Many people are aware of Facebook’s rules for using your real name. For them, people using nicknames or stage names or whatever, screws up their metrics for farming personal information and selling it, so they enforce a policy where only real names are allowed. They have, however, made exceptions for this by allowing the stage names of performers. This, as far as I know, has only really applied to drag queens, since they started a whole public kerfuffle about this causing FB to cave in rather than get publicly smeared or whatever. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to apply to pretty much anyone else.
I like to keep my anonymity online as much as possible, and part of that was having my name on FB be Persona Non Grata, which matches all of my other sites such as this one, youtube, google+, etc. Also, I use this name as my stage name for all my bands. This caused my account to get flagged awhile back, saying it wasn’t my real name. I was able to get by it by re-entering the name with a slightly different format, but last night I got hit again, and this one really sucks. They require me to upload images of my personal identification, such as a license, credit card, social security card, etc, as well as change over to my legal name. I sent them a message stating that I use my stage name online, as this is how most people know me. Many only know me by that name. I included screenshots of the band FB pages showing that PNG is, in fact, used across the board. My account is currently suspended, awaiting review. It’s sad that it comes to this, especially when I’ve tried to contact their support before, only to find out that they have no actual support desk. You have an issue? Post it to the forums for other users to comment on. If you wait for them to respond personally, you’ll wait forever. Apparently, this is the only way to have anyone review an issue.
I really hope they make the right choice, and allow me to continue using FB for my music and to stay connected with those in the community. If they don’t, I may just end up saying fuck it and deleting my FB account. We’ll see.
Finding the right pub is one of the most important things in life. It’s something that can happen right away, or take quite some time. The key part here is to find a good location, with a good atmosphere and people you can really relate to. The establishment should be run well, and those in charge should have a clear focus on doing their best to ensure everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves, while also having a good time themselves. It’s also very important to have an open environment, where anyone can voice concerns to the management or others in the bar and work out any issues without it resulting in a fight where the cops have to be called, or worse, an ambulance.
However, the MAJOR key here is the people. People who GET you. People who are there for a variety of reasons, but value having a good time and letting go of the crap in their daily lives. People who can give you advice, or listen to yours with an open mind and respect your opinions. Not at all an easy thing to find. For me, one of the biggest things is feeling not only accepted there, but wanted there. Those at the bar, people I respect and whose company I enjoy, wanting me to come down there as often as possible simply because they enjoy my company, is one of those things I find incredibly important. Along with that, truly being appreciated for who I am and any help I give is also huge. For me, these things are important for reasons that many who know me don’t really know about. I was one of those who never really had this. Most people, during the majority of my life, were….less than accepting of me. I was mostly disliked by my peers, with the exception of the choice few, and even then only very few gave enough of a shit to really try to understand me and value what I brought to the friendship table. Many times I was just treated like the entertainment. I was the dancing monkey, the court jester, and everything in between. So, because of this, I never really had a place where I felt like I fit in. I could adapt to sort of fit here or there, but it never really felt right. It was like being a multifaceted key, where one side would fit one thing, but the other sides wouldn’t fit it at all. It made being in certain groups both fun and taxing at the same time. A few groups fired on more than one cylinder, but not many, and most times it wasn’t the core cylinders that really matter. This all changed, of course, when I found just the right pub.
Now, I can let myself be me, and not only is it ok, but it’s enjoyed…sought after, even. Sure, I have had friends before who felt this way, but having people who are virtually strangers to me feel this way has had a slightly different effect, and this little difference ended up making all the difference (fuckin A, I use that word a LOT!). This isn’t to say that my friends aren’t as important, or haven’t helped me and healed me in ways, because they absolutely have. This is more to say that even though you have great friends, finding a group of people who know fuck all about me, and having them not only welcome me but want me around, despite me really being myself around them, heals a very deep and very old wound inside. A wound that’s never started truly healing because of how specific it is, and how rare the treatment for it is. Finding the pub you can call home really really doesn’t have much to do with the alcohol, since you can find that in a variety of other places, or even on your own. I can go elsewhere and have scotch, or learn about rum, or whatever. But that right pub will make all of it so much better, so much more gratifying, and more fulfilling than any self discovery of such things. I finally feel like I found mine, and hope I’m not jinxing myself by writing this. I can not only be myself, but I can be who I want to be when I’m there. I can genuinely be me, all beliefs and thoughts intact, and all core cylinders firing. It’s a freedom of sorts, and I’m diggin’ it right now, so much so that I take great pleasure in giving back in any way I can. Truth be told, even if something does happen to fuck it up, at the very least it will have given me hope that this is something that CAN be healed, and that’s far more than a scarred and beat up cynic like me could have ever hoped for. For that, I will remain eternally thankful.