Thursday, July 15, 2004

What the hell is his problem with Hansen's Disease

Usernames are an interesting sort of animal.  While John_Smith1077 may not mean that much, others are self-adopted nicknames.  Many people pick names that highlight a certain piece of their personality, reference important places or events, or illustrate their brand of humor.  Because of the anonymity the Internet affords, Usernames are the equivalent of electronic first impressions.  Here, enabled by our dissociative medium, people can, for better or worse, indulge in those pieces of themselves too fragile to survive the rigors of real life.   

Some of you may have been wondering how I came about with a name like LeperColony, and for the rest of you who didn't care one way or the other, I'm going to talk about it anyway.  I actually have the most sincere respect for people grappling with serious afflictions like Hansen's Disease.  I am, I will admit, a little scared of such people.  Common courtesy prevents such expression, and I have freely associated with suffering individuals of varying ailments, but I remain only human.  Of course, it isn't the irrational fear of being infected by such people; rather, it's the kind of morbid forsight, enhanced as it is by an advanced immagination, of yourself in the same state.  In any case, it isn't true that I picked the name out of some tastelss jab at Lepers. 
When I was younger, and even still up to today when the time can be found, my Uncle Philip used to run Robotech games for my brother and I.  We were perpetual losers too, always fouling up the mission objectives and what not, so we were dubbed the Leper Colony.  The name comes from an old movie, 12 O'Clock High, a World War II flick with Gregory Peck about a bomber wing based out of England.  A motely collection of losers and underachievers all assigned to the bomber Leper Colony.   From such a position, despised and neglected, relegated to the worst duties and the most dangerous assignments, it would be easy to just chuck it all and give up.  But when the downtrodden do managed to rise above and succeed, even when those successes are otherwise meaningless or pyrrhic, there is a very real triumph. 
Now, I am a fairly rational person.  I value reason above most other qualities, and I try my best to live my life along such lines.  I don't believe in fighting losing battles, and I'm far more likely to give up and try another way than press on in the face of impossible odds.  Even so, there is a unique gallantry in the struggle against the inevitable, and I would like to think that I have it in me to fight even if, and indeed especially if, there's nothing left to do.
Hence, LeperColony. 


Kok Bi said...

my doppelganger and i agree that it's good to know even though it wasnt necessary for master lepercolony to explain his decision at all.

LeperColony said...

The "master" thing is a little creepy, but thanks all the same.