Friday, September 7, 2012

Fake

The other day when I wrote the post about Les Miserables, I almost added something very bitchy at the end.  Maybe I even wrote it; then deleted it. I can't remember. 

I was about to say that I used to read this blog. I suspected it was fake.  One of the reasons is the blogger provided a recording of his daughter singing a Les Miserables song, and it sounded very much like a professional recording I heard before.

Or maybe, actually...I'm remembering wrong.  Maybe it was an Annie song?

No, I think it was Les Miserables.  I'm pretty sure it was "Castle on A Cloud".

I decided not to post that bit of my post. I wasn't 100% sure this guy was fake...not even 75%.

It would be horrible to accuse someone real of being fake.

Although truth be told, I was being a bit paranoid. I've had no indication that he's been reading my blog lately.    

Today I went to a blog I haven't visited in a long time.  Her posts are blocked now. I can see only the titles. The first post title referred to this blogger (Jeff D'Antonio) and outed him as fake.

Shit.

A part of me felt good...vindicated.  Aha!  I can spot the fakes! I can trust my intuition.

Plus, Jeff rubbed me the wrong way. I had stopped reading his blog a long time ago.  

He was so self-righteous and dramatic. If he was real, I'd feel bad feeling that way because he had such a hard life.  And he was heroic. His best friend died of cancer. He and his wife adopted the best friend's daughter.  They brought comfort to other people with cancer. 

What kind of bitch dislikes a man like that?

It wasn't the Les Miserables thing that first made me suspicious.

It was this story about finding a letter from the deceased friend. She had surprised them all with a trip to Disney World.  It was beautiful, but something about it seemed unreal.

Then there was the fact that the blog didn't have a lot of photos.

I find it's easier to trust bloggers who have photographs.

That's not to say I distrust all bloggers who don't provide photos of themselves.

I've never seen a photograph of Andrew.  Yet I trust him as much as I trust most people, which is never 100%, but can get up into the 90's at times.   

The thing is, Andrew has never said anything that's made my guard go up.   He's never said anything to me that's suspicious or overly fanciful.  He doesn't claim to be incredibly good-looking. He doesn't claim to be heroic.

He lives the life of an Aussie blogger; not the life of a soap opera character.

Some REAL people do live soap opera lives. And they blog about it. I have one in mind.   I'm not going to name names. But I have a lot of trust in her, because she has a lot of photos of her family.    Without the photos, I might have felt some bits of suspicion. The reason is her blog deals with illness. And I think this fake-blogger syndrome often includes chronic and/or fatal illness.

I'm sure there are thousands upon thousands of real people suffering with illness who are blogging.   Unfortunately, the fakes are going to continue to break down trust.  So they probably need to NOT hide their face like Andrew does.  

Anyway, back to the story of finding out the guy was fake.

As I said, I had mixed feelings. I wasn't simply proud of my intuition.

I felt guilty.

Should I have shared my suspicions with people, especially people that I knew had a lot of trust and emotional investment in this guy?   Should I have dug deeper?   Should I have investigated?

Should I have publicly accused him of being a fake?

I didn't do any of that.

I kept quiet.

Why?

I wasn't 100% sure of his fakeness, and I would hate to make accusations against someone who's real.

I went to one of my old posts that I remembered him commenting on. I remembered it because his comment had annoyed me.

I let him know he annoyed me, but didn't let him know I thought he was fake.  Did I not know at that point?

I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I already suspected...at least to some degree.

Yet I was all nice to him after he shared a link back to one of his blog posts. It contained some kind of inspirational spiritual story.    

I don't know if I was being fake at that point, or if his story had warmed my heart.   I can't remember what the story was about.  And his blog is now gone, so I can't click on the link.  

His comment to me was very dismissive....invalidating. I told the story of how I went a bit nuts in 2007 and 2008 and had convinced myself I was going to die.

Part of his comment said.

But I've seen up close what it looks like when that fear becomes a tragic reality for someone...

The irrational fear that we all have doesn't even begin to compare. Not by a long shot. 

Yeah. Weird American. Your silly fears are nothing compared to my beloved friend REALLY dying.   Let's not forget MY blog contains the real drama.

Of course not all problems are equal.  But if I post about a cut on my toe, I don't need people writing to remind me that their blog contains stories of cancer, earthquakes, drownings, demonic possession, etc.  

Here's part of my response to him.

Of course a fear of something doesn't compare to the actual thing happening.

Getting stung by a wasp is probably much worse than my FEAR of getting stung by a wasp.

My fear of having a miscarriage when I was pregnant with Jack is nothing compared to the pain of mothers who actually DO lose their babies.

This is all stating the obvious though, isn't it?

But our fear comes from knowing that these things actually DO happen.

He then apologized and linked to a story from his blog.

Part of my response to that:  Anyway, your spiritual experiences are beautiful. I've had things like that happen--probably not as profound as your experience. But I've had dreams and little coincidences that make me believe there's something out there.

If I was believing he was real when I wrote that, I bet I felt all inferior because my spiritual stories are usually quite silly. I have amazing coincidences in my life, but they make no sense.   There's no tear-jerker conclusions.  It's usually more like, WTF was that all about?  

Here's an example from this week.  We bought the game Apples to Apples.  One time Jack and I were playing around with the cards. We came across a card that said Crazy Horse. I really had no idea who that was. Yes.  I'm ignorant. Sorry. But anyway, it was something not familiar to me.   

That was all a day or two ago.

Then today I responded to an email. I reread it and it mentioned Crazy Horse.

See, though?  It's a coincidence, but not an amazing and emotional one.

Anyway....

I'm getting off track here.

I wanted to talk about the invalidation stuff.

I think our guard should go up if someone tries to upstage us with their tragedies.  First of all, at the very least, it's rude. 

Second, it's elitist.  That's weird to say.  I know.  But as some people feel superior because they're wealthy or talented or are best friends with celebrities,other people feel superior because they have an illness, injury, or disability. 

No, you shouldn't frequently complain to your friend with pancreatic cancer that you have heartburn and hate the taste of Tums.  But if every time you mention your problems, that friend reminds you that they have cancer?   Well, I think it's a matter of them not wanting you to stand in their limelight.

There's also this. When I first started blogging, there was another fake cancer girl. It was a big drama when she came out of the pretender-closet. One of the stories I remember reading is that she told another patient with cancer that she (the faker) had worse cancer.

What kind of person says that to another person?

Yes, some cancer IS worse than other cancers. But it doesn't need to be said.

Not that two examples equals a trend. But I'm wondering if those who fake illness have a tendency to be competitive about it.  

Why do people fake illnesses and create blogs?

Obviously they want attention.

I can't blame them for that.

But I will blame them for their extremely cruel and unethical actions.

It's definitely not a victimless crime.

No physical harm is involved, but there's a ton of emotional harm.

Fortunately, for unsure cowards like me don't need to rock the boat, I found a link to a site that does the dirty work for us.

They have the story of Jeff D'Antonio.  If anyone wants the guilty pleasure of learning more about the drama. 

I was just thinking about Tallygarunga.

There's a bunch of people on there pretending to be wizards. Like Jeff D'Antonio, they're all a bunch of fakers.

Ah...but there's a difference. They're honest about their dishonesty. It's called fiction.

There's nothing wrong with making up stories.  I love made-up stories. But it's important to be upfront about it.   











14 comments:

Andrew said...

I am Mr 90%, not a bad rating. I have a post written that has older photos of me in it, the most recent being eight years ago. I can't bring myself to click publish though. Maybe one day. In the meantime, think of me as a younger Julian McMahon but better groomed. Is not the fakery at the blog you mention, essentially attention seeking behaviour? If you mentioned your suspicions, it is giving him attention, although perhaps not quite what he would have liked. I am mentally running through a list of blogs I read, and I doubt any are faked. I only read nice and real people's blogs, I hope.

Dina said...

Andrew,

I believe you're real. And maybe it's not 90%. That's a bit low. I'll put you at 99.2%. When I go to Melbourne, we can meet so I can confirm your realness. If you make lots of excuses not to see me; I might become suspicious.

And if I cancel my trip again....maybe you'll become suspicious.

I think Mr. Jeff is seeking attention; but I don't think my blog post will fulfill his needs.

I think a lot of people (including me) are attention-seekers. But only certain type of attention can satisfy us.

I think Jeff wants sympathy-attention. And maybe admiration?

If he just desired attention in general, he might have gone out and committed mass murder.

I think that kind of person wants ANY attention. They don't care if it's negative.

I like attention; but would get no satisfaction if it wasn't for something real. And I HATE negative attention.

I could be wrong about Jeff though. Maybe he prefers people talking about him to people forgetting about him.

In that blog I linked to, he pleas to be left alone. But who knows. That could be another lie.

IF he does enjoy the attention....I'd regret feeding him.

I am curious to why you don't want photos of yourself. Is it a privacy thing? Are you not happy with the way you look? You don't have to answer...unless you want to.

Do you look like Julian McMahon; and you don't want to make women sad?

But all the happy men would make up for the disappointed women.

I do like what I can see of you in your icon photo.

FruitCake said...

Your post reminds me a little of that old chestnut "I never tell a lie".
[Yeah, right].

I've never thought of faking an illness... at least not since 1963 and the day I told mother I was too ill to go to school. She told me I had to go anyway. This was a cruel thing to do to a developing personality. There must be some way to make money out of a fake illness. She ruined my life, you know, by closing off a door of opportunity.

The great thing about blogging is the freedom to speak one's mind... or in my case, the freedom to speak what there is of a mind.

I would rate Andrew as 99.9% - As a teacher once told me no one gets 100% because no one is perfect. See, the teacher was yet another person who held me back. Have I had a more crapperer life than you? If you don't think so yet, I shall have to keep digging up more and more examples until I convince you I have had a more crapperer life than you.
No, it's all right, I don't want your sympathy [though thanks for offering]. I have an abundant supply of self-pity to draw on. I was just hoping for your approval of my self-pity.

Over and over, day after day, for years, I've heard the wise counsel of a good friend saying "not everything is a competition, you know".

When people post toxic shit, stop reading their posts. [Unless, of course, the toxin comes from me. Tell me what I say is toxic so I can get the chance to dismiss you first, before you dismiss me. I need to win at something.]

Dina said...

Fruitcake,

I approve of your self-pity, and my self-pity.

Self-pity is so underrated.

Competition for problems reminds me of your other and that whole spider bite thing.

I agree about not reading toxic stuff.

That's why I never read your blog. It's so toxic. Every post. For commenting? I have a random bucket filled with random comments. I close my eyes and pick one; then write it down in the appropriate space.

You might doubt this...thinking some of my comments fit so well with what you've said. But as I've said; my life is full of meaningful coincidences. The method works.

Dina said...

Oh...you're probably wondering how I know about the spider thing.

Right?

I don't. That's the thing.

I'm just guessing that you have a post about spider bites.

All Australians deal with deadly spiders on a daily basis; so it's reasonable to assume they're all going to have a post about it.

Am I right or am I right?

Dina said...

Fruitcake,

I also want to say that I'm sorry you failed at faking an illness.

I bet it's easier on a blog because you don't need to show evidence of a fever.

Seriously though...(sort of). I wonder if we'll get to a point where blogs of seriously ill people will need to provide doctor's notes and other medical documentation.

Also, I wonder if there's ever the opposite scenario. Very sick people who pretend to be healthy on their blogs. I have to say that I'd have a lot more sympathy and understanding for those liars.

FruitCake said...

Dina,

Thank you for your comment on my comment. It pleases me no end that you visit my blog and take the trouble to comment.

I tend to agree with what you have said in your post. Would it be rude of me to suggest that many Americans feel that way? I trust that this scenario does not make you too concerned.

rrgd#5

FruitCake said...

Ooops, forgot to remove the notation rrgd#5 from my comment on your comment on my comment on your post.
Sprung.
It is so obvious rrgd#5 means Random Reply – Generic - Dina #5 that I feel I must apologise. I would hate you to think ill of me.

FruitCake said...

Anyone who claims to suffer heartburn ought reasonably be expected to provide documentary evidence of same. Your personal banking details should suffice. Full name, Bank-State-Branch number and PIN/ password required.

FruitCake said...

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http://scuzei.blogspot.com.au/

Dina said...

Fruitcake,

I am deeply concerned by the fact that your comment got through my spam filter.

This concern is stressful and has greatly increased my heartburn.

I do understand your need for documentation. I shall send you my banking details.

Actually, what I'll do is add my banking details to my random comment generator (yes, I'm upgrading. The bucket is so primitive). One random day my banking statement proof of heartburn will occur in your comment section.

Actually, can I just send you a copy of my receipt for Tums.

I'm guessing Tums is USian. Do Australians have an equivalent?

Or maybe you have Tums and pronounce it in some crazy way. Like Tooms.

FruitCake said...

If chyooms are wrapped and shaped like "candy", the equivalent here would be qik-ez [not sure of the spelling]. There is also a disgusting chalky liquid substance called Mylanta consumed in large gulps and desperation by people who suffer heartburn or gastric reflux.

Please do observe the warnings on these products - if symptoms persist you may suffer some kind of GERD [gastric oesophageal reflux disease] which is not to be ignored.

I feel dreadful that I have quite innocently exacerbated your heartburn symptoms. Fortunately my feelings of guilt are unlikely to give me heartburn. Un-fortunately, the universe will no doubt deliver some other kind of physical punishment and the knowledge of this certainty will go some way towards easing your present discomfort.

PS I assume by "Spam" you are not referring to that pseudo-food originating in the US and marketed to humans as if it were not really dog food? If this is what you mean I suggest the best way to filter it would be to bin it without opening.

Dina said...

Spam is disgusting. Americans should be ashamed. Did we really invent it?

That's awful. I apologize to the world on behalf of all Americans.

I think the reason people don't like internet advertisements is because it's named after such a vile food.

What if it had been named chocolate cake instead? Then people would be much more open to receiving these various offers.

Dina said...

Oh...and we have Mylanta here too.