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holdkris99's death was a hoax.
May 22, 2012 12:03 PM   Subscribe

So, we were lied to. The good news is that holdkris99 is fine, rather than dead. He's also banned, his wife's (?) account is banned, and they're not welcome back to Metafilter, ever.

Needless to say this is an incredibly shitty situation. We're furious that the community was lied to like this, that we were lied to, and that something as difficult as suicide and a survivor's grief was used as the premise for a cheap prank on the folks on this site.

We were contacted by either Marc's wife or Marc pretending to be his wife -- we honestly don't know which -- informing us that he had killed himself the previous weekend and asking for help figuring out what to do as far as letting the community know. Jessamyn corresponded with "her", setting her up with an account and explaining posting stuff and so forth. And then the mrs holdkris99 account posted this death announcement thread.

As mods, we're stuck being the house cynics even on deeply sad or troubling stuff; we give folks the benefit of the doubt and assume all else being equal that things are on the level, because they almost always are, but we also double-check things, and look into stuff when users bring worries to us. And there were some quietly worrying things in this case -- no easily-findable obituary notices, no aggregations of condolences on social media pages -- but none of that's a smoking gun. When we found a direct reference from one of Marc's friends to having hung out with him at an event several days after his alleged suicide, that meant we had to ask, even if it was a weird misunderstanding with similar names.

Whoever was responsible for the emails to us and for the mrs holdkris99 account acknowledged tersely at that point that it was a "bad experiment or joke or whatever carried too far". We've banned the account, and an apparent sockpuppet (which, we discovered while looking into this, was used at one point as a prop in Ask Metafilter to ask a question setting up a long "here's my crazy life experience story" answer from holdkris99), and we've removed the death notice from the holdkris99 account and closed the bullshit Metatalk death announcement thread.

We're sorry as hell this happened; it's frustrating to find out someone has lied to the Mefi community like this, and it's galling that they chose to lie about something as wounding as suicide when we've actually lost folks like Bill "null terminated" Zeller, and to lie about the struggle to deal with the death of a spouse when folks like mrbill have genuinely lived through that experience here.

We don't really care about the specifics of Marc or his wife's motivations or what they have to say about any of this. They've thoroughly burnt their bridges, and while it's just amazingly lousy for him or them to have done this, their involvement with this basically ends with the truth being outed here and them being no longer welcome on Metafilter.

I know a lot of you are going to be as frustrated and upset by the deception as we are, but I've always valued the fact that the Metafilter community has been decent about not taking stuff offsite or reacting nastily even when other folks act badly, and it's important to all of us on the mod team that that's the case here, too. If folks want to talk about what happened, this thread is the place to do it, and we'd prefer it stay here and that people check their anger or upset about this enough to take the high road and keep things reasonably cool in here and drama-free elsewhere on the internet.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 12:03 PM (1331 comments total) 129 users marked this as a favorite

Oh my god.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


People are really weird.
posted by karlos at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [36 favorites]


Hooooly shit. I sobbed about this, like seriously, big, sloppy tears. I don't know if I'm angry--just kind of shaking my head at myself for being so gullible.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [45 favorites]


Holy shit.
posted by barrett caulk at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2012


WOW

Well, didn't expect this.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Motherfuck that's some scandalous shit. What a goddamn tosser.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


....
Wow.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2012


Needless to say, we are beyond pissed and we're sure a lot of other people are too. We've been talking about the best way to approach this from a community perspective and this is what we decided on. Again, we're so sorry.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


WHAT?


No, seriously, WHAT????
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, huh. After coming back to the site after a period of time and finding nullterminated's suicide and balisong's death still on my mind frequently, the only thing I can think is I'm pleased he's alive and I'm pleased he's banned.
posted by boo_radley at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [80 favorites]


Man, it pisses me off so much when someone abuses the entire community like this. It reminds me of the anon suicide questions. For the first couple ones that came in years ago, I used to go to great lengths to talk people down from the ledge (literally). I talked with clinical psychology friends, sent emails filled with local help for them, and in some cases had a week or two of regular communication. Then some asshole decided to post a couple fake ones and thought it was funny when we went out of our way to help him and I came away from that experienced jaded at how low other humans can go for a "joke".

The Kaycee Nicole thing was one thing, but this one seems way closer to home. I actually felt like shit all last week (my grandfather dying the day before this suicide announcement didn't help) mostly because of the great stories that came from this user and I felt like we really lost someone worth knowing and I personally felt terrible that I corresponded with them shortly before their "death" and I actually turned down a big opportunity (to a very large audience) to write about the power of communities to help because I felt we couldn't help this user in this case and I wasn't feeling very confident about our community's ability to always save one another. We went out of our way for this user's "wife" and believed them.

We had some users talk about raising some funds to help the "wife" with the ordeal and a small voice in the back of my mind wanted to see an obit before we went any further than the MetaTalk post or even considered donations. I figured out the full name of the user and searched and searched area newspapers to no avail. We found some weirdness in some of their ask mefi posting (possibly sockpuppeting questions and answers) and that sort of pointed towards not trusting this as true until we had something more official.

The worst part is in the end, I'm a little more jaded than I was yesterday and the next time this actually happens, I know I'm going to be a bit more cautious at first and that kind of sucks. I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [270 favorites]


And, probably no one knows the answer to this, but re: the apparent sockpuppet, how much of holdkris99's entire narrative was just bullshit?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


I had a really bad feeling about this. That entire eulogy just struck me as ... a little too light-hearted and jokey to be real. At the time I chalked it up to defense mechanisms, though, because surely, what kind of piece of shit would fake their own suicide and sit back watching the real tears shed?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


D:
posted by hellojed at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2012


Seriously, what the fuck. That is just... such an awful thing to have done.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


And to clarify, mods, you did the absolute god-damn right thing in my sights, so no apologies needed, jess (probably best you handled it because I suspect that the rest of the communities' response would have involved words like "flaming" and "repeated" and "trebuchet").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [53 favorites]


Holy shit
posted by dirtdirt at 12:10 PM on May 22, 2012


> what kind of piece of shit would fake their own suicide and sit back watching the real tears shed?

Man, he really committed some serious hardcore felony larceny being able to read his own memorial service. Hope he can sincerely apologize.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. Some people suck.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.

I'm glad he's alive. And that his wife hasn't lost her husband and his children haven't lost a father. We have enough dead mefites.

But what the fucking fuck.
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


jessamyn: "Again, we're so sorry."

You all have nothing to be sorry for. Thanks for letting us know.
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [195 favorites]


Matt, I'm really sorry for your loss.

You mods shouldn't feel bad about this. Honestly, I'm not sure that anyone should. Thisfake death many soft spots for me (my husband has a BA and an MA in History! We have similar musical tastes!) and, well, if anything else the grief I felt is a testament to how much I love the people in my life. I don't think anyone should feel shitty for being empathetic.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Damn, I never thought I'd be pissed about having to remove someone from the list of deceased members on MetaFilter wiki.
posted by RichardP at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


> And to clarify, mods, you did the absolute god-damn right thing in my sights, so no apologies needed, jess

Just want to second this.

> Hope he can sincerely apologize.

Fuck his apologies. I hope life teaches him to feel shitty about it, and I hope he keeps it to himself.
posted by languagehat at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [55 favorites]


humans are really creepy and weird.
posted by elizardbits at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Thanks Richard. I just wandered over there to do it myself.
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on May 22, 2012


I . . . what? I saw the announcement in the other thread, and then read this one, and cannot believe it. I want to ask the mods if they're sure, if they're sure they are sure, because that is just cruel what holdkris99 did, but I know the mods are in fact sure (and have nothing to feel sorry about).
posted by jeather at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2012


Whoa. That is one seriously messed up human being.
posted by Cuke at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does a lifetime ban work exactly? Like, how do you know it's the same person again?

And what I really want to know is: This person sounds mentally ill to me. Why did they choose MeFi for their "experiment" and how did they know best how to set it all up in the long term? That sounds like someone who probably has a "real" account here.
posted by DU at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


The takeaway I got from that thread is that this is an amazing community full of people who have mostly never met, but still have nothing but love and support for each other. I never posted a note to that effect in the last thread because I didn't want to be all "YAY US," but half of the mist in my eyes reading it was from the knowledge that I, that we, had found a home. It sucks that someone would play such a joke on us, but it doesn't make the takeaway any less true.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [92 favorites]


What the hell?!

Perhaps in the future require an obit or death certificate?

Jesus, some people...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012


Damn, I never thought I'd be pissed about having to remove someone from the list of deceased members on MetaFilter wiki.

Or we could leave it there, but then write "ASS BUTT" next to it. I think it's what holdkris would have wanted.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [85 favorites]


Holy fuck!

I thought it was a little weird that holdkriss' wife was as florid and verbose as holdkriss was, but figured y'all would be on it if anything was truly wrong. Thank you guys for handling this so well, I'm glad you your noses were to the ground so that mine didn't need to be.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


You are the tops for outing it directly and concisely.

Mathowie - I understand that you can use a plastic bag to be a little less jaded. Cynical, fine. Suspicious, sure. Please don't be jaded.
posted by plinth at 12:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


> Why did they choose MeFi for their "experiment" and how did they know best how to set it all up in the long term?

Meth.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


I was momentarily angry, but I think I'm mostly sad, because, you know, there are a lot of people going through a lot of shit, and it's hard to reach out, and now some of them who do take that really hard step, I won't believe or I'll be skeptical about because I was deceived in this fashion. I'll be a slightly less generous and more cynical person.

Although I suppose to fake your suicide on a website you must be going through a lot of shit of some sort or another. I hope that whatever that shit was, seeing so many people genuinely mourn his fake death helps him in some way.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [23 favorites]


Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.

Bet there are several folks wishing they'd listened to that niggling negative instinct before they typed their hearts out to a literal fucking griefer.

UGH.

Mods, don't take the blame onto yourselves. That the search for veracity was almost immediate and the donation impulse was resisted is such a superb show of how much y'all care about protecting the community as a whole. Thanks for that.

And to the impersonator, the liar, the tugger-of-heartstrings? I wish upon them a perpetual writer's block and for all of their fine words to stay stuck at the tip of their tongue.
posted by batmonkey at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Holy crap. He totally got me. Totally.

Fucker.
posted by Malor at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a fan of a good epic troll so part of me is amused by this, but when you manipulate people with the grief button instead of just getting them riled up or annoyed like trolls usually do you are causing real pain to them for the sake of your own amusement which just kind of makes you a disturbing sort of sadist. It's kind of unsettling, nothing the mods could have done better or worse though, don't beat yourselves up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wow, that is all sorts of fucked up and weird.

On the other hand, I'm considerably more heartened by the outpouring of support in the suicide thread than I am disheartened by some really messed up trolling.
posted by griphus at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [71 favorites]


People are just the absolute worst.
posted by Jofus at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't beat yourselves up too badly. It happens. People are idiots. You all do wonderful wonderful work here on Mefi and it's been a big part of my online life for more than a decade. Thank you for everything, don't let this one get to you.
posted by Blake at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I had been thinking of these folks for the past few days, worrying about his family and all of the consequences of something so selfish. I'm glad he's alive, but I think I'd have a hard time respecting such a person if they were ever to show their face again. Good riddance.
posted by snapped at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2012


Also, this sort of thing used to happen a bit on LiveJournal. There's a community called "Fake LJ Deaths" which used to out accounts of people enaging in Munchausen's Syndrome by Internet bullshit on the site.
posted by zarq at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, as it turns out, I was actually CORRECT to wonder if he was lying about those stories. I felt like a schmuck days ago for doubting, and now I feel like even more of a schmuck for believing.

Words are powerful things, holdkris99, and you badly misused a talent.
posted by Malor at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. What really pisses me off here is now I can't believe the Green Bay Packer story, the MCA story, or any of the other awesome tales of holdkris99, even if they were true. Fuck.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [54 favorites]


"Call for Bruce. Bruce, please pick up the white courtesy phone."
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oddly enough I actually suspected this but didn't bother to mention it to anyone because I figured the mods would check it out eventually. The writing style of mrs holdkris99 was too close to holdkris99's, she knew about things like the dot convention on MetaFilter for deaths even though she claimed it was her first time reading the site, she didn't post the full name of holdkris99 or any info about a funeral for people who knew him, she directed donations to a major charity, etc. I actually felt kind of bad for thinking it was fake, and I'm definitely glad that it turned out that nobody actually died.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I know it won't happen, and I know it's a bad idea, but I really feel that the real-world identities of people like this should be exposed, just to protect everyone else who will ever deal with them. Sort of a "DANGER -- TOXIC PERSON" label.
posted by bitmage at 12:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I was not entirely convinced, but figured give them the benefit of the doubt, eh. No skin off my back.

Ironically, my husband checked himself into the hospital the other night, after several life stressors, and learning a high school classmate had died. Depressed and suicidal. He was too embarrassed to tell me.

Diagnosis: severe Vitamin D and B12 deficiency. I had been nagging him to take his D vitamins, as he'd run into this before, but I was still reeling over my recent life stressors. Fortunately, the psych doc was really good and is sending him home with some vitamin 'scrips after he gets a B12 shot.

Don't feel bad, Mathowie. I would rather you err on the side of being empathetic and human, rather than being jaded. It happens to the best of us, and well, we all gave some troubled human being a lot of empathy. Let's not stop now, just because they are mixed up and obviously in need of therapy. Keep on keeping on, no worries, Matt. Just get on your bike and ride it out. My Giant VIDA needs air in the tires and I just drank a glass of homemade 48 hours Welch's grape juice wine, or I'd join ya, Lad. ;-)

Next up is a quick apple cider, and this time I made sure my homemade airlock was secure (thank you, crazy glue!) and did some sterilization. Because like bad bacteria in yer wine, some people should not be allowed to reproduce. :-P
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [24 favorites]


And, probably no one knows the answer to this, but re: the apparent sockpuppet, how much of holdkris99's entire narrative was just bullshit?

I think you're right that it's basically an unknowable. It could be anywhere from totally straight and level storytelling except for a couple of really fucked up fabrications all the way to bullshit across the board. Which is frustrating not to know, but at this point the not-knowing has really been eclipsed for me by the not-caring that the big lie brings on. Someone shits on my kitchen table, i don't really care what color shoes they were wearing, etc.

I find it frustrating when people lie about stuff, but there are contexts where I can at least understand the motivation, the way bad circumstances or bad choices can make someone instinctively misrepresent when they're scared or out of their wits or something.

But stuff like this, I'll never really understand. This began with someone choosing to approach us as a bereaved spouse. It's the kind of thing that basically quashes in me any interest in further contact or further explanation. You don't do something like this, period. It's low and terrible and takes advantage of the best in people for cheap pranksterism.

So I don't think we can really know if his other fun comments were true or bullshit or somewhere in between. I just don't care now. I feel burnt. I don't know if he or they are having serious problems in their own life or if things are fine or what, and at this point I can't bring myself to want to risk even looking into it because I don't know how I could trust the answers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [45 favorites]


hmm. I wonder why they did this, other than to experience some perverted joy at the whole HAHA LOL U BELIEVED A THING ANOTHER PERSON SAID ON THE INTERNET thing .

may i present haha you believed me on the internet, and other poisonous ideas which are destroying the very notion of community. there it is, yep. how are we supposed to feel
posted by tehloki at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


this is the president of drama bombs THIS IS THE DRAMA OBAMA 08
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


How does a lifetime ban work exactly? Like, how do you know it's the same person again?

If they're sufficiently sneaky, then in theory we don't. There's no silver bullet. But what would motivate someone to come back after something like this, knowing they're not welcome, knowing what they did, and then take the precautions necessary to be unidentifiable both in terms of technical measures and voice, I don't know. It's sort of deeply doubtful, and I can only think of a couple times when we've had to deal with something like that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. My initial thought when I saw the MeTa was to wonder if it was a hoax, but then my brain connected the name with the person and buried that thought immediately - Someone who's such a great part of the community, who's invested himself that much in it, wouldn't jerk us around like that. There wasn't even a nagging doubt left - Marc was dead, and that was that. Ugh. I barely even talked to the guy, but I was still saddened by his "death," and this still stings.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow that's just a lousy thing to do.
posted by gomichild at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well whoever he is/she is/they are: Go Fuck Yourself.
posted by Big_B at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is seriously fucked up. I feel so disgusted knowing that this happened. Someone tried to take advantage of the community and that's really upsetting. I don't know what to say.
posted by livinglearning at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I did find myself thinking that some of the details of the story fit amazingly well with the lyrics to "One Sunday Morning" but it never occurred to me that was because they/he made up those details to fit. Fucker(s). I was feeling bad that I would think of his suicide every time I heard that song, now I'll just think of how we were duped.
posted by octothorpe at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ugh. This really sucks. I was very emotional about a guy I never knew too. But I'm not sorry for opening myself up to grief or share in a moment with a community I truly value. Those things are authentic no matter what this person fabricated. So cheers MetaFilter, and all the really decent human beings that are members.
posted by Kimberly at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [20 favorites]


Sick. That fleeting moment of doubt triggered by internet death announcements will be a few seconds longer in my mind from now on, but I'll try not to default to expecting the worst from people :-( I did expect that if it was BS, the Mefi detective squad would out it sooner than later. Thanks mods.
posted by superna at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even despite this I think the original comment thread speaks volumes about the community. Y'all did good, the fact that the proximate cause was a jerk doesn't in any way negate that.
posted by Skorgu at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


Wow. That is just pure flaming enormous unadulterated piles of fucking BULLSHIT.

Yet I'm still left with a small happy place in my heart to know that someone isn't dead and that someone's family isn't going through this pain. I'd rather add another chip to the "people can be assholes" pile than to the one for "good people who are gone to soon."

But, man, fuck that guy and/or his wife sideways.
posted by MsMolly at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


There's definitely nothing to be ashamed of on MeFi's part. The community did everything right in the situation given the information at hand.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good grief. Human beings will forever baffle me.
posted by Usher at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012


I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that.

This. It's like there is a type of person that is basically totally untrustworthy, and resents that other people trust each other. But if they can convince everyone else that trust is never safe, they win!
posted by bitmage at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [35 favorites]


I'm still left with a small happy place in my heart to know that someone isn't dead and that someone's family isn't going through this pain.

That's assuming that there is a family to begin with. And damn [whoever] for making me need to say that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


i'm sad because i thought it was fake. not that it sounded fake or i wanted it to be fake. i thought it was fake because this happened one too many times. and my heart really goes out to the mods who probably feel similarly and therefore do what they can to verify.
posted by Avenger50 at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012


Holy fucking shit.
posted by medusa at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012


What kind of weird-ass fucked-up power trip were these people on messing with the emotions of so many kind people?
posted by mareli at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


what the fucking fuck?
posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2012


I wonder why they did this, other than to experience some perverted joy

Honestly, and this may just be projection, I can imagine having a shitty enough life that the affirmation and encouragement you get when you divulge bits of that shitty life make you feel just a little bit better about yourself for a moment, and I can also imagine the sort of issues one might have that would make one want to be done with a community like Metafilter and decide to go out in the most self-aggrandizing and public and loud way possible-- a way which also invites a lot of genuine outpouring of kindness and goodwill in that same form of temporarily-taking-away-the-shitty-feeling. In other words, this wasn't necessarily trolling for lulz, and I do hope holdkris99 is okay. I also hope he learns that doing this sort of thing is incredibly fucked up and cruel.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [51 favorites]


not. cool.
posted by mrbill at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Welcome to the mind of a sociopath. This won't be the last time.
posted by Ardiril at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


It's sort of deeply doubtful, and I can only think of a couple times when we've had to deal with something like that.

I get the feeling, based on past comments and history that one of the things that holdkriss99 was looking for was some sort of "oh wow" adulation from a bunch of people. There is no way that someone with that writing style and a penchant for those sorts of stories could show back up here without people jumping all over them, especially once we'd checked the IP addresses and whatnot. We've maybe had two people ever that I can think of who have done variants on that and we made it very clear to them that they're not welcome back here for any reason ever. Did not hear back from them after that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey mods, if you don't mind sharing, what was the sockpuppet and the question used a foil?
posted by Blasdelb at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What really pisses me off here is now I can't believe the Green Bay Packer story,

Yep. That story brought me to tears too. That shit is probably all fake. Whatever. You're probably reading this, so go fuck yourself, holdkris99.
posted by King Bee at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


I don't know if he or they are having serious problems in their own life or if things are fine or what, and at this point I can't bring myself to want to risk even looking into it because I don't know how I could trust the answers.

And I don't see why you'd need to make the effort, either. This goes a bit beyond simple trickery - it's a form of emotional manipulation, and had the express purpose of making those who knew him feel terrible about him having gone. We had people crying real tears up in here, people who felt like shit for days afterwards. Problems at home? Meth? Really bad at comedic timing? It doesn't fucking matter. This is just one of those places you do not go.

Also, I don't know why the staff should feel compelled to apologize. What could you have done, asked for the death certificate to be faxed over? Forget about it, there's nothing for any of you to be sorry for.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Man, rereading that MeTa, and that whole paragraph about all the mefites he loved and how great this community was, I can't help but think, we got played big time. Eff you, man, and how dare you drag the name of good community contributors into this to make your dumb hyperfiction more vivid and emotionally poignant.

Now I'm angry. Sigh.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter is such an intimate and generally pretty great community that it's easy to forget that everything you read online is probably bullshit until proven otherwise. I had forgotten that, and like everyone else here I was utterly played. Fuck holdkris99 for the obvious reasons, of course, but fuck him for making it that much harder to believe anyone from now on who might really be going through such a tragedy.
posted by theodolite at 12:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Marie Mon Dieu: "48 hours Welch's grape juice wine"

You know, this whole thing is terrible, but for me, it was all worth it to discover this. Thanks Marie Mon Dieu!
posted by Grither at 12:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yeah, whomever was posting as holdkriss has a pretty distinctive style and I certainly will be keeping an eye out for it with a mind towards the contact button.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


huh. wow. I bawled my eyes out when I read the suicide notice. It triggered all kinds of amazing thoughts in my since I haven't been doing so hot myself. Now I'm all sorts of numb about it. People suck.
posted by patheral at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I cried real tears.

Fucking bastards.
posted by deezil at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey mods, if you don't mind sharing, what was the sockpuppet and the question used a foil?

I'd like to know the sockpuppet's identity too, please. If you would rather say it by memail, that's okay. But now I want to know if I ever interacted with it on the site. :(
posted by zarq at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lets all do something really positive and life-affirming to wash this out of our mouths
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [91 favorites]


Likewise.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2012


What a revoltin development.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


what was the sockpuppet and the question used a foil?

We're sort of done with this publicly right now. It's pretty obvious if you look through holdkriss's heavily-favorited comments, or just MeMail us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, you could consider a "MeFi death sentence" for him -- remove everything he's ever posted here. Throw all that attention-whoring into the bit bucket.
posted by Malor at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [19 favorites]


I mean likewise, I'd like to know who the sockpuppet was.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2012


Ah, saw jessamyn's comment, nvm.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2012


That's truly unbelievable. I mean, he wasn't the most prolific commenter, but 300+ comments, a few posts, and thousands of favorites over six years of being here? Who the hell does that?

It makes me think that the occasionally (but not seriously?) discussed option of creating a "Shun" mode would be something extraordinarily rare in use for extreme cases like this or other hoax users. Maybe the best punishment would have been to have left his account enabled, but with a 'shun' flag such that all his comments and posts would be invisible to anyone on Metafilter except himself. Every story he told, regardless of whether it was true or not... no one would ever see it, or favorite it, but he wouldn't actually know that he had become invisible, except when he realized no one responded to him, no one favorited his "life stories".

Somehow that metaphorically makes a certain karmic sense in my head- you want to play at fake suicide? Well, here's what you get, pal.

But I guess I'm mostly getting old enough that I'm entering that stage where you have less interest in really punishing anyone anymore; you just want to walk away and forget about them. Still... what an incredible dick move.
posted by hincandenza at 12:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


On the plus side, I am now feeling good about myself to think that however crazy I am, my particular brand of crazy does not involve fucking over and emotionally manipulating thousands of people on the internet.
posted by medusa at 12:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [80 favorites]


As mods, we're stuck being the house cynics even on deeply sad or troubling stuff; we give folks the benefit of the doubt and assume all else being equal that things are on the level, because they almost always are, but we also double-check things, and look into stuff when users bring worries to us.

This is how I know I'm still very naive about the internet. I never thought that this would be necessary. It never crossed my mind for an instant that this could be fake. I'm glad there are people looking out for the community here, but I'm sorry there has to be.
posted by gladly at 12:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


While it pisses me off that someone was lame enough to do this, I am proud that the Metafilter community is kind and compassionate enough to truely be concerned for the "wife's" welfare. Many people here have gone through similar experiences, know how heavy the burden of grief can be, and hate to hear another person is going through the same thing. We remember that there are actually people behind the words typed on the screen. We have a good thing here. We shouldn't let one idiot ruin it.
posted by random thoughts at 12:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


HOLY MOTHERFUCKING WHAT
posted by Space Kitty at 12:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


humans are really creepy and weird.
People are just the absolute worst.

Sometimes they can do really creepy and weird things, true, and they can bring out the worst in themselves and others. What holdkris99 did was sick, sad, and grotesque. But this reflects on his profound personal damage -- not on humanity as a whole.

Because as we saw unfold in real time, people also have the capacity for extraordinary care, love, compassion, generosity, and tenderness. Metafilter's response showed that people can be incredible. In the face of what we thought was a very real tragedy, people responded here with the absolute best.

The most tragic thing about this is not that we got trolled. It's that this troll has made it potentially so much more difficult for someone in genuinely bad circumstances to reach out to us, and to be taken seriously.

I was really fucking upset by this (especially after getting called out as holdkris's "favorite"!), and it added tremendous anxiety and sorrow to what was already a rough week, healthwise (my body had a belated imflammatory reaction to the tests 2 weeks ago to make sure my cancer was still in remission, and for 72 hours I was in some of the most excruciating physical pain I've been in since I was still in treatment). I don't know why he decided to target me specially, but I don't know why he did any of this, really.

I can only hope my compassion hasn't been compromised by this -- and I hope others haven't had theirs compromised either. That, I suspect, is what this troll was hoping to accomplish -- to mock and diminish the very idea of empathy and human connection. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work. I think that's what will piss him off the most.
posted by scody at 12:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [260 favorites]


Fucking hell. This is something I'd expect on other sites, but not here. That is so beyond the pale, I can't even find the appropriate thing to say. I'm glad other people are more gracious than I.
posted by saturnine at 12:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity," said Honore De Balzac.
posted by Lynsey at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


Anyone who feels pushed to the edge or driven to question their threads of existence by this, please do follow the prior exhortations to reach out.

I, for one, am always going to default to being supportive and helping people find the right resources for their mindset.

Don't let someone's rotten ego gorging hold you back from seeking help!
posted by batmonkey at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


I definitely support a one-time deletion of all his content on the site, or at least the long multi-favorited stories. FUCK THIS GUY FOR BRIEFLY MAKING ME FEEL THINGS AGAIN
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"remove everything he's ever posted here. Throw all that attention-whoring into the bit bucket."

That would not be worth the energy required. The existence of this thread is reward enough for those with this mindset.
posted by Ardiril at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2012


I was really fucking upset by this (especially after getting called out as holdkris's "favorite"!

I still think you're tops, scody, and I'm like 80 percent sure I'm real!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [104 favorites]


I can't help but think, we got played big time

On the other hand, if this person's "victory" consist of having made a bunch of people say kind things, well... okay. You sure got us, dude! We are kind to people in apparent pain! Yeowch - it really stings to realize that!
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [142 favorites]


For me, unless someone is asking for money, donations, etc, then if people want to be "that" asshole for a joke, rise, or sympathy, whatever. If someone asks for sympathy or wants to vent their story, or hell, even says how depressed, suicidal they are, etc. I say let them. You never know when it's ultra serious, flippant, or maybe just the (crazy) mood at the moment. While I have never resorted to outright lies to gain support (and never would), I have used the internet to tell about my crazy life, fears, and just needing to hear a stranger's voice to make it better.

I'm far from justifying this cruel act that happened, but for me not to put faith in someone's post or to listen to someone grieve, cry, or just vent, I still will.*

I'm sad to hear that someone needed to do this for whatever reason. I see it as their loss and not ours.

I still like you crazy bunch of mugs.

*This is not an endorsement for "bring on the crazy, gullible" magnet. I have enough shit in my life to deal with. :)
posted by stormpooper at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Some words of solace:

This is why some philosophies both new and old talk about "Being here, now".

Let it go. It was an incredibly shitty thing to do to people, but if you can, just let it go. The sooner you let it go, the less you're going to be scarred by it, the less jaded you'll be, and the easier it will be to reach out and help when someone is really in danger.
posted by loquacious at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [41 favorites]


Christ, what FUCKING ASSHOLES.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I still think you're tops, scody, and I'm like 80 percent sure I'm real!

please that kilt is totally make believe.
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I realize that an actual sitewide memory-holing of holdkris' comments would probably be a bad idea, but maybe de-sidebar the MCA story?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


My reaction to the whole thing is, "Who?"

One of the few times in life being a cold, heartless, unfeeling bastard is actually a comfort.

That's not to heap scorn on anyone who's been burned. I've read The Media Equation (short version: Media = Real Life). But it's kind of a cold reminder that we don't really know anyone here. The same thing holds for "real life"/meatspace, but I guess it's just harder to pull off.

"We won't get fooled again," but perhaps it's better to be the fool, perpetually trusting, perpetually vulnerable, but at least able to feel?
posted by Eideteker at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


... whoah.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012


I hope they can find the help they so clearly need.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:37 PM on May 22, 2012


Oh, and Matt, I'm so sorry about your grandfather. Sending you and your family love.
posted by scody at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


I read the first post and my first thought was bullshit, we were being trolled. So at first I didn't post a comment expressing my condolences. The post stayed around, and gathered many comments so then I figured I better say something nice. I swear I smelled troll a mile away though.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fucking asshole(s).
posted by klausness at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012


I spent several hours the other night, showing my non-MeFite wife the obit thread and several of holdkris' comments, and telling her what an amazing place this is and the kinds of people that come here. This is like a punch to the stomach.

Some clarity, if anybody can give it: is this someone who made up the suicide thing, and the comments referenced are real? Or is it the case that the Packers story was made up, too, and Little Granny didn't exist either? Is holdkris99 in on the deception, or a victim of it?

Either way, this sucks.
posted by jbickers at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012


People are the best. No, not this lying asshole. But my friends who deal with people like him so that we can have good things on the internet, and have communities where we're able to trust each other. Thanks for being wonderful, MeFi mods!
posted by anildash at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [54 favorites]


What zarq said. Holy fuck. Well done to the mod team for sniffing it out and then posting the update, you all have no blame in this.
posted by arcticseal at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2012


jessamyn: I get the feeling, based on past comments and history that one of the things that holdkriss99 was looking for was some sort of "oh wow" adulation from a bunch of people.

When favourites just won't suffice.

Anyway, I have to wonder if someone that fucked in the head hoped to be caught just so he could then see how people here would react.
posted by gman at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, some good news - I found this thread because of this experience. How the fuck did I miss this?
posted by snapped at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to say, I didn't suspect anything at the time, because people are strange, and maybe they don't have anything better to do than bear their soul to a bunch of strangers on the internet just after they've buried their spouse.

I was really fucking upset by this (especially after getting called out as holdkris's "favorite"!)

I feel for you, scody, because the whole business is really creepy. Was his flattery of you truthful, or was that another lie as well? Not that you'd care what the scumbag thinks, but I suspect that bit was truthful, and that he really does hold you in high esteem. So now I'm wondering how he must feel about himself, knowing that people who he did think highly of recognize him as a narcissistic sociopath?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


perhaps it's better to be the fool, perpetually trusting, perpetually vulnerable, but at least able to feel?

That has always been my perspective.

Greg Nog and scody you'll be happy to know that you are both Verified as Real™ by me personally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [57 favorites]


300+ comments, a few posts, and thousands of favorites over six years of being here? Who the hell does that?

A sock puppet of course, which means that s/he may still be around.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


bleh. I said I didn't know him on Metafilter in the eulogy post, and now I'm glad I don't.

Hugs for everyone. What an incredibly inconsiderate thing to do.

Could it have influenced by drugs? Like something that made them think: te-he-he let me pull the biggest joke on mefi ever!

I guess I'm just trying to find reasoning on why someone would do something like that.
posted by royalsong at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


scody, you'll always be my favorite, and thanks.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [45 favorites]


Wow. I'm ... I don't even know what I am.

I cried actual tears over that previous thread. And now I'm supposed to be what? Angry at him/them? Embarassed for having been duped? Glad I had that moment of compassion and then sad that it was snatched away again?

I don't even know.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, Matt, I'm sorry for your loss. And to all of the mods, thank you for being cynical on our behalf. Y'all are fucking awesome and I'm sorry you get stuck with that part of the shit work. Again, I wish there was an internet protocol that would let me send you all nice hot cups of tea.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since there probably won't be any sort of death notice for me when I go, I'm just going to give a status check every once and a while.

10th RegimentStatus Check: Still not dead.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


Well, that really sucks. Glad he is not dead, but the motivation behind doing such a thing is just beyond me; like a lot of others I'm completely baffled. That he/they took such a serious and terrible thing as suicide and used it to manipulate others is just loathsome. In particular the "coming back to the thread and saying things about what others posted" thing strikes me as extra shitty behavior.

No matter what, though, I think MetaFilter as a whole came off very well through all of this. The mods for doing their jobs well (nothing to apologize for), and so many members for being supportive, eloquent, and willing to help someone they didn't know. You guys rock! Or, on preview, what scody said!
posted by gemmy at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, and I had just started relistening to Wilco due to that MeTa. Way to ruin a nice song with the negative connotations it now holds, jerkliar.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate it when someone takes advantage of my good nature. But the alternative is to be perpetually skeptical which I am not willing to do.

Flagged and moved on. Fuck them.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thanks to the scooby mod gang for figuring this out and for the update. You are all fantastic.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


"if someone that fucked in the head hoped to be caught"

Possibly, but more likely either he had another scheme in mind for The Grand Reveal, or he was truly done with this site and had moved on.
posted by Ardiril at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm just going to read my favorite scody story again until I calm down
posted by The Whelk at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


That MeTa post the other day really upset me. I mean, I had to get up and take a walk to pull myself together. Now I'm all happy/angry/sad and I feel like someone wrote sucker on my forehead so people could see me coming.
posted by DaddyNewt at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2012


Whoah.
It never for a second entered my mind that it might be fake.
I feel pretty stupid now, sitting there all sad at my computer. YOU GOT ME!

It's funny, I was thinking a few days after initially reading that thread that "If We Were Boxes" was a great title and was going to MeMail his wife (or whoever it was) and ask if it wasn't totally weird or inappropriate to make a song based on it.
I think I'm just going to take that title. And it's going to mean something very different now.
posted by chococat at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I make up a lot of imaginary people in writing in comics, and I'm always struck by how real people find ways to be shittier and more venal than I'd be comfortable making up.
posted by COBRA! at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


I was extremely reluctant to question the authenticity of the whole affair while it was happening, out of fear of being disrespectful, but the truth is, I found the wife's attitude toward the whole event more than a little...flippant. I was a little bit ashamed of myself, but I found the whole situation fishy.

Instincts, folks. Listen to them.
posted by stroke_count at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, in the responses we saw the best of Mefi, and I'll remember that.

And from that thread I'll also remember that behind the usernames we see here there are real people. Sometimes real troubled people that need help, sometimes downright weird and incomprehensible people.
posted by philipy at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could it have been Mike Daisey?
posted by Toekneesan at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I guess I'm just trying to find reasoning on why someone would do something like that.

Probably some tired, Kaufmannesque idea about faking one's own death and a general appeal for attention. It's not at all uncommon, sadly, as the LJDeaths link posted upthread testifies.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2012


That thread got me to post my first comment on metafilter. Now I just want to get this bitter taste out of my mouth.
posted by The World's End at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does this mean MCA can be undeaded now too? Because the celestial jam session is getting crazy crowded of late, and when he hears that story he was told might have been a lie, he's gonna be pissed enough to come back down here anyway.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Greg Nog is real because he endured my insane driving through darkened Chester County roads, a terrific dinner, and he petted my kitties. <>
As for the subject at hand: I'm stunned, and I can't even begin to relate to the the mentality needed to do this to a community, but, as said above, I am proud to be part of a community that is so free with its love, even if it means getting hurt for it once in a while.

I love y'all.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Could it have influenced by drugs?

I wonder if some of the earlier stories were legit, but then he started on Bruce again.
posted by Melismata at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Since I was small I've never understood folks who think it is funny and you are stupid if you believe their lie. It's why I've never enjoyed those "gotcha" shows where an unsuspecting person is set up in a crazy situation. But that has not stopped me from showing concern for other people or believing their stories, because without compassion and empathy, I would feel my life was very empty.

So, thank you mods for being our watchdogs. And keep caring. Mathowie, I am very sorry for your loss.
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2012 [28 favorites]


loq, as always, says what I'm thinking. This community can be a wonderful, compassionate family, and that's to our credit.

Let it go. We don't live in holdkris99's head, and it's an impossible contortion to try to figure it out. Don't rent him/her space in your head.
posted by catlet at 12:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm glad he's alive. And that his wife hasn't lost her husband and his children haven't lost a father.

Yeah, if they exist.
posted by John Cohen at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


the lie is baffling. I almost wish the ban hadn't happened so that the person behind holdkriss might maybe try to explain what they were thinking. Clearly he/she is a writer of some sort; maybe they got caught up in the heady thrill of people liking their stories and spiralled into a vortex of deception from which they felt fake suicide was the only option.
posted by felix at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't sweat it scody, you're still the bomb.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


[This is my sockpuppet account]

I just want to say, you fucking assholes holdkriss99 and wife or whatever, that I believed you. That I have been struggling with depression and have been considering suicide myself. That your stupid fucking post sent me to the therapist, made me have a horrible fight with my husband and completely ruined these last days. Obviously I went trough it, but I have no words...no words. Reading your blatant lie, believing it. You guys fucked with my head.

I hope you read this. I am actually crying in anger right now.
posted by ADent at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [77 favorites]


I'd like to go on the record as saying 'fuck that noise' so if y'all ever catch me pulling any of that bullshit you can point to this comment for extra layers of hypocrisy and shame.

Serously, fuck that noise.
posted by Think_Long at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012


Also, I'd never actually noticed holdkris99 before the death thread, but looking back at his posts, I'd be astonished if he hasn't been trolling us for ages.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know, you could consider a "MeFi death sentence" for him -- remove everything he's ever posted here. Throw all that attention-whoring into the bit bucket.

Not something we're going to do, no. I get the instinct, it sucks in a way to have all this stuff suddenly thrown into serious doubt and have it there as a reminder that someone did something cruel like this to the community, but creating a big hole in the continuity of the site won't fix anything. This thread's about as clear a response to what went down as anything could be, and we'll just leave it at that and accept the whole weird record of events as part of the history of the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I bet the Beastie Boys basketball story is bullshit too. Maybe remove it from BestOf?
posted by exogenous at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Let me find a positive in this, even though it's all hypothetical.

Earlier today we had a question asking how a user could keep getting their meds. I don't think it's a big stretch that seeing the reaction of the community that gave them the courage to trust that MeFi would be helpful.

Sure, it's a dick move. A huge one. Or should I say small one because having a huge dick would be good? Either way, it's time to just let it go and know that overall this community is a great place and the good people far outnumber the bad.
posted by theichibun at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012


And one other note: the fact that people reacted in such an incredibly human and moving fashion to the lie, even though it was a lie, is a wonderful thing. Because suicides do happen every day; people in bad circumstances do need help. Don't feel bad for being manipulated, feel happy you are a fully functioning human being.
posted by felix at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


300 comments? 6 years? Pfffft. Newb.

And nothing of value was lost.
posted by rusty at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does this mean MCA can be undeaded now too?

Maybe we could arrange some sort of exchange.

I'm 100% agreed on scody being awesome, by the way.
posted by ODiV at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you for sharing this information. I talked about the post to so many people - about how it moved me, etc. Now I have chills for a different reason and very different feelings. Definitely not your fault. People are people, and do things for reasons we can never understand.
posted by anya32 at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2012


To everyone who feels duped and embarrassed that they were genuinely affected by this:

Remember that there is no shame in caring.

In my eyes, you are a fantastic person who has a heart. I would much rather associate with people who cry over lost life then lying attention getters any day.
posted by royalsong at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [49 favorites]


Okay, now that I've stopped swearing.

I want to publicly hold Scody's words up to the light, because she's right again.

That, I suspect, is what this troll was hoping to accomplish -- to mock and diminish the very idea of empathy and human connection. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work.

Amen. I'm going to do my damndest to do the same.

God, this is such a shitty thing to do, but I'm not going to let it turn me into the SysAdmin version of House. I've been too close to that point before. Fucking trolls are *not* getting my humanity.

My sympathy is for MeFi as a whole, and the Mods in particular, who have to deal with this.

It is so easy to be callous and cold hearted on the Internet, esp. after a troll of this magnitude has struck. Matt, Jessamyn, Josh, and the mods I can't name spend a huge amount of this site, and this sort of thing is a huge fuck you to them, and to all of us.

Well, guys. I'm fucking glad your here. We've been together over a decade, and I don't think this can truly break us.

And mods? I'm really glad your here, and I am deeply thankful for the time you put in every day, for years, to make and keep this, well, frankly amazing site going. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this, and that someone could make being a mod such hell, but I'm imagining a world without you guys, and it's ugly.

Thanks. Thanks again and again -- even the few times I disagree with you, I'm glad you guys are out there, even when you have to uncover the mother of all ban hammers, or actually, especially when you have to.

MetaFilter: Fuck you, trolls, this is the best of the web.
posted by eriko at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [54 favorites]


As someone who has lost loved ones to suicide and recently came painfully close to losing another: Fuck. this. asshole.

Suicide is not a funny funny joke. It leaves holes in lives that never, ever go away.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [19 favorites]


Greg Nog and scody you'll be happy to know that you are both Verified as Real™ by me personally.

Pssh. Yeah, but you're probably a robot, Jessamyn. I mean, a librarian who also rocks the Internet? Like those exist.
posted by MsMolly at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder if some of the earlier stories were legit, but then he started on Bruce again.
posted by Melismata at 3:48 PM on May 22 [+] [!] No other comments.


Rereading the MeTa, and his posts, I think it was 100% bullshit. Dude liked experimental literary fiction. I think this was an experimental literary fiction. Of course his "wife" was an "independent spice saleswoman" who made her own hours so she could sit around talking about Mefites. Bet he got a big laugh about that one at our expense.

Whatever. I still love you guys.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


So. My sister is a methamphetamine addict and dealing with her is so, so difficult. It is gut-wrenching, truly the hardest thing I have ever dealt with my life. She is intense and demanding and off-kilter and violent and abusive and meth has completely killed her basic cognitive skills and short-term/long-term memory which makes every communication with her that much more difficult. When I talk to her about something that happened ten minutes ago she's angry and unsettled because she doesn't remember what I'm referring to. Eight or so months ago she called our mother and said I am pregnant and homeless and I promise I'm not using, can I please come home? Can I please please come home? And my mother said, "I have to think about it" and then she hung up and never called her back. So, when you get to the place in your life when your mother does that you, you're a pretty difficult person, right?

Anyway. My sister is a homeless crazy meth addict with a two-year-old daughter and a newborn and three other kids she hasn't laid eyes on in years and fucking holdkris99 kept giving me HOPE by being articulate, recovered, and kind and in that sense, I guess it doesn't surprise me at all that he was a total fraud. Of course it's not possible to reach that point in your life and return to yourself with grace and intelligence. I don't know what I was thinking.
posted by kate blank at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [52 favorites]


I want my . back.
posted by 4ster at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


Ah, Matt, I'm sorry for your loss. And sorry to the mods, too; I've had to do the cleanup on other communities for things like this, it's never fun when it's real or fake.
posted by tilde at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012


Damn, this is beyond shitty. What a complete fucking asshole of a person.
posted by daydreamer at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012


fake suicide: not even once!
posted by thelonius at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow. What the fuck. That is shitty.

After I read the original MeTa I went for a walk with a friend. I've been going through some of my own mental health struggles lately and was pretty struck by the thread so I asked a friend out for a walk was just like, "shit, this guy on this website I love - he killed himself - listening to Wilco" and we had this long, intense talk about it and holy. fucking. shit. this is so shitty.

No fault of the mods. But damn. Some people. Hard to believe.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the bright side, MeFi has once again been outed as a community of intelligent and sensitive people who care about strangers on the internet, run by mods who are awesome and care deeply about the integrity of the site.

Also: We have a Whelk.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [53 favorites]


Of course his "wife" was an "independent spice saleswoman"

I thought that was so weird! But I didn't want to judge! Also I couldn't believe that she could write such a coherent post just a few days after something so horrible, but you can't really underestimate people.

So in sum I was duped. What a jerk. I don't have a lot of sympathy right now, even if he/she was doing it to soothe some sort of inner pain.
posted by sweetkid at 12:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


What the actual fuck. I sort of want to know more about how this was found out to be fake, and about who posted the fake suicide announcement and what the fuck they were thinking. I don't suppose it really means much, though. Condolences, mathowie, and thank you to the mods.
posted by FrauMaschine at 12:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


At any rate, it's good that this thread is showing up as the first Google result for his username.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I congratulate the mod team on their dedication to the Truth. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, just to clarify, everyone is interpreting "independent spice saleswoman" as "sold bags of weed" right?
posted by griphus at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [70 favorites]


but the truth is, I found the wife's attitude toward the whole event more than a little...flippant.

I thought that too, but then people all sorts of weird after a major death, and some people end up with what to me are completely inappropriate senses of humor. So I figured... eh, okay.

I'm not sorry I took it as genuine but I'm shocked and hurt anyway.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do hope that holdkris99 and all assorted sockpuppets and subsidiaries don't have any plans to submit his collected MetaFilter writings (with headnotes describing the community reactions) to McSweeneys, or, Cthulhu forbid, to seek an actual book deal from this. That would not be amusing, to put it mildly.

Also, I agree that the mods are fantastic and have nothing for which to apologize, that scody is 100% awesome, and that for all of our periodic squabbling, this is still one of the kindest communities I know, on the internet or off.

On preview: Oh, ADent.
posted by bakerina at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, but now I am.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I guess I'm just trying to find reasoning on why someone would do something like that.

What I always wonder whenever I encounter these elaborate internet deceptions is: why do they bother? I lack the desire to carry out something like this, but even more than that, I lack the patience.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Rereading the MeTa, and his posts, I think it was 100% bullshit.

Except the meth bit. I think that's true. I think he was one of those ridiculous drug users who achieve nothing in real life, but believe that they're clever than everybody else.

So he'd sit up all night, tweaking, and crafting these long posts to metafilter describing the person he wishes he was, rather than the loser he actually is.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


I am systematically removing the few favorites that I gave that bastard, if only because I suspect he'll notice.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


mathowie: " I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that."

From watching the way you've run this site, offhandedly mentioned that you contributed to causes like "Donors Choose", and helped out various mefites over the years simply because you could, as far as I'm concerned you've shown yourself repeatedly over the years to be a mensch of the first order. Committing acts of kindness for others when we can, for no other reason than it's the right thing to do, is one of the very best qualities of humanity, not the worst.

If people try to emotionally manipulate you for it, or mess with you in other ways, then that's their karma and psychological baggage to deal with in this life, not yours. And it does not reflect on you or your character in any but the best of ways that you were concerned when faced with a tragedy, and tried to help.
posted by zarq at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [43 favorites]


Please accept my condolences on the loss of your grandfather, Matt. And to Scody, girl, I hope you're feeling much better, because you have a whole dang internet community pulling for you! ♥
posted by Lynsey at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fucked up people like this onmetafilter really make me appreciate my boring life. Who the hell does shit like this.
posted by GuyZero at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reading all of the shock and outrage in this thread, I'm kinda struck by the thought "This is the bloody internet." This isn't real life. Why should anyone be surprised or outraged that someone punks a website. It's not hacking, per se, but it's hacking none the less.

The mods have a hard time of regulating in what is still very much a Wild West.
posted by three blind mice at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


And another episode of MetaFilter history passes into legend.

P.S. Fuck that guy.
posted by Scientist at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


griphus: "Wait, just to clarify, everyone is interpreting "independent spice saleswoman" as "sold bags of weed" right?"

I actually know an independent spice woman. My wife knows her better. I still need to get a new thing of pepper from her and remember not to break the top this time.
posted by theichibun at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Of course it's not possible to reach that point in your life and return to yourself with grace and intelligence. I don't know what I was thinking.

Don't let that asshole ruin your hope. I have two friends who are recovering meth addicts - one is now a freelance photog, the other is the financial officer for a mid-sized health care company. And trust me, they had reach the point of being gibbering, sociopathic monsters before getting to where they are now. Never let the pricks get you down.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [24 favorites]


I do hope that holdkris99 and all assorted sockpuppets and subsidiaries don't have any plans to submit his collected MetaFilter writings (with headnotes describing the community reactions) to McSweeneys, or, Cthulhu forbid, to seek an actual book deal from this. That would not be amusing, to put it mildly.

You know, the irony is that I was thisclose to proposing we all take that "family slang word" thread and expand it and the whole thing into a book that could be sold for charity to donate to a suicide-prevention group as a memorial.

But fuck that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


For fuck's sake. Didn't know the guy, just thought that MCA post was awesome and his 'wife's' story was sad and now I feel like a I've fallen for a 411 scam, only with feelings instead of money. Whoever you really are: kiss my yellow ass.
posted by zennish at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually know an independent spice woman.

Uh huh. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure.

LOCK 'IM UP!
posted by shakespeherian at 1:02 PM on May 22, 2012


I actually know an independent spice woman. My wife knows her better. I still need to get a new thing of pepper from her and remember not to break the top this time.

How do you get this job and can I have it so I can tell me my job is ensuring that spice flows
posted by The Whelk at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [65 favorites]


Holy. Shit.

That is an asshole thing to do.

People are probably going to pull shit like this again in the future, and we should still respond with kindness and decency. I'd rather be suckered again than refuse help or encouragement or solace to someone who might be being an asshole.
posted by rtha at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [35 favorites]


three blind mice: Because we hold the people in this community to higher standards then the rest of the internet. From the way we interact and the way the website is moderated, it actually feels like I'm talking to real people, in real life. And just my method of communication is text.

The Metafilter Community is not on the same level as the rest of the internet.
posted by royalsong at 1:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


I still need to get a new thing of pepper from her and remember not to break the top this time.

Teodor: You can be the best at anything, if you try. Have you ever cooked spaghetti?

Little Nephew: Oh, yeah! I definitely like to cook that! In fact, I have a secret ingredient I use!

Teodor: Oh, like do you mean half an ounce of tomatoes?

Little Nephew: No, dried oregano! Here is that amount, though.
posted by griphus at 1:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hm.

. For mathowie's grandpa
. For the hijacking of Metafilter
. for what I'm guessing is a Borderline Troll

Now I'm gonna go fly a kite.
posted by lysdexic at 1:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It never sat well with me when Tom Sawyer pulled this shit, and he was a fictional character...but...this.......just....
posted by zizzle at 1:06 PM on May 22, 2012


I cried at finding this out. I couldn't find the words to say anything in the now fake obit thread because suicide hits too close to home but I've been thinking of his wife since then wondering if I should memail her with condolences. I lost my brother to suicide and it fucked me up for a good 23 years. I can make jokes about it but when it comes to the grief that is involved I can't find the humour or value in trolling this way.

I've posted on Askme about depression and have gotten a tremendous outpouring of support from people and to find that someone has come to this site and used it this way just angers me so much. I guess that was what my tears about. Feeling frustration at being used and disgust with this whole trolling thing.

It has soured me on this whole online communication thing.
posted by kanata at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


At any rate, it's good that this thread is showing up as the first Google result for his username.

Actually, if you're signed into a Google account, your results aren't representative of what other people are going to see when they do the same Google search. For instance, if you often click on Metafilter links in Google results, that could cause the site to show up at the top of the results. (Or maybe not -- I don't know how the algorithm works, I just know there is an algorithm based on stuff Google knows about you.) There is no longer any such thing as "the first Google result for ___."
posted by John Cohen at 1:07 PM on May 22, 2012


It never sat well with me when Tom Sawyer pulled this shit, and he was a fictional character...but...this.......just....

Well, don't put him down as arrogant.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Of course it's not possible to reach that point in your life and return to yourself with grace and intelligence. I don't know what I was thinking.

It is possible, kate blank. I work with people who've made that transition every single day, and they're all as graceful, as intelligent, as committed and as honourable as you could want them to be.

Did this guy even hold himself out as being in recovery? In one thread I was just looking at, he describes himself as an active iv drug user?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow. Well, I'm glad no one's dead, but now I'm really sorry for the mods and everyone who took this to heart. I'm also sorry about any damage the MeFi community takes as a result of being fucked with like this, but as far as I'm concerned, that thread will continue to remind me of why this place has a hold on me. Y'all are some damn decent people, you really are.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thread was a great example of who we are and what we are. I'm proud of the thread, I'm proud of the site. I'm proud of the mods.

Someone "died" and we reacted with grace and empathy. If it happens again, I hope we all react the same. We were magnificent, and nothing can spoil that.
posted by zoo at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [19 favorites]


Maybe we could have a little badge like all the mods have, but instead of "staff," it could say, "bullshitter."
posted by The White Hat at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Greg Nog and scody you'll be happy to know that you are both Verified as Real™ by me personally.

Damn, the only people who can verify me is TCC, and TINCC.
posted by eriko at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012


we give folks the benefit of the doubt and assume all else being equal that things are on the level, because they almost always are, but we also double-check things, and look into stuff

Maybe as a community we should be more rigorous in our demands for proof in the future. That's the lesson I take, anyway, from this deeply painful situation.
posted by stroke_count at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't really come around here much anymore but I read that thread and (between tears) thought to myself "THIS is the site I remember."

That thread is the best of Metafilter. It is something to be proud of, not something to apologize for.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


> Actually, if you're signed into a Google account, your results aren't representative of what other people are going to see when they do the same Google search.

Not signed in and using an incognito tab.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2012


Damn, the only people who can verify me is TCC, and TINCC.

I can confirm that there is no one to confirm eriko's existence.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry, mods, and sorry for all of us who wasted even a minute last weekend being sad. On the other hand, I continue to be impressed by the detective work that goes around here ... and by all the love and compassion we're willing to give to strangers (hoping against hope, I suppose, that we're not being duped).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I came back just for that thread. I actually had a few doubts, but it shook me up, and I felt that I needed to say a few things. I decided to take the chance. I got kind of personal, which I usually try to avoid, here.

But I refuse to learn anything from this. I regret nothing. No takebacks. Anyone in pain, my love is yours now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [130 favorites]


I sort of want to know more about how this was found out to be fake

It's just like cortex said. A few people had discreetly inquired (thanks for that), we poked around, found no obit, found a discrepancy in a social media setting [someone saying they were hanging out with Marc days after he was supposed to be dead] and I wrote to his "wife" a sort of impossible-to-write email asking if maybe this was some misunderstanding and if not to please stop the performance.

I got back two one sentence emails that were basically as cortex outlined. First one was "Wow. Ok well delete the post or whatever you have to do" and second one was "But, yea, bad experiment or joke or whatever carried too far. It is the internet after all" that's it. I wrote back that they were not welcome back and that was it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [27 favorites]


Huh. Well, I bet you're reading this, holdkris99, so I'll direct it at you instead of writing like you're not here. I wonder if you, for whatever reason, feel like you can never get enough positive attention? Or like you feel empty a little bit inside unless someone is actively admiring you? I guess you can't answer that so it's just curiosity on my part. Anyway, I was going to be all "go to hell" (I basically live in fear that my dad will kill himself because he's a depressive who had a horrific childhood...anyway) but I've done a lot of shitty things in my time, I'm sure, while desperate for attention or drunk or whatever.

Some people just naturally know the right thing to do and some have to struggle for it. Assuming from this that you're the latter (like me) I'll just hold you to the same standard to which I hold myself: I expect that in the time that I'm alive, I'll do more good than bad. You have quite a bit of work to do to balance out this particular fuck up. Good luck with it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2012 [22 favorites]


Burhanistan: "Not signed in and using an incognito tab."

Same here and 4th from the top. Even in incognito, they know what IP address made the request. Anyone want to TOR this and tell us the result?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm overwhelmingly relieved no one died. By and large I still choose to trust the mods and the honesty of the community. I'm sorry this happened to us.

All those great stories--that shared part of his life that gave so much enjoyment to so many--those are gone, too. There's no way to suspend disbelief anymore; no way to tell myself that any of it happened. The MCA story? Now it's just a story. The Packers story? Totally made up. They all seemed a little too neat, but I always figured it was because that's how all the best stories are: we smooth out the awkward bits and pass the essence of it along to others for the enjoyment of others. Now that we know he wasn't real, none of those stories are either. It's a shame.
posted by rhythm and booze at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


That, I suspect, is what this troll was hoping to accomplish -- to mock and diminish the very idea of empathy and human connection. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work.

It makes me sad to think of someone who needed the love and affirmation of the community so badly that they pulled the "what would they say at my funeral" bit, even though it was probably clear that this whole mess would blow up in their face immediately afterwards. It's the kind of weird self-destructive thing that deeply mentally ill people are pulled towards- "I need you to love me because I'm inherently not lovable, so I'll lie to you to make you love me, and when you find out I lied you'll hate me, which proves that I'm inherently not lovable..." And around and around we go.

And on the other hand- I am NOT glad that someone caused all this genuine grief and betrayal or glad that Matt and the mods went through deeply troubling shit in dealing with this. But I'm glad that the mods have decided to err on the side of believing people. To me, it's of a piece with the banhammer coming down infrequently, and being willing to talk shit out in MetaTalk with what seems like endless good faith, and just sort of constantly taking people at their word. I would rather have some yahoo fake their own suicide then have some poor person have to produce a death certificate when trying to tell their dead spouse's friends that he or she died, but mostly, I just think the community is better when we assume we're all being honest and acting in good faith. It's just- it's better this way. I need it to be this way to be here. I need us to all have faith in each other and believe the best about each other every day. So, I'm not glad about all the actual grief and anger and betrayal. Just our commitment to believing in each other.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


Well now I wish I'd sent that fucker nothing but gluesticks for Secret Quonsar!
posted by jeoc at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [125 favorites]


What a strange, strange manifestation of suffering.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


"...It is the internet after all..."

So much contempt encapsulated in six little words. Wow.
posted by bakerina at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [39 favorites]


Whole Lee Truck; I don't think I've ever been more surprised by a comment on Metafilter as I was by cortex's closing comment.

I know an independent spice sales person as well; he sells spices to independent supermarkets and corner stores.

Bet there are several folks wishing they'd listened to that niggling negative instinct before they typed their hearts out to a literal fucking griefer.

Probably but they shouldn't feel beat up about it. I'd prefer to take people at face value rather than being a raging parinoid even if it means getting burned on occasion.
posted by Mitheral at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


someone saying they were hanging out with Marc days after he was supposed to be dead

Weekend at Bernie's, er Marc's?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow.

This is the second time this has happened to me. A few years ago, on another forum I used to frequent, a long-time member's "wife" posted saying he had died in a motorcycle accident. As in the thread on Metafilter, the users who knew him offered condolences and shock only to find out a couple days later the "wife" was the user trying an "experiment." What a shitty thing to do to a community.

Mods, y'all did the right thing here, both in dealing with the original "crisis" and upon finding out it was a hoax.

There's a few people in this thread saying how shitty people can be. In the original thread there are over 600 people offering condolences to someone they've never met about a user they've never met and there is one, maybe two asshats playing a hoax. That's a pretty good ratio. Most people are good.
posted by bondcliff at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


Good: person beats drugs.
Not good: person would rather die than use drugs again, because drugs are !@#$.
Bad: person starts using drugs again.
Very bad: person starts using drugs again and fucks with other people.
posted by Melismata at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think this whole mess speaks much more about us, then it does about him. When we thought a community member was in a hard place, we came together to offer our support. When we realized we had been tricked, we were open about it and learned from him. Not many places online - or in real life, for that matter - where those two things are both true.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You know, the irony is that I was thisclose to proposing we all take that "family slang word" thread and expand it and the whole thing into a book that could be sold for charity to donate to a suicide-prevention group as a memorial"

You know, the fact that other people are in pain, and that this user caused people pain and grief on purpose, makes me want to do that MORE. Call it a "fuck you" rather than a memorial if you'd rather, but there are people out there who need help.

Jessamyn: "I wrote to his "wife" a sort of impossible-to-write email asking if maybe this was some misunderstanding and if not to please stop the performance."

I feel for you and I'm sorry you had to write that e-mail; I went through something similar with a student who had a fake parental death (and I knew the student's not-dead parent socially! worst attempt to scam a professor ever!), and there's no way not to feel like an asshole even when you're pretty sure you're right, just on the off-chance you're wrong.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Whelk: "How do you get this job and can I have it so I can tell me my job is ensuring that spice flows"

You have to have a very particular set of dills.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


More words of solace:

To Matt: You're a mensch. You've helped a lot of people just by creating this community and you've gone above and beyond that as a member of this community as well.

This episode removes none of that goodness. Stay awesome. You're a really good guy.

Same goes for everyone else.

The users of MetaFilter genuinely saved my life just about two years ago now when I was in the hospital (and homeless) with a collapsed lung. This was very real, and I think about it with thankfulness every damn day I wake up, and it keeps me trying and struggling to survive. I'm still in my apartment. This is the longest I've ever been housed in one place in my entire adult life, much less in my own place with my own keys and my own responsibilities, with the lack of drama that comes with being an off-the-lease roommate or couch surfer.

You guys made my mom cry when she saw the MeTa thread about me being in the hospital and the outpouring of care, because you were able to help in ways she's never been able to help.

That whole episode was a very real and very good thing. And it's only one of many such moments here on MetaFilter.

To others struggling with depression that this event triggered:

You're not alone. It triggered me, too. For me, it's now like a weight was lifted and it's pretty easy for me to say "fuck that guy" and move on now. I just remembered to take my vitamin D megadose, and I'm like 2 weeks overdue and I've been hurting because of it and wondering why I was suddenly crashing in both mind and body and spirit.

Keep on keepin' on and all that. We're going to be ok.
posted by loquacious at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [134 favorites]


Fucker! I bet he didn't grill out that weekend, either.
posted by TedW at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [39 favorites]


Is there someway to put a note on holdkris99's profile page linking to this MeTa post.

I hate to think of people running across his stories in the future, being charmed by them, clicking on his profile to look for more, and not knowing about this. It seems like it would just continue the deception.

I don't know how much work it would be to add something to his profile page, but if it's at all possible, I would sure appreciate it.
posted by marsha56 at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Well, this is an unfortunate thing to have happened, but better, I guess, than what I thought had happened.
posted by likeatoaster at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2012


Except the meth bit. I think that's true. I think he was one of those ridiculous drug users who achieve nothing in real life, but believe that they're clever than everybody else.

Or it's just some twerp who has read too much Denis Johnson.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


KathrynT and I, who have never met, just sent each other deeply unflattering cameraphone pics to prove that we are real.

No, I'm not linking mine again.
posted by Madamina at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Delete the original MeTa then, please.

This is unconscionable.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2012


Well. That was unexpected.

Oh, and not okay.

But I am happy he's not dead.

Yep. Those are about all of my thoughts on the subject.
posted by anitanita at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2012


metafilter response showed that people can be incredible. In the face of what we thought was a very real tragedy, people responded here with the absolute best

I thought that too, and it made me proud of Metafilter - I'm still happy about this, but really distressed especially by mrsholdkriss99 follow up comments in thread that felt really genuine.
I think I'm going to keep assuming someone is actually gone, if it was just holdkriss99 personna



I spent several hours the other night, showing my non-MeFite wife the obit thread and several of holdkris' comments, and telling her what an amazing place this is and the kinds of people that come here. This is like a punch to the stomach.

Me too - I send a link with detailed explanations to several of my non mefite friends - now I'm feeling embarrassed.
posted by motdiem2 at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2012


It's a nasty business all around, but a big thank you to the mods for keeping their heads enough to figure out the truth about this, and dealing with the whole sordid mess out in the open once the truth came out.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm flabbergasted. Never has the MeTa tagline about everybody needing a hug seemed so true.

Good on the mods for handling this and exposing it.
posted by immlass at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2012


That's the thing, though. There's no "just the internet." It's all real people behind those keyboards. It's all just people.

I've met people who thought a great idea for a birthday party would be to fake their own death, schedule the wake on their birthday, and then show up. Surprise! Hilarious!

That's every bit the shitty, sociopathic idea on the "internet" as it is in "real life." Again, there's no meaningful distinction to be drawn between the two.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


joe lisboa: "Delete the original MeTa then, please."

I know as policy, Mods don't edit posts except for spelling/markup, adding [NSFW] or to move things below the fold, but I think this unique case would be justified in an above-the-fold moderator update that links here.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


For what it's worth that MeTa says absolutely nothing about the prankster and everything about the community they lied to.

I mean, big whoop the guy can lie convincingly when nobody's around to read his body language, has all the time in the world to craft the lies, and nobody is expecting him to lie.

On the other hand, a very large group of people showed a true depth of empathy and good will towards someone who is essentially a stranger, and I have no doubt that it would have eventually been translated to concrete action.

So on the balance, my faith in humanity just went up a notch.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Why would you do this? I don't understand. I don't understand it at all.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


And thanks to the Mods for dealing with this bullshit. I can't even imagine how you all have managed to keep such an even keel. Losing someone to suicide isn't a fucking joke or suitable subject matter for some fucking online social experiment.

Execrable.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


If this was some stupid sociology or psychology student experiment, I hope the professor gives him an F.
posted by CancerMan at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not uncommon for one suicide to inspire another. What if this fake suicide had been the trigger that caused a real one? That would have been a true tragedy. I hope that hasn't happened, and we just haven't found out. Did you think of that holdkris?
posted by Daddy-O at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Well, I totally fell for that.

He's was pretty clever about choosing Scody though.

Everything nice that was said about Scody, anyways, is true. So I do not consider this hoax a complete loss, and will consider it a toast to Scody's awesomeness instead.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


Here is a screenshot of a google search for the "holdkris99" username while not signed into google and using the Tor browser to hide my IP address.

[We're number one.]
posted by andoatnp at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah. Both the reaction to the original post and the reaction to the truth behind the original post speak well for MeFi.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm not a super-frequent poster, but in the throes of that obit thread, gutted over a stranger's death and crying real tears, I felt closer to you guys than I ever have.
except now. I think now I feel even closer. so there's that.
posted by changeling at 1:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


So, how exactly do you remove all favorites you've assigned to one user in particular?
posted by joe lisboa at 1:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait, stop the presses! Scody is totally a faker.

She's actually nicer, smarter and prettier in person than she is online.
posted by loquacious at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: I came back just for that thread. I actually had a few doubts, but it shook me up, and I felt that I needed to say a few things. I decided to take the chance. I got kind of personal, which I usually try to avoid, here.

But I refuse to learn anything from this. I regret nothing. No takebacks. Anyone in pain, my love is yours now.


The beautiful thing about love is that it takes absolutely nothing away from someone to tell another person that you care about them.

I love It's Raining Florence Henderson, and a whole ton of other people on this board, and that shit is REAL.
posted by Madamina at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


I realize this isn't going to be popular, but it seems he could still use our kindness. Turn the other cheek and all. I see all this hate going out and I can't help but think that if I had pulled something this stupid, I would feel terrible right now. And reading this might make me feel much worse. If he's not feeling terrible, then yeah, fuck him. But if he screwed up, and we don't know the whole story, then we might want to think about forgiveness and moving on. There may have been a reason he needed people to cry over him that isn't evil.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [35 favorites]


I got back two one sentence emails that were basically as cortex outlined. First one was "Wow. Ok well delete the post or whatever you have to do" and second one was "But, yea, bad experiment or joke or whatever carried too far. It is the internet after all" that's it. I wrote back that they were not welcome back and that was it.

"It is the internet after all" is such a copout. This isn't just the internet, it's Metafilter. There's a basic understanding that you have one identity here, and you don't screw around with people's feelings. This is a community of real people, not some pretend wonderland.
posted by mokin at 1:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, mokin -- that's basically the same as someone saying that they can't be held responsible because they did something while drunk. Um... you still did something, jackass. The Internet is still a part of this world.
posted by Madamina at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


She's actually nicer, smarter and prettier in person than she is online.

Scody can sing a note that causes broken vessels to repair themselves.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [26 favorites]


"It is the internet after all" just screams "I spend too much time on /b/" to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


but the truth is, I found the wife's attitude toward the whole event more than a little...flippant.

The day my favourite brother died, last November, I went on MetaChat and wrote a thread full of funny stories about him. It helped me deal with all the memories I had churning around inside of me. And I assure you my brother is in fact dead. I can link to his obituary if you like. So I didn't suspect this was a troll, because it similar to something I would have done.

This is a shitty thing to do, of course, but although I think Marc and his spouse, if she exists and was part of this, are scum, I'm not really angry. As I read this thread I burst into cathartic laughter, because faking your own death on the internet is one of the most pathetic things anyone can do and it's not worth even taking the time to react to such a loser. I was relieved to hear that there are no actual grieving family members and friends out there, I don't care why he did it and I'm not interested in punishing him. I am just glad he's gone from our community, because he doesn't deserve to be a part of it.

Matt, I am so sorry about your grandfather. Mods, thanks for dealing with this mess with your usual grace and honesty. Scody, I hope you recover completely.
posted by orange swan at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [21 favorites]


I swear to almighty god you'd better not give back their $5/$10.

...I mean, not like there's anything I could do about it, and realistically I'd never find out. But still. Don't.
posted by aramaic at 1:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Reading all of the shock and outrage in this thread, I'm kinda struck by the thought "This is the bloody internet." This isn't real life.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who doesn't understand what this means. How are "the internet" and "real life" mutually exclusive?
posted by rtha at 1:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


For my turn I pity holdkris99.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


Mods? You guys have done nothing wrong here. When it comes to death and tragedy, you (in almost all cases) have to be 'on side' with the person coming to you with the notification. Overtly investigating, questioning, doing anything more than "We're sorry for your loss, we'll get right on that" could result in some horrendous psych damage for someone who is genuinely grieving and trying to tie up loose ends at the same time.

You'll end up getting hurt occaisionally, like you got hurt here, but you'll be saving other people that pain. That's the good fight, keep on swinging in it.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


The truly unforgivable thing was that they brought Hüsker Dü into this.
posted by Trurl at 1:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wait, I forgot. I do have one regret. I regret that in the heat of deep emotion, in the original thread, I wrote the words, "too much to bear." Seriously, people. I promise. I know the difference. That should have been "bare." Thanks, holdkris99, for not being dead so that I could reveal my secret shame.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh, ADent. I am so sorry. A super big west coast hug for you. (they come with sparkles!)

Sometimes people are just so thoughtless it hurts to think about it. But that's just some people. Some times. It's not everything. I hope you can pass through this bad episode with grace and compassion. And here's hoping that you take good care of yourself.

You aren't a sucker for feeling burned for caring about someone. None of us are. You're a sweetie. Holdkriss99 and whomever else was involved in that mess should count their lucky stars to have someone like you in their world in any way.

Hold that compassionate head high!
posted by anitanita at 1:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow.

Seemed too good to be true, but didn't want to be a dick about it.

Guess I shoulda been a dick about it.

That Green Bay Packers story of his is probably a lie, too. Still a hell of a story, though.
posted by notyou at 1:35 PM on May 22, 2012


It's Raining Florence Henderson : for what it's worth - your comment was one of the best things I read on reacting to suicide ever.
posted by motdiem2 at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Delete the original MeTa then, please.

Personally I think it's good to keep this sort of stuff up even if it's a hoax. I wasn't around for the Kaycee Nicole thing but I did read those old threads and aside from being able to know what people are talking about when they reference the Kaycee Nicole hoax, it was interesting to see the original hoax and the reaction to the hoax and the debunking of the hoax and the reaction to the debunking of the hoax.

So, how exactly do you remove all favorites you've assigned to one user in particular?

According to the Infodumpster you don't have any, but the data in it is older than a lot of his heavily favorited comments.

Also almost everyone on MetaFilter is great and I hope you all live forever, although not in some "be careful what you wish for" type way where you end up being a zombie or something.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe he could get a job with the New Republic, only to be outed as a fraud, and then write a best-selling book about it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love you guys. Human decency is it's own reward. I'll be a kind sucker any day, if that means actually helping someone.

And I'm actually glad that needy loser, whoever he/she is, isn't dead.
posted by pomegranate at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


1. mathowie, I'm sorry I missed your reference to losing your grandfather in my initial skimming. you have my every sympathy and hope every good memory about him is preserved forever for instant recall whenever you need his presence.

2. like others, I went through and removed favourites for the liar and the known sockpuppet - I don't have the time to find out the other sockpuppet. I don't think there's an easy way to do it...going through my favourites pages one by one was the only thing that seemed doable.

3. I'm with those declaring the internet is real life because it is people, and it's always difficult for me to understand the other viewpoint.

4. When my stepdad killed himself, my mom wrote a note to him on the same notepad he'd used for his suicide note. There was humour, irreverence, love, anger, sadness, and even juvenile flippancy. When she went to fill out some official paperwork (maybe his death certificate...?), she was asked for his status and she wrote, "dead as a doornail" and told me about it when she got home (I was 8). That's why I ignored any doubts I may have had about similarity of posting styles, word choice, sense of humour, and the rest - you can't script how people will react in grief, and sometimes their expression of sorrow is hilariously well-written.

5. Seriously, if your depression took a turn because of either part of this saga or you've been considering leaving this world by your own hand, reach out. Please. You are not alone, you are valued, you matter, people do not all suck, the world still has beauty, there are multiple purposes to choose from, and a you-shaped hole in the hearts around you and the world in general will solve nothing.

when I am emotional, I am verbose and somewhat repetitive. my apologies.
posted by batmonkey at 1:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


There may have been a reason he needed people to cry over him that isn't evil.

I don't think he's evil at all. I would imagine that he only did this because he feels lonely and unimportant. I'm concerned that this may have been an unusual display of suicidal ideation.

What baffles me the most is the fact that holdkris told this lie, but then, unprompted, he renounced the lie and asked that the thread be closed. What was his endgame here? Did he expect to be welcomed back?

From an amoral but "logical" point of view, he should have either left MetaFilter or let himself be reborn as another internet persona. Choosing to expose himself as a liar seems unusual. Was he trying to let everyone know that he's more fucked up than ever? Is he trying to control his suicidal thoughts by trapping them in a hoax?

It's weird.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


What the mother fuck? Who lies about shit like this? I'm sure this whole thread with comments like this, and I should probably read them, but seriously, what the fuck?
posted by chunking express at 1:42 PM on May 22, 2012


Sticherbeast - Where was it said that it was unprompted? Cortex's post mentions that "When we found a direct reference from one of Marc's friends to having hung out with him at an event several days after his alleged suicide, that meant we had to ask, even if it was a weird misunderstanding with similar names," and that's when holdkris came clean.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is he trying to control his suicidal thoughts by trapping them in a hoax?

You know, that's an interesting possibility. Huh.
posted by aramaic at 1:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not going to take this opportunity to cultivate any additional cynicism. It already comes to me more easily than I'd prefer. So I think I'll just take a moment, center my xi, and move on.
posted by jph at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing that bothers me most about this is that you honestly never know how someone is going to respond to a post like that. By which I mean, there may in fact have been someone or multiple people who are/were severely depressed, possibly contemplating suicide, who read that thread. And it's possible that in the responses they found something to keep them going. But, because you can't ever know how someone is going to respond to these things, it's also possible that they found something that contributed to their downward spiral in there, too. Even if it was just a lurker who doesn't have any actual contact with us besides reading what we say here anonymously. You can't ever predict how someone is going to react to anything, at that level, and you can't therefore ever try to tailor your activity with that in mind. But to put something that fucked up on the site, for an audience this sympathetic and empathetic... for a joke? It's more than being a piece of shit. It's playing with the feelings and welfare of people who really didn't need that right then for no. fucking. reason.

what a god damn awful fucking thing to do. what a completely shitty awful fucked up fucking thing to do.
posted by shmegegge at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sticherbeast - Where was it said that it was unprompted? Cortex's post mentions that "When we found a direct reference from one of Marc's friends to having hung out with him at an event several days after his alleged suicide, that meant we had to ask, even if it was a weird misunderstanding with similar names," and that's when holdkris came clean.

Nevermind, I missed that part.

The whole thing is still weird, just not as I had believed.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2012


Stitcherbeast, I think you're being too kind. They'd had their lulz, and were probably surprised that the mods had connected one of their friends to them. Time to bail and look for another victim.
posted by bitmage at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2012


Thank you, cortex, mathowie, jessamyn, and the rest of the mods for handling this situation with grace and transparency. In a big community like this there's going to be the occasional scam, lie, twisted manipulation. You can't prevent it. I admire how you're handling the aftermath in this case.
posted by Nelson at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


holdkris99:

I feel angry and so do most people here. You fucked up.

At the same time, this is an opportunity to evaluate your life. What are you doing? What are your priorities? What got you here - and do you want to let whatever brought you to this place keep ruling your life?

I hope you use this as a chance to think honestly about yourself and make a big change.
posted by latkes at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


As I read this thread I burst into cathartic laughter, because faking your own death on the internet is one of the most pathetic things anyone can do and it's not worth even taking the time to react to such a loser.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I reacted.
posted by invitapriore at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2012


Wow. Well I just wanted to thank the mods for their unfortunately necessary skepticism and perseverance at getting to the bottom of this.
posted by radioamy at 1:49 PM on May 22, 2012


what pieces of shit
posted by exlotuseater at 1:50 PM on May 22, 2012


Way back when, I helped friends with the Kaycee Nicole crap, investigating things that smelled wrong, and I was called a total cynic and untrusting, etc.

When I first read about Marc's suicide, my immediate thought was, "This is a scam," but then I decided to trust in Metafilter and its ways. I still do, and I don't feel bad about writing nice things to whoever it is that wrote that fictitious piece of garbage announcing his "death," but honestly, I just don't understand why people would want to push the world in a cynical, untrusting direction like that.

It's sadder than anger-inducing to me, really.
posted by xingcat at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


The solution seems simple. All deaths MetaFilter related must be personally verified by a trusted undertaker. You pay airfare.
posted by ColdChef at 1:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [166 favorites]


Um. Er. Really? suicide is "just a joke"? Alrighty, then. A very bad joke in very bad taste. (but hey, what do I know? I'm just part of the internet -- while I am fairly certain that I exist, I have no one to confirm that I do.)

Mods: y'all have nothing to apologise for. You responded as you thought appropriate to the situation, then the situation changed.

Mathowie: My condolences. It's never easy to lose a grandparent, and then to have this happen at the same time? ick.
posted by jlkr at 1:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'll have to find us an undertaker we can trust first, ColdChef!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [33 favorites]


When I first read the amazing obit mrsholdkriss99 wrote, I just had a feeling that something was not quite right. It seemed too eloquent for someone in the first throes of grief, her ability to express herself seemed as amazing as his, and all the little odds and ends and loose threads and bits of symbolism just seemed to tie up too neatly. But then, I felt ashamed and embarrassed that such a suspicious thought even crossed my mind, so I dismissed it as internet cynicism on my part.

Mods, thanks for the openness and transparency you've brought to such a shocking and disappointing thread. I'm still proud of the community's reaction in that original thread and holdkriss99/mrsholdkriss still have my profound sympathy, just for entirely different reasons.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


mathowie: I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that.

"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him." (GWCarver)

holdkris99, I'm sure you're reading this. You just lost your village, man. This is the best place to be on the web, peopled with the best people on the planet, and you've made yourself persona non grata here. Nobody who knows this place could willfully shit on it like that and still be in their right mind. I hope you get the help you need.
posted by headnsouth at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [35 favorites]


I'm going with:

methhead=believable, likely
all the other posts=fabrications, untrue
posted by exlotuseater at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


bad experiment or joke or whatever

HA HA HA HA HA OH YEAH GOOD ONE
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm still going for the Green Bay Packers, unless & until a better candidate for an American football team comes along. Anybody have an English Premier League team for me, as well? Everybody's so into their Man Utd, Chelsea & Arsenal but I just can't get into that competition at all, not having a connection to any team.

It'll sound like the wisdom of hindsight, but at the time I thought that "mrsholdkris99"s writing style was very similar to his; not wanting to be churlish in such a situation, I just put it down to similar souls, plus time spent together influencing their common style.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This doesn't really make me mad. I feel like shakespearian, I guess. If you are a person who feels the need to make this kind of thing up and watch as people feel really bad for you, I think you are a person who has some emotional pain you are trying to do something with (not very productively.)

I'm sorry for the people here who feel feel betrayed by this (that feeling sucks so much), and I also hope that whoever holdkris99 is and whatever is going on with him/her/them, they can find more sustainable strategies for coping with their shit. Because I don't think a totally adjusted person does this kind of thing.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I KNEW IT.

I didn't post in that obit thread, but in reading it every single Spidey-sense I had was tingling. Something just wasn't right. But I of course wasn't going to say anything, because Spidey-senses can be wrong. But when someone told me to check out Metatalk, I already knew what I was going to see.

On the one hand, I am happy no one is dead. On the other, I am sad I was right and people were lied to and hurt by this.
posted by Windigo at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I was pretty credulous when I read the previous thread, but I didn't want to be "that guy," so I didn't say anything. I'm not too gratified that I was proven right. And I have to wonder if the people behind it are tickled pink to be able to read our reactions now. What assholes.
posted by crunchland at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2012


Also, as someone who has lost somebody through suicide, this is incredibly shitty.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


WOW.

But I have to say, I was extremely moved by the community response to the "eulogy" and I still am. Knowing I have this place to turn to for help...I'm just so freaking thankful that you guys exist.
posted by OsoMeaty at 2:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good riddance to bad rubbish. I fell for it, but well, it's a good opportunity to recalibrate my bullshit meter.

Echoing what others have said already: mods, this shitty thing is not your fault and there is absolutely no need to apologize. If anything, I'm even more convinced that this is one of the more transparent and compassionate places to hang out on the web.
posted by peripathetic at 2:01 PM on May 22, 2012


So presumably he was the one that linked to all his "best" comments/stories? What a masturbatory fuckwit.
posted by book 'em dano at 2:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


holdkris99's actions are crap, and I don't have anything to add in that regard. But I want to second what scody said. Far from mocking and diminishing the idea of empathy and human connection, the community's response in the original thread and in this one (especially the appreciation for the mods having to deal with this sort of thing and the concern for people living with depression) demonstrates that empathy is alive and well and is in no way diminished by the heartless lies of chuckleheads.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


er... incredulous.
posted by crunchland at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was deeply saddened by the obit thread, shared it with some people, and bookmarked it to comment on later, because I didn't want to login at work. I am so, so glad that things came up, as they do in life, and I didn't get around to it.

Also, even though this is shit, I do feel a weird relief. After the last week or so I've been having (loss of 2 old high school friends in 2 different vehicular accidents), I'm glad someone is not really dead. Although I wish it were one of them instead of this asshole.
posted by audacity at 2:03 PM on May 22, 2012


Stitcherbeast, I think you're being too kind. They'd had their lulz, and were probably surprised that the mods had connected one of their friends to them. Time to bail and look for another victim.

Maybe I am, but just as the initial post seemed off, so does this situation. Normal people don't make "jokes" like this.

I mean, there wasn't really anything lulzy about his "death." The lulz only ensued after the lie was revealed. For a guy who was clearly full of many lies and confabulations, pretending to have died through suicide seems too prosaic to have been done for kicks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


From three different comments:
I'm sad to hear that someone needed to do this for whatever reason.

It makes me sad to think of someone who needed the love and affirmation of the community so badly

There may have been a reason he needed people to cry over him that isn't evil.
Some people have a very strange definition of "need." I'm pretty sure no one ever needs to fake their own (or their spouse's) suicide on an internet discussion forum. He chose to do it, and it was a very wrong choice.
posted by John Cohen at 2:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


cortex- please don't think yourself a cynic. You were truth-seeking based on the community's thoughts that maybe all was not as it seemed, and I appreciate that you and the mods do that kind of hard work. I'm sorry it had to be this way, but as others have said, it doesn't diminish the empathy and compassion that were expressed in that thread.

I continue to be bolstered by the behavior of all the mods-- you all keep showing up, and acting on good faith, and believing that the participants of this community are acting in good faith until noted otherwise. I think that's one of the things that makes Metafilter great- everybody gets a chance to participate. What people do with that opportunity is up to them.
posted by sarahnade at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having lost a friend to suicide I was in tears through that thread, and I am again thinking about it now, just because of the way you all showed up.

After my friend died, her two best friends, big macho dudes, had to go to her apartment and pick out an outfit for her funeral, a job for which they were completely unqualified. They just had no idea. That hilarious, tragic image still gets me every time -- these two guys standing there in her empty apartment staring at a closet full of women's clothes, no idea where to begin, shattered, doing it anyway.

So thanks to all of you for showing up in that thread. You did what needed to be done. And for any of you who are struggling -- reach out. We're here. We'll show up. But we would much, much, much rather do it while you're alive.
posted by Honorable John at 2:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [33 favorites]


I'd rather be suckered again than refuse help or encouragement or solace to someone who might be being an asshole.

Agreed.

posted by klausness at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mods, let me just take this opportunity to thank you all for the work you do running this site. I'm dismayed that your trust and decency, and that of the community at large, was abused in this fashion.
posted by Zonker at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a trivial admin-related note, I wonder if it's worthwhile to put a message at the top of the original metatalk thread, so people stumbling upon it know what the deal is without having to scroll all the way to the end?

Sigh.

posted by Space Kitty at 2:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]

"Reading all of the shock and outrage in this thread, I'm kinda struck by the thought "This is the bloody internet." This isn't real life. "
I get what you're saying but it's really not how it works for most people. If you call me to tell me someone died, then I find out you were lying, I'm not going to be all "I shouldn't have fallen for that, it's just the telephone."
posted by churl at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [65 favorites]


Well, THAT was a shitty ride. Jesus fuck.
posted by trip and a half at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2012


I thought the MCA and Green Bay Packers comments seemed embellished, for literary/poor memory purposes, but that didn't bother me because people do that all the time.

I totally believed this story though. For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you? Besides the coherent writing days after a supposed tragedy.
posted by sweetkid at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2012


I wonder if it's worthwhile to put a message at the top of the original metatalk thread, so people stumbling upon it know what the deal is without having to scroll all the way to the end?


We are considering it and we are currently just really really tired, so please give us some time to work out what we're going to do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


It's enough to make one nostalgic for GiveWell.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


By which I mean, there may in fact have been someone or multiple people who are/were severely depressed, possibly contemplating suicide, who read that thread. And it's possible that in the responses they found something to keep them going. But, because you can't ever know how someone is going to respond to these things, it's also possible that they found something that contributed to their downward spiral in there, too.

*raises hand* I'm one of the (many) MeFites who struggle with depression and suicidality, and the report of holdkris99's suicide knocked me badly off kilter for several days. Things are still a bit shaky, although getting better.

But for all the anger and confusion I now have around the former user known as holdkris99, reading the responses from other MeFites in the obit thread gave me all kinds of warm fuzzy encouragement. That, combined, with the AskMe thread on "Is there a trick of your trade that you always do, even if the results are not noticed?", felt like an illustration of why MetaFilter has become so important to me.
posted by Lexica at 2:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh, wow.

I read the comments in that thread and couldn't help but wonder if anyone would bother to notify MeFi if I were to die suddenly. I mean, I'm not a terribly vocal user and it's a kind of selfish thought to have, but I can't help but think that my family would get a lot of warm-fuzzies from this place. Honestly, MeFi is a community in a way that a lot of other websites really aren't, and every time something Bad happens to one of us there's a sense of it hurting the whole community. I guess what I'm trying to say is that a family reading one of the rare support threads would be hard-pressed not to feel like a few hundred previously-unknown cousins were all standing up and saying, "no, really, I loved him too and you can call me any time."

Just because someone did a series of really shitty things - treating suicide as a fucking hoax, setting out to dupe a community that genuinely does care about each other even if they do occasionally bicker like children, being glib about those two awful things, and so on - doesn't mean that the support should or will end when something awful happens to one of us again.
posted by neewom at 2:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Anybody have an English Premier League team for me, as well? Everybody's so into their Man Utd, Chelsea & Arsenal but I just can't get into that competition at all

Liverpool? Cause they can't seem to get into the competition lately either. Sigh...
posted by inigo2 at 2:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, there were things that seemed off on further review I did after-the-fact because (to me) the natural thing was to re-read a bunch of old comments/threads. Some facts (ages and timeframes mentioned, etc) seemed off, so it prevented me from sending the email I had started about how affected my partner and I (both former addicts with, though gay, similar stories) were by the events described and how my partner (not even a MeFite for fucks sake) had cried when I told him about it and how it led to a discussion between the two of us that was really quite amazing. It felt really weirdly self-serving, even though the whole point of sharing it was to say how thankful we were and that because of that, we would try to reach out to see if there was anything we could do to help, given the similarities.

So when it started to feel not right, that was the final reason for me to not send it, even though I didn't think I could possibly be right. I'm glad I did that, but I hate the fact that I had to.

Just fucking yuck.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


I felt like a real shit after reading the original thread, because an hour after reading it I found myself playing detective.

Our friend got there at about 10am and when he pulled up he didn’t see Marcs car so he got out to wait on him to come back, thinking he had ran to the store or something. But as he got out of the car he heard a car running inside the garage. He said he didn’t put two and two together and he just opened the garage because he knew the four digit code to our garage door key pad. As the door was raising he smelled the fumes and he knew. He had the CD player on loud with this Wilco song on repeat.

The "friend" knew there was a garage. Hell, the friend knew the code to the garage. So why did the friend assume that not seeing a car meant that Marc wasn't home? Wouldn't you assume the car was in the garage? And why would you sit around waiting for him to return if Wilco was playing so loud? Wouldn't he have heard it? And is it even possible to put a single song on repeat on most car CD players? A CD, yes, but a single song?

These were the thoughts that were bugging me. Like a rock in my shoe, I couldn't keep going over them. So I didn't post anything because I wasn't sure it would have been sincere.

I'm also pissed off because it made me think of Puke and Cry. He really is gone. There really was an obituary. And though I never met him, I thought of him as a friend, or a kid brother. It sucks to recognize that you feel some people are worth missing and others aren't. I don't like that realization.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Take your time, eat some pizza, do what you have to do.
posted by theichibun at 2:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

Just a rambling sort of conversational style, more talkative than literary. A bit like somebody with a tale to tell, cornering you in a bar, and possibly on meth.

Still, I'm not giving myself a pat on the back; it was more of a thought in the background of the entire thing: "gee, I wonder if this is a troll; it really could be...nah, better not mention it"

On preview: Liverpool? I really dislike the Beatles, but I do love Echo & the Bunnymen. Does Ian McCulloch support Liverpool? I have a thing for perennial loser teams, hence the South Sydney Rabbitohs & the Melbourne Demons.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do hope that holdkris99 and all assorted sockpuppets and subsidiaries don't have any plans to submit his collected MetaFilter writings (with headnotes describing the community reactions) to McSweeneys, or, Cthulhu forbid, to seek an actual book deal from this

That he did it all to get a book deal was my first thought on seeing this thread. Using a sock puppet as a set-up for an "ooooh, look how well I write" answer is just so attention-seeking in that particular asshole-who-wants-a-book-deal kind of way. I'm glad a few others brought it up first because I thought it might just be my own twisted personal brand of cynicism. I really, really hope he doesn't get a book deal, or even sell one essay, based on any of this.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


The only thing that got me was the basketball angle of the Beastie Boys story. Seriously? Kid was good enough at basketball to score how ever many points he wanted/needed to buy a tape? In my experience with team sports (quasi-fascist high school required them), you can't really plan that kind of thing. For one thing, you might not be playing on any given day, for another - the other team might be better, your teammates might not pass to you, etc. No way can you say "Oh yes, I can score 36 points today" [that's at least 12 three-pointers or 18 regular shots and kind of a LOT for a kid to score in a short-ish period of time like he describes] and have it happen neatly enough to then obtain the monetary compensation necessary to obtain your preferred musical recording.

I scratched my head over that one while reading it and I bet the reason that didn't cause *more* head scratching is that MeFites, by and large, are not the type of people who were big into team sports in school.

(And you certainly don't need your PARENTS giving you incentive that "Yes, I should score points so I can buy things." You kind of either do or you don't. Your coaches really do enough of the motivating and if you need more motivating than "I'd really like you to do your best and win the game and all of that," you're probably not the type of person to do competitive sports in the first place. ANYHOW.)

But it made me remember my own Beastie Boys story I never posted! Which is real!

I had to get surgery on my ankle in '00 - not too long after Hello Nasty came out. I had just gotten the album and was listening to it pretty non-stop. When I was allowed to bring in one CD to the hospital, that's the one I chose to listen to pre-op while I was getting drugged and IV'ed and all of that. While they were getting me set up (which involved things such as writing "THIS ONE" on my leg and putting both socks on the other foot as a reminder - and later, the surgeon initialed my foot as to "sign" it), one of the nurses asked if I'd brought my CD - which I had - and would I like to have the doctor play it during the surgery.

I'm sure had I elected for regional anesthetic, he would have. As I had general, I will never know if my orthopedic surgeon who wore Tigger ties in his office listened to "Hello Nasty" during my surgery or not, but I like to imagine that my ligament removal being Intergalactic.
posted by sonika at 2:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [23 favorites]


The mods have nothing to be sorry for and I support you guys 100%. What a shitty person or people.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm somewhat on the lurk-y side around here, but I saw the obit post and was heartbroken. I did not for a moment think that it was fabricated. That is, until I came to the line in mrs holdkris's follow-up comment about Marc having been sure to teach her the ins and outs of the book business so that she would be able to support herself. It just seemed a little too...neat. I had a momentary flash of "wait-a-second-this-could-all-be-fake," and I felt like an asshole for having the thought. But. I saw that mrs holdkris had included a "real" name in her profile, and (feeling like a skeptical jerk the whole time) I typed in her name at one of the big wedding registry sites. Because, hey, they got married recently, right? And up popped a registry, with a bunch of items fulfilled. So I went right back to feeling heartbroken. Skeptical, jerkish and heartbroken. Because here (seemingly) was proof that they were real people. It truly did not occurred to me that they might be real people AND that it was a hoax.

I remain incredibly moved by the outpouring of love that this community showed. I told a couple of friends about his "death," and it spurred conversations that I'm glad to have had. So there's that, too. Thank you all for being wonderful.
posted by messica at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


And is it even possible to put a single song on repeat on most car CD players? A CD, yes, but a single song?

Yeah, that's totally possible and I'm a repeat offender of that feature.

(I apologize for that cheap joke. Wait, no, not sorry a bit.)
posted by sonika at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


For fuck's sake. Didn't know the guy, just thought that MCA post was awesome and his 'wife's' story was sad and now I feel like a I've fallen for a 411 scam, only with feelings instead of money.

Same here. He didn't seem to just wander in here for...whatever this prank was, but he seemed to be someone who built up an awful lot of goodwill on the site. I didn't come across him until the MCA story and just what I don't even.

I remember the days of people faking deaths on Livejournal and the like, but it didn't seem like something a grown-ass man would do.
posted by mippy at 2:26 PM on May 22, 2012


My car's CD player has been set to repeat Asbury Park from King Crimson's live USA CD for several days. So yeah - that part's possible.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2012


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

I thought it was off for someone who claimed to be visiting Metafilter for the first time to end an obit post with the "."
posted by hwyengr at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Here's something else for any other aspiring "writers" out there:

Good Internet comment writing about supposedly true events, though totally an entertaining read and potentially of literary merit, are judged completely differently by me (and probably others) when it comes to worth.

I like your stories... I like them a lot or I wouldn't be here so often.

I even like the ones that don't seem true if they're well told. But 999 times out of a 1000, that doesn't mean I'd read your book. And I read lots of shit.

I guess what I'm trying to say here -- don't let the favorites go to your head.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was dubious but I posted in the thread anyway.

I am honestly more sad now than I was about the suicide, in a way. What sort of unfulfilled person one must be to do something like that.

Also, scody is amazing and we routinely marvel in plain sight of everyone over that fact.
posted by winna at 2:31 PM on May 22, 2012


It's weird that the user name has clearly been used other places, and links back to a real name. It's not hard to get from there to the wedding registry. Just weird to me that there would be such a long elaborate thing and not make it untraceable.
posted by Big_B at 2:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm trying to say here -- don't let the favorites go to your head.

Buy my book! Buy my book!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh well, holdkris99 did kill himself, he's dead here. The only thing I doubted was that the car would still be running after a few hours. I thought if there's enough CO2 to kill him, there wouldn't be enough O2 left to keep the car running. I did believe the whole thing though and kept checking back on the thread.
posted by lee at 2:34 PM on May 22, 2012


found this browsing a wayback kaycee nicole thread...

May they be filled with loving-kindness
May they be well
May they be peaceful, and at ease
May they be happy.
posted by quodlibet at 2:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


sweetkid asked:
"For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?"

As others have said and I referenced before, it was a mix of word choice, pacing, fillips of dialogue (like the reference to how his MCA story was modified for era with Jordan/Kobe was somehow "called" by the "didn't know how to put this in the main post" comment immediately following the eulogy...that's a flow consistency thing that shouldn't have seemed so related, even with their long-term relationship - self-consciously pointing out construction of stories offhandedly is a sort of red flag). The comic timing was on the same beat. The references were three layers thick for both.

From there, I looked up the possible name combinations in both narrow and broad searches and found no death notices. I didn't find anything and was tempted to dig more, but decided I was being a jerk and should just honour the loss and those who were feeling it. Then I thought about it over the past several days, wondering if we were being played and then lambasting myself for my doubt. Oh, ho, joke's on me!

why can't i just let this be...?! argh. i guess it really got my goat. dead people of my past, the potentially dead me, those in my life who struggle with this question on a moment-by-moment basis, the terror i have of coming home to dead people...this set off a stupid echo that keeps reverberating the images and emotions back towards my heart and mind's eye, no matter how i push it away. argh, argh, argh!
posted by batmonkey at 2:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the only three things I need to do in regards to this is:

1. fuck you holdkris99. You don't even rate a Caps Bold fuck you, just a dismissive fuck you.
2. go and remove any favorites I may have thrown holdkris99's way.
3. Hope I forget the name and situation as soon as possible. Not worth the space in the head it is taking up now.

oh yeah.

Fuck you again.
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Big_B: Eh, hard to say how much was an elaborate con and how much was being drunk or high or just in a stupid mood and saying "what the fuck, i can totally fuck with these folks. Check this out."

Now I'm considering trying to arrange that when I eventually die, have people post about me on social media so as to perpetrate the hoax that I am still alive. I figure it would be much harder to do and would be a more amusing legacy. Like "kilroy was here," but without the ship riveters.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fuck'em. They can't have Ashes of American Flags; I'm taking it back.

Metafilter, I still love the rest of you guys. Keep on keepin' on.
posted by owtytrof at 2:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is one of the saddest, most pathetic things I've ever heard. Sad troll is sad.

Matt and Team Mod: you guys are awesome. Mefites: you guys are awesome. That is all I have the energy to say about this misadventure.
posted by smirkette at 2:40 PM on May 22, 2012


When I first posted in this thread I was angry, but I had no idea how protective I felt about this community. I have a lot of experience tracking down spammers and other internet criminals. I'm very good at it. In a rage, I threw myself into this task. Two hours later I'm looking at a dosier that I'd assembled, full of all the little details that are invariably accessible about anyone who lives a modern life. I briefly entertain fantasies about ensuring that holdkris99's real name would be forever linked to this. I drag the directory to the trash. Catharsis.
posted by RichardP at 2:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


I just want to say that this community's existence is really important to me, and I want to thank all of you for your willingness to show a stranger compassion. This sort of cleverer-than-thou impulse destroys that sense of connection and community, and I'm going to strive to always be forthright, honest, and genuine in my relationships, both online and offline.
posted by mmmbacon at 2:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm considering trying to arrange that when I eventually die, have people post about me on social media so as to perpetrate the hoax that I am still alive. I figure it would be much harder to do and would be a more amusing legacy.

Please god don't do that here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Huh. That is the Internet for ya.
posted by Atreides at 2:46 PM on May 22, 2012


My second reaction: A truly unattractive smugness. "I knew there was something wrong about that story."

I did, too. But lord in heaven, there was no way I would have said so on that thread.

Here's the thing: it is effectively impossible to commit suicide with car exhaust.

Between the introduction of unleaded gas and the existence of modern carburetors and catalytic converters, you can't kill yourself with carbon monoxide poisoning by running your car in a closed garage. (Presuming your car is less than, oh, say 30 years old.)
posted by ErikaB at 2:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [32 favorites]


I'm not even sure what to say... its insane that someone would do that. Lets just hope that he/she truly IS insane and not in control of their actions.

How would this person be actually prevented from re-joining? Couldn't they just pay the five bucks with a friends credit card or something? Its been so long, I have no idea what the signup process involves so maybe there's some obvious thing in place that I'm missing...?
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2012


If I may be mawkishly poetic — holdkris99 was the piece of grit and the rest of your comments formed the pearl around it.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


At the time, I felt like an asshole for silently questioning the scientific validity of someone's suicide story. And I'm really upset that so many good and loving Mefites were hurt by this.

But I gotta tell you... I am kind of high on the "I KNEW IT" fumes right now.
posted by ErikaB at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually wondered about that, and then felt like I was so cynical for even thinking it. I thought "just because it's a faceless (largely, if you don't go to meet ups) community, why should I assume that someone might lie and deceive people". I felt like a bad metafilterian for having such a shitty thought process.

Well. It's still probably better to not jump to shitty cynical thinking, even though it's largely ingrained in me, and these sorts of stories don't help.

I'm sorry the mods have to deal with this because they seem like such honest and forthright people, especially Jessamyn and Cortex who(m) I feel I 'know' the most.
posted by bquarters at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2012


Holy fuck. I'm writing this out before I read the rest of the thread, which I will momentarily. But this is so weird. Not two days ago, I was actually thinking quite heavily about "wow, how weird and fucked-up would it be if you arrived on MeFi to discover that someone had faked your death? How would you even get around that? No, that's dumb, I mean why would anyone do that anyway?"

I wish I could say that was a bullshit sensor going off, but it was just a random musing. I'm so sorry for you mods, this has to be up in the top five nightmare scenarios when running a site like this.

Mostly, I'm pissed that I've been freely bumming out cigarettes in his honor all week. When you fucks get around to paying back your extensive karma, don't forget that you owe me a couple packs.
posted by Errant at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clarification on the last comment I made:

I really don't care if most of your stories are made up or not -- though I'd appreciate it if tales you told on the Green when giving advice were at least passably based in reality if that's what you claim. The believability (or not) of any of holdkris99's pre-death comments had nothing to do with whether or not I believed exaggerated reports of his death, though again, maybe it should have been.

(The Packers one, especially, is full of holes, but again, to me that's neither here nor there, even maybe it should be.)

But if you want to make up major life moments, don't bring people I care about along for the ride.

Thanks to all of you who were so wonderful last week. And to the mods, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this shit. At least I can walk away when I'm frustrated.

Sorry for the rambling, multipart reaction -- this has really bugged me more than I would have imagined. And weirdly, I find myself wondering how I will break the news of a stranger's non-death when I get home tonight. I guess that's the age we live in.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm considering trying to arrange that when I eventually die, have people post about me on social media so as to perpetrate the hoax that I am still alive. I figure it would be much harder to do and would be a more amusing legacy.

Please god don't do that here.


She already has!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, when I first read that thread I thought to myself "that's a hoax." Then I felt like a horrible person for immediately jumping to that conclusion. Not sure how I feel now; I hate the idea of being that cynical but given how it ends, well.

It does seem like maybe some kind of fantasy suicide ideation thing, because I can't see anybody genuinely thinking that they could come back from that and be all like "ha ha yeah I got you guys good didn't I" or whatever.
posted by lwb at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gizmodo: How one man faked his own internet death.
posted by zarq at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I try to not judge people who do unpleasant things because of mental illness or other issues that make life so much harder for them. I'm not finding that terribly easy to do right now.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, at least there's no grieving wife and no fatherless children. Whether that's because Marc is still alive, or because they never existed in the first place, I'm not sure.
posted by KathrynT at 2:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought it was off for someone who claimed to be visiting Metafilter for the first time to end an obit post with the "."

And knew the odd spellings of several usernames, and correctly linked to comments in her reply rather than using non-MetaFilter conventions like @, and posted long drama-filled text dumps like he did, etc. Overall it was a lot of little things that by themselves wouldn't seem fishy but together add up to it seeming fake, and finding none of the usual indicators that it was not fake (such as an obituary, mention of services, etc.). Basically if there was a profile for "Internet death hoax" it completely fit that profile, whereas it did not really fit the profile for a normal user obit post. I was not absolutely sure but if you had asked me yesterday if I thought it was fake or not I would have guessed fake.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here.
posted by languagehat at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [32 favorites]


From the Gizmodo article -


Metafilter: the pristine oasis in a world of smudgy, circle-jerking Internet forums


It's too close to accurate to even be funny.
posted by jph at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [19 favorites]


Gizmodo: How one man faked his own internet death.

Metafilter: the pristine oasis in a world of smudgy, circle-jerking Internet forums
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like I got punched in the gut. Again.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2012


My selfish thought upon reading the original post was that if, God forbid, Mr. MonkeyToes were to let you guys know that I had died, you'd be kind to him. That you'd *try,* even though you don't know either of us, to comfort another human being. Thank you for that reassurance, all.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oy, Gizmodo, don't give this dipshit more attention. Bleh.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:59 PM on May 22, 2012


From zarq's link: He was what made Metafilter different from other forums.

I think there are quite a few people in line for that title, and the line is long. MetaFilter succeeds because we are a community.
posted by catlet at 3:00 PM on May 22, 2012


You gotta be kidding me!

Amazing.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:00 PM on May 22, 2012


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here.

Sorry. I posted because I think it's an interesting quirk of this particular sort of hoax that it survives so long even in a place as full of top notch internet detectives as Metafilter, despite making people's spidey senses tingle, because who wants to be the guy who barges into a post about a suicide all "I WANNA SEE THE RECEIPTS!!!"?

I think people also are trying to work through their own feelings about being cynical or gullible, about how much benefit of the doubt we give people we'll probably never meet on this here Internet of ours, about what kind of person we feel like that makes us.
posted by lwb at 3:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


damn, i even did preview!

and languagehat: it's actually interesting anecdata, to hear of people who sniffed a possible rat, as it says something about how we react as a group to good news & bad.

You only need to see the pillorying that Russian Sex Slave Truthers received, just for casting doubt, to see that there's a community dynamic going on, whereby it's generally not done to interrupt peoples' emotional tracks.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


jph: "Metafilter: the pristine oasis in a world of smudgy, circle-jerking Internet forums

It's too close to accurate to even be funny.
"

I am guessing that the author of the piece, Casey Chan, is a member.
posted by zarq at 3:02 PM on May 22, 2012


I like to take people at face value even when I'm suspicious. For me the world is a better place when you give people the opportunity to rise to your expectations than when you give them an opportunity to sink to them. This little event doesn't change that for me, but then again I wasn't very emotionally invested. I feel badly for those who were, and permanent banning seems like a reasonable reaction in that context.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:02 PM on May 22, 2012


Gizmodo: How one man faked his own internet death.

Hey, we're famous!
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:03 PM on May 22, 2012


Man, I genuinely cried after reading that, and I'm a hard bitten skeptic. Like, I actually went in to work late, because I had to get my shit back together. I spent 10 minutes online caring about another human being. Fuck me, right?

Oh well, whoever it really is, is a hell of a writer.

And also, that thing I said about my life being worth living if I had someone around to say such nice things about me after I'm gone? I'm standing by it. It's too bad that you don't actually have anyone who can really say those things about you.
posted by empath at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Gizmodo: How one man faked his own internet death."

I thought for sure that was fake.

The ending is the worst part: "But by doing that, it means they—the hurtful pranksters, the cynical, the awful—win. They converted you into one of them."

This isn't a victory for anyone.
posted by Tevin at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2012


First reaction: fuck that fucking fucker.

Second reaction: how sad, that someone would ever think this was OK, in any sense, ever, anywhere.

Fuck that fucking fucker is still the overwhelming reaction, though.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This...this isn't a joke to me. I have, rather strangely, survived multiple suicide attempts, and I was thoroughly triggered the fuck out by that thread. But I managed to write something sympathetic for them, thinking of my own fucking family's grief if I hadn't lived.

I'm feeling pretty hollow about this update, presently. I don't want to give them my anger. I would rather just take this moment to pause, be grateful my compassion is still somewhere in there, and go back to appreciating my being alive.

Fuck. This. Dude. SERIOUSLY.
posted by Ashen at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [19 favorites]


tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along.

Well, I agree that there was something a little too perfectly dramatic about the post and some of his past comments, and that it raised my suspicions. But I also think the general principles of "some people's lives are actually just that weird/awful" and "don't be confrontational with a possible bereaved person" are good principles. I was actually sort of pleasantly surprised there weren't more vocal doubters in that thread, and I'm also glad that people pursued their suspicions quietly behind the scenes in the appropriate way. It's understandable that people who held their tongues at first now want to vent those suspicions, now that we know the bereavement isn't for real.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's a real fear of mine that the constant pranks and trolls and hoaxes on the internet are affecting my ability to extend human kindness to others without reservation.
posted by lwb at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please god don't do that here.

God, no. You hear that, minions who outlive me and do my bidding? PLAY IT STRAIGHT WITH METAFILTER.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Matt, I'm sorry for your loss.

I've been travelling and only checking Metafilter intermittently, but I did see the death announcement thread and was moved more than I thought I would be for an anonymous stranger. For some reason, it really upset me. I couldn't get through all of comments and had to step away. I have been sort of mentally composing an email to mrs holdkris99, based on some very personal experiences and now just feel like a fool for letting it move or affect me. What a jerk.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2012


You know, I don't have a lot of spare cash, so instead of donating to a charity in Marc's name, I was thinking of going to fly a kite for him in Prospect Park.

I think I'll still go do it, but it'll be for Matt's granddad, and for null terminated, and for bradlands, and for everyone that mefites have truly lost.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

The first thing that caught my eye was how, although "she" was supposedly a new user, she had put in hyperlinks to "his" profile and previous posts. As a new user, it took me a while to figure out how to do hyperlinks and I still sometimes mess them up. Pretty sure I couldn't have done them within minutes of signing up, under stressful conditions.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 3:09 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a clown.

Sucks to be him/them, and I'm not even talking about the MetaFilter ban.

I'm sorry to hear about all of those who had a bad few days either caused, or exacerbated by this. I'm thankful you shared those details with us.

-----

holdkris99,

Even if you never really grasp how shitty this was for the others involved, I hope someday you can at least partially appreciate what being emotionally invested in deceiving others to induce their grief, says about you. It might help you become someone else.

And since you're a reader, I'll recommend a book. It has a few things to say about the schemer.
posted by BigSky at 3:10 PM on May 22, 2012


Well, good for you guys for being so trusting and open-hearted in the first place. That's a sign of good character.

If it means that sometimes you take the risk of being fooled, well, you're still the better person, and the person who does the fooling is wrong and bad. If you live your life fearing and hating and mistrusting to avoid getting fooled, well, that's no life.

It's still better to live your life and run your website with a positive spirit. That's what makes this such a great place. Thanks again for all your work.
posted by alasdair at 3:11 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am personally really grateful that, however many people felt skeptical about the original announcement, no one decided to bring it up in the actual thread. Because that would have gotten really ugly really quickly. I'm thrilled that the community as a whole decided to be compassionate and give the benefit of the doubt. It really reflects well on all of Metafilter.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:11 PM on May 22, 2012 [69 favorites]


At the time, holdkris99's "death" added fuel to my will to live.

There is no way I'm giving it back.

Thank you, mods. Thank you, metafilter. And if you see a surge in traffic today on videos of pandas and koalas frolicking or whatever, that's probably me, because FUCK.
posted by argonauta at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [20 favorites]


languagehat: "Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here."

How is this any different than any of the other forms of know-it-all comments(or even "I know this!" comments) that are not only totally commonplace here but pretty essential to the spirit around here?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2012


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here.

It's not "alleged precognition" it's saying I thought it was fake, which I did. That was the reaction that I had to it and now that it turns out it actually was fake I can post about it rather than keeping it to myself like I did originally. I very well could have been wrong, there has been various stuff posted to MetaFilter that I thought was fake but ended up being proved to be true later. I could have not posted my reaction in this thread but I don't see any obvious reason not to, considering that 90% of the comments in this thread boil down to "This is how I feel about the news that this was a hoax".
posted by burnmp3s at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


The first thing that caught my eye was how, although "she" was supposedly a new user, she had put in hyperlinks to "his" profile and previous posts.

I think my brain waved all that away because of the note I have not been, until now, a Metafilter user and didn’t really know the protocol for doing a post like this and I want to thank Jessamyn for helping me get to this point and for waving the one week waiting period.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know what's awesome? MeFites.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


1. I wasn't skeptical at all. But tomorrow I will be.
2. Christ, what an asshole.
3. We love you, mods.
4. Ashen, I hope you feel better!
posted by Glinn at 3:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm. One of the lame things about this is I don't believe any of the stories now. This seems like the sort of thing habitual liars pull- you tell one lie to someone, then another, then more, until you're in so deep you've got to tell a really big lie to self-destructively extricate yourself.

Whatever. that MeTa is one dumbass and hundreds of thoughtful people.

Thanks for keeping an eye out, mods.


and yeah, I had noted the similarity in writing style but never made the leap to hoax. It was just a thing I remarked on to myself, thinking that they must have been very similarly talented people that maybe wrote together or something. Didn't get any farther than that.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am a judgmental person so as someone who believed it and felt impressed but not surprised by the loving and kind response to the troll post, here are my judgments:

1. Mathowie and our mods are not only wonderful people who make this place the best on the internet, but showed their smarts and their fierce but appropriate protectiveness toward all of us. GREAT JOB, you guys! And so sorry, mathowie, about your very real loss.

2. Holdkris99 and mrs. you are trash. Nor are you, either of you, very good writers. The post and the preceding favorited comments were OK stories, for sure, but if you two think you have a career ahead earning money by writing, think again. You don't have the talent, or obviously the honesty, of real writers. I'd add that if there is a stepmother, I think it is now clear to all of us that her poor opinion of you is well earned.

3. Fake post or not, this community's response to it showed how fine you people all are. I am so proud to be a member here with people as loving and funny and talented and caring as scody, the whelk, its raining florence henderson, the young rope rider, and so many others. You simply rock, and your response to this post shows how good you are.

4. Metafilter has a proud history, in my own short stay here, of helping our members, as well as reaching out to non-members. We have stood up and tried to make a difference when people here are injured, imprisoned, or take their own lives -- I know I don't need to link to the threads, which we all remember. Nothing about this hoax diminishes that glowing truth.

5. I used to prosecute con men and women. People tend to blame their victims, for being stupid. But in reality, most cons play on the victims' best qualities -- their willingness to trust others, their generosity, and their kindness. Confidence gamesters, by contrast, are selfish, heartless, greedy and cruel. So I'm glad this particular pair is out of our space. They aren't good enough to be here.

6. I am also glad we've lost these two to a ban, not a death. That is, in this world where some people do kill themselves because they don't think they can overcome their addictions, a very good thing.
posted by bearwife at 3:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [22 favorites]


I realize taking a scorched earth approach to his posting history here is a non-starter, but the fact his Ask answers may be fabricated bullshit detracts from the purpose of the site. The one I extradtion one in particular, which I assume is the answer to the sockpuppet, kind of overwhelms the other, actually useful, answers to that question, and I've no idea now if it is in any way based on reality.
posted by IanMorr at 3:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along.

I had a feeling, which I'd articulate as strong as soon as I saw the "wife" describe her occupation. It's why I stayed out of that thread, and I'm glad that I did. Sorry that feeling bugs you, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


>We were contacted by either Marc's wife or Marc pretending to be his wife -- we honestly don't know which

But then how do you know it wasn't someone else acting independently? I guess you don't? (no time to read the thread atm, except the first few posts, though.)

Reminds me of a funny video about faked suicides for the lulz, but I can't find it right now.

Too bad this happened here.
posted by Listener at 3:19 PM on May 22, 2012


I had read about this kind of thing but never believed for a moment it would happen to me.

You took me in with your poor sentence construction and grammar, but yes, you got me. It was a gift in a way, to feel so strongly about someone I'd never met, so thanks for that. You're not so good, though, that you get a pass on basic morality. You're not Picasso, or Nabokov, so you should probably go back to being nice to people. Be nice to people. Deserve all the wonderful things that people said about you.
posted by tigrefacile at 3:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I'm considering trying to arrange that when I eventually die, have people post about me on social media so as to perpetrate the hoax that I am still alive. I figure it would be much harder to do and would be a more amusing legacy.

When I die, Star World shall be unlocked everywhere, except at the White House, because the President shouldn't waste his time beating Tubular.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ugh. One thing I had appreciated in various holdkris99 comments around the site was their forthrightness and honesty about drug addiction, because, hi, I am a formerly-suicidal person who took a lot of drugs during various untenable situations to try to deal with them in my own dysfunctional way, and it's super hard to talk about even with people I love and trust! Ha ha joke's on me I guess. I will still take the lesson to heart even though this person turned out to be a lying fuckbag.
posted by bewilderbeast at 3:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Too bad Gizmodo didn't actually report the story out and track him down. I'd kind of like to know his explanation.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


It is through darkness that we can truly understand what our community is like. While I can't get over the fact that Marc did this, I'm going to let it go.

What I'm not going to let go of is how wonderful so many of you truly are. That's something that I am glad for on a daily basis.

I know that I haven't been here for very long, but I can most certainly say that you are a caring group of people with big hearts, great jokes, and respect. People that are willing to go lengths just to help others out. I've seen it on the green and other places here too.

This situation is truly unfortunate, but not everyone is like this (thankfully). I don't know what else to say except for screw people that have tried to take advantage of our community.
posted by livinglearning at 3:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's the thing: it is effectively impossible to commit suicide with car exhaust.

Yeah. Not saying I "knew it all along" but I certainly had my doubts. This is a way of suicide often depicted in film and tv (as recently as Office Space), but it's just not possible with any modern car.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:23 PM on May 22, 2012


Anybody have an English Premier League team for me, as well?

Well, if you thoroughly enjoyed this whole "social experiment" with Lucy pulling the football away, might I recommend my team, Everton?
posted by yerfatma at 3:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and while I do not wish to put too fine a point on it, I also had an...unpleasant couple of days there after reading the obit thread. (I'm better now, thanks.) But yeah, that shit is triggering, and I very much hope we do not see a real copycat in the aftermath of some hoax bullshit.
posted by Errant at 3:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


As I mentioned i. The obit thread, I was stunned, and yet, I was confused as I go about things. It was a loss I felt the need to share, it affected me, and I did actually try to talk to non-Mefi people about it. As I've mentioned, my wife doesn't speak English as a first language, so there's really nothing 'here' as far as she's concerned, and to try to tell her stories about the site usually involves a silly amount of background, a recognition of 'oh, it's that site' and an eye roll. That said, this hoax had me so completely that I ended up trying to explain the packers story and the beastie boys story to her, and how fucked up I was over the guy who told the story being dead, as best as I could in Japanese, and she listened, and was quite sympathetic about it. And more than likely, it was all lies (seriously, all of the family drama that supposedly happened, but somehow he and his dad bonded over the packers share? That's the nail that sticks out to me).

I'd love to take it in stride, but I can't. It's made me even more cynical than I was before, and I think that's this fuckers legacy: he's made the world, and Metafilter, a less trusting place, more quick to cynical disbelief than it was without him.

I hope this pigfucker realizes he's in a unique position: Holdkris99, people thought better of you when we thought you were dead. Now that we know you're alive, we hope never to hear from you again.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well. He's certainly dead to this part of the internet, now.
Online suicide, of sorts.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, at least one part of that story was true: scody really does give the best advice.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


I am so impressed you mods saw through this that fast! I mean seriously.

I sure as hell didn't.

This was a kind of suicidal gesture, though, don't you think?

I wouldn't be too surprised if this turns out to be an appetizer for some real grillin' a little later in the day.
posted by jamjam at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2012


I mean, what the holy freaking crap, man. Jesus.
posted by Occula at 3:28 PM on May 22, 2012


I am flabbergasted.

For my sins, it's also reaffirming my choice not to get too involved with MetaFilter people personally. I mean, you're great and all, but people on the internet are shits and I don't want to be a victim of lying shits. Also I'm scared of rejection.
posted by subbes at 3:28 PM on May 22, 2012


Fuck.

I'm really sorry if it came off like I was trying to add to your to-do list. My brain defaults to trivialities sometimes when the big stuff is too much - sometimes it's helpful, and sometimes it's a pain in the ass.

Please know, of all days, I was not trying to be a PITA.

May all this drama blow over soon.

posted by Space Kitty at 3:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


But then how do you know it wasn't someone else acting independently? I guess you don't?

We can't know with absolute certainty, but under the circumstances it's way down the list of likely explanations. That it was Marc seems most likely; that it was his wife in some sort of collaboration with him maybe less so but that easily sucks up most of the remaining likelihood.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mom joined because of that thread. Now what am I going to tell her?
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


he's made the world, and Metafilter, a less trusting place

Only if we let him.

Our trust was abused, the liars are banned, and any bruises we got will heal.

My belief that MetaFilter is a place full of caring, trustworthy, empathetic good people has not changed.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [37 favorites]


Ugh. I was sad and depressed when I thought this story was true, and now I'm just full of sighs that it was a pile of crap. I've known too many people who killed themselves, the first being a friend of mine, when we were just 12 years old. I was at my friend's 30th birthday party at the time that holdkris99 was supposedly committing suicide, and the juxtaposition created a kind of existential whirl in my head.

I definitely bought this story, and favorited some comments in the original thread as being particularly sweet. The only thing about this story that tugged at me was:

"He said he didn’t put two and two together and he just opened the garage because he knew the four digit code to our garage door key pad. As the door was raising he smelled the fumes and he knew. ... He called 911 and got him out of the car but it was too late, the coroner said he had been dead for a few hours when he found him."

A few weeks ago, we had a carbon monoxide incident in our house, so this perked up my attention. (Yay for CO detectors, everyone.) She didn't say whether he had run a hose from the tailpipe to the car window or not -- although that's probably implied. She didn't say whether or not the carbon monoxide affected his friend. I'm not a CO genius by any means, but it seems like it could have gotten into the garage proper if it had really been piping into the car for many hours. She didn't say if firefighters had to clear out the garage of fumes. I guess this stuck out to me, because of how detailed the rest of the post was.

(I'm glad that ErikaB clarified that the CO thing was rightfully suspect, although not for the reasons I thought it was. The truth is even sillier than my version.)

But I brushed it off as me being ridiculous. After all, this woman is a grieving widow, she can say as much or as little as she'd like. And I'm not really the doubting kind. I believe people until they give me a reason not to. Not to mention, this didn't really strike me as the type of thing that's worth scamming about, so it passed that bullshit filter just fine. Then I went around talking to my husband and roommate about what a sad, horrible thing had happened.

I guess that holdkris99 & co. can past themselves on the back(s) that they hoodwinked a bunch of kind, thoughtful people on Metafilter. Maybe that's an unlockable achievement in their world.
posted by Coatlicue at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't bring myself to be angry about this, although I can't blame those who are. I'm going to go ahead and be as generous as I can. The Web is a big place, and pretty democratic, and you get all sorts on it, and some of them have problems.

Now, I know some people who troll others have problems I don't sympathize with. Their problems are that they are mean, or that they like to fool people, and to make people feel foolish, and duped, and this is not okay.

But some people are just broken, and their behavior on the web is a product of being broken. They are terribly hurt, and their brains aren't working quite right, and so they do things to try to address that hurt that the rest of us would never even think of.

Maybe holdkris99 is the kind of troll I can't feel sympathy for. Maybe there was some sort of long-term plan where he was going to show back up and rub our faces in how bad he made us feel, and let us know how stupid we are for feeling sad for a stranger who wasn't hurting at all, but just pretending to hurt, and hadn't ended his life at all, but was just pretending. I hope not, because that is terrible.

The other option is to think that holdkris99 actually is hurting, and is acting out on it in a bad way. Sometimes people who are thinking about suicide sort of test it out, to see how people will react. And a safe place to test it out is on an online community where you really don't know anybody. But this can be a bad decision, because maybe you like how people react, and maybe you think, gosh, life is so terrible, but if I end it, at least people will have some sympathy for what I went through, and to be dead and remembered with fondness and sadness is better than to be alive and be in pain. Especially if holdkris99's tales of drug addiction are true. He may be facing something he does not think he can face, and wonders if people will think him weak. I don't know.

Or maybe he's one of those people who just need to be loved and missed so badly they will fake illness or suicide in order to get that attention. Giving them the attention is probably not good for them, but hating them for being mentally ill probably doesn't help them either. And it's understandable to feel angry about being duped. Had there been a larger agenda here that was unmistakably malicious, such as the "wife" raising money for charity, I would be calling for charges to be brought.

But instead I am going to choose to feel sad about this, but not give my feelings more weight than I need to. I am going to give holdkris99 the benefit of the doubt, that he isn't a monster but a man in pain. And, if he is reading, I am going to say this to him:

Get help for yourself. This was a signal flair you sent up, but we're in no position to respond to it, or even know how to interpret it. Even if we could, you burned a bridge here, and you must know that it is burned and leave it be.

There are places that can give you the help you need. I urge you to fund them. If you feel like you are not in control of your behavior, and you just really needed people to think you were dead, please call the National Institute of Mental Health Information Line: 1-800-647-2642

If it was a trial balloon for suicide, and you're really thinking about it, especially if this event has filled you with a sort of terrible shame, please call a suicide hotline and speak to someone: 1-800-273-8255

If your stories of drug abuse are true, and you are not certain you can keep away from drugs, here is the number for a resource center: 1 800 390 4056

Finally, if this was not some mean-spirited or incredibly stupid prank, and the time comes when you want to explain yourself, I think you'll find this community can be forgiving of misbehavior, as long as they know that misbehavior was not malicious, and was an act of desperation. If you go through any sort of a treatment program, they are going to insist you make a list of people you have hurt and contact them to apologize. You have hurt this community, as this entire thread of outrage demonstrates.

When that time comes, contact the mods. I am sure they will pass on the message.

If you are a bully or a troll, go to hell. But if you're just sick or sad and made a horrible mistake, go and get the help you need. Please.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [158 favorites]


I like to take people at face value even when I'm suspicious. For me the world is a better place when you give people the opportunity to rise to your expectations than when you give them an opportunity to sink to them.

Totally agreed there, BrotherCaine.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:34 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah? Well s/he is catching the wrath of an UNFAVORITING FRENZY!!!

That doesn't really pop the way I want it to...
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 3:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


!.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:36 PM on May 22, 2012


Frankly, I'm a little tired of Languagehat and his incessant admonitions in Metatalk.
posted by crunchland at 3:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thank you Bunny Ultramod. I made a joke/reference earlier about pitying him, but if half of that story is true and he just burned bridges with one of the best support systems online, I really do. Marc, sorry things went down this way. If you need help please seek it out. Bummer it has to be elsewhere.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa!
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2012


I wish I could say this was the first time I got suckered by a MeFite, but it's whatever. My heart's big enough for every hateful, heartless person on earth to leave a footprint on... and I'm not sorry, and I'm not changing who I am just because someone else is a paragon of humanity's worst traits.

I also suspect drugs = the main issue here.

Love and empathy are the two things I'll never run out of, but you only get to abuse them once on an individual basis.

More importantly: My condolences for your loss, Matt. Here's to several pain-free and cancer-free decades for YOU, Scody -- you deserve them!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


it is effectively impossible to commit suicide with car exhaust.

The wikipedia entry asserting this is a little misleading. While is is difficult with new vehicles with properly functioning emissions control systems (primarily the catalytic converter), it is not "effectively impossible". From the study cited:

Closed-environment exposure to motor vehicle exhaust gas emission from automobiles not equipped with catalytic converters can result in death within 30 minutes.

posted by Big_B at 3:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, god.

So in the course of removing all of holdkris99's comments from my favorites (which might be a petty gesture on my part, but the hell with it, I'm being petty), I found his contribution to tzikeh's AskMe from February about whether the Margaret and Helen blog was really written by octogenarians:

Agreed. There are repeated instances of "my grandson told me" all throughout. Never a son or daughter or grandaughter or niece or nephew. Always the same grandson seems weird. The cursing seems gratuitous. The political bent of some of the posts is out of line with the octagenarians I know, not red vs blue, just the language they use. I studied textual criticism in school and was taught that normally when an author is insisting their writing to be authentic, it almost never is.
posted by holdkris99 at 7:58 PM on February 8 [+] [!]


I feel like such a monkey now. I feel like a complete and utter rube.
posted by bakerina at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


5. I used to prosecute con men and women. People tend to blame their victims, for being stupid. But in reality, most cons play on the victims' best qualities -- their willingness to trust others, their generosity, and their kindness. Confidence gamesters, by contrast, are selfish, heartless, greedy and cruel. So I'm glad this particular pair is out of our space. They aren't good enough to be here.

Thank you for placing this incident and their violation of our trust in that perspective. Very wise.
posted by zarq at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Stunned.
posted by TangerineGurl at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I knew there was a reason I didn't drop my "." in that thread.....
posted by HuronBob at 3:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whenever I think about how awesome Metafilter is, the example that sticks in my mind is when mathowie gave mrbill some money from tshirt sales to cover his late wife's medical bills (and mrbill posted photographic proof!). That always stands out as one of the best things I've ever seen on Metafilter, and perhaps the entire internet.

I didn't post in the original thread because I always feel weird giving condolences to people I don't know (I didn't really remember seeing holdkris99 on the site -- we all inhabit different parts of MeFi). I was so impressed by everyone else offering theirs though; y'all are way better than me. This is such a weird, sick situation. But no one should feel bad for being compassionate to others -- that's the best part of being human.
posted by bluefly at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing that bothers me most about this is that you honestly never know how someone is going to respond to a post like that. By which I mean, there may in fact have been someone or multiple people who are/were severely depressed, possibly contemplating suicide, who read that thread.

Yeah, holdkris99 was on my mental list of "people with abusive parents who are doing okay" and to see someone that I identify with like that decide that it's all hopeless was a huge blow. I'm past it now and luckily I'm not depressed so it was more of a blip than an ongoing thing, but I seriously contemplated suicide because of it. It's a really risky thing to do and I hope that he realizes that and makes a serious change in how he thinks about things like this.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here.

To be fair, I asked what made people doubt the story, because now that the initial shock wore off it's kind of cool to see how people spotted holes. Like the memorial dot (.) in the death announcement and the car exhaust not being able to kill you and all.
posted by sweetkid at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is this person, hurting. I feel compassion for them.

Here is this same person, hurting others. I feel compassion for them.

They either will or will not realize how hurtful they've been; either way I'm sorry for them.

MetaFilter: you folks are, as always, awesome sauce.
posted by Mooski at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Ghidorah> I'd love to take it in stride, but I can't. It's made me even more cynical than I was before,

Yeah, that's a valid reaction, but it doesn't have to be your reaction. You can realize that in being open to other people you run the risk of seeming foolish, but decide that despite the risk you will be open and sympathetic. I used to think the Buddhists were being over-dramatic, but they're right — compassion isn't easy; it can be a very hard path.


anotherpanacea> My mom joined because of that thread. Now what am I going to tell her?

Sometimes you meet your true love at a funeral. The world's weird. It'll give her
a great "how I found Metafilter" story.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


(I've been up since ridiculous o'clock this morning, and it's nearly tomorrow now. And I haven't had my coffee, so this is probably going to make even less sense than usual.)

Firstly, I want to extend a big hug to the mods for handling this situation with so much, well, "grace" I think is the best word. I now that in your situation, I wouldn't have been able to remain as calm and collected as you guys seem to have done, despite what seem to be very trying and sad memories. I think it speaks very well of your characters that you managed to do this. I genuinely do admire you for this. I realise an internet-hug isn't nearly the same as a real one, but I'd like to offer you all one anyway.

Secondly, to the community at large: I don't think there's any shame at being upset about the death of another human being. Caring about our fellow human beings in this sort of way is one of the few things that sets us apart from most other animals. I think that it's wholly to the good that we care this much. I think it speaks very highly of us, as people and as a community, that we care so much about one of our members.

I can't claim to know how various individuals have been made to suffer because of this. Being tricked like this must be very awful for you, though. You have my deepest sympathy, you really do. Internet-hugs to you folk, too. In fact, internet-hugs to everyone who feels negative because of this.

Finally, holdkris99. I don't know why you did this. I guess it doesn't really matter to me. I don't recall seeing your name on the site before, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Anyway. I pity you. I genuinely do. I don't have any more words for you than that.
posted by Solomon at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2012


No claims of precognition from me, but at one point I found myself idly thinking about Tom Sawyer attending his own funeral, and wondered if a similar thing could be happening here, but I was so emotionally invested (having lost my closest friend to suicide under eerily similar circumstances) that I immediately jumped off that mental track, not wanting to entertain any cynicism in light of the big lump in my throat.

This also reminds me of when my High School announced that several well-known and well-liked students had been killed in a drunk driving accident over the weekend. I was dumbstruck, on the verge of tears, then the "dead" students strolled in wearing ghastly face-paint and M.A.D.D. t-shirts.

Fuck. That. Noise.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, that sucked. I spent a good bit of my birthday exceedingly down in the dumps over mrs holdkris99 and holdkris99 and it makes me quite sad to think that there are people who do this kind of thing.

It never once crossed my mind that this was a fake. I remember thinking "wow, she sure is good with the links and all, she must be really active on the web outside of Metafilter."
posted by bardophile at 3:53 PM on May 22, 2012


Well, maybe this is tawdry but you (I) always end up learning something on Metafilter. Thanks ErikaB. Even if it is about death by hibachi.

sorry don't know how to link back to her whole comment. also, sorry if this is flip

Oh, and how very very strange people can be. What was the point of this?? To get adulation from a community you then get exiled from??
posted by bquarters at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2012


Or maybe he's one of those people who just need to be loved and missed so badly they will fake illness or suicide in order to get that attention.

The only part of the initial thread that read as "off" to me was the "wife's" follow-up comment of "Wow, I can't believe no one is saying anything negative" and I kind of wondered "Wait, why would you EXPECT that they would?" and shrugged it off as "I guess people can be shitty and I guess people are saying shitty things to her in other places."

I think that comment can illustrate this theory - that whoever (mrs/holdkriss) was writing the post did this to see what people would think if he really WAS dead and expected a few nice comments and some "What a great guy" and were floored by what actually happened. Which they then chalked up as "gone too far" (as if it would have really been ok had it just been twenty people leaving a dot).

So, yeah, we'd miss you if you were gone - dear site member - because this is a COMMUNITY. EFFING. WEBSITE. and we care. Fuckers.
posted by sonika at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


bakerina: " I feel like such a monkey now. I feel like a complete and utter rube."

You shouldn't. He took in a lot of people.

It's always easier to look back and see clues, once we know the outcome. But it's nearly impossible to pick them up in the present and predict the future.
posted by zarq at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


My mom joined because of that thread. Now what am I going to tell her?
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:29 PM on May 22 [1 favorite +] [!]


Hi, anotherpanacea's Mom!

Welcome to our family. It's a large one, but it's a good one. As with all large families, there are occasional incidents with That Uncle, and this appears to be one of them. The reason we were all hurt was that we had lost one of our own, and the reason wears all hurt is that it turned out to be one very bad joke.

This isn't how we normally are. Oh, we'll squabble a bit - this is family - but there are an amazing amount of good people here. I'm eriko, I write long comments about technology and history, and short jokes. If you have any questions, please ask the moderators, or click on my username below and hit the MeFiMail link, I'll be happy to help.

Sincerely,
One of your thousands of new problematic family members. :-)

eriko.
posted by eriko at 3:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [56 favorites]


subbes: If you can, meet some personally - meetups or something. They're pretty cool folks, *and* you know that they really exist in the meaty fleshy person-like way. Unlikely to reject, too.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I was skeptical too, didn't know if I was a being a jerk or not, kept checking back, wondering if anyone else had dared to question the authenticity and get pounced on for being a heartless cynic... Reading through his previous comments did nothing to shake the nagging feeling either, but I finally gave up and figured I should throw in a dot, since it was thousands being supportive and only 600+ comments...
As freely as I dump dots here...... I want that one back.
posted by hypersloth at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2012


You know how they talk about terrible historic crimes as being the day a city lost its innocence (e.g.)? This is the day Metafilter lost its innocence. Absolutely unreal. Shitty on a level so far beyond monetary scams...just utterly despicable.
posted by Dasein at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, I just read Casey's post as Gizmodo and posted the comment below - we'll see if they post it. It also did seem like one person in the discussion section might think of joining metafilter (whoo new people!)......



Thanks for posting this Casey. I'm also a member over there. I've been thinking about your framing and the focus of your post. I mean, I suppose all of us have the ability to do something with our lives, including hurt other people. Marc hurt people. That's sigh worthy, the way you're sort of disappointed and disgusted when your dog wet poops on your floor. It's really, really not okay, but it's not necessarily noteworthy. But really, there is really nothing to do but shrug and clean it up, rather than to poke at it and grumble about why, why, WHY that shit literally happened.

But I'm hoping what those of us in the Mefi community - who really value it - focus on is that overall, we're some pretty nice, and thoughtful people who have some pretty engaging conversations. Sometimes 1-2 people abuse that, in a 'this is why you can't have nice things' sort of a way. But for every one of them, there are 1,000-2,000 folks on the site who appreciate it, and know how to nurture that spirit of community. Hopefully some more folks out there will consider joining us. We have big hearts, strong opinions, running jokes, neat discussions on every topic imaginable and even in person meetups. At times we also have a little human gullibility, which I think is more of a feature than a bug. Because without that willingness to be open, and a little grar on the side, we'd probably all be insufferable. We do give people the 'benefit of the doubt' on controversial situations and let our fearless moderators investigate (as they did here). It's amazing to me that anyone would hear about this level of neatness in the world and think anything other than, "I'd like to be a part of that" - so maybe one of many positive outcomes from this little blip might be a couple new voices to our many conversations.
posted by anitanita at 4:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


>What was the point of this?? To get adulation from a community you then get exiled from??

Interesting structure, no?

Everyone Needs a Hug.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


We're a clear oasis people.
posted by The Whelk at 4:12 PM on May 22, 2012


Wow. Add this to the long list of human behaviours that I Just Don't Understand. Like so many of you, I had thought a lot about holdkris99 and his wife since that thread, and wondered how she was getting along. I guess it's not only that I don't understand how someone could do something so cruel and unnecessary; it's that I don't want to believe that people do things like this for sport. This thread and the obituary one make me want to believe that most of us are honest, most of us want to be there for one another, even in an anonymous forum like this, and that most of us wouldn't even think of doing something like this, which seems designed solely to hurt other people and to erode our faith in humanity. I'm just going to go ahead and choose to believe that you are all as interesting and empathetic and cool as you seem, and that this was one giant anomaly.
posted by smilingtiger at 4:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, this person is either a fucker with no empathy or is someone in pain. Either way I feel bad for him.
posted by gaspode at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


Long ago... Well, maybe 6 years ago, I stumbled upon someone at work who was also a MeFi user and we got friendly in the cafeteria and such. That ended when she started talking about how she and her friends liked to have fun by posting fake questions to Ask. Since then I have never gotten emotionally engaged in any question or user from Ask.
posted by spicynuts at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wow. What a shitty, shitty thing to do to a community. I was genuinely saddened by the news of his death, and now I'm just pissed.

Ah, well. It's not the first time I've been taken in by an internet asshat (this was), and it's not the most complicated one (that one's the chick who spent a couple of years in the forum I moderate, pretending to be an abused and eventually emancipated 16 year-old boy), but it's still hurtful and aggravating.

I know firsthand how wonderful "internet people" can be, and it pains me when their trust and willingness to help is abused like that. Hope he and his accomplices manage to get their heads unfucked.
posted by MissySedai at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "friend" knew there was a garage. Hell, the friend knew the code to the garage. So why did the friend assume that not seeing a car meant that Marc wasn't home? Wouldn't you assume the car was in the garage? And why would you sit around waiting for him to return if Wilco was playing so loud? Wouldn't he have heard it? And is it even possible to put a single song on repeat on most car CD players? A CD, yes, but a single song?

To play devils advocate: This is a way of suicide often depicted in film and tv (as recently as Office Space), but it's just not possible with any modern car.

Assuming the car's emmisions equipment working correctly (a big assumption for anything with significant miles). And 2 minutes with a hack saw or 30 seconds with a sawzall can remove the effectiveness of the cat by disconnecting it from the exhaust.
posted by Mitheral at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2012


2 minutes with a hack saw or 30 seconds with a sawzall can remove the effectiveness of the cat

Haha saws don't really make cats less effective
posted by sweetkid at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


For my turn I pity holdkris99.

Exactly. God. What, I. God dammit.

Metafilter has made my life better in so many ways that I can't describe. Thank you to Matt, Jessamyn, Josh, etc for making this the best place on the web, but also thank you to the community here, yes, scody, you're the best, and so are PhoBWanKenobi, loquacious, klangklangston, Marissa Stole the Precious Thing, It's Raining Florence Henderson, delmoi, Miko, Brandon Blatcher, and thousands of other people that I can't name right now because I'm so confused and out of sorts by all of this. People who I haven't met in real life, but who I feel a kinship with because of this site and what it fosters. And the people I have met IRL, like Afroblanco, ColdChef, jonmc, robocop is bleeding, Bulgaroktonos, eideteker, and many more only serve to prove how great this place truly is.

So I just can't make sense of this. How someone could do something like this and to a place like this where they've spent so long, and been so welcomed.

I get all of the anger but for whatever reason I'm not feeling it myself, so instead I'll say this:

holdkriss99, I'm glad you're alive. I'd rather find out that someone is a liar than dead. None of us know why you did this, and I guess we never will. It was a supremely shitty thing to do, and hurt a lot of people, and spoke to a thoughtless and inconsiderate mindset. What I'm getting at, though, is that if this stunt was a "dry run" of some sort, I'm begging you to please, please not do anything to hurt yourself. Reach out to people. There are people who know you who can see through your bullshit and still love you. Find them.

I'm hurt at what you did to a place that I consider home and people I consider friends, but I'm more glad that you're okay. Please please keep it that way. Lies and douchebaggery can be redeemed. Death cannot.

And ADent, here's a big hug from the East Coast for you. Hope things get better.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Metafilter is, on the whole, a great, great place full of thoughtful and caring people, and we're stronger than one sad troll. Much stronger.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just want to thank the mods and everyone here (starting with Navelgazer's list) for unflinchingly being the good guys of the internet and among the best people in the world, period. As always, I am in awe at the goodness of people.
posted by The World Famous at 4:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is so bad that I'm laughing. Good grief.
posted by polymodus at 4:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


joe lisboa: So, how exactly do you remove all favorites you've assigned to one user in particular?

I'm sure there's another way, but you can tweak burnmp3s infodumpster link, which I have modified here so that faver_id=1 (mathowie). Replace that 1 with your user number (found in the URL of your user page: metafilter.com/user/xxxx), and you'll get a list of favorited things, or nothing if you haven't favorited anything.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


"Metafilter, the pristine oasis in a world of smudgy, circle-jerking Internet forums"

That pretty well sums it up. I didn't chime in on the original announcement. I didn't know the person at all. A "." would have been too little, and nothing I could say would have been enough.

I'm pretty sure something really, horribly shitty is going to happen to Marc sometime in the future, and he will know without a doubt, it is karmic payback for this terrible stunt.
posted by timsteil at 4:29 PM on May 22, 2012


What a maroon, and I mean that in the most condescending Bugs Bunny voice possible.

For my part, I think most everyone else here is wonderful, and I too can confirm that not only is scody awesome, she is real. I done seen her with my own two eyes!
posted by bedhead at 4:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This also reminds me of when my High School announced that several well-known and well-liked students had been killed in a drunk driving accident over the weekend. I was dumbstruck, on the verge of tears, then the "dead" students strolled in wearing ghastly face-paint and M.A.D.D. t-shirts.

Damn.

That ended when she started talking about how she and her friends liked to have fun by posting fake questions to Ask.

Damn.

I often assume the worst right off because then you can be pleasantly surprised when people don't suck, and because blah blah, bad childhood, blah blah. And sometimes I wish I wasn't like that. But then I read stories like these and I'm so glad I'm like that.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I spend a lot of my time at work selling flowers to grieving families like a mom who just lost her 21 year old, or a Japanese elderly lady who just lost her best friend, or a grieving family whose soldier came home from the sandbox in a coffin.
To pull a stunt like this is so incredibly disrespectful to those who have something to grieve about-heck, I can't believe I wasted my tears on this and Lord knows this has been a rough year and those tears had other places to go.


To the perp, if you are reading this: Please, just never ever do anything like this ever again, and please for the love of God go find Jesus. Because He is the only one who could fix this kind of jacked up crap. Because God knows if you had ever lost a loved one to suicide or for that matter to anything how in the hades could you do this to anyone else.

Selah!

(Ps, to the mods and my fellow Mefites, you rock. That never changes.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter has made my life better in so many ways that I can't describe.

QFT.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is a bizarre way to begin the day.

Mods - you guys rock. Thanks for coming out and making this public in a clear and forthright way. And thanks for building this awesome place that I love.

holdkris99
, I don't know what the hell, man. We've never met, but I grieved for you. I'm glad you're not dead - being a massive tool isn't enough for me to wish you that - but you are some 100% A-grade douchecanoe. I don't know why you would do this to these people who've never done anything but show you support.

I know it matters not to you, but you have earned my eternal scorn. Your life must be pathetic and empty. And if it isn't, I'm sure your idiocy will make it so shortly.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


100% A-grade douchecanoe

Well, now I'm smiling!
posted by Dasein at 4:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, fuck. Fuck.
I've been thinking sadly about this ever since the obit thread was first posted. Been mourning the loss of a great guy who somehow juuust didn't make it through, who thought the brave choice would be to spare his family and himself another bout with meth.

Heh. Here I've been feeling guilty that I hadn't yet found the right words to say in the obit thread.
Right. Crossing this off the to-do list, then.
posted by likeso at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2012


Whoa. I was busy with graduation all weekend and hadn't checked MeFi for a few days - I am really darn glad I found this post before the original one. Sincere condolences to Matt on your loss, and props to all the mods on their handling of this, especially Jessamyn - I can't imagine the finesse and bravery needed to write that email.

My uncle - also named Marc, incidentally - committed suicide about 6 months ago. This is pretty much the least funny joke I can imagine. I had string of well-chosen curses planned, but on the chance that Bunny Ultramod's rather charitable interpretation of events is correct, I'll just repeat: holdkris99, if you're reading this, please seek help.
posted by naoko at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I found myself Googling around for the guy and his "wife" and found their Facebook pages (they're listed as "engaged" still), but didn't really take it further. Glad somebody did.
posted by Gator at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2012


I kind of figured. When I saw the beastie boys comment and then looked through and saw the comment history and the 'fantastic' situations they kept being in, I told Mrs. Cashman I was pretty sure it was fake. I didn't dare say that, but it was just really weird (someone in the 500ish comments above mine has surely pointed this out) that 4 or 5 days after a suicide that this incredibly detailed post would be made.

Thanks for being great mods. As Bill Cosby said, I have seen the boss's job and I don't want it. I don't know how you guys stay sane, I really don't.
posted by cashman at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2012


I feel sucker punched.
posted by deborah at 4:42 PM on May 22, 2012


I didn't comment in the prior MeTa, because I wanted to provide my condolences, but I had nothing to add to all the things others had said. Once again, I saw that my life was relatively quiet, simple, and pleasantly bland. The problems others spoke of were foreign worlds to me, and I felt like my words would be hollow at best.

I wanted to talk to my wife about it, because I cried while reading the thread, but I didn't know what to say to my wife. She knows of my interest in MetaFilter. She's even been to meet-ups. But trying to talk to her about my sorrow over someone whose handle I didn't really recognize felt odd. She had a real friend who killed himself, most likely due to a bad mix of depression and drugs. I went to the funeral with her and her friends, I saw real sorrow for a friend gone.

But now I don't have to share this weird ordeal. Thanks, my life can go back to being pleasantly bland in most aspects.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


My ego mirrors Bunny Ultramod's sentiments, that holdkris99 ought to seek help. I really think something is the matter and this was a signal that professional assistance is needed. Even if holdkris99 is blind to it personally, I think it's something that he should address soon.

However, my id is pretty ticked off, so fuck 'em.
posted by CancerMan at 4:44 PM on May 22, 2012


languagehat declaimed:
"I don't really see the need to immortalize your alleged precognition here."

sweetkid asked. Also, it's part of processing the whole thing, especially for those who talked themselves out of whatever instincts may have been in effect to give a genuine, heartfelt response despite entertaining grave doubts. Especiallyespecially when those doubts created negative feelings about one's own value as a human being.

So...does that help you see the need, maybe a little...?
posted by batmonkey at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm really confused. and kinda pissed off.
posted by jonmc at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2012


I think it's entirely possible that he both needs professional help AND is an insufferable asshole, simultaneously.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [35 favorites]


Well, maybe this is tawdry but you (I) always end up learning something on Metafilter. Thanks ErikaB. Even if it is about death by hibachi.

Oh yeah, carbon monoxide poisoning from open solid fuel (eg charcoal) burners is a real thing. It happens every now & then to tourists in hill stations in the Himalaya. From memory, even the Lonely Planet warns against accepting charcoal braziers for room heating.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 PM on May 22, 2012


Faking your own death on the internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ2_avaK_W4
posted by The otter lady at 4:48 PM on May 22, 2012


I remember reading about holdkris99's 'suicide' right after I woke up and feeling bummed, then I stepped into my corner store and saw the headlines about RFK Jr's wife, and thinking "Damn that's two suicides before getting on the subway. Nice fucking omen."
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


On preview: Liverpool? I really dislike the Beatles, but I do love Echo & the Bunnymen. Does Ian McCulloch support Liverpool?

I knew him a bit before he was famous and I don't remember him being particularly interested in football at all. However, his best mate at the time is a Liverpudlian.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


So here's the thing: I lurked forever and just recently joined. That thread and the things people said in it made me feel great about being part of this community. The important part isn't what those assholes did, it's how people on here reacted, with the kind of compassion and support and wise words and sadness that got expressed in that thread. I still feel great about being part of this community.
posted by Cocodrillo at 4:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm sorry about Matt's grandfather, and how bad this has made him feel, and I'm sorry Jessamyn, who has always seemed like such an awesomely caring person, had to write that email.

I'm not sorry that I gave a shit about this. And I'm not sorry that so many of you did, too. Compassion is never a bad thing, even if it's elicited dishonestly.

also, I knew Matt always loved scody best!
posted by biscotti at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]




Difficult to strike out a . but well worth it in this instance.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 5:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, dude. I've been posting on various internet sites for a good twelve years and I've seen a lot of drama but this is the most fucked up thing I've ever witnessed by far.

Count me as another one who let my emotion over this situation creep into my own life for a good day or so last weekend. My husband attempted suicide in a similar way six years ago and reading that metatalk thread brought up a lot of emotional stuff I will probably never get over.

So, good job, douchebag.
posted by something something at 5:01 PM on May 22, 2012


From some diligent Googling

And not even that. I just found out pretty much everything you did about his real name and mugshot and crime in about 90 seconds.
posted by King Bee at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't think anybody should take it too hard that they were gamed. It happens when people are fucked up. Your nearest relations, closest friends can one day spring on you shit you'd never have expected. Even people in social services and medicine, who have had years of training and have excellent radar and observation skills, are often the victims of attempted manipulation by clients and patients. If you've been lucky enough not to have encountered this often, you've been lucky indeed.

I'm one of the "precognition" folks who read it, found the tone and length strange, and said nothing. It's not that i thought it was a fake for sure, and I didn't email the mods, though it's telling that some people did. It's entirely possible that even in the midst of grief and making funeral arrangements, somebody could go on that long, though the litany of "MeFi Moments" remembered was a little specific for someone who was purportedly an over-the-shoulder reader. But really, not a thing in it was beyond belief.

It's more that I didn't have any connection to the story. I'd never met holdkriss99, never had a MeMail exchange, never had any back and forth with them that I could remember, really couldn't even remember any stories. I could see that others did feel that connection, though, and said so in their comments. I elected to stay silent rather than post an insincere "I didn't know you but sorry" kind of thing. Let others have their grief. Also, there was talk of hoaxing in a thread I was in, whether it's ever OK, and some people floated whether we'd feel differently if it was MeFi that was hoaxed. Can't help but wonder if this was related.

No one has a darn thing to be ashamed about. There are bad actors and fucked-up people out there, everywhere. I side with those who say they deserve pity rather than anger. You don't have to change your attitude toward others or the site at all, though it is interesting to note the degree of trust we have in the "community" and wonder sometimes whether that's warranted. I was just reading about a dating site in China where the stakes for marriage are pretty high, and they have created a "verified user" status which increases based on the number of people who have actually met you - kind of like Jessamyn's "Verified(tm)" badge. We don't need that, it doesn't need to come to that. But if it was easy to garner sympathy, what if they had tried to raise donations? Thanks Matt for blocking that avenue. They would have collected.

If your ethics are to be empathetic, kind, and supportive, just continue that. No one person can take that away. We do live in a world with people are not on the up-and-up for a variety of reasons, but they're a small minority and shouldn't get to determine how we decide to treat each other and approach situations. Don't leave your skepticism aside all the time, but you don't have to turn flinty, either. If nothing else, it makes me value more all the real, personal relationships I've developed through going to meetups and corresponding with MeFites. I've gained much more by trusting most of them than I ever would have by stonewalling most of them based on lack of trust (though I have done that to a few!)
posted by Miko at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2012 [34 favorites]


From some diligent Googling

Which is kind of inevitable and understandable and I won't for a moment knock anyone for being curious about stuff, but at the risk of stating the needless here I really appreciate that the thread hasn't become an actual dumping ground for googled up stuff so far and would absolutely appreciate folks continuing to abide by that, weird though the whole mess is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I literally feel sick. I opened a lot of old personal wounds in the memail I sent mrsholdkris99.
posted by 256 at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I will just transfer my condolences along to Matt and his family and say that I'm still proud to be a member of this community.
posted by jabo at 5:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What the hell? How shitty, shitty, shitty. I'm gobsmacked, disheartened and really shocked. I feel disgust towards holdkriss99 and his "wife" and sadness for all of the Mefis, whether they commented in the earlier suicide thread or not, if they teared up or sat in stunned grief upon hearing of his "death". How we were all duped.................

No, wait. I want to amend that. Perhaps someone else upthread has already spoken to this (this is the first time I've commented without first reading every previous line. I will do so as soon as I hit "send", but want to express myself as I am feeling these raw emotions), but I want to say Good for you, Metafilter. You all have shown yourselves to be open, kind, strong and caring people, willing to help someone in a time of serious trouble, extending your hand metaphorically or otherwise to lift a person you thought was drowning in sorrow out of troubled waters. You are good, no, great people, and I'm proud to know this community to the small extent I do. I tip my hat and add a deep bow to all of you who cared enough to respond to or care about this impostor, because your emotions and gestures were genuine and beautiful. And to holdkriss and his "wife", I give the stinkiest stink eye you will ever know. Don't tell me you can't feel it, you creeps, you cruds.
posted by but no cigar at 5:05 PM on May 22, 2012


It's a weird hoax, but so well-written. They/he should use their power for good not evil.

I am glad he is not dead and I don't really mind that I spent the weekend thinking and coming more to terms with my brother's suicide. I am actually thankful for it.
posted by Duffington at 5:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy shit.

The skepticism-before-compassion wheel gets turned another notch. How depressing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just paid the entry fee, after years of lurking and wondering what the professional white background looked like, to post this:

I read metatalk and the rest of the site almost everyday. When I saw a post with 300+ comments, I was really excited. I love long threads about community policy (I am a type of strange) but once I read the first few sentences, I had to close the tab and move on.

My fiance killed himself 11 years ago, but that pain is still fresh at times. I sometimes want to read threads about suicide but have to stop myself. That thread brought my pain back so I had to close it.

But seeing the 300+ comments (even without reading them) made part of me happy, and made me love metafilter even more, seeing all the love and support.

So curse them/him/she for what they did, but you have a wonderful community here. The fact that this can happen doesn't lessen what you have here.

Don't stop being awesome just because there are assholes in the world.
posted by right_then at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [75 favorites]


This is bullcrap. Seriously. So lame, and that's coming from someone who embellished a story from his background and turned his little sister into a pyromaniac murderer.

But for what it's worth, there is a bit of light from that thread, at least in my house. I guess I've been pretty down of late - it's not something I really noticed, just thinking it was stress at work and so on, but the original thread is something that helped prod my wife into saying something to me, which prompted a good, healthy talk and some changes to help me get back on the up and up. Little silver linings and all.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [20 favorites]


Wowww this is beyond messed up. I feel like apologizing on behalf of my species.
posted by LordSludge at 5:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this thread on the bus ride home... and wow. Some people are really twisted meat. So many people above me have written far more eloquent posts than I could ever hope to, but I wanted to make sure this post gets more comments than the previous.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:11 PM on May 22, 2012


Actually, I'm dead, too. So's cortex and jess and matt. It's the Site Of The Living Dead.

BRAINS. or bacon or something...
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on May 22, 2012


Just wow.
posted by Sailormom at 5:12 PM on May 22, 2012


On the other hand, it's nice to not feel like the worst person in the room for once.

So, y'know, there's that. Small win?
posted by aramaic at 5:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]



This is bullcrap. Seriously. So lame, and that's coming from someone who embellished a story from his background and turned his little sister into a pyromaniac murderer.


Yeppp big difference.
posted by sweetkid at 5:12 PM on May 22, 2012


What a douchebag.
posted by spitbull at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm not too invested in any of this, but I had to point out the comment in the Sandusky thread.

If this guy's comments are going to stay up, they need an asterisk.
posted by Trochanter at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


A silver living has emerged as I have learned a new neologism: pseudocide.
posted by boo_radley at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ugh, so disappointing.
posted by smoke at 5:15 PM on May 22, 2012


MsMolly: "Pssh. Yeah, but you're probably a robot, Jessamyn. I mean, a librarian who also rocks the Internet? Like those exist."

I am perhaps unique in the MeFi universe in that the only other MeFite I have ever met in real life is Jessamyn. I can vouch for her, but nobody can vouch for me.

Also, I've lost two friends to suicide in the last two years. Whatever holdkris hoped to accomplish, this dreadful scenario showed me (again) me how incredibly awesome this community is. The remembrance thread was full of loving kindness, and the fact that it was based on a false premise diminishes that not at all.
posted by workerant at 5:16 PM on May 22, 2012


I just want to thank the mods, and say to us all that there is nothing wrong with being empathetic and caring, ever.

[Also, I have been a member 11 years and have exactly 308 comments. Take that as you will. Mostly I think it's my introversion.]

And thank you all for everything, because it matters.
posted by ltracey at 5:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I never need all of you, I will now think twice. Hesitating for fear of being distrusted for my need. I read this last night on the phone, before going to bed and it kept me awake, bringing back memories of another social engineering episode that had been personal to me myself. I thought I'd been humiliated there, but this, this is a bigger loss.

(hugs mods)

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh, I cried in that thread.
posted by infini at 5:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people proclaiming after the fact that they knew it all along.

You'd have to be a very brave person to stand up and express your misgivings before the mods pronounce. Remember how we treated that guy who didn't buy that whole story about the two Russian girls who were in mortal danger of being sold into white slavery?

These days, I just suspend my disbelief -- but I don't really invest anything emotionally in any of it. Somebody on the internet died? Sorry for your loss. Now about them lolcats...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blimey. Unbelievable.

I felt horribly guilty reading the announcement post because I had holdkris99 down as one of those Why hello, I just happen to have a perfectly polished anecdote on this subject, feed me favourites bullshit artists on MetaFilter, and now here his wife was detailing his difficult life and tragic death. Funny that I didn't buy the comments and then fell for the serious fakery hook line and sinker.

Dasein: "This is the day Metafilter lost its innocence"

Surely that day came when we found out that dhoyt was highsignal, hall of robots and jenleigh (I'm still completely gobsmacked by that, seven years later.)
posted by jack_mo at 5:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Some of holdkris99's stories may hold a grain of truth, and either embellished to be grander than they were, or fantasized with alternate endings. What mattered to me was sincerity, something I've always held (and will continue to hold) MetaFilter to, and now that this hoax was revealed I can no longer treat any of those posts and comments as sincere, no matter how "truthful" they really are.

So if holdkris99 and his sister were truly abused, had a mother addicted to drugs, had a father whose pride and joy was a share of the Green Bay Packers, and a 13-yo son that said goodbye to a 99-yo grandmother, none of that matters to me anymore.

Boy met wolf, I suppose.
posted by CancerMan at 5:23 PM on May 22, 2012


**ever** need, bah, typos
posted by infini at 5:26 PM on May 22, 2012


About five years ago, I lost my closest friend to suicide. I was the one who found her body and dealt with the whole traumatic situation. Worst thing that ever happened to me, and certainly the holdkriss thread brought some of it back.

I sent my current girlfriend a link to the phony thread along with a link to It's Raining Florence Henderson's comment. I think I said something like "I wish I'd had people around to say sensible and compassionate things like this at the time I was going through something similar" (wasn't a reader of metafilter then).

Anyway, even allowing that this was a fucked-up hoax, I'm glad to know about this community's great potential for compassion and insight, which was on display there in ways I've never seen online.

It's nice to know y'all are out there, minus a certain dick.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 5:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Fucker! I bet he didn't grill out that weekend, either.~TedW

Thanks, TedW. That made me laugh out loud, which is the last thing I figured I'd do in this thread. Again I say, Metafilter rules!
posted by but no cigar at 5:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love long threads about community policy (I am a type of strange)

You are going to fit right in here.
posted by rtha at 5:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


Not to make any of this about me wonderful me -- I echo as always the praise for our admin and mods and for the community as a whole, which I love, and I think anger is an appropriate reaction but so is pride in the way we as a community offered our emotional support in the original thread -- but one of the thoughts I had in that fake obit thread was how lucky he had a wife so articulate and willing to write so much about him, to tell a bunch of people he never met and that he ostensibly loved about him and about what had happened. Because my wife's English isn't so great, and she doesn't know Metafilter, and even if she did, she wouldn't write something like that anyway, because she's a very private person.

So even though I would never have said so in that thread, of course, and I'm not proud of how self-centred thoughts like that are, even if they're natural, I guess, I found myself thinking about my inevitable demise (and I'm pretty sure I'll still be a member here if there's still a Metafilter to be a member of when it happens) and whether there'll be anyone to say The Words about me.

It's an odd world we live in, or I do at least, over here in Korea, where hundreds, hell, thousands, of people out on the internet know me better than the people (other than my wife) I live among every day. Made me even sadder than I already was in sympathy for the purportedly bereaved wife and family of holdkris99.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


subbes: If you can, meet some personally

I can vouch for her, but nobody can vouch for me.

I think I should take a year off and go around meeting people so that we can have some Mod-Verified checkmark you can have on your profiles. Mine would be orange. subbes and workerant are both people I know IRL and like a great deal.

Thanks for the general understanding here folks. Matt and I were both out of town as this was all unfolding and all of us were concerned about how to best break the bad and upsetting news to everyone. As much as this is distressing to us, it's one of the weird downsides to having this sort of job. My sister, as a person who manages an office, has to occasionally clean (or get other people to clean) poop out of places it should not be in the restrooms at her workplace. Today was not a great day, but it beats her bad days by a mile.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [48 favorites]


jack_mo, Metafilter is no stranger to run-of-the-mill internet sockpuppetry and weirdness. That's par for the course, and people are prepared for it and hardened against it. This is a much more profound deceit, and it took in people who are used to having their guard up about things on the internet. It aimed right at the core of our natures - sympathy for those who are suffering - and exploited it for a cheap laugh. Creating sockpuppets to back yourself up doesn't even begin to compare.
posted by Dasein at 5:39 PM on May 22, 2012


I have only met one MeFite IRL. Unfortunately, I already instructed this individual to fabricate amazing lies about me if the subject ever comes up. So if I die, expect a verification something like, "Yup. I met him. He's real. He was probably crushed to death by the weight of his own enormous head."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think I should take a year off and go around meeting people so that we can have some Mod-Verified checkmark you can have on your profiles. Mine would be orange.

Oh man I love this idea. Get the whole gang together and come to Iceland! I got friends in the hospitality industry; I can totally hook you up. Besides, Reykjavík meet-ups are almost always just me and Kattullus (actually haven't been in touch with that guy for a while now, I should drop him a line.)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


So if I die, expect a verification something like, "Yup. I met him. He's real. He was probably crushed to death by the weight of his own enormous head."

I will say:

That dude could stay up late. Really late.

.
posted by Miko at 5:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


What a weird clusterfuck. Reading the (fictional) obit made me cry, but that's ok, it's a good thing to have and express feelings, I cry in sad movies and from sad books all the time. I really feel for the people for whom this hit close to home, though; that's where this turned from being just sort of a strange fiction project to being actively shitty. And I'm very, very glad that it was discovered before it got to the point of donations.
posted by Forktine at 5:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have only met one MeFite IRL. Unfortunately, I already instructed this individual to fabricate amazing lies about me if the subject ever comes up.

And I told you, I'm tired, man...
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've met two compulsive liars. The first was one of my closest friends throughout my late teens: we worked together intensively on projects outside of school, and I spent many of my formative days hanging around his house, which at the time had become a social hub of sorts.

His confabulations were as brash as they were petty: at one point, he claimed to have filed a police report for a missing wallet, overstating the amount of cash in it by a factor of ten while filling out the form, then have the recovered wallet returned to him containing the inflated amount. He also maintained he was completely colourblind.

The point of these examples is that although me and my friends were young, certainly naive, and quite possibly held back by loyalty or a tendency to avoid conflict, I always wondered why nobody called him out on his bullshit. I mean, no police department that I've ever heard of of has piles of cash money sitting around simply to dole out to hapless billfold-displacing citizens, and we were in plenty of situations where his supposed monochromacy would have been easily disproved. Such an open secret was this behaviour that some of his more outlandish myths became running gags among his friends — outside of his presence at least.

The second liar was more of a friend of a friend into my early twenties, one who I was never quite close with but who happened to hang out in mostly the same places and with many of the same people as I. This one certainly managed to get a bit more traction from his fabrications, being a very popular kid indeed: a "guys want to be him, girls want to be with him" type, his meticulously maintained mystique owing in no small part to his, well, mystifications.

I held no direct allegiance to this person, but I did see some of my lovely and gullible and dear friends fall for his deceit time and again, plus I had been burned once before. So when one of those late nights at the bar rolled around and I conveniently found myself (a) a little bit drunk and (b) alone with him, I let fall a pregnant pause and flat-out asked:

So, why is it you lie all the time?

What ensued is unlike anything else I have ever experienced before or since. Apparently like the first liar he was so used to getting away with his fictions that it had become completely unthinkable to him (although in reality perhaps perversely inevitable) that this moment would come.

As for the remainder of that conversation, I do not remember the exact details: I was after all slightly inebriated, not to mention completely terrified. (Normally I would never have dared breach an unspoken social barrier in this manner — the conflict avoidance runs deep in me indeed.) But I will say, at the risk of sounding trite, that I believe something changed in him that night.

Now, I can lay no claim to knowing whether the person who has misled our community so brazenly is in a similar mental state to the liars I've met. I certainly have no sympathy for what that person has done. But my personal experiences have led me to believe that such blatant deception may well come from a very dark place, and with that I do empathize.

I understand that what has happened here hits significantly closer to home for some than it does for me, and let me be clear, I do not intend to absolve anyone of their very basic and fair responsibility to be civil, and not to mislead our community. Everyone here has a right to their own appraisal of this horrid episode. But as far as I'm concerned I feel this is simply a terrible thing to have happened, and I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of the moderators today or in those of Mefites affected by this perverse little stunt. But as for the person responsible, I also wouldn't want to be in theirs.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Verified By Jessamyn. That would be quite the seal of approval.
posted by medusa at 5:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


At the time that this happened, I actually thought to myself, "God, I really wish this were a hoax". I am relieved? I guess? I never want anyone to die at their own hand. I'm not angry, not yet at least, maybe I will be after I go through and read this whole shit.
Right now, I am at the Holy Shit phase.
posted by msali at 5:52 PM on May 22, 2012


my thoughts -

1 - this is classic narcissism in action

2 - i would suggest that holdkris99's user name be changed to "holdkris99 (banned for faking suicide on metafilter)" - that way, people who run across his posts can make their own judgment as to their worth

3 - death by hibachi would be a good mefi user name - or a rock band's

4 - i skimmed through the original thread and quit reading - it was bumming me out, as i've lost someone i loved through suicide, too, a long time ago - i wanted to have a good day and closed it up
posted by pyramid termite at 5:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


I am so angry about this.

I came here because my friend, who was a Metafilter member, committed suicide. Because of the circumstances surrounding my friend's life and death, there was no death notice (that I could find, and my gods did I try) and definitely no obituary. For almost two years I struggled to figure out how to tie up this particular loose end, as I suspected my friend's family had no knowledge of a Metafilter account. Jessamyn took me at my word and closed my friend's account. She and the other mods could have told me sorry, no proof, nothing they could do. But they did not.

I read through that thread. My heart really did break for mrs holdkriss99. I relived some of the rawness of feeling that came with the initial news of my friend's death.

And it was all some shitty, shitty lie. And for what? An opportunity to mock the naiveté and good intentions of people like me? Well congratulations, holdkriss99. Mission accomplished.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think I should take a year off and go around meeting people

I'm sure your presence would be enough to actually get more than five or six Tokyo Mefites in the same room at the same time. Seriously, there's like 30 or more of us. Come on over. There's sofas aplenty (even futons) waiting for your Mefite Verification Tour.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:56 PM on May 22, 2012


But I will say, at the risk of sounding trite, that I believe something changed in him that night.

I certainly hope that's the case, because my experience with chronic liars has been quite the opposite. The many layers the wrap around themselves as a filter between themselves and other people is often so thick and has become so safe, comforting and automatic that there's usually little chance of breaking through. In your case, maybe you had just the right choice of words, or he was at such a crucial point in his life, that the damaging nature of his deceit became fully realized by him.

This really hit home for me when I was watching Six Feet Under a few years back. In particular, the episiode That's My Dog. It's a truly gut-wrenching episode involving one character being kidnapped, tortured, drugged and beaten by a psychopath. At one point, the victim pleads with the kidnapper to tell him if one story he told was true. The kidnapper's response was, "No! That’s just the kind of thing people like me say to people like you to get you to feel good about yourself."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't post in the other thread, but I did read it and have a very strong reaction. (Suicide touches a lot of people in one way or another.)

Anyway, I think most of how I feel has already been covered, but I'd like to kindly request that the next time someone posts about a loved on that has died, that people don't immediately go all Scooby on them in-thread. If you have doubts, use the contact form. The worst possible outcome of this situation -- far worse than our temporary grief that we will all get over because we're well-adjusted adults who have nothing to be ashamed of for caring -- is the idea that the well has been poisoned and that future loved ones in mourning will have to put up with a truth inquisition in response to their post. That is the real legacy of this fiasco as I see it.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [32 favorites]


I have never met Jessamyn, but once got a chastising email from her which was at once so fair and so devastating that I instantly transformed into somebody better. If there's a robot that can do that, the Time of Humans has come to an end.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [56 favorites]


I didn't offer condolences in thst thread though I read it. I just closed the tab, because after reading it I felt like it was faked.

And then I felt like shit for being so cynical when I didn't have any actual proof it was faked, just that it felt all wrong.

What had me doubting, first off, was the eloquence and in-depth obituary post, supposedly so soon after the "suicide" happened. In my experience, shock and grief leave the sufferer feeling exhausted and overwhelmed right after the fact, and telling relatives and loved ones in real life about the death feels like more than enough to handle right then. When it comes to telling others--well, usually it is a good long while before you're ready to go into detail. If you did feel the need to tell this online dommunity what happened, you'd likely be terse, communicating just the facts, because you have enough to deal with already, arranging the funeral and saying good-bye yourself.

And then also, there was the cause of death. Suicides are even more difficult. Survivors wonder if they should even share the cause of death.They worry about kids or parents being hurt or just feel like it's private and no one else's business.

Sure, eventually you will wonder why, and try to make sense of a suicide, but that comes much later.
posted by misha at 6:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked him better dead.
posted by Jode at 6:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Art = pretty lies. We may not like it, but for some people, this is a true statement.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:10 PM on May 22, 2012


"Look at me, I'm an asshole," I reckon.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, going forward what does this all mean? Perhaps some sort of firm proof of death policy before any more obits like this? I'm not really sure what the mechanics of that would be but perhaps its an unfortunate necessity now.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was not art.
posted by OsoMeaty at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope the guy soon realizes he'll need to do something extravagantly generous to atone for this. Not here, obviously but somewhere in the world nearby.
posted by dragonplayer at 6:15 PM on May 22, 2012


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?


Well, when both I and the internet were much younger.....over 10 years younger....I got taken in by someone pretending to be something they weren't online. It left me pretty cynical and I always tend to have a moment of "what if?" when I see something like the obit thread. Usually that "what if?" dissipates before it can really take hold, but when reading the wife's post and responses in the thread...I dunno, the feeling that something was wrong got stronger, not lesser.

As others said, a lot of it was the ~dramatical~ nature of the writing. It was paced like a fiction. There was a certain glibness, a certain...so it felt to me...self awareness of how certain phrases would affect people. It read like it was TRYING to give people an emotional punch to the stomach. I didn't catch the more technical mistakes, like the wife using "." but I wondered at the whole car-in-the-garage bit.

The thing that got me was that he was a member here for YEARS. Why throw away the goodwill you've garnered? Whatever persona you've invented for yourself that people have accepted? That's what made me decide I was being silly and that's the part that still surprises me a bit now. Why shit where you eat?
posted by Windigo at 6:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Art = pretty lies. We may not like it, but for some people, this is a true statement
"Look at me, I'm an asshole," I reckon.


And that's how we got Robert Mapplethorpe.
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on May 22, 2012


Art = pretty lies.

Gosh, I hope this definition of art never catches on. It's sort of the way extremists describe fiction, just before they burn the books.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Look at me, I'm an asshole,"

And that's how we got Robert Mapplethorpe.

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:18 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, going forward what does this all mean? Perhaps some sort of firm proof of death policy before any more obits like this? I'm not really sure what the mechanics of that would be but perhaps its an unfortunate necessity now.

Mostly I don't think it means much. We'll be maybe a little more shy if something seems a little too on-the-nose, or ask gentle questions about stories that are missing pieces a little bit sooner, if that specific sort of scenario comes up again, I guess, but this is the sort of thing that's an outlier of an outlier to begin with. It's rare that we hear about a member of this community dying; it's a lot rarer still that that turns out to be a bald-faced lie rather than just legitimately bad news.

Beyond a certain point it becomes impossible to transfer all of the weight in the "trust but verify" equation to the verify part and still have a working community. And if that means we risk the rare shitty bit of manipulation by someone making seriously unkind decisions about who to lie to and about what, I think we just need to be okay with that. This sort of situation is awful to have to deal with but, as folks have said, it's mostly awful in the sense that people being entirely decent to each other have been made to feel manipulated by an isolated bad actor. Better that than cutting ourselves off just to make sure that one of the things we lose in the process is a little bit of a chance of being suckered.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:21 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


One of the reasons I would never be able to build and run a community like metafilter is that I lack the ability to "let go" like the mods here do. I was duped, happily admit that...I thought the story was a bit odd, but people experience death of others in their lives in different ways, and who am I to decide what is the right way?
posted by maxwelton at 6:22 PM on May 22, 2012


It shouldn't mean anything at all. It is hard not to change in response to this, but one shouldn't let these liars define them.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing that really angers me about this is that people, some of them in a vulnerable place, were hurt emotionally by it, as several above have shared. That really sucks.
posted by thelonius at 6:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't say for anyone else, but for me, it means at the next STL meet-up I'm going to ask everyone who shows up to, if I ever pull a stunt like this, drag my ass somewhere and have them shove my head into an MRI machine while there's a chance the tumor is still operable.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Jesus, how shitty.

I'm happy to say that jessamyn can verify my existence if the need ever arises.
posted by OmieWise at 6:26 PM on May 22, 2012


She's already verified mine. Unless of course that wasn't me. In which case, who was it?
posted by jonmc at 6:29 PM on May 22, 2012


I didn't comment in the original thread. I'm still lurking moar and I didn't feel like I had anything to add. It's complicated how something like this, where a total stranger (whose name I didn't even know) can affect me, mostly because of how it affected y'all, especially that part of y'all that I've actually met.

I'm happy to hear the man isn't dead, I'm not very confident that anything else he had to say wasn't also fabricated. Maybe something was going to unravel so he played big for his exit. I don't know. I hope he later regrets his choices. My regrets in life tend to be when I wasn't as kind as I could've been. I don't regret feeling sad for his widow or feeling bad that someone my friends knew and cared about had killed himself.

The lesson I learn from this is that more meetups should happen. Hangin' with MeFites is what got me started on being in this community and I like how face-to-face interaction draws me into this great circle and it's probably time again. Also beer.
posted by Mad_Carew at 6:29 PM on May 22, 2012


Ugh. I don't know what I feel worse about -- being duped about the suicide or the knowledge that most of his comments were probably fabricated. (No Little Granny?) The comments that lead me to say in the obit thread that I thought of him as a good egg.

(facepalm)

I'm just so stinking glad there wasn't a paypal donate button anywhere because I'd have been out money, too.

Thank you, mods. You are fantastic, wise and compassionate.
Thank you, skeptics. Without you, saps like me would have dwelled on the fake death for weeks.
And thank you, fellow saps ... I couldn't ask for a kinder bunch of user numbers to be associated with.

Going to play Diablo now and click things to death until I feel better.
posted by ladygypsy at 6:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


She's already verified mine. Unless of course that wasn't me. In which case, who was it?

Or maybe that wasn't Jessamyn at all!

The contact form was on the website all along!
posted by Ghidorah at 6:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have had my problems with depression and suicidal thoughts. And whenever I read something like that obit thread it makes me relieved that I haven't put any of my family and friends through such grief. So, if only one good thing comes out of that thread, it's a reminder of what suicide does to the people left behind. When times get tough, and they always do, I try to remember that and ask for help.

My love to MetaFilter - you really are the best of the internet.
posted by deborah at 6:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [21 favorites]


That Sandusky link does make me wonder if some sort of permanent notification is needed by all of holdkris99's comments, if not an out and out MetaFilter Death Penalty. It seems extreme but future readers of these threads ought to know how it all turned out.
posted by gerryblog at 6:36 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing that got me was that he was a member here for YEARS. Why throw away the goodwill you've garnered?

My guess, especially since they're addicts, is that if the mods hadn't rumbled him, mrs holdkriss would have eventually found herself in a position of temporary financial embarrassment and have been reluctantly forced to throw herself on the kindness of the community that had opened their hearts to her.

That whole bit where she specifically mentioned that she didn't need any help because Marc had left her the book selling business in good order was just setting the hook. I'm sure we had months of funny but heartbreaking stories about her reversals and setbacks in the trade before the pitch came - probably not on MeTa but over MeMail to the people that had reached out to her and become regular correspondents.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [26 favorites]


Actually, one of my bosses at work went to high school with Mapplethorpe and said he was kind of a jerk.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 PM on May 22, 2012


Well, jesus fuck. What a couple of prize assholes. I feel like a total chump for having felt sad for this cretin, for having cried tears over his big fake suicide.

Oh well. At least I got a reminder that this place is full of truly sweet, kind, loving people with good hearts. And at least that Wilco song isn't ruined for me anymore. (And fuck you for trying to ruin a good song, you fuckers. Here's hoping your next high is a real bad trip.)
posted by palomar at 6:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Is this what meth does to people, or do fucked up people gravitate to meth? I ask because, long story short, my formerly cool uncle married a crazy former meth addict and they both went down the spiral, pulling bullshit very much like this. She's back in prison, last I heard he might have gotten a job and been able to move out of the homeless shelter... meth, man. It's obviously super cool.)
posted by palomar at 6:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


palomar, the meth story may have been bullshit, too.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 PM on May 22, 2012


Actually, one of my bosses at work went to high school with Mapplethorpe and said he was kind of a jerk.

If your bosses went to high school with me, you might hear the same thing about this guy.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, I suppose that's true. I guess being a meth addict and being a lowlife scumbag are not actually mutually exclusive. (Sorry, any former meth addicts around here who don't suck... any impugnment of you is purely accidental.)
posted by palomar at 6:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


If your bosses went to high school with me, you might hear the same thing about this guy.

Heh. Did you go to Martin Van Buren High in Queens, NY? (My boss is also a photographer, so maybe there was rivalry.)
posted by jonmc at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2012


The terrible thing to me about this "instance" is that it caused me to make a donation to the local food bank. It happened because of a pathological liar, but it still happened.

No, that's not quite right about the terribleness. The donation I don't regret, though money is really tight right now and I should have had it in hand to make a different donation to honor someone much more real, who made a difference for years and who did actually just die this past Sunday morning. But -- I already gave that money, for a hoax, but to a good cause. It still does hurt my heart that it that it was for a hoax and not to a person I really do want to honor.

What I really regret is that it made a month in which I'm trying so hard to deal gracefully with my 90-year-old uncle's imminent departure harder. My uncle's death will loosen my grip this world just that little bit more, since I don't have parents or children or a partner, all of which I feel the absence of keenly when there is loss on the horizon.

On one hand, I've not only had flashbacks to really deep loss, but lost more trust in people, trust that was shaky to start with. On the other, I am often and again overwhelmed by the decency and true kindness in this community.

So, letting go of this. With a huge thank you to our mods and all of you unlying, real, empathetic people here.

There's only one rule that I know of, babies - "God damn it, you've got to be kind.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
posted by vers at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


Can I have my . Back?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2012


Holy shit! I am flabbergasted.

It's weird, just last night I finished reading a novel about a charming pathological liar and his effect on the lives of everyone he lies to and manipulates. It was really maddening because the liar in the book never learns, never changes, and never gets his comeuppance. He just moves from one trusting person to the next. How utterly bizarre to think there really are people like this in the world.

I feel a little foolish for having been tricked, but in the end, no matter what else is or isn't true about the things holdkris99 posted about himself, these aren't the actions of a well person. There's something very broken about abusing so many people's trust and good will. I hope he gets the help he needs (and doesn't take advantage of anyone else in the process).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, just bloody brilliant. This whole sorry tale has been picked up by Gizmodo.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:54 PM on May 22, 2012


GOGGLE
posted by mwhybark at 6:54 PM on May 22, 2012


And now I see that everyone knew that. Sorry.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:55 PM on May 22, 2012


Here are two facts about the world, both of which I've believed to be true for quite some time:
  1. Some people are capable of abusing your trust.
  2. Most people are kind, and decent, and generous, and trusting, and Metafilter has an awful lot of these sorts of people.
This particular episode added one additional piece of evidence for fact 1. It added about six hundred additional pieces of evidence for fact 2. I'd rather the whole thing didn't happen, but that's not too bad a takeaway, from my perspective.

My heart goes out to all of you who were kicked by this when you were down because of the struggles you are going through, but I also feel sad for the person out there who was a part of this great community, and who has such a remarkable gift of storytelling, and who squandered it so badly and so foolishly that I find it hard not to believe they are struggling in some way, too.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:57 PM on May 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


I know it won't happen, and I know it's a bad idea, but I really feel that the real-world identities of people like this should be exposed, just to protect everyone else who will ever deal with them. Sort of a "DANGER -- TOXIC PERSON" label.

"The tattoo on his forehead consists of three words, written in block letters: POOR IMPULSE CONTROL." - Snow Crash
posted by scalefree at 6:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


At least I got a reminder that this place is full of truly sweet, kind, loving people with good hearts.

There's a lot of sanity in this thread, and it's kind of making me feel less awful about this whole thing. Keep rolling, people.
posted by mintcake! at 7:00 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


If this guy's comments are going to stay up, they need an asterisk.

Comment of the thread so far, as far as I'm concerned. Is there actually any way to do something like this?

WARNING: this now ex-Mefite has been revealed to be a dupe and a liar.
posted by philip-random at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there actually any way to do something like this?

It would change the entire way we do things here. So yes there's probably a way but it's unlikely we'll implement something like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I fell for it and will fall for things like this again.

I don't feel diminished by the fact that this was fake.

What I do feel is compassion for everyone who was hurt by this lie.

I also feel a certain amount of compassion for holdkriss99 and his sock puppets and/or wife/fiance if only because they weren't able to value this excellent community enough to treat it decently and now they've lost their ability to be part of it forever.

Maybe that doesn't matter to them, but its even more sad to me if it doesn't.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:06 PM on May 22, 2012


Kinda relevant comic: Wolf
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hear, hear, Homeboy Trouble.
posted by Miko at 7:09 PM on May 22, 2012


Well...shit.
posted by jquinby at 7:11 PM on May 22, 2012


I thought it was strange that "she" linked previous posts and found the references to members kind of strange. And that she spent so much time right after his death getting an account and posting about it in detail. In the end, I believed it, though.

On another note, I just spent 1.5 hours reading about this Kaycee Nicole thing.
posted by KogeLiz at 7:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I'm taken aback by the rage in this thread. I'm not sure why exactly. My sister died in a car-bike collision many years ago, and her death was a Big Fucking Deal in my community, and I learned to basically mistrust Big Fucking Deal grief responses. Literally at the same time as the fake suicide thread opened here, a childhood friend chose to disappear into the wilderness with every sign of never returning, whether by disappearance or death is an open question and will remain so.

Never be angry that you feel sympathy for others, people. It's a sign of mental health.

Not that the anger response is an emotion subject to control, I recognize.
posted by mwhybark at 7:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


the definition of a dick move
posted by facetious at 7:13 PM on May 22, 2012


Heh. Did you go to Martin Van Buren High in Queens, NY?

No. But, holy crap, my mother did!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2012


Count one more who was fooled. This doesn't affect me personally as it did the mods, but I can't muster up any ill-will for holdkris. I'm glad the story we were told isn't true. A massive fuck-up but this was definitely a very troubled person. Who apparently wanted to stay, or else they wouldn't have given themselves an out to continue here with the mrs. "finding a home with us".
posted by bleep at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


How high was she?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes I am cynical. Yes, I wondered "who suicides because they might do drugs"?
posted by telstar at 7:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


How old is your mom? She might know my boss.
posted by jonmc at 7:19 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm as big a sucker for a good sob story as anyone you'll meet (ask me about my [now ex-]husband's faked closed-head injury) and so of course I bought this one too. So now I'm all WHAT THE FUCK and DUDE, GET HELP just like the other 500+ people who already posted.

Seriously though, what the fuck.
posted by shiny blue object at 7:20 PM on May 22, 2012


And here I thought I had lost the ability to be truly surprised. Nope. Surprise! Fuck you.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ew, gross. I'm sorry this happened, everybody and especially the mods. And mathowie, I'm sorry this happened at such a bad time for you.
posted by gingerest at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2012


!

The detailed followup comment by "mrs holdkris99" in the "obit" thread is incredibly creepy; they're basically fantasies of how they'd like to be perceived by the people in their lives.

If he really does have kids I feel terrible for them; I assume it's fairly difficult to have sociopathic parents.
posted by lalex at 7:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


(My Dad went to William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, a rival school, it's main alumi claim to fame was Whitey Ford. I had a bartender who went to Cardozo Hgh in Bayside, who's alumni include the guy who played Carl Winslow on Family Matters, Georger Tenet and....Ron Jeremy. In his bio Jeremy claims to have gotten his first blowjob at a tree near the school. My bartender claims that everyone used that tree for the same thing)
posted by jonmc at 7:23 PM on May 22, 2012


How old is your mom?

Like, 65 or something. #badson
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:23 PM on May 22, 2012


Cool prank bro!

Thanks to the mods for handling this, especially to Jessamyn - I really can't imagine having to write an email asking, "so, were you lying when you said your husband killed himself?" Thank you for doing that for us.

A month or so ago, my girlfriend came home, and she was mad at herself. Someone had accosted her in the subway station with a sob story and asked to be swiped though the turnstile (so she could go visit someone in the hospital, I think). She had donated the swipe, and then immediately felt dumb when she realized that the story was probably a lie. She felt like a sucker, and it was really bothering her. So I'll just ask everyone who feels even a little bit embarrassed by their own reaction in the obit thread what I asked her: "would you rather be generous, kind, empathetic, and sometimes be a sucker, or be cold, stingy, and mean, and sure that nobody ever took advantage of you?"

For me it's sucker, any day.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [44 favorites]


That sucks, though I'm not surprised. At least I don't feel like an asshole any more. I declined posting in the previous thread because it pinged my bullshit meter and there were some gaping holes/contradictions in that long, rambling post. What a shitty thing to do and I feel bad for all those members who were upset by the "news".
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

I've known a few friends who have been duped online, some by faked "deaths". It's shitty every time it happens, I can't understand how anyone could ever consider doing it, but yes, I've seen it before, too.

Once a dear friend, who had a long-distance relationship with a guy, was in a chatroom with him when he made a dramatic scene with their mutual friends as witnesses. He threatened to take a whole bottle of pills because he was so depressed. And she's tearfully telling me about this, and how everyone was trying to talk him down, but he took the pills anyway. When he started getting sleepy and typing weird stuff, she frantically told his best buddy in the chat room to quick call 911, and he said he was going straight to the guys house. And then her boyfriend's computer screen went black and she "just knew he was gone."

And I remember thinking, wait, he lived alone, friend had only just left, and he's losing consciousness from these pills, right? So who turned off the computer?

Guy even had his buddy in on it, to verify he was "gone." because that's so much easier than breaking up with her. *rolls eyes*

He showed up weeks later, in the same damn chatroom under another nick, but she realized it was him and it got even uglier.

Sometimes the internet brings out the worst in people.

But you have to also remember how it brings out the best in people, too. Look at what happened here: this one user did a stupid, cruel, fucked-up thing. But many, many more kind, loving people responded with sympathy, even though they only knew him through this site.

You have to like those odds.
posted by misha at 7:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I completely believed it as well, precisely because he HAD been around for so long and had built up so much (apparent) good will. If it had been a newer user, yeah, all the little things that others have pointed out would have probably stood out more.

But I'm glad I just left a prefunctory sympathy note in the thread, and didn't go into it any more detail.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:26 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


My sister died in a car-bike collision many years ago, and her death was a Big Fucking Deal in my community, and I learned to basically mistrust Big Fucking Deal grief responses.

I'm not sure I understand this. Could you clarify? Why would you mistrust grief responses because your sister died?

Never be angry that you feel sympathy for others, people. It's a sign of mental health.


I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm angry because this ruse hurt me. I felt sad about it for ages - that's an injury that was inflicted upon me. I'm not angry about my wasted compassion.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


jessamyn's met me! And she met Mr. Sonika and can verify that he wears dress shoes to the beach because he's exactly the sort of nerd who won't buy sandals. Also, I was just barely preggo at the time and so by extension, she sort of met my son in his proto-person-hood. jessamyn can verify my whole family!

Except for the cats. And really, the cats are so weird even for cats that I don't believe they're real. Like most cats, I suspect they're foreign operatives from an alien planet.
posted by sonika at 7:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


So weird. When I was reading it, I felt like there were a lot of time-continuity problems with the "real"mother being dead but then alive (and not dead from AIDS fairly recently) and then the wedding being not that long ago (October?) even though it "seemed" longer ago in the timeline of the story and then a *second* bastard kid suddenly showing up, but I totally bought it. I guess I'm still new to the "reality" genre of your sad brand of internet fiction. In retrospect, that first "mrsholdkriss99" followup comment of "I went to bed thinking there might be 20 comments or something when I woke up but there are hundreds" is a dead giveaway. Holdkriss99 - I am sure you are reading this (a dog always licks its wounds) and let it be known that you can't map out a plotline for shit.
posted by mattbucher at 7:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


Verified By Jessamyn. That would be quite the seal of approval.

Hey, I've met Jesssamyn, and mathowie, too.

I'm gonna go put a "Verified as Real™ by Jessamyn" thingy on my profile.

lil ubu was also verified by #1 as the "Cutest kid ever", so I think it's important to stick that up as well.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking back at the original post now (and I realize it's 20/20 hindsight), it seems so obviously not posted by someone who had just gotten a Metafilter account.

How would she have known to put the period at the end as a moment of silence?

OK, that custom is mentioned in the FAQ, so it's possible for a new user to know about it. But if your spouse had just died out of the blue, and you were struggling to put together a eulogy to post on a website, would you bother to read through the FAQ?

Also, all the links are elegantly formatted, e.g. the link to holdkris's comment about MCA on the words "Beastie Boys." Again, it's conceivable that a new user could figure that out right off the bat, but most people take a bit of time to adjust to a new website. In the meantime, they usually get some stuff wrong, like posting raw URLs because they haven't noticed the link button. In that whole, long post, there are no n00b-like errors.
posted by John Cohen at 7:30 PM on May 22, 2012


Hey, I've met Jesssamyn, and mathowie, too.

Looks like some sort of Erdos number thing is emerging here. For the record, I've never met any of you...that I know of. For all I know, there's only like 9 or 10 of you.
posted by jquinby at 7:31 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]




My sister, as a person who manages an office, has to occasionally clean (or get other people to clean) poop out of places it should not be in the restrooms at her workplace. Today was not a great day, but it beats her bad days by a mile.

I work as a on-call floater for a nonprofit that runs a bunch of apartment houses for the formerly homeless. I do this alot. And when I empty the garbage or go to check the compactor in the dumpster, I have to put on heavy gloves so I don't get stuck with needles.

As for orange checkmarks...

Well, for a fact, I met Jessamyn and can attest to her being a real firecracker at bowling meetups. She is clover brewed coffee with a shot of espresso.

As to character, well, that takes time. I think Jessamyn has displayed a great deal here and based upon maybe a couple of hundred minutes spent in her presence, it agrees with my own personal experience as as an instant judge of character.

But...

People here go on about community but I said before in a not well thought comment here previously, deleted by my request, typing words on a screen is to talking on the telephone is as talking to someone on the telephone is to talking to someone in real life. And talking to someone in real life is as to knowing someone over time as typing words on a screen is to talking to someone on the telephone.

You have to breathe the same air and be with them and see how they treat friends and strangers. I know people I quite like who treat waiters and salesclerks and baristas like bus station benches. I like them and yet I can't help but notice how they treat the little people.

We are all living in our own private Plato's caves here, watching shadows on the wall lit by the flickering flames of our egos, our hopes, our fears, our loves, our hates, our kindnesses and our cruelties. People here can be kind or cruel, unconsciously or consciously, online or even at meetups. (At the latter, I write it up to the fact that I am not drinking and they are and whatever mean things they say about anyone, they are not at their best and brightest. In vino veritas and all that.... )

The thing is, community is a word here with as much weight to it as friend has on Facebook.

And yet there are people here who give money to people they have never met and get burned. And there are people here who give money to people they have never met and save those people from sleeping on the streets.

Facebook friends are not the same as friends in real life.

But, all the same, I have lived through some hard times since I have joined and I have to admit that the kind words that strangers here have written to me mean so much and so much more than the intentionally cruel things said to or about me by other people here who I have never, and. more rarely, unfortunately have, met.

So as much as I am ambivalent about the way people talk about community here, it counts for something to me still.

That said, I absolutely abhor internet detectivism. Shit people say online elsewhere are one thing, their personal histories elsewhere are another. No matter how awful people behave here, what happens here should stay here and no one should drag in personal details about someone from offsite. I don't care how awful someone has acted, their personal lives should be off limits. Period. To do otherwise is to sink way below their level. Your mileage may vary. All the same. Save the gossip for email, please.
posted by y2karl at 7:32 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, all the links are elegantly formatted, e.g. the link to holdkris's comment about MCA on the words "Beastie Boys." Again, it's conceivable that a new user could figure that out right off the bat, but most people take a bit of time to adjust to a new website.

I also thought that was odd, but she'd mentioned being in contact with Jessamyn so I assumed she'd received some mod help presenting the eulogy.
posted by lalex at 7:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I left a "." in the other thread this morning because I was still thinking about it, days later.

As someone who stumbled onto Mefi because of the Kaycee Nicole thing, eleven (!) years ago, and who has spent my entire adult life being a regular Mefi reader, I feel sort of ambivalent. I mean, it's a shocking and terrible thing to do, but Kaycee Nicole brought me to Metafilter, which has been enriching my life daily ever since. Maybe some good will come out of this, somehow.

I hope that holdkris99 will someday learn as much compassion for others as our community showed for him.

What I really want to say is, don't change, Mefi. And very big THANK YOU to the mods who handled this with their usual grace and compassion.
posted by beandip at 7:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I also came to MeFi around the time of Kaycee, and I fell for this. I even told my husband the damn Packers story.

Ugh.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:35 PM on May 22, 2012


I'd like to think of this as the online version of It's a Wonderful Life. Maybe he was going through a rough patch and Mrs. holdkris posted the obit in order to prove that people did care and that he had made a positive impact. As the heartfelt comments and .s rolled in he realized that far from being alone in an uncaring world there were strangers he had never even met who had been touched by his words.

Maybe he was just being a dick, but I like to think Metafilter saved his life.

Actually, on second though, fuck that guy.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


The whole "knowing how to code an <a href="blah"> tag is highly suspicious!" idea feels off to me. Some of us are just geeky that way.
posted by Lexica at 7:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


I didn't comment in the original thread because some parts of the story hit painfully too close to home, yet others did not ring true... I just didn't know what to do with it. Then the reveal of the hoax hit me even harder, because of a VERY personal experience with a BIG lie and betrayal that invalidated a 10+ year long relationship and made me feel I'd wasted a big chunk of my own life. And I can't even blame it on meth. Deception does inevitably turn "a person with severe problems you can have sympathy for" into "a person with severe problems you never want to come within miles of".

I would support a blanket revocation of the Favorites given to the hoaxer on previous posts and comments, if not site-wide, at least making it easier for individual MeFites to do. But that's a rather large pony that we HOPE we will only need to ride once.

One related thought: have you noticed two very recent examples of very popular "quirky" TV characters faking their own deaths? (SPOILER) It was uncomfortable enough to see Sherlock do it on Sunday (US TV) then House do it on Monday, but to have this emerge in real life on Tuesday... suddenly, I want to yell at Russell Davies and David Shore: "BAD IDEA!"
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:37 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]



most people take a bit of time to adjust to a new website

That made me go into my posting history. This was my second AskMe comment, six years ago:

on an aside, IANAL means "I am not a lawyer"? heavens, I hope so.


ha.
posted by sweetkid at 7:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I left a '.' in the other thread"

It just needs a slight edit.

(_._)
posted by Ardiril at 7:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [20 favorites]


This honestly makes me feel ill (and I had been doing pretty okay today.) With my own history and the stuff my friends (some of whom I've "met" here and others in the hospital) have been through, I cannot comprehend what would make anyone think of faking something so horrible. Admittedly, my sympathy/empathy switch is flipped quite easily - maybe in retrospect too easily - but this really had me feeling awful for his family, posting links on Tumblr to suicide prevention hotlines, praying, making additions to my freaking psychiatric advance directive...

None of which is bad, really. My therapist would probably tell me that I should be OK with the measurable results in my own life (other than the ruminating on death/suicide thing, which is such a no-no I had to skip over that part of the original narrative, and still ended up thinking about suicide & death & self-harm for most of two days.) That ultimately the person who is really damaged, in a long-term, irreparable kind of way, is the person who gave into the urge to behave in this manner. I'm safe, I'm healthy, I didn't do anything stupid, the crying didn't keep me from going to work, etc. Maybe someone actually got help from this who wouldn't have without it?

But she'd probably also say that "a wise mind doesn't necessarily have to be serene and peaceful," and that it's logical and maybe even healthy to be angry at this person for violating my trust in their words. That changing my behavior in the future to account for this experience maybe makes sense and will be a legitimately protective thing to do. Or something - this is why I pay her to say things; I can't come up with it on my own just yet.

UGH.

I do want to remember to say "thanks" to the mods for looking into this when that had to have felt crappy, and for being so honest with the community so quickly. I feel tricked and misled and insulted and violated, but not by the community - just by one guy. And that's because of your efforts. So, hugs and stuff. Yay Team Mod.

(And also thank you to those members who let the mods know something might be up, and didn't keep it inside or get all fighty in the thread, which I think would have been very tempting.)

I am tempted to unfavorite this guy's posts (I had printed some of them out to give myself hope, or to share with other people, for crying out loud) and investigate the possibility of un-sending a MeMail of condolences. But I'm not going to do that. The past may stink, but it's not where I live, and so it's inappropriate to do remodeling.

Next time I'll probably wait a week before posting condolences in a thread or sending a MeMail. I hate that.
posted by Fee Phi Faux Phumb I Smell t'Socks o' a Puppetman! at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


When I paid my $5 and signed up for this username, I had a rash impulse to use my Real Name. I've regretted it since then, but it's never really done me any harm. It's a common name, so I'm not readily Googleable; I've never done anything worth indexing and archiving in a search engine, and other people with this name (and similar) are famous. My name is lost in the crowd on Google the same way my username is on metafilter.

This hoax, though, makes me want to stand up and prove who I am. Not that anyone would care to notice, probably. But I want to, just on the chance that any one thing that I've ever written here has been of some comfort to someone. I want that person to know that I am real, that I meant every word, and that I still do.


Dear sir or madam, friend
You're behind your computer and I'm behind mine, and there's a good chance we've both been reading this thread for similar reasons, and it has probably made us feel a similar way. So just between us: metafilter is a real good place, filled with real good people. Thank you.

Yours,
Richard Daly
posted by Richard Daly at 7:43 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


I want to yell at Russell Davies

For Sherlock you'd have to blame Stephen Moffat, and in this instance he was only following Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

But Conan Doyle was famously taken in by stories of fairies at the bottom of the garden. So I guess if we we're fooled sometimes, at least we're in good company.
posted by philipy at 7:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


holdkris99, 2006-2012: Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Wreckage Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship
posted by Rangeboy at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know it's not a euphemism, but I really, really want "Verified by Jessamyn" to be a euphemism.
posted by fatbird at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. I'll climb on the "I was suspicious" bandwagon. I was an obit writer. Most people can't even give you a single anecdote about their loved ones immediately after a loss like that. I immediately chided myself for being so cynical, then kept my mouth shut.

2. I was also triggered in a major way by the thread, but that happens sometimes. I have coping strategies! It's all good.

3. As for this holdkriss99 character, whatever. Not worth any more of my time.

4. But you people, you MeFites? Have done so much for me, personally, both here on the site and in real life. And I am so grateful for all of you. I cannot state that emphatically enough.

5. And mathowie, I'm sorry for your loss, and very sorry that your grieving period was interrupted by these shenanigans.
posted by brina at 7:50 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have to say, I had a very intense love thing going on with a guy some zillion years ago who subsequently freaked out by the whole gay thing and pushed me out of his life in a very violent way. (He called my boss and tried to get me fired from work, he called my parents and told them things about me trying to get them to shut me out of their lives, he called a bunch of my friends and tried to alienate them from me, he wouldn't give me back any of my belongings from the apartment we shared and I had to get the sheriff involved to get my stuff back because he had threatened the landlord and her daughter...)

Anyway, that whole thing put me into a pretty deep introspective depression for about a year. I came out the other end a lot better person, I think. A bit broken in some ways, but with a lot better grasp on Who I Am and What Others Are and where the line is between When I've Done Something Wrong and When The Other Person Is Being A Shit (and learning not to internalize that as something wrong with me).

Anyway, many years pass, over a decade, and one day while I'm online, I stumble upon some website which has HIM on it. With an email address and everything. So, I think to myself... a lot of time has passed and I'm a lot better person than I was then, and maybe some closure is in order, so I drop him an email.

And he responds, and soon we're talking on the phone, and he's telling me about how he has some horrible heart problem (poetic justice -- I knew his heart was rotten all those years ago) and he's taking really awful medication and he's married now but his health is shot and ohmygodheissosorryfordoingwhathedidtomeallthoseyearsago, and he wants me to come visit him, and and and...

I hardly know what to say about this.

About 3 weeks after this phone call, I get an email from his wife asking me to call her right away. And when I do, she's telling me that he died of a massive coronary in their bathroom earlier that morning. And would I please come to the funeral? Be a pall bearer? That it would have meant a lot to him if I would...

I didn't believe it. I mean, I did, and I felt horrible that he was dead so young, but in the back of my mind was this nagging thing about him just wanting closure for something horrible he did all those years ago and now he's making sure I will never contact him again.

I didn't go to the funeral.

About a week later, I got a packet in the mail with a clipped obituary, a funeral program (or whatever those are called), and a few photographs his wife thought I might want to have.

He really had died.

I've felt like crap on and off since then for not believing.

So, yeah, that was a lot more of real life than someone who is just text on a screen. But damn, reading that memorial statement by his wife really made me cry real tears, and I felt terrible for his surviving family.

And now this.

And it just brings back memories of my doubts and how I should have believed.

I don't want to end up someone who distrusts people when they share things about their lives. And I refuse to be that way. If that's some kind of intentional gullibility, then so be it. I think I'm a better person when I don't doubt others, especially about death.

Fuck you, holdkirss99... Fuck you for putting me in this position where I will have nagging doubts. You're a horrible person and a waste of skin, and I'm sorry I ever read anything you wrote.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [33 favorites]


I didn't suspect. I wasn't skeptical. I cried over a man I didn't know, for a family I didn't know, and with grief anew for a friend of my own family who died too early (in his 80s!) just a few days earlier. That a fraud was perpetrated on us, on the mods, at all -- it's reprehensible. But whatever momentary "harm" was done to me in adding to my grief, I forgive. It was just sadness.

But that Matt and cortex and scody and something something and Marie Mon Dieu and ADent and I'm sure many, many of you were even so much more deeply affected? That, even if I had the power to forgive on your behalf, I wouldn't.

So, we lay ourselves bare, vulnerable in our humanity, empathetic to the plight of another human being. I'll take being fooled over fooling people, any day.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 7:54 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Fool me once, shame on mrs holdkriss99. Fool me twice..shame on my hardened dragon-scaled back that does not want to bear the burden of an others pain.
posted by vozworth at 8:03 PM on May 22, 2012


If that's some kind of intentional gullibility, then so be it.

There's nothing wrong with being gullible, although it certainly can lead to getting hurt. There's nothing wrong with being cynical, although it certainly can lead to being walled off.

The people I personally tend to admire the most, though, are the people who are wise enough to know better, but who make a conscious decision to trust anyway. That, to me, requires true bravery and a commitment to humanity that I find lacking in myself more often that I care to admit.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [23 favorites]


I know this has touched a really important chord with a lot of people, as all serious things do. For those who are despairing of any real support and human empathy, just a quick reminder: MeFi has a little directory called ThereIsHelp, with past threads on various kinds of problems and links to useful resources on grief, suicide, abuse, substance use, sexual assault, depression, therapy, etc. This is one of Bill Zeller's legacies and hopefully might be a helpful compendium.

Please reach out if you're feeling like this incident has hurt you in a way that you're not sure you can overcome. There are lots of people, in this thread and in MeFi and in the resources in the link, who are more than willing to take you seriously and to help.

I don't doubt but that anyone who did this has their own heavy shit going on, but that doesn't mean that you need to suffer with them.

There is legitimate sympathy and support available; please seek it if you need it.
posted by Miko at 8:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [20 favorites]


Well, this whole thing kind of sucks.

But the cat boner fart thread was perfectly timed to take some of the sting from this fiasco.
posted by ellenaim at 8:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [29 favorites]


As long as we're sharing...

I've had Internet Friends which have later turned into Real Friends, or Internet Friends I've still never met, ten and eleven and twelve years later. I don't think anything is particularly odd about it. I do think it's pretty damn cool that I know all these people from all over the place. In 2001, one of them moved inter-state to be with me, and things didn't work because we were young and stupid and wired a bit wrongly in the head. I met one in NYC in 2002; we're still very close. In 2003, I flew to DC and hung out with 22.5 of them. (The .5 was a baby.) In 2008 I met another one who'd taken a vacation in my area; we drove around shooting photos, stole from each others' boxes of Chinese food, and laughed so hard I almost dropped my camera in a gator-infested lake. This all started right when I was ending high school, so to me, Internet People becoming Real People is a perfectly normal thing.

Last month I found out that one I'd 'known' for three years -- from Canada; we'd mail presents and peculiar things local to us (Stuffed moose dressed like a mountie from him, Gasparilla pirate-festival swag from me) -- turned out to be almost entirely fabricated.

I'm not really sure what was real and what wasn't. All I have is what he 'fessed up to, which is worth all of nothing. I'd had a bunch of pieces for a long time, a weird something is wrong here feeling, but didn't want to call him on it until I had some kind of concrete proof. Finally, I got some -- which turned out to be a thing I hadn't suspected at all, but that one omission was enough for me to ask about all the rest, and the whole fucking house of cards came tumbling down.

And you know... as critical as I am about myself in most regards, and as much as I rush to take blame for things... as much as I'd like to be scared or appalled or infuriated... fuck that. I've met some amazing people with this internet-machine-box: babies who gnawed on my old Nikkormat, photog friends who challenged my skills and made me better, S. who talked me through my first plane ride with a listed series of instructions and some homemade cookies, K. who, after having known me in-person for a week, stayed in the hospital waiting room while something was wrong with my mother and then comforted me after my dog died -- this is all real. These people are all real. I'm not still in touch with all of them, but they've really enriched my life.

It sucks that one person sort of damaged that for me, (I now want pictures of EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY, verify it all) but that doesn't cancel out all the awesome I've found.

To bring that back to Metafilter... it's basically the same thing. Holdkris being a total and complete flaming fuckwad doesn't, to me, diminish all the rest of the awesome here. Though I may not take as many things on faith as I used to.

Most of y'all are good eggs. The rest can gently and quietly fuck the fuck off.
posted by cmyk at 8:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Lexica: "The whole "knowing how to code an <a href="blah"> tag is highly suspicious!" idea feels off to me. Some of us are just geeky that way."

Yeah, livejournal veterans (like us!) know how to do it. So does anyone else who's used a blogging site in the last 10 years. It's basic html coding, folks. Not complicated to learn.
posted by zarq at 8:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


>Too bad Gizmodo didn't actually report the story out and track him down.

Yes, with his full name and circumstances. The facts. No chance he will get a book deal out of such a lame prank, as someone upthread worried. But I do like to see a wrongdoer flushed out and hung out to dry. (I'll stop short at tar/feather or lynching though. ;)
posted by Listener at 8:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking back at the original post now (and I realize it's 20/20 hindsight), it seems so obviously not posted by someone who had just gotten a Metafilter account.

How would she have known to put the period at the end as a moment of silence?


That's actually a plausible noob mistake. The "." is traditionally used when you don't have words suitable for the occasion, or nothing eloquent to add, but want to record that you were there & regret the passing.

Only a noob would consider it appropriate to plonk "I have nothing to say" at the end of a 4000 word screed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:28 PM on May 22, 2012


I've been trying to process holdkris99's death for the past several days as it came bracketed by recent deaths of a friend and of a relative, really struggling to parse my feelings about it. Annnd, I guess I can stop trying to do that now, which oddly feels as much unfinished business as many real deaths do. It's been a long week.
posted by jamaro at 8:29 PM on May 22, 2012


You know what? Much love and admiration to those of you who can take the high road, but I've got no sympathy for this waste of skin.

If this is his cry for help, then I'm sorry, but I spend too much (well-spent) time dealing with genuine friends and acquaintances wrestling with suicidal ideation than to humor the trolling of a thousand-fold community who showed such grace and empathy in the face of what turned out to be a "hoax or prank or experiment or whatever."

Fuck that. And fuck you, holdkris99 or whoever the fuck you really are. A fake death is too good for you. You caused real, measurable harm to the members of this community. Good luck with your meth-addled Packers tickets set to a Beastie Boys soundtrack. You don't deserve a fucking dot. And you don't deserve any more attention.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is so bad that I'm laughing.

Thank god I'm not the only one.
posted by mediareport at 8:35 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


:C
posted by drezdn at 8:35 PM on May 22, 2012


: My mom joined because of that thread. Now what am I going to tell her?

Well, the Metafilter community presented support and compassion in the face of tragedy. This thread, to a greater degree than is reasonable, demonstrates balance and dignity in the face of betrayal.

This is the kind of thing that can wreck a community. Yes, I see people shaken, angry, but this raw event will heal over. Events like this have happened to me before and left their mark. Yet here I am.
posted by zennie at 8:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's gonna be alright.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Looking back at the original post now (and I realize it's 20/20 hindsight), it seems so obviously not posted by someone who had just gotten a Metafilter account.


I thought, erroneously I guess, that Jessamyn had helped [?] with the links, site behavior/info, etc. since [?] thanked Jessamyn for her assistance early on in the post.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:40 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


There were 685 posts in the original thread and this one has 628 the last I looked.

Since I have no doubt holdkriss99 is reading this and masturbating furiously over all of the attention, should we just close the thread now? He has already had more attention paid than is really warranted.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Since I thought that post reeked of bullshit, this thread has put a spring in my step.
posted by fleacircus at 8:42 PM on May 22, 2012


1. Haha, good one... I guess. You fooled me, holdkris99 - I felt sympathy for a stranger and expressed it in public, even though it turns out that stranger was a dickhead. But you know what? I'll do it again willingly. I'm not diminished by giving away a feeling and I'm not embarrassed to be wrong once in a while if it means giving genuine help or just a bit of comfort to someone in trouble.

2. Thankyou to the people who were suspicious and quietly pursued their doubts through backchannels instead of making a public shitstorm. Trusting people like me need cynical people like you; I think the reverse is true also. Also I learned that suicide by CO2 in a car is improbable (MeFi is an education, as always).

3. Thankyou to the mods for doing the shitty work of finding the line between trust and cynicism. I don't know how you do it. If the Verified By Jessamyn tour gets going, I'd be happy to host you anytime.

4. Acting like the internet isn't 'real' is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It's like saying the postal service isn't real, or someone who calls you on the phone isn't real because you can't see them. Even babies realise that people don't pop out of existence just because you can't see them.
posted by harriet vane at 8:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [25 favorites]


should we just close the thread now?

Not before the recipes start coming in!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trust but verify, trust but verify, trust but verify... Online, in the the short term, this is the conundrum: we have to trust when we can not verify.
posted by y2karl at 8:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


With the benefit of a little passed time, I would like to amend my earlier "fuck that guy" position to a more enlightened (I'd like to think) "I hope that guy is OK and can go on to do better things with himself than troll people on the internet, and that he finds love and success and becomes a force for good in the world, and also that he doesn't ever come back here."

I love you, holdkris99. You are my brother, just as all humans are my brothers and sisters. Please don't come back, but I wish you well in your life.
posted by Scientist at 8:49 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


I had to read the original MeTa after seeing a repost on FB by klangklangston. My god! mrs holdkriss's tale had made klang cry, ffs! many of you might find that alone unbelievable, but I know that he truly does empathize. Mrs Bubba & I made sure he had pets at an early age, because he could easily have been misanthropic. maybe he still is.

Anyway, i read, offered condolences and assurances that the MeFi community is one that cares deeply for members. I stand by that statement. I've only ever been to two meetups--one in SF that was one of the best times I've ever had with a group of people, certainly with people I had only just met. The other was one in Ann Arbor where klang & I and two other stalwarts showed up. Still, when klang had a quite serious accident, MeFites that he & holyrood knew online & IRL came to their rescue. Matthowie & mods, you need not apologize, and Matt, I truly hope that this episode doesn't dim your optimistic nature. We've never met, but you are a hero to me.

As far as mrs holdkriss, I did have a couple of moments where I thought it wasn't passing the sniff test--mostly from "her" using the present tense in places where she should have used the past tense. I chalked it up to her emotional state. But I did say yesterday to Mrs Bubba (yeah, she has her own account but I don't think she's ever signed in as herself, so be suspicious if someone claiming to be her starts to post about me) "Boy, I sure would be bummed if that holdkriss thread turned out to be a hoax."

So, holdkriss is alive? Well, he's dead to me.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say that, after reading the long obit thread, I also suspected that this was too-crazy-to-be-real. I think my husband said that I was being insensitive, but my BS radar was going way, way off. Once I got over my initial doubt, though, the story KIND of made sense. The history was right, the person had mental health and substance abuse issues and, based loosely on their posting history, seemed pretty impulsive. I was willing to believe it was all possible.

Obviously, I'm happy that he's still alive, but this was a really, really pointless and shitty prank. I didn't post in the original thread because I was doubting it and didn't really know holdkriss99 at all. I'm not all that upset because I don't care at all about holdkriss99 or his wife. Sorry, internet.

Kids don't really fully grasp object permanence until they are 1.5 to 2 years old. I guess arguing that they aren't babies then is just arguing semantics, but you get the point.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:53 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The crappiest thing about all this is that in three months or six months or a year a mefite will die suddenly, and whatever grieving friend or family member brings the news to us will have to get questioned and checked.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since I have no doubt holdkriss99 is reading this and masturbating furiously over all of the attention, should we just close the thread now? He has already had more attention paid than is really warranted.

Who the fuck cares what holdkris99 is doing? I feel awful that he's mentally disturbed, but masturbatory sociopaths shouldn't have the power to close community discussion.
posted by lalex at 8:58 PM on May 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


> I can only hope my compassion hasn't been compromised by this -- and I hope others haven't had theirs compromised either. That, I suspect, is what this troll was hoping to accomplish -- to mock and diminish the very idea of empathy and human connection. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work.

Well, the son of a bitch was right about one thing -- he was right about Scody.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:01 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not before the recipes start coming in!

And maybe the Treaty of Westphalia, too.
posted by BigSky at 9:01 PM on May 22, 2012


"should we just close the thread now?"

Why bother? The next hoaxster already has all the information needed to pull off an even more rash scheme.
posted by Ardiril at 9:02 PM on May 22, 2012


If it helps anyone, I don't think I'm a rube, I'm pretty good at navigating the real world, I'm Really Well Educated by any standard, I deal with students who tell incredibly stupid lies (as mentioned upthread, the one who old me her father was dead when I knew her father socially; this semester I had one who claimed she was the victim of three felonies and one misdemeanor in the course of two months and they ALL ended with her flash drive being stolen so her paper was late because she didn't back it up anywhere and had just purged her sent mail even THE FOURTH TIME IT HAPPENED, and any one of these claimed crimes was big enough to be on the local news), and I believed the story. I didn't even think to question it.

I don't think it's because I'm dumb or credulous; I think it's because, first, I believe in the essential goodness of people and, second, because 99.9% of the time believing people has worked out fine. I had a roommate in grad school who habitually lied (I don't know if it was pathological or not), mostly about medical issues, and really, she had had a shitty childhood and was desperate for attention and needed help. Maybe thinking of her is why I mostly feel pity; most people I can think of who have mega-lied to me have either been in horrible situations or had very difficult backgrounds. It's both hard for me to believe that someone would lie about something like this, and easy for me to understand how someone could be in so much pain that they'd invent a fake internet death. (And really, even if it's someone fucking with us on purpose, that's pain, and that's a lack of connection with normal human behavior -- functional people over the age of 17 don't do shit like that.)

The one bit I'm angry about is that the poster hurt some members of the community for whom it created really suffering and trauma. It was an incredibly selfish stunt, and my heart hurts for all of you for whom it dredged up difficult emotions.

If this is some sort of literary experiment intended for sale, that's just gross. I hope the fake-poster knows that James Frey already cornered the market on faked addiction memoirs and nobody's going to be interested in this one. Also, Oprah retired. You don't get to go on TV with your mea culpa to sell more books.

Also, I have decided to double down on my initial belief that Packers fans are assholes.
kidding, mostly

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:04 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't even know how to feel about this. I feel like someone I knew turned out to be a complete fake. I feel creepy that he responded to me in the original MeTa. And I also hope he figures out his problem, whether that problem is meth or an out of control need for attention or being a sociopath or just being a frustrated writer. I mostly just don't know how to feel, and I'm glad this thread is helping me think through it.
posted by MadamM at 9:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why bother? The next hoaxster already has all the information needed to pull off an even more rash scheme.

BREAKING: joelisboa has "killed" "himself." Please direct all donations to the following PayPal address ...

Yeah, this sets all kinds of horrible precedents. So glad you guys responded with candor and compassion, but these kinds of violations of communal trust just plain fucking suck for so many reasons. Fuck that and fuck him.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:06 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi: "Hooooly shit. I sobbed about this, like seriously, big, sloppy tears. I don't know if I'm angry--just kind of shaking my head at myself for being so gullible."

I think you're awesome. More people should have big mushy hearts like yours.

burnmp3s: "she knew about things like the dot convention on MetaFilter for deaths even though she claimed it was her first time reading the site,"

Her posting style struck me too. Especially the way she masterfully linked to other's comments in the thread. Even many old-timers don't do that. It just showed too much familiarity with how MeFi worked. I really wondered about that.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:06 PM on May 22, 2012


Ugh, I feel like such a chump. Not enough purple nurples in the world for this asshole.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:13 PM on May 22, 2012




>That ended when she started talking about how she and her friends liked to have fun by posting fake questions to Ask.

And this person is now banned, right?
posted by Listener at 9:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Potomac Avenue: "this is the president of drama bombs"

This just in... President o' Drama releases long form death certificate, turns out to be forgery.
posted by Riki tiki at 9:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

I dunno. I had sort of a feeling something was wrong, but couldn't put my finger on it, and anyway, it's the internet and I didn't know them so... I didn't spend much time dwelling on it.

But, I've had friends and relatives who've committed suicide and his story felt... Not like those.

And you know, your experiences can only take you so far and all that. So as I say, I didn't dwell on it.

I often say I don't understand people. And it's true. I just don't get it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What has amazed me, during the past 5 years or so, is that so many people here and on Metachat (not all, you know who you are) have dropped their anonymity, by meeting up, or friending other mefites on Facebook or G+ or whatever, and it's just felt more, I don't know, real, like people's backstories are so much more filled in.

The line between friends and internet friends is pretty much gone, in my inner life, for good or ill. This whole thing, hopefully, will just be a bad collective memory, in time.
posted by Danf at 9:15 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is so awful. I send love and hugs to anyone who was hurt by this.

I'm... grateful? ... that this didn't hit me nearly as hard as null terminated's death, probably because I had never noticed/had any interaction with holdkris99. It never crossed my mind that it was a hoax, but I didn't have the emotional response I did with null terminated.

I've been meaning for a long time to set up a "digital will" (Lifehacker even recently posted a story about it) and pick a trusted friend to take care of my Internet accounts should something happen to me. My first priority on this will would be Metafilter and whoever takes care of it would be instructed to fully cooperate with the mods and provide obits, phone calls, whatever. And I talk about Mefi so much and occasionally send links to my non-Mefi friends that I hope they would know how trustworthy the mods are and how much the community means to me. I have met so many of you wonderful Mefites, not only online but in person too, and I hope to meet many more. Most of my Twitter is made up of Mefites.

Scody, you are loved. ADent, you are loved, please do keep going to therapy if that's what you need.

To all those of you who have been taken, not just by this asshole but by others (and I'm looking at you, cmyk), please know that not everyone is awful like this, that most mefites are genuine.

SweetTeaAndABiscuit: "The first thing that caught my eye was how, although "she" was supposedly a new user, she had put in hyperlinks to "his" profile and previous posts."

Eh, if you're knowledgable about HTML, it wouldn't be hard at all. I can go to a new forum and post links really easily. Knowing the inside conventions of the site would be more suspect.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I understand that people have found his real name. Sorry to keep gossiping, but do we know more than that? Why he did it? If there was someone else involved? It would be so nice to have some real closure here.
posted by Melismata at 9:21 PM on May 22, 2012


I'll be reading through this thread over the next few days. Let me just say briefly that I truly enjoyed the outpouring of support, love and community in the original thread, as someone who has lived through the isolation of suicide of a close friend. Thank you to everyone who participated - all of what you add to this community is entirely genuine, and truly appreciated.
posted by odinsdream at 9:22 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit writes "Since I have no doubt holdkriss99 is reading this and masturbating furiously over all of the attention, should we just close the thread now? He has already had more attention paid than is really warranted."

I think the thread should stay open. Both on general principle and because it allows for cathartic venting over the wrong.
posted by Mitheral at 9:22 PM on May 22, 2012


loquacious: "Wait, stop the presses! Scody is totally a faker.
She's actually nicer, smarter and prettier in person than she is online.
"
UNPOSSIBLE!

restless_nomad: "I am personally really grateful that, however many people felt skeptical about the original announcement, no one decided to bring it up in the actual thread. Because that would have gotten really ugly really quickly. I'm thrilled that the community as a whole decided to be compassionate and give the benefit of the doubt. It really reflects well on all of Metafilter."
Well, prepare to be disappointed in future.

For me, this came at a time when the 2nd anniversary of a friend's death came up. A time when a ceremony was held to name the playing fields at the school where he worked after him. A time when I comforted his widow for the I don't know how many-th time because the one and only man she's ever loved was gone. A time when, again, I listened to his kids talk about him and was reminded that they still haven't quite figured out that he's never coming home.

So, fuck you holdkris99. You and your wife too, if she exists. I hope you get what you deserve, in time.
posted by dg at 9:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's the one I was thinking of, otter lady. Thanks. A palate cleanser.
posted by Listener at 9:23 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What has amazed me, during the past 5 years or so, is that so many people here and on Metachat (not all, you know who you are) have dropped their anonymity, by meeting up, or friending other mefites on Facebook or G+ or whatever, and it's just felt more, I don't know, real, like people's backstories are so much more filled in.

The line between friends and internet friends is pretty much gone, in my inner life, for good or ill. This whole thing, hopefully, will just be a bad collective memory, in time.


This is so true. I feel like a nutjob explaining this to non-mefites but I think I know most people on this site through a few degrees of separation. I've never met you, Danf, but we have a mutual friend (via mecha) that we've both met. I tried to tell someone once that well, scody is this awesome person who lives in LA and she's like my bff, but we've never met. But I know she's real because I know fake IRL and fake knows scody so...ok fine I'm crazy and have lots of imaginary friends.
posted by special-k at 9:25 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, special-k. I know the amphibian of which you speak. Another awesome personage here.
posted by Danf at 9:31 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm not sure I understand this. Could you clarify? Why would you mistrust grief responses because your sister died?

I said I mistrust Big Fucking Deal grief responses, not grief responses. I meant that I and my family were effectively drafted to act as grief counselors to our community. Therefore instead of simply experiencing and moving through our grief, we had to mediate it in order to provide others with the tools they needed at the time. So, in essence, I lost the privacy of my loss.

I won't discuss this further in this thread.
posted by mwhybark at 9:31 PM on May 22, 2012


"I think I should take a year off and go around meeting people so that we can have some Mod-Verified checkmark you can have on your profiles."

cortex already slept on an air mattress on my living-room floor, but if you feel like you need to pop by we can put you up in the spare bedroom.

In other news, we have a spare bedroom now. Sorry, cortex.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Not before the recipes start coming in!"

Can we please not do this, like ever, but particularly here of all places. If you really have an urge to share recipes with MeFites you can go here.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I completely missed that whole drama and I'm glad I did, but Christ, what an asshole.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:39 PM on May 22, 2012


I said I mistrust Big Fucking Deal grief responses, not grief responses. I meant that I and my family were effectively drafted to act as grief counselors to our community. Therefore instead of simply experiencing and moving through our grief, we had to mediate it in order to provide others with the tools they needed at the time. So, in essence, I lost the privacy of my loss.

Ah, I understand now. That's awful, and I'm sorry it happened to you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:39 PM on May 22, 2012


Wow, that was a shitty move on behalf of them. Still, plenty of wisdom here.

Now, since Holdkris's fake-bituary made me listen to Wilco for too long, lemme counter with Spoon.

Believing is hard. Believing is art.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fucking shit. For me that original thread brought up thinking about bageena. I was really upset for holdkriss's "wife". WTF.
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:42 PM on May 22, 2012


I wish my arms were big enough to reach around everyone of you that responded in that thread and give you the huggiest hug that my enormous limbs are capable of.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:44 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just saw this. Holy fuck. How awful.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:45 PM on May 22, 2012


I think I got lucky after reading the beastie boys thing and having the interactions in the old Trayvon Martin thread, and then seeing the askmes and something just seemed wrong when I added up the days. I couldn't imagine going to the lengths to post all that just 4 or 5 days after finding the body. There are so many things to do, people to talk to, going through your own emotions, living, thinking, planning - it just didn't make sense that they'd be posting that so soon. If it would have been weeks later I might have believed it. But seeing that and all the crazy askme stories I just thought it was going to be fake. And when I clicked into Metatalk I said ha, I KNEW it. I never read past the first paragraphs, just skimmed and saw the hyperlinked names and did a gasp and control+f search to see if I'd been mentioned.

For me, one weird drawback of being able to ferret out things like this from people you don't know and strangers, and being a person who thinks most things are scams or attempts to con, is that it means when you do actually get lied to or suckered, it is by someone you know and love. And that sucks.
posted by cashman at 9:48 PM on May 22, 2012


You know what? I've had a shitty day (in real life) and I've been sitting in bed since I got home from work and my cat just came up and literally hugged me for like the umpteenth time tonight and everything feels better.

So fuck this. Everyone get a cat and read metafilter through the cat-owner lens.

Problem fucking solved.

You fucking douche-canoes.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [22 favorites]


I was taken in by original post by the weirdo (?).

Don't know what the right noun is. Con-artist? Sociopath? Troll?

It doesn't really matter much. I am sorry that Matt and Jessamyn and Cortex have to hassle with crap like this to run the website. On the other hand, I am very glad that they do.

I was not sucked in from the first sentence in the post. I thought it was a little weird. But the way I was hooked is that there is no obvious motive for anybody to lie about something like that. So there is a lesson in it for me personally. Just because there isn't an obvious motive does not mean there isn't a motive. There is a famous anecdote from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 or whenever--I ain't going to look up the exact year. One of Prince Metternich's aids comes running into his bedroom in the morning and wakes him up with the info that "the Russian ambassador has just died" and Metternich goes:

"interesting. I wonder what were his motives."

Having a default setting of always questioning people's motives may be a way to survive, but it is not a way to thrive. Survival-mode is one teeny tinetsy quantum level above failure-mode.
posted by bukvich at 9:52 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to say, I'm taken aback by the rage in this thread. I'm not sure why exactly.

It was shitty shitty thing to do, and, as a response, anything along the lines of Christ, what an asshole is OK by me but, all the same, I am taken aback, too, and not exactly sure why. This has brought out the best and worst in people by turns.
posted by y2karl at 9:58 PM on May 22, 2012


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

I wouldn't say I was skeptical--I thought the situation had already been verified, so I just accepted it. But, all the same, for those who are interested, there were a few things that left me feeling a little odd.

First, I found it odd that an outsider would have such a good understanding of our community. Specifically, having "favorites" and being able to name them. My significant other knows there's "that site" I "go to all the time." When there's something here that's interesting, I tell him about it. But he certainly doesn't care, not about individual users. He knows about "taters," but I don't think he even knows MY name here, let alone anyone else's. There's a level of interest that's hard to maintain, if you're not the one literally reading the words on the screen, yourself.

I'm sure some people are aware of their Mefite spouse's online activities more than my SO is... But, all the same, it seemed a bit odd.

Second, it was a little strange how she had already found the time to go through his Mefi history, and how she had found important information there that she could so quickly understand. I can imagine, over months or years after a spouse's death, sifting through their publicly-accessible history. I can also imagine going through a spouse's rather immediate online history, to get clues for motives after a suicide. But she seemed to have gone rather carefully through. More importantly, doing so left her with more answers than questions. She found a weird one-liner where he had said something about who she finds hot, when she didn't know anything about that person. Instead of any doubt, any questioning, she instantly understood what he meant. She is able to locate the post that was effectively his suicide note--able to make that pronouncement clearly. It gave Metafilter such extreme significance for this event, it made this site the source of all answers and clarification, but I was left wondering, "But, wait, maybe he didn't mean it that way? How can you be so sure?"

Finally, though... A while ago, I read an article about suicide notes. It was an examination of what truly suicidal persons write, compared to what non-suicidal individuals think a suicide note would be like. The non-suicidal would try to sum up what they took to be the great themes of their lives: they would make giant proclamations of love, they would give explanations, they would provide grand statements to be remembered. The article, however, said that real suicide notes are, in actuality, far more mundane. Things like, "Please remember to feed the cats, and don't forget the gas bill." The article noted that many, finding such mundane suicide notes, feel even more confused or frustrated. Holdkriss99, on the other hand, had left his wife with a great, noble, clear explanation of his motives and complete affirmation of his everlasting love.

But, like I said, I wasn't skeptical. I just thought, "Well, huh..." and read on. But, if we're talking about tingling spidey senses, the above's what set mine off.
posted by meese at 10:03 PM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


Jessamyn signed off on it, so I trusted it. And will continue to do so.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:06 PM on May 22, 2012


What an asshole.
posted by Justinian at 10:07 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Again, klangklangston has this precisely right: fuck fake-Beastie Boys anecdata slash LiveJournal bullshit, listen to Spoon and get over your fake deadselves everyone already. To that end:

LIFE GOES ON, despite the bastard assholes, coldKISS69, or whatever. Whatever.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am disappointed.
posted by bq at 10:11 PM on May 22, 2012


P.S. I love the rest of you all, but seriously: fuck that guy.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a Samuel Johnson quote on a sticky note that I'm getting a lot of mileage out of right now: "It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust."

Sometimes all I can do is just be happy that I'm not certain people. I really can't fathom a mindset that would think this whole affair was a good idea, or a fun "joke or whatever" - but I'm so glad I don't have to. I'm so glad I don't have to be someone like that, or have to suffer them in my life. And I sure as hell don't have to let some shit-smeared belch of a human impinge on my ability or right to trust others.

Because sure, every now and again one will slime its way through my life and make things unpleasant for a while - I'll get cheated and feel upset ... but before too long I'll get over that and be able to go back to focus on enjoying all of the things and people that are awesome in the world. And as this community proves, there are lots of things and people that are awesome in the world.

In the meantime, the shit-stain is still stuck being a shit-stain.

I'm really glad not to be holdkris.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


"It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust."

Pretty sure that's Socrates and not Samuel L. Jackson, but then again, they are likely the same person, all told.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:16 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

When I hear a story full of corroborative details my mind starts picking away at them - "why are you telling me this? how do these pieces fit together? shouldn't there be some evidence for what you're saying?" On the other hand, people have told me some quite outrageous lies bereft of any supporting details and I have believed them. So on the one hand I'm happy that I've protected some friends from people who were out to harm or cheat them; on the other hand I've made some bad decisions because I trusted people.

Incidentally, I have worked on this problem and now it's the opposite! I can only be fooled by long and detailed stories! So please don't use these to trick me - I would be entirely taken in!
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:17 PM on May 22, 2012


Oh man, Socrates and Samuel L. Jackson. Totally.
posted by King Bee at 10:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wish I had five extra bucks to register Socrates L. Jackson as a sockpuppet.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [21 favorites]


Or Samuel Johnson, whatever. Send all PayPall memorial donations to the following address...
posted by joe lisboa at 10:19 PM on May 22, 2012


Pretty sure that's Socrates and not Samuel L. Jackson, but then again, they are likely the same person, all told.

While Samuel Johnson is no doubt one Bad Motherfucker, he's certainly not Samuel L. Jackson ... As far as the origins of the quote, I almost posted a disclaimer saying to the best of my knowledge it had come from Samuel Johnson, but could only find corroborating evidence on the various quote sites of the web ... nonetheless, I find the quote quite useful.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


"It is fucking better to suffer wrong than to fucking do it, and fucking happier to be sometimes cheated than not to fucking trust. Fuck."

That's the Samuel L. Jackson one.
posted by cmyk at 10:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [30 favorites]


While Samuel Johnson is no doubt one Bad Motherfucker, he's certainly not Samuel L. Jackson

Okay, now all is forgiven. I love this place and its inhabitants.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:20 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey guys, remember that time a beloved member was permitted to shit all over Metafilter because we all (let's be honest) gave him a collective pass because he claimed to be a meth-head wrestling with addiction and because his prose style passed our collective bullshit meter?

Yeah, me neither. Fuck that guy.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I already tattooed lines from his MCA comment on my back.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:33 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I do remember the time someone suggested that Socrates and Samuel L. Jackson were "likely the same person", so the whole thing was worth it.
posted by King Bee at 10:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Okay, you know what: faith in humanity restored.

Fuck holdkriss99 and love you all. Despite his best (?) efforts. Peace.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:38 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


"It is fucking better to suffer wrong than to fucking do it, and fucking happier to be sometimes cheated than not to fucking trust. Fuck."

That's the Samuel L. Jackson one.


Oh, that's funny, I remember it as, "It is fucking better to suffer wrong than to fucking do it, and fucking happier to be sometimes cheated than not to fucking trust. A-fucking-men." Translation from the classical Greek is totally weird, right?
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:41 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fifth century Attic, Mother fucker! Do you speak it?!Q!
posted by Trochanter at 10:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [31 favorites]


MeFites are funnier than death.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


That depends - are you working with the translations that use the earliest source text or the ones that were widely circulated after the Christianization?

Cos I think the ending "Fuck!" was a slangy invocation to Bacchus, which was changed by some modest Victorians when they got interested in the Romanized Jacksonis Observationis.
posted by cmyk at 10:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sorry: "death."
posted by joe lisboa at 10:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've had it with these MeFi-lovin' users in this MeFi-lovin' thread!

not really, this is best derail evar
posted by King Bee at 10:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


cmyk: " are you working with the translations that use the earliest source text or the ones that were widely circulated after the Christianization?"

Is that the King Fuck Translation? Also called the Fuck King Translation?
posted by IndigoRain at 10:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I also want my . back.

I feel bad this happened, but I trust Metafilter's mods and illustrious founder will adjust their operating procedure to prevent, to the best of their ability, such events -- if possible.

I wish there was a way to balance the wrong done here somehow, but it just seems like a mess that many people need to recover from.

As always, the comments here show Metafilter to be a diverse, resilient, heartfelt community -- bad eggs notwithstanding.
posted by artlung at 10:52 PM on May 22, 2012


For the people who were skeptical, what did your spidey senses tell you?

I spent a long time reading the thread. Then, thinking about it, I pottered around the house for a bit, and then suddenly thought flashed into my mind "how could someone write such a detailed story?"

This was completely out of the blue and I dismissed the thought reminding myself that it was real. Now, I know that was my spidey sense.
posted by niccolo at 10:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


This was completely out of the blue

I see what you did there.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am really really surprised and glad about how much most of us cared about this. I am not one for being effusive but you guys rock. I've said it before but I really do mean it, stay golden MeFi.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:12 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cried big, fat, sloppy tears, too. I told my husband about holdkris' suicide, and he immediately said that it was fake (and I was like, no, longtime user! Just no)...I'm angry, but it's a sad kind of angry. The kind of angry you can't do much with. So let me amend my comment in the other thread so that it's not wasted on some fucking prank.

mrsholdkris99, I almost always give (when I have it) a couple of bucks or a couple of smokes, but from now on I'll happily say:

"From Metafilter"
posted by Grlnxtdr at 11:19 PM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


cortex: "You know, you could consider a "MeFi death sentence" for him -- remove everything he's ever posted here. Throw all that attention-whoring into the bit bucket.

Not something we're going to do, no. I get the instinct, it sucks in a way to have all this stuff suddenly thrown into serious doubt and have it there as a reminder that someone did something cruel like this to the community, but creating a big hole in the continuity of the site won't fix anything.
"

What about a special tag on all of his comments: Confirmed Liar, Banned for Life. That would do it.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


damn. I started this thread a little pissed off but by the time I got through all the comments I was over it.

Whatever.

Now to important business:

I'm still going for the Green Bay Packers, unless & until a better candidate for an American football team comes along. posted by UbuRoivas at 3:58 PM on May 22 [+] [!]

Never give up! You'll never find a better candidate. The Packers have the most championships, 2nd oldest team in the league, half of the best rivalry (vs. The Bears), only team owned by the community, smallest city with a team.

Plus, unless Aaron Rodgers gets hit by a bus they should be perennial playoff contenders for another 7 - 10 years.
posted by Bonzai at 11:25 PM on May 22, 2012



"Look at my e, I'm an asshole,"

And that's how we got goatse.cx Robert Mapplethorpe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:25 PM on May 22, 2012


I saw this post at work, and I've been dwelling on a response all night. I think I might have posted something short-sighted if I had commented on this from work, although that was somehow unlikely for me, because everything and I mean everything is logged at work (which reminds me that I should see about revisitng an old pony about getting SSL enabled for everything on mefi).

When I first saw the suicide post this weekend, I wasn't exactly in a great place to begin with.

I've spent the past couple months just beginning to learn how to deal with what I believe is the root cause of own my depression, and will likely be dealing with it for the rest of my life. I still get triggered by the tiniest little stupid things, and I don't know if or when that will ease for me. I've spoken to quite a few people in similar circumstances and some of us share something in common, that at some point or another we've looked to suicide as a way out of the pain and suffering. There definitely has been a constant personal struggle with suicide ideation for as long as I can remember. Although, maybe it's a bit more than simple suicide ideation for me now, considering the large pile of benzos/barbs in my closet lockbox waiting for the day I finally call it quits. But, that's immaterial, because I am getting treated right now, and I don't think I'll ever have to use my "suicide kit" as I like to call it.

That last line just might be a lie.

I used to think that I would never escape these thoughts of suicide. Though somehow, that having the kit at hand would mean that I might be able to stop constantly thinking about it, because if it absolutely came to it, a final everlasting peace would just be moments away. I remember the exact event that caused me to put together the kit in the first place too. There was a FPP about someone's suicide, the actual subject more or less unimportant to me, but the story itself leaving behind a strong feeling that would not escape me to this day: "My own suicide is inevitable as I cannot hope to stop it no matter how well I understand it".

I've spent my entire life dealing with suicides attempts of people I know, including a few very close friends. Many of those attempts have shaped my own thoughts on suicide. At various times in my life, I've been through tremendously varying beliefs on suicide itself, as wide ranging as being completely supportive of suicide to being completely against suicide (even while my own finger was on a figurative trigger), from dispassionate to utter disdain with god knows what else in between. But, a few firm beliefs have kept with me till relatively recently: Of course, I somehow seemed to have screwed up that last bit recently (I believe the little pills I've been taking every day are to blame). I met someone recently in a more-or-less self-described support group of people like me, who I've become quite close to in the past few weeks, who has shared with me their own personal struggle with suicide and who somehow seems to share some of the core beliefs I had myself regarding suicide. But, I was finally getting treatment for my own issues, and I somehow figured I was going to be alright in the end; and that they too somehow might get better with the treatment that they needed and yearned for. With everything out in the open, I had started questioning some of my long held beliefs.

And, that's where we are now. It was last saturday, and for a short while I was really thinking, "Hey, maybe I'm OK now. Maybe I don't need the kit anymore." I even told a few people who I finally confided in, that I would be disposing of it. I wouldn't need it anymore because I was getting better. And well, then the suicide post happened. And it fucking broke me. I knew from the moment I saw that thread that I should've fucking avoided it, but like a moth drawn to a flame...
It said, in part: I always said I would kill myself before I ever call Bruce again. It was just a matter of time before I did. I could feel it everyday getting closer and closer and I know if I did it would kill me eventually. "All my lies are always wishes, I know I would die if I could come back new." Leprechaun, Leprechaun.
I know it's not exactly the same. But it lead me down a path I've been down before. Is my own suicide inevitable? Is any treatment actually going to help me at all? Will any of this make a difference in the long run? Will I ever actually be OK? That post shook me up me up pretty badly. Left me utterly and completely broken. I ended up deciding that I would keep the suicide kit on a wait-and-see basis. And then today the post was revealed as a fake, and that left me numb. I just don't know how the fuck I am supposed to react to this news.

I am completely fucking broken right now, and I don't have a clue as to what I'm supposed to do now.

I do think I will get rid of the kit though. It's served me long enough, and frankly, I can get together all the individual pieces pretty quickly, if it eventually actually came to it. I actually moved it somewhere else last week, just to keep it out of immediate reach in case something absolutely stupid happened.
And, oh yeah, if I ever end up catching the bus, I'm certainly not going to do anything publicly online like this. Because fuck giving people like me the wrong fucking ideas.


Goddamnit. My next appointment with my therapist cannot come soon enough.
posted by yeoz at 11:28 PM on May 22, 2012 [72 favorites]


Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, no. 79, December 18, 1750:
Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him whom he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society. He that suffers by imposture has too often his virtue more impaired than his fortune. But as it is necessary not to invite robbery by supineness, so it is our duty not to suppress tenderness by suspicion; it is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
Plato, Gorgias:
Socrates. [...] doing injustice is the greatest of evils.
Polus. But is it the greatest? Is not suffering injustice a greater evil?
Soc. Certainly not.
Pol. Then would you rather suffer than do injustice?
Soc. I should not like either, but if I must choose between them, I would rather suffer than do.
[...]
Soc. [...] For I certainly think that I and you and every man do really believe, that to do is a greater evil than to suffer injustice: and not to be punished than to be punished.
posted by stebulus at 11:34 PM on May 22, 2012 [30 favorites]


oh, yeoz, I am very sorry this has been so triggering for you. If you are finding it very hard to feel like you can bear the time till your next therapist appt., might there be some resources on the page that Miko linked to that you would be comfortable contacting?

please get rid of the kit. please.
posted by scody at 11:39 PM on May 22, 2012 [26 favorites]


<3 Yeoz...
posted by IndigoRain at 11:45 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


blowback.

Ivan F and I have been going around in some of the grey threads about the real vs virtual of internet people and internet communications. What last night's staying up awake and thinking of social engineering etc was that the feelings are/were real even if the person was fake.

(((yeoz)))
posted by infini at 11:53 PM on May 22, 2012


I found it a bit odd in the "suicide note" that "holdkris99" claimed that he "would kill himself before he called Bruce" when he'd ostensibly gone through a 12 step program in rehab. Even if one doesn't have a sponsor, one exchanges numbers with simpatico people if so inclined at meetings. I considered making a donation to the mission/shelter the fake mrs linked to--which specializes in dealing with addicts and presumably would have people who had his back volunteering/working there-- but decided against it when I inferred it was run by fundies (SAotB, it looks like he's quite aware of how to manipulate Rabbi Joshua for his own needs).

I wasn't going to post this when I thought a spouse was grieving and "mrs" said "give a dollar or a smoke when someone approaches you {BEGGING} for it":

I give money to City Harvest and the New York Times Neediest Cases (which funds 7 programs in NYC). I refuse to enable those who refuse seek out those resources.

I also notice that he didn't comment in the post I made when scody had her surgery, though many of us who think she's one of the gems of mefi did.

FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FOR COMPROMISING HER HEALTH AND HURTING HER LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthowie and Adent, I am very sorry for your losses. Yeoz, PLEASE call one of the #'s on the page. *hugs*
posted by brujita at 11:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.

I also try to keep in mind that the word believe contains the word "lie".
posted by telstar at 11:58 PM on May 22, 2012


Man, the things people do for fun...
posted by Afroblanco at 12:53 AM on May 23, 2012


And if that means we risk the rare shitty bit of manipulation by someone making seriously unkind decisions about who to lie to and about what, I think we just need to be okay with that.

This a thousand times.

What Chris KL-99 did was a clusterfsck pur sang, but the mods dealt admirably well with it. I ponied up the fie bucks to join this community because it is a community where people do get the benefit of the doubt and those in charge are more comfortable by being made to look foolish by a fraudster than to risk rejecting somebody who is really hurting. Y'all did the right thing.

I can't feel angry about being tricked into feeling sympathy and grief, but I do feel angry at the hurt and upset it has caused to those themselves struggling with suicide and depression, and/or the loss of loved ones, like yeoz a few comments above. Reading that pains me as much as reading the original fakery did.

I do feel pity for the hoaxer(s) because if you do something nasty like this it's either because you're hurting so much yourself or because you're just an incredible arsehole and in neither case would I like to be in your shoes.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:45 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Never give up! You'll never find a better candidate. The Packers have the most championships, 2nd oldest team in the league, half of the best rivalry (vs. The Bears), only team owned by the community, smallest city with a team.

Ooooh, I hate those Bears! *shakes tiny little fists*
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:55 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is with all the Gizmodo mentions of metafilter these days? Did one of their guys just become a member or something? Whatever the reason, it feels...troubling...
posted by Chekhovian at 1:57 AM on May 23, 2012


Martin, is that you?
posted by de at 1:57 AM on May 23, 2012


Good that holdkris99 is not dead. One, I can stop feeling like hard-hearted Hannah; and two, I can speak ill of him.

Reading Mr & Mrs holdkris99 was painful. I'd prefer to sit through Jerry Springer re- runs than read either again.

Had there been a hoax flag maybe I would have flagged The Mrs before moving on. Maybe.
posted by de at 1:59 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I totally disagree with every single comment written so far in this thread including this one.

The problem with you people is you are NEVER satisfied. First, we all thought holdkris99 was dead, and we all wished that he hadn't killed himself. Now, we find out that our wish was GRANTED, and he ISN'T dead. I mean the guy actually came back from the grave forchrissakes. Sure he came back as an asshole attention whore but the point is that our wish came true. But you people are all, "waah waah waah it broke a guideline".

Seriously, I think holdkris99 should be celebrated as our greatest victory - a victory over the hitherto unquechable forces of death.

It's not for me to say that he is the new Jesus. I'm just saying, you know, there are certain parallels. That's all I'm saying.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:11 AM on May 23, 2012 [43 favorites]


Grither: You know, this whole thing is terrible, but for me, it was all worth it to discover this. Thanks Marie Mon Dieu!

Regarding the Welch's Grape Juice 48 Hour wine: I used Lavlin yeast, from my local health food store, and a homemade airlock (which I Googled), using some small diameter flexible plastic tubing, and a hole drilled into the cap of the juice bottle. (be careful doing this as it can slide of the plastic and well, just be careful)

My hole was a bit too big for the tubing, and electrical tape doesn't seal it up and makes a mess but even with a crappy non-airlock, it still made a pretty drinkable wine within a couple of days, but I might give it 72 hours if necessary. It was better the 3rd day. I used WHITE grape juice, don't know if that makes a difference, but the sugar grams are the same.

This next time I did a combo of regular apple juice and apple juice concentrate, a few big spoonfuls of sugar (as apple is 28 grams of sugar per serving and grape juice is 38 grams), used only 1/2 packet of Lavlin, which I pre-activated for oh, 5-10 minutes (till it got frothy like a good head on a properly poured Guinness) in a mugful of 107 F apple juice (nuked it and added cool apple juice because it was 140 F after microwaving, and my yeast packet said 104-109 F, checking the temp with my digital meat thermometer, how handy!). That's 40-43 C for the REST OF THE ENTIRE PLANET. Thank you Ronnie. ;-P

Dumped it all (concentrate, yeast & apple juice mixture, rest of apple juice from a bottle I'd bought and drank 1/2 of, some spring water, and some cinnamon powder, I get Ceylon from the health food store wicked cheap), and 2-3 tablespoons of white sugar) into the plastic grape juice bottle (sanitized w/ 1/4 tsp bleach and water sloshed around, I know, bleach, but I didn't have anything else and I rinsed it really well). Dunked everything else into a pot of boiling water with the burner turned off (as I didn't want to melt my plastic measuring cup and the tubing for my airlock, etc.).

Here's a picture of the apple wine, brewing now. Sorry so dark, the sun is just coming up and of course we have 15 flashlights and all I can find is a dinky clip-on spotlight thingy. But I am thrilled that my homemade McGyver airlock is really working! Bubbles are coming up out of the glass of water! It reminds me of the time my science teacher taught us how to distill water in grade school. Distill... hrm....

Nice mellow buzz, not a harsh hangover, but I'd start one every other day or so 'cause I think it's pretty tasty, especially over ice. I'd take a probiotic pill tho' and pour it off into a clean container to avoid sucking down a ton of live yeast. But that's just moi.

Enjoy! Hope you have as much fun as I did trying it out, like I said, 79 cents for yeast at a fancy health food store, $3.99 (?) or less for the grape juice (just make sure it only has citric acid and not pottasium something or other for preservatives). Had the tubing and spring water on hand, etc. Not too bad for 64 oz. of home wine-y goodness! MAD SCIENCE!

And throw out the bad apples, cuz we ain't gonna let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch, ARE WE, MEFITES? Salut, Mes Amis! Red Solo Cup!!! (I am really drinking coffee at this time of day).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:15 AM on May 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


I skipped reading Metatalk for a day or two, so I'm just now reading this, and I haven't read any more than the first couple sentences of cortex's post. I sent heartfelt and sincere messages to 'mrs holdkris99'. I am usually not easily duped. I was duped and I am pissed.

I suppose I'll read this thread now.
posted by item at 2:16 AM on May 23, 2012


Hope he gets some help. Meth is a terrible drug, natch. It is so terrible that somebody could be in the state of mind to pull this. I imagine a dark place full of worms and spiders.

But the obit thread was, in contrast, to be utterly cheesy, a place of light and peace. My wish is that somehow what people wrote brings him closer to the place where he turns his life around.
posted by angrycat at 2:20 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Marie Mon Dieu, the great thing about making your own fermented beverages is that you can experiment. For instance, I bought some beetroot-apple juice last week. Now, the juice tasted horrible by itself, but I thought I'd see what happened when I fermented it.

IT WAS GHASTLY. My goodness, rotten socks, the taste of vomit, rotting vegetables, all combined in one healthy drink. I was thinking of saving it to serve to unwelcome guests, but there's nobody I dislike enough. Besides, they'd just spit it out and stain the tablecloth. So you see, you can experiment and find out all sorts of things.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:30 AM on May 23, 2012 [10 favorites]

The thing that got me was that he was a member here for YEARS. Why throw away the goodwill you've garnered? Whatever persona you've invented for yourself that people have accepted? That's what made me decide I was being silly and that's the part that still surprises me a bit now. Why shit where you eat?
Because, in all likelihood, he walks amongst us even now. Yes, he's lost his likely longest-standing account, and the history behind it. But he figured he'd destroy it in a blaze of fictional glory. He'd see how convincing he could really be, and in the mean time, he'd reap the masturbatory rewards of watching strangers grieve for him.

But he probably has another sock puppet account. And if he doesn't, he very well could soon enough. And we won't know. The mods won't know; that's easily enough disguised. We won't know, unless he starts talking about meth and the Packers. He can create a separate account and still participate in the community and reap the benefits Metafilter bestows and test his "writing" on us and get whatever kicks he derives from watching people fall for his cons, all the while perhaps convincing himself that no harm's done: "It is the internet after all" is a wonderful bit of hand-wringing, and I hope he reads yeoz's comment and feels a horrible lump form in his throat and in the very pit of his stomach as he realizes that his little fun and games can have lasting consequences and that torching the goodwill of thousands who trusted him and ostensibly enjoyed his presence is not worth the book deal or bar story or whatever feather in whatever perverse cap he thinks he's won.

Call this eponysterical, but the great injustice of his continued ability to avail himself of the love, compassion, community, fellowship, and genuine amazingness that Metafilter provides its members is a damn fucking shame.
posted by disillusioned at 2:31 AM on May 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


Hey yeoz, it's really great that we re-established contact after all these years. You know how to reach me.

I'm many hours ahead of you so feel free to IM me if its 3am and you're having trouble sleeping or just want to pass the time.
posted by vacapinta at 2:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


UbuRoivas: Liverpool? I really dislike the Beatles, but I do love Echo & the Bunnymen. Does Ian McCulloch support Liverpool?

PeterMcDermott: I knew him a bit before he was famous and I don't remember him being particularly interested in football at all. However, his best mate at the time is a Liverpudlian.

Ian McCulloch is a fanatical Liverpool supporter. Last time I saw the Bunnymen play was at a festival in Barcelona just before the Champions League last year (Barcelona were due to play Man Utd). McCulloch went off on a huge (drunken?) rant about he hoped Barca won, and how he hated United, including parodying Ferguson's "off your perch" comments. (And the time before, they came onstage literally two minutes after the TV coverage of a Liverpool game finished).

So anyway, surprised Peter didn't suggest Everton: respectable club, decent history, and the very Australian Tim Cahill plays for them.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:10 AM on May 23, 2012


I've Been Duped! - the Fall
posted by item at 3:12 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This was a horrible and stupid thing to do, 'holdkris99' and I hope you feel like an ass.

I also hope you realize you owe an apology. I know, 'it's just the internet' and etc., but it's also kind of not. Like I've been teaching/ trying to teach my 6 y.o., as hard as it is, as much as it hurts, being truthful and apologizing when we hurt other people, either by accident or because we were hurting ourselves, is important.

Doing the right thing is not only its own reward, it also helps nudge people around you towards doing the right thing and eventually makes a kind of raft of better-than-average that can float you over the actually shitty times in life.

Bunny's comment struck me as very pertinent, here:

Get help for yourself. This was a signal flair you sent up, but we're in no position to respond to it, or even know how to interpret it. Even if we could, you burned a bridge here, and you must know that it is burned and leave it be.

There are places that can give you the help you need. I urge you to fund them. If you feel like you are not in control of your behavior, and you just really needed people to think you were dead, please call the National Institute of Mental Health Information Line: 1-800-647-2642

If it was a trial balloon for suicide, and you're really thinking about it, especially if this event has filled you with a sort of terrible shame, please call a suicide hotline and speak to someone: 1-800-273-8255

If your stories of drug abuse are true, and you are not certain you can keep away from drugs, here is the number for a resource center: 1 800 390 4056

posted by From Bklyn at 3:29 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


holdkris99 doesn't appear to have ever commented in MetaTalk (except to see what his April Fool's Day tag was), but I've been wondering if he was "inspired" by the Bill Zeller thread. And wanted to remake it, Michael Bay-style.
posted by Gator at 3:42 AM on May 23, 2012


Too funny, Joe in Australia! I didn't even know they made beetroot apple juice. But I do have several cans of unopened beets, and will use them as food rather than fermenting now, thanks.

My cabbage/spicy saurkraut experiment appears to have been a whopping failure. So salty I gagged when I put it on a hot dog. Oh well. 1/2 a cabbage leftover from St. Paddy's Day, not a huge loss. But thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to avoid fermented beet juice!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:47 AM on May 23, 2012


It smelled weird to me from the beginning and I had to hold myself from saying something in that death thread (and felt shitty for even thinking about it) but it never occurred to me it was fake.
posted by unSane at 3:51 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want my . back.

So do I, but I'm almost 5 months pregnant. </inappropriate preggo humour>

What the loathsome trolls' paltry entertainment actually ended up displaying (yet again) is what a lovely little corner of the Internet Metafilter can be.

Funnily enough reading this thread has done more to push away my curmudgeonly cynicism than the original fake obit thread. Chins up, y'all; you are beautiful people and it shows.
posted by romakimmy at 3:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


What an extraordinarily shitty thing to do. Well done Team Mod.
posted by panboi at 4:03 AM on May 23, 2012


Like a lot of folks around here, the initial MeTa announcement hit me hard. I was already going through a rough patch--like Matt, I also just lost a grandfather--and it sent me into some pretty dark places for a few days.

Last night, I saw this post and was stunned. Just a repeating chorus of "What the fuck?" inside my head. So I started reading, well past the time I should have gone to bed.

Of course, I also have a short attention span, so when this thread got to be too much I switched over to Facebook, and that was where I saw an extremely worrying post from a friend of mine. He's had some major problems in his life--alcoholism, the death of his wife, just general age and world-weariness--and he made an announcement that sure as hell sounded like he was going to kill himself.

I grabbed my phone and called a mutual friend who's closer to him than I am, and I filled her in. She hadn't seen the Facebook post, and I knew that if he would be willing to talk to anybody, it would be her. So she called him and they talked for a little while. In the end, he promised that he would go to sleep and get a night's rest, and that they would talk again the next day.

I'll reiterate that I wouldn't have seen his post if I hadn't been up late reading this thread. How ironic, and poetic, it would be if this fake suicide indirectly prevented a real one.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [40 favorites]


If this entire episode occurred on another site, I'd likely post it to Metafilter. This all sucks. I was one of those who was reading the thread posted by the alleged wife and on the verge of tears. Regardless of the shitty outcome, that thread made me a little bit more aware of how precious the lives of my loved ones and everyone, for that matter are. So if there is one takeaway from the shock of the experiment, maybe that's it.
posted by lonemantis at 4:24 AM on May 23, 2012


This won't be the last time someone pretends to be someone they're not, especially on the internet. It won't be the last time someone lies to you, either. It's hard to imagine the rationale for doing what he did.
posted by crunchland at 4:27 AM on May 23, 2012


Ian McCulloch is a fanatical Liverpool supporter. Last time I saw the Bunnymen play was at a festival in Barcelona just before the Champions League last year (Barcelona were due to play Man Utd). McCulloch went off on a huge (drunken?) rant about he hoped Barca won, and how he hated United, including parodying Ferguson's "off your perch" comments. (And the time before, they came onstage literally two minutes after the TV coverage of a Liverpool game finished).

Wait, I need to go & check the circumstantial factoids here...was there a festival last year in Barcelona, did the Bunnymen play there, was it just before the Champions League and...SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE HOLDKRIS - IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME - I CAN NO LONGER TRUST OR TAKE ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:40 AM on May 23, 2012


But he probably has another sock puppet account. And if he doesn't, he very well could soon enough. And we won't know. The mods won't know; that's easily enough disguised.

Yes and no. The next time someone shows up with their "almost too good to be believed" stories here on MeFi, we'll look at them a little more sideways. And we have a lot of ways to figure out on the back end who people might be. And if someone is totally "leave no tracks" anonymous, that is actually its own "tell" in a way. People can do it, but at the point where you're covering your tracks to that level, as soon as you make a mistake, it becomes a clear "You're out of here, no takebacks" situation.

There's not a lot to be gained except in a trollish fashion by showing back up and messing with people. We clamp down HARD on people asking for money at this point and we've got six employed people plus an eager cast of thousands with years of experience to help ferret out people screwing around. It doesn't always work, sure, but it mostly works. And the downside to fucking around is that you don't get to hang out here anymore. And if you didn't want to hang out here anyway, well better for you and better for us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:42 AM on May 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


This is, overall: pants, but I have to say the memorial further elevated my already high opinion of the community and while there was sadness for the reported loss, there was also some joy at being part of a huge, loving family.

I cared, I got trolled, and you know what, I'll care again the next time, because it's the right thing to do. The only way a troll can win is if you let them make you less human.

Well, I feel more human, not less, and in the best way.

So, [thumbs nose].
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:45 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now's the time to be a Liverpool supporter, Ubu. They have the Bad News Bears struggling underdog status now, combined with Mighty Ducks 2: The Duckening levels of funding that means they aren't actually underdogs so should provide for a Hollywood ending in the next 2 years or so.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:50 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But Luis Suarez.

Luis Suarez, though. Could you in good conscience start supporting a team with him in it?

Ubu: cold hard evidence.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:59 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This ((hug)) for yeoz also comes with one (or more) virtual sloppy kiss from Wilson.
posted by Glinn at 5:09 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is, overall: pants

Maybe it's the alcohol, or the adhesive poisoning from all six of the stick-on mustaches I'm wearing, but this is the funniest damn thing in the whole world.

Oh, also... you know what? Everyone seems to be having a really hard time of things lately. I see a lot of folks in this thread alone talking about how this shitty thing hit them at just the wrong time because they're already dealing with a bunch of things that are not awesome. And I'm hearing that from my local friends, too. It seems like maybe there is a universal deep blue funk going on. If you're going through a hard time right now, please hang in there and be as kind to yourself as you can be, and I'm sorry that you're struggling, and I hope it gets better for you soon, whatever it is.

(Even you, holdkris99. I hope you can get to a place where hurting other people for fun doesn't hold the same appeal. I still think what you did was really weird and creepy, but... well, I've known people who have done things like this. It takes a lot of self-loathing. And I don't imagine that you're a terribly happy individual. Happy people don't do things like this. So... well, hopefully someday you'll get some help and you won't need to spread the pain around anymore. I hope that happens.)
posted by palomar at 5:11 AM on May 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Wow.

I remember when saveyoursanity came into IRC and told us puke and cry was dead. My initial reaction was of total disbelief and that he was fucking with us. It took such a long time for my brain to accept that he ws really gone.
I can't bring myself to feel angry at holdkris99. I just don't care, even though I'm tempted to go and unfavourite every single favourite I ever favourited of his and just forget about him.

I'm really upset that pukeandcry is still dead, though.
posted by goshling at 5:19 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I believed it entirely, but it's not the first time I ever shed tears over absolutely nothing, I guess.
posted by tomboko at 5:21 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now, since Holdkris's fake-bituary

Surely it's fauxbituary, no?
posted by Rangeboy at 5:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


"This is, overall: pants"

Maybe it's the alcohol, or the adhesive poisoning from all six of the stick-on mustaches I'm wearing, but this is the funniest damn thing in the whole world.


Agreed. I gotta hand it to the British contingency - the use of "pants" as a synonym for "crazy" is one place you win in the language department. Because "pants" is one of those words that's just inherantly funny.

And this situation is indeed pants.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:25 AM on May 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Luis Suarez, though. Could you in good conscience start supporting a team with him in it?

Sure, for the same reason that when I go to King Richard's Faire, I always sit on the bad guy's side of the joust where I can chant "Cheat to Win!"

But I do see your point - I retired my Suarez jersey after the racism incident.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pants means rubbish. Not crazy. /brit
posted by zoo at 5:35 AM on May 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Even babies realise that people don't pop out of existence just because you can't see them.

Oh, would that this were true but my son still screams when daddy leaves the room because DADDY HAS GONE AND DISAPPEARED DADDY WILL NEVER BE BACK NEVER EVER OH G-D.

(Mom can leave at will though. It's just mom. Mom's boring.)
posted by sonika at 5:35 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


A few people had discreetly inquired (thanks for that)

I was also skeptical, and thought about emailing a mod about it, but felt like such an asshole. If anything like this comes up again, it's nice to know that I can just send the email without worrying about getting "What kind of unfeeling monster are you?" in reply*.

*I didn't really think that any of the mods would say that. Just that they would think it.
posted by amarynth at 5:48 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Remember that scene from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"? The cartoon, at the the end, when the Grinch, after stealing all the Christmas stuff, puts his hand to his ear so he can hear all the Who's cry because Christmas was stolen? And, instead, the Who's all sing instead, because it didn't matter that everthing got stolen, because it was the Spirit of Christmas that mattered? And this made the Grinch realize what Christmas was all about? And he became a nice Grinch? And he got to carve the Roast Beast?

If this Marc person is reading this thread, then maybe, just maybe he will have a similar Grinch epiphany.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Finally, though... A while ago, I read an article about suicide notes. It was an examination of what truly suicidal persons write, compared to what non-suicidal individuals think a suicide note would be like. The non-suicidal would try to sum up what they took to be the great themes of their lives: they would make giant proclamations of love, they would give explanations, they would provide grand statements to be remembered. The article, however, said that real suicide notes are, in actuality, far more mundane. Things like, "Please remember to feed the cats, and don't forget the gas bill." The article noted that many, finding such mundane suicide notes, feel even more confused or frustrated. Holdkriss99, on the other hand, had left his wife with a great, noble, clear explanation of his motives and complete affirmation of his everlasting love.

I'd be interested if anyone has the source for this. From a sample size of one, my experience is the exact opposite. Close friend of ours committed suicide and left a 10-page document with all of these proclamations, goals, blaming, wishing...tons of shit.
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 AM on May 23, 2012


Yeah, I mean, look at Bill Zeller's note.
posted by Gator at 5:57 AM on May 23, 2012


A couple of thoughts..
1. A twitter-style "verified account" flag might help. Perhaps you'd be required to disclose your real name (at least to the mods) and pay some extra $, but it would provide a seal of approval so that people could be reasonably assured that they are not being taken advantage of. If (like me) you want to stay anonymous, you take the risk that people will be skeptical about things like this.
2. Raise the price of admission - significantly. Sockpuppets can be useful and helpful but there should be a financial disincentive so that people think hard about what they're doing and why they're doing it.
posted by moammargaret at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2012


I think holdkriss99 was really Scott Adams.
posted by xorry at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


textbook narcissits are THE MOST DIFFICULT PEOPLE to get along with.
posted by snofoam at 6:06 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am surprisingly not-upset by this, but buoyed and uplifted at the way this has become more a celebration of our positivity than a ragefest (there's some excusable rage, but whatever).

The tangible downside of this for me is that if this was fueled by meth, I may be forced to reevaluate my relationship with Breaking Bad.
posted by Shepherd at 6:22 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, huh.

I sobbed through that obit thread the other day and then googled meth effects, wondering if mrs. h was high when she wrote the post. Was concerned when I read that meth "can make people feel more socially outgoing, talkative and self-confident," and "can have the effect of making people delusional; their grasp on reality becomes eroded"... those descriptions sounded like they could sum up a lot of what felt off about the post.

Anyway I do suspect there's truth in holdkris99's history, in particular the struggle with meth, first indicated six years ago in this straightforward question. I guess my response is there's not much point in piling on an addict with the "fuck you"s. He probably already feels pretty fucked. I mean what he did was shitty and bizarre (to a sober mind, at least), but wow do I feel sorry for him.

Also jeoc's comment above is definitely a redeeming merit to the whole thing.
posted by torticat at 6:26 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This reminds me of the Salome and Noa Elisheva story. In 2008, Noa, a 17-year-old French rowing champion started blogging about her "7-year battle" against leukemia, chronicling her daily life in a bubbly way. She died in 2009, leaving thousands of people distraught over the death of this talented young girl. Then her twin sister Salomé, a champion skier, started a new blog as a tribute to Noa, only to discover that she was sick with cancer too. At that point, there was a whole community supporting her beyond the blogosphere: there were public rallies against leukemia, Jewish prayer chains (the sisters were observant Jews) and a marathon was organised in her name. People travelling abroad took pictures of her mascot lemon ("John Lemon"), reenacting the garden gnome sequence from Amélie Poulain. In addition to leukemia, Salomé kept coming down with other diseases and broke several bones in a fall. For the next two years, she posted sad and occasionally gory pictures of herself, as well as scans of medical prescriptions. She posed with catheters, bandages or plaster casts in a room full of medical supplies. Many of her supporters were relatives of cancer sufferers or cancer patients themselves.

The story unraveled at the beginning of 2011, when skeptics started poking around and soon found gigantic holes. Salomé/Noa turned out to be a banal teenage girl named Odile: not sick, not Jewish, not a champion. Everything was fake(d), the blood in the pictures was just ketchup, the grieving boyfriend and other family members didn't exist, the many pictures of herself were of another person (an actual champion).

Odile didn’t express regrets. She claimed that she "gave people what they expected" and that "the characters she had created had gone out of hand" (sounds familiar). In fact, she had already pulled that stunt in 2007 in an other forum, but at a much smaller scale (there is almost nothing in English about that story except this summary).
posted by elgilito at 6:39 AM on May 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


Holy fucking shit.

You know, throughout the nineties and much of the noughties I was avtive on a message board that prided itself on being totally no-holds-barred and wholly uncensored. We also regarded trying to "scam" each other as a feature of the site, and the most prolonged, crazy and wildly deceptive such pretences entered the folklore of the place, some even meriting admiring notes in the FAQ.

But no one, ever, pulled anything as potentially wounding and downright unpleasant as this. Unbelievable. These people have something broken inside.
posted by Decani at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2012


This next time I did a combo of regular apple juice and apple juice concentrate, a few big spoonfuls of sugar

I fermented a quart of local non-pasteurized apple cider once. It was great! Tasted great and I got fucking ripped on it. Then, the next day, holy hell I had the squirts. So, you know, I got a deep cleanse out of it, also.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I misremembering, or did something like this happen on everything2?
posted by Jpfed at 6:56 AM on May 23, 2012


I think holdkriss99 was really Scott Adams.

Nah. That Beastie Boys story wasn't nearly as believable as most Dilbert strips.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2012


This makes me wonder if his post history is a six-year buildup to a "fuck you clown" punchline.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 7:16 AM on May 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hey Marc, if you're still reading (and we all know you are):

At this point it's a fairly safe assumption that your wife didn't write your eulogy. I wonder if she had anything at all to do with this ordeal. It would appear that her real name (which I won't list here but with the initials of K.D.) was used on the mrs holdkris99 account before it was deleted. Did she know about it, or did you just use her in a role in your play? If she didn't know you'd set up the account with her name or if she knew but didn't know how it was about to be used, she either does now or definitely will soon. I can't see any way that that's going to be good for the future of your relationship. Can you? That's a betrayal of trust in a really twisted and damn near impossibly irreparable manner. To drag the person who, just a few months ago, you took a vow to love and honor and whatever else, to drag their name through the mud like you did. A lot of people got her name and a lot of people here know your name, too. The internet is forever. I know you know that this isn't a site where the members are going to hunt you down and impale your head on a pike, but you never know who you're going to run into in the future. There are a lot of people here who were hurt by your game, who were triggered by details in the story you wove, and who won't be forgetting this for a long, long time. Add to those all the people who will read about you in the news stories about this that are popping up all over the goddamn place - places where the discourse isn't nearly as civil, where there aren't moderators or rules about posting personal information - and you've got a shitload of memories that will never go away.

The repercussions might come at a time when you think you've put this whole mess behind you, when you're done feeling regret and shame and sorrow for yourself for the fool you were. A future boss, maybe, or one of your kid's friends in college - you easily could've just ruined your daughter's freshman year. The internet never forgets, and you've brought shame on not only yourself but your family and not just today or this week or month, but for years down the road, scattered in little pockets of time.

Maybe this will act as a deterrent to future would-be hoaxters; maybe not. Maybe this really was a cry for help to you from yourself, from meth, from depression and suicidal thoughts; maybe not, maybe it really was just the work of a bored tweaker with no other outlet for all the frustrations that come with decades wasted from drugs. In any case, I can't believe for a minute that you're enjoying this anymore. You might've at first, but there's no way this can be anywhere near as fun as you thought it'd be to read nice things about yourself written by hundreds of thoughtful, caring, and intelligent people. You really blew it.

Since you can no longer see profile information, you can't see my email address. You may or may not remember that I live in Dallas, too, and that I'm in recovery from a rather ugly addiction or two. Fell free to drop me a line at chrisitem at gmail.
posted by item at 7:22 AM on May 23, 2012 [29 favorites]


Jpfed: "Am I misremembering, or did something like this happen on everything2?"

Perfectly possible.

I do know that user Grundoon (Christine Ottaway) sadly died of breast cancer this past March. But she was a long-time, well connected user whom a few folks knew in person. There is no question she was sick.
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM on May 23, 2012


Dude. Noughties. Noughties. I finally have a good word to succinctly indicate the years from 2000-2009.

Decani, I owe you a beer, or a cookie, or something.

That's awesome.
posted by MustardTent at 7:33 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Err, maybe naught. But still.
posted by MustardTent at 7:38 AM on May 23, 2012


1. A twitter-style "verified account" flag might help. Perhaps you'd be required to disclose your real name (at least to the mods) and pay some extra $, but it would provide a seal of approval so that people could be reasonably assured that they are not being taken advantage of. If (like me) you want to stay anonymous, you take the risk that people will be skeptical about things like this.

Unfortunately, even knowing someone's identity definitively doesn't mean they're not going to bullshit us. Liars gonna lie, and they are as happy to do it to your face with their nametag on as they are to do it online. Even people we know well can be grievously misinformed, have a hidden agenda, unable to stop themselves, or malicious underneath the facade.

And even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I agree that you take someone's words differently if you've known them to lie in the past, but the fact that they were caught in some lies, even some very awful ones, doesn't mean that everything they ever said was a lie. It just means we can't be sure, just as we can't be sure with most other people, but weighted with a little more skepticism of course if you know this about them. So I think it's wise for the mods not to put a "LIAR" tag on anyone's comments. We have to make our best judgments as we go, and sometimes we'll be right and sometimes we'll be wrong.
posted by Miko at 7:42 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, even knowing someone's identity definitively doesn't mean they're not going to bullshit us.

Hey!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 AM on May 23, 2012


Here's the thing: it is effectively impossible to commit suicide with car exhaust.

The first lady I had a relationship with after Amy passed away - her husband had done exactly that. However, I think the car was a 70s muscle car that he had been restoring.

Going out into the garage, and later getting rid of his tools and equipment, was *tough* for her.
posted by mrbill at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2012


Ian McCulloch is a fanatical Liverpool supporter. Last time I saw the Bunnymen play was at a festival in Barcelona just before the Champions League last year (Barcelona were due to play Man Utd).

It's likely that we just didn't talk about it because I'm not at all interested in football -- and at the time (1976-77), he might have looked uncool doing the whole Liverpool fan thing.

He wasn't a Bunnyman then. He was still in the Crucial Three with Wylie and Julian Cope.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:50 AM on May 23, 2012


Am I misremembering, or did something like this happen on everything2?

E2 user sensei was supposed to have died after a long decline, but it turned out to be totally fabricated—he's still alive, and not an old Japanese dude at all.
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:51 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow. What a lousy thing to do. But think of how bad off a person must be to do something like this. I have never done something like that, but I have been approximately that bad off. I'm sure that holdkriss99 and I are not the ONLY people here who have been there.

That was a really asinine thing to do, person formerly known as holdkriss99--I'm sure you're reading this--but I hope things get better for you soon. Please DON'T kill yourself and DON'T call Bruce. Lean on your friends IRL, who can at least VERIFY that you are in fact still walking around and stuff. As I hope you continue to do for many years to come.
posted by skbw at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two more thoughts:
1. He's gone forever from this community, but no man is an island, entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod of dirt is washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. And one day the bell will toll for you for real, holdkriss.

2. The movie Catfish.
posted by mattbucher at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am always suspicious of excessive verbosity.

Especially in widows.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:05 AM on May 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


God forbid The Troll Formerly Known As holdkriss99 ever actually needs any real help, because he's going to be SOL if this behaviour's anything to go by.
posted by unSane at 8:07 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel bad for the members who have led genuinely interesting lives and have authentically strange and compelling stories to tell because mother of god they are going to be under the microscope for what this joker did.
posted by Ritchie at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


I had no idea about any of this. I saw the original post, did a 'TL;DR', and walked away.

I win!
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, now I'm remembering Malor's post in the obit thread about wondering if holdkris was putting us on. Yeah, that thirty-six point thing. I was totally taken in, and after the obit posted I was sitting there re-reading a number of his posts and not noticing anything-- except there was a single funny discrepancy I noticed but one element of it was something where he could have been kidding, or exaggerating to make his argument better. And then later I was out pulling weeds and thinking, it's really too bad he never became a fiction writer.

A couple of weeks ago was when I first consciously heard the song by Wilco that was referenced in the title. Someone had given me the CD and I popped it into the player in my car. When that song came on, I almost immediately started crying for no clear reason. Later I picked up a friend, played the song for him, and then gave him the CD because he liked it so much. It's hard to describe my reaction when I saw those lyrics heading the obit post. I guess I don't have to; people here probably had similar reactions to aspects of this. The feeling now is so weird, like the pain of a phantom limb.

Polla ta deina, for sure.
posted by BibiRose at 8:10 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


All this has made me feel pretty good about my decision to totally ignore the high school friend who has been trying to get in touch with me via Facebook. This friend was a habitual liar, and although we spent a couple of years hanging out together, in retrospect I didn't know anything about her, because she lied about everything about herself.

This I don't need.
posted by Occula at 8:17 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Behind every troll, there is only a great deal of pain.
posted by what's her name at 8:20 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Actually, I feel rather relieved: Instead of losing another Mefite to suicide, Metafilter is well rid of a narcissistic fabulist. (I do feel some regret over failing to change affect to effect while I was re-rewriting my pompous comment in the fauxbituary thread.)

Meanwhile, the sympathy that otherwise would have been wasted on an Internet con can be redirected to those in our community who genuinely have lost loved ones. If there's anything meaningful to take away from this experience, it's that Metafilter is disproportionately filled with compassionate individuals who are willing to give the benefit of doubt in difficult circumstances.

Many thanks to the mods for following up on this incident and uncovering the truth.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that.

So don't let it happen.

The fact that this one fuckwit behaved like a fuckwit does not change the percentage of fuckwits in the population, even though it might represent an uptick in the fuckwit content of your personal sample of it. Fuckwits are, to an excellent first approximation, statistically independent. The fact that this particular coin turned up Arses has nothing to do with the chance of the next one doing so.

All of us, I think, understand on an abstract level that complete arseholes exist - and yet it remains an unsettling shock to see one in operation at first hand. But if you can find your way through to recognizing this arsehole encounter as supporting the notion that "the arseholes I've always thought exist really actually do" rather than "there are more arseholes around than I thought" then neither you nor Metafilter will take lasting damage.

Your previous policy re. trust and verification was, it seems to me, completely correct. You did all the right things in the right order. And the next time you get notified about a member suicide, you will best serve the memory of those genuinely lost to us if you behave as if the holdkris99 fiasco simply never happened.
posted by flabdablet at 8:26 AM on May 23, 2012 [33 favorites]


So it goes. Makes me all the more grateful for the rest of you. I'm proud of this community. Such generosity and love. Hugs to y'all.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2012


That, I suspect, is what this troll was hoping to accomplish -- to mock and diminish the very idea of empathy and human connection. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work. I think that's what will piss him off the most.

I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't work too, simply because I believe empathy and human connection to be good things in their own right.

It seems to me that people who choose to act in ways that demonstrate the opposite belief are people best ignored if possible. So what might or might not piss off holdkris99 is of no consequence to me whatsoever.

Big hugs all round to everybody else.
posted by flabdablet at 8:42 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Echoing what some other people have said, my guess would be that there was a actual lot of pain behind this. Maybe it's because I recently read a blog by someone who said one of her fictional characters (that greatly resembled her) was divorced, and that her husband accused her of "trying it out on paper," and that yes, eventually she realized she was trying it out on paper, and she got divorced. I worry that this was "trying it out on paper."

On the other hand maybe it was just the addiction talking. I had huge feelings of frustration when a friend and mentor kept drunk-dialing me, and I stayed up late several nights talking to him about his problems and then realized he never remembered squat about any of those conversations.
posted by BibiRose at 8:47 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't post much. I read incessantly. I don't have to post because usually by the time I've gotten there, someone else has already said what I thought should be said -- particularly in the sad/difficult threads, where it'll have been done many times over. In this case, it was hundreds.

Even if we get played sometimes, I love that about this place more than anything else -- there's so many people here with good things to say that I'd have to actually race to get a good comment in. And I don't have to. Never change, Metafilter.
posted by Pufferish at 8:53 AM on May 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


Oh god, and I am really glad I didn't tell the suicide story to the friend I gave the Wilco CD to. He's a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who is dealing with cancer and going blind at the same time. The next time I saw him was this Monday, and I thought about mentioning it but luckily good sense prevailed. Not good sense that I didn't think it was true at that point, but that my friend didn't need to hear that kind of thing. If I had told him and upset him, now I'd really be all, "Fuck you, holdkris99." Although, knowing my friend, his comment on both the "suicide" and the news that it was a hoax would be yeah, addiction is a bitch.
posted by BibiRose at 8:57 AM on May 23, 2012


This vindicated me in a weird sort of way. 13 years ago, my boyfriend died of an accidental overdose. When I first thought that holdkris99 had died, I felt very sorry for myself. "Wow. Holdkris99 never used in front of his kids, ran a successful business, and decided to nobly end his life rather than continue to torture his loved ones with his drug use. My boyfriend stole from his mother and me, couldn't hold a menial job to save his ass, and only died because he was alone after I refused to let him stay at my house. Life is so unfair!" Now I feel better in knowing that yes! Drugs really do fuck everything up!
posted by Melismata at 9:02 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Occula: "All this has made me feel pretty good about my decision to totally ignore the high school friend who has been trying to get in touch with me via Facebook."

I'm trying to do that right now. You know, get out of my whole don't leave the apartment except to go on errands and work kind of thing. It's really not good for me.

So far I've been ignored. And now thanks to your post I start to wonder if they think badly of me now. I don't think I did anything to him like that, but I've been messed up lately anyway so it's not taking much. My wife tell me to clean off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher almost had me sleeping in the living room using a pile of clothes for a pillow.
posted by theichibun at 9:04 AM on May 23, 2012


> I've met two compulsive liars... He also maintained he was completely colourblind

I've known only one compulsive liar (as far as I know; I'm gullible) and she also claimed to be colorblind.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


A few good things have come out of this for me, after that obituary brought out a WHOLE LOT of bad things. My own struggles have been reviewed, and the unbelievable story of a very good friend of mine's boyfriend killing himself, and the horrible pain I felt for her after not believing it for a long time. The confrontation of "No, this really happened to me."

And I learned about beanplates!
posted by Big_B at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2012


In the spirit of Richard Daly's desire to prove he is a Real Person, are there any regulars at the MeFi meetups who'd like to run a small key signing party on the side? This would make it very easy to prove your identity online in the future.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:15 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've met two compulsive liars... He also maintained he was completely colourblind

The best best best best part of having a cat is periodically bellowing I'M COLORBLIND, YOU FOOLS in the cat's voice.
posted by kate blank at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Definitely surprising. The mark of a personality disorder, although it's hard to say which. Sometimes, people use suicide threats to gain attention. And there's certainly a human tradition of wondering who's going to show at the funeral. This sounds like a chimera of the two, faking a suicide online to hear the positive thoughts flow.

We have an odd social predilection to speak our personal truths after death. To tell how much someone meant to us, and what their positive impact has been. It's cathartic for the community to set those final memories in a positive light, so that when it's our turn, we can believe our own transgressions will be forgotten, people will remember our positive actions.

This was an overt hijacking of that spirit. I don't doubt that the individual(s) responsible were thrilled to read the outpouring of kind thoughts. A man with a troubled life – a troubled soul – finding posthumous redemption. The community came together at large and really responded with kind, loving words. Perhaps on the other side of the equation, they felt touched by that kind love and enjoyed reading of all the care that actually exists.

In the worst case, there could have been dark mockery – oh look how we fooled them – but I would prefer to think of it as the former. A troubled soul, who instead of titrated thank you's and an occasional kind comment, desired The Whole Enchilada Delivered All At Once.

I doubt it will destroy the community, for the community has discovered and repulsed the ruse. It would destroy the community if there was no retribution, of sorts, and the transgression was allowed to stand. But it has not been. We cannot proclaim never to let thieves into the den, we can only expel them when they are discovered. To close hearts in the future is to give the ruse more power than it deserves. Rather, I think we can accept this for what it is, either a desperate desire for attention or a cruel trick, and move forward with the knowledge that the responsible parties have been removed from the community.

If there is a dominant emotion, it is sadness for those perpetrating the ruse. In a way, it is indeed like a drug addiction. Destroying tomorrow for one brilliant shining moment today. Whilst online community forums physically exist in the ether, emotionally, they are real relationships that provide real benefits; it is indeed a real community.

And to those who have had their spirits shaken, there is always the words of Socrates, which I will unpleasantly now butcher. He asked who really loses in the actions of theft. And the obvious answer is the victim. He replied that whilst the victim endures a loss, the victim has something to lose whereas the thief has been driven to steal. Thus, he said the real loser in theft is indeed the thief.

Thus, if emotions have been stolen, let's agree that it is fine. If you give of emotions freely, and they are stolen, you will continue to have them to give, however the thief eventually runs out of opportunities.
posted by nickrussell at 9:21 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


In the spirit of Richard Daly's desire to prove he is a Real Person, are there any regulars at the MeFi meetups who'd like to run a small key signing party on the side? This would make it very easy to prove your identity online in the future.

It seems like it would only have the effect of giving us two tiers of users, with people feeling like the other tier was part of some untrustable or uptight outgroup, and ultimately causing a weird tribalistic dynamic onsite.

And the presence of verified users wouldn't really change anything; many of us now know holdkris's real name, his wife's real name, where they live, etc, and it didn't stop him from effing with the site. You can know my full legal name (and indeed, it's in my profile) and home street address and I could make up a story about having cancer or something, and the cancer itself wouldn't be verifiable or not.

I think just having baseline conditional trust in all users is still the easiest way to approach the question of veracity of identity.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm fairly sure I was the mark for a con like this once.

She liked to flirt with me and wanted me to come over to her place some time so I presume that, had I gone that far, I'd have found her in urgent need of an expensive medical procedure or something. Or else she just enjoyed mindfucking people, in "that way".

It got fairly obvious when she revealed her symptoms of schizophrenia. She didn't call it as such, instead switching to a spooky font and claiming that she saw dead people.

Did that make me jaded? I don't know. I eventually fell for a much shorter, in-person con by another person entirely. Someone who didn't try to invent any stories, just acted real friendly and asked for little favors, eventually slipping in one that was rather larger than I realized at the time.

So if this event does jaundice you toward pronouncements of suicide on the internet, I don't think it will necessarily impact your empathic ability generally.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:23 AM on May 23, 2012


are there any regulars at the MeFi meetups who'd like to run a small key signing party on the side? This would make it very easy to prove your identity online in the future.

I think it just kind of spirals up the security-theatre ladder from there. We could put more and more and more safeguards in place, but that, I think might just make it more and more and more tempting for someone to hack the system. Meanwhile, life is harder for everyone else, TSA-style. And as I said upthread, knowing that Joe Schmo really is Joe Schmo is no guarantee that Joe isn't a fucked-up person or a compulsive liar.

Living with the level of trust we have here is alright by me. Always caveat reader, but I like it the way it is. The "contact (met)" tag is a useful real-person verification tool, if people want one. No tool will be perfect and the more hoops and badges and hurdles and things we have, the more problems can arise, as Greg Nog points out.
posted by Miko at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Greg Nog: I didn't mean to propose this as a new feature for MetaFilter. Cryptographic signatures are traditionally sent in plain text, which might go in a MeMail or a comment box or anywhere else at all, really. Some users no doubt have PGP keys already, this would just be a service for them and people who want keys.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:25 AM on May 23, 2012


Mods, thank you for handling this and for doing what you do. I imagine there really aren't any easy answers for how to deal with something like this. So, again, thank you.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:25 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I knew someone once who claimed to be a compulsive liar, but I didn't believe him.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:31 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is giving me a chance to rant about a close friend who actually *did* kill himself in March. His last post on Facebook, on a Friday night, was a link to "You Can't Always Get What You Want" from The Big Chill. He said something like "When I die, make sure you play this, heh." I asked if he was OK, but other people didn't seem alarmed, so I moved on. Three days later, his sister called and said he had killed himself on Friday night. I think he really thought that his death would allow a wonderful reunion of our close-knit, tiny high school at his memorial service. Bad guess.
posted by lukemeister at 9:31 AM on May 23, 2012


I hate this shitheel of a human being for destroying my trust in humanity a little more. I hate that.

The weird thing is this whole incident makes me like people even more. If this kind of concern can be poured out for someone who beneath it all is a fraud and a heel then maybe there is room for a some humanity to come my partial-asshole way when I need it.

We all know shitheels exist. The number of angels though, that always surprises me.
posted by srboisvert at 9:34 AM on May 23, 2012 [11 favorites]

"All this has made me feel pretty good about my decision to totally ignore the high school friend who has been trying to get in touch with me via Facebook."

theichibun: I'm trying to do that right now. You know, get out of my whole don't leave the apartment except to go on errands and work kind of thing. It's really not good for me.

So far I've been ignored. And now thanks to your post I start to wonder if they think badly of me now.
I have the facebook under my maiden name. I have only friended people who are family. It's not the highschool them, it's me. No one I particularly think badly of has attempted friending, I just realize I have nothing in common with anyone from back then, and can't think of a reason to reconnect with anyone from back then, so I don't.

I'm in public records. If they want to find me that urgently, it's not that difficult.

Assuming malice is probably not a very likely reflection of reality. *hugs* Good for you on working up to getting out of your funk or depression.
posted by tilde at 9:38 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, theichibun, I was thinking about advising not to set much store by Facebook. Getting involved in real day-to-day life around real people may be more promising. I recently went through FB and unlinked about 150 people who are all quite nice people, but I just can't manage the distraction of tracking their news daily when really I just want to see how my cousin's job interview went or whatever. Definitely reaching out to connect to people is a great idea, but maybe start with now and here, and only when you're feeling better try reaching out with a personal note to people from the past.
posted by Miko at 9:40 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think he really thought that his death would allow a wonderful reunion of our close-knit, tiny high school at his memorial service. Bad guess.

This was kind of my experience too. My friend's suicide was like a simultaneous kick in the gut to everyone she knew. The result wasn't the warm feeling of a community coming together, although they did. It was more like watching my friends limp along side by side, each in their own private, painful crouch, with nothing I could do to help. It still aches sometimes.

I don't know, I'm not trying to be a downer. But it seems important to note that the only silver linings from these things are dim and far away.
posted by Honorable John at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeoz, I've been to exactly those same places. I still visit them sometimes. If you ever want to talk about nicer places full of unicorns and glitter rainbows, hit me up on MeFiMail.
posted by brina at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where I ultimately went with this kind of thing is that instead of viewing it as inevitable that I lose faith in people in general or that I become ultra cynical and ultra skeptical of everyone's stories and problems, I would view it as inevitable (because it really is) that I would be fooled on an infrequent but regular basis.

It's okay to be skeptical. And skepticism should increase proportionally to how much risk a relationship is representing in comparison to how much outside-the-internet, objective evidence you're getting about the relationship being what it seems. And indeed, in general what I've seen is that people who are super-sensitive or super-hostile to skeptics tend to be the ones that are in fact lying.

But in general I'd rather trust people but moreover trust myself to have my mind and my life together enough that I'm not worried about the next con artist. While a lot of people rightly feel duped and angry I also feel sorry for whoever holdkris99 is. You just don't put that much effort into telling stories without having a desire to connect and caring about what your audience thinks about you. This is a very sorry sort of destination to take those impulses.
posted by nanojath at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


And to those who have had their spirits shaken, there is always the words of Socrates L. Jackson!

sorry. stopping now.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:04 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sucks about the whole shebang, but as others have said, I am buoyed by the awesome response of Mefi.

*beetroot does sound awful fermented, but the absolute worst thing I fermented was watermelon. Nasty,nasty,nasty. It was followed closely by a prickly pear melomel I made once. Also, freeze distilling only concentrates the nastiness.
posted by annsunny at 10:05 AM on May 23, 2012


I know we discussed it a bit, but perusing the bestof blog, it seems like we could do with removing his notations in the sidebar and best of blog. Those wouldn't erode the original content, and are specific call outs that get more attention than this guy deserves.
posted by iamabot at 10:11 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


theichibun, Facebook does a weird thing with messages when sent to people who are not on your friends list, so it's quite possible that the people you've reached out to haven't even seen your messages.
posted by jamaro at 10:29 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter is the sort of place that even when someone completely breaks the community norms/guidelines- they are still treated in a reasonable fashion. That is really remarkable. It would be a very hard job to mod this sort of situation - many folks are rightfully angry - and vocal, and the mods are guiding/maintaining a rather civil discussion. This is the community I choose to be a part of, not perfect, but certainly trying to be human. So thanks, mathowie and jessamyn and cortex and vacapinta and restless_nomad and taz. And pb too. Thanks.
posted by zenon at 10:36 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone is so distraught over having been taken in by a sociopathic liar . . . but it happens all the time, and not only on the internet. Hell, we have a pathological liar trying to take in the whole damn country running for president as the Republican nominee.

If being lied to with a straight face destroys your "faith in humanity," I submit your original faith in humanity was incredibly naive. And it's not the internet's fault. All the net does is make it easier to deceive people. But I'm sure cavemen faked their own heroic death-defying hunting adventures too.
posted by spitbull at 10:40 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am approaching the 2-month mark on this most terrible of rollercoaster rides known as suicide survivor's grief. I'd known I'd been in a bit of a trough the past few days, but I didn't really connect the dots between my reaction to the holdkris99 business and my own personal journey following my son's death. One of the things that has been impressed on me during this time, though, is how important it is to approach tragedy as a learning experience.

So a lot of people felt hurt, felt pain, when they thought they had lost this human being. Perhaps even more now feel hurt at finding out it was all just a lie. Some might respond to that hurt by becoming a bit more jaded, a bit more cynical. My response, though, is to embrace compassion all the more tightly. That includes tremendous compassion for Marc, who is an awful place whether he fully realizes that or not.

In thinking about my son, he was a charming kid who (as one of his friends wrote posthumously) drew people to him like moths to a flame. But he could also be an asshole. A jerk. A 100% A-grade douchecanoe. He burned a lot of bridges. Bombed them. Nuked them from orbit. That this "dark side" came from an actual very dark place indeed never made that "ok" or acceptable. But it does convince me that when people act like jerks, there's usually an underlying motive, and simply calling out "jerk!" or "asshole!" never makes anything the slightest bit better.

tl;dr Note: everyone needs a hug.
posted by drlith at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2012 [76 favorites]


"But, yea, bad (sadistic) experiment or joke or whatever carried too far. It is the internet (humanity) after all"
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2012


> I've met two compulsive liars...

I feel like I've known a lot of liars, but the only compulsive liar I've known is one of my brothers. I've been reading all the comments in this thread about liars and con artists, searching for some recognition, but as usual finding none. He doesn't fit a lot of what other people talk about when they talk about this sort of thing; he's not really a sly asshole, and he doesn't do a lot of manipulating people for his own gain. Although he is really charming, mostly what he charms people into thinking is that his life is going way better than it actually is (it is not going well). He lies all the time. Sometimes it seems like constantly, about just the most mundane, unimportant things. He will lie about what he did yesterday, he will lie about what he plans to do tomorrow. He will lie about his own opinions about things to make it seem like he has things in common with you. I have no idea what his deal is, or how to help him... Maybe I should make an AskMe.
posted by audacity at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I'm sure cavemen faked their own heroic death-defying hunting adventures too.


*pours out a little beetroot-apple juice wine for the late, lamented Homo Mendax*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


theichibun, Facebook does a weird thing with messages when sent to people who are not on your friends list, so it's quite possible that the people you've reached out to haven't even seen your messages.

Oh my goodness, I just checked that box, and sure enough, message from a RL friend I am not FB friends with! ::shakes fist at FB::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:57 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


spicynuts's comment about fake Asks reminded me of something I'd heard Frank Warren (PostSecret) speak about. Someone asked him how many of the secrets he receives are fake, and he said, basically, that it doesn't matter - even the cards that are fictional are created by the sender as a way to understand some deeper truth, even if they often don't know it themselves. The same thing plays out in the documentary-or-is-it Catfish, as mattbucher pointed out.

I've been debating whether to post the above, I don't want it to seem like I'm condoning, in any way, what's gone down; in those examples there's a kind of implicit acceptance of fakery as some type of artistic expression, even when it involves other human lives. The original post hit me hard during a time I was feeling extremely raw, like so many other people here, and I think it's a damned cruel thing to do to a group of people.

But the lying-as-truth thing is the framework that I'm choosing to use to understand why a person would do something like this, even if it wasn't necessarily a conscious thing. And I can't feel anything but pity and compassion for holdkris99, someone who's obviously in some kind of pain. What a miserably inadequate payoff for putting all of that time, energy and emotion into a thing.

I think it's fascinating that a person could so clearly understand what this community is all about, and still completely miss the mark.
posted by lhall at 10:59 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


drlith, I am so terribly, terribly sorry for the death of your son -- I wish there were some words that could express that better, and in a way that might be comforting. I send you love and hugs, and deep thanks for your compassion and wisdom.
posted by scody at 11:00 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The best best best best part of having a cat is periodically bellowing I'M COLORBLIND, YOU FOOLS in the cat's voice.

I know what you mean by this but nevertheless I can't help imagine you just meowing angrily for no apparent reason, and perhaps shaking your fist in a pawlike fashion before curling up for a nap directly on top of the computer keyboard.
posted by elizardbits at 11:06 AM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is all kinds of fucked up but I don't think that it devalues the touching response of the original thread in any way.

My own reaction was to shed a few tears and then send a message to a friend who I worry about sometimes with regards to suicide, which I'm glad I did.
posted by neilb449 at 11:06 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


drlith, words seem so inadequate, but my deepest sympathies for your loss.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 11:08 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Facebook does a weird thing with messages when sent to people who are not on your friends list, so it's quite possible that the people you've reached out to haven't even seen your messages.

FUCK! I seriously wish I had known about this before. Just checked my Other folder and there were a couple of pleasant surprises waiting for me ... last November. Fiddlesticks.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:08 AM on May 23, 2012


My gods...I just want to hug all of you!
posted by batmonkey at 11:10 AM on May 23, 2012


I think it's fascinating that a person could so clearly understand what this community is all about, and still completely miss the mark.

That's often seems to be the thing with the personality disordered, doesn't it? They can be very good at observing how functional (or at least not as deeply dysfunctional) people live and interact, and then they find a way to mimic it, but they always fail at making the real connections underlying the interactions that actually gives them meaning.

I wonder if it's a little like the emotional-social equivalent of the old Coneheads sketch from SNL: GREETINGS MEFITES. WE ARE FROM FRANCE. I AM SHARING A FUNNY STORY WITH YOU IN THE INTERESTS OF FOSTERING A SENSE OF WHAT YOU CALL COMMUNITY. HA. HA. HA. LAUGHTER IS ENJOYABLE. WE ARE A COMMUNITY THAT LAUGHS. And meanwhile, we ARE actually a community that laughs and is connected to each other in a lot of ways, and the Beldars among us are just smashing beer cans against their foreheads.

This is a weird metaphor and I don't know how to wrap it up.
posted by scody at 11:14 AM on May 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


I just checked mine and apparently people see old answers I've posted here about documentary stuff ALL THE TIME and contact me on Facebook asking questions I do not see and do not have the knowledge to answer anyway. Huh.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2012


Now I'm disappointed there is nothing in my facebook "other" folder.
posted by maxwelton at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Never thought I'd feel a need to, but I'm going to tell the story of Clint. Sorry if this is long, and I know it's so deep in the thread it'll barely get seen... but it reminds me of this situation in many ways.

Late 90s, before blogs, even before AOL became the dominant online service, there was a service called Prodigy. On Prodigy, there were bulletin boards devoted ostensibly to Sci-Fi and Fantasy and Role Playing Games, but in reality they were more a gathering place for the kind of people you find here on Metafilter to chatter. It still bothers me that all those old board posts are just gone, because you could take many of those topics and users and post there here -- they'd fit right in. Like Metafilter, the community discussions were loosely moderated by a team of superusers: my team.

It came to pass in one of the more popular "clubs" on those boards that the mother of a user named Clint stopped by to let everyone know that he had killed himself. She left a story of his life and suicide that, while shorter, had a lot in common with the story Mrs. holdcris99 left here -- we had been a rare positive in his unhappy life, and she wanted to both thank us for it and not leave us all wondering.

Publically, everyone was mournful. Clint himself I'd chatted with only a few times, but in all his interactions the common thread had been that he was a ill and troubled teenager with no other friends who was online because he never left home. He was always nice to everyone, and had made quite a few folks laugh, so many took it pretty hard... the other teenagers in particular, which made up about half the users.

Privately, it looked bad. There was a cluster of SE Michigan members in the club in question, and all but Clint were well known -- to each other and to me, via many gatherings. Nobody had ever met Clint, he hadn't even swapped a picture with anyone (dead common back then). The major papers weren't completely online yet, but nobody found an obituary in the dead tree editions. When I asked his mother for his funeral arrangements just in case anyone local asked for them, she gave them, but I wasn't able to reach the funeral director by phone to confirm anything... and of course, it was happening the next morning, hours away.

So, basically, that's how I ended up driving across the state to end up being the only non-family member at this poor kid's funeral.

Lue, his mother... she lost it when I showed up. She knew who I was without being told, because who else would it be? She'd been wondering the same things about all of Clint's friends that I wondered about him -- were we really what we claimed? Lue ripped a picture off of one of her collages of them and gave it to me, to scan and share with his other online friends. And she took my suggestion to periodically visit the boards again, from time to time for years afterward... right up until they shut down the service.

When my car died on the way home, in a very final sort of way, I wondered if it was a sort of justice for my having doubted. I took the lesson to heart and decided then it's better to trust and risk being hurt than to too-obviously doubt and hurt someone else -- which I didn't avoid by much.

TL, DR: I couldn't approve more of how all this was handled -- supported publically, doubted and investigated privately. Hopefully nobody feels so betrayed that it changes that culture, because that's how it should be.
posted by Pufferish at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2012 [134 favorites]


I too had nothing in my other folder.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2012


Pufferfish: bowing to you for your story about Clint. Sometimes trust is good.

On the Facebook hidden messages: Boy, am I glad for this tangent, because it may explain why the playwright I tried to reach out to about a potential publishing opportunity three months ago never wrote back! I've contacted my business partner (who IS on this playwright's friendslist) to have a try. Thank you!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:22 AM on May 23, 2012


HOLY FUCK

I cried once a day every day since I read this- and then at some point yesterday after retelling the story to my husband again because I was so bothered by it, I noticed in the retelling that the pieces seemed to fit together too well. I started to wonder if the whole thing was fake, and started hating myself for thinking that because I told myself I was trying to find a way to make the story not true so it would stop haunting me, and that kind of cynicism on my part was a defense mechanism and callous.
So.
Fuck Me.
And Fuck holdchris99

But I am glad the story isn't true.
posted by stagewhisper at 11:23 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Octobersurprise: fermented a quart of local non-pasteurized apple cider once. It was great! Tasted great and I got fucking ripped on it. Then, the next day, holy hell I had the squirts. So, you know, I got a deep cleanse out of it, also.

Uh... well. I will go easy on it then, thanks for the pro-tip, but I do have a ton of magazine reading to catch up on. One of my co-workers & buddy at Batwings used to bribe me into doing graphic design for his prototypes by giving me jugs of his homemade mead. I thought I had scored, till I was riding in a limo with his dad, who was a big mucky-muck.

"Thank gawd he's giving away that crap, it's been exploding all over my basement!"

But it was pretty good stuff. Apple-cranberry mead was my favorite. He kept a hops sprig on his name plate (but his mom was Scottish so maybe that's why he wasn't so much like his dad, who was definitely NOT of any form of Celts blood).

Saw a comment on Liverpool, Beatles and Echo and the Bunnymen. I like the Beatles AND Echo and the Bunnymen. Never been to Liverpool, but my late father-in-law lived in Birkenhead during WWII and was bombed out twice out of his aunt and uncle's house(s). He was only 15. I said, "what did you do, William?" He said,

"I was Billy, Junior Fire Warden! Put out the Krauts' fires with my sand bucket!"

Then he went on to become a physicist and EE professor here in the US (his mother was American and father worked at EWO brewing and was trapped in Hong Kong during much of WWII, as William was trapped in Birkenhead after his boarding school shut due to the war). And William used to steal carboys from the refuse in back of the chem lab and make apple cider and wine on his porch. I also heard stories of professors partying at the local German pub in Columbus on Friday afternoons. So I rather think I would like to visit Liverpool someday and go to Birkenhead and see where he lived and put out the fires from the bombs when he was only 15 years old. What a guy. I'll be toasting him later with something.

To Billy, Jr. Fire Warden! Thanks for all you did for the world and your family. He'd probably say, "to hell with that asshole, tell him to get a life!" As would my Dad. Get a life, Kris, just someplace else. No apple wine for YOU! :-P
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 11:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow. Holdkris99 never used in front of his kids, ran a successful business, and decided to nobly end his life rather than continue to torture his loved ones with his drug use.

Yeah, I had a similar reaction. I wouldn't go so far as to call it spidey-sense but I assumed she must have gone back to using when she wrote it. Life around a meth addict is a total chaotic nightmare and I've yet to hear a true account of one of these noble addicts who keeps it totally private and doesn't pull a bunch of people into their black hole. That's usually a Hollywood invention for troubled protagonists or a lie from another addict who's in denial about the harm they're doing to their own loved ones.
But even knowing that, it still gave me that little pang of guilt- as if the out-of-control addict I know could somehow be closer to functional if only I would do something, I don't know what. But I was reactiong to a work of fiction and it's just not how it is. So good riddance and good luck, dude and hugs all around, Metafilter.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 11:24 AM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Luis Suarez, though. Could you in good conscience start supporting a team with him in it?

No, which is why you should support Aston Villa: shitty couple of seasons under incredibly shite managers but the makings of a good team if they find the right guy to lead it. Satisfies any sport fan's masochistic tendencies without going all Cubsy about it.

He wasn't a Bunnyman then. He was still in the Crucial Three with Wylie and Julian Cope.

Locked up in the Culture Bunker?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:34 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Life around a meth addict is a total chaotic nightmare and I've yet to hear a true account of one of these noble addicts who keeps it totally private and doesn't pull a bunch of people into their black hole.

I've known quite a few regular meth users from my years in the club scene who have their shit together -- including people with full time jobs and families, and quite a few that quit with no problems. That didn't seem very implausible to me.
posted by empath at 11:34 AM on May 23, 2012


So, I propose we all count to three, and on the count of three, we retro- and pro-actively take all of the warmth and goodwill and well-wishes and love and hugs that we sent out to the fake person who was fakely hurting, and redirect it to drlith, whose pain is very real and I just can't imagine what it must be like.

1. 2. 3.
posted by jbickers at 11:39 AM on May 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


I know recovered addicts who live good lives and do not torment those who love them. It is possible. One part of it seems to be finding supportive people who are willing to accept the person in recovery as capable of moving past the time when they were not as strong and stay away from those who either tempt them back into the old ways or bludgeon them with their past.

Admittedly, having a lifelong junkie as a parent made me doubt that potential, as well, but it helped me shed a lot of bitterness to know some people are able to pull through. Bless 'em.

thanks for the FB msg pointer - there was a note from a long-lost cousin looking for me from a couple of months ago!
posted by batmonkey at 11:41 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It smelled weird to me from the beginning and I had to hold myself from saying something in that death thread (and felt shitty for even thinking about it) but it never occurred to me it was fake.

I never occurred to me either, because why would someone do that? Weird. Seems like a lot of work for nothing. I did think the whole thing was strange, rambling, and not how real people act, but just chalked it up to drug use.
posted by bongo_x at 11:43 AM on May 23, 2012


I've known quite a few regular meth users from my years in the club scene who have their shit together -

And I know a whack of regular alcohol users who keep their shit mostly together. Meth is a unique drug, no question, and yet similar to the likes of heroin/cocaine/alcohol in that (despite the SCARE-hype) it doesn't destroy everyone it touches, just an unlucky few, who for whatever reason, NEED it way too bad. It speaks softly to them, fills a void, becomes so useful it quickly becomes part of them ... and so on.
posted by philip-random at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Maybe this will act as a deterrent to future would-be hoaxters"

Just the opposite, I suspect. Too many trigger stimuli were exposed in this thread, not to mention systemic weaknesses and general community vulnerabilities. Over the next decade, I would keep my eye on any new accounts from the next couple months.
posted by Ardiril at 11:56 AM on May 23, 2012


In the worst case, there could have been dark mockery – oh look how we fooled them – but I would prefer to think of it as the former. A troubled soul, who instead of titrated thank you's and an occasional kind comment, desired The Whole Enchilada Delivered All At Once.

Like an addict. Speaking for myself now-- the kind of recognition and validation you can get from this place can feel so wonderful; it's not too surprising to me that someone would want to mainline it.

I am glad that Marc (if that's his name) is not dead, but this is disillusioning to me because I thought it was this wonderful story about dealing with addiction and how it just seems like more addiction. But I don't know why I put so much stock into Marc because I know recovering addicts in my life who are every bit as inspiring, in their own ways, as I thought Marc was. He just had a lower bottoming-out than the people I am close to. I'm sure I could walk into an AA/NA meeting in an hour and find people with a lot worse histories, though.

drlith, god bless you.
posted by BibiRose at 12:05 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


> He lies all the time. Sometimes it seems like constantly, about just the most mundane, unimportant things.

Yeah, I've known three compulsive liars and they were exactly like that too. It really felt compulsive in that sense, like their default reflex response was to lie, even when the question was something like 'so how's your day?' One's an ex whose lies were sometimes to dodge responsibility and sometimes to make himself sound more interesting and sometimes just because (why lie about the weather, ffs?), another's an old schoolfriend with a bubbly, extrovert personality and a huge circle of friends who's been cheerfully lying about everything since we were fourteen, and the third's a former flatmate who, among other things, also claimed to be colourblind (clearly that's A Thing).

I can't really imagine any of them pulling off a big planned scam or hoax; their lying seemed a lot less planned than that. It's more like they had a whole different approach to reality and human interaction than the rest of us. I don't know what possesses people to be like that, or whether they really think that's what everyone else does too, or what. It's sad and bizarre.
posted by Catseye at 12:06 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


So many comments and none containing the word "glurge". holdkris99, I proclaim you glurge king forever.
posted by telstar at 12:22 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


My friend's suicide was like a simultaneous kick in the gut to everyone she knew. The result wasn't the warm feeling of a community coming together, although they did. It was more like watching my friends limp along side by side, each in their own private, painful crouch, with nothing I could do to help. It still aches sometimes.

Ugh. So, so true. This happened to a classmate of mine. His death is The Subject We Do Not Talk About because it hurts to mention it, and everyone grapples with it in private on their own, though occasionally one of us might mention something in private to a mutual friend that we need to get off our chests. You know what would provide a forum for The Warm Feeling Of A Community Coming Together™? His being alive and for us to be able to hang out with him.

I didn't remember many but a few isolated comments from holdkris99... apparently I never read his "greatest hits." But I think from now on, whenever I see someone in an online forum who just happens to have a "just so" story for every occasion (always somehow involving an unlikely or heartstring-pulling tale of overcoming adversity), I'm going to pretty much assume he's someone's literary experiment. It's my experience that people generally have just a few "good stories" that have happened to them in life, and they'll repeat them over and over. Anyone who seems to "always" have a new story that happens to be pretty amazing is likely making it up.
posted by deanc at 12:26 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am glad that Marc (if that's his name) is not dead...

Pretty certain that's his real name. He seems to have made no attempt at all of covering his "real life" tracks. Several things he posted here in the last several years match up with other sources on the web that are pretty easily verified (including photos). Which makes me wonder a little if something more subtle is going on - Is the person who posted as "holdkris99" posing as the real-life Marc?
posted by JeffL at 12:28 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


theichibun, I'm not sure what to say. My old friend told us stories like how her father in Florida had bought her a fancy sports car, or how (when I was a freshman in college) the guy I had a raging crush on happened to live next door to her when she was a small child and they played together.

But a lot of people - like me - only want to be in touch with a very few people from high school simply because it was such an emotionally and hormonally fraught time, and not because of anything old classmates did or said. I feel like I had an open wound in high school - one called adolescence! - and I dislike remembering it, and old classmates make me feel like that once highly visible wound is too easily seen still. Hang in there, mate.
posted by Occula at 12:42 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is the person who posted as "holdkris99" posing as the real-life Marc?


Possibly, with all the indiscriminate sharing going on online now. One of the hoax drama story cataloging and searching I participated in involved just that. Someone appropriated details and photos from "a friend" to perpetuate their own story, just shaping it along that friend's life arc. This was pre-smart phone and pre-socialnetworking. They'd change the story to match the friend's arc, then dump it once it became untenable (tragic death, of course, with follow ups from the spouse or the cousin or the neighborhood friend).

The question remained: though this person had appropriated the "friend's" pictures and life arc (connected online and offline as the source for the photos used), was the final name they were using (it was a serial hoaxer, coming back to the same well) really their own (it was connected offline to more real public-records people), or someone else's again?

Just part of the pathology, I guess. Someone, somewhere, is connected to this hk99 account, and they are a douche who have removed themselves from our space. Fuck'em. I'm moved on.
posted by tilde at 12:48 PM on May 23, 2012


The worst liar I have ever encountered is someone who has an uncanny ability to say what he thinks you want to hear. Or what would be appropriate to say. This has led to more crap than can be imagined. You see someone that looks authoritative and acts authoritative but says absolutely nothing that can be relied upon. And you never know when colleagues (or strangers) have relied on Mr. Cypher's non-news.

I thought Holdkris99's previous posts were about 40% bullshit but pushed away thoughts that he would lie about something as serious as a suicide. He's been part of this community for Bill Zeller's and PukeandCry's sad ends. Why? The absolutely shittiest thing.

I hate liars.
posted by readery at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2012


theichibun, Facebook does a weird thing with messages when sent to people who are not on your friends list, so it's quite possible that the people you've reached out to haven't even seen your messages.

Oh man, I can now say for sure that I've gained something (30 somethings!) from this revolting mess.
posted by carbide at 12:55 PM on May 23, 2012


The next time someone shows up with their "almost too good to be believed" stories here on MeFi, we'll look at them a little more sideways.

Unless the too good to be believed story teller was the whole purpose of the sock puppet.

I'd register R.J. MacReady, post this under that handle along with some variant of the last line from The Thing here, but meh. Given past experience I'm sure I'll kick myself for not doing this later.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:04 PM on May 23, 2012


it is better to suffer wrong than to do it

It turns out that this part of the 1750 Samuel Johnson quote appears in one form or another in at least three earlier collections of proverbs: (1) Thomas Fuller's Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732, saying #5068; (2) George Herbert's Jacula Prudentum, or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., 1640, here (in a later collected works); and (3) John Clarke's Paroemiologia Anglo-Latina in usum scholarum concinnata. Or proverbs English, and Latine, methodically disposed according to the common-place heads, in Erasmus his adages. Very use-full and delightful for all sorts of men, on all occasions. More especially profitable for scholars for the attaining elegancie, sublimitie, and varietie of the best expressions, 1639, page 14 (paywalled, sorry).

So I suppose that Johnson might have expected his audience to recognize these words. (The rest of the quote seems to be original to him.)

(And, by the way, the whole of that Rambler essay is about suspicion and trust, and except for its length and archaic language, would fit perfectly into this thread. So, it's worth a read.)
posted by stebulus at 1:05 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Brings back memories of the Janna St. James thread. It's not even that there's a screw loose, it's that the screw was misshapen to begin with.
posted by Melismata at 1:11 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Disable posting and commenting on all site from now until Tuesday. Let's give Team Mod a long Memorial Day weekend vacation.
posted by Diskeater at 1:20 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've known quite a few regular meth users from my years in the club scene who have their shit together -- including people with full time jobs and families, and quite a few that quit with no problems.

Me too.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of habitual liars, a comment I made back in 09 ...

I had a neighbor a few years back who, after I'd known him for a few months, revealed to me that he was a habitual liar. He was going through a 12-step program at the time.

Yes, he'd told me a few tall tales before this. Nothing too extreme. He was just one of those people who, no matter what the topic was, he always had relevant and often fascinating real life experience ... to the point that my inner bullshit detector had really begun to buzz.

The weird part was that once he started the 12-step thing, he always mentioned it whenever he met someone new. Then he proceeded to lie like a muther@#**$. ie: "Hi, I'm Jim, I'm a habitual liar. Let me help you with that transmission problem you're having. I was on Tony Stewart's pit crew when he was just starting out."

I doubt his name was even Jim.


A very confusing man to be around.
posted by philip-random at 1:28 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


When it was assumed Holdkris99 was dead, people were moved by his wife's message (I was moved too). However, I did think in the earlier thread that his history of posting good anecdotes, many of which demonstrated some capacity to care about others, was taken by many to be proof that he was, to paraphrase, "a really good person". This goes on all the time with the recently deceased, of course, but it was odd that people felt sure they could summarise a stranger's character on such limited evidence.

Likewise, now that it's known this was a hoax, many posters above seem to be sure that because the guy did a shitty thing he must be fundamentally a shitty guy. It was a shitty thing he did, no question. But it's important to remember that we don't know why he did it or even much else about him, and it is impossible to tell what kind of person he is just because he did a shitty thing. I don't understand why someone would do what he did, but I also don't understand how someone could feel simple hatred (which some seem to) towards a person who would do such a weird, messed-up thing. Nobody likes to be the butt of a joke, least of all me, but I rather doubt that holdkris99 is currently feeling gleeful for having trolled metafilter and laughing at us all. His position is surely more complicated, more dark - as it was when he was presumed dead.
posted by cincinnatus c at 1:35 PM on May 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


"Hi, I'm Jim, I'm a habitual liar. Let me help you with that transmission problem you're having. I was on Tony Stewart's pit crew when he was just starting out."

I actually posted an askme about habitual liars, and one of the people I had in mind was a guy who - amongst many other things - had supposedly played junior hockey at a national level, and worked in a motorbike pit crew.

That was before the internet had really taken off, so I doubt the Australian junior hockey teams of that era are even googlable, but I do remember enlisting him to inspect a motorbike I was thinking of buying. A week later I had to drop $600 to replace the starter motor.

Later still, he emptied out a housemate's savings account. Took a fair amount of speed, that guy, for whatever it's worth.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:40 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ha! I also have a 12-step/chronic liar neighbor. His lies are vastly entertaining, and usually involve hanging out with rock stars in entirely impossible scenarios. Like the time he went moose-hunting with Lemmy Kilmister in the Arctic, and they were pulled over by -- I don't know, the Artic Hunting Police or something -- and were about to be arrested, except for the fact that Lemmy has been appointed a lifetime goodwill ambassadorship from the UN, and thus he has diplomatic immunity for shooting moose out of season.

The one time I couldn't resist calling him on his shit, just a little -- though he just steamrolled over it and moved on to another story -- was the time he claimed to be hanging out with the Clash backstage at Madison Square Garden in 1986 (on a double bill with the Sex Pistols) with the supermodel he was dating at the time. And my head started to spin around, because WHERE TO START??!?!? The Clash couldn't have played Madison Square Garden in 1986 after they broke up (I'm virtually certain they never played the Garden ever), and they most certainly didn't share a bill with the Sex Pistols, who had been broken up for something like 8 years at that point (and also never played the Garden), and oh my god, YOU NEVER DATED A SUPERMODEL.

But then he's totally helpful around the building and has done minor repairs on my car when my boyfriend wasn't around, and invites us over for really delicious barbecues. So, yeah, a confusing man to be around.
posted by scody at 1:45 PM on May 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


with the supermodel he was dating at the time.

"Yeah! That's the ticket!"
posted by octobersurprise at 1:49 PM on May 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm so jaded, I'm starting to doubt you ever even met Paul Weller.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:49 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


(directed at scody)
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:50 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did I ever mention that Paul Weller is my brother-in-law?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:51 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah? What English Premier League team does he support, then?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2012


He's not. I just couldn't remember if I'd ever mentioned it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


thats nothing i've been to the moon
posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


but did Paul Weller grab your ass while you were there?
posted by scody at 1:55 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did once shove a joint into Joe Strummer's face without realizing it was him. I swear. He said, "Thank you."
posted by philip-random at 1:56 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


our spacesuits too clunky
the passion cooled
on the dark side ....of the moon.
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on May 23, 2012


Impossible! Paul Weller has never been to the moon!
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:56 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is turning into that Arrested Development scene that starts off as an intervention and becomes a Reefer Madness-pastiche party.
posted by griphus at 1:57 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


did i tell you about when i met the taters lady
posted by shakespeherian at 1:58 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Pfft, it's more of a claim to fame if Weller didn't try to grab your ass, the old tart*.

*allegedly.
posted by humph at 1:58 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah? What English Premier League team does he support, then?

"Claims to be Chelsea"
posted by inigo2 at 1:59 PM on May 23, 2012


cincinnatus c - it is impossible to tell what kind of person he is just because he did a shitty thing.

This is true. And, as with the 'friend' I'd had who turned out to be inventing and/or exaggerrating every damn aspect of his life: I have no interest in figuring out which parts are which. Yeah, he seemed genuinely supportive of me during a bunch of rough shit I was going through. Was he really? I have no idea. I'm not going to spin off various reasons and theories for motives, because he could probably do it better anyway, and I'll never know for sure. When all you have to go on is what a chronic liar tells you -- why bother?

It's a fuckin' waste of your goddamn time, as Socrates L. Jackson said.

You just disconnect and move the hell on because pretty much anything else is a better thing to do with your time than try to figure out which part of a lie is real.

.. I might still be a little sore about that. Urgh.
posted by cmyk at 2:03 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't know him well enough to have an informed opinion about whether he was a good person or not, but I recognized his name, and I was sure as hell going to tell his freaking WIDOW that I thought he was a good person, you know? Not really fair to say however many hundreds of us who wanted to offer comfort really thought we'd assessed his character well on the basis of his storytelling skills.

That said, he DID seem like a nice enough guy. ugh.
posted by Occula at 2:09 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "subbes and workerant are both people I know IRL and like a great deal"

Aw. That's really nice of you, Jessamyn. I think you are a swell person and like you also.


ProTip: to get a mod to like you, send her letters written on vintage stationery.
posted by subbes at 2:12 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well damn. I was suspicious about this but I didn't know how to say anything without sounding insensitive, and I figured I was probably wrong anyway. I'm glad the mods caught this. Yeesh.
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on May 23, 2012


drlith: (((((hugs)))))) I have no words. I wish I could provide some comfort.
posted by bardophile at 2:41 PM on May 23, 2012


Maybe I shouldn't even comment but perhaps this is worth mentioning, just in case you're feeling a narcissistic rush from all this attention: I wasn't moved by the long suicide story, and I wasn't particularly angered or anything by the deception. Not to minimize others' perfectly valid reactions, but it's honestly just shit I read on the internet. If it was a staggering impact you were looking for, there are probably scores of us who weren't affected either way. You're not the center of the universe, believe it or not, and getting professional help with realizing that is probably a great idea. xoxo
posted by naju at 2:56 PM on May 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


What a great thread this is. All my hats are off to the many people who have said wise and thoughtful things, not to mention those who have said silly things that made me laugh out loud (when I should be copyediting). I'm sorry some people were irritated with the comment I made earlier in mild irritation with the "I knew it!" comments, and I'll address a few of the responses here:

and languagehat: it's actually interesting anecdata, to hear of people who sniffed a possible rat, as it says something about how we react as a group to good news & bad.

Well, sort of, I guess, but only if there's more to it than "I knew something smelled off!" I mean, "I knew it!" is the most obvious reaction possible to something like this; hell, I found myself reworking my earlier, innocent reaction to the death post, thinking "Yeah, now that I think about it it was kind of fishy..." It's human, but it's also bullshit.

It's understandable that people who held their tongues at first now want to vent those suspicions, now that we know the bereavement isn't for real.

Sure. But it's also understandable that people want to retro-create suspicions, now that we know the bereavement isn't for real. And there's no way to distinguish genuine suspicions from retrofitted ones. It's like Funny Things Kids Say; when you actually hear a kid say them, they're hilarious, but when you read somebody retelling them, you (or at least I) can't enjoy them because of the likelihood they were made up by an adult.

sweetkid asked. Also, it's part of processing the whole thing, especially for those who talked themselves out of whatever instincts may have been in effect to give a genuine, heartfelt response despite entertaining grave doubts. Especiallyespecially when those doubts created negative feelings about one's own value as a human being.
So...does that help you see the need, maybe a little...?


Yeah, I totally get that, and since sweetkid did ask, it's even on topic (so to speak). I wasn't disputing any of that, just expressing my own feelings.

You'd have to be a very brave person to stand up and express your misgivings before the mods pronounce.


Sure, and I'm glad nobody did. And of course if you bit your tongue then you're going to want to talk about it now. Totally understandable. I just think there are more people saying "I knew it!" than actually did. (Skepticism... in this thread? Outrageous!)

> Polla ta deina, for sure.

I just have to call out that terrific line and provide an explanation for those who missed it; it's a famous quote from Sophocles, well explained here:
In Sophoclesʼ Antigone, the chorus sings of mankindʼs ambivalent greatness: “polla ta deina kouden anthropou deinoteron pelei.” The phrase can be translated in two very different ways, because of the inherent ambiguity of the adjective deinos (as in dinosaur), which may be positive (“great”) or negative (“fearful,” “terrible”). So as the chorus sings “many things are terrible, but nothing is more terrible than mankind,” it is also singing “many things are great (clever, able …), but nothing is greater than mankind.”
And that's the way it is.
posted by languagehat at 2:57 PM on May 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


Someone just outed him. There's a dox file showing up on Google that gives his real name but also his kid's name (which is kind of ugly).
posted by elgilito at 3:11 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Too bad. Now he gets to be a martyr, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:17 PM on May 23, 2012


And no - that wasn't sarcasm.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:18 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gizmodo: How One Man Faked His Own Internet Death
posted by BobbyVan at 3:23 PM on May 23, 2012


Like the time he went moose-hunting with Lemmy Kilmister in the Arctic, and they were pulled over by -- I don't know, the Artic Hunting Police or something -- and were about to be arrested, except for the fact that Lemmy has been appointed a lifetime goodwill ambassadorship from the UN, and thus he has diplomatic immunity for shooting moose out of season.

OK, well, you do have to give the guy credit for at least lying awesomely.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:25 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, man, the Gizmodo article linked a couple comments up even had an awesome tagline:

Metafilter: the pristine oasis in a world of smudgy, circle-jerking Internet forums
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:32 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also found that aforementioned doc when I was googling to find the gizmodo article earlier. I reported it, but not sure how much that doc site is moderated.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:35 PM on May 23, 2012


I like not being skeptical on metafilter.
I like that people here are nice enough, and caring enough to not go 'bs, bs, bs!'. It also goes against the community norms (yay for the lack of threadshitting!).

And hey, I still want to help people on the internet. I just have a filter about who is helpable.

Finally, I pull this vid out every time this happens - it's a laugh or cry thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ2_avaK_W4
posted by Elysum at 3:35 PM on May 23, 2012


zenon: "This is the community I choose to be a part of, not perfect, but certainly trying to be human. So thanks, mathowie and jessamyn [star] and cortex and vacapinta and restless_nomad and taz. And pb too. Thanks."
Exactly.

The Whelk: "our spacesuits too clunky
the passion cooled
on the dark side ....of the moon.
"
There is no dark side of the moon. Matter of fact, it's all dark.
posted by dg at 3:36 PM on May 23, 2012


personally, i'm glad someone ELSE started a shit storm besides me!
posted by FauxScot at 3:37 PM on May 23, 2012


Yeah, blarg, that scribd thing. It's basically googleable stuff but it still comes off as pretty gross in intent.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:37 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The doc also appears to list a business that may or may not be the bookstore referenced. Gross.

This also seems to be getting play by folks swiping content from Gizmodo
posted by Blasdelb at 3:38 PM on May 23, 2012


I just think there are more people saying "I knew it!" than actually did.

Irregardless, what's interesting to me are the different species of rat allegedly sniffed. I was a bit iffy about the writing style, others questioned the use of the "." or linking of comments, yet others questioned the narrative around why the friend opened the garage door, and others whether or not asphyxiation in that manner is even possible. A death by a thousand cuts, if you like.

And while I agree it would've been inappropriate to raise these doubts in the supposed obit thread, at the same time if all these doubts had been aired, things would probably not have gone on for so long in the way they did.

Not that there's any easy answer to this kind of tension between conflicting priorities (say, empathy & trust vs scepticism); just pointing it out.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:39 PM on May 23, 2012


subbes: "ProTip: to get a mod to like you, send her letters written on vintage stationery."
I tried that, but all it got me was a restraining order. Maybe using letters cut out of magazines wasn't the best idea in the word?
posted by dg at 3:39 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


You lose points for saying "irregardless," sorry.
posted by Melismata at 3:40 PM on May 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


I just think there are more people saying "I knew it!" than actually did.

Eh, maybe, but consider that while a few hundred people commented in the obit thread, probably a few thousand read it. I don't find it surprising at all that lots of people thought the post sounded kinda off--it WAS off in quite a few ways. As I commented above, I personally didn't attribute that to "hoax"--I suspected "meth" (and still do, but from a different angle now).

In addition to the oversharing, I thought it was weird that s/he referred to "asks" (inside terminology) instead of "ask metafilter questions." Plus the dot and the rest of the metafilter familiarity. When I read the supposed declaration of love buried in a metafilter thread, I thought it was more likely that holdkris99 had falsely invoked his wife's name for a throwaway joke than that it was actually an easter egg suicide note. But you know, grieving widow, who's going to nitpick how much she knows or what she wants to believe.

So... my reaction, which I think is typical of a lot of the spidey sense posts above, is more "ah, that makes sense now" than "I KNEW IT!" And to me it is interesting (in a sociological study sort of way) to hear how other people felt about it now that the speak-no-ill-of-the-dead constraints have been removed. It makes for a useful counterpoint to the original thread.
posted by torticat at 3:40 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Like the time he went moose-hunting with Lemmy Kilmister in the Arctic

That's nothing. A Møøse once bit my Twisted Sister.
posted by drlith at 3:40 PM on May 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


To the mods: You guys rock - Jessamyn, I can't imagine that email you had to write.

To the Mefi community: You guys rock, on so many levels.
-I was so touched by the wonderful things people wrote and stories they shared to console "mrsholdkriss" (and yes, I admit, I shed some tears in that thread). Some of you went deep and dealt with some demons, but at the heart of it was your heart, hurting for another. Don't ever change.

-I'm proud of the doubters, that they had the common sense to do it behind the scenes. Other places it would have happened publicly and gone ugly, giving the mods much more to deal with. Thank you for thinking before you acted.

And to all of those of you who were made to hurt more by holdkriss' selfish actions - I am so very sorry. You didn't need that. It sucks when you are hurting, but this kind of selfish attention seeking behavior that hurts others in the process, well, that is just bullshit. I'm angry at him for doing this to one of the most caring, mature and thoughtful communities on the net. He came here for advice and help in AskMe and you all gave that to him. And to thank you all, he took a big giant dump on the board, playing with people's feelings. The length he went to in order to fabricate that lie is definitely pre-meditated and not something someone did on a whim. That's fucked up.

You are all much more kind than I am with your forgiving words- I just don't have it in me today. But this is MeFi and someone else will. Cus that's how MeFi rolls.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:41 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


This also seems to be getting play by folks swiping content from Gizmodo

About all I saw on that front was auto-aggregators recycling Gizmodo RSS feed content on roboblogs that nobody reads. Haven't really seen anyone else meaningfully talking up the story, which is frankly in line with my preferences but who knows what'll happen in the next couple days I guess. "People Can Fake Their Death On The Internet" seems like one of those perennial go-to stories that someone decides to run with every couple years.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:43 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


did i tell you about when i met the taters lady

DRAMATIC GASP
posted by elizardbits at 3:50 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


The first thing I thought when I saw the original thread was, "Oh god, I wish this were a hoax, but people don't really do that anymore, so this horrible thing must really have happened." I'm glad that there aren't a grieving widow and children out there, and for whoever perpetrated the hoax, I can't dredge up anything besides pity. I can't imagine being in a situation where I thought this kind of hoax was a good idea, and I hope whoever did this gets to a better place in his life.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:57 PM on May 23, 2012


Yeeeeeesh. Well then. Right.

I just got trolled into seriously confronting uncomfortable questions about life, death, depression and addiction. That process kinda ruined the last few days for me personally, but I guess that's not much compared to that troll's life.

Christ, what an.....no. Asshole ain't enough. I gotta google some serious polysyllabic Shakespeare shit.

Christ, what a yeasty guts-griping miscreant, a surly fen-sucked barnacle, a caluminous fat-kidneyed ratsbane. Dammit.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:08 PM on May 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


I found myself reworking my earlier, innocent reaction to the death post, thinking "Yeah, now that I think about it it was kind of fishy..." It's human, but it's also bullshit.

Even more human and bullshit would be getting duped yourself, then getting mad at those people who thought something smelled pretty fishy and didn't invest.
posted by fleacircus at 4:15 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


You lose points for saying "irregardless," sorry.

As an avowed descriptivist, languagehat would be able to confirm that irregardless is a perfectly cromulent word.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:24 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


As an avowed descriptivist, languagehat would be able to confirm that irregardless is a perfectly cromulent word.

It certainly embiggened the point that was being made.
posted by King Bee at 4:29 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Plus the dot and the rest of the metafilter familiarity.

Yeah, but see, that doesn't seem odd to me at all, and I'm surprised it does to so many people. I lurked for a long time before I joined, and when I arrived I was very familiar with all the personalities and in-jokes (in fact, I was pissed Matt had started closing threads, preventing me from taking part in the fabled cult threads like 1142 and 9622—I still remember the fabled numbers!). Isn't that the case for a lot of people?

> Even more human and bullshit would be getting duped yourself, then getting mad at those people who thought something smelled pretty fishy and didn't invest.

Not sure if that's aimed at me, but if so: you're way off base. I'm not mad at anybody.
posted by languagehat at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2012


> As an avowed descriptivist, languagehat would be able to confirm that irregardless is a perfectly cromulent word.

I hereby thusly confirmulate.
posted by languagehat at 4:31 PM on May 23, 2012 [22 favorites]


Yeah, blarg, that scribd thing. It's basically googleable stuff but it still comes off as pretty gross in intent.

Given my previous comment in this thread, I can hardly make a claim to virtue in this regard. But yeah, given the many facts that are easily findable, the choice of facts to include in that scribed doc is... odd.
posted by RichardP at 4:34 PM on May 23, 2012


Am I the only one who read that cortex comment and went looking to see what blarg had said about that scribd thing?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:40 PM on May 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


That damn blarg'll say anything.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 PM on May 23, 2012


Get your own blarg.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


> I think holdkriss99 was really Scott Adams.

This may well be in the same ballpark as the True Facts. There are people who have felt ganged up on or mobbed or similar and could well have a grudge and a revenge fantasy and maybe even the attention span to make a new account and build a bunch of goodwill even over years to perform such a grandiose fuckoff gesture. It would be crass to suggest names like Scott Adams although he was such an egregious wanker and he is a public figure to boot so mentioning him specifically is minimally crass.
posted by bukvich at 4:42 PM on May 23, 2012


Scribd doc person, whoever you are, would you consider taking it down? It seems pretty unfair for the other people mentioned in the document, who presumably had nothing to do with holdkris99's actions, to have their names associated with this in Google forevermore.
posted by fussbudget at 4:45 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not sure if that's aimed at me, but if so: you're way off base. I'm not mad at anybody.

Of course it was directed at you, and I'm standing right here on the bag. Just because you felt an urge to retro-create suspicions, that does not mean that I and other people were responding to a similar urge. I thought it stank and nearly posted a cryptic comment: "I'll miss his stories" that I thought would cover the case and implied that I thought this was another one of them, but I wasn't really 100% sure and eh, why do something like that? Better just to stay out.

It's fine if you want to voice your suspicions (about our suspicions), but I think you're going 0 for 2 here.
posted by fleacircus at 4:46 PM on May 23, 2012


(That being said, I must admit I could not help Googling the shit out of this myself.)
posted by fussbudget at 4:46 PM on May 23, 2012


I want my tears back.
posted by kostia at 4:51 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to be really clear, there needs to be none of that "Let's dig into the usernames/kid's names/Scribd stuff here" I know most people mean well, but it's a terrible rabbit hole. Do not start talking about his kids here. Please take up the Scribd stuff with Scribd. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:54 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to be really clear, there needs to be none of that "Let's dig into the usernames/kid's names/Scribd stuff here" I know most people mean well, but it's a terrible rabbit hole. Do not start talking about his kids here. Please take up the Scribd stuff with Scribd. Thanks

Good point, jessamyn. I'd favorited the comment just above asking that it be taken down, but, yeah, I reckon Mefi isn't the venue for that, even though it is clearly well intentioned.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:58 PM on May 23, 2012


I'm just glad that we sorted out that holdkris99 is Scott Adams.
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not terribly fond of doxing the dude like that. While he did shit on the baby, there's no reason to cross the wire into meatspace. At least not without some consideration for others' privacy.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:59 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The writing style of the eulogy had too many similarities in tone and construct to holdkriss'. I really wanted to message the mods to say something, but being somewhat new here, didn't want to be THAT gal.

I've seen similar before elsewhere. It's shithead behavior.
posted by quivering_fantods at 5:00 PM on May 23, 2012


It would be crass to suggest names like Scott Adams although he was such an egregious wanker and he is a public figure to boot so mentioning him specifically is minimally crass.

For some reason I picture a vengeful Scott Adams as some close cousin of Phil Hartman's Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I’m just a cartoonist. I fell in some ice and later got thawed out by some of your newspaper syndicates. Metafilter's world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes the honking horns of your moderators make me want to get out of my BMW and run off, into the hills. Sometimes, when I get a message on my computer machine, I wonder: did little demons get inside and type it? I don’t know. My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know. When a man is upbraided publicly for his primitive mindset and all-around repulsive behavior, then I am -- I mean, that man is entitled to no less than two million lulz in compensatory damages!"
posted by scody at 5:05 PM on May 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


when I arrived I was very familiar with all the personalities and in-jokes

Yeah. But the post made such a point (repeatedly) about how holdkris99 had tried to get her to read metafilter and she never had. She said she just liked to hear him talk about it, or something like that. It didn't sound like it was coming from someone who had even lurked. I thought, wow, I guess some people are a lot more attentive to their partner's interests than I am to mine. Again, not a smoking gun (for me), but definitely notable.
posted by torticat at 5:16 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do still think it might be worthwhile considering changing his user name as someone mentioned above to something to indicate he was banned for lying, mostly for the reasons expressed above. I think it's disingenuous to allow others to possibly stumble upon the advice he gives and the stories he tells without knowing that it's all potentially corrupt by embellishment and pathological lying. This would be easier than having to have pb build some sort of asterisk system, and would be a simple and appropriate warning, I think.
posted by disillusioned at 5:21 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan: "While he did shit on the baby"

I think I must have missed that sidebarred comment of his.
posted by subbes at 5:24 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Someone just outed him. There's a dox file showing up on Google that gives his real name but also his kid's name (which is kind of ugly).

Really, really, really shitty to bring his kid into this. His ex as well. Innocent people who had nothing to do with this and I'm sure want nothing to do with it.

I would really like and explanation from Marc. I really would. I hope he emails someone (item - at the very least - has volunteered to be contacted) to let us know what on earth possessed him to do such a thing.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:29 PM on May 23, 2012


Seriously superbonerman5000 (whoever you are), please take that shit down.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:33 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The "just the Internet" thing from the explanation email reminds me of the fallacy of digital dualism. The Internet is a real thing, with real consequences, in spite of the tempting idea that it's somehow an open frontier where everything is possible and nothing matters.
posted by codacorolla at 5:33 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


And to think I was *this* close to offering to drive over & help pack up (I live two hours or so away), and that I was *this* close to reactivating my Paypal account so I could donate to the Union Gospel Mission of Ft Worth.

Not that the mission isn't deserving of support, but still...

Like others have said, I choked up to the verge of tears reading the thread. Especially because that day I was at Scarborough Faire (which is in Waxahachie, TX, which is even closer to where I think he hinted that he lived). I even remember thinking that I was only half an hour away, maybe I could have done something, which made me choke up even more.

Talk about burning bridges.
posted by AMSBoethius at 5:33 PM on May 23, 2012


I hope he emails someone to let us know what on earth possessed him to do such a thing.

I don't. He's banned. I don't care what his next trick might be, nor any other bullshit that will be coming out of his mouth. If you want to talk to him go email him yourself, and keep it to yourself.
posted by Edogy at 5:36 PM on May 23, 2012


Especially because that day I was at Scarborough Faire

It's good thing you didn't remember us to the one who lives there. He was once a troll-hearted swine.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:39 PM on May 23, 2012 [19 favorites]


Seriously superbonerman5000 (whoever you are), please take that shit down.

Yes. I personally feel that Marc deserves to be outed, but leave his wife and kid out of it. Seriously.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:46 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the record, it's not me.
posted by Gator at 5:53 PM on May 23, 2012


You know something, when I saw the original fauxbituary the extremely evil person inside me, and all of us, thought of posting ("TL;DR"). Of course I would never actually do that, but sometimes these fucked-up thoughts just occur to me.

Now I feel better I guess?
posted by MattMangels at 5:54 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really hope whoever posted that document isn't a member of MeFi. Pretty low thing to do.
posted by Tarumba at 5:56 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously superbonerman5000 (whoever you are), please take that shit down.

Yes. I personally feel that Marc deserves to be outed, but leave his wife and kid out of it. Seriously.


I know you guys mean well, but there's a real Streisand effect going on here - I now know his name (and his kid's, I guess) purely as a result of comments talking about how terrible it was that people were posting that stuff and asking them to take it down.
posted by Ragged Richard at 5:59 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


And now I know where Streisand lives. Is there no end to this evil spiral we're on?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:05 PM on May 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Am I the only one who is a mite suspicious of the tragic demises of holdkrisses 0 through 98?
posted by Ritchie at 6:07 PM on May 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


there's a real Streisand effect going on here

Yeah, now there is, with us. But if in the future people google him (or his kid or ex), they'd have to put a lot of work connecting Marc and the innocent people whereas at this point in time they are very easily connected in that document and that document only.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:08 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've known quite a few regular meth users from my years in the club scene who have their shit together

Regular user != addict.
posted by flabdablet at 6:11 PM on May 23, 2012


I'm kinda surprised his wife's facebook page is still active... I'd think nuking everything would be the way to go here, but if they're thoughtless enough to do this maybe they don't care.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:13 PM on May 23, 2012


Man, Metatalk is a weird place.

Make a post about comment policy, and it immediately gets derailed, godwin'd and turns into a general shitshow.

Make a post about a genuinely horrible thing, and we have a productive conversation, exchange hugs, and immediately derail the conversation by talking about how great Scody is.
posted by schmod at 6:26 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Regular user != addict.

While that's true you do start getting into a No True Scotsman fallacy where someone is only considered an addict if their life is falling apart. Which isn't the case.
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Talking about how great Scody is is never a derail.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:27 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is never a derail to talk about how great scody is.
posted by The World Famous at 6:28 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Scody: right for Metafilter, right for America.
posted by Justinian at 6:29 PM on May 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


Never, but talking about talking about how great scody is, is totally a derail
posted by Blasdelb at 6:30 PM on May 23, 2012


Scodyrail.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Scody is motherfucking awesome."

-- Socrates L. Jackson.

(ok, I'm done with that dead horse of a fucking derail now, I promise)
posted by cmyk at 7:03 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


AMSBoethius: " Especially because that day I was at Scarborough Faire"

Well, tell you what, how about something entirely unrelated to holdkriss99 to give you something much more uplifting to associate with Scarborough Faire? Admittedly, the image (and the shirt the guy's wearing in the image) comes from one of the more lowbrow knuckledragging corners of the internet, but the sentiment expressed within is refreshing in a "restores your faith in humanity" sort of way.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:04 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


While that's true you do start getting into a No True Scotsman fallacy where someone is only considered an addict if their life is falling apart.

There's one definition of addiction that you're an addict if you continue to use it in the face of negative consequences, so by that definition, if they're mostly handling their shit, they aren't addicts. I mean, if you come home and have a beer every single day, you probably aren't an alcoholic.
posted by empath at 7:05 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meta: paragraph breaks make text *enormously* easier to read, both on the original post and the response for this one.
posted by talldean at 7:07 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nevermind, this *is* broken up. The RSS feed had it as one monolithic block, apologies for the noise, I've flagged my own post on that one.
posted by talldean at 7:08 PM on May 23, 2012


(ok, I'm done with that dead horse of a fucking derail now, I promise)

I don’t know, I feel like it’s only just begun.
posted by bongo_x at 7:12 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since I said someone should put out the full facts of holdkris/marc's situation, I would also like to point out I am not doing that here or anywhere else. And if superbonerman were a mefite, I would think he would have chosen superbonerfartman for his nick at the least. :)
posted by Listener at 7:12 PM on May 23, 2012


Speechless. I will never understand why someone would choose to do this...
posted by SisterHavana at 7:19 PM on May 23, 2012


I don’t know, I feel like it’s only just begun.

We'll start off walking and learn to run.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:38 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


First everybody was so so sorry that he was dead. Now everyone is so so sorry that everyone was so so sorry. holdkris99, the ball is in your court.
posted by telstar at 7:59 PM on May 23, 2012


I had the kind of dual reaction some people have mentioned above, where it did remind me of real issues and people, and therefore upset me and sort of triggered bad stuff, but at the same time the story itself seemed off and I couldn't help being suspicious, which in itself really just made me feel worse and more disconnected.

The main issue for me was the style of the wife as still so devoted, understanding, and interested in him after he did this. I felt like grief, at least that early, comes with anger or disbelief or some kind of confusion, where the pain shows through. Her presentation focused on how cool he was and how well they 'got' each other (all their little personal jokes and lingo). She was being nostalgic five days later, and in a way that was too perfect. It was also so long - it seemed such a labor of love, at a time when you'd think she'd feel raw.

I did try to accept that I just don't know how someone else does things, but once you start doubting... anyway I just became too aware of myself as a cynic.
posted by mdn at 8:32 PM on May 23, 2012


> This is how I know I'm still very naive about the internet. I never thought that this would be necessary. It never crossed my mind for an instant that this could be fake.

But to me, this isn't just "the internet". It's Metafilter dammit!

People are different here.
posted by morganw at 9:01 PM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I posted in the other thread and I feel I have to have a coda to what I said there, so: holdkris99, you're a steaming turd. On the other hand, this place is awesome and I know we'll react similarly should something unfortunate and true happen. We'll be a little wiser, maybe a little more skeptical, but twice as funny and eight times as kind. 'Cos that's just how we roll. Especially you mods. Y'all did real good.
posted by barnacles at 9:07 PM on May 23, 2012


my friend dated a chronic liar when we were in ninth grade. we'd met him in eighth, and I'd spoken to him on the phone quite a few times. he was always going on about his band, and how he was friends with the lead singers of Slayer and Pantera, and how they were going to tour in India together. I recall there was also a pet raven who'd attacked his bandmate's boob. by the time my friend started dating him, I was having my doubts, to say the least. of course she continued to fall for it. I remember when she came to school with a birthday card from him, signed by all the members of Slayer. except the names were all in the same handwriting.
posted by changeling at 9:10 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


For those that felt the whole story was too well-written (or some variant) for a person who has just lost their husband, I actually found the opposite in that it seemed to me to be exactly how someone at that point would react. I have had quite some exposure to sudden, usually violent, death and the reaction and action of spouses has been entirely consistent with that displayed by the alleged mrsholdkris99. I know that it seems wrong that people behave this way but, particularly before the funeral or other service, people who have had suddenly and unexpectedly lost someone like this often act in this eery 'hyper-normal' way that, while it inevitably comes crashing down on them at some point, is completely consistent with the way 'she' acted.
posted by dg at 9:13 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have nothing to add beyond what has already been said above: this is an awesome place full of awesome people, I'm glad we have both the wonderfully compassionate and the doubters in these moments, the mods are awesome people who have handled this with incredible grace and composure, and I hope that anyone (including holdkriss99) who needs help as a result of any of this gets it.

Past that, my only comment is - why the hell does this always happen when I'm away from home? Last year I'm in Portland when the Scott Adams thing happens (though I got to discuss that with cortex over beers, which was awesome). This year, this story breaks while I'm in New Orleans (still am, thanks to a flight cancellation). I'm going to start sending the mods warning notices when I'm about to travel.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:20 PM on May 23, 2012


I quit both bands when Slayer and Pantera attacked a raven's boob.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 9:26 PM on May 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


<cfset OriginalPost = Replace(OriginalPost,".","*","ALL")>
posted by kirkaracha at 9:31 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Scott Adams is alleged to be a meth user? It explains so much.
posted by drezdn at 10:12 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


All these comments and STILL nobody has dared mention what Paphnuty did, all those years ago. . .
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:22 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a dox file showing up on Google that gives his real name but also his kid's name (which is kind of ugly).

For someone who's supposedly a meth addict, the guy is a bit of a porker.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:37 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


i'm so tempted to go create a sockpuppet account under the name "a raven's boob".
posted by palomar at 11:51 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought of sending a sympathy message but the impulses fizzled and never made its way to my hands. I didn't read the thread properly so I can't say for sure if it reeked of fakery or not; the reason I didn't go through with it was because I didn't interact with holdkris much. I've also had no less than three actual deaths to contend with this merry month of May, so I can't say if my apathy was due to insight or simply to funeral fatigue. I do know it's possible to top yourself with car exhaust (for example) because I had a friend who did just that. And yeah, ability to post links didn't immediately bash me in the eye as suspicious either, but maybe if I'd read it properly.

This is the third time I've sat and watched an online community get gamed in real time. The first time, it was multiple personalities and I only interacted with one of them, who in hindsight was starting threads for the purpose of drawing me in. In those cases they were stories that didn't really hang together, and I thought "that's odd" and on occasion took the discussion in the direction of "are you sure you really want x because you're talking liked what you want is y" but it didn't exactly occur to me that they might be perpetrating factitiousness on a large scale. In that case, as in this one, though, I found myself starting to send sympathetic messages about this or that and then the impulse would fizzle before it reached my hands. The second time, I never interacted with the person so it never came up for me.

What gets me a little bit is that people are equating "trusting" with virtue. Not sure it has anything to do with virtue to say "you never really know if someone's for real and I have my doubts in this particular case, but [it would be inappropriate to voice them publicly | pending further information I'll proceed with the assumption that this is real]." That has the virtue of being reasonable, sure. But it's not cynical to silently decide to look them up and see if their story can be verified nor would it be the least bit virtuous to continue believing in them (or at least refusing to doubt them) while evidence of fakery continued to mount up. Which I don't think anyone has done here. The virtue is not in the trusting per se, but in the compassion, which people have displayed in abundance only to get the piss taken out of them.

I think the big punch line here is that everyone responded by staying on the kind side of rationality, so ha ha? The joke for what it's worth is on MeFi, I guess? I could say small things amuse small minds, but I suspect the real payoff is the joy of causing real hurt and triggering people's grief and suicidality; also query long con game with sympathy donations? Yeah, it takes a really magnificent human being to pull off something like that. Being a liar doesn't require cleverness, talent, or creativity, it just requires willingness to say things that aren't true. I would also bet that much of the content of this "creative" writing exercise, if that's his excuse, had been taken from another source, since that's what I saw happen on previous occasions.

tl;dr well aren't you superior, and behold the magnificence of your achievement. The scrawlings of a five-year-old would be more impressive.
posted by tel3path at 12:45 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hope people who are doxxing will please reconsider and take that stuff down/refrain from posting. There are innocent people and children all slammed up in that shit, and I don't think anyone agrees that this is acceptable collateral damage.

Whatever wretched impulse suggested to holdkris99 that this was a keen idea, I don't think it was a long con (not six years long, at any rate... possibly a few months long). I think it was either a) a bizarre Under the Influence grandiose thing; b) the ill-conceived lead up to a mercenary $cam (beloved widow begins having problems making ends meet, etc.); c) an opportunistic "creative" $cam (the "experiment" thing... leading of course to a book deal and appearances on Good Morning America *extreme eye roll*; D) some combination of a and b/c. Option A is maddening, but the least offensive. Neither B or C would have worked.

It's important to note that B wouldn't have worked. As soon as the sharing of financial difficulties began, we would have been pretty much all on top of that, both behind the scene, and members with feet on the ground. This is not a Kaycee Nicole world any more. Metafilter's propensity for helping out our RL members when we can might be viewed as the sort of naivete that might make that possible, but this would be incorrect and stupid. As crazy as it can sometimes make us all, "plate of beans" is not just a quick supper for navelgazers... when it comes to the Metafilter clockwork, there is not the tiniest detail that escapes attention here, for better or for worse*, and we have super-engaged and invested members. I hope we can always keep that a positive thing, because that's what makes us awesome (and a little neurotic, sure. for flavor.). This is a blip, really. Probably a blip that will be deconstructed to within an inch of its pathetic life, but it's not a smudge, unless we allow it to become one by exaggerating its importance or meaning – or our reaction. Mostly it was just ill-formed, petty, shabby, self-defeating, and dumb.

* Think of us as a spider with a phenomenal emotional memory

PS: please ixnay with the oxxingday; Socrates L. Jackson says, "to be as you wish to seem... you got to cool that shit out."
posted by taz (staff) at 1:41 AM on May 24, 2012 [27 favorites]


Dasein: "jack_mo, Metafilter is no stranger to run-of-the-mill internet sockpuppetry and weirdness. That's par for the course, and people are prepared for it and hardened against it. This is a much more profound deceit, and it took in people who are used to having their guard up about things on the internet. It aimed right at the core of our natures - sympathy for those who are suffering - and exploited it for a cheap laugh. Creating sockpuppets to back yourself up doesn't even begin to compare."

holdkris99's shit was vicious, but dhoyt's antics had much more depth and breadth.

I suppose it depends on how much you interacted with the folk involved. I only knew holdkris99 in the sense that he was on my (mercifully short!) list of bloviating favourite-grubbers who, when I see their name at the end of a comment make me think Oh, them again. Load of old undergrad Creative Writing bollocks, as per usual. dhoyt's schtick was genuinely convincing, he wove himself and his alter egos into the fabric of the site, and he interacted in character with folk off-site too. I mean, I invited jenleigh to a meetup once, and was looking forward to having a big fun drunken fight about politics with her!

dhoyt's insidious invention of characters just seems more... significant than an over the top pseudocide by a user who'd only posted a couple of hundred comments, no matter how cruel it was.

To borrow taz's nice turn of phrase, this is a blip, dhoyt's thing seemed closer to a smudge.
posted by jack_mo at 2:29 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, can we stop feeding the troll now? 985 comments should be more than enough to get even holdkris99's giant ego needs met. Dearest mods, is it time to close up this thread and move on?
posted by pomegranate at 2:45 AM on May 24, 2012


We'll see how it goes. For the moment, this is still doing its proper job, which is allowing people to weigh in even if they don't check the site every day or whatever, and also keeping things somewhat contained – as opposed to comment references showing up on a bunch of other unrelated threads out of frustration with a closed Metatalk conversation.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:01 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, for what it's worth, I wasn't suspicious at all, and in fact felt bad for having been suspicious before. I think the implied authority of the "different person" and "her" official presentation by the mods completely shut that part of my brain down. I absolutely, utterly bought it, no reservations.

Sigh.
posted by Malor at 3:06 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am so proud of this community.

In this one thread I've done the full roller-coaster of astonished, to angry to wanting vengence to now... compassion.

This poor person is in a bad way. One of you wise folk once said here that happy people don't do bad things. This person is not happy.

I can really only speak for myself, but I forgive the person that did this to Metafilter.

I don't know your name, but I will call you Marc.

Marc, please get yourself some love and some help. If you've burned every single bridge you've ever made, I'll step up and be your e-friend.

Please don't ever do this again, of course it's damaging to people here, but you know what, it's damaging to you too.

Hugs for my most beloved of communities. And some for "Marc" too.
posted by taff at 3:58 AM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, I don't know. I think people who do this kind of thing aren't tormented or self-loathing in any way the rest of us would recognize. They usually aren't (primarily) people who are hurting, they usually are (primarily) people who inflict hurt.

However, anyone who plays a joke the punchline of which is "ha ha you were kind to me!" - the only logical interpretation of that is that they must hate themselves, even if they don't consciously recognize this.
posted by tel3path at 4:13 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


So in other words, this thread is a honeypot for pissed off mefites!
posted by spitbull at 4:31 AM on May 24, 2012


What happened with dhoyt? I'm too new to know.

There was a strange thing on a forum I used to post on where a man claimed to be a Scottish girl living in India for years. We had a few odd trolls who claimed to be particular people and whose stories were so full of holes they were viciously mocked, but people really believed that Penny was real. Strangely, when the guy 'came out'. there was an initial furore and then he started posting under his own name.
posted by mippy at 4:49 AM on May 24, 2012


Also, what is 'dox'?
posted by mippy at 4:50 AM on May 24, 2012


Something that if you don't know what it is, you don't need to worry about not doing it.
posted by flabdablet at 4:52 AM on May 24, 2012


Eh, there's no harm in giving the definition, though.

To "dox" someone is to dig up information on an internet person's real identity, including but not limited to their full name, address, Facebook profile, phone number, and other IRL information. Usually used to invite the internet to pour harassment and ridicule on the person, to publicly shame them.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:57 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd add that it's a very, very dangerous practice and invites pretty much anyone on the internet to fuck with this person IRL. It can be life-ruining, to the point where some people who have been doxxed have had to pick up and move elsewhere.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:59 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


So in other words, this thread is a honeypot for pissed off mefites!

Are you kidding me? This thread created both scodyrail and Socrates L. Jackson!

This thread is so awesome.
posted by eriko at 4:59 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


To "dox" someone

Dox the way
uh huh uh huh
I like it
uh huh uh huh
Dox the way
uh huh uh huh
I like it
uh huh uh huh*

*actually, I don't like it
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:00 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, yes, I've come across that before but didn't know there was a word for it. Reminds me of somethign I read a few days ago which basically gave tips and advice on how to mess up someone's reputation online in order to get people to visit your blog. I think this was basically the same thing, short of suggesting actual details were posted.
posted by mippy at 5:06 AM on May 24, 2012


I just checked my 'other' folder on Facebook and found a 2009 message from Uli Edel, who is one of my favorite people in the whole world.
posted by unSane at 5:22 AM on May 24, 2012


In case you were all wondering, I'm still alive.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:33 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


It can be life-ruining, to the point where some people who have been doxxed have had to pick up and move elsewhere.

There's a different internet?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:35 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a different internet?

If only.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:38 AM on May 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


There's an a2) option, the Quick Kick.

Back in the days when we, my former wife and I, traveled by ferry and train with heavy backpacks and assorted kids distributed across the available backs, the following little incident happened in Kiel, Germany:

Upon disembarking the Gothenburg-Kiel ferry, you were sort of spit out onto a road that leads to one of the main shopping streets. At the intersection there, I asked a man in his thirties for directions to the train station which was supposed to be at a five-minutes-of-a-walk-distance. Nice to head into the correct direction from the start, with half a ton of sticky, sweaty and malcontent baby on your back, right?

The guy looked us over, and the tiniest of a hint of a smirk crossed his face as his eyes gleamed for a millisecond or so. Then he kindly and firmly pointed to the right.

Now, since I had served the year of my alternative non-military service in the sailor's home of the Bremen sailor's mission, I recognized that smirk. It is the quick-kick smirk of messing around with people for no reason other than hating to have missed an opportunity of messing around with people. I'm not saying anything bad about the vast majority of the customers I served at the sailor's home. But I knew that smirk nevertheless.

I then asked an elderly lady about the way to the station and she pointed into the opposite direction. She was right.

So yes, possibility a2, in this case to send two exhausted parents with two tiny kids and a bunch of baggage walking in the wrong direction, may be considered kind of fun. Tastes differ. But in the case at hand, the topic choice makes me barf (also a former classmate of mine died in his garage pretty much as was suggested here).

So well, bad taste - barfing and moving on I guess. Hope it was fun.
posted by Namlit at 5:40 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bongloat.
posted by Edogy at 6:02 AM on May 24, 2012


Please remove the Beastie Boys story from Best Of.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:06 AM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Would now be a good time to suggest MeTa has the need of a new category: 'member obituaries'? Some of us aren't getting any younger.

And dare I suggest it be rule bound. Stringent rules won't kill anyone.

I've only just learned of puke & cry's death. Sad.
posted by de at 6:19 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Please remove the Beastie Boys story from Best Of."

I don't know, I'm down with mathowie doing or not doing whatever makes him feel best with his blog, whatever that means.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:27 AM on May 24, 2012


Stringent rules won't kill anyone.

I agree, and I had wanted to speak to a couple comments earlier about verificiation being an additional burden to place on the grieving. Don't worry - it's not unusual or unreasonable. If you've ever dealt with logistics when someone dies, you know there is just quite a bit of procedure to it. Yes, you move through it in a fog, but there is an order of events and that can be strangely comforting. I know this also from a college job taking obits at a newspaper - when people would call in an obit, they needed to have certain facts together, and we would always call the funeral home and verify. If you need to book a plane flight and want a bereavement rate, you need to produce funeral home information and sometimes doctor's signoff, and also show proof that you're related to the deceased. There's documentation required at every step, and you're shuffling a lot of paper from the outset. That's not to say it's not a pain in the ass, but it is to say that by asking for verification from a funeral home or published obit, MetaFilter would be in any way unusual compared to the other organizations the survivors have to deal with.

Any why do these rules even have to exist? Why don't newspapers just go ahead and publish unverified obits, or airlines give out bereavement tickets on somebody's word alone? Because not everyone is operating aboveboard, or even with a full deck. True here and true everywhere.

In any case, it is not an undue burden and even allows for some potentially very helpful interchange between whoever handles the incoming request and the bereaved.
posted by Miko at 6:32 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


de, you remind me that not everyone may know there is a page for deceased members on the MeFi Wiki. Probably not all of these have been verified to the extent we would do today?
posted by Miko at 6:35 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just checked my 'other' folder on Facebook and found a 2009 message from Uli Edel, who is one of my favorite people in the whole world.

*other* messages...
that i never checked
some of 'em, y'all
i did not expect
but there they were
sitting in my box
undeniable, y'all
as the holes in my socks

well it might be from
one of your favorite folks
and he or she, hey...
they might've shared some jokes
or maybe a recipe
or some good advice
one never knows (do one?)
so check your *other* box twice

yeah, check your *others*
that's what i say
if you have a chance
yeah, check it today
might have some mail
from a long lost friend
and you can write 'em back
if you just hit *send*
if you just hit *send*
if you just hit *send*
(and now this is the end)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:37 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Specifically to the people who have shown concern for me, and more broadly to those who haven't but did to others in the same type of situation, I say "Thanks." It's great to know that even with my weird hours I have people I can go to.

I wish I could have you all over for some Mario Kart. But my apartment isn't big enough and I only have 3 controllers.

Also, my crazy cat would run around trying to be a ninja and setting the pet my tummy trap all over the place. Except that might not be such a bad thing.
posted by theichibun at 6:41 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hey, it's my motherfuckin birthday tomorrow, y'all, I'll be 55, and that's half of a hundred and ten, and I'll love you til who knows when, and I'm wonderin' where to begin, and...

...aight, g'night.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:41 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


In six months you'll be half way to 111, Bilbo!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:44 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know who I feel really bad for, is Marc's actual wife in case he did all of this behind her back.
posted by BibiRose at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


You know who I feel really bad for, is Marc's actual wife in case he did all of this behind her back.

Definitely.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 AM on May 24, 2012


In six months you'll be half way to 111, Bilbo!

I read Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager, which, as you know by now, was kind of a hella long time ago, so excuse me if I don't remember the reference, but... yeah, why the Bilbo? We talkin' Baggins here? Do Hobbits live a long time? Honestly, I don't remember, and, hey, maybe it's time for a Tolkien derail here, anyway.

If the scodyrails are all done, that is.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of The Lord of the Rings, begins with Bilbo's "eleventy-first" (111th) birthday.
posted by hazyjane at 7:09 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring starts with Bilbo's 111th birthday.
posted by King Bee at 7:09 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


flapjax at midnite: "I read Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager, which, as you know by now, was kind of a hella long time ago, so excuse me if I don't remember the reference, but... yeah, why the Bilbo? We talkin' Baggins here? Do Hobbits live a long time? Honestly, I don't remember, and, hey, maybe it's time for a Tolkien derail here, anyway.
"

Book 1, Chapter 1: A Long Expected Party
Bilbo Baggins' Eleventy-first birthday celebration.

Not unheard of for a Hobbit to reach that age, but the average lifespan was closer to a century. If there were a Hobbit equivalent of Willard Scott, he certainly would have read off Bilbo's name after the weather report.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:10 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Haha! Thanks everyone, got it! This old(ish) man with his fading memory thanks you from the bottom of his slowly wearing-out heart!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, flapjax, happy birthday-eve!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:15 AM on May 24, 2012


I'd add that it's a very, very dangerous practice and invites pretty much anyone on the internet to fuck with this person IRL. It can be life-ruining, to the point where some people who have been doxxed have had to pick up and move elsewhere.

Yeah, I've never really been on board with the whole pitchforks/witch hunt thing that some people do here. I really don't think that most transgressions we see on here are worth ruining a person's life over. And if revenge and runing people's life is your intent then are you really much better than the person you're going against?
posted by triggerfinger at 7:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


theichibun: Also, my crazy cat would run around trying to be a ninja and setting the pet my tummy trap all over the place. Except that might not be such a bad thing.

My cats do EXACTLY the same thing. You can totally tell when it's a trap, though, with this single-step functional test (hi, yeah, posting from work). "Passed" means "safe to pet" and "Failed", your hands may be nibbled and/or scratched:
Description: Look at cat's eyes and tail.
Expected results: Eyes are half-closed. (Wide eyes with a slightly crazed "I AM INNOCENT" look are NOK.) Tail is calm. (Rhythmic tail thwapping signifies "NO REALLY, I AM PERFECTLY INNOCENT" and is NOK.)

Takeaway as to original subject: cats and finding hidden FB messages and, especially, seeing the broad range of empathy and support shown by MeFi members is awesome. My cat says "kitty kisses for all."
posted by fraula at 7:31 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I checked my 'other' folder on Facebook because of this thread and discovered a message from a long lost Internet friend who I visited on my one and only trip overseas, so thanks holdkris99, you fuckknuckle.
posted by h00py at 7:33 AM on May 24, 2012


I can't help but humming 'scodyrail' to the tune of the simpsons monorail song...
posted by motdiem2 at 7:39 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a different internet?

I meant they've had to physically move their residence elsewhere; i.e., transfer schools, quit jobs, move to another state. Depending on how awful the mob was.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:07 AM on May 24, 2012


Miko: "de, you remind me that not everyone may know there is a page for deceased members on the MeFi Wiki. Probably not all of these have been verified to the extent we would do today?"

A little more about the wiki page, in case anyone is interested.

Since Bill Zeller's death, when official obits (not published on Mefi) have been linked to in a metatalk threads announcing death of a member, they have been added to the wiki. At some point in the last year, some folks went through older meta threads and added a few links retroactively.

As of now, 10 out of 16 deceased mefites have their non-Mefi obituaries linked on that page and everyone who has passed since 2008 has one.

The page deliberately does not list additional information. I believe the feeling is that if people would like to know cause of death for example, they can read the thread.
posted by zarq at 8:10 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Of course it was directed at you, and I'm standing right here on the bag. Just because you felt an urge to retro-create suspicions, that does not mean that I and other people were responding to a similar urge.

Of course it doesn't mean that you (or any particular person) did. But the fact that you weren't retro-creating doesn't mean that nobody else was, and my statement was neither about you nor directed at you, which means you're way off base.

*tags fleacircus out, smirks*

> But the post made such a point (repeatedly) about how holdkris99 had tried to get her to read metafilter and she never had. She said she just liked to hear him talk about it, or something like that. It didn't sound like it was coming from someone who had even lurked.

You're right, I was way off base.

*tags self out, looks dejected, shuffles slowly to dugout*
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on May 24, 2012


Happy early birthday, flapjax!
posted by rtha at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2012


I have never read Lord of the Rings and probably never will. I am very upset with one of my food trucks. You have no idea how dumb you feel standing on a corner for 20 minutes hoping for tacos.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The original thread delayed dinner, this one delays lunch. Wow. Holy Fuck Wow...

Stay strong MetaFilter, I love you dearly.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:01 AM on May 24, 2012


standing on a corner for 20 minutes

Hey, at least you're not standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, cause that would mean you're an Eagle, and they're kind of awful, really.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Missed opportunity, jonmc. Lord of the Rings is primarily a self-help manual for sorcerers. The power of the one ring is to make food appear at will. There's a whole chapter on tacos. Bummer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:07 AM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


You should also read the sequel, Lord of the Dance, jonmc!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:09 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nah. Too sequely.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:12 AM on May 24, 2012


I've got a peaceful, elvish feeling
I know you won't let me down
Cause I found a taco lying
On the ground
posted by shakespeherian at 9:12 AM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Somebody needs to start up a Lembas Tacos foodcart.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on May 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


I prefer my new town of Philly to my old one of New York City, but Holy Fuck the food lines are so much slower. MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT WHICH COFFEE CAKE YOU WANT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE BEGINNING OF THE LINE. Sheesh. Sorry.
posted by angrycat at 9:14 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got a peaceful, elvish feeling

Elvish hazh left the building.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


(enters thread, looks around bewildered, mutters and goes back outside to look at bees)
posted by jquinby at 9:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


One does not simply walk to the taco van.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


Ladies and gentleman, Judith Prietht!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2012


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Missed opportunity, jonmc. Lord of the Rings is primarily a self-help manual for sorcerers. The power of the one ring is to make food appear at will. There's a whole chapter on tacos. Bummer."

Plus, you know... the Ring itself being a cure for the wearer of Montezuma's Revenge. Its inscription in the common tongue read: "One Ring to Rule Them All. One Ring to Find Them. One Ring to Bring Them All and In The Darkness Bind Them." After eating all those low-quality Elvish tacos, the Fellowship was just begging for something binding.

Friggin' Boromir. "I shall find no rest here. I shall find no rest here." Whining sot. Next time order the goddamned fajitas instead.
posted by zarq at 9:20 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


They said on fucking twitter that they'd be on Broadway and Waverly, and I solo wanted the beer batter fish taco. But no dice. I wound up getting food somewhere else that was Ok but they fucked up the jalapeño poppers. How do you manage that?
posted by jonmc at 9:24 AM on May 24, 2012


Please remove the Beastie Boys story from Best Of.

We removed that one link. That is the end of what we're planning to do removal-wise or notification-wise. People are going to have to make their peace with that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:27 AM on May 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's a fuckin' waste of your goddamn time, as Socrates L. Jackson said.

I am going to try to work this into every day conversation as much as humanly possible.
posted by sonika at 9:28 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just reread word for word the original "my husband, Metafilter member holdkris99 took his own life on the May 12th" post. The emotions and feelings generated this time were so different than those I got when I thought it was real. In the comments above are some upsetting posts by upset people who were taken to some very dark places by that ill conceived prank. Surely, many more were upset by it but didn't or couldn't share it on Metafilter. I hope with all my might that no lurker or mefite was motivated by the grief caused from reading about this "suicide" to harm him/herself.

You did a very bad thing holdkris99, and I hope you realize it someday if you don't already. You have some serious penitence to do. I'm not the kind of person who goes around hugging people all the time, but in this case I'll make an exception. Here's a hug and a kiss on the top of your head, if that will help you do better from this point forward. I wish you the best. Get busy redeeming yourself.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:01 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


...but they fucked up the jalapeño poppers. How do you manage that?

You ever had Nachos, Flanders-style?
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Elvish hazh left the building.

whats this about elvish hash?
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stays fresh for months as long as you keep it in its enchanted plastic baggie.
posted by griphus at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, we're all channelling Sean Connery now?
posted by Trochanter at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2012


You smoke too much, Pippin.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're tweeting tacos now? Can I follow from over here?
posted by infini at 10:12 AM on May 24, 2012


Fish tacos, precious?
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:13 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


You ever had Nachos, Flanders-style?

That's cucumbers with cottage cheese! I love following them up with a nice bowl of non-fat ice milk, wintergreen flavored.
posted by King Bee at 10:15 AM on May 24, 2012


Unflavored for me!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:24 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We removed that one link. That is the end of what we're planning to do removal-wise or notification-wise. People are going to have to make their peace with that.

Thank you. That's more than enough for me; I don't want him in the memory hole, just not wreathed in laurels, especially because I read the whole thing through before realizing it was him.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:26 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "We removed that one link. That is the end of what we're planning to do removal-wise or notification-wise. People are going to have to make their peace with that."

Good call. I say that's the right thing to do.

And that's all we need. Because as my Turkish boss says, "Chris has spoken."

So now we're done talking about. Except to talk about how I declared it to be done.
posted by theichibun at 10:54 AM on May 24, 2012


MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT WHICH COFFEE CAKE YOU WANT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE BEGINNING OF THE LINE.

I'm sorry to say it, but no matter how many years and miles you are away from NYC, this is still going to bug you forever.
posted by Miko at 11:03 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Matt, I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Mods, thank you --- both for the compassion and kindness you showed to someone you believed to be in pain and grief, and for taking such thoughtful steps to protect our community. Metafilter, thank you for reaching out to someone who seemed so in need of kind words.

I'll admit that I was taken in. After "his wife's" announcement, I realized that the (admittedly hazy and incomplete) picture I'd gathered of holdkris99 from his stories here did sound to me like someone who would hurt himself to express pain and, probably, to get attention*... and that's not so different from what he actually did. Sad.

So my reaction now is much like my reaction to the announcement of his suicide: sorrow that anyone could be in enough pain to do something so hurtful to himself and the people around him, mingled with the bittersweet comfort I take in being part of such a strong, supportive community as Metafilter.

My few words in his obit thread were directed not to him, but to a person I thought was bereaved and beleaguered and maybe tempted to relapse into drug use. I don't regret those words, and I won't regret them when and if I am fooled again.

(The day before that thread, a man stopped me on the street and told me that his father had died that morning. I told him sincerely how sorry I was and directed him, as he asked, to a nearby church. I suspect he was setting me up for a scam and was disappointed that I didn't sit with him or engage further despite his overtures --- but even if he was a scammer, it is no loss to me to have given him a few kind words.)

I'm not angry, just sad for anyone who has an appetite for such a small, ugly gesture. I'm also blankly resigned to the truth: that someone like that will burn every bridge until they find themselves completely alone. It's not true that no man is an island; when you derive pleasure from trying to crush empathy and camaraderie, people learn to turn away and you eventually find yourself alone. holdkris99, I sincerely hope that you curb your games before that happens to you.

* I'm certainly not suggesting that suicidal people are trying to get attention --- just that needy, attention-seeking people can also be suicidal, and that I believed it had happened here.
posted by Elsa at 11:06 AM on May 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


I love following them up with a nice bowl of non-fat ice milk, wintergreen flavored.

Unflavored for me!
posted by Elsa at 11:11 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who knew that tacos were so precioussss to so many people.
posted by philipy at 11:15 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT WHICH COFFEE CAKE YOU WANT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE BEGINNING OF THE LINE.
I'm sorry to say it, but no matter how many years and miles you are away from NYC, this is still going to bug you forever.

Reading the menu and deciding what you want while you're in line is just a sign of correct thinking. While it may bug you, remember that you're right, unlike the people who are in line for 15 minutes and didn't think about their decision until they were asked what they wanted, or the people who empty their change purse onto the counter and wait for the cashier to take the right coins and give back the rest, or the people who amble, slowly, four abreast, down the sidewalk without yielding to other pedestrians. Or, dear sin, the people who order around service employees, or don't even have the courtesy to say 'please' or 'thank you' to them.

*coughs*

Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.
posted by frimble at 11:24 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


After reading the original (fake) post and now reading all of this, I guess I'm confused about the holdkris ban. Has it been definitively confirmed that it was him? What would prevent anyone, anywhere (who has it out for holdkris) from crafting and staging the story in this manner? IP addresses?

Just curious.
posted by eggman at 11:31 AM on May 24, 2012


does someone smell worms? I smell worms...like a can, freshly opened.
posted by batmonkey at 11:33 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've got a few things we can reference on the backend that, along with the surrounding circumstances, make it profoundly unlikely that this is anything else.

In terms of what is possible to accomplish if you're a sufficiently dedicated and nutso third party trying to fuck with someone, 100% certainty is pretty much impossible without like NSA-level resources and people pounding the pavement, but it's not really any sort of plausible concern in this case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on May 24, 2012


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

When you find this place, let me know. I want in.
posted by owtytrof at 11:41 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I didn't have time to read 1000+ comments, but it was the first thing to occur to me.

Good work and good on you & other mods for sussing this out . . . I'm just glad I only cried for about a minute before I happened to scroll to the last "this is bullshit" comment & on to this link, when tears immediately melded into anger and surprise.
posted by eggman at 11:41 AM on May 24, 2012


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

I know how you feel, but that's gonna be a tall order. Most places are worse. Oh god, just thinking about it makes my skin crawl. So many line-less scrums, full of pushing, elbows, feet, the bugs! The bugs are on me! Aaaaaahhhh! Get them off, get them off!
posted by aramaic at 11:46 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

Which rules? Whose?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:48 AM on May 24, 2012


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

Try a Finnish zebra crossing or any random Singaporean spot.
posted by infini at 11:51 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The first rule of Frimble Club is you follow the rules.
posted by Elmore at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012


You know, my first thought was to be really pissed (and grossed out), and while those are both still true, overall, I'm just so glad that heartbreaking and painful story is not true, and I'm so glad that this community is as warm as it is.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2012


Standing in like sucks. Arbitrary rules suck. Kindness trumps all rules.

I like the "Who's last?" approach I've seen mostly in Spanish speaking countries.

You arrive at the place, an no one is standing in line acting awkward (like when you are 7th in line and your friend is 3rd, and you want to greet and have a conversation, but you don't want to lose your spot, or to talk across a bunch of people, and you don't want to ask someone to hold your spot, or got talk to your friend and think people will think you are trying to jump the queue), instead people are lounging around, having conversations, window shopping, playing with dogs and small children.

You ask "Who's last?". Someone says "I'm last!". All you have to remember is that it is your turn after that person, and that you are last. 2 little pieces of information.

When someone arrives and asks "Who's last?" you say "I'm last!". See the exclamation point? It is there because you are happy that you can forget that you are last, excited with the possibilities afforded by this newly freed chunk of mental real state.

There is a fail safe in the system in case you forget who goes before you. If you forget your turn, the person behind will remind you. Never fails.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:02 PM on May 24, 2012 [48 favorites]


You have no idea how dumb you feel standing on a corner for 20 minutes hoping for tacos.

Story of my life.
posted by palomar at 12:04 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn, I forgot to paste the topic relevant part of my comment.

When you are the only one fooled like this, the only one fooled into being good, you feel like an idiot.

But in this case, reading the obit thread, I see I was fooled in great company. So much kindness, so many open hearts.

No matter how extremely good a high one could get from pulling something like this here, it is insignificant compared to the loss of community.

I'd like to think that in case something similar happened to me, you would all be there like you were in that thread. I will do my best too.

Thank for the reminder to be kind.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:08 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a different internet?

If only.


I'll let you join mine. You can be 192.168.1.4
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:09 PM on May 24, 2012


Thank for the reminder to be kind.
posted by Ayn Rand and God


Eponyst-- holy crap, I'm so confused.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:12 PM on May 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


Ayn Rand and God: " There is a fail safe in the system in case you forget who goes before you. If you forget your turn, the person behind will remind you. Never fails."

That's very nice. :)

I thought it was going to end like this.
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on May 24, 2012


I feel especially bad about this, because I discussed the original death thread with someone close to me, and the discussion triggered some of that person's emotional history about drugs and death in their family of origin, so I feel like I dragged someone I care about into some stranger's drama, and now it turns out to not even be true. People can be messed up sometimes.
posted by matildaben at 12:28 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

Enjoy the coast guard! All the rigor of the military and all the meticulous fiddly bits of maritime law all rolled up into one package with terrible uniforms.

I decided that even though at some level I like this idea of everyone enjoying the same exact social expectations, that would only be possible in a more homogenous culture than I'd like to be on. Realistically that's one reason that I enjoy online communities in general. I can focus on one set of things but it doesn't matter how I'm dressed or where I am geographically. Tricky world.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:29 PM on May 24, 2012 [15 favorites]


Unflavored for me!

I would like to have the option to flavor and unflavor MeFi comments. Somebody get on this.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:40 PM on May 24, 2012


What a strange comment. Although it's not without it's charm.
posted by griphus at 12:45 PM on May 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


Sorry, but we've already said no up-voting, down-voting, top-voting, or bottom-voting.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:48 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Side-voting, then?
posted by Occula at 12:51 PM on May 24, 2012


You know, I'd like to vote that Metafilter just gets wiped clean and we start the fucker over. Where's the line to vote for that?
posted by item at 12:52 PM on May 24, 2012


You know, I'd like to vote that Metafilter just gets wiped clean and we start the fucker over.

I read that 'start' as 'bend'.

I was all ready to join *that* line.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2012


Oh my gosh. You quark-jokers just totally made my day. That was awesome.
posted by Cygnet at 12:58 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing I'd like to address before I read the rest of this monster thread, so apologies if this has already been said. Reckon it's worth repeating if so: in rebuttal to all these comments about how "people really suck" and "people are the worst" and "people are untrustable monsters" and whatever other cynical notions this might foster, I SAY THEE NAY.

"People" did not do this. A person did this. A no-good bum named Marc did this for a joke or an experiment or whatever the fuck. Know what people did? They responded to what they believed to be an honest account of a person's pain and grief with love and empathy and support. They demonstrated how much a community can love and mourn the loss of a single member of itself. Even people who doubted the story allowed the love in them to overwhelm their doubt. Even now, some people wronged by this jerkoff are in this thread expressing their hope he grows from this fucked-up experience. Even now, people are allowing their love to overwhelm their anger.

An ain't-shit person did something unforgivable to us and there are people here who love him anyway. People are amazing.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:00 PM on May 24, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh my gosh. You quark-jokers just totally made my day. That was awesome.

Thank you, Mr. Joyce. And may I say that I admire both your novels and jaunty eyepatch.
posted by griphus at 1:07 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Please stop sending the smutty letters though.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I behaved in the original thread in the same way as I behave every single day of my life.

That's just me.

this is just Metafilter.

thanks so much Mods for being so..... Meta!!
posted by Wilder at 1:37 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


poot poot sqeak
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:42 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which rules? Whose?

The completely arbitrary set of social conventions whose breach annoys me more than it really should.

When you find this place, let me know. I want in.

I think the only way it'll come to pass is if I manage to start the Disjoint Barony of the Left Half of the Living Room and the Part of the Hall where I Put my Shoes, population 1.

Then I will have to set up some sort of scheme so that people visit Lefthalfia in order to queue.

But until I'm a petty tyrant, I try to remind myself that those niggling irritations are my problems, not theirs, and that it's not the case that everyone else is rude, all the time, it's just that they aren't me (and even if they don't queue right, the world is more interesting this way.)

But when I am... Then people will be politely asked to follow the rules while in Lefthalfia, and any breach of them will be met with silent disapproval. Nothing will be said, but dinner will be very tense while we don't talk about what they did wrong.

But in more seriousness, thanks for airing this publically, once it was clear; and thanks to those who had suspicions for acting on them in a way that didn't turn the original thread into a trainwreck.
posted by frimble at 1:45 PM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


For the easily amused, here's a completely mangled version of the story. It looks like SEO bait written in Malay and Google-translated in English. It ends by "(SUICIDE) Like share and enjoy" and there are equally bizarre "news" in the side columns.
posted by elgilito at 2:30 PM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Hah, I am indeed easily amused: “We got the explanation crony Marc met him during an eventuality the couple of days after he committed suicide. As we know it, we have to ask, “writes the judge Metafilter.

Judge Metafilter, omg. Cortex must change his username now.
posted by jamaro at 2:38 PM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wait, there are zebras in Finland?
posted by spitbull at 2:41 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, that's bait -- for what now?
posted by angrycat at 2:41 PM on May 24, 2012


LINDSAY LOHAN AND PARIS HILTON ARE NOW FRIENDS AGAIN

everything is fine now no one worry everything is fine
posted by lholladay at 2:43 PM on May 24, 2012


(((SHMOOPY)))
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 2:57 PM on May 24, 2012


I guess I'm confused about the holdkris ban. Has it been definitively confirmed that it was him? What would prevent anyone, anywhere (who has it out for holdkris) from crafting and staging the story in this manner?

Not only that, but if somebody stole my laptop or something and logged in as me and did some shit like that, I'd surely, immediately follow up with the mod team and do whatever necessary to verify that this was the real me and whatever that was was some f'ed up incident I had nothing to do with. If it weren't the person who owns the account, presumably the person who really does would speak up as soon as they found out.
posted by Miko at 3:01 PM on May 24, 2012


"“Woman” was claimed to be the fun which he is unethical."

Oh, isn't it always.
posted by Occula at 3:08 PM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Power vs Love. This prank was about power, about the power to create negative emotions in others. The OP said it was a "bad experiment or joke or whatever carried too far". He thought he'd get a small response to his stunt post and instead got a huge one, two long on-topic threads filled with love and compassion.

Love totally won.
posted by Kerasia at 3:18 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Love always wins in the long run.
posted by The World Famous at 3:20 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Courtney Love?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:23 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.
Which rules? Whose?
"
The rules as written by Socrates L Jackson, of course - the ten fucking commandments.

Love may have won the battle (debatable), but power will always win the war.
posted by dg at 3:25 PM on May 24, 2012


Powers Boothe?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:26 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love may have won the battle (debatable), but power will always win the war.

Oh Yeeeeaaaaaaah!
posted by The World Famous at 3:29 PM on May 24, 2012


From elgilito's link: This village thinks it is real.

Aww. They called us a village.
And actually, reinterpreting that statement... we are.
posted by likeso at 3:32 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


People are amazing.

People are great. Metafilter people are great. In the end, this thread just reminds me how much that's true.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:44 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think NYC has a monopoly on that sort of behavior re: lines and ordering stuff. I've lived in San Francisco my whole life I would never dare to get in line, at least not a reasonably long one, without knowing what I am going to order in advance. We're not all laid-back hippy-dippy "whatever man" types out here on the West Coast, although I should note one of my parents hailed from the greater Boston area so maybe that "getcha in, getcha out, no bullshit" mentality is encoded in my DNA somehow.
posted by MattMangels at 3:53 PM on May 24, 2012


By the Power of Greyskull.
I have the Power.
The Power of Love.
A force from Above.
Cleaning my Soul.
Together, we and my friends of the Great Rebellion
Strive to free Esteria from the evil forces of Horde!
'Cause I am your Lady,
And you are my Man,
She-Ra,
Whenever you reach for me,
I'll do all that I can,
I'll protect you from the Hooded Claw,
Keep the Vampires from your door.
It don't take no money,
It don't take no fame,
It's tougher than diamonds,
Stronger than steel,
And it might just make you feel...
posted by Elmore at 3:56 PM on May 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


All this taco talk is making think of that book by Tom Robbins, Lord of the Beets.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:21 PM on May 24, 2012


Someday, I'll find somewhere where everyone just follows the damned rules.

Welcome to Mordor Diner, where we offer the finest in orc-style fast food and a strict and demanding dining experience. Try the stuffed trollbaby chipolte surprise. Go hog wild on the pig ears and briar salad. Ponder the puzzle of our burned mystery meat sandwiches and relish our prickly pear and skunk cabbage pie.

Complainers will be fed spiders.

People who complain repeatedly will be fed TO spiders.
posted by pyramid termite at 5:21 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


People who complain repeatedly will be fed TO spiders.

Hobbitual offenders, then?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:24 PM on May 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


I like the "Who's last?" approach

The only problem I'd have with the system you describe is that it means every time I got in line, I'd have to talk to people. You see, it's as if we're playing a video game, and "extrovert" is the lowest difficulty level...
posted by stebulus at 6:10 PM on May 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


According to Guardian.co.uk, the case this can action MBENI over to shape metal his genocide upon the internet.*

Who is this genocidal MBENI, who has the telekinetic power of bending metal? Last I heard, he was the ex finance minister of Botswana.

* from elgilito's link
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:13 PM on May 24, 2012


Oh man, I just checked my "other" folder in facebook and found several email from "Sasquatch".. .

I'm not kidding.
posted by WestChester22 at 6:21 PM on May 24, 2012


it means every time I got in line, I'd have to talk to people. You see, it's as if we're playing a video game, and "extrovert" is the lowest difficulty level...

Totally, sounds hellacious.
posted by Miko at 6:51 PM on May 24, 2012


The only problem I'd have with the system you describe is that it means every time I got in line, I'd have to talk to people. You see, it's as if we're playing a video game, and "extrovert" is the lowest difficulty level...

Just look up some walk-throughs on YouTube first.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:13 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just look up some walk-throughs on YouTube first.

Last time I tried that, I ended up at my prom doing an African anteater ritual.
posted by stebulus at 7:39 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was led to understand there would be fish tacos.
posted by eriko at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mm. Fish tacos.

We need to have an L.A. meetup.
posted by The World Famous at 8:22 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It took a lot of arguing with the DM and bring out obscure rule books, but I got a mixed class Extro/Introvert Speechcaster, racial weakness Whiskey.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 PM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


It took a lot of arguing with the DM and bring out obscure rule books, but I got a mixed class Extro/Introvert Speechcaster, racial weakness Whiskey.

Nice. I had to leave my last group after the GM claimed that 'Showrunner' wasn't a real class and that I couldn't use any of the rules in Dirty Secrets of the Cat Scan.
posted by frimble at 10:29 PM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole shemozzle is pretty fucked up.
On the bright side, I got some lost messages from Facebook and I'm also amused by the link from elgilito. That's an impressive editorial team!

Ada Latest – Ada Latest is a editor as great as a muse of adalatest.
John Waters – John Waters upon a accumulation of topics for adalatest.
Steve Buscemi –Steve Buscemi heads a Business topics of adalatest.
Vincent Gallo – Vincent Gallo heads a Entertainment topics of adalatest.
Debbie Harry – Debbie Harry a Health topics of adalatest.
Thurston Moore – Thurston Moore heads a LifeStyle topics of adalatest.
Richard Kern – Richard Kern heads a Science/Tech topics of adalatest.
James Nares – James Nares heads a Sports topics of adalatest.
_____________________________________________________
Our Contributing Writers:
Eric Mitchell – Eric Mitchell is a contributing muse to adalatest.
Susan Seidelman – Susan Seidelman is a contributing muse to adalatest.
Charlie Ahearn – Charlie Ahearn is a contributing muse to adalatest.
Nick Zed – Nick Zed is a contributing muse to adalatest.
Patti Smith – Patti Smith is a contributing muse to adalatest.
Sonic Youth – Sonic Youth is a contributing muse to adalatest.
posted by unliteral at 11:14 PM on May 24, 2012


What the fuck is that Ada Latest? IT MAKE BRAIN HURT
posted by klangklangston at 11:24 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Talk to your doctor to see if Debbie Harry is right for you.
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Debbie Harry is right for everyone.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:52 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Call her!
posted by The World Famous at 12:01 AM on May 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's an impressive editorial team!

THIS MAN SORRY FOR KISSING FORCIBLY WILL SMITH
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:11 AM on May 25, 2012


Never apologize for your feelings.
posted by The Whelk at 12:19 AM on May 25, 2012


I feel adalatest may have misstepped in making Vincent Gallo in charge of Entertainment.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:31 AM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


And I'm assuming that staff roster is like "if you could form the most perfect and awesomest rock band ever, what musicians would you choose" sort of deal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:38 AM on May 25, 2012


The privacy policy begins "Your remoteness is critical to us." With John Waters on staff? I think not.
posted by gingerest at 1:05 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Googling "adalatest" + whois + yadayadayada = it's some dude in Indonesia. I have to give him credit for some pretty creative SEO bait, though. And honest, too: "SEO Powered By SEOPressor"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:39 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


DRUGS THAT KILLED MICHAEL JACKSON WILL BE USED FOR THE EXECUTION OF DEATH

Wahoo! No more death and sadness!
posted by meech at 3:07 AM on May 25, 2012


Judge Metafilter, omg. Cortex must change his username now.
posted by jamaro at 16:38 on May 24


No need to wait for cortex. You've got a perfectly good account waiting for a name, you know.

Some of us are still waiting
posted by Jpfed at 3:34 AM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paging User Hundred Thousand to the white courtesy phone. User Hundred Thousand, you have a telephone call.
posted by item at 4:17 AM on May 25, 2012


User Hundred what? I'm just looking for a used car.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just looking for love. In all the wrong places.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:18 AM on May 25, 2012


Wookin' pa nub?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:23 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't want to change the world. I'm not looking for a new England. I'm just looking for another girl.

note to Mrs unSane: not actually
posted by unSane at 5:30 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


unSane, I'm hearing that to the TMBG tune, so my brain mangled it to:

"I don't want the girl. I just want YOUR HALF."

eww.

Judge MetaFilter: Least ye be.

(or would it be Yeast be le, or yeasty beans ... mmmm beans ...)
posted by tilde at 5:35 AM on May 25, 2012


It is a Testament to something or other about this site that even as serious a thread as this one will eventually devolve into silliness.
posted by item at 7:48 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forget it, Item, it's Metatalk.
posted by frimble at 8:53 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guess what's on the MSNBC site today?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:26 AM on May 25, 2012


Wait, you guys have fancy job titles? That is so cool.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:31 AM on May 25, 2012


From the MSNBC link comments:

Maybe this isn't worth the pixels that make it up? I've never even heard of this site before, and now it just earned a place in my web filter's black list.

I'm heartbroken! Indigo-Rage, say it ain't so! And we were so close to getting her as a new member!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:33 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


At least we know why Dan Harmon got fired. Jessamyn is now "director of community".
posted by King Bee at 10:34 AM on May 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


for some reason reading those comments caused this to flash into my brain.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on May 25, 2012


it just earned a place in my web filter's black list

wevegotabadassoverhere.jpg
posted by lholladay at 10:37 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Guess what's on the MSNBC site today?

That’s weird. Really weird. I wonder if "guy lies about how many pushups he can do" "girl says she figured out who did it in first 10 minutes, friends say she didn’t" is next.
posted by bongo_x at 10:43 AM on May 25, 2012


I wasn't lying about the pushups. I just got a cramp.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:47 AM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


At least we know why Dan Harmon got fired. Jessamyn is now "director of community".

Does that make her the Showrunner or the Shotcaller?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:47 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


After the week she's had dealing with this, she ought to be the ShotDrinker.
posted by MissySedai at 10:52 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Guess what's on the MSNBC site today?

Oh, now I remember what this thread was about.
posted by Elmore at 11:04 AM on May 25, 2012


I just wanted to say that I never really got what the big fuckin deal was about that MCA story. I didn't think it was that cool of a story!

Also n
posted by désoeuvrée at 11:07 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Me neither, but I haven't read it, in fact I never even heard of holdkris99 until I heard that he hadn't died.
posted by Elmore at 11:10 AM on May 25, 2012


Wait, you guys have fancy job titles? That is so cool.

Honestly? We sort of make them up. Back in the day we were all chiefs [CFO, CTO, CIO, CEO] but with the addition of restless_nomad and taz we haven't expanded the job titles yet. I do the schedule so I guess I get to be director. What an odd little article.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:13 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


They should be obscure 15th century court titles, really.
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on May 25, 2012


(Whoops I cut myself off but never mind, I'll just leave it at that. Not that great! Also made up!)
posted by désoeuvrée at 11:17 AM on May 25, 2012


Ooh, who gets to be Pontifex (Pontifrix?) Maximus(a)??
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:21 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe taz?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:23 AM on May 25, 2012


Can I be a viscount? Or a marquis? (I refuse to use dumb feminized titles, dammit.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:23 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vicomte, surely.

You can get the rambling arcane titles minor nobility got "Holder the blue feather and bearer of the silken vestments of St. Tooslow."
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


(My official title back when I was doing Sketchy's full time was "Arbitrator")
posted by The Whelk at 11:26 AM on May 25, 2012


I had a buddy whose official title (on his business cards) was "Community Envoy." I don't think anyone's really topped that. (Although for a while I was "Minion #3," which I am well-suited to.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:27 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can actually fill in the blank for your own title in the library catalog at my local library. So like usually you choose Ms. or Dr. or whatever. But if you have admin powers you can write whatever you want in that box. Whenever I put a book on hold or get something through interlibrary loan the librarian always makes a big deal when she calls of addressing me as "Wizard.."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:29 AM on May 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Dauphin (metadauphin?)
Third Marquis of Song
Countess of Fragen, Antworten and the Disjoint Territories
Visconde Ultima
Eparch Alexandria
Mayor of the Palace
posted by frimble at 11:32 AM on May 25, 2012


I had a buddy whose official title (on his business cards) was "Community Envoy."

I've got a friend whose business cards seriously said "Jedi."

Mine used to say "superhero." In my line of work (childcare), it got quite a few smiles.
posted by sonika at 11:35 AM on May 25, 2012


At my last job my business card said "Chaplain".
posted by dfan at 11:35 AM on May 25, 2012


Can I be a viscount? Or a marquis? (I refuse to use dumb feminized titles, dammit.)

While I agree with the feminized sentiment, can one really refuse being a (Pontifrix?) over Pontifex? (and include the special characters!) I'd be a frix over a fex any day.
posted by tilde at 11:36 AM on May 25, 2012


I'd be a frix over a fex any day.>

Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song about that.
posted by Elmore at 11:38 AM on May 25, 2012


Epopt is pretty awesome too.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:39 AM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I tried to persuade someone one year at Siggraph to explain his new job at a movie graphics company as "being in charge of the green pixels".
posted by tilde at 11:48 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


As (probably) the only mod who has drunk beer out of a can sitting on Areopagus, I think my title should be "Archon Eponymous." I hereby claim this title and all its honoraria.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:48 AM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've never even heard of this site before, and now it just earned a place in my web filter's black list. -(msnbc article comment)

Does one really need to censor a site they've never encountered or heard of before?
posted by NikitaNikita at 11:50 AM on May 25, 2012


As a bridge cleaner, I'm merely a pontifrice.
posted by Jpfed at 11:51 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pontifrix, pontifex, pontifrice, pontypool, pontypool... pontypool... I can't... the...
posted by Elmore at 11:57 AM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel adalatest may have misstepped in making Vincent Gallo in charge of Entertainment.

Yeah, clearly Gallo's Humor.
posted by misha at 12:01 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah! Taz, Κυρία, as a mere smoker of cigarettes on Areopagus, I proffer my allegiance and humbly genuflect in your general direction (...SSE, I believe).
posted by likeso at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2012


I've been Grand Kaimakam and Hospodar since 2005. As I said there, you may address me as Your Infinite Turpitude.
posted by languagehat at 12:16 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I refuse to use dumb feminized titles, dammit.)

I know that the female counterpart to an earl is a countess, but I've always had this fantasy of it being Earlene, as in "The Earlene of Wessex". Dumb, wrong, and hilarious.
posted by immlass at 12:16 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


immlass: "I know that the female counterpart to an earl is a countess, but I've always had this fantasy of it being Earlene"

Dammit. Now my brain is alternating between "come on earlene!" and "duke, duke, duke, duke of earl..."
posted by Night_owl at 12:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know that the female counterpart to an earl is a countess, but I've always had this fantasy of it being Earlene"

Dammit. Now my brain is alternating between "come on earlene!" and "duke, duke, duke, duke of earl..."


Hopefully these will help.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:25 PM on May 25, 2012


immlass: "I know that the female counterpart to an earl is a countess, but I've always had this fantasy of it being Earlene"

Night Owl: Now my brain is alternating between "come on earlene!" and "duke, duke, duke, duke of earl..."


And both these points combined in my head to produce the following:


You could have your choice of land
But I could never rule again
This is the one estate for me, Earlene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Earlene,

Earlene, Earlene, Earlene, Earlene,
Im begging of you please don't take my land,
Earlene, Earlene, Earlene, Earlene,
Please don't invade me even though you can....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on May 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


Earlene, Earlene, Earlene, Earlene
I'm begging of you, please don't nuke my spam
Earlene, Earlene, Earlene, Earlene
Please don't delete it even though you can
Your website is quite highly ranked
Just one link would get my thanks
Back to my site, writ in Askme green
Your approval will help my sales
Please prop me up so I can't fail
And I cannot succeed without you, Earlene
posted by frimble at 12:40 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gah. Should have previewed and seen that EmpressCallipygos had the same earworm, only better-executed.
posted by frimble at 12:41 PM on May 25, 2012


Nah, you just went with a different direction -- you went with the web stuff, I went with the Earl/Countess thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:45 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Earlene goodnight
Earlene goodnight
Goodnight Earlene, goodnight Earlene
I'll ban you in my dreams

posted by cortex (staff) at 12:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


And now I have to add The Drinking Song (Goodnight Irene) to my listening queue.
posted by frimble at 12:51 PM on May 25, 2012


I see value here: "IANYDoC"
posted by de at 1:12 PM on May 25, 2012


I went for truthiness in my title: Junior Assistant Sub-Peon, Third Class.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:21 PM on May 25, 2012


I smell a music challenge.

Also earlene is the perfect poofy cat name.

" Oh the great and mighty earlene condescends to be petted, oh we are very fortunate."
posted by The Whelk at 2:56 PM on May 25, 2012


I once spent a day at a place that had job titles like 'Director of Happiness' and where there were rules about employees always wearing a smile. I had to take an extra-long shower that night before I felt clean.
posted by dg at 3:28 PM on May 25, 2012


The owner of my shop used to insist that we called our porters (who mopped the floors and washed the dishes and generally spoke very little English) "Director of First Impressions". It was stupid.

And I still work there, but thankfully we've hired a few layers of buffer so I don't have to deal with him.
posted by Night_owl at 3:46 PM on May 25, 2012


Earlene, Earlene, you're the prettiest girl I've ever seen...
posted by MattMangels at 4:39 PM on May 25, 2012


As someone who is still dealing with the suicide of someone I loved very much, this is just horrid. You have to be a sociopath to do something like this.

I still <3 me some MeFites though, y'all have no idea how much MeFi has helped me over the years.
posted by SuzySmith at 4:43 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I run a comedy show - I could legitimately call myself a "showrunner" but I prefer "commissioner." (Or sometimes "impresario")
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:46 PM on May 25, 2012


I kid you not at one point reading that post I thought "fake" but was too chickenshit to say it.
posted by roboton666 at 4:51 PM on May 25, 2012


There are people at the Jack Rose whose title is Scotch Malt Whisky Adviser. Which is now what I want to be when I grow up.
posted by rtha at 4:52 PM on May 25, 2012


There are people at the Jack Rose whose title is Scotch Malt Whisky Adviser. Which is now what I want to be when I grow up.

Step one, live a full life. Step two, supply most of the scotch in the >1000 bottle collection at the bar.
posted by inigo2 at 5:01 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, to continue this derail, they're doing alcoholic sno-cones at Jack Rose these days, and I highly recommend.
posted by inigo2 at 5:35 PM on May 25, 2012


I kid you not at one point reading that post I thought "fake" but was too chickenshit to say it.

Why the heck didn't you say something? For shame, robotron666 - if that is your real name. For shame.
posted by item at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2012


Oh. I see robotron666 is not your real name, after all, roboton666. Well played, good sir.
posted by item at 6:53 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I kid you not at one point reading that post I thought "fake" but was too chickenshit to say it.

I think it is definitely the case that there are certain people who can read the tone of social interaction to see through BS in a way that is pretty reliable. The problem, however, is that there are also a lot of people who think that they can, but probably aren't as good at it as they think they are. So, it's tought to know whether people who are genuinely more discerning should say something publicly in these cases, or if that would create a social environment in which witch hunts are happening by people who are actually less discerning. For this reason, I tend to think speculation probably ought to be less public and behind the scenes with those who can follow up to verify, like in this case.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Come on, Earlene, too-loo-RYE-ay ...
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:02 PM on May 25, 2012


I think it is definitely the case that there are certain people who can read the tone of social interaction to see through BS in a way that is pretty reliable. The problem, however, is that there are also a lot of people who think that they can, but probably aren't as good at it as they think they are.

[Citation Needed]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:23 PM on May 25, 2012


[Citation Needed]

Challenge accepted.
posted by scalefree at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2012


Well, I totally fell for it. But then, I fell for this one too. Now having posted such an admission of gullibility, I await a Mefi mailbox full of 419 scams.
posted by hazyjane at 10:51 PM on May 25, 2012


Thank you spacemanstix, that's some sound advice.

I believe I have a pretty fine tuned BS detector when it comes to online ploys, but I've never really considered how to handle that sense with tact. It's so friggen obvious, hit the contact button, email the mods.

Apparently my BS detector makes up for my lack of common sense, lol.
posted by roboton666 at 11:22 PM on May 25, 2012


I kid you not at one point reading that post I thought "fake" but was too chickenshit to say it.

Nah, I think that's the right call. I believed the first post, but something pinged in the back of my mind at this comment. At first, I thought huh, she picked up the link-comment-as-username convention awfully quickly, but kept reading. And then a moment later, my brain kicked in with No, but for real, that's kind of weird. And there was a part of me that wanted to really start combing over her profile and comments and his, but I decided that
(1) this was so far from the right time or place to be playing Internet Sleuth,
(2) anything I found would be entirely circumstantial and have plausible, innocuous explanations,
(3) if there was genuine fishyness going about, the mods would probably ferret it out,
(4) in the scheme of things, I'd rather be wrong for believing a hoax than be wrong for blundering in pointing fingers when people are in mourning.

So, as someone who made the same call: it's not chickenshit, it's being careful. No matter what you did, the lie was already there and fooling people; the lie isn't your responsibility. The mods figured it out and handled it, because that's their job and they do it well. While you might feel a bit awkward right now, think how awful you'd feel if you had said "Fake" and it turned out to be your BS detector having a false positive?
posted by kagredon at 1:50 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's how I reasoned things, kagredon. It sure felt odd reading along, though.

Just out of interest, did anyone alert the mods via the contact form or through flagging?
posted by de at 2:07 AM on May 26, 2012


"A few people had discreetly inquired (thanks for that)"
posted by radwolf76 at 2:38 AM on May 26, 2012


Metafilter: proof once again that, as Samwise Gamgee once said, "there's still some good left in this world, and it's worth fighting for."
posted by Telpethoron at 6:31 AM on May 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I dunno about that... Twitter just told me that Josh Millard was similar to me (I'm so sorry, I'll just delete my account right now)
posted by infini at 6:40 AM on May 26, 2012


We discussed this at the Calgary meetup for all of two mins, ending with "yeah, that was weird". We then spent significantly longer talking about transportation systems, WOW and the people in historical get up at the next table. I love MeFi.
posted by arcticseal at 8:03 AM on May 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just out of interest, did anyone alert the mods via the contact form or through flagging?

Yeah, we got at least one message from a user (possibly more, I don't remember offhand - there were quite a few email threads floating around the mod list for a week.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:07 AM on May 26, 2012


Honestly? We sort of make them up.

I think Jessamyn should be Director of Cat Herding and Chief of Troll Rehabilitation.

Cortex can be Terminator-in-Chief (Bad Posts) and Head of Data Torture.
posted by philipy at 10:46 AM on May 26, 2012


There were a few things about the wife's post that seemed "off" to me (too well-written, too detailed, remarkably similar in voice to holdkris99's posts, etc.), and the thought crossed my mind a couple of times, "What if he faked it just to see what people would say about him?" But it was more of a hypothetical, "Someone could do that." I never once actually suspected it was true in this case... So now I'm trying to figure out what in the world made me instantly discount what I now realize were instincts, without even critically examining them. (I think it was partly because suicide is such a loaded topic for me that my emotions kind of took over, and also because holdkris99's other posts had so effectively constructed a character I related to and therefore trusted. Lesson learned.)

I'm not sure if someone here has mentioned that book The Gift of Fear, which is about how victims of violent crime often had instincts about a person or situation but ignored them, or didn't recognize them. I'm going to read that.
posted by désoeuvrée at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hereby claim this title and all its honoraria.

careful with the bejeweled glaive after a few of those beers
posted by elizardbits at 12:52 PM on May 26, 2012


ADent, I just read Marie MonDieu's comment about Vitamins D and B12. I have been seriously depressed, and was just diagnosed with, hey, what a coincidence, serious Vitamins D and B12 deficiencies. So, take some Vitamin D, and a multivitamin with B. People have also had some good results from fish oil, and something else, can't remember -I blame the vitamin deficiencies. Excess vit. D is rare, but possible. Consult an actual health care professional for more information.
posted by theora55 at 1:53 PM on May 26, 2012


Wow, I just found this. In retrospect, I can see the ways I didn't believe it. But mostly I did.

I am sorry for the sincere anguish it caused, for scody and mathowie and so many others triggered by this, but glad that this person did not actually kill themselves. I am also grateful for the stories shared earlier and the feelings they brought me. Something in that person must be good to tell stories like that, and I hope that they find a way to use that talent to help people rather than hurt them.
posted by salvia at 1:59 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Went back and read a lot more of this thread.
1. Dick move. Really. Holdkriss, you should rethink some things and get yourself together. This is not a way to live that will make you happy.
2. I'm glad Holdkriss isn't dead. Lots of good people are dead, and this one jerk is not, and that's still better than him being dead.
3. I love this community. Like others have said, mefi is a home for me, and has helped me though some difficult times. As well as providing lots of laughs, some friendships, and being a massive timesink.
4. I post this a lot, but it's worth posting again. How Not to Commit Suicide. In most cases, people who survive their suicide attempt are happy to have done so. Please stick around.
posted by theora55 at 2:54 PM on May 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just out of interest, did anyone alert the mods via the contact form or through flagging?

I had a brief thought that she seemed awfully eloquent for just having the love of her life kill himself, but she said the mods helped her make the post( or ok'd it) so I figured it was legit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I still going to give a dollar or two to approaching spare-changers? I usually don't. I don't know. I guess I will. But obviously I won't say it's from Marc. Maybe I'll just think to myself, "Marc can go fuck himself."
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:33 PM on May 26, 2012


she said the mods helped her make the post( or ok'd it) so I figured it was legit.

"She" emailed us explaining about the suicide and wanted to post something somewhere on the site, but not using holdkris99's account. We explained that she could do it in MeTa but there was a one week waiting period for new members which we would waive (pb had to tweak something to make this happen) something we've never done before and probably will never do again. Again, apologies, but we really don't check out people's backstories terribly much which is basically why we don't allow people to ask for money in MeTa. Any why we probably will be a little twitchy about people making "This used has died" MeTa posts without some sort of obit or outside verification.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:46 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which seems fine, I mean, timely news is great and all but it's not quite the same level of urgency as notifying family who might be able to make the funeral, or similar. The community wants to pay its respects when people pass on, but it doesn't have to be overniht.
posted by Miko at 7:28 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Golden Eternity: I wouldn't give them any change. You know they're just going to spend it on sockpuppets.
posted by ODiV at 7:54 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a brief thought that she seemed awfully eloquent

I'd have thought if I was ever going to be eloquent in my life, a funeral oration would be one of those times. From what I've seen of personal tragedies, people can have big emotional swings in the aftermath. You might have periods of perfect lucidity and calm, interspersed with weeping, even spells of lightheartedness. For some people black humor will be part of how they cope, for others putting their feelings into writing could be cathartic.

I was surprised that someone would take the trouble to write on Mefi so soon afterwards, but my surprise was more that anyone would feel so strongly about Mefi that they'd be constantly discussing it with their spouse, and their spouse would feel Mefi was such an important part of their life that writing a notice here was the same kind of thing as telling close friends.

Maybe Mefites were susceptible to the story because flattered that anyone regarded the community as so special and important.

For me there were a bunch of other "who knew" moments, where rather than thinking "this seems fishy" I thought more along the lines of "Oh, people actually do that?" Then mentally shrugged it off.

Overall I'd hope that neither Mefi policy nor the Mefi community becomes overly distrustful as a result of this. Of course be vigilant if the stakes are high, but for most of us they weren't higher than a bruised ego in this case.

And remember truth really is often far more implausible than fiction. For me it's hard to say which was the stranger story here, the fiction we were spun, or the truth that was uncovered.
posted by philipy at 8:19 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd have thought if I was ever going to be eloquent in my life, a funeral oration would be one of those times. From what I've seen of personal tragedies, people can have big emotional swings in the aftermath.

I can vouch for that one. One of my more eloquent moments was giving an eulogy. Apparently it had strong formal structure and combined multiple anecdotes to create a very personal portrait that resounded with the people who knew the deceased.

I say 'apparently' because I don't actually remember giving it, or much about helping organise the funeral. I know that I got around to writing it about 15 minutes ahead of time, and that it wasn't until after the funeral that I let myself stop doing stuff and collapse.

Anything I know about it was told to me by people after the fact.
posted by frimble at 9:37 PM on May 26, 2012


I am always, always amazed at hearing family members and friends deliver eulogies. They always rise to the occasion, even as you sit there wondering how they can be so composed. Yes, the mind ping-pongs, but having a big intellectual task to bend yourself to can be a help.
posted by Miko at 6:47 AM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read this thread and was thinking about eulogies when I was just biking with my brother. My brother, an engineering type, stood up and gave one of the most moving eulogies I've ever heard for our father. My dad was a quiet, shy man and although many people knew him they didn't know much about him. My brother told the assembled crowd the most important thing that our dad passed down to us. His initial reaction to any wrong or crime was to feel empathy with the wrong-doer. "What would cause a person to feel this way? There must be trouble in his mind that we can't imagine."

Sometimes I find myself getting more like my mom who firmly believes that some people are born jerks. (Their different points of view were mealtime conversation as the news was always blaring from the TV with tons of tales of crime and punishment, with my dad tsking for the poor souls and my mom relishing retribution.) I try to see it how my dad would - oh, the poor soul, let's say an extra decade of the rosary for him.
posted by readery at 9:20 AM on May 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


(Sopranos spoilers from like fifteen years ago below)

This incident has been in the back of my mind over the last couple days. I'm a suicide survivor, see - I've lived through the shit holdkris thought would make a hilarious joke. I bought his whole story too - I'd love to claim post hoc skepticism and doubt but, alas. The person I lost meant a lot to me and within a couple of months, it will have been a year since she died. Her memory is a daily presence in my life and will be for, well, the rest of it. Too many of the lie's details rang true to me, too many of them resonated and, quite frankly, the idea that anyone is capable of a suicide prank isn't really on my radar.

Suicide of a loved on is a cataclysmic event in someone's life. The survivors are never the same. To pull a prank based around suicide, you'd have to be a truly and deeply fucked up person with a capacity for cruelty that's hard to imagine. You'd have to be the lowest kind of worm, an utterly irredeemable piece of shit in human form. I feel that the word "sociopath" is thrown around far too cavalierly nowadays but, nonetheless, holdkris' actions rise to that level. Whoever he really is, he's a snake inside. He understands the feelings of others only as something he can exploit.

So why haven't I felt any sustained anger toward him yet? Why don't I hate him? It seems like I should, given my history. But ultimately I can't do it because he's too boring to hate.

What I thought we had in holdkris was a user who had an amazing life story to share with the community peppered with astonishing episodes like the Green Bay story or the MCA story and so on. I thought we had a rare and special person in our midst with valuable life experience. That is to say, I thought we had a rare individual in him. Someone worth mourning. In light of this, I now see that we had just another bullshit internet stranger in holdkris, another asshole willing to do or say whatever it takes to get himself a little bit of attention. He can claim to be this forward thinking experimenter or this iconoclastic metaprankster or whatever the fuck else seems like a well rationalized reframe to himself, but no - he's just another lame, sorry ass troll.

That is to say, an individual who is not rare at all. The character he created here may have seemed a unique and interesting person but the guy actually behind that persona was of the type that's a dime a fucking dozen online. Metafilter's natural structures screen most guys like him out but holdkris was willing to go above and beyond the call of assholery to establish his credibility. Very well, he's an internet shithead of exceptional patience but, still a shithead. Still a dime a fucking dozen. Still too boring to waste any real wrath on.

The stories he shared over his tenure? All obvious bullshit now. Or not, but who knows and who cares to find out? Yawn, ohwells. Did you guys watch the Sopranos? Remember the episode where Tony finally confronts Big Pussy about being an FBI informant when they're all out on that boat? And Puss, he knows what his former friends are gonna have to do so he asks for some tequila. The guys drink together for a minute and Puss starts telling this story about a girl he knew down in Puerto Rico that the tequila reminded him of. It builds to a punchline, the guys share a laugh together and then it gets quiet.

Tony asks, "Hey Puss - did she even fucking exist?"

That's where my head's at. Holdkris broke our trust on such a fundamental level that every word he typed here must be assumed to be untrue. Ohwells. It's not even worth wondering about, it's just a weird collection of amateur fiction mixed into the site. Who knows what he got out of it, who knows what he told his friends about his activity here, who knows if it started from somewhere genuine or not? None of it matters. Marc or holdkris or whoever he really is does not matter. The MCA story, the Green Bay story, the wedding story, the holdkris we thought we knew - he doesn't even fucking exist. The guy we mourned was fictional. Nothing we were told about him in the run up to this happening is worth wondering about in the slightest. Yawn, none of it's real.

Except for the part about the meth abuse. That much I believe.

As for MeFi and the idea of online community? Following the outpouring of love in the initial thread and the solidarity present in this thread, I believe in it all the more. Our community is so strong that an attempted assault on our collective trust only brought us closer together. Based on the community response to both this contrived tragedy and its revelation, I believe in Mefites even more than I did before. In fact, I think it's the rarity of this sort of bullshit here that makes this such a blow to some of us. But no, my faith in my fellow human has not been shaken in the slightest. It has been steeled.

Which is to say, sorry loser. You lose again. Enjoy your crank and 4chan!
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:26 AM on May 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


I've spent the last couple of days reading though this Meta, and it has taken me places that I never thought I would go.

As has been said many times, the mods have dealt with this in a graceful and humane way, and I would like to add my thanks to the list. You guys are aces, and you sometimes have a shitty job, but you keep this community together in relative harmony, and that's priceless.

To those of you who are suffering, whether or not you have shared your stories here, please take some of the love and sympathy pouring out from this community and try to accept it. I have, and it helps a bit. Whatever the catalyst, the result was that we pulled together and tried to help one of our own, and that's what makes this a great place to be.

And to those of you who did what you could to help, you may have been tricked, but you were tricked into showing what caring and beautiful people you are, and so what was lost? Nothing. You remain the best of the web.
posted by blurker at 1:52 PM on May 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


"As I started piecing everything together I didn’t think he intended to kill himself when I left that Friday morning."

This was the sentence that clanged most inauthentically for me. I commented on the "My FIL lost his faith because of me" thread chiefly to assure holdkriss99 that our views and conversations seldom have that much power over others although it was also a chance to write a bit about my own crisis of faith, which is a very human milestone for many people.

After the fake suicide post, I looked around and found his "I may be responsible for the murder of a young woman" AskMe post and understood that the self aggrandizement was a bit more than intense empathy or even the characteristic self-centeredness of the addict. In hindsight, his stories, charm and especially the obituary just seem very, very sad.

For me, the only way not to react with judgment spiked with hate is to know my own "inventory" so well that I can no longer pretend that I am and always was completely incapable to any degree of whatever heinous offense another human being commits. To hate holdkriss99, I would have to be sure my own addictive behavior never allowed me to fake something, to lie for an advantage, to make a public and very wrong decision, all of which is ludicrous--I can't deny I have done all of those things before I ever encountered an addictive substance, during my active addiction and, yes, since I first started in recovery. The difference in degree I might wish to claim does not alter the fact that, if I am sufficiently pushed to it, with the same history, heritage, chemical and mental circumstances as the offender, I must know that I am quite capable of any offense any other human being is capable of. That I am here and not where holdkriss99 is (literally and figuratively) is a matter of chance, luck, or as some would have it, the grace of god.

Hate is a matter of choice. A kind word costs me nothing. Hate costs me too much.
posted by Anitanola at 2:16 PM on May 27, 2012 [25 favorites]


This is sickening. I'm not sure how I managed to not see this meta until today. As many have said, I felt bad for days over this person's suicide–remembering their recent posts and questions, even wondering in hindsight if anything could have been done or said differently. Not rational stuff. But real. I felt awful! I was actually ashamed of myself for a few nagging doubts (the thing that struck me was her ability to write anything coherent within days of her husband's suicide. It didn't seem humanly possible or for that matter, necessary. And the fact that everything she shared about holdkris seemed exclusively pieced together from his posts felt almost mined to me). Wow. I decided I was an ass for thinking such things and then felt bad for days about this person's suicide!

Of course it's better than no one has died. But the part of this community that comes together when someone dies is one of the nicest things I've even seen happen on the internet, and it's just horrifying that anyone would mess with it. I'm shocked.
posted by marimeko at 2:43 PM on May 27, 2012


Anita, I want to buy you a beer.
posted by Night_owl at 5:39 PM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'll finish reading this thread later...
But for now I took back my favorites for the hoaxter and his hoaxy wife.
I will not take back the favorites for the faked death notice. Y'all are awesome. :)
posted by luckynerd at 12:26 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Night_owl: "Anita, I want to buy you a beer."

I...don't even know how to take that but maybe you're trying to be generous and supportive? As opposed to offering someone talking openly about her challenges with addiction an alcoholic drink?
posted by gingerbeer at 4:02 PM on May 28, 2012


Hey Kris,

RIGHT ON CONGRATS, stupid douche.

Get a job, sir.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:45 PM on May 28, 2012


Just for reference:
The team over there, including Matt Haughey, Jessamyn West and Josh Millard, deserve high praise for their great leadership in a difficult situation. Once they were able to confirm the details, they acted decisively to inform the community and protect it from further abuse from this individual.

Their announcement is a great example of the type of direct, honest dialogue that a community manager needs to offer when this sort of thing happens. You must have the courage to share the bad news. They talked about their outrage and their sadness. It wasn’t just regular members who were hurt by this – it was staff, as well, who had felt this loss. They shared the details of the situation and the action they took. They closed on a responsible note, urging the community not to take any retaliatory action against the member.

In short, this is how it is done. The MetaFilter team is a group of veterans and it is no doubt that strong experience that leads to such honest, balanced handling of a very sensitive, unfortunate situation.
A Member of Your Online Community Lies About Committing Suicide: What Do You Do?
Patrick O’Keefe, ManagingCommunities.com
As perverse as it sounds, such people can be good for a community. They unite people against them. It makes those insiders feel even greater insiders. Enemies, attacks and shared events unite members.
The Shame Effect
Richard Millington, The Online Community Guide
posted by bru at 6:27 PM on May 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Whoa, the O'Keefe advice seems kind of terrible. I really don't think that uniting against someone is always a wonderfully healthy bonding experience for a community. I've favorited many, but now want to heartily applaud the people who have advised compassion or detachment and moved on to topics important to the community that is remaining here to participate. We don't need to "unite against" anyone. It's not that awesome to find that your bonds with others are so shallow as to reflect only the mutual persecution of a third party.
posted by Miko at 7:05 PM on May 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Miko, we can't let Mothra run amok in our hood.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seriously, screw Mothra.


Who, me? Oh, don't mind me. I'll put those bridges back where I found them. Sorry about the mechanized infantry, let's just call it a misunderstanding...
posted by Ghidorah at 7:24 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's not O'Keefe's advice - it's Richard Millington's commentary. O'Keefe basically limits his advice to talking about how community managers can address the problem with members, and he gives detailed kudos to the mod team here. Millington goes on to observe that lying, in general, is a problem in online communities, but that big crises, like these, can unite communities: "Enemies, attacks and shared events unite members."
posted by gingerest at 7:33 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, thanks for the correction. And he's not incorrect that enemies can unite communities. My point is that this is not necessarily a positive, either for individuals or for communities. Every dictator and ideologue knows it's effective, but that doesn't mean it's good for people.
posted by Miko at 7:41 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yep, that's Richard Millington, who runs seminars on how to "develop, grow and manage successful branded online communities." — he's an advertising douche.

To borrow from Patrick O’Keefe's article:

Metafilter: this is how it is done.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:43 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I read both, but got confused about whose was whose. O'Keefe seems like he gets it and was full of praise for the mods' handling and community response.
posted by Miko at 7:44 PM on May 28, 2012


he's an advertising douche.

I had dinner with him last Thursday. He's not. He's a community management guy, does brand strategy and all the rest, but my impression of him was that he was decent and had a lot of experience with various types of online communities which he was more than happy to share. Maybe you've met him and have had different experiences, but I enjoyed his company and had a good time chitchatting about community management stuff with him.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I haven't met him. And I gladly defer to your actual experience. When I saw that the communities he creates are "branded" (but maybe not all of them) the "this is an advertiser" warning sign went off.

But honestly, he really pissed me off with his advice to use othering to strengthen your community, when it seems like people have tried really hard in this thread to precisely not do that. I think a lot of people have had to make a sincere effort to not get caught up in anger.

I certainly can't claim that Metafilter's policy officially contradicts him, but I'd be curious to hear his reaction if someone challenged him on this point.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:17 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm not saying I think that sort of "Hey let's all diss on the disliked person together" is a tactic I would suggest, but in more rough and tumble communities I'm sure it's a way to form community cohesion, in an odd sort of way. So yeah, agreeing with you there completely, but I think there are ways to do things tactically differently but situationally appropriate, if that makes sense.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 PM on May 28, 2012


I don't think Millington is offering advice in the sense of "look for common enemies your members can hate together," more just suggesting that something that seems like a horrible, awful, no good thing can be a horrible, awful thing with some positive side effects. Look at how often the Givewell situation gets mentioned in MeTa.People will tend to bond in adverse situations.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:46 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it's as much a situational thing as a 'different strokes for different communities' thing. A community that works together to thwart the plans of a person or persons trying to take advantage of Russian teens is a very different scenario to one that gangs up on a disturbed individual that played a very nasty trick on that community.

In this community, the former would be expected, but not the latter. In another community, it might be the opposite or neither or both might be expected. In the odd way that different communities form differently, any of those possibilities could legitimately strengthen community bonds. Whether you want to be part of a community that either closes ranks against all others or ignores wrongdoing is a question for the individual.
posted by dg at 8:47 PM on May 28, 2012


Hi everyone,

Thanks for the mixed feedback. I just want to clarify a few things.

First, I said the metafilter team did a good job. I think most people agree. My point of the post was to highlight you can't always do this. It was to get community managers/moderators to consider where they draw the line. Do you get involved when members lie about having cancer? About their friends/relatives dying? About getting fired from their job? Drawing the line is important.

Second, I understand benito's point about hate is a bad way to build a community. But a shared emotional connection is one of the key elements in developing a successful community. It was identified by McMillan and Chavis (1986) as an essential component.

So it's tough to see from the inside, but this thread is a terrific case in point. Most people have congratulated the moderators and responded in the same upset way. That sense of connection you feel with one another (whether you consciously sense it right now or not), has just been nudged once more in the right direction. There is a lot of research and data that supports this. My blog isn't entirely me pulling ideas out of my ass :-)

So whilst it may seem that this person was terrible for the community, it actually brought people together. Adversity does develop strong communities. To take an extreme example, you would be hard to say that the Black Civil Rights moment was harmed by their hatred for the Jim Crow laws or the people that stood in their way. Having a common enemy doesn't mean your community is built on hate, but can provide a sense of purpose, a common identity and plenty more. Does this make sense? It doesn't mean this is the only thing that brings you together, it's just something that can help. It's something that sounds negative but can be very positive.

Third, as for being an advertising douche, I honestly don't know how to respond to that. Maybe, perhaps? None of the communities I've been involved with directly try to sell to members. Instead they try to get people that are very passionate about topics, products, services and to build relationships with each other.

Hope this helps. Congrats on the increase sense of community you all feel with one another!
posted by RichardMillington at 6:30 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


So with all this unity, do you guys think the time is right for my "Sara Palin praying about declawing her circumcised unvaccinated cat" thread?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:34 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Only if you can get a Kristallnacht reference in there.

Also: Sarah who?
posted by unSane at 6:41 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Might be tough, but I bet I could figure out a way to work Palestine in there.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:47 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Sarah Palin praying about declawing her circumcised unvaccinated cat in Palestine while riding her bike in traffic. Also, Hitler."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:55 AM on May 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Congrats on the increase sense of community you all feel with one another!

I dunno, I feel about the same. It's a great place, has been a great place, and handled this garbage like the great place we all know it is and has been. "Congrats on your new increased sense of community!" feels a little tone-deaf to me.
posted by mediareport at 7:03 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

he's an advertising douche.

I had dinner with him last Thursday. He's not.
Wait, I thought we were supposed to unite against him! You guys are doing this all wrong.
posted by dfan at 7:12 AM on May 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hang on, you have time for dinner when Sarah Palin is doing that to her cat?!
posted by arcticseal at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin praying about declawing her circumcised unvaccinated cat in Palestine while riding her bike in traffic. Also, Hitler.

In the name of MeFi Unity I would willingly pay the cost of a user's account (or their sock puppet, I'm a big spender!) if they would make this an actual FPP with relevant links.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:37 AM on May 29, 2012


To me it sounds like a game-ender for Pictionary.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Daily Dot: Suicide Hoax Rocks Metafilter Community.
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on May 29, 2012


It rocked us!

Gently, slowly!
Like a hurricane!
Like a wagon wheel!
Like our backbone was his own!
Like a Rock of Ages!
All night, danced us into the sunlight!
posted by Miko at 9:41 AM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


"MetaFilter, a 13-year-old forum..."

Oh dear. We're not going to get into earrings and eyeliner are we?

I'm cool with the all black, tho.
posted by lysdexic at 10:04 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOD shut UP you don't understand ANYTHING!!!

*stomps off to room, slams door, blasts Iron Maiden*
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:06 AM on May 29, 2012 [21 favorites]


Here I am
Rock