I am Jason Finkas Quackenbush

Many of you have wondered, is JF Quackenbush just the name that Eric uses when he wants to say something vitriolic and swear at people a lot? I mean, Jason Finkas Quackenbush? That name has to be fake. I'm here to tell you yes, it is fake. It's time to stop pretending.

I first came up with the Quackenbush alter ego during my time at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. I was a lonely college student and it was late at night in the TV lounge at the dorm that I started pretending that there was someone there with me, laughing at episodes of The Adventures of Sinbad, the greatest television show in history. Soon I was trying to form a band, but no one wanted to play with me, so I pretended I was in a band with Quackenbush, who would, in my deranged imagination, wear a silly costume and call himself "Reverend Chaos". It was a heady time.

Later when I put together the web zine YankTheChain, I needed it to seem like it was more than just me, and so Quackenbush became a writer, going on insanely about talking to the ghost of Richard Nixon and hanging out with Jennifer Love Hewitt and pining away publicly for a girl at Berklee who was really also me, but in a dress. Quackenbush became a tool with which I could call myself the names I secretly felt I deserved, and delineate exactly who needed to be Neutered, Shot or Both. It was a heady time.

Finally, though, I feel as though I must cast off these trappings of my young adulthood, and stop pretending. I am JF Quackenbush, and always have been, and all indications to the contrary are so much subterfuge, for I am that clever.

Also, I am secretly Edward Champion. But you probably already knew that.

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I am Jonathan Franzen.

I am Jonathan Franzen.