Let's start with a painting of "me". That up there, as you can probably tell, is a painting of "me". It's not me. It's a painting of "me", by Lady Flan Flanagan. Some people think it looks nothing like "me", because when they think of "me", or look at "me", they see something very different. But it is, regardless. Flan's painting of "me". Not me.
I got a disturbing email on the weekend. It went a little something like this:
Please this is really important
I am on a website called IMVU.....there is someone on there that says they are you....this is seriously upsetting me since this person has told me they are really into me. I am not a dumb person. Your music is being played on there. I am very upset about this since I feel as though I have been played. I am hurting.
Something about the letter made me feel that it was genuine. I was concerned. So I replied:
I have never heard of a website called IMVU!
What is it?
Don't be upset. Life is beautiful, even if there ARE idiots on the internet.
I also asked for a screenshot or something so I could get the site's admins to get rid of the impostage. Then came this:
Thank you so much for answering me. This guy is saying he is you. Has sent me all your recordings via an msn messenger account he created with you picture. I have been going through some really tough times in my life, got on there to waste sometime and met him. It is a virtual "club" so to speak. Where avatars are created and you basically just live in a virtual world. This person has created tshirts with Akira the Don on them on there. He has a best friend on there who he claims is his/your mentor Mark Hill.
I am sorry to have bothered you.
You are an amazing artist, and I love your music. I feel so horrible right now. So used.
I didn't think someone like you would be on there let alone be interested in me. I am by far not an ugly girl, I am just ordinary.
I was now, officially disturbed. Out there in internets land there were a pair of creepazoids using my identity and music to conive and trick and cuase hurt! How disgusting! Primarily, I felt very bad for the girl who'd gotten in touch with me. So I replied:
Thank you so much for letting me know. I have contacted the site, so the impostor will not be imposting for much longer.
As for this "Mark Hill" character, I have never had a "mentor", and I don't know anyone called Mark Hill.
What a horrible thing to do to a person! I am very sorry this has happened to you. But I hope some good comes of it. I am sure it will. If anything, you've learned that people on the internets are not always as they seem (this also applies in so called "real life"). Your intuition was obvious working well, since you emailed me, so congratulations on an excellent intuition! Just don't let this episode make you untrusting of humanity in general, because most people are genuine, and not fraudulent suckfish...
As for the "someone like me/someone like you" thing, there is no such difference between us - we are humans, and equals! Don't waste any more energy on trolls, and remember always that you are Awesome.
I emailed the site's admin and press departments. At the time of writing they've yet to reply.
I pondered the thing a little, then me and my woman went out and celebrated my friend Marvin The Martian's birthday, and I forgot all about it for a little while.
Ah, good times we did have.
When I got home, I had a nice email from the girl who'd got in touch with me in the first place, thanking me for being "sweet", and noting a sliver lining to this strange, dark cloud, that being her exposure to my music. "Clones is my fav hands down," she said.
Zen Pyramid, internets detective had been looking into the matter, and found the Fake ATD's account - which was plastered with ATD16's "Adam Narkiewicz Is The Don" artwork, and my videos - plus accompanying creepy avatar.
I had another mail too.
Hey there ATD,
I need to apologise, i emailed you as i was lead to believe you were this guy ive known as my virtual husbands bestmate for a whole year! the guy i was with was apparently Marsamgod, ( Mark Hill,) his best mate= Adam, aka Akira the Don, so im sorry i wont bother you again, i understand holly had been in touch, which was when the alarm bells went off.
even signed his emails,
Take Care, love your music, been sent it for a year n half
At this point, a little penny dropped.
I now realised who this Mark Hill character was. I knew him as Marsamgod. He'd been buying stuff from my shop for years, as far back as Stunners 130. He'd left comments on this website. I'd sent him heartfelt letters of thanks, and some doodles. We'd communicated a little via email, which is suppose is how they managed to copy my email style.
I then got an email notification alerting me that @marsamgod had just stopped following me on twitter.
I smiled, sadly, at my flickering twin monitors.
I did some work, then I looked at my Gmail. There I saw this:
Death of the fake don
I wish to wholeheartedly apologise for my heinous actions in dragging you and people who believed my lies good names and reputations down to my level
I have dragged people through the dirt and I am truly sorry.
I admit my mistakes in twisting people around my finger and hope that you can forgive me in time, you are a truly talented artist and I am sorry that I basked in the fake glow of your talents.
I have deleted all accounts pertaining to be you and I hope that this can be the end of the matter, I have sorely learned my lesson
Good luck in your future endeavours and once more my deepest apologies
Just an email: ajturner at gmail.com.
I didn't reply. What to say? "Thank you for your email mister no-name who's been using my name for A YEAR (that I know of) to chat up girls on the internet! I accept your applogy, have a nice life!"
I mean, do I accept his apology? What's to say his claim to have "sorely learned [his] lesson" isn't another big fat lie? What's to say "he" and his buddy Mark aren't off setting up new profiles on new social networking sites, ensnaring new online wives and girlfriends? What's to say "he" is a "he" anyway? Can we believe anything we read on our flickering monitors?
My woman's stepfather says I should get in touch with the police. Maybe I should just hunt him down and tear his lying tongue from his head. Stomp his lying fingers into bone dust.
Say this happened to you. What would you do?
At the time of writing, I haven't hard anything from the person who claimed to be my "mentor", Mark Hill, AKA Marsamgod.
I have, however, answered many emails and tweets sent by people who say they like my music, and I have trusted those people to be genuine in their communications. I don't feel as bad for myself, a victim of a modern and futuristic crime, as perhaps I should. I feel very bad for the victims of a year's worth of deceit at the hands of a tragic comedy double act.
And I feel rather sorry for Mr No-Name and Mister Mars, who steal from the lives of others to bring light to the darkness of their own, the latter of whom has yet to get in touch to explain his part in this sorry story.
I don't know if I want to hear it, anyway.
There are too many genuine poeple out there who need of my attention.
And I am only one me.
Interminable hive of activity that I am, I have often wished I could clone myself. One must be careful of the wishes one puts out there into the multiverse.
So I wish peace and love for us all.
And I thank you for everything you have given me.
I remain, your humble servant,
PS - The only "social networks" I am on are Facebook, and Twitter (the latter of which isn't really a social network anyway). If you see an ATD anywhere else, tell them I say hi.