For many, the mountain that was Vovo seemed eternal and unassailable; for this colossus to weep foretold of doom. But beyond us, deeper than our hidden selves, were our nicknames, given to us by compatriots and ancestors and foes. Muncho. The Disaffecter. Hillbilly Greg. Downtown Saigon. Saskatoon. Hippocrates. CrawMaster. Void Guy. Ur-Princess. Smokester. Six Forty-Five. The Eskimo. S-Train. Pooch 2.0. MegaSteel. Bluey.
Old Scratch. The Mystifier, The Flatterer, The Opposer. Shaytān. The pseudepigraphical haunter of our dreams. As Vovo used to love to call it/him/them: The Thing That Flutters Like a Bat But Is Not a Bat. The Drowser at The End of the Bar. The Hundred-Browed Beast. The Cautionary Tale. The Brewer of All Despair, Our Guy of Air’s Power Who Worketh in The Children of Disobedience.
Regarding the controversy over Hickshaft’s nickname, we look to the etymological roots of the English word controversy, “to turn against,” which implies the red-cheeked denial of one’s own much-earned nickname. Why would an otherwise intelligent person dispute a nickname? Because that person has undoubtedly gone insane, and even all the comforts this soft world provides can’t lessen that blow, unless the awfulness can be renamed. Yama may be the God of Death, but that is only a nickname; the true death lies in the voided entry, in “N/A,” in nothingness.