August 23, 2004

Who Is Fafblog?

After spending some time at lunch with Tom Kalil on Friday speculating aloud about who Fafblog might be (in between throwing ideas into the air and then shooting it down about where a Kerry administration might find resources to fund payroll tax relief: that's the key difference between Democrats and Republicans these days--Democrats don't believe that the resources to fund government actions are created out of thin air by wishing *really* *hard*), I was surprised to get back to my office and find a relative--a close relative--one of the six people in the world who shares half my DNA--inquiring whether *I* was Fafblog!

I was astonished. I am not Fafblog. I could never sustain that degree of wit. I could never sustain that degree of unhingedness.

But this makes me wonder who Fafblog is. Fafblog is clearly (i) somebody who knows about the Byzantine Empire, the Knights Templar, and the Crusades, and (ii) somebody who knows more about early and Medieval Christian Theology (the suppressed last articles of the Nicaean Creed! Hah!) than is healthy. This implies somebody who was either (a) a medieval history major, or (b) went to a Jesuit high school.

We are narrowing in...

Posted by DeLong at August 23, 2004 10:44 AM | TrackBack

Wait a minute -- are you alleging that Fafnir, the Medium Lobster, and Giblets are one and the same person?

An astounding charge.

Posted by: praktike at August 23, 2004 10:57 AM

So are those who know fafblog obligated to keep his secrets as long as possible>

Posted by: niq at August 23, 2004 11:01 AM

That was going to be my first question. The tone of the various posts and w/in various posts, lead me to believe there is more than a single individual involved, but of course, that can be an affection.

So, then the question might become, "Do really want to know?" Did you like it when you learned that there was no Santa, No WMD in Iraq, and that no one ver goes to jail for starting secret wars?

I don't think I want to be disillusioned, and find out that Fafblog is some 65 year old philosophy prof somewhere in New England. No let me keep my childish beliefs that it three 20 somethings sharing an apartment somewhere in Malibu. Don't ruin this for me Brad.

And what about the women?

Posted by: rick pietz at August 23, 2004 11:03 AM

Who needs multiple personality disorder when you've got Fafblog??

Posted by: Matt at August 23, 2004 11:12 AM

Surely, you jest! The answer is obvious. We are all Fafblog and Fafblog is us.

Posted by: k at August 23, 2004 11:16 AM

No war for Giblets!

Posted by: BSR at August 23, 2004 11:19 AM

I always assumed it was Sydney Blumenthal, since he and Giblets were never seen in the same room together.

Posted by: jerry at August 23, 2004 11:21 AM

I always assumed it was Chris Mastrangelo.

Posted by: Anon at August 23, 2004 11:25 AM

I'm positive that they're philosophy students. One of them once used the word "supervene" in a technical way that is, as far as I know, unique to analytic philosophers.

Posted by: Chris at August 23, 2004 11:30 AM

I must admit, I know the secret. I must quickly post it, since They are coming for me, the Cabal that maintains the secret of Fafblog!'s existence.

Fafnir is 1a#$%sdNO CARRIER

Posted by: Thane Walkup at August 23, 2004 11:35 AM

Nice forum, thank you!

Posted by: free poker online at August 23, 2004 11:44 AM

I'll second a post above. I was a philosphy major (analytic) as an undergraduate, and have seen strong signs of a similar background in Fafblog!

Posted by: Matt at August 23, 2004 11:46 AM

A philosophy student working as a waiter. All the characters are food items (Fafnir's email address is:

Posted by: jim in austin at August 23, 2004 11:50 AM

I actually thought it was Brad's alter ego.

Posted by: jl at August 23, 2004 11:52 AM

Faf's changed his email address. It's used to be @ the url of an archive of underground comics, all by one author, whom I assumed was Faf.
He/they is/are young, mid 20's. The archive started in about 97.

Posted by: Ehrsaatz Gle' at August 23, 2004 12:00 PM

He may be an amateur in Medieval history.

The and similar organizations probably approach a million participants in the US.

I would, however rule out David Friedman (aka Cariodoc), he's pretty much a Randroid, though a nice guy.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at August 23, 2004 12:01 PM

Mr. DeLong, I take it you believe that Fafblog in in fact Umberto Eco?


Posted by: Scott Swank at August 23, 2004 12:06 PM

Fafnir once wrote that he was an immigrant (maybe around the time of Reagan's funeral), and for some reason I tend to believe that. So maybe he just got a classical education somewhere else.

Posted by: cw at August 23, 2004 12:12 PM


Posted by: jim in austin at August 23, 2004 12:17 PM

I would advise Brad to start systematically walking the streets of Berkeley while listening closely for the Latin moans of Crazy Templar Guy emanating from someone's basement... I'm thinking somewhere around Gilman and Talbot might be a good place to start.

Posted by: J Pinson at August 23, 2004 12:43 PM

I had a guess as to who Fafnir is, but on closer inspection, it turns out I was Fafnir all along. So, um, it's me.

Posted by: Chad Orzel at August 23, 2004 12:58 PM

Not fair. If Fafblog's owner wants to be identified, fine - but if he did, he would. Thou shalt not "out" bloggers, no matter how much you like their product.

Posted by: Anna at August 23, 2004 01:12 PM

I wish that I were Fafnir! It must be so much fun to be that clever and to be able to sustain the zaniness at so high a level. Alas! I am not even Chris. So sad, so sad.

Posted by: TonyB at August 23, 2004 01:14 PM

Fafnir's class photo is at

along with the House of Fafnir

Genius! Sheer genius!

Posted by: Gwailo at August 23, 2004 01:23 PM

If one wanted to maintain the secret of one's identity, one might say something along the lines of "I am not Fafblog" and then offer some ones'-self-deprecating nonsense to make oneself seem sincere. Very Shifty. Too Shift.

Posted by: kharris at August 23, 2004 01:47 PM

>somebody who knows about the Byzantine Empire, the Knights Templar, and the Crusades, and (ii) somebody who knows more about early and Medieval Christian Theology (the suppressed last articles of the Nicaean Creed!

Could be someone that plays Europa Universalis as well.

Posted by: hmm at August 23, 2004 01:59 PM

I am not Fafblog.

I'm not smart enough.

Posted by: praktike at August 23, 2004 02:01 PM

$ whois

Leen, John
Apt N207
11117 NE 109th Ln
Kirkland, WA 98033

He might be this guy at Berkeley:,John/

Posted by: Aaron Swartz at August 23, 2004 02:12 PM

His old webpage, from 2000:

Starting in August I'll be at Berkeley, working toward a Ph.D. in Mathematics. I just graduated from Brown University, where I was since August 1997 when I transferred from Bowdoin College after spending a year there. At Brown I majored in mathematics and classics.

Prior to Bowdoin, I attended Boston University Academy, a private high school affiliated with (you guessed it!) Boston University. (I do seem to like schools beginning with "B".) Students at B.U. Academy take University courses in their junior and senior years, so I arrived at Bowdoin with a year's worth of college credit, planning to graduate a year early. So although I graduated from B.U. Academy in 1996, I was in the Class of 1999 at Bowdoin.

Posted by: Aaron Swartz at August 23, 2004 02:17 PM

Posted by: Aaron Swartz at August 23, 2004 02:17 PM


I am Christopher.

Posted by: Christopher Robin at August 23, 2004 02:28 PM

There is almost certainly a Brown connection, as you could tell from these early Fafblog entries:

Mentions of Providence:

And the very damning links from techhouse servers in that page, to wit:


Pictures of Geeky Brown undergrads:

And other like stuff.

It would seem likely one author's name is Chris. A Rhode Island location would make sense given the contributions of the Medium Lobster. Giblets is from Gibletsia. I am Fafnir.

It all makes sense to me...

Posted by: Jonathan W. King at August 23, 2004 02:48 PM


Ham jello we sing, and spam fresh from the sow:
These foods we worship, but before we eat,
Bow down to Giblets, human! Bow down NOW!!

Gibletsian and heroic deeds I vow
Shall sweep the Nader voters off their feet!
Ham jello we sing, and spam fresh from the sow.

The grand strategy of Giblets won't allow
George Bush to keep his presidential seat.
Bow down to Giblets, human! Bow down NOW!!

Put down that snail, John Kerry! I avow
Your naval exploits prove you are effete!
Ham jello we sing, and spam fresh from the sow.

Who bravely seized the sandwich at the prow,
Defending coastal Arkansas with meat?
Bow down to Giblets, human! Bow down NOW!!

Our Giblets is demanding! Don't kowtow
To Stelbig or his deviled ham elite!
Ham jello we sing, and spam fresh from the sow.
Bow down to Giblets, human! Bow down NOW!!

Posted by: Poet Laureate of Gibletsia at August 23, 2004 02:51 PM

Fluble ran for a while in the Brown Daily Herald. It was good, but it was neither as good as MC Paul Barman's short-lived Garfielderine nor a certain weblog -- of the future!

Posted by: Steve at August 23, 2004 03:36 PM

I've seen the Brown stuff and was intrigued. I just hope fafblog has NOTHING to do with this weirdness, although it was five years ago (youthful indiscretions?):

check out the "x-rated" page. lol

Posted by: pm at August 23, 2004 03:48 PM

Fafnir, Giblets, and the Medium Lobster live with a guy called... Chris.

Fluble was the creation of a guy called... Chris.

There's a guy called Chris in the techhouse photo. Actually there are two, but only one is Fafblog.

Posted by: rod at August 23, 2004 03:55 PM

Medium Lobster is a lobster, Giblets is a cat (or some other tunafish-eating creature, perhaps an otter, raccoon, or a small bear, except that the whole crowd seemed to have been upset when a bear did show up) and Fafnir is a bunny. Or did a carefully-placed clue lead me far astray?

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at August 23, 2004 04:15 PM

Don't forget their equally obvious and equally close knowledge of "The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O. C. and Stiggs".

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit at August 23, 2004 06:08 PM

Hmm, looking at the teahouse photograph, that's either a young Henry Minsky, or a younger Harlan Ellison.

Posted by: jerry at August 23, 2004 06:18 PM

The Fluble connection: and

But the real question is: When do we get to see "Fafnir - the Movie"?

Posted by: Gwailo at August 23, 2004 06:38 PM

Putting the thread together, could it be "Chris Mastrangelo Curran"? Whomever it is, my sincerest thanks for the best thing on the internet.

Posted by: Willis at August 23, 2004 06:42 PM

On the internet, no one knows you're a lobster.

Posted by: masaccio at August 23, 2004 07:20 PM

"This implies somebody who was either (a) a medieval history major, or (b) went to a Jesuit high school."

And/or perhaps a serious SCAdian. The choice of "Fafnir" as a nom-de-net might also hint at this.

Posted by: Randolph Fritz at August 23, 2004 07:31 PM


Posted by: mesothelioma at August 23, 2004 07:57 PM

I'm... fairly sure Fafnir is a dragon.

Posted by: Gregg at August 24, 2004 04:07 AM

I am currently undertaking linguistic analysis and related research, high in my Mountain Fastness, that I expect will conclusively show that Fafblog is written by Q. K. Philander Doesticks, P. B., famed humoristical newspaper columnist of the 1850s.

Whether Fafblog is also somebody else remains to be seen. I have often found that when dealing with immortals and immortal words -- let alone those with preternaturally long lives -- it is often important to suspend assumptions concerning mutual exclusivity. Thus, to clarify what one of the earlier comments suggested: It is not that "We are all Fafblog and Fafblog is all of us," but rather that some multiset of us are Fafblog, and Fafblog is some subset of the union of some of us and some dead people from long ago.

So there you have it.

Posted by: Bill Tozier at August 24, 2004 06:12 AM

"a medieval history major"

It's clear now. Fafnir is Carly Fiorina.

Posted by: Jon Meltzer at August 24, 2004 07:54 AM

The Faf-head is evidently Triune: Fafnir the Fafnir, Fafnir the Giblets, and Fafnir the Medium Lobster. It is a Mystery. Credo quo absurdam -

Posted by: kevin quinn at August 24, 2004 10:39 AM

Fafnir is not a dragon, Fafnir is a bunny. (Actually, Fafnir is a dragon, and a bunny, and many more things besides. But his(?) physical manifestation is as a bunny).

Behold...Fafnir! (and Chris)

Giblets and the Medium Lobster are, strangely, missing from the picture.

Posted by: Smokey at August 24, 2004 12:18 PM

Silly internet! Fafnir is Fafnir an Fafnir is you an Chris an turquoise an the Holy Roman Empire an the state of Michigan (I could swing either way this year!).

Posted by: fafnir at August 24, 2004 08:59 PM

Thad believes that Fafnir is Peter Singer.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein at August 24, 2004 11:20 PM

It says most clearly, right here in my book of Viking mythology, that Fafnir is a dragon. I'm pointing right at it - see?

He may *look* like a cuddly toy rabbit (obviously, to make him easier to carry around), but he is actually a dragon.

Posted by: Gregg at August 25, 2004 04:10 AM

If he's a dragon and a bunny, then he was originally a giant. Get your mythology straight!

(Actually, I think Duncan Black is Fafnir.)

Posted by: tcb or tcb3 at August 25, 2004 06:42 AM

Karl Rove says:
Giblets is the mutant cross-over between Dogbert and Catbert!! The creation of that anti-Capitalist, anti-America Scott Adams.

Posted by: Weco at August 25, 2004 08:25 AM

Brad, I think it's an incredibly stupid, rude, thoughtless thing to speculate in public on who is Fafblog. I say this knowing all the relevant details, having published photos of Fafnir and Giblets, and so on.

I urge you with the greatest force to delete this post, delete the comments, delete them from the Wayback Machine, and publically urge people not to harm the Fafblog Fraction by indulging in speculation that can only hurt the Voices of Faf.

Sheesh! (It never frigging crossed your mind to not blurt out stuff, or to ask Fafnir what he and the others thought? Sheesh!)

Posted by: Gary Farber at August 25, 2004 07:02 PM

Gary Farber that is very silly an it makes me confused. Why should me or Giblets be upset that pictures of us an Chris are floatin around on the internet? (Chris is the one who always goes "blah blah I look so fat tell them I am not really that fat anymore blah blah"). Me an Giblets an the Medium Lobster write Fafblog. Chris is just our kinda goofy friend who lives in our house an carries us places when we are too lazy or short to reach the bus stop. We have a rickshaw in the back he runs around with. Giblets throws quarters at his head to make im go faster.

We are flattered by all this attention an stuff but really the big question in the bloggyworld is who is Edward Underscore? Giblets thinks he is Italo Calvino come back as a zombie. I think he is Kevin Drum.

Posted by: fafnir at August 25, 2004 09:53 PM

Okay, rewrite the post, and delete all comments but Faf's.

Incidentlly, I am fafnir. John Kerry is Fafnir. George Busih is Fafner. Dick Cheney is definitely fafnir.

We are all fafnir. And that is all that matters.

And anyone who pushes further on that is anti-fafnir.

Posted by: Gary Farber at August 26, 2004 01:13 PM

"So are those who know fafblog obligated to keep his secrets as long as possible>"

Beyond death, unto, like...death. And beyond!

Posted by: Gary Farber at August 26, 2004 01:14 PM

I'm Fafnir, and so's my wife.

Posted by: Spartacus at August 26, 2004 01:26 PM

Credo quia absurdum - I believe it because it is absurd (contrary to reason)

Posted by: tgirl dream at August 27, 2004 05:43 AM

"Giblets is a cat...."

Giblets is a stuffed bunny, only smaller than Fafnir, silly! See here!

(Oh, right, Brad has a crap site that doesn't allow html, so I have to do this:

Sheesh! (It's really fucking annoying to type in all those italic marks and so forth, and be told by the software to fuck off.)

"Hmm, looking at the teahouse photograph, that's either a young Henry Minsky, or a younger Harlan Ellison."

Ah, for money to bet on. I'm quite sure that I'm the only person in the world who has Harlan Ellison's private phone number (and who is on friendly speaking terms with Harlan), and who corresponds with the writers of Fafblog (who are whom they say they are).

Should I call Harlan and ask him to endorse Fafblog? (Scratches head)

A bit complicated to explain....

I suppose if someone wants to explain the history of SF Bulletin in relation to Dimensions I might consider it. Analysis of Science Fiction Five-Yearly and the serialized fiction of Nosille Nalrah might be a push. Recapitulation of Bob Tucker's deaths, and the verbification of his name would complete the job.

Posted by: Gary Farber at August 28, 2004 08:33 AM