Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Grand Illusion
Since I'm kind of taking the day off, I thought I'd resurrect one of my favorite series of pieces from DXM -- one that's only run once and has never been re-run or linked to again. It'll probably give relative newcomers an idea of my entire attitude when it comes to a lot (though not all) of what you read on this site and to life in general. Most of you probably remember the infamous "lonelygirl15" hoax that had every net-geek buzzing like a head full of Red Bull back in 2006. Well, this was my little response to that -- in two parts. You have no idea how many people actually believed what you're about to read.
"True Lies" (Originally Published, 9.14.06)
***ATTENTION***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
September 13th, 2006
From: Associated Press
On the heels of Creative Artist Agency's admission that the internet phenomenon known as "lonelygirl15" was nothing more than an elaborate hoax, we at the Associated Press regret to announce that in truth, the entire "lonelygirl15" scandal was itself nothing more than an elaborate hoax.
As you know, we are the leading source of information not only for the public at large, but for the hundreds of news organizations which inform the public, putting us in a unique -- and in this case unfortunate -- position to perpetrate a fraud of this magnitude.
This afternoon, thousands of media outlets -- newspaper, television, internet and radio -- reported that an internet "vlogger" known as "lonelygirl15," was in fact a nineteen-year-old actress named Jessica Lee Rose. The report claimed that the character Rose was playing had become an internet sensation, posting several videos on the popular "YouTube" website which detailed her day to day life. The reports also said that recently, viewers of the videos had begun to doubt the authenticity of them -- some setting out to uncover the truth about "lonelygirl15." The final twist supposedly came yesterday, with the reports claiming that the scam had been exposed as being the brainchild of three Hollywood screenwriters working with the powerful Creative Artists Agency.
In reality, the entire story about the hoax was the brainchild of a disgruntled Associated Press editor who enlisted the help of some college buddies to portray the screenwriters for television interviews. Far more importantly however, the editor -- who shall remain nameless -- paid several computer hackers to immediately flood the internet with sufficient past "lonelygirl15" videos and backstories (on sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia) so that anyone looking for information would find supposed facts dating back several months. Even the purported fans and skeptics were nothing more than hired actors.
In truth, no real people had ever heard of "lonelygirl15" until they heard the report on the news about her not being a real person.
Associated Press Vice President Harry Lime has issued the follwing comment in the wake of the fake scandal scandal:
"This is easily the most intricate scam perpetrated on the world since the unfulfilled promise of 'Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League.' We're terribly embarrassed, and we can't apologize enough to those who were duped... uh, twice."
Because no laws have technically been broken, the Associated Press plans to deal with this issue internally. No official punishment has been decided on -- although Senior Managers are contemplating forcing the editor to keep his job.
KILL DATE: September 15th, 2006
"A Message from Blogger.com" (Originally Published, 9.15.06)
PLEASE BE ADVISED
It has come to our attention that the person hosting this site is not in fact who he claims to be. An investigation by our internal auditors has determined that the personal profile of "Chez" is in fact false and his entire online identity is nothing more than an elaborate hoax.
For four months, "Chez" claimed to be a New York City resident employed as a television news producer. He also purported to be married to a woman named Jayne and often asserted his intention of becoming a full-time writer -- expounding at length about a supposed sordid past which included drug use, several failed relationships and the recent removal of a brain tumor.
In reality none of this is true.
In truth, "Chez" is a post-op transexual who writes and directs independent films under the name "Craig Baldwin." He is responsible for the 1992 film Tribulation 99, which alleged to have exposed the truth behind dozens of popular conspiracy theories. The film was a mixture of fact and fiction, though due to the rapid-fire editing and bizarre narration, it was almost impossible to tell which was which.
Before his operation, our investigators say he was a single, 38-year-old woman who enjoyed cosmopolitans and worked for a short time at the E! television network.
Supposedly "Chez" chose his false online persona after reading Bret Easton Ellis's Lunar Park, a novel whose main character is named "Bret Easton Ellis" -- a writer haunted by his past indiscretions who is married to a beautiful woman named Jayne.
Blogger regrets this deception and suggests that rather than patronize this particular site, you instead visit one of our other fine Blogger sites, such as this one.