November 01, 2008

Can We Know Anybody?

In this day of Second Life, avatars, handles, nicknames, personas, texting, can we know anybody? Really? It all seems so anonymous.

I know what you are thinking.

Here's Cathy of Alex, alias, telling us this.

Hi! My name is Janice LaDuke! Some of you know that already. I don't hide it, but I picked my blog handle because when I was reverting I was doing so quietly. I did not want,and did not have the courage, to tell the crowd I was believing with at the time that I was beginning to think they were full of themselves rather than the spirit of God.

It was easier, for continuity, to keep the alias too because then the forums and blogs I was already covertly commenting on would know I was the same person.

In many ways, though, I feel like Cathy of Alex (for St. Catherine of Alexandria) is my truest self. I've thought, seriously, about legally adding the name to mine. I know some of you have added your Confirmation name, legally, to your identity.

I feel Cathy is who I am because I'm Cathy when I'm not just being "Janice the Goofball" "Janice the Suffering Employee" but also Cathy the evangelist, Cathy the philosopher, Cathy the online friend with so many of you.

Maybe the persona is a way for those of us who use personas to connect? Maybe it will be the "Way" we will recognize one another when the persecutions begin and we have to go underground.


Blogger Angela M. said...

When I picked the name "Angela Messenger" it was a play on words since the name Angela means messenger. It could also be a real name. And I started my blog to educate Nikki so the idea of having a name that meant "messenger" appealed to me.

I rarely think of you as Janice - it's usually Cathy. Even when I email you privately I have to remind myself to look for you farther down the address list!

As for my real persona and my blog persona - I think we are quite similar. People always say I write like I talk. However, I am probably a bit more opinionated on the blog but then I am usually preaching to the choir anyway. In real life I would not call my step-daughter's fiancee who was married before, an adulterer.

Interesting post,! Yeah - friend!

November 01, 2008 12:14 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Janice Cathy Marian (the Librarian), if you please.

When I started my blog I was in a quandry, feeling that I was too old for a pseudonym or avatar, but yet it seem that there was a rule in those days that you were some kind of untutored nerd if you used your real name. Of course, I made that up, like so many beliefs of mine.

You ought to see the number of User Names and Passwords that I have on my Password List (I know, I'm not supposed to have one of those, but I'd never remember if I didn't). I counted over 30 User Names, counting those with numerical suffixes.

November 01, 2008 1:22 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I was too dumb to not use my own name when I started my blog. But all things work for good. Using my own name keeps me honest and makes me think twice about what I post...

November 01, 2008 1:28 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

I like "Janice LaDuke!" I find incorporating an exclamation point into a personal name very interesting;0)

My real name is Minty Moxie Monty Price, Lucy for short.

November 01, 2008 2:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Angela: Hi Love.Angel.Music. Baby! Friend.

Ray: I have a lot of passwords and accounts and stuff too.

Adrienne: Good point.

Tom: I've heard your name is really Tyrone and you live in Seattle.I've also heard a rumor that Little Critter really composes your blog! :-)

November 01, 2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...


It's true! It's true!

Take care,

November 01, 2008 6:58 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Geee--now I feel all cowardly for not using my real name.

Mitchell Lee (Anthony) Smith.

I picked my alias for two reasons--the town I moved from just befor I began blogging was pretty anti-catholic/religion. You could get some hatefull things said and done. (Like when someone kidnapped my statue of the Blessed Mother from my yard!) And, I am untutored. Most of my education has been at my own hands, so by a society that values credentials a bit too much, I'm considered ignorant. And I'm a redneck, I remember when we got plumbing. And a furnace. I grew up in the woods and along the Wabash river, in a part of the county where we were collectivly known as "river rats".

So I just decided to be in-your-face about it, and let people see that us white trash can think for ourselves!

November 01, 2008 9:39 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Hey, I didn't read the post, but I really thought you were Cathy Najimy... who the hell are you? Why do you keep calling me? Ray is Walter Matthau, right?

November 01, 2008 10:14 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Terry: That's ok, I often confuse you with Aaron Eckhart.

Redneck/Mitchell (Hey, Mitchell is a GREAT blogger name!--see Our Word and Welcome to It blog) I never think of you as ignorant. You have moments of great insight and profundity. This is why I always drop "ignorant" from your handle and just call you "redneck".

November 02, 2008 8:28 AM  
Blogger Mairin :o) said...

When I started to blog, I didn't use a name at all, just a smiley face. Not to be confused with Prince when he went by a symbol. To me, it was just a matter of privacy.

Cathy, do you have a black mantilla with gold? I think I saw you at the Mass of atonement. Father Altier had some interesting things to say. Quite sobering.

November 02, 2008 1:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Child of Mary: I loved your symbol! I knew it was you. :-)

Yes, that was me in one of my mantillas at the Mass Friday night! I was wearing a blue sweater and black skirt too.

November 02, 2008 1:19 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Pray tell, Ms. CofA, just how many mantillas do you have? Is that conspicuous consumption?

November 02, 2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger Mairin :o) said...

I didn't mean to imply the mantilla was all you were wearing!

November 02, 2008 2:28 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Child of Mary: LOL! I know but I just wanted to give further evidence that it was me. :-)

Ray: Let's see. I have 2 chapel caps and 7 mantillas of various colors and cuts/lengths/designs. I keep 2 mantillas in my car at all times just in case.

November 02, 2008 7:00 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


I know what a mantilla is. What is a chapel cap?

You, Ma'am, are the extremely well prepared XXIst Century Catholic.

Back in the olden days, a hankie or a Kleenex sufficed for some of my grade school classmates.

November 02, 2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

I just mentioned to V that I think of you as Cathy instead of Janice. I fear some day I may just call you Cathy to your face since it seems to suit you so well :)

I use swissmiss because I had been into genealogy and used that name before I started blogging and it just made life easier to only have one alias. I also have others to think about when I blog...if I was single I'd think about using my own name, but I don't want to have hubby's boss haul him into the office because I said something on my blog he didn't like. And, for the safety of my family it makes sense.

November 03, 2008 3:09 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Swissy: I know your real name but I always think of you as Swissy. I know, it should be swissmiss but whatever...LOL!

I don't mind if you call me Cathy. Terry always does so I think you are in good company there. :-)

See, Ter, I can be nice on occasion!

November 03, 2008 6:15 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

I've written on this topic myself, a few times. And I've considered just signing my own name. My profile DOES have my first name.

But now, one of the reasons I've decided to stay incognito has to do with my work; sometimes I need to vent, or maybe if I say something incorrect, because of my position I can inadvertantly lead someone astray, or, identify people or situations. I don't want to do that. And I do think it's important to be able write about my work because it has revealed to me the true state of people in the Church today, what they are facing, and that it isn't something to be attacked; they are souls to be loved and who have never been introduced to God.

Maybe its given me compassion I didn't use to have, but there it is.

Enough of you know me now, and even before then, I was honest - have never been a flamer. And most people aren't.

November 04, 2008 6:15 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I'm confused. Who are you again? LOL! :-)

November 05, 2008 6:40 AM  

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