Dear Tell All: I occasionally read the popular blog by Ann Althouse, the University of Wisconsin law professor. It contains political commentary, narcissistic blather and lots of dopey comments. I was stunned to read a recent post where Althouse reveals that she's gotten engaged to one of her commenters! He's a guy named Meade, from Ohio, and as far as I can tell, Althouse got to know him simply through his posts. Is there any way a romance built on blogs can last?
Dear W.W.W.: In most cases, I'd say: Butt out. Who are we to judge whether two people can be happy together? And besides, they deserve their privacy.
In this case, however, I say: Let's discuss. I mean, when people spew their opinions and experiences all over the Internet, their lives are fair game for any of us, right? And besides, when has Ann Althouse ever discouraged comments?
So let's dig into the voluminous archives at posted a picture of herself with a ring. In a post later that day, she informed a few of her closest friends -- a.k.a., anyone with an Internet connection -- that she is the happiest woman in the world:
"Let there be no doubt about it: A blogger -- Althouse -- is engaged to be married to a man who began his connection to her as a commenter on her blog. After 4+ years of writing at each other, we met in real life and found real love."
Scrolling through Althouse's posts and Meade's comments, I'm skeptical about this match. Althouse is a conservative who prides herself on keeping an open mind. Indeed, she grudgingly voted for Obama last fall after months of scrutinizing the candidates. Meade, on the other hand, appears to be content with the Republican talking points, calling Obama a "boneheaded megalomaniac." Now, Obama may be a lot of things, but a "boneheaded megalomaniac"? Althouse, does this pass your intellectual-honesty test?
Plus, I'm worried that the guy is a bit of a dick. In response to another commenter, Meade says: "Well okay then, Michael. I guess I'd rather be a happy fucking moron than a lonely psychotic weirdo."
Yes, Meade has a foul mouth, and also an obnoxious sense of humor: "I'm hoping Barack has a sex change and runs for reelection as a white woman with a really even tan. Talk about historic! The first transgendered president formerly known as a white male."
On the other hand, Meade did graciously thank every single person who congratulated him and Althouse in the March 22 comments section -- a marathon post that stretched on for about a dozen screens. So maybe he has a heart after all.
The best we can do is wish the lovebirds luck and wait to see if the marriage lasts. If it doesn't, I'm sure we'll be the first to know.
Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI, 53703. Or email email@example.com.