Rebecca: So I got sucked into a James Nord black-hole last night
Me: Oh, I am sorry. How bad was it?
Rebecca: Pretty bad, I went through the blog, then made it all the back through your college Facebook photos
Me: Sweet Jesus.
Rebecca: Yea, but you know what? It is nice to know that being James Nord didn’t always come so naturally to you.
Everyone involved in this story has a web site.
So this friend of my friend’s boyfriend, Chris, barbeques a lot. And a fellow frequenter of these barbeques is this guy named James Nord, who I will continue to refer to as James Nord because his name is more fun to say that way.
I met James Nord a couple of times, noticed he shaved legs, which he claimed was for cycling, but I suspect was mostly to show off his shorts. The most fun I ever had with James Nord was when his brother Dylan Nord, my friend Jordan and I google-imaged 80s Ferraris, and James Nord insisted he was going to buy one, despite how absurd having an expensive (and expensive to maintain) car in Manhattan would be. This conversation went in circles, with James Nord acknowledging he’d be an asshole to own a 80s vintage Ferrari, and only to look at the car, and decide again he needed one.
(Also, during this experience, Jordan found her dream car, only to realize moments later that it was a toy.)
So the fall came, and Chris stopped having barbeques and I stopped seeing James Nord, until I saw one of his photos on Gothamist, and then found his web site, fell into the James Nord black hole referred to above.
The Jamesnord.com experience is a weird mix of voyeurism and exhibitionism, not exactly like the James Nord acquaintance experience. Online, his life is fascinating and filled with great natural light. In real life, he’s just a dude who can laugh at how seriously he takes fashion and sometimes goes home early to bike in the morning. But on the internet, people who have never eaten Chris’s rubbed chicken with James Nord, have feelings about him. Like a lot of feelings – some want to be him, some hate him, some want to join his family. James Nord is a stranger to these people, but he’s sort of an internet celebrity.
Recently, I’ve come into the real life friendship of people who refuse to be on Facebook. While I admire their self-control, they’re on the wrong side of history. People like sharing their lives on the internet, and they like consuming the lives of strangers. Everyone gets to be the star of their own web based reality show. It’s a weird thing to watch happen, but it is happening.