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November 08, 2006

A Picture of Interest Only to True Blog Dorks


I've noted before that I and Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo were in the same high school class together (Webb School of California, '87), and here's some documentary proof for you that I can't believe I actually haven't posted before: a picture of me and Josh from our high school days. Josh is the second from the right, in the white shirt, whereas I'm second from the left, in the black sweater, with the hair and the impossibly horizontal eyebrows.

The picture, incidentally is for the "Faith Gang" -- an interdenominational group on the campus who helped bring speakers from various philosophies and religions onto campus to speak at our chapel. Each of us represented some particular faith or philosophy: Rahmi Mowjood on the left was either Hindu or Muslim (hey, it was 20 years ago), Rich Garcia on the right was Catholic, Josh was Jewish, and I was the humanist representative, because in high school I was a godless heathen. I believe this picture was taken right after dinner, which would explain why everyone else in the photo is wearing suit and tie (it was boarding school); in fact, it was probably Sunday dinner, because everyone's wearing their school tie as required for Sunday Chapel, and really, no one would be caught wearing a tie that hideous if they weren't made to. I'm not entirely sure how I managed to get away with a sweater and jeans. I was just that way. I believe I may still have that sweater. I dare not attempt to fit into it.

One may reasonably ask what was in the water at our school that two members of the Webb School Class of 1987 have gone on to become Meggastarz of Teh IntarWeebs, yo; to be honest I really couldn't tell you. I think it was the mercury. Also, to be accurate, Josh is the Meggastar of Teh IntarWeebs of the two of us, with a current Technorati ranking of 75; with my Technorati ranking of 1033, I'm a bit down the Web Celebrity food chain -- the Internet Yo La Tengo to his online REM, if you will. But, you know. Go look at the Talking Points Memo Web empire and tell me he doesn't deserve it. Anyway, I've got my science fiction geek fame going on; I'm doing fine, thanks.

My question is not why the two of us are relatively well-known blog types but where the heck aren't other people from our high school out here blogging their asses off. I mean, come on: hyper-educated spawn of West Coast nuevo riche? What about the demographic doesn't scream "blogger"? (although, truth to tell I was the school annual charity case and I don't think Josh was from crazy rich parentage either. Hmmmm.) There are a few other Webb blogs (ha!), but not a whole lot that I know about. Clearly this needs to be corrected. So if you or anyone you know blogs and attended the Webb School of California (or, heck, the Webb Schools in Bell Buckle or Knoxville; I'm not picky), you should let me know. Heck, we've got the right school name for blogging.

Posted by john at November 8, 2006 09:39 PM

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Adela | November 8, 2006 10:46 PM

Awe, you were so cute in your teen dork stage.
I think every one in your tribe has that sweater at one point or another.

Chris Barzak | November 8, 2006 11:23 PM

I think that sweater is actually still stylin. I'd wear it.

Chang, who loves Democracy | November 8, 2006 11:59 PM

omfg hair.

Jay Lake | November 9, 2006 12:04 AM

I didn't realize you were a prep school boy. Me, I'm Choate, 1982. No famous bloggers or SF people from my class of whom I am aware...

Chris Barrus | November 9, 2006 03:20 AM

Hey thanks for the link (Technorati #178,279). Nicholas Corwin from Webb blogs at: der-germanist.blogspot.com

Miko | November 9, 2006 04:28 AM

That's some kickin' rad hair you got. Makes me want to grow mine out again.

Simon | November 9, 2006 05:04 AM

But some of us prefer the edgy coolness of Yo La Tengo to the world conquering behemoth that is REM.

Chang, who loves Democracy | November 9, 2006 07:22 AM

I went to boarding school, but it was a Quaker boarding school. The Oakwood School, in fact. When people look askance at me when I say boarding school, I must maake the point that there is boarding school and prep school. Mine was the type of school coming out of a 70's and 80's slump where teaching smoke pot openly with students and slept with them. The latter still went on when I was there in at least one case.

Stephen G | November 9, 2006 08:53 AM

I, too, am amazed by the hair. O tempora! O aquanet! Fortunately for me, my earlier sartorial disasters, including an unfortunate period of having winged hair, are trapped between covers and not searchable on the web.

Patrick | November 9, 2006 08:57 AM

That picture is so very "Facts of Life", and you are so VERY clearly Jo. Rebel without a tie!

KL | November 9, 2006 10:03 AM

I must echo Patrick's ultra-dorky 80's reference.

John is SO totally Jo.

Scott Mactavish | November 9, 2006 10:24 AM

Scalzi (or whomever)...

Speaking of blogs and blogging...Is there a reliable site that ranks blogs according to traffic?

With millions of blogs out there, how does one find the top hundred or so? Is Technorati the ranking site of choice?


Mactavish the bl0g n00b

Steve Buchheit | November 9, 2006 10:45 AM

Wow, looking very Rick Sprinfield-ish there Scalzi. Say, is that a "feathered" haircut?

Kelsey | November 9, 2006 10:46 AM

Every flock of sheep has a black one.

Is that a wool sweater?

Steve Brady | November 9, 2006 11:54 AM

Why John, you had such pretty girl hair!

John Scalzi | November 9, 2006 11:58 AM

Yeah, well. It's gone now.

I still have the eyebrows, however.

mds | November 9, 2006 12:19 PM

I believe I may still have that sweater. I dare not attempt to fit into it.

Yeah, well, too many beef sticks with American cheese on Wonder Bread will do that.

Wait, you graduated high school the same year I did? Why, I too attended a private high school. A Christian one. A Christian Reformed one. A Christian Reformed one full of extremely insular Dutch Midwestern-Americans. In retrospect, it seems odd that I did not gnaw off one of my limbs in order to escape.

And yes, you and Mr. Marshall were so cute. Of course, Mr. Marshall is now actually nerdier looking, while you have matured like a fine wine, unburdened by the dragging weight of too much hair. Remember, grass doesn't grow on a busy highway. Or so I tell myself.

--mds, Technorati rank [Divide by zero error]

Carol Elaine | November 9, 2006 01:16 PM

mds, is Rob Marshall nerdier looking just because he wears glasses? I think they make him look sexier, so your "nerdier looking" is my "ooh, smart yummy guy."

I mean, he's no John Scalzi, but who is?

Aside from John, of course...

And yes, John, you are definitely Jo. But Rob Marshall has taken his jacket off, so he's almost as much a rebel as you. Or maybe he was just warm.

Michael Rawdon | November 9, 2006 01:30 PM

...because in high school I was a godless heathen.
And today you are... what, exactly?

Lisa | November 9, 2006 01:38 PM

I've seen this picture before??? I'm getting deja vu.

Oh, I think we discussed your faith gang many, many moons ago possibly in IM. I'd never forget a title like "faith gang." I think those kinds of extracurriculars that try to be cool and withit only happen in prep school. In my school, to pad people's college applications, it would have been called "The Interfaith League of Future Leaders of America" or something. But at prep school, you've already got, well, the prep school thing going for your resume. So you need the "gang" wording to make you seem well rounded and not totally dweebed out.

I kid. I can't see the pic so well now, but back then I remember thinking you were pretty cute as a young godless heathen.

John Scalzi | November 9, 2006 01:42 PM


"I've seen this picture before???"

Possibly -- I could have sworn I've posted it before, but a quick look through my archives came up with nothing.

Also, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the comparison to Jo on Facts of Life. On the other hand, Jo was, like, hot. Nancy McKeon... mmmmmm.

mds | November 9, 2006 02:43 PM

mds, is Rob Marshall nerdier looking just because he wears glasses? I think they make him look sexier, so your "nerdier looking" is my "ooh, smart yummy guy."

Oh, perish the thought. Of course glasses can be sexy. [Ostentatiously polishes lenses] No, it's just a more general earnestness to his demeanor, or some such. And the way he offered free tickets to an advance screening of Serenity on his weblog. Note that I don't view nerdiness as a turnoff, either. It's just that, of the obvious bad boys in that photo, one remains just as bad, if not badder. What can I say? I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more "BaconCat."

Nathan Sharfi | November 9, 2006 07:09 PM


That said, I’m not even thinking about any sort of Technorati ranking—I’ll pass a milestone when the modal visitor to my site is an actual human instead of a Web spider.

Justfred | November 9, 2006 07:38 PM

At least I made the cut. And while I'm being pimped, www.roadsidefurniture.com is mine as well.

hnu | November 10, 2006 03:34 PM

Good god, John, so much hair looks really scary on you! :)))

Carol Elaine | November 10, 2006 04:47 PM

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more "BaconCat."

I hear ya.

FFXI | December 4, 2006 03:31 AM

The hope in the war, the seed in the old grudge, exhausted in the evil monster world!game

Ariel | January 7, 2007 07:16 PM

Do VWS grads count? Class of '93 blogger here.

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