The mystery of "Himmmm"

[Note: This entry has been edited from its original publication. See here for explanation.]

The gossip blogs are alight today with the breaking news that some dude who leaves a lot of comments at a site called Crazy Days And Nights under the screen name "Himmmm" is "really" Robert Downey, Jr. Nobody has any proof, of course, and there has been no comment from RDJ -- possibly because the story is too new, possibly because it's true and he'd rather not have to lie, possibly because it's not true and he thinks it's too funny for words.

Normally, I just laugh at these things, because really, who the fuck cares beyond the entertainment value? But one of the more interesting things about "Himmmm" is that he seems to have made it a point to go after people who have done Really Bad Things. He's most famous for popping in and letting other commenters play 20 Questions about who's being talked about in the most recent blind item, and  confirming when someone gets it right. (In gossip-mag parlance, a "blind item" is a piece of gossip which very pointedly does not name any names, although usually a lot of hints are given.) One of the more infamous series of comments was on a blind item about a starlet who supposedly liked to get smacked around in bed because of some pretty horrific abuse in her past; "Himmmm" provided a lot of names, details, and suggestions as to who to look into for more dirt, and generally outed as much reprehensible shit as he could.

I put "Himmmm" in quotes because if anybody running the story had bothered to read any past comments, they'd realize that the account belonged to more than one person. "Himmmm" at one point posted that the account was started by four friends -- one a famous musician, one a famous actor, and two less-well-known creative types -- and that three of them have used it to post comments. The writing seems to bear this out. There are at least two people that have posted on the account, possibly three.

One of them is a very polished essayist, who either is a professional writer or should be. Essayist likes to tell stories about Old Hollywood. He contributes a bit of eulogizing and a charming anecdote to the post marking the passing of Elizabeth Taylor. Essayist is definitely not the one commenting on all the blind items; he's posted rarely, if ever, for about a year.

The rest of the posts are in what I think are two different, but similar-sounding, voices. One of them is slightly less coherent than the other. That one comments mostly on music-related items, mentions having his 12th birthday at Frank Zappa's house, storyboarding an Audioslave music vid, etc. This "character", whoever he is, fits with the description of one of the pals as a famous musician. His comments typically serve up gossip about who's banging who in the bathroom at the CMAs, but nothing much more scurrilous than that. I think this is also the one who mentions secretly being on opioids for chronic pain due to tumors, and withholding the information from the public at large, which suggests that he's one of the two in the public eye. Assuming he's telling the truth about having at least one kid roughly the same age and with the same name as Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, he is not RDJ -- RDJ only has sons, and neither of them have the same name as Cornell's.

The third voice is profoundly snarky. The thoughts expressed are generally longer and more coherent than Who's Banging up there, and he drops in the occasional $10 word. This voice is the one who has made it a point to confirm and give dump trucks full of detail on blind items where, if the allegations are true, the people involved desperately need to be hit in the head with decades of legal, moral, and social consequences. And interestingly enough, this is the voice that occasionally gives a teasing confirm/deny on blind items that are supposedly about RDJ. None of those blind items are particularly important one way or another, and he usually makes light of them. (One of them was that "someone" was supposedly a cross dresser; "Himmmm" said no, but his wife does collect vintage clothes, followed by a flippant admission that he does look fabulous in a dress and heels -- this after RDJ would have filmed a sequence for Sherlock Holmes 2 with the great detective in drag.) Commenters have been swatting around the rumor that "Himmmm" was RDJ since October of last year; since then, "Himmmm" has posted the occasional reference to Downey's life or latest films, although it's not really possible to say whether this is a joking callback to the rumor or a reward to commenters for unofficially guessing right.

Aside from that, the third voice has also occasionally dipped into his own past -- anonymized, of course -- and he does sound genuine when he speaks about being a reformed addict. One of the three voices is also pretty passionate about defending Mel Gibson (Gibson paid Downey's insurance rider on his first comeback film after his drug troubles, because no one else would), although another one is rather lukewarm about it, and mentions coming from a showbiz family (Robert Downey, Sr. was a known indie director and occasional actor). None of these things are unique, of course, and obviously if I could find them out from like two hours of Googling stuff, someone more nuts than I am with more time on their hands could find out even more.

I cannot tell you that one of the "Himmmm" posters is in fact Robert Downey, Jr. I don't know the dude personally. I can tell you that the poster who does most of the unearthing of Very Bad People doesn't not sound like RDJ. The read I get off him these days is that, sober, he can still be a seriously arrogant guy -- but he's less of an actual asshole now, and, especially with the drugs out of the picture, the arrogance is mostly justified. He's smart as hell, he's physically unable to keep the sarcasm contained most of the time, and he has the idea, probably correct, that he can't possibly do more damage to his life with his opinions than he previously tried to do by being loaded 24/7. Whoever's posting as "Himmmm" doesn't seem to be trying to keep an identity under wraps so much as making damn sure they all have plausible deniability. A particularly intelligent move, considering some of the stuff they "confirm". On a lot of the worst ones, "Himmmm" gives a great deal of explicit detail, none of which can be corroborated unless "Himmmm"'s identity can be pinned down, but which makes sure anyone who has to deal with any of the alleged scumbags in the future has ample warning.

I will tell you that I won't be surprised in the slightest if RDJ, decades from now, writes a tell-all book admitting he was "Himmmm". Among other fascinating things.

[For those of you who stumbled across this because of the "Himmmm" thing: I have no official qualifications as a profiler, nor do I work in Hollywood. I have a degree in sociology from a small state college out in Arizona, and I work in IT. I just have a boatload of opinions, and a reputation for having something akin to spooky psychic powers when it comes to people, especially after I get a chance to scrutinize them.]

[[Edit 2: Would someone please let me know who has linked here from Facebook? Blogger will tell me that a few people have come in from there, but it won't tell me where from -- it only gives me the redirect URL that Facebook uses to launch people off to an outside page. I'm really curious.]]

Comments

  1. Excellent summation for this reader. May we live in interesting times.

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