I've achieved something rare in today's hyper-connected, narcissistic virtual life: I am unseen.
Not that surveillance cameras don't register me or the NSA doesn't scope my calls and porn downloads. No, it's simply that, in the age of the selfie, my image can't be found on the internet.
Oh, there are a few out there, if you know where to look. No one, apparently, is allowed to remain unphotographed and unuploaded all the time. One picture of me, looking rather dapper in a fedora, appeared in a local news blog. Someone got a shot of me at an industry event last year, an image that bumped around Facebook briefly.
But, by and large, I have achieved, if not selflessness, selfielessness. If you do a Google image search of my name, you'll come across a lot of images--album covers, stills from videos, illustrations from pieces I've written--but none are actually likenesses of me.
This dearth of visual Louies wasn't entirely unintentional. When I first began writing online, I appreciated the value of pseudonymous online identities. They allowed me to feel a bit freer in expressing my views, particularly political ones. Writing behind a name not my own, it made little sense to post pictures of myself along with my screeds.
Though I've released several albums and many music videos, they don't include self-portraits, as the messages should, in my view, speak for themselves. The same holds true for the many political ads I've made and posted, probably the chief source of whatever internet fame or infamy I can claim. While hundreds of thousands have heard my voice and seen the images I create, almost none have seen me.
This is a good thing, I believe. There is nothing very distinctive or appealing in my appearance and I'm far from photogenic. My nose is a bit oversized for my face. I don't often smile and, when I do, it looks a bit doofy. I have old man eyebrows. Together, they make a face not unpleasant, but one which the camera has a hard time loving.
Sadly, though, the era of my invisibility will likely end this week.
Against my better judgment, I'll be performing a song at Wednesday's tribute concert for my dear friend, mentor, partner and perennial pain in the ass Clark Vreeland. Though a largely insignificant part of a truly all-star lineup, I fear I'll be subjected to the compulsive snapping and sharing that has become de rigeur in our world.
I've really enjoyed my blank years, and I'm sorry they're likely ending. It will likely be much harder to convince hot chicks that I'm tall and handsome now.
But I don't think I could stand it if I sat this one out. Clark was a very special human, and I'm proud to have been his friend.