I went out at the Weekend, without my Husband. This is a pretty rare occurrence for me and I actually rather enjoyed myself. However, this does not mean there is anything untoward afoot, it just reminds me that I am a grown up and I could do this more often if I so desired. Which I do.
However, this is not my topic. Today, we're going to talk about honesty.
The problem (well one of them) with The Internet is who knows you, and who doesn't. For instance, I arrived at said Do on Saturday to find people I knew conversing with someone who I did not know. When said person left I was rather strongly admonished for my ignorance, as it transpires this person is something of a Minor Internet Celebrity. I didn't have the faintest idea who he was, despite the fact he has retweeted me. I'd not recognize him either, not even right now. That's the thing with celebrity, it can become pretty narrow band, and just because YOU think you're all that doesn't mean anyone else would, should, or may be prepared to.
So yeah, I was introduced to someone who talks about gaming for a living. I was left none the wiser, but that's just me.
However what I DID learn from other people across the night was very, VERY interesting indeed.
When you say you are 'part of a Community' this means a great many things to a lot of different people. As a UK Warcraft Podcaster, for instance, I'm part of a pretty small club with a membership that was fairly well represented at this Do on Saturday night. I'm absolutely fine with this, and very pleased to say that the rest of this particular subset of Fandom and I get on extremely well indeed, I fact I hope continues to be the case for many years to come. However, what inevitably happens when people get together who are still getting to know each other is this:
- You mention someone's name in passing;
- That person is then revealed to be a completely different person to the one you thought they were;
- This either comes as a moment of utter revelation or as NO SURPRISE AT ALL.
My night out was, it must be said, a bit of an eye opener. Gossip is normally salacious and ribald but not on Saturday: it was depressing, concerning and sadly completely understandable. It means that a fair few people of my acquaintance have been painted in vastly differing lights and that I've been able to shift a lot of individuals from the 'There's Something About You That Makes Me Nervous' column to the 'Yup, Not Trusting YOU Again' column. I'm well aware of the currents and counter currents that exist in my Gaming circles, and I have deliberately and intentionally refused to take anybody's side in anything, only working on what I perceive to be the truth and using that as my benchmark. If, as a person, you try and reinvent what people consider as the truth about you more times than you change your underwear, you're in for a hiding to nothing. That's why, like it or not, what you see with me is now exactly what you get, because the moment to attempt to try and hide behind a facade, BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN.
If you want to be a Minor Internet Celebrity, time to act like a decent human being as well. Turpster is actually a good role model for this, it transpires. I will do my best to both recognise and acknowledge this fact should we ever met again. To the rest of you? Think before you open your mouths.
[PS: I'd also like to apologize to Qel, who I failed to meet on Saturday and who I know reads here, and who is possibly the Best Minor Internet Celebrity I've had the good fortune to meet. She did an absolutely fucking fantastic job on the night, and I'd recognise her anywhere. That, pretty much in my eyes, is doing it right.]