I (in part?) have been addressed by h0p3?
He block quotes my telnet BBS posts in among those of some other. I’m trying to decide what I think and whether/how I want to converse and all of the normal nonsense, so let’s instead muse a little more on the topic.
Pseudonymity invites relative ambiguity only in the presence of meaningful interest. Knowing someone’s legal name doesn’t render them any more known to me if I don’t bother to research, so it’s only the person inclined to begin Googling who is thwarted. Ambiguity/uncertainty is a useful artistic tool, but I don’t1 begin with the assumption that my audience is doing a close read.
I’m having a lot of fun with the Indieweb. In a sense, it’s in direct opposition to the fun I sense in a telnet unauthenticatable identity crisis. Saying “I can prove that I’m h0p3” is the stuff of logins and
rel="me" links and other such technical levers. In their absence, anyone being able to say, ah, no, I’m h0p3–this then decenters one’s own sense of one having a canonical right to one’s own identity, and moves it to be a chair one has built in social space. Various people may sit there. This is the fun of pastiche, and of remix, and of very earnest fanfiction I have read exploring what Captain America would really think of today’s society2.
It is the fun of putting on a mask at Halloween. It is the fun of celebrities losing their lookalike contests. If there really is an oft-elegied loss of “authenticity”3 in the way that social media has woken people up to a world of performative construction of public self, certainly we must also explore the creative possibilities.
Ein jeder Ego ist alter.
Can’t? Shouldn’t? ↩
And of course I don’t need to explain that this is in fact a young generation grappling with the unnuanced appeal of an unambiguous avatar of patriotism in order to sort through their own feelings about Truth, Justice, and the American Way. ↩
Different definitions of authenticity seem to hinge on different objects of scorn and disdain. I’ve yet to run into one that resonated with my own sometime sense of ease/unease with certain lived experiences. ↩