Thursday, April 06, 2006


Apparently you're no one these days if you don't have at least three separate identities. Or at least this appeared to be the theme of the various entertainments I attended last night, starting with Londonist's Blogging Demystified seminar at the Apple Store.

Topics ranged from the practical - "you can't predict how many comments you'll get", "you can't make a lot of money from blogging" etc. (courtesy of Annie Mole of the London Underground Blog), to the ultra-philosophical - "how does my blog identity differ from my real identity or my World of Warcraft identity?", "how can I prove that it's actually me that writes my blog?"* (courtesy of "Tom Reynolds" of Random Acts of Reality).

I don't know what the audience - which consisted almost entirely of spiky-haired young men in black glasses and stripy scarves - made of it all, but I did like the nice science girls from Inky Circus, because they giggled a lot** and have a stalker, which is what blogging is really all about.

Afterwards DG (not his real homepage), Wyndham (not his real name), Robert (who apparently has no alternative online identities) and I (the 'real' me) went to see Calexico play a secretish gig at the 100 Club to promote their new album Garden Ruin.

If any band knows about having multiple identities it's Calexico; even their name is a nod to the fact that they're half Californian indie-rock and half Mexican mariachi music, and their style swings wildly depending on what combination of instruments they're playing, what language they're singing in, and who's doing the singing.

I was slightly disappointed that they didn't play any of my favourites (apart from their top cover of Love's Alone Again Or), but this was more than made up for by the fact that the tickets were free, courtesy of pro ligger Wyndham (thanks W!), and there was a display of the most awful dancing I have ever seen, ever, by two quite inebriated gentlemen standing in front of me. If only this pair had elected to play air trumpet or air double bass, instead of air guitar, the evening would have been nothing short of monumental.

Ended up drinking in Soho afterwards with a pop star called Terri Walker, whose new album is called I Am Terri Walker. So there's at least one person left who isn't suffering a postmodern identity crisis.

* I'm still not sure why you would want/need to do this, as the Liberal Democrats phoned me up at a crucial juncture in the presentation, but I've got some lovely arcane ideas about how you would go about proving your identity, mainly involving "lexical fingerprinting", which is my new favourite phrase, along with "folksonomy".

** I've been worrying about this all day. Obviously they didn't *just* giggle (as I would have done, had I been in their place), they also made some great points about how to encourage commenters and how to project your own personality through your blog. And as well as having a stalker, they've also received THREE MARRIAGE PROPOSALS and TWO MEGA-MEDIA BUYOUT OFFERS, all of which they admirably turned down.

tags: | |


Dave again said...

So who are you?

I know the 'facts' about my life aren't quite in line with what I write on the blog - my blog is about the inner 'me' - the person who, in my mind, I am.

Wyndham said...

It gets better. I got to meet Nathan out of Hi-5 and I was absolutely the only person who had any idea who he was! He sung and everything.

patroclus said...

Blimey, W. Who or what is Hi-5? I very much enjoyed your own singing, by the way, but was devastated that you totally annihilated my choice of Best Song Ever.

Wyndham said...

T*he shame.*

Spinsterella said...

I know what Hi-5 is.

I visited a friend in New Zealand a couple of years ago and her two-year-old daughter spent the whole time calling me Kath-a-leen.

The only Kathleen that said two-year-old has ever had any contact with was Kathleen from Hi-5, who is tall, with long, straight black hair, and is decidedly oriental.

Which I am not.

They're not as scarey as the Wiggles, that's for sure...


I don't have any identity crises about my blog. Maybe I'm doing it wrong...

Wyndham said...

I think I read somewhere, and possibly believed, that Hi-5 are collectively, the fifth richest people in the world. The Wiggles are fourth. Vin Diesel is 67th, just behind Bill Oddie.

Urban Chick said...

wyndham isn't really called wyndham?


you'll be telling me next that veronica and dexter are alsomonnikers

belladona said...

Oh, does this mean I am actually in line with current trends then? This has surely never happened before. I have three identities.

Oops. Probably shouldn't have confessed that.

*Puts on dark glasses and head scarf then runs off, checking for secret service men*.

zvrzgn - A new brand of pain-relief pill, notable both for it's hefty price tag and the fact that the ingredients are exactly the same as some you can get in the co-op for 50p.

Inky Circus said...

Hi hi hi. Thanks for the update! It's so funny, cause, see, we DO giggle a lot. Laugh and be silly and have too much fun. Anyways. Glad you came last I wish I'd met you in the flesh. Because your blog/identity is awesome.


Annie Mole said...

I love the way blogger comments also ask me to choose an identity, so I'll choose my Annie Mole one and prove it's me by the little "mole" icon.

Thanks for coming along last night and also for commenting on my blog too.

Good to know I can be practical ;-)

Spinsterella said...


I've just popped over to Inky Circus, only to be confronted by a picture of an ENORMOUS, GIANT green-and-red-and-yellow caterpillar thing, EATING a slightly less enormous big brown wormey/slug thing.

Scared the living bejaysus out of me, it did!

patroclus said...

Anna: thank you very much. Very much liking your site as well. I *almost* met you in the flesh - in fact I do believe I met your BF briefly.

Annie: I find your proof convincing. Hurrah!

Spinny: did you click on the link to the other CLOSE UP BEASTIES? It's like straying into HR Giger's garden shed.

Smat said...

the inky circus blog was FAR TOO SCARY especially since I had small children around at the time (note to self - keep new blog visiting till after bedtime).

Anonymous said...

Hello... it is I, lyricsfortheblind... you visited my space (thanks :D) and I just wanted to reply:
I used to be on C4 GW forum, in fact I have been an avid fan of GW and JR-T for a very long time... unfortunately, like many things, I just can't be bothered with the upkeep of my membership (I was relatively unknown in the forum anyway) and decided to keep my fan-dom between me and my friend, who is now less obsessed :(
Thanks again, it's nice to see a fellow GW fan.
Ps: My favourite Series 2 moment has been "What is he, the Ginger Jesus or something?"

Interpreter Pavlov said...

Mmm...identity: not an easy concept - and not usually much to do with what you call yourself. 'In the end, it is impossible not to become what others think you are.' (Gabriel Garcìa Marquez)

surly girl said...

it's all a bit wanky though, isn't it? i mean, i'm really a fifty-five year old librarian from surrey called margaret who lives vicariously through the grumpy, hard-drinking, petulant persona of surly girl, but i'm not convening a seminar about it, am i?


patroclus said...

Yes indeed, at the moment I seem to be suffering from a severe case of Have Navel: Will Gaze. Sorry about that.

But on the other hand, navel-gazing is what blogging is all about, isn't it? Well, that and attracting stalkers - at which, as at so many other things, I seem to have singularly failed. Where are my stalkers, dammit!

Dave again said...

Define stalker.

patroclus said...

I like to defer to my good friend on matters of definition, and thus a stalker is:

Someone who follows or observes (a person) persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement

Frankly I'm not seeing nearly enough obsession or derangement among you good people.

surly girl said...

i wasn't having a go at you, pats. honest.

see, now i have to worry about offending you. thanks then.

Dave again said...

Does reading a person's blog every day count as observing (a person) persistently?

I'm definitely deranged.

Hope that makes you feel better about yourself.

Smat said...

I'm sure we could arrange to trail you through cyberspace if it makes you feel better. It could be like those "events" where people text each other and all meet up somewhere together for no apparent reason. Can't remember what they're called, and not trendy enough to have ever been involved, sadly.