It is very rare that I consider myself speechless. Yet now, e-paging through TheDirty.com founder Nik Richie's proposed memoir, Always Judge a Book by Its Cover, I suspect that it's not shock that's paralyzed my brain, but some kind of primal urge to willfully blot this man out out of my mind forever.
TheDirty.com is a gossip site dedicated to publicly shaming and harassing non-famous people (as opposed to all the ones dedicated to shaming famous people) that runs on user-submitted rumors and lies, encouraged and carefully vetted by Richie (whose real name is Hooman Karamian). Frankly, it is one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life, and the only reason that I'm even writing about this man is that I believe he is possibly a sociopath.
Hooman (I'm going to refer to him by the more awkward of his two names) is utterly self-deluded about his work: he maintains that he's helping the people on his site and shows no remorse for occasionally ruining the lives of the people that he chooses to feature. By way of example, a schoolteacher and Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader was featured in a photo with place kicker Shane Graham was put on The Dirty and accused of having multiple STDs and having sex in her classroom because Graham "pissed off" Hooman.
Hooman's press release opens with him being described as the "this decade's Lenny Bruce," which might have just burst a blood vessel in my brain. It gets worse from there: aside from being riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, the book paints Hooman as a misunderstood, persecuted figure.
"While he should be known as a brilliant entrepreneur and a dashing playboy, he is maligned as a villain and a cyber-bully… he views himself as a brand, but unfortunately the world views him as a pig… Nik continues to [sic] his valiant fight for his First Amendment rights and his sincere belief that the Dirty can save lives. The man is constantly misunderstood."
I'm getting a cognitive disconnect here: I objectively recognize Hooman as a human, with blood vessels and bones and the like. However, I refuse to believe that any living being could be so in the dark as to their own awfulness.
Seriously, go flip through the book. Despite the high-school level of writing, it's entertaining in a kind of American Psycho way. Just… try not to scream. Hooman grows stronger when you scream.