confessions embarrassment

Ian's Construx Xonfezzionz: The [deek] Incident

9:41:00 AMPaul

[Ed. note] Please allow for some shoddy writing as I've been reading nothing but in preparation for this feature:
I've been lobbying with Paul to institute a tangental nostalgia feature about our most embarrassing moments throughout life (as if our entire lives weren't bad enough on the day-to-day).  Paul's response was that he really didn't have embarrassing stories to tell, which I fully believe.  I guess my self-censor was always a bit off, which was never aided by Paul's suggested actions and assurances that they'd be hilarious... Here's the result.  I hope you enjoy hearing about what truly shames me and makes me feel like a complete fraud. 

This particular Xonfezzion is a big one, one I've been trying to live down or overshadow ever since it came to light in 2003.  Damn.


As a junior in college, I realized that jobs, just like colleges, look at a resume for extracirriculars.  Being an English major, I looked for ec's related to writing (poorly), even though I should have realized that as an English major, it didn't much bother what else my resume said (I immediately recall two other, completely different stories where that specific fact came to an infuriating light).  So after submitting to several campus literary journals and failing (I cannot stress how terrible my writing was at this point), I decided I possessed enough integrity to pursue collegiate journalism.

That's where enters the billowy bosom of Matt Stroud, someone about my age, skin tone and purportedly cynical demeanor who had secured money from the Honors College to establish Deek or deek or [deek] Magazine which was paid for in part by the Student Activities fund (which the sum of some-odd $250 per semester).

On the promise of future inclusion of my poetic works (which mostly focused on words that sound alike and the fact that I managed to read The Wasteland once), I assumed duties as a contributor, which meant helping to distribute copies of the first incident (he called the issues incidents) and then writing what was supposed to be a concert review for the upcoming one.  His suggestion was a show at the Mr. Roboto Project (a punk venue suspiciously named after a prog-rock song).  Mine was for a friend's band called Monarch.  We agreed to do both.


Until this very moment I have not had the courage to re-read the articles about each band.  Feel free to read along with me:

As you can imagine, the wrath of the downright upstanding dirty angry white kid community was swift and just.  In fact, you may wonder how a magazine with virtually no readership even garnered notice much less notoriety.  Well, the reactions published in the following incident were actually culled from the DIY space's online message board (now gone the way of most message boards in general), from a thread initially prompted by an incognito Stroud (or [stroud]?) linking to the article and soliciting responses.  He thanked me early on for not interfering, and I quickly discovered why.

As you can see, it became focus and fodder for editor-in-cheif (I still have no clue what it entails!) to scoop up some new readers or controversey.  In fact, he constructed a poorly conceived feature for the editorial section, but why I was cast as the counterpunk, I will never know.

  So yes, I was young, the DAWKs were young, we were all young, so why be embarrassed (aside from the horrible writing)?

And really, I think both sides have valid points.  But basically none of this needed to be written and it will always stand as a testament to the brazen snottiness of my early 20's.  Everyone knows and already knew for decades that "DIY" kids are jackasses and I was just being a fey brat.
The fact is that I still agree with 21 year old Ian that if people are gonna be so protective of their atmosphere then they shouldn't charge $5.  No need to write a sassy essay though.  More importantly, I don't think there's any need for anyone to exist in any critical capacity, not music food or art critics and definitely not scene observationalists.  (except this!)  Let the little dirty white brats pout while the Revolution does happen and they completely miss the point! 

Talk about missing the point... I'm still very snotty, but here's the really truly pantwettingly embarrassing portion:

In the same issue where I'm defending my legitimate stance as an outside observer, I write this pandering piece of completely rosy and bias praise

What I hoped to gain by holding these pretty phoney hipsters so highly I will never know. But since there was no publicity to be gained from this piece (of), I was granted a phone call from the elusive Stroud, telling me where I went wrong (All I remember is, "C'mon man, better than Jeff Buckley? I read that and was like, 'Ouch.'" It was indeed my last assignment for the publication.  Let's watch as I again squirm, reading this homoer-article for the first time in over 7 years:


I remember spending the following December following the message boards closely wherein very specific threats were made and someone claimed to know what I looked like.  For my part, I consulted the very limited circle of friends I had who kindly justified me after listening to my carefully tailored story,  In fact, one such friend, a then TA in the FFA, offered some consolation by relating similar experiences which I then posted verbatim to the MRP message board without any permission.  That sorta scummy thing is also embarrassing.

I guess I should feel vindicated that a few months later, my neighbor, an editor on the Pitt News commented that I had left "a sinking ship."  The whole publication was a joke and I happen to agree with the Roboto Booking comment.  But this guy kept popping up in my life, occasionally passing me on the streets with this smug look on his face that made me want to crack his glasses and stick the shards under his fingernails.  Then, while working in a similar (and similarly shameful) capacity for a different, slightly more respectable journal (itself the focus of no less than three embarassing stories), that louse Stroud showed up at a release party to accept an award for 2nd place best prose from that board of editors (is that right?)

It's important to note that years later (after watching the girl I had a crush on and left my girlfriend to try to be with walk off with her then boyfriend with whom she "half-broke up"), at my first Mr. Small's show--Vic Chesnutt and Jonathan Richman-- that I had intended to walk home to my Swissvale apartment.  I asked a guy [who had a wife and kids in tow] for directions towards town (why I needed them I guess I don't remember), to which he responded fairly unhesitantly "You aren't walking home are you?  We saw you at the show, we'll give you a ride where you're going."  I always felt somewhat vindicated by that admittedly unusual occurrence. 

I guess the reason this entire incident still irritates me, aside from being shown up, maligned and degraded and pawned up the river and not having the good sense to know better is that my words were chopped and altered to a somewhat significant degree. Now, I know is long blown away (after being blown out of proportion), but if this Chani from SDM still exists and still wants to come for my throat, let's consider this a formal invite.  In fact, let's organize an event at the Roboto.  In fact, I would sincerely not mind taking Stroud and/or this Siciliano jerk into the ring for some charity boxing. (Deep underlying issues??)

Thank you for following along as I own up to this thoroughly deflating misadventure in self-(ostracism)I very sincerely invite anyone even tengentally involved with this incident to rebut.  Please send videos or written rants to the below email.
So if you have any questions about my life or were directly invovled in a truly embarrassing moment that you feel deserves 100% disclosure or if you suspect me of some immoral transgression that I myself have forgotten, please send a request to

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