June 28th, 2012


Hi, I'm Tats. I have no surname.

This morning someone invited me to an event on Google+. Apparently events are a Thing on Google+ now. I'm surprised they haven't always been a Thing, given how that functionality seems to be one of the things that makes Facebook so popular. Now while I have a G+ account, I haven't used it for ages because of their stupid policy on pseudonyms. I've been Tatjna on the internet for 11 years. When I had a Facebook I didn't use my real name*, and I'm fucked if I'm using it for G+ either. On the internet, I'm Tatjna, that's that.

So I checked to see if I was still going to get my email shut down for using my internet ID, and it turns out that Google did change their policy somewhat. If asked, I would still have to prove this was my pseudonym and that I'm 'known' by it elsewhere, but I can use it. I don't think I have a substantial following (200 and something listed readers but I'm under no illusions that everyone reads everything I write every day), but what I do have is a broad and deep penetration of the internet with this name belonging to me in a LOT of places.

So I went to G+ to see if I could update my profile - it had been listed as tatjna x as a placeholder because the form insisted on a surname. And yes, it still insists on a surname, I'm still tatjna x and I have no desire to BE tatjna x. Yes I know I'm probably being a wanker about this but no other site has insisted I provide a surname in order to use their services, and I don't see why it's necessary. I'm Tatjna. No x, no surname, just Tatjna. Why is this so hard?

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In other internet curmudgeonliness news, yesterday I pissed off Trevor Mallard on Twitter by reminding him that 'Don't Spam People' is basic internet etiquette. He called me an internet snob and said his feed wasn't for people like me. I thought that was a funny thing for an MP to say, but anyway. Dear politicians, learn social media. It'll help with not alienating your constituents, eh?

And just to ram a point home, remember the Florida Zombie? How he attacked another man and chewed his face off and everyone said it was because he was off his nut on bath salts? And how there's now a federal bill to ban bath salts?. They released the toxicology report this morning. Only marijuana was found in the guy's system.

Fuck you, police. Fuck you, media. Fuck you, everyone who contributed to this moral panic that has effectively deflected attention away from the real problem which is the USA's crumbling support infrastructure and how events like this are on the increase not because of some demonic new drug but because people are falling faster and faster through the cracks. The safety net is disintegrating and desperate people are not getting help, and bath salts are not to blame for this. Drug misuse is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. Kapisch?

Jeez. Damn right I'm angry.

* I was actually really surprised when I went to sign up for Facebook for the first time and it asked for my real name. I just went "Not likely Noddy" and used my pseudonym and that was the end of it. It blew me away to discover how many people were totally fine with putting their real name into Facebook. It was kind of a turning point in pseudonymity I reckon. People just.. did it.