Ebay alife4sale auction a bit deja vu?
March 16, 2008
Another ready made life is being sold on ebay, that of a Mr Usher.
Does this story usher in a new era or is it all a bit deja vu.
Lets explore this further by considering the many personality liquidations and lives for sale in previous listings on ebay. ebay
Who could forget the $30,000 bid for a “a life for sale” where a Woollongong’s philosophy student decided to liquidate his identity (including his tension filled relationship with his ex-girlfriend).
Or the plight of kimbaspec trying to flog a “collectable personality” featured by pinkcarauction and which was passed in without a solitary bid. Being a hobbyist seller on ebay myself otherwise known as bluechload the subject is close to my heart. Of course I would never consider selling my ebay persona, and anyway ebay does allow you to have two personas.
The fact that kimbaspec happens to be my other persona, whose auction didn’t garnish any interest whatsoever is neither here nor there.
I can assure you there is absolutely no animus arising from that lost sale. For had there been animus, I surely would have thrown it in as an optional extra in my auction listing, as animus, hang ups, tension and dysfunctional aspects of a life or personality seemingly feature very well on the life auction scene.
How many lives, identities, imaginary friends, alter egos and collectable personalities have been under the hammer?
Adding to the already ridiculous list of things like cheese sandwiches which contain images of Christ, we are now witnessing intangible ‘offerings’ or services, ranging from past relationships, jobs, friendships and even souls appearing on online auction sites like ebay.
Does this much publicised auction of Mr Usher’s life stand out amongst the already crowded field of image seeking gimmicky publicity stunts? Not really.
But it is well organised. It has ushered in a well constructed websitewww.life4sale.com, on which the vendor ‘Mr Usher’ tells us how hesitant he was to share his personal story with even a single sole.
Evidently he has somehow pushed through that difficult barrier, as he plans to release his story by writing four books, each made up of 12 parts, with one book being released in the middle of each month leading up to the auction.
My question is will the winner of the auction acquires the copyright on the books and royalties or will they go to the author who sold everything lock, stock and barrel relating to his previous life??
Surely Mr Usher if you get the entire life that includes the right to write about it, past or present!!
Otherwise you could be accused of in effect profiting from somebody else’s life story. Then you would just be a run of the mill journalist.
Those familiar with “All my Life For Sale” by John Freyer may see some striking similarities between Mr Usher’s approach and that of Mr Freyers who owned a website called allmylifeforsale.com and wrote a book about his venture.
Maybe Mr Usher has been profiting from other lives, namely Mr Freyers.
To those contemplating bidding on Mr Usher’s life caveat emptor. Make sure you clarify these issues in advance.
Mr Usher could be little more than a glorified broker/trafficker in the life appropriation business.