Aliases, Avatars and the Fracturing of the Psyche


This subject is one that I think about at least once a month.  Being introspective, I tend to look inward a lot and discuss with myself if what I’m doing/thinking/saying is adversely affecting myself or changing myself in ways that I don’t like. Basically, am I living a lie with this Bookstooge moniker?

Thankfully, the answer is an emphatic “No!”. If you were to meet me in real life, while I would be different than your expectations, you could still recognize me from how I act and talk here.

Bookstooge is an identity. He is not a whole personality but neither is he a deliberately skewed persona that I don when I go online.  Bookstooge doesn’t care if indie authors rant at him, threaten him or call him nasty names. When a rabid fan of some book he hates comes over and tells him, in excruciating detail, about why he is wrong, he just gets a bit angry and a bit of non-review post material. In a day or two, that’s all gone and Bookstooge is right back to writing reviews and posts and whatever crap fills his head. He is a coping mechanism for dealing with the internet and the phracktards who inhabit it.

***** 8 Years Prior*****

I joined Goodreads in 2007, and became active in 2009. I used my full name, kept my profile photo updated to within a year and listed what State I lived in and lots of other factual data.

In ’12 and ’13 I had the beginnings of my war with the Indies.  Things ran the gamut from general name calling to such items as being told to stick my hand in a blender [so as to not write any more reviews] or threatened with a general beating.  So when I left GR in late ’13 because of their silent censoring issue, I decided that I needed something to buffer me. And thus was born Bookstooge. Of course, it only took about 2 weeks for “Bookstooge” to get splattered upon by the “Stop the Good Reads Bullies” folks but that was more a badge of honor than anything.

Funny thing is, “Bookstooge” is now more known that “I” ever was. How’s that for irony?

***** End Flashback*****

Does this mean that I am on the path to becoming a character in my own movie, ie, “Split” by Shyamalan? I do have the bald look already, so there’s that:


But heeeeey, it’s MEEEEE we’re talking about. I’m pretty bloody stable, and don’t you forget it! *all up in your face with my shiny bald head*

But honestly, I’m not crazy. I know I’m not crazy and you know I’m not crazy. My Bookstooge part of me is just another part. I act differently in my Monday evening church men’s group than I do in services on Saturday. Or put me in a crowd and whammo, suddenly you don’t see a side of me that you’ve never seen before [ie, I sidle up to a wall and do my best to hold it up]. Does this mean my psyche is shattered into a billion pieces? Mrs Bookstooge just informed me that mine IS shattered, but into a TRILLION pieces. So there you go, The End.

Ha. Thank goodness for funny wives.

Thank goodness it doesn’t mean that. What it does mean is that people are the most complex thing on this earth. It is a constant reminder to me that when I interact with each and every one of you, that I don’t have the full story, not by far. I don’t know what motivations lie behind your comments, your posts. Sometimes, you probably don’t even know, so how in samhill am I supposed to? So I need to exhibit patience when I don’t want to. I need to show restraint when I just want to type it all out.

To wrap this venerschnittzlefrauzen up, since I know who I am, Who I am grounded in and am stable, these wonderings each month tend to be a good reminder to treat you all with a bit more “whatever” that you may need at the moment.

Of course, if you’re just bullshitting me, I’ll bury you 😉




32 thoughts on “Aliases, Avatars and the Fracturing of the Psyche

  1. Interesting topic, as I’ve often considered switching to my real name for my review blog now that it’s gotten more attention than when I first started. “Mogsy” just doesn’t have as serious a ring to it, but then I’ve used this handle as my gaming name for ages, and it just carried over from my days of game blogging. On the other hand, I’ve been using this nickname for so long it just seems a shame to change now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mogsy, we love you BUT Griselda just doesn’t cut it, sorry 😦

      It really comes down to what people are comfortable with. As long as there are writers like D.P. Prior who go around looking for reviews of their book and leaving nasty comments on the ones they don’t like, I’ll be sticking to a moniker.


  2. Did the Internet eat my comment? I hope it was tasty. Anyway, when I started blogging, I never really thought about coming up with an alternate persona. Okay…maybe I thought about it for a *few* seconds, but I’m bad at coming up with quirky screen names. So my real name it was. Over time, I think the “me” that writes here has come to represent my louder, mad-hatter half that I’ve learned to keep in tow. The IRL “me” is much more reserved…and that’s probably because I’m able to let out so much silliness/anger/bullduggery through blogging. And that’s a good thing. For the rest of the world, anyway. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what happened to your first comment. I did get hit by about 20 spammers today, but I didn’t see your comment in my moderation folder. So it either got in the spam folder or the internet DID eat it.

      I know exactly what you mean about the certain “aspect” coming to the fore online and making the world safer for people in real life 🙂

      I have to wonder, you started out with game stuff, right? Do the creators of games ever go onto someone’s blog and hassle them if they talked smack about the game? I just don’t know that kind of behavior happens outside of books and book reviews?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not aware of that happening, per se. I know that the masses will sometime go after reviewers, and reviewers will go after each other, but I don’t know of many instances where game creators have specifically gone after reviewers….after individual players, occasionally yes, as with the latest PewDiePie “scandal.” After reading this post, I was surprised to find such toxicity in your line of blogging. I’m sorry for that, but us bloggers are a tough bunch. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Eh, it has helped me toughen up. And to simply not get into those situations. Hence my “review policy” which is basically that I “don’t” 😀
          And yet I STILL get requests to review indie books. sigh…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny. Our paths never crossed on GR. I used an avatar (astragen).

    No bullshit here. What you “see on my posts” would be what you’d get were to meet face to face…:) We would probably be at each other’s throats from the get-go.

    The way I see things, we may be not much different,; I do tend to alienate people in “real life”.

    The old question: “Which is more important authenticity or anonymity?” The first as far as I’m concerned! I don’t really care about anonymity. In this day and age it’s not worth much. What I do really care is “authenticity”. No authenticity means I’ll stop following that person right away.

    NB: Can we know in what state is your abode…?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was on GR, I had single digit friends and followed about 2 people. The social aspect of book reviewing has really grown for me once I left and began making my own way.

      It would not surprise me ONE BIT if we pissed each other off in real life. I have found that the kind of people I like to be around online are the kind of people that drive me to distraction in real life. Because I’m not a fan of those who are all out there. I’m all out there online but not in real life. Heck, the online me would wear the real life me out with all these comments, etc.

      I don’t see why one can’t have both to be honest. But, if by anonymous you mean bland vanilla nothing, then I totally agree with you.

      Yes, you can. I live in the freest State in the United States, New Hampshire. Of course, we have to be concerned about snow for almost 6 months of the year, but hey, no place can be totally perfect…

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yep, it is definitely not for everyone. My ideal place would be somewhere where it is 50degrees [that is a 10 to you] every day but with no snow.
            A place where heavy hoodies are needed every morning and hot soup and crackers are what’s for dinner. Someday I’ll find this mythical place…

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Yet another instance of the “Government” taking away the rights of its citizens 😉

          Fight Manuel! Rise up in Revolution for your RIGHT to have snow!
          What’s that? You don’t WANT snow?
          Oh my goodness, it is worse than I thought. Now you’ve been brainwashed by the “Government”.

          (Sometimes I think I’m very clever very early in the morning.)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. “Cordially” invited to put your hand in a blender??? Was that truly a writer or rather a disguised serial killer?? Every time I happen to read about this kind of violent reaction from authors I wonder if I’ve been very, very lucky so far, because that seems to be more widespread that I can imagine.
    As for identities, I think it’s right to keep at least one part of our life private: we share already so much on the internet (some people share way TOO much, in my opinion), so that it’s not a matter of hiding behind a mask, but rather protecting ourselves from digital intruders. And blender-wielding psychos… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blender comment was actually a fan.

      From what I can tell, you’ll get as much “action” as you are willing to seek out. Since I left the AuthorsBehavingBadly group and not sought out bad books, I’ve only had the one run in with Prior. And even that was him acting like a petulant child, nothing violent. But if you seek out bad authors and join others who do the same, you’ll get noticed.

      Agree completely about oversharing. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing that with some of the nonsense posts I do though. Then I shrug it off and keep on typing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hehehe my goodness you just read my mind!! I was just thinking about this!! I was just thinking about internet personas (as I do a lot) Although funnily enough, I actually do have a “secret identity” more as a nice buffer from the real world than scary internet fiends, but yes, it’s a nice buffer from scary internet fiends too 😉

    As for who I am in real life- well I’m less orange, less hairy and don’t speak with as many “ahhhs” and “ooohs” and “!!!” (none of that sounds as good in an RP accent 😉 ) other than that I think people are getting pretty close to the real deal 😉

    At the risk of getting very deep, no one really knows themselves- so yeah how could we know other people (oooh scary thought 😉 ) or what they’re really trying to say- I just try to give people the benefit of the doubt (unless they’re a troll getting angry- in which case I assume they’re some kid in their mum’s basement and feel sorry for them 😉 ) I know a lot of the time I don’t give comments as much time as I probably should (this might be case and point)

    hehehehe I’m glad you’re pretty bloody stable though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah hah! So you have a secret identity? Behind the Orangutan, what lurks deep within? I bet your name is Matilda, you have 57 cats AND you have a “James” to drive you around town.
      See, your secrets practically expose themselves here on my blog…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post! I do know what you’re talking about since it easily reminds me of ingame names that I use all the time and everywhere. Of course, for blogging, I use my whole name and am pretty transparent about myself to this day (I have yet to run into huge issues that would make me think about using a pseudonym or something). However, I do realize that everyone, including myself, act differently depending on who we’re around and the setting we’re in. Even if our name is the same in all those different contexts, we sometimes change personas and adapt just to feel much more comfortable. I guess, at the end of the day, pseudonyms and privacy just help with our own personal comfort and in keeping certain problems at bay.

    Liked by 1 person

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