Yesterday we looked at the strange phenomenon of Julia Allison rebloggers. We think they're weird and a little crazy. Some of you agreed with us, some of you didn't. So we thought we'd go to the source for more insight.
The person we spoke to was 'Jacy', one of the site's main four rebloggers and the author of yesterday's response to our original post. We emailed her (right, Jacy?) a list of question this morning and she responded back promptly. So how does one defend a site based on eviscerating the same person every day? Here's how!
Note: We edited some of Jacy's responses down because, well, they were a little long. We're told she's posting the full versions over at Reblogging NonSociety, so if you're interested, check out the extended cut over there.
So who are you? You don't have to tell us your real name if you don't want to, but how old are you? What do you do for a living? Where do you live?
I am 35, work for a large media company, I divide my time between New York and D.C.
Why Julia Allison? Do you just hate the idea of anyone documenting their life on the internet, or does something particular about her make you angry?
Why Julia Allison? Because I used to be an avid Gawker fan. You guys rammed her down our throats. I got into the whole Jake and Julia blog, I know people who are associated with both of them, both in New York and Washington, and have been watching her with fascination since then. To me, she symbolizes everything so messed up about my generation, IE the Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr generation, where everything — everything — must be photographed, documented, written about and broadcast to thousands of strangers in bizarre bids for fame. Her obsession with fame and the way she constantly degrades herself to get it remains compelling to me. And how often she bullshits.
Do you enjoy reading NonSociety, or is it just something you have to slog through to get to the good mean stuff?
I used to actually enjoy her blog when she had something to say. I found her ridiculously egotistic and self-obsessed, but at least she had content and a point of view. Now it's just a series of blurry photographs and the odd "deep thought" gleaned from whatever self-help book she's reading. So no, lately, I can't say I enjoy it, though I do enjoy Jordan Reid's blog. She's sweet and seems genuine to me. No lies, no bullshit, no rampant narcissism and "look at me, I'm so hot!!" photographs.
What would you do if you met her in person?
You are assuming I haven't met her in person. I'd say hello if I absolutely had to, then keep walking, because she'd be too busy looking over my shoulder to see if anyone who could help her achieve her objectives was nearby. But if she came at me, knowing who I was, I would have no problem explaining to her all that I am explaining to you.
Yesterday one measly little post aimed at your site had you considering (however briefly) shutting the thing down. You attack Allison several times a day, every day. What will it take to get her to consider the same thing? Do you imagine you wield that kind of power?
You're wrong, actually. This is something the four of us had discussed many times before; it had nothing to do with your post but I figured you provided me with a news element. We are all having trouble staying engaged. Like I said in the post, my intention was never to terrorize or harass her. It was to discuss and laugh about Gawker's very own Heidi Montag and her conduct on her very own online reality show. Now I am wondering if it's run its course, as are all four of us.
How do you think you'd react to someone starting a site that was all about how awful you are? If not 'Donkey', what would people call you do you think?
I don't know. But that's why I don't live my life online and demand the world pays attention to me. And how do you suppose Sarah Jessica Parker feels about having a horse head photoshopped onto her body and to read frequently about her resemblance to a horse on a widely read New York-based blog, where she lives and works? Julia Allison courted, cultivated and sought out a very large online audience and continues to do so. She wanted the attention. But she expected it to be all positive, which is mysterious given some of the crap she's pulled on people in her life.
Explain to people like me who think this is weird and obsessive why it's not weird and obsessive. It's a reality show. We're the audience. We're like the chat groups/message boards devoted to shows like The Hills and the Real Housewives. It's not any more complicated than that. We didn't ask for this audience, and have been stunned by it. They came to us.
You and your readers seem to like to talk about the community that's formed on the site. Do you think it's possible to have that same exact community without it coalescing around a focused hatred of a stranger? Is there something in the hatred for Julia Allison that you all share that has made the bonds stronger?
I personally do not hate the woman. I think she's a fascinating symbol of a fame-obsessed generation. I actually root for her, hope she finds love, hope she figures out her myriad issues out and gets herself sorted. If you look back on the site, you will see that I have many, many times told her to stop Tweeting the shit out of every date/relationship. Admittedly, I have also pleaded with her to stop wearing pleated mini-skirts and to stop yelling (which is the genesis of the Donkey thing, by the way — not that she looks like a donkey, but that she brays like a donkey. Charles Forman has spoken of his tinnitus after spending time with her; we don't make that shit up). Many of the RBNS commenters have also offered up advice that would benefit her as well. She should go offline for a year, and write a book about shaking her addiction to spewing out her every thought, every date, every job opportunity and how she ended the relentless self-sabotage. I would read such a book, and no one would cheer louder than many of the commenters on RBNS.
Everyone's mean on the internet, but some of us at least try to be equal opportunity offenders. If you were to branch out, who would be your next target?
I don't know if I would branch out at this point. I have a full and busy and love-filled life. If The Awl, which I now read instead of Gawker, were to create some narcissistic monster who started terrorizing various people in real life, I don't know, perhaps we might go after that person. Who knows what fameballs lie ahead?
What would your mother say if she knew you were doing this?
My mother is actually a 71-year-old, grown-up JA without the Internet addiction. But the woman who has been a real mother to me, my oldest sister, does know I do this. She is 47, reads it and laughs. I only had to show her the "fuck you money" video and there was no need to explain further.
SO THAT'S THAT. Now we have heard from all sides, we have all considered quitting the internet (well, probably not Julia), and now we will never speak of this again. Namaste.
Oh, and if you're still not satisfied? Guest of a Guest did an interview with another of the rebloggers last fall. Happy head scratching!