There are both costs and benefits to denouncing the conservatism that made you famous at 13. The costs include giving up potentially lucrative future talking head gigs, handshakes with conservative leaders, and trollish attacks from the Daily Caller. But the benefits? The benefits include flirting. With girls. Flirting with girls who are cute mere months before you start college in New York City as a virgin.
Jonathan Krohn became famous at 13 years old for making a 3-minute speech about conservatism at CPAC. A little over four years later, he became famous again for denouncing his old beliefs ("I was thirteen") and explaining that he now favors Obamacare and gay marriage. Liberals recalled the glory days, when the tween Krohn posed with just about every conservative leader there is. The Daily Caller, a leading conservative troller, denounced his "apparently conformist embrace of nonconformism," and reported a CPAC attendee totally thought Krohn was an annoying tween. (No, seriously: "'The kid was most annoying 13-year-old I have ever met,' said the attendee…") On Monday, Krohn fought back against the "schoolyard bullies." Noting that The Daily Caller mocked his glasses, Krohn writes in Salon, "Why don’t they just call me “four-eyes”? These are not adults leveling serious criticism; these are scorned right-wingers showing all the maturity of a little boy. No wonder I fit in so well when I was 13." But that's all behind him. Krohn says: "Now, I’m just another white, comic-book collecting, sci-fi watching, film-obsessing, satirizing, sorta stereotypical Jewish nerd who’s never been laid."
And here we get to the best part about being an Internet-famous teenager: sex. "You can get a date as well... hihi pick me @JonathanLKrohn," a young female person named Jamie tweeted. It was her followup, "Hopefully meeting @JonathanLKrohn at nyu," that got Krohn's attention. "Hahaha, I always look forward to meeting new people!" he replied. "keep your eyes peeled for me," she said. He indicated he would do so. Meanwhile, a supporter cheered him on: "You are brilliant, and you'll get laid at NYU don't worry," Shawn Chakraborty said. Krohn thanked him for the encouragement.
Perhaps more unsettlingly, Krohn is quickly learning the art of self-promotion, even if his essay promises that's not his intent. When comedian Lizz Winstead sent a tweet of encouragement, Krohn reminded her, "I'm trying to do more humor and satire and possibly stand-up in NYC." She replied, "Good! Settle in and figure out how much time you will have in your schedule and we will talk!" It's like watching velociraptors learn how to open doors.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.