Dear Laurie Penny,
Given that Ryan Gosling has not actually come out to confirm your life-changing event (he has merely confirmed that he’s in New York), we’re about ready to call this a hoax. In your piece for Gawker yesterday, you act coolly, saying that the person who saved you just happened to be Gosling (no big deal), but then you go on to repeat moments of minor swooning. Well, which is it—are you over your celebrity encounter or crushing on the man who should’ve been named the sexiest man alive? Your excitement on Twitter two nights ago suggested it wasn’t just some random thing that happened, and you certainly didn’t hide the fact that it was the great and powerful Goz who was responsible for your survival. You make the observation that “if Ryan Gosling hadn’t happened to be the nearest person at the time, I’m sure the girl standing next to me, who confirmed Gosling’s identity, would have prevented me from meandering into an early grave.” While that might be true, if it weren’t for the Goz, the few million people who aren’t calming down about Gosling may not know who you are—the writer from Britain, who lives in New York, who has books to sell.
Furthermore, where’s this mystery stranger who had to tell you who the Goz is? Or any of the other witnesses who would have likely seen this brush with death on a street in Manhattan (a borough that has approximately 1,600,000 people)? This wouldn’t be the first time someone went above and beyond for a few minutes of fame—see Paris Hilton’s sex tape, Kim Kardashian’s sex tape and Dustin Diamond’s alleged sex tape—so we wouldn’t be completely shocked if you created a rumour to promote your own name a little bit (we get it, not everyone reads books anymore). Later you run off on a tangent discussing the real heroes in America, who fight for equality while others focus on the “meme-worthy” Goz and “everyday doings” of celebrities—again, in an effort to promote yourself (only this time as a feminist). And don’t think we don’t see how puzzling it is that your story, the one that injects details like your “pink wig” and being lost in your own internal monologue, is strangely similar to the 2004 film Closer—the movie in which Natalie Portman adorns a pink wig and has a run-in with an automobile and Jude Law comes to her rescue. It’s now two days after the incident, and every report is still working off your stream of tweets. Goz has nothing to lose by being called a hero, so we’re left wondering: did it even really happen?