Aleksey Vayner, the very determined Yale student with the infamous video resume, died this weekend, according to a relative in Florida who confirmed Vayner's death. "It looks like he took some drugs or medicine, had a heart attack, a friend of his drove him to the hospital, and they couldn't resuscitate him," said Boris Vayner, who identified himself as Aleksey's step-cousin, over the phone this afternoon. "Not exactly sure though, I'm too far away."
Once upon a time, a junior Yalie named Aleksey Vayner sent a C.V. with a link to a hubristic, ill-advised "video resume" to a Wall Street bank. It featured him lifting weights, doing judo, and spewing truisms about the nature of success. He was mocked, but he followed his own advice: failure is simply not an option. (He wrote a self-help book.) Now he's back on the internets, "helping" us about the "latest trends in hedge funds" and "how to win a street fight." Weird: if you read his advice on winning a street fight correctly, you can also find information on how to survive, say, life in the New York media mob:
Aleksey Vayner is so back. Did you hear? And just to ensure that we would continue writing about him, he made this thing—the cover of Millionaires' Blueprint to Success: Discover the Secrets of Wealthy elite, his "upcoming" "book"—look just like that thing—the cover of some other dude's book. He also shortened the banner line from the cumbersome "Think Rich to Get Rich" to the snappier "Think and Grow Rich." It really is brilliant insight into the secrets of Wealthy elite! Steal and dumb down! [IvyGate]
While no one thought he would fully disappear, for a while in late 2007 it seemed Aleksey Vayner had faded away. Earlier in the year, the inaugural inductee into the Gawker Hall of Fame had been severely mocked for his fabulist and fabulously hubristic video resume. And then he went deep underground. But 2008 smoked him out whatever anonymous labyrinth in which he sought refuge. And now, on his new website he's flying dangerously close to the sun once again. Though he admits he "received his share of mockery from kids in the bloggosphere," he still wants you to know he can bench press 520 lbs.
Aleksey Vayner, the most popular Halloween costume of 2006, plagiarist, fabulist and the king of all banker-boy douchebags, has come to New York City begging for a job and amends. Why the delay? As Dealbreaker notes, Vayner graduated in May and "was going to go pro in tennis, with a debut playing doubles in the US Open. Unfortunately, his partner hurt his wrist two hours before their match."
DealBreaker points out an overlooked (by us) gem from the holiday season: Arrested Development's Michael Cera in a spot-on Aleksey Vayner parody clip, created for some well-intentioned McSweeney's/Dave Eggersian event. Complete with dancing, artistry, and extremely awkward singlets in a physical fitness context.
As 2006 huffs toward its inexorable end, we decided to take a moment to recognize those personalities that made our job that much more tolerable this year. These are the people who gave us endless fodder for our douchebag mill, who were attracted to the spotlight like moths to a flame, whose stated disdain for our coverage of them was contradicted by their almost pathetic attempts to court it. The adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity has never felt more apt.
Though the real sequel probably has slightly more competent editing. Still, enjoy! Russian accents are inherently humorous!
We're not sure how to view the latest Aleksey Vayner dispatch from the kids at IvyGate. On the one hand, the idea that a couple of "friends" of the Yale internet sensation are pitching a "memoir" of the douchebag's life says nothing good about Ivy grads (and, potentially, the publishing industry). On the other hand, who hasn't been trying to make a quick buck on the rapidly-dwindling interest in the wannabe i-banker's story? Let's face it: These are Yale graduates who, for whatever reasons, have to live in Louisville and some San Francisco exurb. This may be their only shot. But, on reflection, we're gonna go with the first impulse: the douchebag may have been outdouched. Full, repellent book pitch after the jump:
The Aleksey Vayner tour makes today's stop at Inside Edition. Host Deborah Norville doesn't let him off lightly: There's some manufactured outrage when Aleksey admits that he's not exactly sure if it's him in the skiing segment of his resume video. It's an awkward—and therefore delightful—moment. A couple of quibbles: How many "first interviews" with this kid can there be? Also, when Norville introduces the segment and says that Vayner is"better known as 'the college kid with the super-sized ego'"? Uh, no, Deb: He's better known as "douchebag."
Aleksey Vayner finally showed up for an interview today, appearing on MSNBC's Rita Cosby Live and Looking for Work. Aleksey is deeply hurt by the way people on the Internet who don't even know him assume that he's some sort of douchebag. We feel for the kid. Also joining him was attorney Christian Steuben, who once again suggested that Vayner's privacy should have been respected since "it's not like he was applying to sell hamburgers." Agreed. Because you know everyone who's working the night shift over at Hardee's sends out their douchebaggy video resumes with the full foreknowledge that it's likely to be passed along.
The suit, the clasped hands, the arrogant expression: you don't even need to read the article or know anything about the story, this photo says it all. And what it says is douchebag. Oh, yeah, Aleksey may decide to go into real estate. This story just writes itself.
After breaking his silence to Newscorp's New York Post this morning, Yale douchebag Aleksey Vayner decided against appearing on Newscorp's Fox News this afternoon. In his stead, Fox decided to interview Fraser Seitel, author of The Practice of Public Relations, as to what Vayner should do next. Nothing was particularly interesting about it, but we did enjoy this part of the segment, where Seitel calls investment bankers "self-serving," "narcissistic," and "preening." You hear that, i-bankers? You just got called out by a P.R. guy! That's got to sting.
Gawker's other douchebag, Aleksey Vayner, breaks his silence today and speaks to the Post (which, as the graphic above seems to indicate, has also considered the possibility that his time in the sun may be drawing to a close). Aleksey is upset by the recent attention he's received, and has retained counsel.
So has the Aleksey Vayner story run its course? The folks at IvyGate, who have been at the forefront of the Hall of Fame Douchebag's internet ubiquity of late, are prepared to draw down the shade on the whole sordid tale, although not before revealing some of young Mr. Garber's outright plagiarism. We're not so sure; the mainstream media is cottoning on to the kid's charm; Inside Edition ran a piece about it today (which actually referenced yesterday's Today Show segment; it's getting a bit meta). And while brand new douchebags bring themselves to the forefront of our consciousness every day, we're not quite ready to let go. You know how it is: You never forget your first. Especially when they're nuclear-waste handling Tibetan-monk killers. We want more.