Hello, I'm Katie, mild-mannered writer and fan of early '90s pop music.
This is John Popper, singer and harmonica player of the band Blues Traveler, known for their '90s hits "Run-Around" and "Hook".
Let's go back 2 years to May 2014...
Popper used to be overweight (he's since lost a ton of weight – good for him, no shade!), and in an episode of Behind the Music about the band, there was a particular anecdote about him that stuck out in my memory. It was like the Zeppelin shark incident of harmonica music, the juiciest and most salacious detail by far. The story was that because of his weight, he would get winded when he masturbated, and would have to stop. What a crazy story!
I can't remember why I was thinking about the John Popper masturbation story, but when I tried to Google it and came up mostly empty handed, I tweeted about it.
John Popper replied! It's always very exciting if a celebrity, especially one you admired as a teen, replies to you. At first things were going ok...
But at some point, some other people jumped into the "canoe" (when a bunch of people are all in a Twitter conversation), and that's where all hell broke loose.
Here are the rules for fighting on Twitter. Learn them. Memorize them. Live them.
1) Don't ever get into a fight you don't know you can win. In this case, I knew I could "win" – Twitter fights are determined solely by the court of public opinion, and Popper was saying such terrible stuff that there was no way anyone would side with him. But there was still reason to avoid engaging in this particular fight.
2) Beware of falling into a fight where you end up saying something stupid. You'd be suprised how easy it is to start off debating Kayne West's latest album, and 5 tweets later find yourself going, "sure, Hitler had some good ideas...." Especially if you tweet under your real name, avoid getting dragged into some dumb fight and say something you regret. This is a classic trolling technique: goad someone into saying something you can hold up against them to say "look at this monster!" That's basically exactly what the other trolls were doing to Popper – riling him up until he embarrassed himself. Listen to my wisdom. Don't be like John Popper.
3) Follow the classic rule: don't ever wrestle with a pig – you get dirty, and the pig enjoys it. Some people just LOVE arguing on the internet; it's fun for them and they don't care if they lose. This includes most garden variety egg account trolls, who just have fun saying dumb shit to piss you off. Popper had a reputation for getting into fights with anyone who said the words "John Popper" – he clearly loves arguing on the internet. The pig (so to speak) likes it. Don't give the pig the pleasure.
So I stayed out of the fight, but it raged on in my mentions for basically an entire day. It was hell.
However, it was pretty funny that this all involved the singer from Blues Traveler, so I wrote a post about the whole saga for BuzzFeed:
Now let's get back to 2016. Last week, John Popper released a book, Suck & Blow. (Like the way you play a harmonica, get it?)
In that book, there's a paragraph describing the Twitter kerfluffle:
Um, hello, he is clearly talking about MOI here.
But the thing is, he got it all wrong. I never said the phrase "you can't even rape your hand." (See rule #2 about not getting into fights where you say regrettable things.) Someone else said that:
And the headline of my story said nothing about him being a "rape apologist."
Nor do I ever use the phrase "rape apologist" in my story at all. This is just a wildly inaccurate description of the whole event.
So did John Popper defame me in his book here? Idk, defamation is something with a precise legal definition, and I'm no Alicia Florrick.
But did he besmirch me? You bet he did. I'm besmirched as hell over here. John Popper took my good name and gave it the "Run-Around" through the mud, and I'm mad as hell.