It’s interesting to think about what you would have named yourself had it been your choice (me? Bullwinkle!). Alas, most of us are left to the whimsical mercies of our half-witted, whiskey-addled parents (no offense). Of course, towns can choose their own name. I recently went to one that chose a strange one: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

It’s bizarre enough that a town would choose to name itself after someone whose sole claim to fame was coming in a strong second in some three legged race held concurrently with the birth of Christ. (I’m not sure I have all the historical facts exactly right). But I was intriqued by the large sign that welcomed me to town: “JIM THORPE – THE SWITZERLAND OF PENNSYLVANIA.” I’m not sure what they mean by that. Do they mean they are neutral in armed conflicts involving other small towns in Pennsylvania? Do they make chocolate? Do they have a really bad basketball team? Whatever the case, the powers that be in Jim Thorpe felt Pennsylvania needed a Switzerland.

There is one circumstance where people do get to choose their identities. I’m of course referring to our on-line screen names. My name, Dayliberal. The name seems to flow. I fear that if things had turned out differently, Dayfascist wouldn’t have had the same ring. Recently I’ve spent some time in the various Chat rooms the internet has to offer. Reviewing both the names people give themselves, and what they say, reveals a great deal about the human condition.

First, there were the general chat rooms. The most banal of the bunch. I tried to contribute where I could:

Bambi27: Hi
Bubblebath: Hi. 18/f
Stoooopid: 🙂
Doubledumb344: Hi Bubble!
Bubblebath: Hi Double! 18/f!
Bambi27: Hi guys!
Bubblebath: Hi!
Doubledumb344: Hi
Stooooopid: 🙂
Bubblebath: 18/f
ButtBrain50: Hi guys!
Bambi27: Hi
Bubblebath: Hi. 18/f
Doubledumb344: Hi Butt!
Stoooopid: 🙂
Dayliberal: Most modern religions have a conception of the human condition as a quagmire of quiet despair, followed by an eternity of brutal punishment inflicted by a vengeful and merciless God.

Pause

Stoooopid: 😦
Bubblebath: Hey guys! I just had my birthday! 19/f
Bambi27: Hi
Doubledumb344: Hi
Stoooopid: 🙂

Then there are the right wing wacko chat rooms.

LibsSuck: Ya know what Osama bin Laden reminds me of? I hate Clinton!!
Hitleraintsobad985: Me to! Clinton sucks!
FutureInmate10: Yeah. Hillary too. She killed Vince Foster!
Nazikook: And OJ!
Hitleraintsobad985: OJ killed Vince Foster?
NaziKook: No! Hillary!!
LibsSuck: OJ Killed Hillary?
NaziKook: No you morons!! Hillary Killed Vince Foster. Bill killed OJ!
I’mTomDelay: I’m Tom Delay.
Nazikook: Hi Tom. We hate Clinton
I’mTomDelay: Not as much as I hate Clinton!
LibsSuck: Screw You, whoever you are…
I’mTomDelay: …I’m Tom Delay.
LibsSuck: No one hates Clinton as much as me!
FutureInmate10: I hate Clinton more than you.
Bubblebath: Hi!
Nazikook: Who the hell are you?
Bubblebath: 19/f
LibsSuck: Do you hate Clinton?
Bubblebath: Who?

Finally there are the fringe chat rooms:

DATELESS222: I don’t know about you guys. But I can’t get enough of the new Celine Dion Album.
DATELESS222: Hello. Is anybody there?
DATELESS222: Hellllooooooooooo?

So what have we learned about our fellow human beings? Well, we’ve learned that if we are forced to choose a two word label to encapsulate our essence, we often don’t choose our most noble attribute. We’ve also learned that Bill and Hillary have killed far more people than we could ever imagine.

Tomorrow: I’m off to Cherry Hill, the Tajikestan of New Jersey.

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