Who are the real identity thieves?
Every time you think you have life rolling smoothly, something comes along to kick your ass. My ass kicking came in the form of Facebook locking me out of my account for a week. Contacts with bands went awry, and they booked elsewhere in an already too saturated gig climate. All the events I created disappeared. Any message I had going with people wouldn’t come up in a search. Same with my Groups and Pages. I’m now barely recognized when I post as my birth name. The only saving grace is that my Profile picture is the same. I’m still going to try to get my name back, as I’m gathering documentation such as the recent piece that was done on me in the Georgia Straight. What I don’t understand is that I submitted Federal and Municipal Government documentation that my country recognized me as wendythirteen. I also proved that both my employer and my bank pay and cash my pay cheque as wendythirteen.
The fact that wendythirteen has been my art name for thirty years didn’t matter. The fact that I’m a published columnist in Beatroute for almost three years didn’t matter. There is a movie about my purveyor of hardcore career situation, that rolls the credits with the alias name, as most people know me by in Vancouver. I sent my business card, a picture of my City Council election button, even a picture of my cat Houdini to put a human element to the request. All I got back was form letters signed by Walter with ‘no last name’ from Facebook’s community relations department. They didn’t answer any of my questions. I wanted to use just a last initial like I’ve witnessed on Facebook. Or perhaps, no last name at all, just Wendy. Denied. “This decision is final” was the reply.
Short of officially changing my name, I’m not very optimistic about getting my name back. Funny thing is, when I posted my ‘I’m back’ status rant on Facebook, I had people with names of the ilk like ‘Ihate Yourguts’ and ‘Sillybilly Unicornfarts’ liking my post. I believe I got reported again and this was my third strike. That’s why I got the full on interrogation and proof of identity workout. Or simply, they have an algorithm that hates Wendy’s, Thirteen’s and Thrasher’s.
The power that a social network wields is immense, especially if you use it for networking. I feel sorry for abuse and stalking victims that are being outted by this Name Policy tyranny. Artists, performers, the transgendered, and ethnic people are all being harassed by this bullshit. Fucking ridiculous!
In other news, one of the things I pride myself on as a purveyor of live music is that the bands always get paid, even if it’s $20 for gas. Sometimes, that’s not possible in the case of big ‘guarantee’ style shows that you end up taking a bath on like I did last weekend. I am the proud owner of a $511.00 T-shirt. In those cases it’s an understanding with the support bands that they may have to play for free, beer, exposure or teen-hood bucket lists. I have a list. It’s about 5 years old now from bands that have played Funkys and never collected their band money. They may have taken off before door cash out or I just never found them at the end of the night. It’s hard to track them down sometimes if they break up right after the show, or their message is buried from the time of the booking, to the date of the actual show. My email and Facebook message systems are immense. Anyhow, if you think you may be a band that never got paid, do check in with me and I’ll see if you’re on the list. I usually just pay out the next time they play if I remember.