me as ridiculous.

who gives a fuck who's fucking who, let alone who MAY be fucking who? isn't the WORK people do more interesting than the things they MAY be doing when they're not working?

and, it may only be me, but choosing to focus on the comings and goings of three or four bloggers seems to narrow the entire web, and all it can be, into an extremely trivial soap opera, of interest to perhaps 30 people, whose motivations i'd rather not try to figure out.

i was offended by the venom directed at derek p. when he chose to slightly alter the focus of his personal site; i'm offended by the leering quality of these jason-megnut posts. i may be offended on behalf of people who are amused or baffled by the whole thing, and can simply shrug it off. probably they don't mind a bit. maybe it's just me, but it bugs me because it is trivial, stupid, and nobody's business.
posted by Zeldman at 11:56 AM on July 11, 2000

Time for some non-offensive dick jokes. Anybody got one?

I mean a joke, you perv.
posted by john at 12:25 PM on July 11, 2000

OK, I'll step back for just a moment and address this seriously for once. Jeffrey -- may I call you Jeffrey? -- I guess I haven't noticed a "leering quality" to any of the weblog posts on this "topic." What I have noticed is a good example of the "weblog as water cooler" notion.

Jason and Meg, each on their own websites, posted strikingly similar experiences of a weekend or evening's entertainment. Someone jokingly suggested that they might have spent said time together, but were being circumspect about. Then the two posted exactly the same entry about exactly the same personal experience as a jape. Hilarity, duplication and adaptation ensued. And thus the meme was spread. Trivial? Heck yeah, but good natured and harmless.

(Besides, everyone knows Jason just faked appreciation of The Iron Giant to woo Meg. She saw right through it.)

posted by bradlands at 12:35 PM on July 11, 2000

"it is trivial, stupid, and nobody's business."

I thought we had agreed that this was the new paradigm? Apart from brief flashes of brilliance, how do we separate weblogging from "trivial, stupid, and nobody's business."

I know you were talking about peoples reaction and not weblogging, but I think it's the same thing. And what makes you think the folks that cooked this up aren't enjoying the hell out of it? If they want to perpetrate something that will lead everyone to be "in their business", why shouldn't they do that? Hell, they started it, and they could have shut this thing down at any point.

They could have said, "Since everyone is so curious - here's the deal..." But that wouldn't have been as much fun for anyone.

I don't see the soap opera angle here. I don't find anyone all that interested in the sleeping arrangements. I thought it was all about stupid and trivial.

"maybe it's just me, but it bugs me "

I don't know what to say. Welcome to the web? How about this: Meg and Jason can password protect their sites, and Matt can ban any posts which speculate about people. Problem solved. Just the facts.

I hear what you are saying, and if I got the impression that Meg and Jason weren't enjoying it, I'd be right there with you. Hell everyone here would be, we love those two. If someone tried to hurt them we'd all track the bastard down and make 'em pay.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:58 PM on July 11, 2000

y6, i get what you're saying. but "welcome to the web?"

dude, a tiny circle of webloggers is not the web.

the web, like the internet, is an earth-moving change in how people communicate, who gets to communicate, who controls "the truth." there are people in prison for speaking their minds online. what are we doing with our freedom? to squander this gift in trivialities is a tragic mistake.

now i know why this whole thing bugs me. thanks for helping me clarify that.
posted by Zeldman at 8:06 PM on July 11, 2000

"dude, a tiny circle of webloggers is not the web."

You are correct. I was just being flippant. Sorry.

Well, you do your thing, and I'll do my thing. Luckily there's room for both of us. I try to have some balance between thoughtful content and silly content. Heck, so do you.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:18 PM on July 11, 2000

Well they coulda said, "Since everyone is so curious - here's the deal..." but I'm glad they didn't. I mean it really is none of our business. They can opt to talk about it openly. That's their choice. It would take the fun out of it for me...

OR they could make up something and then stick to the lie and no one would know the difference. OR they could continue to let everyone wonder, OR they could drop it and the attention span of the Web will... Oh look! A butterfly!


What was ah sayin'?

Some people search the 'Net just for the work. That's cool. Some just wanna gossip. Some look for both. Some go for other stuff. Why should it offend if someone else hangs here for reasons that you don't?

...They do\would\might make a cute couple though. Ya gotta admit dat. Just wish the best for each of them regardless of the truth and enjoy the spectacle. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 9:28 PM on July 11, 2000

::: Well, you do your thing, and I'll do my thing. Luckily there's room for both of us. I try to have some balance between thoughtful content and silly content. Heck, so do you.

- true. true.
posted by Zeldman at 11:06 PM on July 11, 2000

Isn't freedom to be silly and trivial one of the essentials of freedom itself? One can't be free if one isn't free to laugh, joke, chat and relax. As the woman once said "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

All of us write about things that matter to us at various times. I doubt there is a single weblogger out there who doesn't get furious about an injustice and respond to it in a loud vociferous fashion. I have recently written a long tract on gay marriage and assimilationist politics. But I will also write a good amount about which summer blockbuster takes my fancy most. That's one of the great things about weblogging - it's an insight into someone's passions, whether they be flower-arranging or destabilising western democracy.

As to the prurient aspect to peering and speculating into other people's lives - well one makes decisions about what one puts into the public domain, on the assumption (and for some people HOPE) that people will comment and speculate on the same.

I've received a lovely e-mail from Meg in which she was more than cool about the whole thing, and basically said what I said above. As long as people are sensitive to the effect their words may have and are prepared to edit their copy if they have misjudged that effect, no one is hurt.

I completely respect people who disagree with me on this matter, but I fully hope that I, and other bloggers, operate appropriately according to their own consciences, bear in mind the opinions of others (particularly the subjects of their writing) and remain true to what they have written for the period that they believe themselves not to have acted innappropriately.
posted by barbelith at 9:03 AM on July 13, 2000

>one makes decisions about what one puts into the
>public domain, on the assumption (and for some
>people HOPE) that people will comment and speculate
>on the same.

I agree. But, there's a flip side to this as well. You took a passage from a personal email Meg sent to you and posted it on your site. Isn't she entitled to some privacy in regards to the contents of her private communications? When someone sends personal correspondance to someone else, isn't there an assumption of privacy there? It's probably legal (the Jerky Boys published two whole albums full of prank phone calls), but not very cool. People are going to stop sending you email if you make a habit out of posting it on your site for the whole world to read. I never send mail to Dave Winer for that very reason; he posts all that stuff to his site.
posted by jkottke at 12:32 PM on July 13, 2000

I don't know how to respond to that. I have made every effort to be good about all of this and do everything that I can, and I still seem to be subject to criticism after criticism. So you'll forgive me if I actually get a bit irritated at this stage.

1) I got a few really aggressive e-mails from three people about some of the stuff that I have written recently. First thing I did was write to Meg checking that she didn't have a problem with any of it. She didn't. You may know whether or not she is irritated with me for subsequently posting her message. If she is, then she should feel free to write to me and I will remove it. Or to post something about the subject and I will remove it.

In the meantime, I quoted a part that made no reference to anyone else, and let me off the hook. This stopped me getting further e-mails on the subject from the two or three people concerned and cooled things down considerably. My life would have been made considerably less stressful by a post from either Meg or yourself, which was not forthcoming - as is your right. But at a certain point I have to be able to say to people, "She's not angry!"

Were you comfortable with me summarising what she said? Or describing it? That requires as much discretion as choosing a "publishable" quote. In fact, if handled incorrectly, we all know that a summary can easily place a completely different light on what was talked about.

2) My policy on republishing e-mail: I *occasionally* post excerpts from people's e-mails on barbelith. When I do so, I do so responsibly. I never misquote, I never post anything even vaguely likely to drop the person who wrote anything in it. I just quote very specific innocuous passages. I am fully aware that people are uncomfortable with the posting of private correspondence on the web, and so only do so when I can't see any repercussions. It's the same amount of discretion that I take when talking about the people around me in my life on a public forum.

Regulars to my site have some sense of my ethics and what I believe in. Hard as this may be to believe, these people may in fact actually trust me not to screw them around, which may actually explain my continued influx of e-mail. I have been writing on the web through barbelith for approaching a year, and have been building sites and working on the net since 1993. I am not a newbie and I don't really need to be instructed in the finer points of net behaviour.

3) I have met every single criticism that has been levelled at me by return of e-mail, I have not posted any of this criticism in a public place. Although I may have behaved in a clumsy fashion, I don't think I have done anything immoral! I have tried to do my best through all of this.

4) Have you actually read the line I quoted? It is just a simple throwaway line from the end of an e-mail. It's just a vaguely interesting fluff piece!

I don't want to be snappy, but there has to be a limit as to how long I can be expected to sit here and accept and rationally talk through any criticisms that people have of me. If people have any more, I would ask them to approach me by e-mail first, where I will be pleased to amend any post that concerns them that might have caused offense. If I fail to live up to this, then I can't stop people posting in the public domain.

That's it. I've vented. Do your worst.
posted by barbelith at 3:39 PM on July 13, 2000

in response to the "fuck" para in this post:

I am available for fucking. Fuck work, there is fucking to be done.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:31 AM on July 14, 2000

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