Since I first noticed that Fake Bono had taken over Fake Steve Jobs's blog, I've been wondering who Fake Bono really is. We had a number of guesses: Dan Lyons was taking on a second alter ego; Bono himself was writing; Marc Bodnick, cofounder of Elevation Partners, where Bono is a partner, was taking a turn; and Bono-wannabe Valleywag contributor Paul Boutin. After carefully reviewing the Bono posts, we're ready to reveal the identity of Fake Bono.
As I read through the posts, I noticed a number of themes consistent with another writer I know. References to Natali Del Conte, Nick Denton, and, crucially, Armani sunglasses.
The brats at the Armani store didn't even know about my Armani Bono Red sunglasses. They're the same shades I wore on the Elevation tour, priced at a reasonable $145, and 40 percent of the take goes to help your brothers and sisters still suffering. Plus if you're a blogger and getting kind of wrinkly around the eyes, they're a lot cheaper than plastic surgery. My good friend Nick Denton in New York bought a pair for one of his gang who's a bit over the hill. The man looks fantastic now. Fox TV called him on to talk about Google for 15 minutes. God's truth. It was the shades.OK, now yes, this definitely suggests Valleywag special correspondent — make that very special correspondent — Paul Boutin. Except, these posts go ON AND ON, rambling and sounding like someone slightly high wrote them. Boutin is the king of the 100-word post and has encouraged me numerous times to JUST GET TO THE POINT.
And yet he even looks like Bono! Here's a screen cap from a recent Boing Boing TV episode — Boutin is towards the end if you want to see his take on lolcats.
Could he be responsible for these directionless diatribes about Red products and how important Bono is? Well, they've both got the self-important part down. I pinged Mr. Boutin to see what was up.
BulldogPup83: Hey Paul, did you read Fake Steve Jobs this weekend?So there you have it! Fake Bono is Valleywag very special correspondent Paul Boutin. Namaste to Valleywag commenter Sample032 for figuring it out in about 4 seconds.
ArmaniGlasses: Read it? I fucking wrote it.
BulldogPup83: I knew it!
BulldogPup83: Natali Del Conte and your silly sunglasses totally gave you away.
ArmaniGlasses: FOX cancelled on me though.
ArmaniGlasses: I think they found out I'm a libertarian which effectively means a Republican, and their whole idea was to have some whiny liberal blogger from San Francsico on to go WAAAHHHHH GOOGLE IS TOO POWERFUL.
ArmaniGlasses: What was your question again?
BulldogPup83: Oh nothing. Just saying hi.
ArmaniGlasses: Natali gave me away? I'm going to kill her.
ArmaniGlasses: Oh wait, she'll do that goddam scream if I do, aieee.
BulldogPup83: I know you think she's awesome and all, but do you really think that Bono would know who she is?
BulldogPup83: He barely knows who the other members of U2 are, never mind Natali Del Conte.
BulldogPup83: total giveaway
ArmaniGlasses: and you giiiiiiive yourself awwaaayyyy, and you giiiiiive yourself awaaaayyyyy, and you give ...
BulldogPup83: Thanks for the help, I appreciate your time Mr. Boutin
ArmaniGlasses: Wow, I haven't been called "Mr Boutin" since the last time the NY Times mentioned me.
BulldogPup83: I suspect you can have me killed. Must be respectful.
ArmaniGlasses: Xeni on line 1 here, gotta hop