Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The path that led me to a great guy...(and a woman who loves her cat)

1.  I subscribe to Broken Toys, so I saw this, "OMG OMG OMG OMG GIRLS YOU WONT BELIEVE THIS I ALMOST DATED A GAMER AND I *LIVED*," and naturally had to look.

2.  I clicked a link that took me to an article called ""My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player” UGH UGH UGH" on NerdPuddle (great name) written by Kiala who describes herself thusly* in her bio:
"Kiala are a perfessionel righter. You may have seen her words on Nerdist, io9, SFWeekly, the Portland Mercury, GeekWeek, and Heartless Doll. She hates being sober and would marry her cat if the goddamn GOP would let her. She loves you in your private parts."
She sounded cute and her pic was cute... maybe Jon Finkel should hook up with her.

3.  I clicked on the links that led to the original article on Gizmodo, "My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player," which appears to have been written by Alyssa Bereznak (the editor of Gizmodo, can that be right?**), and Finkel's Wikipedia page.  (ETA:  Reported unedited version of the original article.)

4.  I discovered Finkel, a 33-year-old, award-winning, professional Magic: The Gathering player.

I'll tell you what I learned about the guy, and it's not what the author of the Gizmodo article learned, which she says was...
"Google the shit out of your next online date. Like, hardcore."
Fair enough.

This is what I learned:

1.  Jon Finkel is an alpha male.
2.  Jon Finkel is a closer.  (Jon Finkel to the author of the original article:  "You should go out with me. :)"  Result?  She went out with him.)
3.  Jon Finkel is probably a good conversationalist.  ("We started talking about normal stuff—family, work, college.")
4.  Jon Finkel is probably a good date.  ("We met for a drink later that week." "Jon had bought us tickets for a one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life story."  Okay, the choice of subject matter could definitely be up for debate...creepy, ironic, innocent, funny?  Bet it made for great post-show conversation.  Regardless, the man bought drinks and two tickets to a show, showed up, dressed appropriately, on time.  He appears to have been both courteous and chatty.  Sounds good to me.)
5.  Jon Finkel is a real man.  (He has a beard and eats goat cheese.)
6.  Jon Finkel has friends and admirers.
7.  John Finkel, in the words of someone who does not even appreciate him, is "widely revered" within his professional circle.  He's even been compared to Chuck Norris.  (See # 1.)
8.  Jon Finkel is kind of famous.  (The man has his own Wikipedia page and people compare him to Chuck Norris.)
9.  Jon Finkel is a good sport with a sense of humor and perspective.  (Finkel Tweets:  "Apparently I'm enough of a (grade d) celebrity that even my uneventful dates make the news." "Id like to thank everyone for their messages, and Im sorry I cant reply to them all - especially all the date requests from cute nerdy girls" "At that point I just thought she was a nice girl, which I still mostly think. God knows we've all made poor decisions in our lives.")
10.  Jon Finkel is an investor.  (Which means he has money and he may even know how to use it.)
11. Jon Finkel is a managing partner at the hedge fund Landscape Capital Management. ("Jon was thin and tall, dressed in a hedge fund uniform with pale skin and pierced ears.")
12.  Jon Finkel is highly-motivated, passionate about something and successful.  He also appears to be well-groomed, considerate, gentlemanly, generous and likable.  Ya know, a good date, possibly even "a catch."
13.  Jon Finkel will probably get a lot of dates out of this unfortunate article.  Good for him.

Seriously, I read an article in which a highly-motivated young man with passion and interests and gainful employment took a woman out on a date, bought her drinks, took her to a show and made nice conversation and...what was the problem again?  From where I sit, which I admit is way over here, it doesn't look like the problem was his.  I think he can count himself lucky she not only cut bait so quickly, but so widely advertised his availability.

(Btw, many of the comments I've seen about the article are in line with mine only much more succinct, i.e. "I don't get it.")

Don't be mislead by the title.  I'm ten years older than this guy and I live on the other side of the country.  He's all yours, girls.  (Besides, I'm rooting for Kiala).

Young women?  There will likely come a time in your life when you appreciate the fact that your man has a hobby that keeps him busy.  Consider men who play golf.  Then consider women who hand their men their golf bags and push them out the door at least once a week.  Think on that a while.

Many, many people in the U.S. play games these days, even, I know this will surprise you, online games, card games and fantasy roleplay games.  Not all of them have won over $300,000 playing games though.  And not all of them are number one with the trophies to prove it.

Going on dates with people you've met on OKCupid is not a hack or infiltration.  It's, ya know, meeting people online and then going on dates with them.  You might be surprised how many people do it.

Is it a lie or sin of omission to not mention in your dating profile that you are the world champion of a game?  No, don't be silly.  It is, however, a great topic of conversation for a date.

*I don't care what they say I'm using it anyway.
** I ask because she writes for Gizmodo and dates via OKCupid...and she thinks Finkel's a geek and that he "inflitrated"...do I really need to explain this?


ETA:  Just like not all dogs are poodles, not all Objectivists are your father.


  1. "Young women? There will likely come a time in your life when you appreciate the fact that your man has a hobby that keeps him busy. Consider men who play golf. Then consider women who hand their men their golf bags and push them out the door at least once a week. Think on that a while."

    Ok...that was really funny.
    I Lol'ed bigtime.
    Kudos to you.

  2. On the basis of her photo - we'll ignore that she almost certainly did not ask the guy whether she could tell the world about their dates, which gives her an F on my report card - Alyssa should be pleased that someone would go out with her twice.

    Pep (Strong legs, shame about the face.)

  3. @ Orfeu: Thank you. /me grins.

    @ Pep: Hello GlynsDad. ;)

    Yes, *a lot* of the commentary, beyond the "what's wrong with being a gamer," is along the lines of what brain fart led you to the complete lapse in journalist ethics in posting the guy's name?

  4. I also read her piece on how her father's interest in Randian Objectivism ruined her childhood.

    She's getting a masters degree in journalism and she's in New York. My take, based on the two pieces, is that she's trying too hard. Both pieces collapse under their own weight. But she's young. She may develop into a good journalist and writer one day. Stranger things have happened. And as Jon Finkel so graciously said, "God knows we've all made poor decisions in our lives."

  5. I stole a couple of comments from Broken Toys.

    Riprend said...

    "I feel like it's more of that she just wasn't into Finkel but found a big hook for a story. Can't say I really blame her, either... Taking a girl to a jeffrey dahmer one man act on the first date isn't exactly the greatest way to tap into the red zone. So to speak."

    Michael Zenke said...

    "To repeat myself: It's 2011, nerds won. Get over it. It's been in a few papers."

  6. This is the bit that got edited out of the original article:

    "Also, for all you world famous nerds out there: Don’t go after two Gawker Media employees and not expect to have a post written about you. We live for this kind of stuff."

    This is the editorial note that was added to the Australian version of the article:

    "Australian Editor’s Note: We disagree with the US author of this post."

  7. And speaking of profile disclosures, Mark said...

    "Where on her profile did she state, 'I am a technology blogger who may exploit our date for laughs at your expense.'"


  8. Paul Tassi said...

    "Now, I’m not here to debate about just how shallow of a person Ms. Bereznak is, the internet has lambasted her plenty for this. The fact that people can be superficial or stuck in a high school mindset is not news, as it unfortunately happens every day, even as the stigma of “nerdom” is slowly fading from popular culture as almost everyone likes superheroes and video games these days.

    Rather, I want to look at the fact that as of the time I’m writing this, that article has 529,280 views. For those of you lacking a frame of reference, that’s an astonishing number, especially for something a mere 12 short paragraphs long.

    I think that Alyssa knew EXACTLY what she was doing when she wrote this post. It’s the tried and true practice of online nerd-baiting in order to get traffic, and this, perhaps more than any other example, shows just how well it works.

    People love to hate, and therefore writing a post trashing something people love, or stating an opinion that can so obviously be demolished is clearly bating for traffic. This is a practice I’ve seen across many of the Gawker sites before (Gizmodo being one of them), but this is a whole new level.

    The fact that this was published on Gizmodo (the tech blog) rather than say, Jezebel (the snarky female empowerment blog) within the Gawker network speaks volumes about what they were trying to do. Gizmodo’s readership is hugely male, and hugely tech savvy and therefore mostly “nerdy” in the traditional sense. To post something trashing a “geeky” activity like Magic the Gathering would be the equivalent of their video game blog Kotaku writing a post trashing professional eSports. Oh wait, they did that too.(link)

    Why does this happen? Why would a woman subject herself to be publicly dragged through the mud by the entire male population of the internet? It’s because the life of a freelancer is based around getting hits, as the more you get, the more you get paid. This is especially true with the notoriously sketchy Gawker pay model, and though I don’t know specific numbers, I can safely say that Alyssa is riding a wave of nerd tears all the way to the bank after this post."


  9. Ask Jon Finkel anything: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/jz3u7/iama_jon_finkel_ask_me_anything/

  10. I'd encourage people to go to that reddit link. It's pretty funny.

  11. Simone Wilson said...

    "And just for the record, rest of you: This is a Gizmodo intern's dream. Girl just figured out how to bag 600,000+ page views with some simple anecdotal fluff -- she's well on her way to becoming Intern of the Month. (Also, this isn't the first time stupid boys have called her ugly/ruined her Google results because they were butthurt she didn't like them. Been there, over that.)"

    "Updates to come. Because, admittedly, we can't tear our eyes off this shitshow, no matter how predictable a tech blogger versus nerd army battle it may be."


  12. Michael Tresca said...

    "Alyssa Bereznak, who yesterday publicly blasted Magic: The Gathering tournament champion Jon Finkel for two bad dates, has been on the defensive. She added a defensive explanation to the beginning and end of her post."

    "It gets better though, because there's an unedited version on the Australia version of Gizmodo. The difference between the two articles is illustrative of just what went wrong with the American version. Let's start with the positive: the Australian post, which may well be the original version of the article, does not mention Finkel's name. That's the article's one redeeming trait. Bolstered by Finkel's anonymity, Bereznak's vitriolic attack becomes even nastier. For one, Bereznak knew Finkel was a hedge fund manager."

    "Bereznak's article was a petty revenge tactic against Finkel for "infiltrating" OKCupid and "going after" two "Gawker Media employees." This is a high school tiff. Bereznak wanted to get revenge on Finkel for what she perceives as Internet philandering.

    Would the Australian version have been any better? In some ways it's worse – anyone could Google Finkel (except Bereznak, apparently) and figure out who he was, which is perhaps why the American version links every reference to him. If there's a moral to this sad tale, it's that Gawker Media employees apparently live for revenge."

    Continue reading on Examiner.com Critical Fumble: The real motivation behind the Magic dating article gone awry - National RPG | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/rpg-in-national/critical-fumble-the-real-motivation-behind-the-magic-dating-article-gone-awry#ixzz1WXIH2vBr

  13. See the cartoon on GeekDad: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/dork-tower-special-edition/

  14. Mystic Warlords of Ka'a is a far superior game anyway. ^_^


  15. NOOOOOOO! Not enchanted bunny!

    (You know how much I love it when you make BBT references)


  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_5_jt8hlI4


  17. LOL , hey Lee ...remember when you called me an over achiever? uh huh....you have had an entire conversation ...while we watched! I'm still sifting and reading ...I don't have enough hours in the day to keep up with you!

  18. I have mutant supapowahs. Mary says so.

  19. http://youtu.be/bUWXjs2jPQI

    @Colleen... just go limp, it's less painful that way.

  20. ROFL I'm exhausted and up at 6 AM ...I'll try to catch up again tomorrow on this post.

  21. @Lee: The reddit link did provide some lols. I am particularly fond of the phrase: Don't give a Finkel.

  22. Finkel said...

    "We're more of a shrubbery fund. There are 5 of us partners and 2 employees. Its a pretty natural progression from advantage gambling(or gaming) though."



  23. Here's a spoof on the original article. This one is by Matt Blum of GeekDad on Wired.



Blog Archive