Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sad news to report, kids: that brilliant hotbed of deep thought and intellectual discourse known as Brat Boy School has closed shop. I wish I could link to some of the highlights in the BBS archives, but, alas, the site has been stripped.

It seems that Brat Boy wasn't who he seemed, and BBS was all a big scam. Apparently, much like in the movie The Ringer, some guy named Rick was pretending to be a mentally retarded blogger named 'Ethan Reynolds,' using someone else as the physical model to lure the readers while writing long, incomprehensible missives about, uh... retarded shit. And the point of the enterprise was apparently to... uh, well, that I'm not quite sure about.

Physical Ethan -- as opposed to Electronic Ethan, the 'brains' behind it, at least in relative terms -- did earn a brief modeling career out of the hoax. Besides that, the pretty dumb guy and the dumb pretty guy may have scammed random readers who either sent "Ethan" money to help him out of financial trouble or paid for Brat Boy merchandise that was never delivered.

Whatever. I can't believe that enough money was involved to make it worth their efforts, but maybe there really are enough gay men out there so enamored of a pretty boy's illiterate Internet sob story that they'll whip out their checkbooks. In which case, caveat emptor. Oh, and you ordered Brat Boy School merchandise? That just makes you a fucking loser.

I have read the various analyses (links are on the Brat Boy site), but the best of the best is probably from the Blogger Formerly Known as Ethan's bete noire: Toby at Vividblurry. (The fact that Toby eventually bogrolled the make-believe Brat Boy shouldn't totally be held against him. His early tweaks at Brat Boy -- this one was a classic -- were vicious and brilliant, and I loved everything about them.)

Also, check out Zac's insightful recent blog post at Fool's Gold Coast for more on the scammers and the scammees. Zac and I bonded quite a while ago over our mutual dismay about the popularity of Brat Boy School, and he also wrote the definitive Brat Boy parody.

So now a lot of people are upset and confused. A part of me -- the 2% of me that is generally good, plus the 2% of me that is occasionally horny -- can understand how one can get sucked in to the bathetic, unintelligible ramblings of a pretty-boy blogger (and, hey: how did that guest blogger thing work out for you, o friend of mine?) But the rest of me -- the jaundiced, cynical 96% -- thinks the reaction of Brat Boy readers is way over the top and downright hilarious.

The sobbing! The wailing! The rending of clothes! It is Blog Theater at its best. Many of these dupes want the model who played 'Ethan Reynolds' to come back, and they will forgive, because even though they now know that his entire blog was a two year exercise in lies and deception, they still want to believe in him. Because, I suppose, a good-looking guy who posts pictures of himself in his underwear can't be a bad person!

The trite poor-me tales of woe... the idiotic political and social commentary... these readers have invested themselves so heavily in this bullshit that they can't let go. It's as if 'Ethan Reynolds' is blogger heroin. And the comments, well... since Zac already posted his favorite, I'll give you a sample of mine:
The guy who was writing these blogs (Rick) come across as VERY savy, and has a msstery over the language which is very powerful. (Which is why I never believed that Ethan was writing them. He was to young to write that way.)
Water seeks its own level, you know. Good luck in life, loyal Brat Boy readers. I have a feeling that many of you will need it.

Also, if you send me $30 I will send you a t-shirt. Suckahs...