Friday night, my spine tingled as I was rushed past hundreds of giddy nerds lined up outside the Empire Hotel for The Webutante Ball. I was in!
The amount of buzz suggested it could go down in aughties annals with bacchanals like Motherfucker and Misshapes. Pay attention so you can lie and say you were there,experiencing an exquisite send-up of Facebook culture.
Scene-making couple Richard Blakeley (of Gawker) and Jessica Amason set
the stage with all the trappings of a suburban prom: photo booth, cheap
decorations, champagne flutes. Blakeley, his hair cut frat-boy short,
was wearing a slim-fit silver suit with aqua-blue socks and
tie—matching Amason’s crinoline prom dress.
The two played the role of
the prom-committee kids in high school to the hilt. Gesturing toward
the capacity crowd with her glove-covered hand, Amason chirped,
“Everyone made fun of it, but they’re here.” They even whispered about
the rudeness of queen nominee, Julia Allison. Amason griped,
“She emailed me that she wouldn’t come if she didn’t win. How
annoying!” Blakeley tutted in agreement. As if on cue, Allison appeared
in a pink ’50s prom dress.
Then there was an obviously
scripted moment when Blakeley and ginger blogger Nick Douglas noticed
they were wearing exactly the same outfit. Recreating the petty social
hierarchies of a suburban high school for dramatic effect—genius!
everyone was so method about the farce. Allison, wearing a rhinestone
tiara, bickered with a fellow nominee over whose dress was cheaper. As
for the tiara, the brunette explained, “I crowned myself in
case no one else did.” Her doubts were well founded; the winners were
two young upstarts from CollegeHumor.com, Amir Blumenfeld and Sarah Schneider, who had the competition “rigged” by massive voting from their site’s popular readership.
really is like a prom,” one nominee said sadly. “The rich football
players won with their billions of page views.”You see, it was all kind
of serious after all.