Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Internet

January 7, 2008

John Fitzgerald Page on John Fitzgerald Page

The infamous internet celeb tells Gelf what it's like to go from being a guy in a high-rise condo to the Worst Person in the World.

Adam Rosen

Much like the invocation of 9-11, the superlative obliges of us discretion in its employ, lest its power be unduly cheapened. After all, can we really have that many "-ests" in our lives? Sure, Ed Wood and Fuck Start Your Face easily qualify for "worst" within their respective genres. But what of a man, who, in his own words, is guilty only of "listing [my] accomplishments and telling a girl that [I] think there's a problem because she has six pictures of her head" on Match.com?

John Fitzgerald Page
"If this is what the public wants, if I'm the white Omarosa, then this is what I have to run with. If not, then I just get trashed."

John Fitzgerald Page

Such is the question of one John Fitzgerald Page—Atlanta resident, part-time actor, and full-time Gawker patsy. His saga began on October 11, when the popular Manhattan gossip blog posted a preposterous exchange between Page and a woman he had met online. Brief as it was, the conversation—coupled with Page's personal website—presented a mouthwatering cache of material for Gawker and its fans. Here's part of Page's remarks:

So next time you meet a guy of my caliber, instead of trying to turn it around, just get to the gym! I will even give you one free training session, so you don't blow it with the next 8.9 on Hot or Not, Ivy League grad, Mensa member, can bench/squat/leg press over 1200 lbs., has had lunch with the secretary of defense, has an MBA from the top school in the country, lives in a Buckhead high rise, drives a Beemer convertible, has been in 14 major motion pictures, was in Jezebel's Best dressed, etc. Oh, that is right, there aren't any more of those!

By the end of the day, over 1,000 people had commented on the post; currently that number stands at 2,023. The "Worst Person in the World" was located.

Page's notoriety hasn't stopped with Gawker, and his story has since appeared on CNN, The Early Show, MySpace Video, and in the New York Daily News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Creative Loafing. (To say nothing of the blogosphere reaction; FARK had to shut down its forum on Page.)

As ham-handed as Page's remarks on Match.com may have been, it seems unlikely that the holier-than-thou members of the online community who have responded to him (like this woman) are truly less worthy of our contempt. Fascinating, too, that moral superiority is automatically appropriated by the internet commenter, a species often defined by venality and self-aggrandizement. Michael Kinsley explored this last year, writing in Slate: "There is something about the Web that brings out the ego monster in everybody. It's not just the well-established tendency to be nasty. When you write for the Web, you open yourself up to breathtakingly vicious vitriol." The whole spectacle registers like a modern Freudian role-play. And maybe Page and other web casualties destroyed by their own caricature-like arrogance (see Vayner, Aleksey) can take solace in this, wherever they're sequestered.

Still, Page has made the decision to play his hand. "There're two schools of thought on this," he tells Gelf. "I could have changed my phone number, changed my email address, run and hid, taken my website down. I'm not John Mark Karr, I didn't fess up to killing JonBenet … I'm just trying to have a little fun with this. If people abuse you, you might as well enjoy it or jump out the window."

Exploiting your status as an infamous internet celebrity often means venturing offline into a whole new—but curiously similar—genre: reality TV (see Tequila, Tila). Page claims he is currently in negotiations for his own show. "If this is what the public wants, if I'm the white Omarosa, then this is what I have to run with," he tells Gelf. "If not, then I just get trashed. If everyone's like 'this guy sucks,' but they're paying me $20,000 a week and I'm living in a mansion dating a bunch of girls, then what do I care what you think of me?"

What he just can't get over, however, is being considered the utmost example of human iniquity—given the modern context of despots and criminals. A day or two after the Gawker piece, Page posted the following on his website (which, no doubt, was finally receiving the amount of traffic he had hoped for when he first posted multiple semi-nude body shots on it):

Stalin. Hitler. Bin Laden. John Fitzgerald Page. Somehow, I am ranked at #1. My crime—murder? treason? pedophilia? rape? No, worse. A woman winked at me on the internet. I sent her an introductory email. She tried to rescind her initial wink by saying we weren't a "personality" match. She ascertained that from my first email without ever speaking to me. Here is my crime. Instead of just letting her float away, I let her know that I feel that if you approach me, you should meet my standards and listed facts about myself.

Adam Rosen

Adam Rosen is a contributing editor of Gelf, and host of the Non-Motivational Speaker Series.







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Comments

- Internet
- posted on Jan 08, 08
Beerzie Boy

Um, yuck.

- Internet
- posted on Jan 08, 08
Spoon Luv

I'm glad you let him speak his peace but hes still a douche. His website is hilarious, especially where he regales us with his list of roles including "Lovestruck Doofus".

- Internet
- posted on Jan 19, 08
Anonymous

He's an idiot. Ignore him, and he'll die from lack of attention.

- Internet
- posted on Jan 20, 08
lolocaust

Boohoo, 15 minutes are up and you still want more. Lame.

- Internet
- posted on Feb 09, 08
Charles Parker

I guess i must be secure enough in myself to not be the least bit offended by Mr. Page's infamous email to the online dating lady. True, Mr. Page is far more accomplished than me - he's obviously quite talented, hard-working, and rich - good for him! And while i am not really any of those things, i don't mind that he is. I also don't mind that he is a bit arrogant. But i say, if you don't like arrogant people, then just ignore them, and go get a life of your own. The severely jealous meanness that i hear coming from the online dating lady and all her downline throughout America is distrubing - there is nothing disturbing about Mr. Page's original or subsequent remarks. He was perfectly within his rights, and gracious enough for an arrogant type - and while i (in the interest of full disclosure) am just a traditional straight 50-ish single male American-patriot thinking-Christian non-Hollywood-starstruck kinda guy who uses online dating occasionally myself, i think i would probably like Mr. Page or at least be enlightened and maybe even entertained by him - but certainly would not disrespect or envy him for his success. Best wishes to you Mr. Page - you do not deserve the ridiculous mean-spiritedness to which you have been subjected. Keep your head up!

- Internet
- posted on Apr 11, 08
spotlight

Charles Parker, you sound as bad as John Fitzgerald Page.

There was plenty wrong with Page's correspondence with the lady on Match.com.

Page showed right off the bat that he's shallow (requesting full body shots of her, etc), he places way too much emphasis on physical appearance and material possessions.

When she wasn't impressed by the qualities he thinks every woman is supposed to go crazy about, he sends her a rude reply.


Article by Adam Rosen

Adam Rosen is a contributing editor of Gelf, and host of the Non-Motivational Speaker Series.

Learn more about this author






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