Separated at Birth: Fake Steve and Dan Lyons

Uncategorized Posted Aug 6, 2007 by metropolis

I get tired of those silly convos where folks debate the strengths of the West Coast versus the East Coast as petri dishes for tech or life sciences companies. Can’t we all just get along?

But today, chalk one up for the allegedly stuffy Easterners. Because Fake Steve has been busted and he’s one of us — and no less than a resident of our fair state — Dan Lyons, senior editor at Forbes. Could we have a prouder moment?

I knew Lyons (below) had a sense of humor, but who knew he was this funny.

FSJ’s blog today, under the eloquent title, “Damn, I am so busted, yo,” reports:

I’ve been busted by a newspaper reporter. My cover has been blown. Guy named Brad Stone, who works for the New York Times. Have you heard of him? Well, tip of the hat to you, Brad Stone. You did the sleuthing. You put the pieces of the puzzle together. You went through my trash, hacked into my computer, and put listening devices in my home. Now you’ve ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder.

Having read this post, which does not reveal FSJ’s true identity (except for some adorable mugshots of a Jack Russell terrier), I Googled – my fingers trembling with excitement – to find Stone’s article, which is here. Stone kept me in suspense until paragraph four, when he finally spills the beans.

Stone fills us in, and gives us a few examples of Dan’s twisted wit:

Mr. Lyons said writing as Fake Steve became addictive. He developed a unique lexicon and catalog of insults for the character. Bill Gates is Beastmaster, and Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, is Squirrel Boy.

Last month, when a reader asked Fake Steve about Apple’s succession plan, he replied: “My plan at this time is to live forever and to remain in charge here, though perhaps with fewer restrictions on my power. The truth is, I am not human — I am a man-god, son of Zeus, born to mortal woman but fathered by the ruler of the gods, lord of thunder.”

It’s tough enough to maintain a blog on a regular basis, but my hat is off to Lyons for his trenchant satire and consistent voice for FSJ.

And you know it’s a good day when you get to use trenchant in a sentence.