Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is Single Dad Laughing's "A Teen's Brave Response" Story a Hoax? Does It Matter?

You've got the Facebook, right?  Okay.  So you've definitely seen a link to a heart-warming, tear-jerking story about a boy who was inspired by a blog post to come out of the closet to his close-minded momma and their close-minded town.  You know the one.  It's got a stock photo of a cute kid with floppy hair and a gleaming smile.

If you clicked on the link, you were not alone.  According to the latest calculations of Dan Pearce, the guy who writes the megapopular dad-blog-that's-so-much-more-than-a-dad-blog, Single Dad Laughing, upwards of eight million people have read that post.  The little icon next to the title indicates that almost 300,000 people (probably many more by the time I publish this) have shared it on Facebook.

In case you don't want to check it out for yourself, here's the premise:

Dan wrote a post a couple months ago called "I'm Christian, unless You're Gay," in which he exhorted everyone to be cool to The Gays, even if their religion recommended otherwise.  As is often the case with his "deep and powerful" (his words) writings, it went mega-viral and was shared all over the web.  Then, just as the buzz from "I'm Christian..." started to level off, Dan posted his latest blockbuster, "A Teen's Brave Response to 'I'm Christian, unless You're Gay'," which consists of what was supposedly an anonymous email from a mother whose son came out to her after having completed a high school class assignment that required him to read "I'm Christian..." and write a response to it.  The mom had always been just the kind of fundamentalist Christian homophobe Dan portrayed in "I'm Christian...", but after reading her kid's essay (which is pasted into her email) in which he comes out of the closet, and more importantly, Dan's "I'm Christian..." post, she does an about-face, accepts her son's sexual identity, and begins working with the boy to fight prejudice in the unnamed bigoted hellhole where they lived.

When I read the "Brave Response" post, my first reaction was, "Seriously?  An anonymous email that paints Dan as savior and superhero?  A teacher in a small conservative town who assigns a pro-gay blog post as class reading?  A lifelong fire-and-brimstone bible-thumper who is converted by a single Single Dad Laughing post?  Now who could have dreamed this one up?"  (It was Dan.  Dan dreamed it up.  That's what I was thinking, in case I wasn't clear just now.)

Let me also be clear that I am 100% behind the general message of these posts.  I don't want any kid or adult to ever have to suffer because of the gender of the people they are hardwired to be attracted to.  I want same-sex couples to be afforded every legal, financial, and cultural advantage that straight couples enjoy.  By sheer coincidence, a dear real-life friend and fellow dadblogger came out to his blog readers at almost the same time as this Single Dad Laughing post exploded.  My friend's post, however, was indisputably real.


Dan, Me, and the Parent Blogging Community


You might know that I have a history with the internet superstar behind Single Dad Laughing.  I wrote a post about a year-and-a-half ago when Single Dad Laughing suddenly blew up and Dan started bragging about his huge traffic numbers, the love that his readers had for him, the book offers he got, and all the people his powerful words had prevented from committing suicide (I'm not exaggerating at all.)  In a fit of pique, I ranted about his terrible writing, his sanctimony, his pandering, his self-promotion, and his self-aggrandizement; and I suggested that he was somehow gaming the system.  He had gone from a regular dadblogger who started a few months after I had, on the same platform, running in the same circles, and not standing out in any way, to an internet juggernaut, all within a month or two.  I honestly thought that the parent blogosphere would turn on me after I hit "publish" on that post, but I didn't care.  I didn't want anything to do with a genre where Single Dad Laughing was the gold standard.  But to my surprise, virtually every blogger who commented on that post agreed that his writing was saccharine and preachy and his self-importance utterly staggering.  Most assumed he was involved in some kind of shenanigans that made his traffic seem more impressive than it was, and/or he was buying followers and paying some sweatshop in China to click on his links.

Since I wrote that post, I've become friendly with a lot of established parent bloggers through reading each other's work, meeting at conferences, and working on projects together.  I haven't talked to every one of them about Dan and his super-blog; but during the many, many conversations I have had concerning Single Dad Laughing, not one other blogger I've talked to has argued against the assumption that Dan is involved in some shady business, whether that be somehow inflating his stats, or just shamelessly milking trending topics (about which he seems to have an inexhaustible supply of "deep and powerful" personal stories) for all the pageviews they're worth.

So I wasn't surprised when the chatter started up about this mysterious email from "One Proud Mom" that formed the basis of Dan's latest chart-topper.  Sure, we all agreed with the message and that it would be wonderful if this kid's story were true; but it was just too convenient, too topical, and too engineered for maximum SEO and social media shareability, all of which, along with cringe-inducing sentimentality, are hallmarks of Dan's writing.

Were we really supposed to believe that no one involved in this story--the mom, the kid, all the other students in his school who had to do the assignment, the administrators from the kid's school--that none of them would have come forward to bask in the glory or shake their heads in disapproval or share their stories of SDL-inspired redemption?  One or two commenters on the site, out of the thousands who responded, pointed out the credibility problem, and were promptly shouted down by the Dan-faithful who said (predictably) that even if it were fiction, the important part is the powerful message.

Although I had tried, with some success, to refrain from bashing on Dan in public since I first posted my screed (I didn't necessarily want to be that guy forever), this "Brave Response" post really got under my skin and I wanted to write something, if only because it seemed like very few outside my circle of blog-friends had even considered that an anonymous email with a Lifetime movie plot might be anything less than the genuine article.

Suspicion among the Civilians


I soon found out that it wasn't just other dad-and mom-bloggers whose bullshit detectors went off when they read this post.  I started seeing traffic heat up on my old SDL diatribe, and much of it was coming from a community blog called Metafilter, where a lot of smart, civil folks were engaging in a very level-headed discussion about the questionable credibility of this "inspirational" post that seemed to be popping up on everyone's Facebook feed.

Virtually all of the commenters on that Metafilter thread agreed that the One Proud Mom email was fiction created by Dan to generate pageviews.  The conversation goes in several directions, including the obvious question of whether it makes a difference that something is fiction-passed-off-as-fact, as long as it has a desirable effect on the reader.  I'm not here to try to solve that one today, but I'm inclined to agree with one of the well-spoken Metafilter folks on that account:  "And really, if he'd chosen another topic--reconciling with estranged family or quitting your job to pursue your dream--for this self-aggrandizement exercise, I don't think I'd much care. But this is a real fucking issue that this guy has no right to appropriate for narcissistic glurge."

I was still contemplating writing a response to "Brave Response"--something that simply urged critical thinkers to consider its credibility--when a friend sent me a link to an article in the Daily Beast that did just that.  The author of the article, Jesse Singal, brought up some of the issues about the post that I've mentioned here, and managed to contact Dan on the phone.  Dan admitted that the email could have been fake, but laughed and denied it when Singal asked him point-blank if he had written it himself.  Dan also  claimed there was no way for him to track down the anonymous emailer because of the limitations of his contact page software.  If there was a possibility that this was a hoax, Dan suggested, he was the biggest victim of it.   

Out of all the speculation regarding the credibility of the epic OPM email, Dan is the only one I've heard who entertains the possibility that some prankster was behind it.  I have a hard time imagining what possible motivation someone other than Dan could have to perpetrate this SDL-deifying hoax, if it is one.  Shouldn't they be popping out and shouting "Gotcha!" right about now? 

Past Instances of Shadiness

Strange emails

As I mentioned earlier, in my communications with other bloggers (and non-bloggers), the topic of SDL shenanigans pops up from time to time.  It's usually along the lines of "Oh my God did you see what he just wrote?" or "Guess who just sent me a crazy email?"

One of the dadbloggers I've discussed the SDL phenomenon with at some length is Jim Griffioen of Sweet Juniper, one of the most popular and long-lived dadblogs, and for my money, one of the greatest and best-written things to ever appear on the internet.  Among our many conversations about SDL weirdness were a couple emails Jim received during a period when Dan, as he explained on his blog, was trying to "reach out" to the parent blogging community, which he felt was turning against him.

Rather than explain it myself and cobble together passages from emails, I asked Jim to tell the story in his own words.  Here's what he said:

SDL's site immediately set off alarm bells of suspicion for me, having grown my blog organically to the point where it became a truly professional endeavor. Aside from the legions of Potemkin villagers populating his comments, in December 2010 I received two strange e-mails, including one from a woman named "Jenny Goodsend" (a name that has no online presence or record in various people searches) saying that "[my] blog, of course, is the highlight of [her] day" while promoting one of the typical schmaltzy SEO posts for which SDL has become notorious. Suspicious that this was actually Dan himself, I wrote back graciously thanking her for the e-mail and asking what she loved about my blog so that I could continue to deliver such content.  I never heard back. The very next day I did receive an impersonal (i.e. mass) e-mail from Dan, apologizing for "alienating other parenting bloggers" with his rapid, widespread "success" and asking me if I'd like to do a guest post on SDL. It was obvious Dan had written both e-mails himself and was simply extending his efforts of self-promotion into the world of established parenting bloggers.

Photo shoot

In November of 2010, Dan wrote one of his epic posts, called "The Small Side of the Numbers," which "looks at the power that each individual has to overcome often impossible obstacles."  One of the stories he wove into this sermon involved his experience comforting a couple women who had been in a fender-bender.  He pulled over and gave them some bottles of water he had in his car, and chatted with them while they waited for emergency personnel to arrive.  Here's a snippet:

It took emergency units more than fifteen minutes to get there, and when the first responder finally arrived, I was still the only person standing with these women. The only damn person. I bet more than 5,000 vehicles passed the wreckage in that short amount of time (it was a busy stretch of the interstate). Almost every one of them slowed down to sneak a peak. An incredibly small handful of them stopped. Only one person stayed (me).
Accompanying this tale of heroism was a photo of Dan, collar turned up against the wind and look of grim determination on his face, walking down the breakdown lane, a semi whizzing by, with bottles of water in either hand.  Below it were hundreds of weepy comments about what how amazing Dan is.

I lost it.  I wrote in the comments something to this effect: "WTF is wrong with you people?!  He gave some ladies some water, then spent ten hours writing about how awesome he is!  It's nice that he gave them water, but he didn't actually save their lives. The other cars didn't stop because they saw that someone was already there! Would it have been better if a couple dozen cars pulled over and everybody milled around in the emergency lane so the EMTs couldn't get in?! And what about that picture?  Who took the picture?  Did he ask the poor traumatized accident victims to take some shots?  Did he whip out his tripod?  Aaaaaaarrrrgghh!"

I left the comment anonymously out of laziness, haste, and my desire to not be known as the guy who can't stop blasting SDL.  But Dan's software must have been working better that day than it did last week when he was trying to track down One Proud Mom, because he almost immediately emailed me and asked me why I was trying to destroy him and his blog.

This wasn't the first time Dan had contacted me.  I have a long, twisted string of emails with him in my inbox, dating back to when I first went off on him on my blog.  As I always do, I smoothed things over with Dan and told him I would try to keep my distance, that I didn't have anything against him personally, but that his shtick drove me crazy.

Once we got past the initial awkwardness, I got him to explain where the Road Warrior with Water Bottles photo came from:

My brother is in town from England, and after I wrote the post I asked him to read it and come up with a photograph that he thought would go well with it. It wasn’t taken at the scene, and in fact was taken 15 miles away two days later. [...] The post was in no way meant to show “heroism” (there was absolutely nothing heroic about it). Only to show that one person can make a difference when thousands of others aren’t doing anything at all.
This might not fit into the "shady" category to you, but it is at the very least undeniably cheesy.  I also think it illustrates the lengths Dan goes to to amp up the drama on his "power posts."

Quid pro quo

The next spate of amicable email exchanges I had with Dan began when he wrote to me out of the blue in May of 2011, thanking me for not having criticized him online for seven straight months.  I joked that I had a flip-chart at my desk that said "___ days with no harshing on SDL!"  We exchanged pleasantries, and he said that he would be happy to help me out with any blog-related matters.

My ears perked up at this, because one of my motives in playing nice with Dan (aside from being a mostly decent guy) was that I wanted him to somehow slip up and confide in me the terrible secret of how he cheated the system and rose to internet super-stardom.

"Sure," I replied.  "If you could hook me up with a couple thousand more pageviews per day, I would greatly appreciate it."

Dan proposed that if I "permanently removed the anti-SDL post" from my blog, he would promote one of my "funniest, most popular" posts on his facebook page, which "usually pushes anywhere from 3k to 10k visitors."  I hemmed and hawed, acting like I would do it if he sweetened the pot; and he eventually suggested we do a joint-post on the theme of burying the hatchet.  After that, I let it go for a while because I couldn't figure out how to proceed with my sleuthing.  And also I kind of lost interest and had better things to do.  It may not seem like it, but this is not the only thing I ever think about.

Again, an offer of some Facebook promotion ("pimping" in bloggy parlance) or a guest-starring role on "one of the top blogs on the internet" in exchange for expunging a critical post may or may not be unethical, but to me it seemed, well, shady.

Most Recently

The most recent exchange I had with Dan was shortly after the "Brave Response" post came out.  This was before I had read the Metafilter thread and before the Daily Beast article had come out.  I told Dan that there had been talk about the One Proud Mom email, and some people were skeptical.  Wouldn't it be great, I said, if you could get that mom and kid to reveal themselves, maybe make a video or something?  Imagine how much good it would do in the fight against homophobia!  He should email them back and make that happen!

If he picked up on my underlying question/suspicion (did you write it, Dan?), he didn't let on.  He answered me in pretty much the same way he would answer the reporter from the Daily Beast:  "To be honest, I should have, but didn't scrutinize it very well before posting it, and there are definitely some uncanny similarities between mother's and son's parts of the post. I hope I wasn't duped. I realize that I may have been."  And, predictably, he downplayed the importance of the genuineness of the email: "Still, I suppose it doesn't matter too much because people are finding courage from it."

Then I asked him if he planned on addressing the credibility issue on his blog, and he said he would be doing so this week.

If I know Dan, he is crafting an epic post right now in which he portrays himself as a victim of pranksters who take advantage of his childlike trust, and cynics who want to destroy him because they don't think he should be plumbing the deep and difficult issues he tackles on a daily basis.  Perhaps it will even include a photo of him dragging a rough-hewn cross up a mountainside.

Sorry, Dan.  

I know you'll read this, Dan, and I'm sorry if I've hurt your feelings.  I'm sure that you think everything you do to get your writing noticed is ultimately in service of your message of love and acceptance for our fellow man.  There are just so many questions about how you got to where you are and how you continue sucking all the air out of the internet.  And usually when someone seems suspicious to almost all of their peers, there is some basis for that suspicion. 

136 comments:

  1. I'm confused by this SDL cat and his games. I'm just a simple kinda guy, though.

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    1. He kind of makes sense in a confusing kind of way though, huh?
      Stan Reese, author of "Relax Dad, It's Just the Kitchen"
      www.RelaxDad.com

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  2. The photo-shoot for the follow-up to this post is going to be epic.

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  3. I do not understand how anyone could believe this guy is genuine. It is so schmaltzy and saccharine sweet it hurts my teeth. Perhaps I need a better, less pessimistic outlook in life, but this guy is a joke. And the worst part is he is exploiting real issues for his agenda.

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  4. He is the blogger equivalent of Thomas Kinkade, I've always thought. He would probably call himself "The Blogger of Light" if he thought he could get away with it.

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  5. ... and I loved his monologue about the Foxconn workers travails. Oh wait, that wasn't him? My bad.

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    1. AHAHAHA that is EXACTLY what I was going to compare him to. Well, gee whiz, maybe some of the facts aren't exactly FACTUAL but as long as people are inspired by it why does it matter?

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  6. Oh, I do enjoy a good debunking.

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  7. A much needed blast of honesty. Particularly with so many genuine posts more deserving of readership hitting the dadblogosphere this month.

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  8. Found your blog through friending you on facebook, but when I saw your epic banner picture, i knew right away I had been here before. I LOVE THAT PICTURE! It is perfect.
    Oh, about this post....um....I agree with your points about SingleDadlaughing....I am not sure he is as naive as he makes himself out to be, but he might be.
    It's also possible that he is just an idiot though.
    I once drew a mean picture of him, if you don't mind me shamelessly plugging my own blog here for a sec...(you can delete it if you want)
    http://www.gweenbrick.com/2011/10/song-for-becky.html
    I really enjoyed this post and hope to read more of your stuff!

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    1. I can't believe it took me so long to check out that post. I have ass-shame about it. Also, I miss SMUK so goddamn much. I wish she would come back.

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  9. Clay nailed it. We don't have an aversion to him b/c we're jealous. We have an aversion to him b/c we're genuine. And, well, he sorta doesn't seem to be. Great post, Andy.

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  10. And again, you're hitting "Hero" status, because you're saying everything I want to say.

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  11. The imaginary community is going to crucify you for this.

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    1. This comment thread is on FIRE with teh funnies, I swear.
      Oh, you Snarky Daddies.

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  12. He deserves his own category in Snopes.

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  13. All I'm saying is you seem to have pretty good instincts about people based not just on this post but others. AND mad research skilz. PLUS the foresight to keep emails which may seem important only in retrospect. Perhaps you missed your calling as a forensic psychologist or something. That's all I'm saying.

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  14. You sure SDL isn't Tucker Max? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker_Max

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    1. Greg, I have been thinking to myself for months that SDL reminds me of someone else but I could not place it until just now. Yes, SDL is the Tucker Max of the blogging world.

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  15. Honeslty, I think the vast majority of blogs are a waste of cyberspace (and for all I know "cyberspace" is a finite resouce) and it sounds like this SDL guy is the worst waste of all. Since I've never posted before but I have been reading your blog for a while now, I just wanted to tell you that yours is literally the only blog I have ever read and I'm sure will read in the future. You are an amazing writer and your shit is hilarious. I swear, I am not just saying this because we are now related and because I aspire to have Wasian children as beautiful as my nieces. Seriously though, thanks for keeping me busy and laughing at work.

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  16. I'd like to meet this man some day, just so I can be convinced he's not actually a bunch of monkeys typing SEO keywords into typewriters.

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    1. Hahaha kind of like, if an infinite number of monkeys type at an infinite number of typewriters, one will accidentally discover the internet, decide to throw away the typewriter, and create a website that cheats SEO... :)

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  17. I am with Muskrat on this, Just like I wias with BHJ on the DGM stuff a few years ago. You guys can spot frauds from miles away.

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    1. Thanks--I love having a few allies.

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  18. I don't know, you guys. I have hard time - as someone who has been accused of 'gaming the system' by courting controversy, and of fabricating reader emails - getting behind a witch-hunt. So he grew fast - so did Ree Drummond, who rocketed into mega-million pageview popularity after a single post went viral (which is not to say that she wasn't experiencing steady growth there, but that there was a tipping point.) And so his writing isn't to everyone's tastes - there's a whole Chicken Soup/Oprah culture out there that eats it up.

    I've worked with Dan, and know him to be sincere guy. He's young, which accounts for a lot, I think - the combination of youth and drive can make for a complicated mix. But I've always found him to be honest and open and good-hearted. Maybe *I've* been duped - but I doubt it, and in any case, no-one has ever demonstrated that he's guilty of anything more than saccharine writing and avid self-promotion - which, if crimes, are crimes that a healthy majority of the mom blog community are guilty of. The only thing that distinguishes him here is his success, so it's hard to not think that that's what gets folks riled up. You don't like his work, and don't understand his success. I don't understand Thomas Kinkade's success - or Celine Dion's, or that of that woman who wrote 50 Shades Of Grey, or that of any number of people who produce work that I can't stomach - but I don't get angry about it, and I certainly don't attack them for it.

    I'm not trying to be pissy - I like you, and your community here. But I've been on the receiving end of this kind of animosity, and hate seeing it directed at anybody else.

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    1. The problem with saying that these accusations are baseless is that he's admitted to fakery; staging photos for one of his "true" stories is reason enough to doubt his honesty.

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    2. Calling THIS a witch hunt is the same misguided mentality that makes certain people shout "troll" whenever someone offers criticism in the blogging world. Also, it's an insult to witches.

      Bloggers must be open to criticism. Otherwise they will never be taken seriously, and don't deserve to be.

      [deleted and resubmitted after spelling error fixed]

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    3. Catherine, you have to say this, because if you said he was a fraud, it would be acknowledging you made a mistake in hiring him, and GOD FORBID you admit you made a mistake. And the youth excuse is total BS, although it sounds a lot like the "I'm Only 27" excuse another one of your bloggers gave not so long ago.

      This isn't a witch hunt and it's CERTAINLY not a case of jealousy - it's impossible to be jealous of someone that lies about everything, including his stats. You need to take a step back and decide if having someone who is so disrespected by his peers reflects well on you and Babble. I can tell you right now that it doesn't.

      Stop defending him.

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    4. Catherine--

      I've been thinking about what you wrote here, and I realize that the reason he irks me so much is that not only is he associated with the dad blogging community (in name only, really--he never participated once he started getting big), for a lot of people who don't usually read parenting blogs, he *represents* dad bloggers. He's the only one they've heard of. If his blog were called "DanPearce.com," I would just think of him as a cheesy self-help guy who sometimes writes about his kid, and it wouldn't bother me.

      I don't mind the stuff he writes on Babble, or really, any of the non-preachy stuff he does on his own blog. It's can be a little hokey, but whatever. And it's not so much the pageviews he gets that bug me; it's that he's one of the only guys to cross over into mainstream internet recognition. The fact that he is identified as a dad blogger, and that his banner reads "*so* much more than a daddy blogger" adds insult to injury. To me, he's shitting on those of us who write honestly and without artifice (as much as that's possible) about our lives as parents.

      In response to the notion that he is reviled because of his quick rise to fame, I would offer the counter example of Charlie and Andy from How To Be a Dad. Those guys came out of nowhere and got huge (maybe not quite SDL huge) fast. Almost every dad blogger I know loves those guys and wishes them only the best. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but one of them is that we don't mind when some civilian says, "Oh--you have a dad blog? Like How to Be a Dad?" I think I'm not only speaking for myself when I say that.

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    5. BetaDad, you were right on until you mentioned How To Be A Dad - it's SO OBVIOUS they bought the majority of their twitter following and Facebook fans.

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  19. Pretentious phoney, The-Secret-following-pseudo-modern-man, M&M-loving-fraudster. The Doctor Phil of blogging.

    I'm proud to say I haven't seen anything written about his blog post. I'm proud of my Facebook friends who share How to be a Dad sleep position drawings and not Mr. I'm-taking-a-stand-by-saying-bullying-is-wrong Bullshit Artist's drivel.

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    1. Let's be honest. Those How To Be A Dad guys are dickheads.

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    2. But at least they're honest about it.

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    3. Charlie, like we agreed, I get $10 per mention?

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    4. Don't get me started on those...oh wait, Charlie...uhhh...well, this is awkward.

      One of the problems - that I've talked directly to Charlie (or was it Andy?!) and never to Dan about, is that we all parent differently. We all father differently. And we all put different messages out. And what's good for one isn't good for another. I got mad at How To Be A Dad for a couple of their messages, but praised them for others.

      But I think we can agree, if "you win some you lose some" turns into "you alienate everyone that's supposed to be on your team," (*cough*SDL*cough*) then something's suspect.

      Cheers, gents.

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  20. I don't pay much attention to the guy and could care less if he has one reader or a million. He has barely been around long enough to make a blip on the blogosphere.

    Seriously, this isn't a sprint it is a marathon. Most bloggers fall apart and die relatively quickly and that includes many of the so called popular ones.

    Flavor of the month stuff.

    His numbers are questionable and his work isn't all that exciting to me.

    I question a lot of what I read online because people can say anything. Some of it is harmless and some of it isn't.

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  21. Daaaaaaaammmnnnn. I'm glad we made friends.

    Now I'm going to worry every time I write something sentimental though. Go easy on me dude!

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    1. Likewise!

      Sentimental is fine, as long as it's authentic and not SEO-drenched.

      Delete
  22. The first SDL post I read was the one about not judging other parents. While the topic has been discussed until I want to pound my head against a wall, I did enjoy his article.

    Until I read the next post.

    It was about witnessing a man breaking his child by shutting him down or something. He called the man out, made him into a monster - supported by his legion of commenters. And I sat there yelling at my computer screen, "You just said not to judge, you friggin' hypocrite!"

    I almost left a comment but decided instead to just click the little "x" in the corner of my screen.

    When THIS post went viral, my BS meter went off with bells AND whistles. But, just like some people will never believe you won't get a free pair of Jimmy Choo shoes if you forward an email to fifteen of your closest friends, everyone I talk to wants to believe the OPM ditty.

    And don't EVEN get me started on passing fiction for fact if it supports a good cause. That's a load of carp and the reason why James Frey got into so much trouble. Categorize it as creative fiction and leave off.

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  23. I feel kind of bad commenting cause I'm a "nobody blogger" but isn't there enough room in the internet for all kinds of blogs, good, bad and ugly? Why does the old adage of just don't read it not work here? I read a few of his posts awhile back, and then never went back, until this post compelling me to go back, piquing my interest again. Why are you even contributing to generating more page views for him?

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    1. Your opinion is as valid as anyone's.

      I often wish I could "just don't read it," but I can't seem to look away. The pageviews I generate for him are a drop in the sick-bucket.

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  24. What's depressing is that if he really is that popular, a lot of people think his writing is actually good. And it's so, so, SO bad. Realizing how tacky most of humanity is... so depressing.

    I really like YOUR blog though!

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    1. So, basically he's the Velvet Elvis Painting of the Bloggerverse. ;)

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  25. The truth does matter. Beta Dad, I believe I started reading your blog the last time you went off on SDL. I kept on reading because you are hilarious. I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments about SDL. I only happened upon this latest post because many of my friends shared it. My BS meter immediately went straight to "high."

    Sorry, but it is just plain old wrong to pass something off as the truth when it is not, even if it is a "nice story." What if the story he shared had the opposite result and it was a homosexual teen writing in to say how he used the article to come out to his parents and they disowned them? Just because it is a nice story does not make it anymore okay. It is also crappy to hijack "these issues" for the sake of lining your pockets.

    It is for these reasons that I don't buy the "just don't read it." There are people on the internet using false information to play on people's emotions, to make money, to boost their own egos and it just feels kind of sick to me. It sucks for those who go about blogging honestly. It sucks for the people that are emotionally invested and then find out the truth. It sucks for the homosexuals who don't have parents who have instantaneous changes of mind about who they are, who come across this post. It sucks for the people who want to be taken seriously, yet never will be, because some bloggers ruin it for everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  26. To Catherine's point, I don't think of this post so much as a witch-hunt, but as a PSA. I always feel a bit embarrassed for friends when I see them post one of his links on Facebook — kind of like seeing a Nicholas Sparks book fall out of somebody's backpack. It's awkward.

    There is so much good writing in the parent space that deserves to be recognized. I wish I could buy traffic for all of them. Allegedly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Whit,

      Everyone needs to start somewhere so I'll volunteer to let you be the first person to buy traffic for me. Just trying to help. ;)

      Delete
    2. Ahahaha, love the Sparks reference, it's so true! Sorry, I guess this was a weird spot to make my first comment but that one got me laughing.

      Delete
    3. Damn! I was really hoping you didn't see that fall out of my bag.

      Delete
    4. HA! Yes to what Whit said. I wish I could sit down my sister-in-law and have a gentle discussion about this blog she sees occasionally.

      And as for the "jealous of success" thing, I think that may always be the case for some personality types that feel inferior or unworthy. In other words, some people will always hold anger toward those who are bigger & better. That doesn't seem to be what Andy's doing here, though, and I find it incredibly dismissive when bloggers/supporters/whatevs pull out the they-hate-me-because-I'm-big-and-they're-not card. As I see it's not about the success, but about the character. Surely there's room to talk about character when it comes to those that are, as Andy says, representing a genre of writers.

      Delete
    5. I'm hella jealous of people who are better than me in the areas in which I am supposedly talented or skilled. But I also have huge respect for them and want them to succeed even though it kills me a little bit inside to know that I'll never be as good as them. I don't want to be good at the thing Dan does.

      Delete
  27. Also, as a teacher, the concept that someone would use his blog to teach? Absurd. I mean, REALLY.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I thought his post had the stink of fiction about it. I doubted that a teacher would use this as an assignment, given the state of contention over religious topics we experience every day. I thought any teacher giving that assignment would be asking to be raked over the coals in front of the school board. But the rest of it was just too saccharine and tied up with a bow. The most important thing I learned in 7 years of newspaper reporting was that there are no black and white stories. Everything is in shades of grey and in states of disrepair.

    Catherine is right, Ree Drummond did become very popular very fast, but it was because she had a look at life that few of us know anything about, and she told about it in a fun, light, compelling way with gorgeous photos. I can't see why anyone would read this blog, since the writing and stories aren't very good IMO.

    But the thing that really irks me is that he calls himself "one of the top blogs on the internet." Man, that statement screams to me that this isn't someone to like or trust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ree Drummond also rose to popularity by giving away $200-$500 gift cards in comment "contests" every week. Let's not forget that.

      Delete
    2. Noted. *scribbles something in his "things to do to become a popular blogger" moleskin*

      Delete
  29. The truth always matters. That's all I got.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I couldn't buy the "friend" who is out to him but no one else. He's soooo lonely because no one knows. Apparently, he's not even cruising closeted married guys on Craig's list. But he confides in his good buddy Dan. But, he's still sooooo lonely. Because he's not real.

    Why this matters: a 15 year old kid coming out to his bigoted, homophobic parents, in a bigoted town, is in serious danger. Inspiring other kids to come out because of your bullshit story can get kids killed. Finding yourself homeless at 15 is a very real potential consequence of coming out to intolerant parents. So is getting your ass kicked or worse.
    Coming out is very important and something all queer folks should do at some point. So is making sure you have your survival needs met before you burn a bridge to food and shelter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great point about the danger of coming out without thinking it out first, Anonymous. I've seen it made elsewhere, but maybe not as forcefully.

      I was looking at the "I'm Christian..." post as I was writing mine, and thought the same thing about "Jacob." 27 and ONLY out to Dan? Jesus, Jacob--move somewhere else! Even if it's just Salt Lake City. Join a support group! Get it together! Stop being a character in a Danoah morality play! The world that Dan sketches in these gay-themed posts is like goddamn 1960s Mississippi.

      Delete
    2. I applaud you all for stepping up to question all of this. Now Dan has to find the courage to admit to deception or reveal the truth. I do want to mention that yes it is dangerous (much like 1960s Mississippi) to be a gay teen in Utah. Hundreds are homeless and it is criminal to help them (they call it harboring a runaway, because they can go home if they deny they are gay). I would like to see someone find a way to use the attention as a call to action.

      Delete
    3. I've heard about how bad it is for gay teens in Utah, and people have commented that if Dan's posts inspire teens to come out without the proper preparation and support, the results can be disastrous. I should probably not have dismissed the idea that parts of Utah are culturally like Mississippi in the 60s. But...a 27-year-old who has the internet should be able to extricate himself from that situation one way or the other. Not saying it's easy, by any means. Just seems a bit odd that he would only be out to one person. Also seems like Dan could have helped him by hooking him up with resources that would have helped him come out safely, rather than just preach about him.

      Delete
  31. BD, you and I have bonded over this matter already, so you know where I stand. But I especially appreciate your response to Catherine above (whom I adore enough to put stuff on her while she sleeps, and whose point I understand too) because it articulates perfectly why SDL bothers me too - in general and with respect to this particular post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie--I'm glad Catherine chimed in with that, because it did make me think about why I can't just let my SDL-aversion go.

      Delete
  32. I don't know the complete story about this guy, but the fact that his blog is so popular is the reason my favorite blogs are rarely popular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my favorite comment of the entire thread.

      Delete
  33. I don't know the complete story about this guy, but the fact that his blog is so popular is the reason my favorite blogs are rarely popular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My languishing in relative obscurity is now validated.

      Delete
  34. I have often wondered how he's making a living at blogging. I know a few people do, but seems like a slim chance. I thought that perhaps he had some sort of backing from a company or something. Like he used to work for a publishing company. He's never done any commercial tie-ins that I know of. Just has this then I started my own business during my normal working hours feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I wish you had charts and slides and stuff. That would've been even more fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially water slides, I love those things!

      Delete
  36. Many years ago, Freud nailed what we find so creepy about sentimentality.
    All sentimentality, he said, is repressed brutality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes creepy is just creepy.

      Delete
    2. This makes me fear for Andy's safety. Do you know how to fight, Beta Dad? I bet you do.

      Delete
    3. I do. But only in theory. I've read some books with really good fight scenes.

      Delete
  37. Great post. I don't read his blog, so have other than your post about his posts, I really wouldn't know how Cheesy and Schmaltzy he is. It's sad that there would actually be a large segment of the population that see his as The Representation of Dad Blogs. If that's the case they are sure missing out on tons of well written, and genuine Dad centered Blogs. Of course, WE all know that. And If your post draw some added attention to others in the arena, kudos to you for it. Though I may have to monitor his for a reaction now.

    ReplyDelete
  38. If you want to put a few stats behind it, around the time when he started blowing up I ran an analysis and his highest readership was from China. I ran them again today and now the majority of his readership is in the US, but I've worked with several clients who have bought their traffic for their sites and social media platforms in order to give them momentum by looking bigger than they were in order to build a legit audience. Aside from the US, the other countries where he has significant followership: India, Singapore, and the Philippines.

    He uses a lot of aggregating and RSS sites that publish his auto-post his stuff--a common technique used by PR firms who handle social media for their clients.

    Along with this, there's a bunch of weird back-linking to places like opera.com, bodybuilding.com and weightwatchers. (And I'm betting mom's would love to see the backlinks from the sensual young ladies of ModelMayhem.com when his #1 inbound link-other than search-comes from the Dynamic Women of Faith) SEO Service company's sometimes do this to up the inbound links--a common technique, but one that's starting to be frowned upon in some circles with Google's new algorithms. More than likely, though, it's from his use of "Infolinks" a text-link company, that--oh by the way--SDL has written endorsements for.

    Of the top 10 search terms for his site 3, 5, & 6 are: "blogger vs wordpress" "will work 4 followers" & "will work for followers" Other high impact search terms related to his site include: "get more blog followers," "get more followers" "get more followers blogger" It's also highly optimized for misspellings like "willin work follors" & "single dad laughn" These also form the highest keywords and long-tail keywords density in his text.

    He make use of several sub-domains that help drive traffic. One being WillWorkforFollowers which probably is where all the above comes from, but it's written in style that a copywriter would use for SEO optimization--plus you want to stick your finger down your throat reading it. One other sub-domain that's a bit weird to me is backwoodsmom.donah.com That could be interpreted several ways both legit and not. Can't say for sure, but she had almost 9K FB followers. ("$25 dolla's get you 5 thousand folla's")

    The above are facts, anyone of which could have a reasonable explanation behind them, but altogether? Well...? Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One other item that seems weird to me, and it may be nothing, but for all the work above to help Dan get found, he has no presence on Google+ which, if with all the changes at Google, this is the hot topic when it comes to SEO. (I'm in the middle of converting all of our company's SEO clients to it right now) He has a profile with only 69 people following him and no SDL G+ page for his blog. Any yet he had his blog hosted on Google's Blogger platform. Again, it could be nothing and maybe I'm looking in the wrong place for him, but this is such a fundamental step in search, it seems strange to me. Anyway.

      Delete
    2. He also only has 800 Google Reader RSS subscribers, which just serves as more evidence that he hasn't yet figured out how to incorporate Google services into his (forgive my continued use of this term) "Potemkin" readership.

      Delete
    3. Wow, Ron--I have no idea how you go about researching that stuff, but it's pretty weird and interesting. I know that he did run a blog-about-blogging for a while, and I think it was called "Will Work for Followers."

      Delete
    4. Ron, you keep being awesome :)

      Delete
    5. Fraud or not we are operating in a bubble here. If you ask people who aren't involved in social media to name a popular blogger most haven't got a clue.

      Ask them to tell you about BlogHer and they won't have a clue what you are talking about. Blog conferences, brand ambassadors, reviews and giveaways aren't on their radar either.

      Even within the 'sphere there is limited awareness. Part of the reason the same people get picked to speak at conferences or are nominated as the "Big Powerful Blogger" is because of all the noise.

      I'll put money down that more than a few people have purchased Twitter followers, backlinks etc.

      Very few people are in this for the long haul.

      Signed,

      The curmudgeon in the back of the room.

      Delete
    6. You're right--most of this is inside-baseball stuff that very few people care about. But on the other hand, I have friends who have never read a blog post on purpose before who have shared SDL's schlock on their FB pages.

      Delete
    7. So, he's just a business man trying to make a buck off a new blog. Is that bad? Maybe so when it's disingenuous, like it is here.

      Delete
    8. Ron, I've never met you, but I've always heard awesome things about you (from Faiqa, who never praises lightly) and I think I may have a slight man-crush on you for this comment and these details.

      Delete
    9. Daaaamn.

      This sounds fairly incriminating to me. Has anyone ever presented that to him? Does he have a response?

      Another thing I find fishy is that he's SO INTERESTED in the people that "hate" on him. If he has nothing to hide, why does he care? Why does he need to win anyone over? That's the biggest red flag for me. He's acting like someone with a guilty conscience.

      Delete
    10. Yeah, I have seen some non blogging buddies toss up a post or two of his. Kind of irritating.

      Maybe we can turn this into some kind of blogger fundraiser. We can make it a steel cage "Blogger Beatdown" match.

      Or make it into some kind of Hunger Games meets Highlander deal. There can be only one.

      Sign me up, I am in.

      Delete
  39. Yeah, it's funny how some people's sites just blew up all of the sudden. Sadly, SDL isn't the only one. Kinda killed the blogging buzz for me. It was fun back when it was about content and conversation.

    Have to say Didactic Pirate's post and others around it have brought me back around. That's real. And that's good.

    Stay strong!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Whoa. It matters a lot to me if someone is faking dramatic stories about gay people. These are intense times, politically and sociologically, and social media is instrumental in assuring at-risk kids that It Gets Better and at changing the political landscape as gay people fight for our rights and our families. To coop that for traffic is unethical and reckless. If either of his posts are fabricated, he is stealing people's truths in a dangerous way, and to be discovered to have been tricking people on such a sensitive issue is equally horrible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be interested to hear what your gut tells you about both or either of those posts. Upon re-reading the first one ("I'm Christian, unless You're Gay,") it seems very strange that a 27-year-old gay guy would only be out to one person in the whole wide world, who just happens to be Dan, as another commenter here pointed out. I realize that there are all kinds of different situations that might discourage coming out, but it's hard to imagine a 27-year-old in this day and age who is so terrified of the censure of his family and community that he wouldn't come out or, you know, leave town and start over.

      Delete
    2. You'd be surprised. I know someone very well who just came out to his family at 39.

      Still, that whole story sent my BS meter into red alert. And I still have a headache from banging my head against my desk at the follow up.

      Delete
    3. Yeah--My wife has a cousin who's in his 40s, been with the same guy for 20 years, and he's not out to his family. I mean, everybody knows but they don't talk about it. But he's out to pretty much everybody else in the world.

      Delete
  41. I love this post! I remember reading his obnoxious emails in the beginning and his "apologies", and every post of his just smacks of the work of a 15-year old creative writing student.

    I've been ignoring him, but when I saw this latest atrocity crop up on Facebook, I commented every time someone shared it and suggested that they read something legitimate instead.

    Now that Kristin Ruiz has been outed as a fraud, maybe I should make Dan Pearce my next project . . .

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think the last time I thought about this guy was the last discussion we shared with several others in your post a year ago. Wow, that was a long sentence! LOL Anyway, I thought you put up a very well written post here. Obviously you have some feelings about this guy but I'm appreciating how honest, passionate, and strong you are for expressing your opinion in a very mature manner. It could have been easy to totally bash him like a child but you didn't. You were very decisive in expressing your concerns and I completely agree. As many wonderful qualities as Dan has, as we all do, in my estimation he is certainly one of the least authentic bloggers on the Net. The bottom line is he's going to keep blogging and computers will keep commenting and "liking". Perhaps we just need to appreciate Dan for Dan. Accept he is who he is and give him allowance. It doesn't mean we'll agree with his tactics or think he's any more authentic. What it will do is free us up to give our energy to things that are authentic in our lives. Thanks for the great post and for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably good advice, Josh, but I think we should still set aside at least one day out of every year to vent about Dan.

      Delete
    2. DadStreet - your comment is why those of us who actually give a shit about good, authentic writing will continue to rail against those who don't.

      Delete
  43. This is pretty heady drama stuff you're conjuring here, you realize that, right?

    I'm thinking of driving traffic to my dad blog by portraying your back-and-forth with SDL as a gripping narrative. Good idea, right? I'll throw in lots of sentimental BS about how ppl should get along.

    Seriously, I just found out about your blog today, somehow, and this is some pretty awesome material. I like your writing. As a newbie, let me say, Me Gusta.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hello Beta -- I am you. I have a female blogger I resent and stalk bc she started her blog the same time I started mine and she's rolling in the Benjamins traffic-wise. That bitch. You've got SDL's number. He's no cattle all hat, you're all cattle no hat. I think you know what I mean. So I have one bit of advice pulled from my bitter, jaded writer's heart. Just do your work. Just. Do. Your. Work. Because you kick ass at it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I get that his message is good. Don't bully, don't discriminate etc. I just think his method is bizarre as heck, and I never bothered to read his blog enough to pay attention to what bothered me about it. I am pretty darn grateful that you posted this here with this information because now I know my instinct was correct. You save me time to read blogs that actually matter to me and don't make me feel like something isn't quite right. I did read that post and honestly it seemed odd that both the mother and son wrote so similar. It is harder than people think to portray two different writing styles. Also after my comment to Dan on twitter in disbelief that he had not "heard" of Charlie and Andy he actually bothered to reply to me, and shortly after gave them a shout out. I apparently should have opened my big mouth sooner. Whatever he helps himself not other people until he is bugged about it. Woops I am glad I read this again. Bad language redacted.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I suppose he could play it off as sort of a form of satire? My book is all satire, but mine's so hyperbolic that I don't think it compares, really.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This guy sounds like a right nasty bloke!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I didn't click on any of the links. He doesn't need it. I would have loved to have seen the picture though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really wish I would have included it, but I didn't want to risk getting in trouble. Here's another place where people are (ahem) discussing him, and someone put that pic up. No pagehits for Dan. http://getoffmyinternets.net/gomi-forum/lifestyle-bloggers/single-dad-laughing/

      Delete
  49. Instead of contributing a mature comment, allow me to devolve into my comfort zone. I've always imagined that a specialized circle of hell exists for the grossly arrogant and narcissistic. I imagine Dan will inhabit that circle one day, having to swim around in the vomit of everyone exposed to his bullshit. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this is why I heart Doc. "swim around in the vomit" I think I need a cold shower now.

      Delete
  50. So, here's my take: http://www.avitable.com/2012/04/13/the-brave-response-of-dan-pearce-to-a-teens-brave-response-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay/

    ReplyDelete
  51. "Perhaps it will even include a photo of him dragging a rough-hewn cross up a mountainside."

    You almost killed me. Such a simple line but so freakin' brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have included a link to your excellent piece about his internet panhandling, but this post was already getting longer than a New Yorker article.

      Delete
  52. I've never heard of this guy, until today (came here via Avitable). So this guy does all the putting out, and the only people getting screwed are his readers? Great.
    He sounds like a complete cheesedick. No thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I don't want to read any more of your posts, because I want to go out on a high. I have a post about that Christian unless you're gay one scheduled for next week, but yours is way better, so now I feel embarrassed. I really love this post, even though I'd never heard about that SDL guy until Tuesday. What a douche. Thanks for keeping it real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a competition! There's room for all different types of SDL-bashing.

      Delete
  54. Huh. I am confused by all of this dad-blogging drama. I thought the women were the dramatic ones! :) If it makes you feel any better, I have never heard of this SDL guy before. His blog did sound braggy when I clicked over and I am not inclined to give him any more traffic if there is a question of his legitimacy. So, YaY! You stopped a person from giving him traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  55. FWIW I've never heard of this supposed superstar dad blogger (and I'm not going to bother giving him any traffic)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ok, so, I have never heard of this person before this post. Does that mean I lose the Internet??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't speak to your mastery of the internet, but it's kind of like not knowing about Toddlers and Tiaras.

      Delete
  57. I used to be a fan of SDL.

    One day when I could no longer stomach his BS anymore I posted a comment that basically disagreed with him on his FB page. A fellow fan proceeded to bash me, and defend Dan. Dan himself got into the conversation and after defending himself, attempted to goad me by responding to everything I said with "ok.". It all seemed very childish and was unimportant to me so I bowed down and did the "I'm wrong and you're right." thing to put an end to the barf inducing defense of this narcissist and forgot about it...

    The next day up pops a blog post about how his blog post caused a stir, and in it he thanked an anonymous "friend", and basically chastised (sorry I don't care enough to read the post and get quotes) the people who stated disagreement. Calling them un-awesome or some other such crap intended to put them in their place. I am fairly certain I am the ONLY person who spoke up negatively.

    I was a fan of this man because of his positive message of love, respect, and beauty in imperfection. When I realized he was simply exploiting such sentiments to feed his hungry ego I lost interest completelt.


    He calls gay people "the gays".


    He openly wants a physically perfect woman for himself while preaching to other men and women the flaws of perfection. He defends this by simply stating his right to his own opinion of what is beautiful.


    He bullies anyone who disagrees with him.


    He is a liar, a hypocrite, a narcissist, and a bully. That's all I have to say about this...Man.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi there, I don't personally know Dan, but we have talked before and we have friends in the same circles. We are not friends. I called him a tool, and he didn't like it.

    This is my own guess as to why he got so big, so fast. Mormons. We're in Utah (Dan used to live in my neighborhood). When his 'Congrats, you broke your kid' came out, it was EVERYWHERE, everyone I know shared it on FB and liked his page which directed you to his blog. I'm sure friends and families of LDS outside the state then shared it.

    Even though we have both left the church, we still have friends and family deeply connected.

    That is all, carry on. :)
    -andromeda9mm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the fascinating comment!

      Delete
    2. Beta Dad,
      I am not a fan of SDL either, but I do understand why he may express himself the way he does in his writing, that for you and most people may seem too "saccharine sweet it hurts your teeth".
      It's plain and simple, he's a Mormon! He may have left the church but he was raised to be this "super nice it's so weird of a person" lol. How do I know? I am a person who didn't grow up in Utah but lived there for a few years, man when I first started treating people there, it was just WEIRD! People there, are just "too nice", like unnaturally nice, like, you will not find anywhere else. At first it makes you think they are hypocritical, or fake, but when years go by and you keep treating the same people, whether they are active in church or not, you realize that, that is just the way they are. Yes, they are just too nice, because that is how most Mormons are raised to be.
      I no longer live there, and I do have to admit that sometimes, I do miss the niceness of the Utah people.
      Anyway not trying to defend him, just my two cents to see if I can help you understand a little.

      Delete
  59. I read some of SDL's earliest posts, at a time when I couldn't figure out where all that blog traffic came from. The writing was OK, but formulaic, almost as a recipe for "emotionally tagging" a reader. I gave up and moved on, I was just not in his target audience. This post, and some of the comments, go a long wat to fill in some blanks. In the mean time, I reached the point where I don't care if only 3 people read my blog, as long as someone, somewhere, gets something useful out of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree...the post that struck me as being completely connived was a couple months back when he spun this tale of when he was on an Internet dating site, and had three experiences in which he found that these ladies he went on three dates with were deceiving him in one form or another...if I recall correctly, one lied about her income/job or education. One failed to disclose that she had kids (her profile said none, I guess), and one just bent the truth a bit about her weight.
      Supposedly, a year plus goes by and Dan decides to write about the deception of one woman in particular. Was it the income/job/education one? No. Was it the one who lied about having children? No. He chose to write about the fat one. He chose the most touchy, controversial subject; a subject many ladies are sensitive about, so they could all flame-war in his comments and generate clicks.
      It also needs to be pointed out that he started with the post about the "large" date, and people got upset with the way his tone was. So, in another post, he added that *other ladies* lied to him also (see above references). So I called him out and asked him why he chose to write about a chick who was a bit bigger than say, the one who lied about kids, or income, or profession? He kept digging himself deeper, and all his sheeple came to his rescue. I haven't read his site since. I feel he's shady. He just picks hot/sensitive/controversial topics, pretends he wants a deep, meaningful discussion, (because he's naiive and wants advice and is totally open to learning from others, ya know?) and the games begin. I caught on right away, after reading about three posts, and left. Now I see he has spun himself quite a web and is being called out by many (and now defended by Her Bad Mother, who really isn't helping the situation, IMHO.) He's trying so hard to be "sensitive, misunderstood Dad" but he is a poor writer, IMO, and comes across as, in the case I mention above, an insensitive body-snarking db. As someone mentioned above, a text-book narcissist.

      Delete
  60. Heh, I'd never heard of the dude till today (you *may* have heard: he held his own coming out party in a recent post) and the first thing I did after perusing his site for a good 20 minutes was google "single dad laughing lying" which landed me on your blog.

    (And I'm not saying he is -- but holy schlockfest, I couldn't find an ounce of uncalculated content and I couldn't help but wonder if this was even a real person.)

    ReplyDelete
  61. These two changes are extremely visible today. If you go to Google's homepage and click on the special logo that celebrates 25 years of TCP/IP and the New Year, you'll be sent to the search results for [January 1 TCP/IP] and you should normally see a Wikipedia page as the top result. video seo

    ReplyDelete
  62. wow..... What's depressing is that if he really is that popular, a lot of people think his writing is actually good. And it's so, so, SO bad. Realizing how tacky most of humanity is... so depressing.


    I really like YOUR blog though!
    single father

    ReplyDelete
  63. Crazy that our moral battles are now fought in the blogosphere rather than the forum or battlefield....

    ReplyDelete
  64. Wow, just did a Google search on "snopes i'm christian" in response to seeing the story relinked on my FB feed and ended up here. Not only am I glad to see others questioning the story, but I feel I'm eavesdropping on you all and it's fascinating and entertaining LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  65. only men would turn blogging into a freaking competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, only men do that. It's all a big boys' club.

      Delete
  66. I feel like a fool.
    When I came across SDL's page, I fell in love with how sweet it is.
    Then one day, while I was bored, I googled "Single Dad Laughing" and the words "fake" and "hoax" were attached to most of them. So, I checked it out, and now I feel like the biggest fool.
    It truly gave me hope that some people are legitimate.
    I picked the wrong person to look up to.
    Thank you for your debunking! :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. just did a Google search on "snopes i'm christian" in response to seeing the story relinked on my FB feed and ended up here. Not only am I glad to see others questioning the story , but I feel I'm eavesdropping on you all and it's fascinating and entertaining LOL.

    ReplyDelete

Don't hold back.

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