The Compostual Existentialist

Wordpress flavour with added crunchy bits


Facebook Real Names Policy – Narcissism, Zuckerberg and me

Facebook are enforcing their real names policy like jackbooted fascists. Pressurising members to use their real legal names rather than any assumed, stage or preferred nom-de-plume. Please see my previous post for their reasons why – Facebook Real Names Policy – Intro.

This is the second post of this series.

 


People ask why I use the name Stegzy Gnomepants. I usually say “Mind your own business”.  Sometimes, however, I’m not so rude about it; the reason I use the name Stegzy Gnomepants is because people know me by that name.

A C64 connected to the internetI started using the internet in 1986, but back then the internet was bobbins and was more like Ceefax than the internet we know and love today. Back then I used the handle Stegzy and remained using that name until about a month later when my parents got their telephone bill and the internet was taken away from me.

Tardis yourself forward in time to 1998 when I bought my first PC. It was a Pentium 266. It cost me £1000 or there abouts. Top of the range. Fast modem (56kpbs). A whopping lump of RAM (something like 16Mb). A cavernous hard drive (approx 512Mb). I connected to the internet and restarted my online life as Stegzy.

Internet fashions came and went. AOL IM, CompuServe, that weird virtual world that Demon Internet had for a few years, Usenet newsgroups – all using the name stegzy. The Gnomepants bit came shortly after, when, as more and more people began using the internet, names were getting quickly claimed by other users. Yes, another Stegzy started to appear. I had to distinguish. Someone I knew then affectionately used to call me Gnomepants, I adopted that name as my online personalities surname.

Free serve logoThis was the early 2000s. Then came Freeserve chat. I used the name stegzy there as well as evilgnome. Sometimes, for anonymity, I would use the name gnomepants. It helped separate my real life from my online life. It kept people from my work, past and those I didn’t want to communicate with, out of my online adventures where, if they found out about my activities, they would have ruined it. Ripping me away from my special place. My escape. My hide away. Where I was safe from those that would interfere. A place I could be myself without fear of judgement or prejudice.

The Existential CompostNext came Livejournal. You can find me there using the name Stegzy too and all entries from there have been preserved here on WordPress too. That is when the real Stegzy Gnomepants blossomed. 2004 came and went. Sometime during this period a bloke called Zuckerberg created a service called Facebook…you might have heard of it.

So lets look at this again….1986 I begin using the name Stegzy. Stegzy Gnomepants circa 1998. People I meet on line know me as Stegzy Gnomepants. I spend the majority of the period 1998-2004 online as….Stegzy Gnomepants. Then some bloke comes along and creates a website called Facebook which nobody had heard of.

2006 yesterdayOk, let’s carry on…Myspace – Stegzy Gnomepants. Hotmail – stegzy gnomepants. Google! What name shall I use? Oh I know, I’ll use my real name…Nobody knows me…ok I’ll use my assumed name….Everyone knows me! Stegzy Gnomepants.

2006ish. Good online friend Dan4th (Hi Dan if you still read!) tells me about some website where American kids hang out. Fascist books or Fuctbook or something. Oh yes…Facebook…I’ll sign up. Stegzy Gnomepants.

Blogspot arose – Stegzy Gnomepants; WordPress – Stegzy Gnomepants; Hell, I’m Stegzy Gnomepants on the BBC, Ebay, everywhere. Search google. You’ll see me using that everywhere and I have been for a very very long time.

Once more lets step back and look –

stegzy_1398497700_140

Me – Yesterday

DrJuliusNo

Mark Zuckerberg – Yesterday

 

Me – Known online as Stegzy Gnomepants since 1998

Zuckerberg – Known online as Facebook since 2004.

Think that makes me win.

 

 

oculus-facebook2014. Facebook decide that I must use my real name. A name nobody on the internet knows me by.

I teach Social Media for Business during the day. In my lessons I advise that to be successful online you need to remain consistent across all platforms. Use the same username where possible. The same avatar. The same contact details. Thats how people know who you are.

Mr Zuckerberg, if I’m to change my name just for your silly little empire, then my influence will have no weight. Businesses will not use me as an influencer. I cannot be a potential brand ambassador for your clients. I am the celebrity. I am the authority. I am the connector, the expert, the agitator.  I am the journalist and the activist. I am the personal brand personified. That means my identity is nothing to you.

Yes I know you say I can create a PAGE but with a page I cannot interact with people as a person. Like things as a person. Interact, engage and amplify as a person online. Especially with products, services or similar which anyone can see me liking, make a judgement on my character. My beliefs. My choices. People that judge. People who I have no wish to share my identity with.

Someone said about my last post on this matter “If you don’t want to adhere to the Facebook’s terms and conditions don’t use it”. Something I am considering. Very hard. Perhaps over to Google+, who realised a very long time ago, forcing your “product” to use something in a way they don’t want to leads to failure. Isn’t that right Google Wave?


 

So when the call comes I will depart from Facebook. I will leave it never to return. You can continue to read my exploits here on WordPress or follow me on Twitter (@stegzy). Facebook postings will decline. I’m sorry if you, like Zuckerberg, no longer want, care or give a stuff about what I say, like or want to share with you. I’m sorry if you no longer want to fuel our social media narcissism together.  But if that’s the way you want to play, I’ll let you take your ball home by yourself. Just mind you don’t trip over those toys you claim I threw out of my pram.

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Horse

You probably won’t remember, in fact I probably didn’t relate to you, that the smelly old man downstairs was carted off to the knackers yard last year because he got stuck in the bath.

tin-bath-by-the-fireBriefly, for those who don’t remember, I was “home alone” and heard some banging that I initially thought was someone doing some DIY. It wasn’t until 11pm when the banging continued that I realised something was amiss. Nipping outside I managed to determine that the banging wasn’t some late night Tommy Walsh but probably the old man in the flat below had come into some sort of mischief. The police were called, who in turn called an ambulance and, long story short, the old man was prised out of his cold bath, bundled into an ambulance and shoved into some sort of “sheltered housing” wherein he now shits and spits where disgruntled Polish nurses can clean up after him. No doubt they also force feed him pureed parsnips in some sort of perverse preparation for my turn in the Old People’s Home Of No Return.

Since those heady days of loud televisions, constant coughing and infestations of rats, wasps and mice we have had some new neighbours in Gnome-cake Towers. A young-(44)-ish mother and her teenage daughter. Out goes the loud telly and farting and in come the late night Mother-Daughter arguments, door slamming and complimentary sobbing.

Last week, Mrs Downstairs went to Ireland. It transpires that previously they (or at least she) lived in some remote part of southern Ireland wherein the nearest neighbour was some distance away. Mrs Downstairs returned to the Emerald Isle with a van in an attempt to fetch the remainder of her stuff, which I assume was in storage.

This left Teen alone.

barrymore_lA whole week with no shouting, no loud telly but just the occasional slamming of badly council fitted windows and doors. With Thursday being the exception when, Teen being a teen, a small soiree took place. Five girls, the Glee soundtrack, cigarettes (possibly some dope) and a bottle or two of Blue Lightning or White Nun or whatever underage beverages are of choice today (In my time it was kiwi MD20/20).

Fruitcake was getting a bit tense by about 10pm when the noise hadn’t abated but by 10.20 the doors were banged and I assume the teens reduced their noise with some consideration culminating in peace and quiet returning to Warwickshire at about 10.40pm. By morning, the only sign of late evening revelry was a couple of fag buts and an empty bottle, possibly Tesco’s Value Turpentine substitute.

In the mid morning I saw the Teen. Smiling sheepishly at me, as she does, she politely said hello. I asked her how her party went the previous night. She replied with apologies and platitudes for any noise and explained that her mum was away in Ireland and was back later that afternoon. We chatted lightly and, using my journalistic skills, I managed to glean further information from our mysterious new neighbours while pointing out that the scary tapping she had heard at night was Quincy the cat trying to get out of the cat flap and the hint that the walls were like paper.

A penny seemed to drop.

I let it lie there.

Spin forward in time in one of those wibbly wobbly screen dissolves to today.

There comes a tap tap tapping at my chamber door. No, not the Raven, but Mrs Downstairs. Chip on her shoulder apparent immediately. Not something I had said or done rather something that Mr Gardener-Nextdoor had obviously said to her regarding the mass of branches felled from the tree out at the front which had lain their since the Autumn.

Promises were made. Promises backed by annoyance at having been told off by someone who seemingly has no business complaining about piles of decaying leylandii. Excuses given. Given to both the right person and the wrong person.

Mentions of the back garden.

Did I mention the back garden? No it seems I didn’t.

Back gardenDuring the summer, house clearance people came and cleared the old man’s flat out and demolished and emptied his two sheds. Apples were thrown about the place, larks were had and a couple of trees and a fence saw their demise. Before the new people moved in, the garden looked rather good, if not still a little overgrown.

Wibbly wobbly screen dissolves again.

Now, it seems, Steptoe and son have come to some arrangement with Mrs Downstairs. Instead of useful stuff from storage, the silly bint has brought, what can only be described as, a scrap yard over on the ferry. Perhaps she emptied the wrong lock up. Who knows.

As I said, apologies were given about the kip of the back garden. Promises made regarding the imminent arrival of fencing material, a six foot gate and some tree felling. Apologies regarding any noise.

In return I listened, placated and smiled reassuringly while inserting titbits into the conversation regarding reciprocal noise, door slamming, rampant terriers and nosey busy body neighbours. Seeds were sown. Hints were dropped. Deals alluded to.

On her side? Promises.

As I frequently say “Words are but wind”

Developments, like photography,  remain to be seen.


4 Comments

Birthday Post

pbsIt’s bad enough, when born this time of year, to be told “Oh I’d have got you a birthday present but I’ve got you a bigger Christmas present” by cheap skates hoping to pull the wool over already tried before eyes. But what’s worse, especially recently in the UK, is the chuffing post.

While all around me are putting up their Christmas cards in displays of social popularity I have to hold off opening cards I receive before my birthday, which, if you didn’t know, is today. A few years back I realised that when my birthday arrived I had fewer birthday cards to open on the actual day than my peers because I had opened mine by accident thinking “Oh it’s a Christmas card, it should be safe”. So recently I have taken to stock piling the cards received through the mail until the actual day and then I have a mass card opening ceremony.

Usually I get about a 3:2 birthday/Christmas card mix with some cheeky sods trying to sneak a Christmas card in with the birthday card or, if they’ve thought ahead they put the birthday card in with the Christmas card (which I don’t mind as long as that’s in an envelope marked “birthday”). However, over recent years the Post Office in Warwickshire have been a bit shit and cards sent way in advance don’t arrive until way into the later weeks so my pre-birthday Christmas card opening abstinence seems to be a bit futile.

manLast year the postie had a good excuse. Most of the UK and Warwickshire was under a thick blanket of snow and poor Postman Pat was at risk of slipping on the pavement. Meaning they would be having to take time off work with a sprained foot and a personal injury claim. Fair enough. This modern snow can be lethal. Those Victorian and postWW2-pre HSWA(1974) postmen had it easy. I’m surprised today’s postmen don’t have to wear special wire lined gloves in case they get a rather nasty infected paper cut from an overtly sharp envelope.

Last year’s snows and postage backlogs meant that I was getting birthday cards well into the New Year, which was nice. Amusing in a “Ne’r mind eh?” kind of way.

plaThis year though, I thought it would be better. No snow in the midlands. Not a drop. Well at least in Leamington Spa at any rate. Through the week I had received a good few cards through the mail. I’d say about 9 or so. A few who’s origins I could guess and a few I could not. It was going to be a good birthday morning, opening these cards.

Just after my breakfast of Cinnamon Grahams and a cup of tea, I began the opening ceremony. One by one I gingerly teased each card out of it’s envelope revealing either ageist birthday mirth or greetings of seasonal persuasion.

The score was roughly

BIRTHDAY CARDS 6

CHRISTMAS CARDS 5

A nice balance. But no fear, I thought, it is Saturday today! The Royal Mail still deliver on a Saturday. Maybe I’ll get some in the post today!

Of course, sitting round expectantly is not something I can do these days, so we opted to brave the early morning cold and penultimate-Christmas-weekend  shoppers and grab a few things before we came home for the afternoon to see what exciting things were in line for the rest of the day.

All the while I was like “heheh I can’t wait to get home to the mountain of cards that will be awaiting me on my doorstep”.

It was the spirit that enabled me to battle through the shuffling horde of consumer zombies.

The vim that vigorously calmed my need to vent venom at gawping gormers goggling at festive gifts of grot.

The spice that added fire to my mental curry of warmth empowering me through the ice knife cold Warwickshire winds.

So you can imagine my face when I opened the front door with the eagerness of an expectant child on Christmas morning only to find….

EVERY

SINGLE

STUFFING

ENVELOPED

CARD

THERE…….

there was for Fruitcake.

Chuffing Nora.

NOT A SINGLE ONE delivered today was for me. NOT ONE.

ON MY BIRTHDAY!

***Frump***

***SULK***


The answer

The answer to yesterdays conundrum was

I found the cottage cheese in the fresh meat section. Because, yes, that is the first place you would think of looking for cottage cheese. I am obviously stupid. I will go and kill myself right away.

Its another one of those days where things don’t go as planned. I had intended on swatting up for my exam but people and things just get in the way. Which means that as I had planned a whole day swatting I will now be spending a whole half day swatting instead.

I’ve lost half a day. Damn me and my procrastination. Though I have managed to listen to the whole of Portishead’s Third album about 6 times and, further to this, managed to learn about Gauntlet, Chomsky and Adorno. None of whom will probably come up on the exam. I hate exams.

Homework club

Does Gauntlett’s (1998) article about media effects mean there is no point in looking at them? Discuss


What’s behind the door?

So I’m taking my car out of the garage to take the recycling having spent all day tidying.

It was a bit stiff to open but as it’s cold I thought that was probably because of the weather. As I close the door I hear a ping and the door goes all wobbly and wouldn’t shut. So I have a look and notice that the bit of metal that holds the door to the runner has broken.

“Great!” I thought. I’m going on a journey from Sunday and I don’t fancy leaving the garage door open all week. So I ring me dad. He doesn’t know what to do and can’t really help what with being 80 miles away. So I think OK I’ll call the insurance, see if it’s covered. Then I discover that the garage isn’t covered because “It is not attached to the building”. Well that’s just great.

So after speaking to a lovely girl from Norwich Union who was having a shit day too, I looked through the yellow pages to see if there were any emergency garage door repair people. No. Not this time of year.

So then I realised I was all alone. G the Human Dog was not around. I had to try and fix this myself. So I put on my overalls and looked at the door. I sucked air through my teeth and tutted. I sighed. Tutted again. Sucked more air through my teeth, shook my head then had a cup of tea. After my cup of tea I stood by the door again. Sucked air through my teeth, as is the way, tutted and then shook my head once more. I then went to the shop to see if they had the part. I was gone for an hour. Then came back and said to myself “Well, its a strange model mate, what you got there is a B29na6x and they don’t make them no more. It needs a part but the shop couldn’t order the part in until the new year like.”

I then sighed. Tutted again. Sucked more air through my teeth and said “Well I can have a go but it’ll cost you”

After more standing round looking at the door, more air sucking and tutting I used a clever system of levers (Nameably bits of wood that Mrs Gnomepants had been on at me for months to get shut of) to lever the door into a more manuverable position. Then, using a bit of elbow grease and some levering, I managed to get the fucker shut.

I then invoiced myself £50 plus VAT but I offered to give a £10 discount for cash.

I think I was happy. Still I could have done it for £20 but you know…times are hard like….


If You’re Not Clean, I’ll Kill You

It’s funny how we take things for granted. Today I have learnt about 3 granted things.

The first and second being the gear stick and clutch of a manual transmission car. G, of the human dog persuasion, wanted me to take him down to Thurnscoe (a very sinister part of south Yorkshire with weird, out of place council housing estates in the middle of nowhere) so that he could retrieve his dilapidated motorhome from a storage place. This involved me having to drive his beast of a people carrier (a Chrysler) which is automatic. I have never driven an automatic before. I’ll be jiggered if I could find the clutch or the gear stick (yeah yeah I knew there’s no clutch and the gear stick was in the steering column). Cue much swearing and cries of “ARRRRGH HOW DO YOU DRIVE THIS THING?!”

The third thing I took for granted is water. The house is devoid of water ever since it was attacked by water stealing aliens and transported to a distant arid planet since the plumber discovered that the bathroom his the focal point of a labyrinth of mysterious old lead pipes. So here I am, devoid of water (well not me personally; the house. If it was me I’d be like one of them creatures from Night of the Big Heat), with naught to make my tea and wash up with but a pan and a kettle of cold water. Toilet time is fun too. We have to use Mrs Owen’s outside jig (thats an outside loo to you Merrycans. Yes it is outside, in the middle of the lane with no name so that all the people from the club can see me pooing and weeing. No srsly it’s in Mrs Owen’s shed so it’s kind of an outside inside loo only it’s outside not inside, but then it is inside but outside of the house. If you get my meaning. You do? Good. I’d confusing to be hate) which is a nice outside jig but it has no light in it meaning we have to have the door ajar.

So with the plumber here, Gnomepants Manor resembles a building site.

And this is what it looks like now


Village Gossip

As a happy ending, the people who own the field behind the “lane with no name” took a trip to an equine fair this weekend and purchased this lovely chestnut mare



A Horse Called Man

Behind the field behind the lane with no name is another field (separated by a patchy hedge and some skilfully placed barbed wire). In the field behind the field behind the lane with no name there are two other horses and a donkey, together with a collection of tatty farm machinery.

One of the horses in the field behind the field behind the lane with no name is a white and black patchy horsey. The white and black patchy horsey and his friends the donkey and the white horsey all came to say hello to the chestnut mare.



The white and black patchy horsey what has a big cock

I think the white and black patchy horsey was pleased to see the chestnut horsey (judged by the size of it’s dripping widgy). They all stood round looking at each other over the barbed wire fence. I suspect they have a lot to discuss.