The world of free online content is mourning the loss of a rising star. The Dandy Goat, which has published more than 800 articles since its launch in June of 2013 and was praised by readers as “lol” and “lmao,” has died following the institutionalization of its founder and publisher, Franklin J. Dubbles.
Richard Omega, the Dandy Goat’s chief writer, graphic designer, editor, social media coordinator and in-house legal counsel, says that in the absence of Dubbles, the closure was inevitable.
“Franklin was the heart, soul and gallbladder of the Dandy Goat,” Omega said. “Without him, we’re nothing but a snail without the mushy parts inside, just a shell. Or is it the other way around? Maybe he was the pretty shell and we’re the mushy parts.”
“Either way, we couldn’t go on without him,” he added.
Dubbles was known for his impeccable dress, unflinching certainty of his own moral and social standing, and a preternatural ability to talk at great lengths without actually saying anything. He launched the Dandy Goat more than three years ago as a vehicle to “push society forward on the right path towards real progress, if that makes any sense, which I suppose it doesn’t, but it sounds nice,” as he once said.
Those who knew Dubbles well say that he was obsessed with the idea that history could be nearly divided into two sides, the wrong side and the right side, and that he believed we had only a few more steps to go and we’d be located on the right side, forever.
“Franklin was convinced that everything would be so nice and sweet-smelling there on the right side of history,” Omega said.
Psychologists say that when in November a brash and wrong-thinking New York property developer was elected as U.S. president, Dubbles was struck by a bout of acute moral indignation from which even his firm sense of superiority could not protect him. He fell into a deep melancholy, barely able to make it to appointments with his stylist —or to brunches with likeminded friends.
And whereas he was once a luminary on social media, Dubbles found that he could he could no longer post rambling, self-righteous rants on Facebook, let alone tweet — as he was so fond of doing — in favor of trending hashtags created by activists.
“His tragic flaw was that he really had faith in the inherent goodness of people, of their willingness to follow him and other cultured intellectual fashionistas into tomorrow,” Omega said. “Sadly, this only set him up for catastrophic disappointment.”
A week after Election Day, Dubbles was sent to a private psychiatric hospital in upstate New York where he is expected to live out the rest of his days watching old episodes of Jon Stewert-era “The Daily Show,” taking fabulous selfies and posting them to an anonymous Instagram account, and writing a memoir about life among savages.
“Franklin was always so passionate about his own ideas, even if they struck others as vapid, but he still wasn’t afraid to voice them, and that’s what counts,” said dentistry model Iris Pearl, who dated Dubbles in the spring of 2012. “He’d happily take to the streets to march in favor of polyamorous interspecies relationships, or go on Twitter to call for a boycott of the Smurfs for promoting an unrealistic body image, if he sensed it was the next big thing.”
In addition to Dubbles’ tireless work as the Dandy Goat’s publisher and Omega’s humble offerings as chief content provider, several contributing writers did help to give the publication its reputation as one that would essentially publish anything. Not least among these writers is Ichabod F.N. Herstal, who over the last few years wrote nearly 60 articles for the Dandy Goat. I.M. Salmon, a relative newcomer, saw 11 of his articles digitally printed in the distinguished pages of the website.
Omega says that if Dubbles were able to speak today, he’d probably offer a tearful thank you to the devoted readers of the Dandy Goat and urge them to never give up the fight against — whatever is currently out of fashion.
“And then he would go back to grooming his eyebrows, something which he truly enjoyed,” Omega said.