"The creators of LonelyGirl15 published a letter 'To Our Incredible Fans.' In it they say: 'We are amazed by the overwhelmingly positive response to our videos; it has exceeded our wildest expectations. With your help we believe we are witnessing the birth of a new art form...Right now, the biggest mystery of Lonelygirl15 is 'who is she?' We think this is an oversimplification. Lonelygirl15 is a reflection of everyone. She is no more real or fictitious than the portions of our personalities that we choose to show (or hide) when we interact with the people around us." The SiliconValleyWatcher, Sept. 12
Having cracked the Lonelygirl15 case, Internet sleuths are now turning their attention to another secret identity, that of popular YouTube personality Lonelyboy43, who records himself in darkness and uses a scrambler to distort his voice. Longtime viewers have determined that Lonelyboy43 is most likely 60 years old and based in the Washington, D.C., area.
The character has hooked web-surfers since his inception with his blend of down-home folksiness and frat-boy antics. He first gained national attention when he hungrily mused about the existence of "yellow cake" in Niger. His failed attempts to locate the tasty dessert were widely chronicled, but most of his audience seemed not to care; they were simply happy to be along for the ride with this charismatic personality, whose most salient trait is his ability to give others humorous nicknames.
Lonelyboy43's vengeful obsessions provide much of the show's content. Originally, he loathed an off-screen character named Osama, a "rich, oily guy who acts all holier than thou," but when audience interest waned, he seamlessly retargeted his ire at "Saddam," whose unflattering pictures he posted for all to see, and occasionally invokes the name of a third antagonist, Kim, whom he finds "funny-looking." Many viewers acknowledge they have now conflated the multiple villains in their minds; in the words of one, "Lonelyboy43 has so many bad guys on that show, it's hard to keep track."
Several other recurring threads also keep the show full of soap opera-like drama. Raised in a deeply religious setting, Lonelyboy43 evidently has a number of repressed conflicts with his father that he has yet to confront. Fan postings reveal a great deal of empathy for him in his struggles: "Ur dad is such a controll freak!!!" writes sk8rdooode16. "Don't let him run ur life 4u. Have faith in urself!"
The subplot that keeps viewers returning, however, is Lonelyboy43's fraught friendship with "Condi," his female best friend who organizes the show's technical setup (currently a poorly shot, jerry-rigged affair, as the show has a reported yearly budget deficit of $296 billion). The two are inseparable, and Lonelyboy43 seems to speak more highly of Condi than of his significant other, the bookish, rarely-glimpsed "Laura," yet he seems paralyzed and unable to, as one fan exhorts, "make a move already, willya?" Several websites have sprung up solely to dissect Lonelyboy43 and Condi's relationship, with online polls indicating that a whopping 89% would like to see the two of them get together, and only 9% fearing "it would ruin their friendship." (The remaining 2% accidentally clicked elsewhere on the confusingly laid-out ballot and ended up launching a pop-up ad for surveillance cameras.)
As scrutiny over Lonelyboy43's identity has intensified lately, the show has responded with a written statement to its fans: "Many of you are asking if Lonelyboy43 is real or not, and therefore if you should believe everything he says. Well, what is real, and what is imaginary? In math, aren't 'real' and 'imaginary' numbers both necessary for high-level calculations? Answer: Absolutely. So, don't think too hard about it, because Lonelyboy43 represents everyone, and the things he says are no more real or imaginary than those numbers, without which all the Internets probably wouldn't work."
The postscript concludes, "With your help we believe we are witnessing the birth of a new form of oligarchy. Thanks for watching-U R all 2 kewl 2B 4got10!!!"
To read more of Teddy Wayne's writing, go to teddywayne.com