Wednesday, 23 September 2009

All Hail the Great Pretender

I'm midway through watching the first season of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and d'you know, for the most part it's flipping brilliant. Like all good television should, it's got me thinking about things - for example, the show explores the theme of identity and the pretense that surrounds it; what pretenses surround my own identity/ies?

Suppose it's like clothing, in that I have a personality for every occassion. There's the aloof fool that plays jokes and pranks at work. Then there's the geeky writer-guy I become at university; somebody who wants to act professional, but at the same time have a little fun and hope that his efforts are enough to 'break' into the writing business full time. The 'me' at home is completely different. He's grumpy and isolated - a little emotionally unattached, too. He's scared to show his true feelings, because his family have never seen him act that way. Compare it to the version he plays at work, where it's more common to see his outbursts of opinion/thought.

These different sides of me are the faces I wear every day. I have many more, that have been stored away in my subconscious because they're not needed right now - like the caring boyfriend I played a couple of times before in my life, or any other number of personalities that don't mesh with the life I'm living right now.

It's silly, but they are more than just behavioural patterns that I have around different people. I act out in a very real sense according to the 'face' I wear - it's why when I visit work on my day off to watch a film with the family I act differently than I normally do; because my mind is set to its default family setting, and not its work equivilant (or vicea versa). Honestly, I can't help it - it's just the way I'm wired. I don't pick or choose when I act like this.

The reasons? I'm not too sure. Maybe it's all to do with fantasy; as a writer, my brain romantisies the idea of 'being' different people in my writings - so there's a little transference into my real life, where I act out differently, according to a different set of moral codes I feed myself. Weird, I know. Do not get me started on the level of weirdness I'm confessing.

Perhaps it's a form of schziophrenia? Haha, I'm laughing when I oughta not be, because I'm deadly serious! No, I dunno what it is - but like I said, I've observed other people and how they behave in different circumstances. This feels... different to that. It's like a new man... wherever I go.

The real question isn't what the condition is, oh no. It's who is the real me behind it all? Am I that grumpy family guy, or that idiot co-worker, or university writing-guy? I honestly don't know anymore; I've forgotten, truly, who I am. Therefore, in principle, there no longer is a true Anthony Howard; just one massive personality, always shifting and changing, and pretending to be what it believes the long forgotten Anthony Howard is.

***

Finished the Doctor Who novel Coldheart (by Trevor Baxendale) after a week's reading. T'was alright, maybe a little average. Shall soon start on the next book in the series - Steve Lyons' The Space Age. Wish me luck!
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