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Monday, 17 May - link

Links.net Backlash Takes Toll

apparently crazed The Apparently unstable Hall here weilds a knife, brutalizing an onion before the photographer, Junko.
Family, Friends Concerned for Wandering Web Writer

The alleged "Links.net Liar" Justin Hall, last seen leaving his Oakland home in a black car, has turned up in Southern California, undergoing rehabilitation for a life of priviledge and media saturation. "He's just lost his voice," insisted one friend, on condition of anonymity. "Writing in the third person has robbed him of his identity."

Reports of a nefarious cover-up continue to dog Hall, even as his regular writing on the web has died down. Heated debates continue over the recent charges of misleading a web-public, with lurid tales of a wealthy upbringing adding weight to the allegations. Many have pinned down Hall as a feckless shill for the techno-trust-fund set, preaching liberation while surviving on the toil of others.

New media analyst Bill Poncette muses about Hall's capacity for personal revelation: "Justin Hall tells all, EXCEPT for the strange concealment of that constellation of family wealth, connections, and special privilege that enables his particular life-presentation." Rumors that Michael Moore has been seen canvassing Northern California, interviewing Hall's friends and neighbors on camera, have no basis in fact.

While the depths of his deception are still being plumbed, the sense of alienation of his readers only grows, leading to a growing exodus from his links. Overbite writes, "Since I used to read Justin Hall to learn stuff, I too felt a little ripped off when the extent of his invention, or concealment at least, became clear."

Meanwhile, the Hall-backlash has begun to take its toll on the web writer. Today friends report a broken young man. Previously known to be energetic and unrestrained, Hall has recently been seen standing still and listening in conversation. Sources close to Hall say that his friends and family are urging him to cancel travel and take the summer to gather his strength. They worry that Hall's plans to settle in Los Angeles could result in more expansive fabrications and more access to excess.

Few have witnessed the sordid saga of Hall's travel and media binges as thooughly as his neighbor Oliver. Somehow speaking without fear of reproach from the seemingly unhinged writer, Oliver recounts Hall as "living the life of Riley." Associates believe that a wealthy upbringing and a life of priviledge has gotten the better of him; analyst Osm believes that Hall "suffers from delusions of granduer. The guy's doctor could write a textbook based on his disorders."

eye toy Ethan's candid photo of Hall, wearing an apron, preparing to undergo a guided EyeToy therapy at an exclusive Los Angeles New Age Psychological Healing Venue: the E3 Expo.
Questions surrounding Hall's need for medical care are nothing new. Late last year, readers of his weblog were treated to a rude surprise when photographs of an unseemly ailment were posted on the front page, as Hall asked passing visitors to diagnose him. Other photos of his swollen genitalia and deranged expression lead some to question his sanity. Dear friends diagnosed him with Asperger's Syndrome, as Hall adamantly refused treatment. Now it appears the thin threads animating Hall, the very connections he has to the cosmic puppeteer, they have been cut - leaving the scrawny youth in a slovenly pile of silence, withdrawn into priviledge and consumption.

Family wealth, connections and special priviledge are likely behind sightings of Hall at several parties in Los Angeles. Research by off-duty investigative journalists have revealed that Hall had no invitations to any of the few parties he attended during last week's "E3" video game event. At each event, Hall could be seen scheming and gesturing near the front entrance, often unbelievably winning entry for himself and friends.

Once inside, several party-goers noticed Hall availing himself liberally of all the food and drink available there, often loading up on handfuls of canapes as the waiters attempted to move the hors d'oeuvres past him. A sense of entitlement is the only rational explanation for Hall's decision one night to shed his pants and shirt and dive into a swimming pool in his underwear, during an otherwise decorous gathering of game industry editors.

The circumstances of Hall's upbringing are now under scrutiny: inner-city private schools, exotic trips, thrice-weekly psychotherapy appointments from the age of 8. Bicycles, books and personal computers - Hall had it all, but never had enough love. Eager for attention from a young age, Hall hijacked the education of his peers with performances and disruptions during school. Outside of school Hall consorted with some of the most notorious computer brigands on the BBSes of suburban Chicago.

Now Hall seems to have leveraged his priviledged access to culture and education, and his wealth-endowed self-confidence, into a tenuous career as a barely professional writer. Many are now questioning Hall's ethics. Is he a proud media-making peer for all people of the world? Or is he a specious apologist for techno-capitalism? Uncomfortable with ambiguity and unsure of the shifting truth behind this web charlatan, Links.net readers continue to work to piece together Hall's identity and pry back the boards that enclose Hall in a closet filled with his own unfashionable fabrications.

Continuing his defiant silence, Hall himself refused comment.

Posted on 17 May 2004 : 21:43 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.