When ‘Jonathan Van Decimeter’ met Jonathan Van Meter

Owen Thomas wrote as “Jonathan Van Decimeter” on Suck.com. He explains why:

Jonathan Van Meter was a magazine editor and writer and he was most noted for asking if we were living in a, quote-unquote, post-gay moment. …The kind of post-gay thing really spoke to me and I thought, Well, I’m only a tenth the writer that Jonathan Van Meter is, so I will call myself Jonathan Van Decimeter.


The funny thing is that someone at some point thought that Jonathan Van Meter had written my essays, so Jonathan Van Meter actually got in touch with me and said, “Hey, who are you?” and we had a nice exchange. It was a little bit of a fanboy moment to hear from one of my literary idols.

Uh, oh. Was I responsible for that? From Suck.com, February 3, 2000: “MediaGossip.com [my old site] gave the story a welcome plug but unfortunately attributed it incorrectly to the actual Van Meter. We apologize for any confusion, and we can assure the real Van Meter that he’s 10 times the man Van Decimeter is.”

* Owen Thomas discusses Hotwired and Suck (internethistorypodcast.com)
* “Mr. Van Decimeter, who identifies himself as post-postgay…” (suck.com)