Friday, June 3, 2011

What's in a name?

First, let me start with a story: I grew up with cats, and except for exceptional circumstances, I have had little time of my existence that I have not shared with feline companions. When I struck out on my own, I was in chaotic circumstances and it took a few years for me to adopt. When my faithful companion had to be put down due to extremely difficult circumstances (10% chances of survival are not good odds) I parted with the beasts... for a short while.

I did adopt again, and then things got out of control; being in low-income jobs, spaying a female is a pretty tough thing to do, so I ended up with a slut that would get pregers as soon as it was possible. I ended up with several litters (which totally got me over the cuteness of kittens) and when I had to part with them because of tough choices, I had to get rid of some adorable and loving toms who wanted nothing more than to be loved.

Throughout all this, I have named every one of them, and never have I ever repeated or reused a name. To me, it feels wrong to do so, a sort of sacrilege and insult to the original bearer. This came to me as I was musing over getting an orange tabby again and whether I would name him after one of his loving predecessors.

It turns out that associating a name with an individual, a place, a thing is a pretty powerful thing,. something that should be done carefully, after some serious thought has been put into it, so that you don't end up with something ridiculous, or out of some sort of ironic joke. Its rarely funny for long.

When I was settling with the idea of creating my own label, or publisher, call it what you will, it took some work. Turns out that pretty much every name that I thought would be good and obscure enough that nobody would have thought of had in fact been thought of and used by somebody else. Thanks Google for messing up with my delusions.

As I was researching about setting up my own website, it was highly recommended that I don't mess around too much researching that particular name, as there are what you could call web speculators, that scoured the search engine results and buy up domain names so that if the prospective user wanted to get it, they'd have to buy it off of them at a premium. I wanted to avoid that, and so I made up my own and registered it.

I am a man of multiple outputs. I like to do play with roles and masks, so my musical output requires me to create different identities, each having their own personalities, appealing to both different crowds (or small gathering of shady loners) and different aspects of myself. Most of these aspects got their names early on and those identities got parked on Myspace; because let's be honest, after Facebook hit critical mass (right about the time Murdoch bought Myspace), it went right the hell down the drain. But it wasn't about making those name household memes, it was about keeping a presence on the web so that others couldn't use them.

All but one. There was one identity that wasn't parked, because until recently, it didn't have a voice. By the time it found itself a voice, it was too late and I could not use it without encountering some possible conflicts, not exactly something I want to bother with. I also wanted to avoid the whole "geographic tag" so that two bands could use the same name without getting confused (even if only one will ever make it far enough to be remembered, like Chameleons UK.)

So I am now in search for a particular identity. Its galling, as it now has a voice, but no name. You cant be too clever or quirky, or you'll just turn into one of those hated hipsters. The very fact that those... creatures are allowed to touch keyboards... well, maybe it'll make good pawnshop hunting in a year or two.

You've got to look at the bright side of live, or you'll turn into an emo drama queen, who in their own special way, were just as bad as hipsters.

Just... better looking. Sometimes.

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