Meet a Reader: JT

February 4, 2007

For some of our readership, posting a comment to Yesterday’s Salad would be unthinkable. Some are intimidated by the fact that the blog’s hundred-plus readership might cruelly scrutinize their comments. Still, others are afraid to comment because they would not risk having their friends or colleagues discover that they read a blog with humor as consistently obscure and/or puerile as that of YS. Thus, it is with some trepidation that I attempt to expose the identity of one of our most frequent commenters, perhaps our most frequent commenter, JT. To do so, I will use a comprehensive sample of his comments (qua retrospective), reasoning inductively to discover what lies behind his (or her) choice nom-de-guerre. After all, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Posting #1

You have wonderful dental hygiene. However, I wonder if you wake up in the morning and grease your chest with Canola oil. Also be wary of the threat of xanthoma. xo. JT.

From this first posting it is clear that JT has quite a penchant for writing in the stream-of-consciousness style. However, given that he has taken the time to lovingly capitalize and punctuate his sentences, this limits the number of possible JT candidates significantly. We may now rule out that JT is neither a reanimated/undead e.e. cummings, nor bell hooks.

Out of the running.

Posting #2

Remember: Virginia is for lovers.

Sometimes the greatest way to hide is in plain sight. Either because you are in fact noticed, but it is too awkward to acknowledge your presence (better known as the elephant in the room), or because others will assume that you must be hiding. Otherwise, one might not hide simply because people are often much to oblivious to notice anything unusual, even if it walks right past them. Given the fact that dailysalad posted long ago on the middling Patrick Duffy sitcom “Step-by-Step,” it seemed a natural choice that JT might in fact be the JT from said show. However, thanks to the miracle of wikipedia, the actor who played JT has since sought a life away from television, and would be unlikely to be plugging for anyone to bother him further for his autograph or his impression of Suzanne Sommers.

Improbable to the point of impossibility.

Posting #3

Befuddlement is the least of your worries, sir.

(1) JMc was imprisoned and likely tortured by the Viet Cong yet you say he is too ‘adorable’!? Remember that old SNL skit ‘the most grizzled?’ JMc would romp all those fools.

(2) Awkward hugger? At least he’s not ’side-hugging’ anyone in the above photos. Yep.

(3) I’d be happy to be called “spry” by my enemies, and inferiors (aka the DNC). Remember in 2000 when Jr. Bush said he’d stake the presidency on a foot-race against Gore? Thats the the kind of chutzpah that accompanies spryness. JMc has it. Barack, despite his boyish charm(s), doesn’t. Hillary? She’s taken it up the poop-shute for too many years. Think on it. Brooks Brothers Republicans be damned. xo. JT.

Like many other media outlets that lean to the left, YS has been accused on multiple occasions of falling for “Obama-mania.” While it is true that we at YS do talk about the man a lot, it should be noted that our affection for him is authentic: unlike the rest of the national media, most of the staff at YS have been constituents of Mr. Obama’s at one time or another throughout his tenures in elected office, and have some familiarity with his policies and personality. Thus, when someone suggested that JT might in fact be his alternative, web-based identity, wherein he could lash out at his rivals without fear of breaking his commitment against negative campaigning, we at the salad were elated. However, this theory has been recently rejected on account of the fact that as the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, we are quite sure that Mr. Obama, no matter how thoroughly he wished to disassociate his writing from his public persona, would never allow himself to misspell the word “chute,” even if the American Heritage Dictionary recognized it as a variant spelling.

Sorry, Charlie…

Posting #4

Dear DS,

Thank you for the scintillating repartee.

I would be remiss to not address this ‘befuddlement’ now.

Mr lpmandrake made three claims regarding JMc: (1) he’s too adorable; (2) he’s an awkward hugger; and (3) he is “spry”.

I found these characterizations of JMc a bit perplexing. I was, in fact, befuddled. In response I offered my own befuddling comment regarding the dental hygiene, canola oil, and xanthoma.

Regarding the later conversation about chutzpah and spryness I believe we may have run across an epistemological clash. It would be prudent of me to now provide a proof demonstrating how I link chutzpah and spryness. However, given that I have other engagements this evening, this exercise will have to be temporarily postponed. Don’t worry, this is just the start of this conversation. I will return to this at a later date (sooner than you think), including a comment on Obama.

Quickly, on the topic of Mrs. Clinton, I was not suggesting lesbian, or even bisexual, proclivities. I was instead suggesting that she–in the wake of Lewinsky–should have left Mr. Bill. However, she was–not to be demeaning to women–Bill’s bitch; she was taking it up the pooper. If she had *chutzpah* she would not only have left him but she would have slammed his dripping rod all over the media’s face. The Kremlin of the West shines brightest in the face of adversity. xo. JT.

There are few writers out there who can relate the idiom of immigrant culture (chutzpah) to that of the American pastoral (spryness), much less in tandem with a salient analysis of electoral politics. However, one must note the utterly unironic tone that this comment takes, as it possesses neither the charming humour of the hysterical realists, nor the darkly comic overtones of an entropic realist. Thus, the following authors are out of the running:

You might write well, just not J.T. well.

Posting #5

Dear lpmandrake,

In this postmodern world nothing is beyond reproach. A great man once said: sticking feathers up your ass does not make you a chicken. And, in that spirit, your doctorates and other such fripperies are tantamount to a porno queen’s orgasm. Shame on you, sir. Your next move will be frivolous ingemination of afore mentioned standing and such action holds no bearing with me. Somewhere, Judith Butler is toying herself with the non-business end of toilet plunger. Remember: you’ll be happier with lower standards. xo. (Mr.) JT.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak simply doesn’t write this clearly.

The subaltern says “wha?”

Posting #6

You, sir, are a wanker. You better follow this up with an expose on H.R. Clinton’s obsession with s & m. or, better yet, her lesbian love fest with Dick Cheney’s kid. these topics aren’t mutually exclusive. xo. the pilgrim.

Anyone who scours political blogs (and can admit to it) probably knows about Wolf Blitzer’s catastrophic interview of Dick Cheney. For those sensible enough not to read such blogs, in the interview, Blitzer tried to ask Cheney how he reconciled the rhetoric of his own administration and their supporters regarding homosexuals, when his daughter, Mary Cheney, is herself a lesbian. While I am generally against involving the actions of a politician’s family in a referrendum of their policy, I thought that Blitzer was being reasonable in asking Cheney to clarify (if possible) what seems like a key hypocrisy of his administration. In response, Cheney avoided the question, instead excoriating Blitzer, who back-pedalled and praised Cheney in response. Thus, the Cheney-bashing in this post might be the work of Mr. Blitzer, who is still smarting considerably from this interview. However, TNR’s Michael Crowley put it best when he wrote: “I’m not sure what’s more striking here: Dick Cheney throwing Wolf Blitzer a glare that could make the window drapes burst into flames–or Blitzer responding with a stark terror not seen since Darth Vader last expressed displeasure with a subordinate on the Death Star.” Given the poor track record of those who try to get up in DV’s grill, we believe that JT is neither Blitzer nor the Imperial lackey who thought to criticize the force as “sorcerer’s ways.” The only true power in the galaxy is the force, yo.

The world is littered with the bodies of people that tried to stick it to ole D.V….

Posting #7

Thank you for the due attention to all those who won’t be president. When might we see Mr. Buchanan get his moment on YS? Or, a personal favorite, Ted “The Motor City Madman” Nugent? Sometimes I wonder if Jude Law ever boned Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller at the same time. A film of that would be better selling than the Colin Farrell sex tape. xo. the pilgrim.

Although there were a lot of accusations thrown around the YS clubhouse the day that the New York Times brazenly stole our idea, we were pretty sure that JT wasn’t to blame. After all, he wouldn’t be so two-faced as to praise our ideas at the same time he was stealing them. Furthermore, the New York Times is a respectable publication, hiring only paragons of journalistic integrity. I mean, it’s not as if they would ever hire someone who would callously disregard the law just to ruin someone’s line of work or for short-sighted political gains, right?

Respectfully declined.

Posting #8

dear DS: thank you for the mention in the above post. it warms my heart to know someone in the vast, dark reaches of cyberspace finds joy in my reveries. let it be said that these “guest” comments are quite cathartic. think along the lines of Ed Norton in Fight Club but lacking the Ikea fetish. Also, my apologies to mr. lpmandrake (should he red this) if he has taken my previous posts as an affront to his sense humor. we all know that the Democratic majority is nothing more than the ‘calm before the storm.’ in the words of Mr. IL–aka the Czech thunder–’its all in good fun.’ Here’s a clue though: I enjoy vodka tonics. xo. JT.

Unlike the afforementioned publication, YS does not hire writers who compose fake stories, or for that matter, writers who comment on their own postings. Of course, it would technically be in keeping with our policies if a columnist at YS used a pseudonym to comment on another YS post, but we doubt that would ever happen. Thus, it is not the case that lpmandrake is JT.

lpmandrake: exonerated.

Posting #9

also, my apologies for writing “red” instead of “read”.

From what I know about Jewbiquitous‘ Harley, she is supposed to be an avid-scrabble player. As is Bears quarterback Rex Grossman.

Nary a typo in sight.

Posting #10

man, rappaz need spellcheckaz. two typos in one line ain’t cool.

With this many typos, we at YS were suspicious that J.T. was in fact coining neologisms in every line of his post, which led us to believe that he was in fact Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted globalizationiphile, Thomas Friedman. Given that a number of critics have lambasted Friedman’s work for its constant optimism as well as its faith in humanity and technology, it would be plausible that Mr. Friedman would look to YS as a source of cynicism and dismay about modern culture. However, given his recent collaborations with Young Jeezy and Nas, we at the salad find it unlikely that he would turn to us for street cred.

All my homies be stuck in golden straightjackets.

Posting #11

haha, “lieberal media.” I LOVE IT! I love it sooo much I want to marry it, procreate with it in the backseat of my sister’s car, and pull a “Houdini” on it. Chicks still think Anderson Cooper is a stone fox. And, from what I’m told, he’s quite a hit with the thirty-something gay crowd as well.

I’m beginning to wonder if he might be Wolf Blitzer, after all.

Posting #12

Mark Earlbaum told me, while we were doing stretches during grade 7 gym class, that women get complacent in their old age and fat off eating bon bons. Said women need to be dropped like a bad habit. Eating ice cream is just a more severe degree of this complacency and subsequent fattening. Weight Watchers and South Beach Diet be damned. Liposuction is the wave of the future!

Someone very seriously needs to do a genealogy of weight-loss. Were the ancient Greeks as concerned about their body-mass-index as much as we are? Does our society’s obsession with the concept of “thinness” create a dicursive space, despite the fact that it entails a negative definition? Perhaps it would be best to realize the matter as a construction, which exists both inside and outside our bodies, such that thinness is a moral attribute only when it ceases to be a physical one.

Look at me, I’m ever so clever!

Posting #13

Jhumpa Lahiri? Are you joking me?

No women contribute to YS? Gender theorists be damned.

I own a pair of pink crocs and they are fabulous.

In the words of a great man, “Audrey Tautou is a stone fox in Amelie.”

Ivy-leaguers of all sorts–the real kind, public, Jesuit, southern=-be damned.

One day, when passing by a Barnard symposium featuring alumni who are “Great Modern Women Writers,” I looked over the list and saw a bunch of largely undistinguishable names underneath Jhumpa Lahiri’s name. I then made the mistake of making an audible wisecrack, “Jeez, sounds more like ‘Pretty Good Modern Women Writers,'” at which point, Erica Jong, who was within earshot, proceded to chew me out. Thus, I propose that she might be J.T.. This would allow her to strike at Ms. Lahiri with relative impunity, as she is no doubt upset that she is considerably older and occupies a more stately position within the modern canon (you’re telling me Fear of Flying wasn’t the voice of a generation?) than Lahiri, but no one who actually goes to Barnard has heard of her. Then again, she hasn’t written much lately (short of the follow-up Fear of Fifty), and given the brio with which J.T. describes Kal Penn copulating with Ms. Lahiri (crude and racialist… even for a YS posting, this is pretty out of line… although the comparison to alien/aliens is poignant), perhaps J.T. is simply Ms. Lahiri giving voice to her more prurient fantasies. Then again, see the comment above about porno queens.

Kal, I’m here if you’re listening.

Posting #14

Also, as you may have noticed above, I’m really in a mood for daming things. Here are a few more:

1. subzero weather,

2. the stench of sweaty sports gear,

3. my failings at German,

4. sam talbot being eliminted from TC2,


5. faces that look like rape scenes.

J.T. cannot be notable French director Coralie Trinh Thi, as she *is* a fan of faces that look like rape scenes.

A publicity still from Thi’s Baise Moi, which J.T. neither directed nor liked.

Posting #15

Guilty pleasure — Vodka and Ice Cream.

This tasty treat can be enjoyed pre, post, or even in lack of a breakup.

Also, a friend of my second cousin says she rubbed Kal Penn off in the bathroom of a restaurant in the village. This evidence clearly refutes your claim* that Mr. Penn is gay. Penn poking someone with his rod, however, isn’t necessarily gay, straight, or even sexual.

Peter Gay, one of the twentieth century’s foremost historians of ideas, once described Freud’s defense mechanism of projection as “the operation of expelling feelings or wishes the individual finds wholly unacceptable—too shameful, too obscene, too dangerous—by attributing them to another.” That is all that will be mentioned about this post.

Posting #16

On the topic of consumables: I wonder if Kryptonian women spit or swallow? And, based on the Kryptonian practice, was CK able to convince LL one way or the other? I also wonder what would happen in the event of a BW-LL-CK threeway–intense to say the least!

Also, YS, who are you to say Batman’s emotions aren’t the core of *his* character? Bruce/Batman is chock full of emotional intensity. One minute he’s beating a man half to death and the next he’s seducing a college-aged Barbara Gordon out of the arms of Dick. Earlier, that same day, he designed an awesome new microchp and got a BJ from Selina Kyle in the backseat of his Aston Martin (Alfred was up front listening to a great Chet Baker piece). Also, I don’t remember CK creating a surrogate family of crimefighters. Batman took in orphans from the circus, the mob, and other victims of street hooliganism. I guess JL could bring some emotional complexity to the CK character but it would require some groping in a dimly lit bathtub, as not… wrote above.

Is CK wholly different than Superman? Can CK exist without SM or vice versa? Identities are under pressure and JL could deal with this as well.

Bottom line: the Namesake blew chunks all over the rotting corpse of the American literary scene.

Although the Namesake did blow chunks all over the rotting corpse of the American literary scene, the original Bruce Wayne was not full of emotional intensity when he premiered, unless you think that a one-dimensional, unmitigated rage against the criminal element constitutes emotional intensity. It wasn’t until his backstory was fully fleshed out by the editors (e.g. he’s not allowed to shoot anyone) that he actually ends up developing an emotional or ethical core. Although, one may make the argument that the Batman originating in Frank Miller’s work escapes one-dimensionality by adding crotchetiness to said rage, and in later years, by his distinct lack of spryness. Thus, we may rule that J.T. is neither Frank Miller, nor the character The Dark Knight Returns is based on, John McCain.

Only a persistent commitment to fascism can win the war on terror.

Posting #17

My nipples harden every time I read the wind-up bird chronicle.

Anne Hathaway?

Anne, won’t you tell us that you’re okay?


Posting #18

DS, you earlier posted saying “da Bears” wouldn’t win the championship. Now you say the Colts won’t…either. Hopefully American football is exposed for the frippery that it is this upcoming Sunday. I’ll be attending my quarterly knitting circle and treefarmers assocation meeting in Naperville.

Naperville? J.T. Is from Illinois. No question. You have to be from Illinois to know Naperville. If someone wanted to reference a podunk suburb of Chicago, they would have simply followed the formula for naming them, which is roughly (outdoor location/pastoral word) + (tree/female name). Witness Glen Ellyn, Oak Brook, Northbrook, Oak Park, Ravenswood, Burr Ridge. And only one of those was made up. We’re on to you like Rockapella ’round Carmen Sandiego.

Posting #19

A friend of mine–who shall remain nameless–fears he will become fat in graduate school.

Another nameless friend enjoys eating cucumbers while sitting on the john.

Hmm, an preoccupation with weight-loss (see above) and vegetable porn. Now that we have the facts assembled and Mister Peabody has double-checked them, we can feed them into the logic-o-matic and see what it says, as J.T. is revealed to be…

Behold, J.T. in all his glory.

Denny, we couldn’t be more flattered that you read our web-log, especially given your insightful and frequent postings. You continue to be an example to all of us, bringing a unique brand of “Illinoise” to our day. Shine on, you crazy diamond.


Tune in to next week’s Meet a Reader, kids, where I will use Hari Seldon’s theory of psychohistory to reveal that there is a 60% possibility that Annie of Jewbiquitous actually is Brandy Taylor.



3 Responses to “Meet a Reader: JT”

  1. JT Says:

    dear notwithabangbutawhimper,

    thanks for this. it was delightful spending the last eight minutes reading through your thoughts. you almost had me until the Naperville reference. I assure you that I’m not from Illinois. In my life I’ve probably spent a total of six hours there, mostly in an airport lobby. I did enjoy the Sufjan Stevens album about the state. try again super sleuth. also, cheers for the Carmen San Diego/Rockapella reference. I still have many episodes on tape and watch them when I get bored. xo. JT

  2. JT Says:

    I could use another, longer post by someone trying to deduce/induce my identity. reading YS in the wee hours is a bit more entertaining than working on my tan in the dark, winter night. “Posting #14” should be a dead giveaway. also, can anyone comment (with some degree of certainity) on morrissey’s sexual orientation? perhaps mr. “I dislike anglophiles” k DS?

  3. […] princess Anne many times, the post that actually receives the most Anne Hathaway traffic is this one, Notwithabang…’s unravelling of the JT mystery. I have to say I’m confused. Were […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: