@colin_loves_mat - a retrospective

An Explanatory Note

There’s this scene in one of the Wayne’s World movies where after somehow screwing things up for Cassandra’s band, Wayne and his team of misfits hijack a satellite signal to take over the airwaves specifically to beam a Crucial Taunt performance into the limousine of a specific record exec. This is kind of that. In sum, for anybody who isn’t Mat Marquis (@wilto), for a period of several years I ran a Twitter parody account called @colin_loves_mat that riffed on @wilto’s apparent loathing of The Decemberists. He never found out who I was, and so here I am, drawing back the curtain.


hi mat.


have you adequately prepared yourself? because
i will now remove the mask
of weird hipster affectations
that I donned as @colin_loves_mat,

and you will clearly observe from this website that I, @jnicholasgeist, have ABSOLUTELY NO weird hipster affectations at all.

So hi. I’m Josh. I’m more or less a random internet oddjob who, for a period of a few years, badgered you with maritime nonsense for my own (and hopefully your) amusement.

You probably don’t know me, but you might have seen some of my work. Back in 2011-2012, I was doing a lot of weird web stuff for the video game magazine Kill Screen, including some stuff you may have seen. One of my favorite projects that I did for KS, my review of Infinity Blade, generated some buzz of the “hey look at this cool javascript thingy” variety. Chris Dahlen was Editor-in-Chief of KS at the time, and Chris had previously worked with Ethan Marcotte. Chris showed it to Ethan, who seems to have thought it was cool.

Anyway, I was doing a lot more web stuff at the time than I am now (as is evidenced by the pronounced 2012iness of this website), and I followed you among other prominent web-carers-about on Twitter. I thought you were funny, and I was especially engaged by your enthusiastic disdain for the Decemberists (who, for the record, I love genuinely and unapologetically). But man, Mat, lemme tell ya the Decemberists aesthetic is an absolute delight to make fun of, so I did. For several years. Versus you.

I think early on, I did try to mimic certain elements of @beep’s tweetvoice to throw you off the trail, but looking back, I’m actually both baffled and delighted that you didn’t figure out it was me—not because you had any particular reason to know who I was, but because literally the day before I created @colin_loves_mat this conversation happened:

But you didn’t, so I just… kept pestering you. I was aware of the parasocial nature of the interactions, but it seemed like we were both having fun, so I didn’t worry about it too much—until eventually, this happened:

My inference from that—which may have been way overblown—was that you had stopped seeing this as fun, and had started seeing it as invasive, and that was never something I wanted. I just wanted to make fun of the Decemberists, Mat. That’s all I ever wanted to do. (In a way, it’s all anyone wants to do, isn’t it?) I figured if you weren’t having fun anymore, it was time to stop.

And so I did! And then forgot about it for four years, remembered last week, and here we are. You’re up to date.

So I hope you had some fun, and weren’t too creeped out.

because mat
i only like to creep people out
with haunting minor-key melodies
about the ghosts of working-class Victorians.
and you are not one of those,
are you?