Saturday, May 11, 2002

This journal entry I dedicate to the girl from the University of Michigan music school, studying Chopin, who IMed me to tell me that she was a faithful visitor of my distant planet...a prospect so ludicrous to me, shouting into the void out here, that I did not believe her...I still don't know if I do. I was convinced that the girl, SN "Ubermensch," was Morgan, my girlfriend (who spent a year in Austria, reads lots of Neitzche (thus my suspicsion of the overman german screename) and enjoys telling stories about grand practical jokes. When I saw Morgan later, I was so convinced it had been her I immediately proclaimed "You're ridiculous!" It quickly became improbably that Morgan was a suspect: she had been studying manically for two finals she had the next day. I found her utterly drained from her day of calculus and ion channels--unlikely that she had the time or the energy to pull this off.
Magnificent, magnificent internet, that lets us taylor our own identity clothes! How easily I could myself sign up for an alternate IM screen name, become a girl studying Chopin at the UM school of music, and find myself IMing a silly boy about how much I enjoy reading his journal.

Only the weak, inflexible and unpracticed muscles of my imagination limit my ability to create myself anew online.
Online, the only thing that strangers have to judge you by are your words--messages carefully constructed. Perhaps, soon even more, videos and images, and sounds, but those can just as easily be borrowed, shaped, or newly crafted.
This all bothers Morgan quite a bit...she takes with heavy skepticism my trust that no one in this world actively desires to harm me--my belief that I have nothing to fear from people.
I may not be naive, but hopefully I tread well the fine line between adventure and stupidity...I send my love all those who visit my journal, be they music students or "random weirdos" (as Morgan might call them) who just want to stalk me...but I of course agree that I should maintain a ceratin amount of distance from those strangers whom I encounter private rendez-vouz in darkened alleys etc.

It isn't quite right to call people I meet online strangers. Because I don't really meet people online. A character I create meets a character they create, like two beautiful puppets descending on a common stage, their puppetteers hidden from each other's view behind the velvety glow of LCD.