Monday, November 30, 2015

Anonymous Fame

Sometimes things happen which leave us feeling utterly humbled.  I had such an experience recently when a fellow podcaster, Ruben Scharde, devoted an entire podcast to me - in a good way, I hasten to add.  I say devoted to 'me' when, of course, it was actually devoted to the podcasting works of 'Doc Sleaze', my online alter-ego (well, one of them).  When it first appeared on the Overnightscape Underground, I approached the show with some trepidation: usually when I see my 'name' in the title of something it means that I'm about to get flamed because someone has taken offence at something the Doc has done or said.  But my fears were unfounded.  In fact, Ruben was full of praise for my old podcast 'The Sleazecast' - which is currently being rerun on the Overnightscape Underground - and my various contributions to the 'Overnightscape Central' group podcast.  Apparently, he had found them both entertaining and thought-provoking - and I'm very glad that he did.  That's usually the point behind my various outpourings on the net - the shock, offence and surrealism are there to try and make people question received wisdoms, ingrained prejudices and established assumptions.  Sadly, there are a significant number who just can't get past the offensive bits, which is why it is so gratifying to come across someone who does.

But, as I said at the top of the post, it was a humbling experience to hear my old broadcasts analysed and praised by someone on the other side of the world - someone I've never even met in person.  Obviously, I'm also deeply flattered by the whole experience.  Does this mean that I'm now some kind of internet celebrity?  Or, rather, does this mean that Doc Sleaze is some kind of internet celebrity?  Will I be virtually mobbed on message boards and Twitter?  Probably not.  Even if I was an internet celebrity, it, thankfully, wouldn't have anyimpact in the real world.  That's the great thing about the web, especially if you use an alias, as I do: it allows you a degree of anonymous fame.  People might know the online name and persona you use, but they don't know you.  As a very private person, that suits me perfectly.  The other thing which came out of Ruben's very generous appraisal of my podcasts was just how strange it is to re-encounter an earlier version of oneself, as I did listening back to my old shows, something prompted by his podcast.  I'm afraid that I rarely listen back to my podcasts once I've edited them into their release versions, so it was quite startling to hear me from two or three years ago.  It brought home the fact that, even over a relatively short period of time, we do change, challenging the illusion of the continuity of the self with which we like to deceive ourselves.  I suppose it's a bit like when The Doctor encounters his previous regenerations in Doctor Who - it is simultaneously both him and a seperate, different, individual.  All very strange.  



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home