A Face from the Ancient Gallery

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall

The Doors

Identity is a weird thing. We have identity checks, we have passports, drivers’ licences and there is even a TV advert banging on about our data-self. I have had my criminal records checked a few times as a part of safeguarding. If we want a credit card we can check up our credit rating before we apply, because each refusal downgrades our rating. I have medical records, a tiny fraction of which I have access to. There is a whole bunch of stuff stored about us on servers all over the planet which, by the way, are eating up vast amounts of energy both to run and cool. There are these little snippets stored about us, out of which some identity is made-up.

I have joked before that I am the pre-cursor to a news item. I have the much-vaunted life circumstances of those who go on to do very unpleasant things. Maybe one day you will see a report about me, “He was a bit of a loner, kept himself to himself. There was something odd about him. He was not popular in the community. And, he had this really weird blog. A bit of a nutter really. I am not surprised.”

The thing is not only do we create our own identity, but others do it too. I have just identified myself with a stereotype. This is something which to an extent we all do. And, we stereotype others, there is no need for us to take a face from the ancient gallery, people select them for us. If enough people select the same face, the same mask, then that is how we are seen by others. We can become type-cast by other people and ourselves. The chance of us getting a role as an action hero are reduced, that is unless we are type-cast as such.

Having cued this up:

Do I stereotype and type-cast others?

If so, do they do it to me?

Have I become a stereotype, if only by accident and not by intention?