Jon Finkel, who was publicly slammed on Monday by Alyssa Bereznak for being a former professional Magic: The Gathering player responded to comments on Reddit about a boy-meets-girl-meets-Internet date gone horribly awry that has fast become an Internet meme.
Finkel summarized the incident on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything format:
I went out uneventfully with a girl a couple weeks ago and we never spoke again. Then she posts about how she cant believe I didn’t warn her I was an ex magic world champion, and the internet had issues with that.
Understandably, Finkel was a little upset by Bereznak’s post:
I felt a little, I dunno, violated. Even though the post itself didnt make me look bad at all(at least I didnt think). Still, its sort of like someone publishing emails you wrote to your girlfriend, or posting part of your diary – it just feels wrong
His friends were not sympathetic (they never are):
I got home from work yesterday and there were about 50 emails from my friends linking to it, with of course the prerequisite mockery
One of the most-asked questions was if Finkel had any idea Bereznak planned to write the article before going on their dates. Paul Tassi at Forbes has posited that Gawker intentionally “nerd baited” the gaming community by publishing Bereznak’s provocative post.
I dont think she was farming for content. It was just one of those things where the conversation isnt really flowing, you have to keep trying to think of things to say, etc.
As for the Internet’s response to the article itself:
I think it’s kind of funny. I mean really the article coulda been a lot worse. I think I’m unpale (for me at least) after a summer of riding my bike and playing basketball, and I dont know if I’ve ever worn a ‘hedge fund uniform’ but there are worse things than “He was tall and thin and I cant believe he didnt tell me about this game he used to be really good at”
A point that was lost in Bereznak’s article was that one of the reasons Finkel decided to date her was because he Googled Bereznak first. Finkel enjoyed Bereznak’s article about her father and Ayn Rand. Finkel also dealt with the issue of him pursuing multiple Gawker Media women, which was apparently the reason the article was written in the first place:
Maybe 3 or 4 months ago a different girl who works at one of gawkers other sites sent me a message on OK Cupid, we went out twice. They were better dates but after the second one with her we parted ways and never contacted each other. But she didnt post about it on the internet
What about that Jeffrey Dahmer play? Finkel explains why he chose the play for their date:
It was a local NYC fringe show that looked kinda interesting and was playing at the right time so I figured why not check it out. For the record I think it was a great concept with so-so execution. Polished up(remember, we’re talking off off broadway here) it could be excellent, and it made me want to check out more things by the creator/star.
For the record, Finkel has not spoken to Bereznak since the post and has no plans to do so in the future. Ultimately, he took the high road.
“It’s nice to know the internet has my back, so in total it looks like it was a net positive,” said Finkel. But not TOO positive. “I still feel oddly creeped out by it.”