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!