During S-Town, Brian Reed mentions receiving an email from John B. McLemore and quickly reads off the username that McLemore uses. That pseudonym is “Hiruit Nguyse.” McLemore used it to make a lot of comments online. Delving into his posts can give you additional insight into the mind of one of the main characters of S-Town. He talks about many things, including the land he owns and why he isn’t married. Note: There may be spoilers in this article, and the comments could also contain spoilers. Try not to read this unless you have at least finished Episode 2 of S-Town.
Here’s more information.
He Posted Under the Name Hiruit Nguyse
First, it’s easy to confirm that this is, indeed, his online persona. He doesn’t really try to hide it. Go to his Disqus profile. He uses the name Hiruit Nguyse, but also refers to himself as @johnbmclemore. The account was created on August 31, 2013:
In case you’re wondering about the photo he uses for his online profile, it’s Mameshiba, a Japanese franchise featuring different types of beans that have dog faces and “tell trivia.” They started in Japan but became so popular that they were eventually released in the U.S. This version is “Lentil,” described as the brains of the Mameshiba group. This particular one, however, looks a lot like Jake on Adventure Time. So it’s unclear if he was drawn to it because of Mameshiba or because of Jake.
He also has a Google+ page, but as is the case with many people on Google+, he never did anything with it. However, he was active on YouTube under the account name. Some of the videos he uploaded were about assisted suicide and others were just a random mix of topics.
McLemore also posted under the same username on CleanTechnica. But those posts weren’t nearly as interesting as the ones you’ll find on Peak Oil.
He Talked About How Happy He Was Not To Be Married
McLemore also posted under his pseudonym on PeakOil.com. (You can tell it’s the same McLemore because he uses the same Lentil profile picture.) He was active on the site, and one of his last posts was about people who join the forum and post 80 to 100 posts a day “denigrating worthy members and adding nothing meaningful to conversations.” He mentioned a need to be able to block some comments from showing up in the menu. But his most interesting comment, from September 2014, was this:
Never Been Married, Never Will. I have never met a Happily Married Man in my life.
… I could always take a look around at other peoples failed marriages and draw conclusions without having to re-invent the wheel myself. …
I just realised, I could write a compendium on the Men I know, and their failed marriages.”
Have a house and 140 acres paid for free and clear in my own name, Have money (and gold) Unbanked, food on the table, A well, a Creek, A spring, Orchards, Vegetables, Dogs that love me, Birds that serenade me, Peace and Quiet …
I can go where I want, when I want. …
Now just think: I could give all that up to enjoy of life of screeching, hootin ‘n hollerin’, squalling and caterwauling, bitchin’ and moanin’, gripin’ and complainin’, hell raisin’, divorce, and all of that. …
Probably, if I had an iron ball and chain, I wouldn’t be able to spend as much free time studying Peak Oil and similar subjects.”
Later, he continued to explain why he wasn’t interested in marriage:
I avoid it primarily because I am content. Just plain and simple content and happy. I just don’t see the rationale in entangling yourself into a legally binding contract with another person for the rest of your life, just to satisfy some archaic societal norm, no more than I want to be legally bound to an old car for the rest of my life
. … Personally, I avoid those type relationships because I don’t Want them….much like I avoid other things in life that I don’t want (rap music, NASCAR, a truck that gets 6mpg) and instead migrate towards the things I do want (gardens, Lathe, Books) …
Even when I was in High School, other kids were getting knocked up right after graduation… As a young man I knew I was interested in chemistry, micromachining, the astrolabe, and NOT interested in marriage, babies, and healthy relationship slavery.”
This was all part of a discussion about prepping. He went on to talk about how most people in his region didn’t have enough money to be preppers. He said the general plan for the area was to drop out of school by 9th grade, get pregnant if a girl and go to jail if a boy, and have limited education for limited job opportunity, ending up with four or five kids by the age of 25. He said he knew people who lived in ambulances and campers. “My region has 95 Baptist churches,” he added, but no secondary education. Then he talked about trying to mentor a young man in the area:
I am currently befriending a 21 year old boy with 3 kids by 3 different girls. … I am trying to help him get out of the court system, and point him in the direction of independence….something he has never known. … This young fella entered the court system at 14 as a result of attempting to escape his homelife. Hopefully, I can instil [sic] a bit of useful knowledge into this boy about the future. … As you can see, I have a lot on my plate without taking on a wife. I usually hire out about 16K worth of work a year around here just to put food in young mens pockets. That is more than twice what I actually choose to live on.”
He Wrote About Being Careful With His Money and Feeling Angry About ‘Drivers License Slavery’
In the same PeakOil forum, he also wrote about being careful with his money.
He wrote about replacing a 29-year-old Mercedes that he bought second-hand. The cost of owning the car, he said, was about 50 cents per mile. It started out at about 43 cents per mile and was creeping up because of age.
I encounter very few persons who have any idea of how much of their income is actually spent on transportation.”
He went on to talk about a young man who only made $14/hour and was spending $700/month on a new F250. “He works at a Ford dealership, so he is proud of the deal that he has been dealt,” he wrote.
In a separate discussion, he addressed how many people in his region were being trapped by drivers license slavery. Many drivers don’t have the money to buy insurance and they’re not licensed. “My lawyer recently told me that there are more people sitting in the Tuscaloosa Jail (in AL) for Traffic violations than any single other crime. I have no reason to doubt him.” He went on to talk about knowing people who had to buy more than 10 cars in a short period of time because their cars were impounded. It was cheaper to buy a junk car than to get a drivers license back. He went on to talk about people who had to own nicer cars because they had to drive more than 100 miles, one way, to get to work for a $12/hour job.
I have sat in the mayors office of my little local shittown and seen the former Mayor pat the bible on his desk, stroking it like a little lap dog and uttering these words: ‘That’s the only book that any person will ever need.’ I have seen the glorious results of this mindset…a county with 95 … Baptist churches and One (1) high school with a 30% dropout rate, and not a bookstore in the county… To give you an idea of how our local economy works, one of the kids up at the local tattoo parlor told me that he did a $35.00 tattoo last week for $100.00 in food stamps. Your tax paying dollars at work.”
McLemore Wrote About Doing Things To Help Others, And Believed the Favor Would Be Returned to Him One Day
In a separate peak oil discussion, McLemore also talked about being considered a “doomer,” but he often did things for free for people, to help them out. He wrote:
I do a lot of things for free today because I hope the favour will be returned to me one day. One day I will run out of Fiat Money. One day I will not be able to earn enough to sustain my existence in a post cheap-carbon world. … One day I will enter the zone of medical bankruptcy, or put a period to my own existence to prevent that from happening.”
He talked about buying a birthday cake for a 19-year-old with two kids and said, “Maybe them boys will help me when I am hungry one day.”
But one of his most telling comments about his personality was this:
As William S. Burroughs once said…A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.”
He Also Posted Under His Own Name
McLemore wasn’t shy about hiding his identity online. He also posted under his own name quite a bit. For example, he created a Twitter profile in 2012, but he never used it and only has two followers. He was more active on Google, where he would sometimes ask questions under the name “johnbmclemore.”
In September 2013, he wrote a post annoyed about having to write his Gmail messages in a tiny box now:
He made quite a few comments on the Google Products Forum under his own name, such as commiserating with someone who was having trouble with their YouTube home page. He also had trouble uploading his profile picture on YouTube, along with some other issues.
These aren’t nearly as revealing as other posts, but they give you a little more insight into the man and his life.
Read more about McLemore below: