This strange trick will make the media talk about you

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It is humiliating to consider the things we know instead of the ones we should know. I can't tell you exactly how the Michigan Republicans are trying to illegally make their state of government, but I know why Lana Del Rey is angry with Twitter. So it goes: we want to be educated, conscientious citizens, intellectually activated, but occasionally (if not often) be satisfied with the funniest thing in front of us, in order to avoid losing our head under the weight of all that c & # 39 ; is to be considered. You can call yourself care of yourself, but it's better if you don't.

So it's with some knowledge of my behavior that I understand why, of all the current stories, the Caroline Calloway saga has so fervently grasped people on the Internet, or at least through a significant East Coast media range (many of which are mine) dear colleagues), which tends to be parasitic about Internet stories on the Internet because it means that they must never leave their posts. The shortened version: Calloway is a popular Instagram user who has amassed a huge following around 2014, when he started publishing romantic and rapacious consignments about his art history studies at Cambridge and the related social experiences that were quickly promoted by the platform algorithm. He signed a contract for a proposed memoir, which mysteriously failed soon after; has continued to publish on Instagram his still-present sequel, but has come to a greater attention at the beginning of 2019, when he staged a series of "creativity seminars" that have also passed, declaring it a potential scammer in one was obsessed with them.

On Instagram, she became increasingly obsessed with the negative attention of the media, often labeling journalists and Twitter users who had written about her, spreading more attention on her because her behavior seemed so blatantly blatant, and also because the journalists and Twitter users simply love being tagged. Finally, Tuesday night, Cutting published a huge essay by Natalie Beach, a former friend of Calloway who claims to have been responsible for the phantom writing of some of her materials, which described their friendship in detail and gave us a more behind-the-scenes look into the psyche of this apparently insignificant white woman who nevertheless managed to capture the attention of at least hundreds.

If you are looking for Twitter the composition or The name of Calloway, you can clearly see the interest of professional writers and editors who react to the story even if they have nothing to add in particular, simply because it is the dominant topic of the moment. It is a recurring phenomenon on the Internet: the perennially generative interest in a more compelling topic because there is a lot of talk, prompting users to say something just to not feel excluded. (That's why I know why Lana Del Rey is angry on Twitter and me too published in this regard.) But also (and forgive the embarrassing transition): why Calloway? What time?

The details of the relationship between Calloway and Beach are familiar in our modern era, but date back to time immemorial. An unsafe beta is hypnotized by the apparent intelligence and glamor of a confident alpha and is sucked into their orbit, ignoring one's feelings for the service to allow the behavior of the other. They have good moments, and some extraordinarily bad, before going their own way. Calloway is known as an Instagram influencer and her existence has been obsessively followed on the Internet, but all this behavior has occurred offline. "It's about being 20," a colleague said. And most of our alpha friends, if we had them, have never been so overly online as Calloway, who made fun of the existence of Cutting piece – again, an essay that "exposes" it for weeks and even linked to it in his Instagram account.

The interesting thing about the Beach essay is the way it resists the idea that Calloway "cheated" anyone who was present, also considering the interrupted seminars on creativity and the myriad of schemes to get rich quickly like selling his art ( strongly derived, too expensive). "People ask me if it's a Billy McFarland female, of both characters Ingrid goes west, Anna Delvey with a degree in art history, but I go back. If it was just the money and the fame he was looking for, all he had to do was shut up and let me do the job. … But it had to be her to tell her own life story, even if she couldn't. Caroline was caught between who she was and who she thought she was, which in the end may have been the most recognizable thing in her. That's why, when people ask me if Caroline is a scammer, I try to explain that if she is, her first sign is always herself. "There are no large-scale scams, apart from some people who did not get their pictures in the mail, his publisher (who recovered part of their advance) and perhaps his landlord.

But Calloway is guilty of a more existential scam. He pretended to be someone he is not, and he kept the facade even when it became increasingly unsustainable. It was built in such a fascinating ideal that it was held together with duct tape and string. This was not her idea: as Beach recounts, she was able to convince both of them that they were doing something new and vital. "Instagram is a real-time memoir. It is a memoir without the act of remembering. It is reducing the distance between writer, reader and critic, which is why it is the true feminist narrative, I would say to Caroline, trying to convince her that a white girl who learns to believe in herself could be the height of radicalism (comfortable, since I was also a white girl who learns to believe in herself) . "

It's the psychology that is familiar to me here. This level of trust between the galaxy and the brain: we are doing something radical, even if it is only a matter of posting messages, it is on the millennial media, since my colleagues have found themselves having to build careers in a sector that is constantly collapsing. For many, this takes the form of brand building through social media: they are not simply their work, but the person who accompanies it. This has been immensely profitable for some, even if their work is a bit of a shit, which lends itself to a wild amount of backchannel gossip about who deserves their success and who is really a hack. Based on this, it is paranoia for any brand building writer that could be a trick too – if it is true for other people who post too much and buy into their bullshit, then it might be true for them.

Other scammers like Billy McFarland and Anna Delvey have worked in environments unrelated to the common writer, but Calloway is much closer to people who think they have the task of analyzing it for an audience fascinated by any "content" they produce.

Some people face it by publicly leaving Twitter – of course, you can't just say goodbye to Irish, you have to to tell the people you are leaving, bask in their pleas for "don't go!" and they'll probably come back a week later because you can't work without dopamine. Others double up, convincing themselves that they are doing a bold and original job by posting unusual jokes and dispatches from their therapy sessions in order to defeat the annoying anxiety that wheels are spinning and that they should actually go to law school. This is what Calloway did: along with Beach, he sold himself (and thousands of others) the myth that he was doing a bold and original job, when it was only the variety of gardens fed by Adderall, familiar to any young urban Shithead with money and a little social access. And, like many other hacks, it has had momentary success because of this – as well as being extremely transparent, without being exactly aware of itself, of its failures as its miniature influencer empire slowly collapses.

Other scammers like Billy McFarland and Anna Delvey have worked in environments unrelated to the common writer, but Calloway is much closer to people who think they have the task of analyzing it for an audience fascinated by any "content" they produce. We (and for us, in particular I mean colleagues who can't stop talking about it) we can recognize exactly what they are doing, and for some it is exceptionally exasperating because it is success that we should have. For this reason, it has earned the concentrated schadenfreude of a media class enabled to download it everywhere because it is an outsider – given the clear social division between Twitter and Instagram – engaging in many family behaviors. I mean, I can think of at least a dozen other socially manipulative and intellectually bankrupt writers who have perpetrated far worse personal and professional scams, but that my peers will never air out loud because they don't want to shake the tree and bring in a world of bird shit. But Calloway, a white woman with unlimited access to the Internet and a pathological commitment to never disconnecting, is a simple pressure valve for the anxieties and obligations felt by a generation of writers and editors who try to build themselves authentically, even if it's obvious that cheaters make it prosper.

It's not exactly the envy that feeds the comment – not everyone wants to be a professional Instagrammer, and certainly no one wants to resist such a public broadcast of grievances. I would qualify it as fascinated disbelief: This What wins a six-figure contract and a legion of devoted fans? Is this the lack of shame required to "do it" in some writing environments? He could I to rise to that level of shamelessness? I already have? It is fascinating, even if you feel, as I read the essay on Beach, which is so personal and banal that it should have been challenged offline, rather than in public for everyone to enter. Family psychology aside, it's not like some of us know Calloway or what afflicts her. But it doesn't matter, when the conversation continues to boil.

There are many other facets of this story that I cannot write about: I am a man, so I am not in tune with the gender specificities of the behavior and relationship of Calloway and Beach; I use Instagram just to watch Korean dogs, so I don't know how that community is taking it; I only know her from the beginning of this year and so I've definitely lost many of the breathtaking accidents and little betrayals that have occurred over the years.

But I know a little because writers and editors on Twitter decide to obsess over something, even when it seems insignificant for the big world. In this case, it is because Calloway has achieved a level of success that many of us aspire to, in increasingly limiting circumstances. It's a scam fraud, but it's more than many people have done. I would be almost impressed if it wasn't so upsetting.

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