Thursday, January 03, 2008


If you look over to the right, you may notice that I have changed my avatar. The previous avatar was actually "Clio," from "Allegory of Painting" by Johannes Vermeer, which I ripped off from Wikipedia. Clio, by the way, was also the Greek goddess of history (see, I can sometimes be a little bit clever!):

I was perfectly happy with her, but since I've seen her used as an avatar by other bloggers, I thought that maybe the avatar could do with a little refurbishment.

A few months back, Vuboq (hi Vuboq!) posted a link that, through a series of procrastinatory events laced with alcohol, produced this potential avatar replacement:

Yes: a Lego Clio! My hair isn't actually that stylish, nor am I quite that stumpy; but I loves me some capes (the red thing in the background) and scarves! Coffee and books, too. I also tend to dress like that, complete with lace up boots. I loves me some lace-up boots because they are really the only type of shoe that stays on my feet. Anyway, I rejected this because this blog is not -- heck, I am not -- that whimsical. Clio Vermeer stayed.

Yesterday, I came across this link through a post at Shakesville. Through yet another series of procrastinations not entirely unrelated to today's procrastinations, this time laced with insomnia, this was produced:

Clio the Hero! That one looks a bit like me, I must say, except my shoes don't have heels due to an unfortunate incident during the interview for the very job that I now hold. Also, my tits were never that perky. Surgery might have to be involved for anyone's tits to look that perky. My ass might be a tad bit bigger, my legs a bit shorter, and my shoulders a bit narrower (although I am the last remaining hold-out from the 1980s on the subject of shoulder pads, so those could be my shoulders, just with David Byrne padding). Otherwise, that's me, if I were a superhero. Notice the blue stockings?

If you go visit the sites that generated these images, you might notice that they allow more fanciful renditions of a person. Yet, I produced two that look like approximations of my actual self. No mermaid tails, nor elf ears. No shining armor, nor fierce animal companions. Just me. Only better.

I'm put in mind of an episode of The Office. Dwight (played by the wonderful Rainn Wilson, also known as Ruth's asexual paramour in the third or fourth season of Six Feet Under) had created an avatar for himself in a virtual reality world. Another character, Jim, commented, "Dwight's avatar looks just like Dwight in the real world, except he can fly." Later in the episode, we learn that Jim has created his own avatar and Jim's avatar looks just like Jim in the real world, except he can play guitar. In both cases, their failure to improve upon their own appearance -- to even change the type of clothes they wear or change their haircuts or give themselves buff bods or various heroic accoutrement -- their failure to create a fantasy avatar implied a failure of their imaginations.

Maybe my avatars are a failure of imagination, an indication that I cannot come up with anything more interesting to add to my image or to fully inhabit a pretended role. In my defense on this point, I did want to add wings, but the wings in the program seemed more a part of the background than of the avatar. Otherwise, I can't completely argue against the shortcomings of my imagination, as that has seemed to be a bane of my existence, a part of my nature, a reason that I am not particularly clever on most occasions. Still, I'd rather not see my avatar as a failure of my imagination and, instead, see her as an acceptance of me.* I don't want different colored hair, I don't want tails , I don't want horns. I just want me.

Only better.

*Although, I really wouldn't mind wings, or at least the ability to fly. Actually, now that I brought it up, a monkey tail might be cool too. Then I would look like one of the Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys!


John Russell said...

While I respect and appreciate your avatar choice, I liked the Lego avatar better (and not because I am a Lego fetishist).

vuboq said...


Clio Bluestocking said...

John, so you like people with snap on parts! Actually, despite the whimsicality of the whole Lego context, I think that avatar conveys more of my actual persona in real life than the one that I choose. Super Hero Clio is more my fantasy of myself!

Wave back at ya, Vuboq!


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