I’m pulling a Donkey here and publishing the complete, UNEDITED!! interview with the New York Observer before Miss Advised aired, in early June. This might help explain to the @stupidwomen what this blog is all about. You’re welcome, newbies!
NYO: I’ll start by asking whether you think Julia is capable of turning over a new leaf. Not having seen Miss Advised yet, do you think she do anything to make the viewing public like her? Could she do anything on- or off-air to make you like her — or, at least, not despise her?
RBD: We’d like to hope she could turn over a new leaf. But I honestly don’t think that’s possible without a lot of therapy and a willingness to account for her behavior, past and present, including many of the nasty things she’s done and said to supposed friends, exes, and the new partners of exes.
I listened in on that conference call the other day — a colleague was on it officially and piped me in — and I thought she sounded the most likable of the three. But I also heard her say she’s a changed person, and that filming the show was like an extended therapy session. But towards the end of filming, she did something pretty nasty to Randi Zuckerberg and her husband, resulting in the termination of that friendship/strategic partnership (the latest of many friendships/relationships to end due to JA’s actions, no one else’s). Just a week or so ago, after the show had finished filming, she took to Twitter to humiliate a guy she’d dated twice, years ago, and included some of his peers in the Tweets. So is she truly a changed person? We have seen her say she’s been “changed” by everything from visits to an ashram to Burning Man and a John Mayer concert, so we have our doubts.
But we actually don’t hate the poor, broken woman (she herself told us she was ‘broken’ not too long ago, after she attempted to leak to us a tidbit about her dating life and we traced the IP address to her neighborhood in Marina del Ray that matched the one on the emails she sent us under her own name). We just follow her online reality show pretty closely and really look forward to the episode where she does, in fact, get some serious, extensive, long-term therapy and maybe goes offline for a long time not just to get better, but to spare those in her circle the endless exposure, privacy violations and humiliations that she cavalierly doles out to them.
That, to me, would be a reality show worth watching — seeing JA get the true help she so desperately needs, facing her demons, and getting better. We’d cheer for her if she did that.
NYO: Why does it matter to you, though, if Julia humiliates Randi Zuckerberg? There are so many deplorable behaviors on Twitter — why have a site singling out Julia? Help me understand why she’s been such a long-term interest.
RBD: I wouldn’t say it matters to us in terms of having a personal stake in Randi Zuckerberg, although some of our commenters and tipsters do. It only matters, really, because JA has been staging an online reality show for years. She has famously solicited Facebook fans and friends and Twitter followers. She has directed people to her blog and her writing. Last summer, she directed all her 20,000-plus Twitter followers to the 100s of fairly racy photos she took of herself at Burning Man, and opened up her FB page completely so the public could see them. So she has pursued an online audience very aggressively for many years, and here we are — the audience.
And one of the things she really likes to do for her audience is to present herself as having very meaningful, close, enviable relationships with people she believes are celebrities. Jack McCain and Randi Zuckerberg are two of the most recent examples. So when you see this relentless output of photos and Tweets and blog posts about how meaningful the relationships are, how close and special she is to these people, and then you learn what she’s done to them offline, either because she screws up the way she did with Gawker and Randi Zuckerberg, or because her former friends and associates tip us or others off in rage or disbelief because they cannot believe how inauthentic the online posturing is — then yeah, we find that pretty interesting. As for others doing similarly deplorable things — point us to them. We are pretty plugged in and follow various “Internet celebrities,” but I’ve never encountered anyone in her league. Sending out the news release about her breakup from the son of a powerful, high-profile U.S. senator and how she had moved out of the “the home they shared in Coronado?” It was his mother’s condo, they never lived together, they spent all of two or three weeks, all told, under the same roof, and he did not consider it a serious relationship. That takes some balls (his family was NOT amused), and that’s why she’s so entertaining and enthralling. So that explains the prolonged interest, too, I guess — she keeps on producing new episodes in her online reality show, and we, the audience she so aggressively courted, keep watching.
NYO: Do you — and I’m not tipping my hand as to my opinion here, but rather playing devil’s advocate — take into account that she’s a real person, with feelings? Oftentimes the content of the site deals not with her online antics but with her body or her family. That would seem to be separate from soliciting attention for her celebrity fans. Simply because one “directs people to her blog” does not mean ad hominem attacks are fair game — or does it?
Further, why does it matter to you, personally — not broadly looking at your network of tipsters, but you. What does Julia represent to you? And what will be punishment enough for her sins?
RBD: If her feelings are so fragile and she is so hurt by our existence, why does she tip us off about the identities of who she’s dating? She’s done it three times now, most recently a month or so ago.
I am not arguing that she doesn’t have feelings, I am sure she does. But she has been using her looks to try to get attention for herself for years. The condom dress, the Gawker lingerie shoot, the endless photo shoots that she labels with names like “Good Girl Gone Bad!” etc etc. I actually believe she’s a good-looking woman, not in any way overweight, and I personally don’t like it when our commenters go there. But if you’re constantly photographed thrusting your hooters at the world, and you stage pointless photo shoots in ball gowns or tutus simply for your Facebook page that you open up for the public — photos that are never published anywhere else — then I think you are willfully/willingly putting your appearance in the line of fire. Did the world need to see her bare ass at Burning Man? She thought it did. And then she was hurt because people said she had a fat ass, or whatever they said? My response to that is: “Why would you publish that photo in the first place for thousands of strangers to see?”
She is not a victim in this regard. She puts all of it out there.
And if you place such a premium on female beauty, and talk about women being “gorgeous” and “tiny and cute” in the same way that you’d mention an actual accomplishment, and then you start injecting shit into your face long before you turn 30 to the extent that you drastically alter how you look — you can’t really stay online, and continue to be pumping it out there, and not expect people to notice, right? She has held herself up as a great beauty — that’s what all the photo shoots are about. And lately, she’s looking very different than she looked even two years ago. Is it so baffling that the less kind among her pursued followers might experience some schadenfreude in that regard? Especially when she’s said more than once that women have an expiration date, and are pretty much past it at 30?
I find her interesting, personally, because I think she provides a very extreme, contorted glimpse of a generation that’s gone right off the rails in terms of narcissism, seeking fame for no reason, the reality show/Facebook generation that wants to put everything out there and expects to be adored and envied for it. We all have those people in our Facebook feed — she’s the Incredible Hulk version of that person. No matter how many times she gets burned by it, she seems pathologically unable to stop herself, in particular when it comes to Tweeting the shit out of every new relationship she enters into. She keeps getting hurt by it, and yet she keeps doing it. And I do find that really fascinating. I don’t want punishment for her at all, other than hoping she one day genuinely makes amends to the people she’s hurt. Far from punishment, I hope she gets some serious help, because she won’t find what she’s looking for — marriage, kids, happily ever after — until she does.
NYO: Turning the conversation to you, Jacy — when did you start the site? When did you become interested in Julia? Can you give me an idea of your readership and the sort of people who send in tips? What industry do you work in?
RBD: I didn’t start the site. I volunteered to help out, then my co-blogger (who had started the blog, and got shut down on Tumblr) departed, and then a few more of us came aboard. (Now there are three of us.) This would have been early 2009, when she started NonSociety, the collection of brightly colored Tumblrs she tried to pass off as a “tech startup.” There are real-life connections for some of us, including some connections to JA’s circle of associates.
Prior to that, we were occasional Gawker readers, never really commenters there, but Gawker introduced us to the Jakob and Julia blog. I knew people who knew her, and I’ve been watching her online reality show ever since. When she went onto Gawker and outed his alleged mental health issues (I think in early 2008?), then I knew everything I was hearing about her via her social circle was correct — she was unhinged. She sort of completely went off the rails because some dude dumped her, and one she felt was beneath her physically. I actually believe this was her psychic wound moment, the thing that narcissists never get past. Because the stuff she did behind the scenes on that front, in terms of the ways she tried to smear him to his closest friends and family members, to drive wedges between him and the people he loved the most in the world — she was off her nut. And I am not sure she ever really recovered.
By the end of 2008, the Baugher blogger decided not to blog much about her anymore, we decided to step in. Largely because we found her so entertaining, we knew there was an audience for her antics, and we knew she was going to provide us with a steady stream of online reality show episodes to parse, and that therefore it really wouldn’t require much work at all — that shit would write itself. And it has. The Jack McCain months — you couldn’t have made that stuff up.
Our readership — I don’t know why she’s so uptight about it, because relatively speaking, it’s small. I am guessing maybe 500 regulars, at the very most?
But this she should worry about: The people who send tips have included friends, former boyfriends, current girlfriends of former boyfriends, ex-girlfriends of former boyfriends, former “business partners,” friends and family members of former “business partners,” family members of former boyfriends, friends of new dudes she’s got in her cross-hairs, people in her agent’s office, her “dermatologist’s” office, disgruntled interns, people at Red Eye, at Star, at Time Out New York, people at Bravo, old family friends, onetime high-school classmates, and someone I actually suspected was a family member because of the details provided about a holiday meltdown.
That’s kind of telling, don’t you think?
My feeling is these people have tried everything to get her to either leave them alone or get some help, and in desperation, when she steadfastly refuses to hear their pleas, they turn to us. Which is why we are actually careful about what we go with. I won’t go with anything I feel was sent in a rage, not to protect her so much, but to protect the person who sent it from her lifelong wrath.