I'm reccing today.
Gakked from jaymalea
Easy Way Out by ragingpixie - QaF, futureficish, in which there are patterns and also, Brian. Who is compared to a angel in a non-cliched way. I really didn't think that could be done, but there we go.
White Noise 1 and White Noise 2 by soundczech, in which there is AUness, Justin didn't do Brian that first night, and the name Stanley makes an appearance. You see that author's name? That's really all the incentive you need, *I* think. Shoo. Read.
I had an amusing thought last night about multiple identities. Yes, I know, I *know* completely unoriginal thought, but it just tickled me in chat.
LJland, fandom, AIM, and real life could actually be considered four different things in terms of identification.
A few days ago, a friend's story was recced--at least, I thought it was, until I saw the author name and went, who the *hell* is that? So I AIMed her and asked and okay, it *was* her, which was a relief but still endlessly weird, because I didn't connect her to that name at all. It was kind of like talking to a stranger for a few seconds, because--gah, she's *not* X, she's Y dammit.
In RL, we have name/visual memory to keep track--so Edwina can be Mrs. Potter, Mrs. John Potter, and Eddie all at the same time, and we sort of have all options at the same time and none of them is ever going to be a real secret. So say, when I visualize her face, I get all four identities pretty well.
That doesn't work so well in LJ--right, some of us put pics up, but how many people can really remember those? Icons are interchangeable. And when Edwina is also StarDestroyer66 on AIM and cutiepie78676 on LJ and uses the pseudonym DarlalovesDavid when she writes? And that's just in Latest Fandom, because in Star Wars, she was LukeluvsHanforever. Let's not even *start* on multiple account email addies and yahoo IDs, because that's enough to jump my already present headache another notch. And their domain name use. AND webpage name. Oh God....
And the thing is? You can be totally active in someone's LJ, think you know them back and forth, send each other goopy emails of love and devotion for their Luke and Han Romance Epics, then see the chat name and *blank out*. Because for about five seconds or so, you have *no* clue who this StarDestroyer person is, even if she *is* the only one in history that totally agreed with you that Luke should have Chewbacca's babies in the new movie. And how the hell does she know that you hate your new haircolor and are working on Luke/Chewy *right now*?
It gets weirder.
Chat rooms--let's just combine yahoo, AIM, and IRC for this, and say, chat rooms in general. As a rule, you think you all mostly know each other pretty well--you know VictorPassionFlower is also lj user kittiesandpuppiesrule and writes as DieLanadienow, but then, whoosh, ten other names you don't know, and they all say 'hey person!' 'cause they know you, and you go breathe into a paper bag and wonder if any of them were in chat that night when you had a toothache and you were saying--
--*grins* Mean Things.
Or maybe you didn't have a toothache after all.
Because you don't have the connection of AIM handle and LJ name. And writer-name. And...yeah. You get the idea.
Or maybe that's just me.
Someone (Jack? Pearl-o? Jessica?) called for roll call, so everyone introed themselves by psuedonym and lj username, which was coolness because that's when you get to stop panicking about imagined things and panic about the real things.
But you know, the day you realize you're juggling three seperate names to represent your real self? *nod* And you have to remember the five names Edwina goes by? Yeah. That totally makes fandom a whole new kind of adventure.
Of course, it all gets better the day you realize you have no idea what Edwina's actual sex is, because it's never come up in conversation and the pronoun issues take effect....
It's not so much a problem as it is an amusing outshoot of our concept of privacy on the web. I probably know the real names of about half of my AIM buddylist, but God help me if I can possibly connect most of them instantly, because of that half, probably half Do Not Want This To Be Public Information, and man, *that* can be a little bit of a trip into weirdness if you forget....
Jenn: Janie! I read this story by Pru you just have to see....
Room: Who is Janie?
Janie (in another window) Shut up, Jenn.
This has happened to me.
*sighs* I am sometimes *not* a good friend. but my memory sucks. You kind of have to be resigned to the idea that I'm either going to have to take notes or you'll have to remind me for the first two weeks so I don't get dissonance disorder and start calling you Charlie in a panic of non-remembering.
In some ways, Real Names--names used offline by which the general population, the grocer, the busboy, and the homeless man on fifth know you--are kind of like some kind of gold standard to some in fandom, though not so much now. I get the idea behind it--for some, fandom is escape and hell if you want to drag Irene's RL issues into The Big Gay Krycek/Mulder Love that username Krycekwhore1013 wallows in so happily. And earlier in fandom--hell, even now--not so many wanted The One Who Wrote the Nine Hundred Page Pornotopia of Harry/Draco Passion to be connected to the person whose real life may not exactly allow for it. And yeah, I've heard the urbanfandom legends of the ficsters who left their harddrives to their fannish buddies after death so their families wouldn't know about their online activities, and about people who out other writers' real names in spite--I remember that one story from usenet, actually, which was Way Before I Knew It Was a Bad Idea To Use Your Real Name. Back *way* in the day, which should worry me but I honestly can't imagine anyone bored enough to go through four years of backusenet posts on three differnet newsgroups just to find out something that is inherently without value.
So it was--well, weird, to tie this up a bit, when I read the story with the wrong name, even though it was the right one. The name by which I know you *is* you to me. The fandom name you give, like it or not, is the identifier for you to the majority who don't know you personally. And it is, in this venue, more legit than your real name is or can be.
Kind of cool in a way. Like something out of Grimm, when true names had power in them. Irene, say, sells insurance in the real world, but in this place, in this time, Krychekwhore1013 can make a fandom stop breathing when she posts her lastest story or latest meta.
I guess I sometimes wonder, though, when someone thinks of themself, here and now, in this place, in this time, what name they see. 'Cause when I think of it (and I try not to, meta gives me indigestion) Jenn Seperis is truer than anything else I could ever use. I kind of like that.