My favorite rags-to-riches-to-rags story with a Duluth tie is when a bootlegger moves to Long Island across the pond from his ex-girlfriend and gets shot in his pool. But a close second is whatever just happened to former teen heartthrob Aaron Carter.
The pop-music cherub turned grownup is in the midst of a similar Jay Gatsby-style struggle to resurrect his flagging career. A big tour starts in January, and the brother to Backstreet Boy Nick just delivered new music with the single “Fool’s Gold.”
But things took a dark turn Saturday in Minneapolis, during a night that began with Carter performing in a Christmas-themed onesie at Muse Event Center. Remarked Twin Cities-based DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip, who also performed that night: "brooooo da shit was insanity !!!!!! [Aaron Carter]'s a g girls was whippin out titties n vaginas it was stuped!"
Later, Carter took the party — all $399.57 of it after a $102 withdrawal — to North Loop bar The Loop. That's where he snapped a photograph with a fan, one who would later tweet out an image of Carter's dropped ATM receipt. What came next was a titanic, profanity-laced take-down of Twitter user FleepFlopTipTop, the lizard-human from Duluth who shared the photo of Carter's $400 bank account balance with the world.
As Carter flew out of Minneapolis, he moved through the stages of Twitter meltdown: anger; defensiveness about the anger; cosmic irony of being stuck over in Chicago; a rambling confessional where he reveals his recent breakup with a Chicago gal and simultaneously puts in a plug for an obscure track from the 2006 Rocky Balboa film; a now-deleted photo of him sobbing; more defensiveness; and, eventually, a hands-outstretched, buttocks-visible photo from a porch in Malibu.
For way more context, you can view screen-grabs of the entire incident here.
"Has anyone ever had their heartbroken so bad that they feel it in other parts of their body?," the 28-year-old who once beat Shaq asked during the online meltdown. "Like cold feelings in your stomach, emptiness? Love is the toughest thing I deal with in my life."
In fairness to Carter, who filed for bankruptcy in 2013, having your paltry bank balance tweeted for the world to see is exactly my Freudian fear every time I step up to an ATM, especially in dark bars. And he noted in his Twitter apologetics that, while money doesn’t “make us,” his seemingly humble $400 is not evidence of a struggling casino-tour musician, but rather of his own money-managing prowess, made worse by the fact he’s in the 40-percent tax bracket and blah, blah, blah.
So maybe, finally, Carter is one of us? Maybe that’s my weird defensiveness for him — echoed in this Refinery29 post. Maybe Carter is the victim’s face of Bernie Sanders' loathed casino capitalism. Is he a Quasimodo who makes FleepFlopTipTop’s night by smiling for a photo with his girlfriend, only to have FleepFlopTipTop duplicitously turn and “throw shade” (and possibly break federal law via the “doxing” of private information in a public way)?
I don’t know. But at one point Carter — responding to the consistent refrain of #IWantCandy from Duluth’s very best — threatened to happily go to jail for “la(ying) out” FleepFlopTipTop the next time he plays Duluth.
The show is March 6 at the Red Herring. It’s already sold out.