Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Message boards of the rich and famous

A few years ago, I formed a light long-distance friendship with a successful screenwriter out in LA.

After launching a barrage of questions that all boiled down to, “How can Duff get famous?” I put the narcissism aside and started asking about the interesting stuff.

I wanted to know the inside story. How do million-dollar deals get made? Who decides when a script is good enough to get funded? Where do the gatekeepers go to decide the future of the entertainment industry?

These decisions used to be made in person but increasingly they’re being made on Internet message boards. My friend let it slip and tried to move on to other topics but I made him go back.

I said, “Wait a minute. You’re telling me there are secret Internet message boards where the Hollywood elite gather to decide the future of the industry?”

He said, “Pretty much, yeah.”

I asked if he’d let me see one and he laughed in my webcam-transmitted face.

I’ve never been one to believe in conspiracies, secret societies or the Illuminati but I find the idea romantic. I want to live in a world ruled by an elite conspiracy of supergeniuses, but surely if someone was ruling the world it would make more sense.

I suspect that the world is run by a collection of tedious workaholics, like characters on the West Wing who’ve had all their charm and sex-appeal removed.

But the dream remains.

Not all “elite” web sites are secret. Black Card Circle.com made waves last year by sending out special black cards to invite high-profile people to their “8-8-08” launch. Unfortunately, many users thought the invites looked like marketing material and threw them in the trash.

I’m not cool enough to be invited to Black Card Circle but their marketing materials are unabashedly elitist: “Black Card Circle’s community is comprised of ‘Influential Individuals’ whom are defined as ‘CIAs’ – ‘Connectors, Influencers, and Alphas’. CIAs possess either financial capital, social capital, or both, and include, but are not limited to, respected professionals, upstanding community leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs.”

I love the use of the word “Alphas” here. It makes me think of Bill Gates with his foot planted on the face of a defeated enemy, beating his chest like Tarzan.

It sounds like a great opportunity, a secret message board where you can mingle with the rich and powerful. But in my experience, the more powerful a person is in real life, the less likely they are to have computer skills.

We’ve seen it over and over again — respected politicians and celebrities reduced to gibbering rage when they see what people on the Internet are saying about them.

Swapping message board chatter with the rich and famous may sound like fun, but I suspect the result would be less impressive in real life.

I suspect it would look something like this:

“New to this Internet thing but thought I’d say hi. What is everybody doing?” — owinfrey

“MY SON MADE ME PLUG THIS IN. DOES IT COST MONEY WHEN I TYPE HERE?” — jbiden

“This board is free but watch out for spammers. And look for me on Twitter!” — ngingrich

“‘Sup, Newt. Bill wanted me to invite you for barbecue next week.” — hclinton

“CAN I COME?” — jbiden

“Is it just politicians here or can normal people post?” — stillbono

“Who are you calling ‘normal?'” — sting99

“Any TV people here?” — rphilbin

“Reeeeeeeeeeg!” — kgifford

“Is that Regis Philbin? I thought he was dead.” — dhasselhoff

“OMG, it’s the Knight Ridder!” — mcyrus

“Oh for god’s sake. It’s Knight RIDER. How old are you? And I wasn’t THE Knight Rider. It’s not a title. It’s not a job. It was just the name of the show. God, I hate when people do that.” — dhasselhoff

“You got off easy, Hoff. Twenty years since my show went off the air and people still treat me like an illiterate thug. Oh, BTW, the Blizzard people asked me for your number. You wanna be a Death Knight or a Priest?” — mistert

“Nice work, Hoff. Pick on a teenage girl. That’s it, you and me are done professionally.” — cbale

“Hey guys, check this out. It’s a photo of a cat, but it’s got words printed on it like the cat is talking. It’s saying something cute, like a person would, but it’s spelled wrong because it’s a cat, get it?” — shawking

“Oh god, more Ron Paul spam. Anybody know how to get yourself off a mailing list?” — hclinton

“You could always fake your death.” — rnixon

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Written by Michael B. Duff

May 28, 2009 at 18:44

Posted in Best Of, Columns, Humor

2 Responses

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  1. Hey Michael – does Biden have your Internet number?????

    Pat Curry

    May 29, 2009 at 11:54

  2. “Black Card Circle’s community is comprised of ‘Influential Individuals’ whom are defined as ‘CIAs’ – ‘Connectors, Influencers, and Alphas’. CIAs possess either financial capital, social capital, or both, and include, but are not limited to, respected professionals, upstanding community leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs.”

    I wouldn’t want to be a part of any “secret society” that doesn’t know the difference between “who” and “whom”, or worse…one that uses “whom” just to sound pompous because no one else knows the difference either.

    Matt

    June 12, 2009 at 14:45


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