Friday, 9 May 2008

On avatars



Tricky, this avatar business. Gets you thinking. I mean, how do you represent yourself as an image? I know I’m making a meal out of it, but it worries me. Funnily enough I am far more careful about images than I am about words. Images are potent. Images, they say, speak directly to the subconscious. Sooo, one’s avatar is not only making a statement about who one is to the world, but it’s also making a statement about who one is to oneself. Given I post so much on fora, my avatar is going to pop up and look me in the eye many times a day. It’s going to worm its way into my subconscious and, heck, I could create my own reality from it. It’s the theory behind treasure maps, positive visualisation etc. Bombard the eye with images of a positive reality and the mind will try to make them manifest. So, conversely, you have to assume that if you bombard the eye with negative images, by heck, things could get very nasty.

So my idea of a depressed looking woman with a dog turd perched on her head is a deeply dangerous idea. To date, Asbo and the Phantom Pooper have at least left their offerings on ground level. Well there was, of course, Asbo’s balancing poo on the doorstep and the ones he sort of propels at bushes but they haven’t reached head level - yet.

I liked the images of women with glasses in their hands (and nappies on their heads – could be turned into a turd I suppose) but would that too be tempting Fate? I drink enough already without my subconscious deciding I’m not dressed without wielding a glass of red. Work having plummeted this year, due to Family Matters which May Not Be Discussed, I can’t afford to descend into alcoholism yet.
I love the idea of something spiritual – the maze, the labyrinth, the spiral, the mandala, the Cosmic Piglet – but truly, who am I kidding? At the moment I’m about as spiritual as beans on toast.
Dogs have been discussed but, as Milla pointed out yesterday as we drank Jumpy Monkey smoothies in Glastonbury, I got told off at the Arvon Foundation for my dog point-of-view obsession – so that’s out.

So, this morning I did what I should have done a long time ago – went out shopping for an avatar (classic avoidance technique of course – should have been coming up with ideas for work). I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) that there are positively bucketloads of sites filled with avatars. Military weapons are clearly popular as are those weird Japanese comic characters with huge eyes and no jaws.
There’s plenty of whimsy and cute and some that are truly odd. Such as…..
· Terry Wogan in a yellow bunny suit
· A man having his face pulled apart by paperclips
· Evil Tinky-Winky, the Teletubby
· An X-ray showing a skeleton with a bottle, er…jammed somewhere.
· A woman sunbathing in an alien mask
· Dogs lying nose to tail in a perfect circle

I often feel like the woman with an axe buried in her face but, for obvious reasons, not sure I want to attract that reality. Nor the girl from The Exorcist (though wouldn’t remotely surprise me if my head started spinning round while I projectile vomited the way I’m feeling lately). I could give you all a laugh by choosing Jordan’s improbably ex-breasts or Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel elf ears. Or I could be mysterious with any of of 78 pictures of eyes.

The more I look at images, the more I think it’s impossible. There is nothing that sums me up in total. It’s an impossible quest. So I plucked several images out because, for no particular reason, they appealed. See what you think and let me know. Or, if you have any better ideas......

Now this, in case you were wondering, is what I really look like!







17 comments:

Milla said...

oh Jane, what a pretty picture, how clever you are. The right one (note, not perfect, but right) is out there somewhere, you just haven't found it yet. You're laying a whole load of expectation on a little thing a centimetre square though. I would seriously avoid dogs, since dogs are vile, and I should know. Turds and nappies are also something you can walk away from (rather than into, ho ho). Very funny, though, chortled several times, particularly about not being dressed without a glass of wine. Mind, weren't we good yesterday! (the very thought ...)

Faith said...

Don't like any of those - if forced to choose one it would be hairy creature at the top - Grinch? or whatever he is.

The right avator comes to she who waits.... I suppose.

Don't choose turds - I have an aversion to them!

Elizabethd said...

Hmmmm, that's kind of frightening. Try again!

elizabethm said...

Definite no to anything with a gun or a chainsaw. How about a Celtic knot?

Frances said...

Well said, or I guess written, Jane. I wonder if there is a way to have a rotating avatar, with a random image appearing at every click?

xo

LittleBrownDog said...

Oh, no, no, NO, Jane. NONE of those! I think you need to be a bit Zen about this. Why not burn a bit of incense, tuck yourself away in a part of the house where you're not going to be disturbed by dogs or builders and just doodle. Just let various images drift into your consciousness and examine them one by one - the right one will come when the time is right. (Like it did for me. Which is why I, too, don't have an avatar.) Then again, you could just be enigmatic...

(And heaven knows what the Arvon foundation would have to say about my dog's-eye point of view of just about every aspect of my life...

Exmoorjane said...

OK, no turds.
Toady has the celtic knot - thought of that already. Sigh.
LBD, great idea but show me a corner of the house that doesn't have either builders or dogs in it and we'll be looking at the loo (and that's overlooked by the boozers down the pub). I hold fast to my dog pov - but could sort of see their point.
Milla, we were exemplary yesterday - still stunned and bemused. It was the very air of Glastonbury what did it.
Frances, I love the idea of a rotating avatar - would fit me perfectly (always in a spin) - I think your avatar should be one of your totally beautiful teacups - delicate porcelain, a moment of sheer perfection.

Pipany said...

Can't believe how much thought I have been giving this vexing problem Jane! Perhaps it is this thing about it being impossible to work out what/who we are, partic as we are Capricorns which the world seems to define as ambitious(!!!!) and go-gettish (oh if only). I think the real problem lies in the fact that we are very much one thing one day and something entirely different the next, or even the next minute (speaking for oneself really). Ahh, lightbulb moment - what about a face with two sides or something like that?
Er, sorry for ramble of absolutely no use - clearly am avoiding doing anything about dinner!!!! xxx

Exmoorjane said...

How funny, Pip - have just been looking at a sort of dual faced thing - moon v sun.....
And also a very cute dog....ah sigh.
Of course, hadn't thought of it before but Capricorns - Janus, straddling the old year and the new....

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I only have one on PC but I think I would be tempted to chose the same one for my blog. Turds definitely do not suit you, Jane, neither do fluffy bunny rabbits or the teletubbies. Choose something nice, something that portrays you; a lovely caring person with a great personality.

CJ xx

Himalayan Blue said...

I don't think any of these suit you Jane! You will just have to keep looking for the perfect avatar, one will turn up eventually!

lampworkbeader said...

Jane, You're getting really dark about all this avator business, maybe you should just manage without one....

Her on the Hill said...

Aha! at last I will be able to spot you on the beach at Lynton! I'm still not sure I know what an avatar is, let alone how to attach one to myself. It is something I was mulling over just last night, so perhaps I should get 'out there' and have a look what's available... watch this space!

xxxxx

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

'Berludy hell woman it's ONLY AVATAR' she shrieked clutching her broom - 'it doesn't define YOU,' and she gesticulated wildly knocking off her witches hat . . .

'Wanna borrow my chainsaw . . . I think it's got a friend somewhere?'

I think you should go for something like the cartoon figure on Confused.com . . .

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

ONLY an AVATAR that should have read . . .sorry dropped my wand picked it up and forgot the an!

KittyB said...

I don't know how you could better the gorgeous, mega-glam young-Shirley-McLaine-esqe publicity pic of yours. I am madly jealous of it and very proud that at least one of my Facebook friends looks so fab, the rest are a sorry bunch (apart from that lovely brown spaniel of course, ahem...)

CAMILLA said...

Your Avatar will soon reveal itself to you Jane, but hate to disagree with all, but I actually loved the pic one before the end, sorry folks.!!

Camilla.xx