June 28, 2004

The Plain Truth

So much of what I am I got from you. I had no idea how much of it was secondhand.
-- Pete Townsend, to the fans.

So last week the whole "Plain Layne" thing blew up like a Howard Dean/Wesley Clark Matter/Antimatter explosion.

My big question? Why?

To recap: Starting in 2001, a blog featuring a mid-twenty-something infowaif from Northern Minnesota started captivating readers from all over; the story was funny, plaintive, lurid, heartbreaking at times. Then, it ended.

Let's start with the things we know - or, to be accurate, the things I can tell you we know.

Yesterday, Michael Bazeley of the San Jose Mercury News published a story that pretty well summed things up, including the author's name. I've sat on the name since I figured the story out - it's Odin Soli.

Odin, as a matter of fact, is an old friend of mine - in fact, one of the best friends I have in the world. I've known Odin since we worked together at a little company from hell, back in the mid-late nineties. We were both technical writers, working on a death march project from hell. While the company was run by a neat bunch of people, Odin and I had the distinction of working as writers for a manager that was - I'm not making this up - functionally illiterate. We shared an office in a hellish little refurbished railroad repair shed, and joked about our hellishly Dilbert-y jobs, and plotted our plots. Odin left to start his first company - and a year or so later, he hired me for about a month's work, my first paying gig as a software designer. I also got to know him as a very talented writer.

And we remained friends over the intervening years; through his two darling kids, my marital decay, his second business, my divorce, his diagnosis with a terminal heart condition, my slow rediscovery of my own life, and everything in between.

Naturally, we discussed blogging: it was a big thing in my life. I wondered, even asked, why he didn't try it. In a hilarious aside - I came within a whisker of tripping the whole story a year and a half ago. Mildly interested in who "Layne" was, I hit "Whois" for details on Layne's old "" domain - and saw that it was registered to Odin's company. I called Odin and told him; we agreed someone had to be squatting on the domain. The next day, "Layne" disappeared, and relocated to "" - I remember thinking "Wow. That's some hella fast customer service". So while I can say I was part of "Plain Layne" history - one of "her" fabled silences and relocations - I was to preoccupied at the time to connect the dots.

Indeed, I didn't connect the dots until the final disappearance, when the mob of amateur detectives turned up a bunch of information, including one piece - the discovery of files on the internet that connected "Layne" to Odin's second company that finally tripped the switch in my own head that put the whole story together. Not only had he fooled everyone else, he fooled me.

I figured it was worth a laugh.

While there's been some speculation about it, the explanation he posted last week is actually completely accurate in all its details.

The story from there has devolved fairly quickly. And the reactions have amazed me: people have had their faith shaken; people have felt duped, incensed, even betrayed. People were angry. Odin got some harassing phone calls at his house - which strikes me as the depth of insanity.

Oy. People were hurt.

I am not an insensitive guy - but that amazes me.


Picture yourself walking through someplace very public - the bus station, a bar, the mall. Imagine, if you can, something weighing heavily on your heart.

You see a stranger - an attractive stranger, but a stranger nonetheless. The stranger is talking to a bunch of people, who may or may not be listening; eloquently, even evocatively, the stranger describes his or her inner tumult.

Do you walk up to them and talk about the demons that haunt you?

Probably not.

But things are different online. I design software for a living. Part of the job involves studying how people and computers interact.

In face to face communication, people observe certain inhibitions, things that family and society have drummed into them. You don't talk about your innermost secrets with strangers.

And yet when those same people are not face to face, those same inhibitions go out the window. There's a certain safety in anonymity, a safety that allows people to let inhibitions slip that are ironclad when others are watching.

And when someone else lets it slip first, it seems to be almost irresistible, the urge to reveal something in yourself. Something you'd never tell someone face to face, maybe not even someone you considered an intimate friend.

It's the same dynamic that makes internet dating such a turbulent, transient thing; people make initial contact, slide very quickly into a very intimate level of conversation - and when they finally meet, and have to face the prospect of real, mundane, difficult communication, reality just doesn't stack up. And yet, in many cases, they keep doing it over and over again. I've seen people do this uncountable times; I'm starting to believe that there's a deep-seated need for people to open up, to share, to communicate about their lives. It seems to supercede common sense, even reality.

In the case of "Layne", "Reality" lasted three years - and until it went away, it never ended. "Layne" put her "story" out there - and people lined up to share their deepest, darkest secrets with "her".

And "Layne" shared back; trading emails, instant messages, and hundreds of comments, on "her" blog and many others, including this one.

That's the part that bugged people.


I used to act. Back in college, I did a pretty mean "Henry II" in The Lion In Winter - easily my finest moment as an actor. The challenge and the fun part were getting into the character - becoming something I wasn't.

Of course, most of the audience had the barrier of the stage and the construct of the "play" to impart boundaries on them. The ones that didn't, we call "stalkers".

Odin's fiction was something else - "interactive fiction". He carried on the story off the blog, in emails and instant messages. He carried the character through "the fourth wall" of the blog; past the comments, into people's in-boxes. Not only did "she" write, and respond to comments. ``I was interacting with people, making friends without actually making friends, per se,'' he said. ``I grew extremely fond of them. That was the aspect that I never foresaw. That's the part of the Internet that is powerful", Odin said to the San Jose Mercury.

People opened up - and shared liberally. With a stranger. Sight unseen.

I can't blame people for feeling betrayed, to a point.

And yet...

Michael Bazeley said:

Though he worked hard at the Layne fabrication, he says the clues were there for anyone to question it. In fact, so many readers said they suspected Layne was fictional that their viewpoints became ``white noise,'' Soli said.

``I still have a difficult time seeing the suspension of belief that was required'' for people to think Layne was real, Soli said.

Maybe. A well-acted role makes suspension of disbelief very easy - and "Layne" was well-acted, if you will, in a way that put even the infamous Kaycee Nicole to shame. So while there was some white noise on the comment section, even I - as supremely cynical about online interactions as anyone - chalked it up to people more cynical than me, until after the final Polish 404 page went up.


But sometimes people bring things to the table that even filter out white noise.

I used to share a house with, among others, a young woman with serious boundary issues. She seemed to have a sign above her head, "Confide In Me", which was visible to every dawg in the Twin Cities. They'd see her at the store, the gas station, wherever; they'd start talking about their troubles; she'd listen, commiserate, share; in short order, she's "lend" them money, feed them, sleep with them, hold their cocaine shipments...the story was always the same, differing only the details.

Point being, for whatever reason, people want Layne and Aconit and Kaycee and Howard Dean to be real. They want to have someone to invest in. Sometimes, like my old roommate, it's deeply dysfuntional. With "Layne?" Maybe the same, maybe just this deep-seated, sublimated need to connect with someon, somehow, on deeper - no, not deeper, just more intimate, personal level than they do in their regular lives.


So does Odin Soli "owe" anyone anything?

If so, he's paid it back with interest already, I think - if you're able to get the point.

The online world thrives on instant gratifcation. You bid on eBay, and get resolutions exactly when eBay says you will - or even faster, if you run out of patience. Want a book on Amazon? It'll be there as fast as you want to pay for it - and since delivery prices don't seem to be trending down, lots of people must be taking the option.

Even the online personals sites promise instant gratification - point, click, and "find the love of your life", says one especially obnoxious ad.

"Plain Layne" provided the things all good literature provides: revelation, little nuggets of some big truths, some insights we'd be poorer without. Through its interactive nature, though, it also provided instant gratification of that human need to reach out, and get reached out to. And like so many internet romance stories, it was an intimacy that was as facile as it was instant.

The Supremes said "You Can't Hurry Love" - and you could add "you shouldn't look for instant emotional intimacy, either".


My, but that was a long screed. Anyway.

Best of wishes to Odin, and to all of you that've followed the saga from the beginning. There's a few lessons to be learned here, and "trust nobody online" is only the easiest of them.

Posted by Mitch at June 28, 2004 07:36 AM

Well said. As useful as the online world is, there's no substitute for sitting down with coffee for someone or -- as Mitch and some bloggers did on Saturday -- paint a house together.

For those familiar with the Christian gospel, think of this: God sent to the world a person, in the flesh, not a disembodied collection of well-written words. (There may be examples from other religions, but this is the one I know the most about.)

Words are wonderful. They can be beautiful, and powerful. But they can't replace human contact.

Posted by: PolicyGuy at June 28, 2004 07:56 AM

"I was making friends without actually making friends, per se."
What a bunch of bunk. That line says it all for me.
And his heart condition... why bring that up? Why should I care about that when he is basically saying we as his readers were an experiment and we were not friends? Why go the lengths (creating fictional "Layne" info all over the web and sending emails and commenting on blogs all over the place)he did to deceive? What a self-absorbed jerk.

Posted by: amelia at June 28, 2004 08:34 AM

This is just so odd. I have to admit, I am having a hard time buying his explaination of it all and I pretty much new what the site was from the beginning. My problem with Odin is he keeps saying "friends". We weren't his friends and he wasn't ours, at least not how I define a friend, and I have a feeling he never would have come forward if the truth hadn't been hacked out of him. Now he's spending a lot of time back peddaling to explain himself and his explainations...well...fall short in the face of the damage he created...whether it was intentional or not.

Posted by: Lily at June 28, 2004 09:18 AM

The first I heard of "Plain Layne," was when Mitch reported it was missing two weeks ago. The first I paid any attention was when "Layne" was outed as fictional last week. I'm largely a political blog reader, and all this "diary blog" stuff is sort of undiscovered territory to me.

I was mildly curious at first, but I have to admit I got deeply hooked. I started reading the comments, checking out the blogs of most of the "detectives" who were busily ferreting out the truth (and wow, were you guys fast and sharp about it!).

For the brief period it was up, I even got a chance to look through the "Plain Layne" archive and read a really amazing amount of stuff there in a short time. It's easy to see why it hooked so many people - and I never even got up to the really salacious kinky stuff that was apparently going on near the end. Lots of people described it as a soap opera. Well, yeah I suppose in a way, but if so it was a very well written one. Lots of wit, insight, and serious thought in there. Whatever the initial intention, Layne was definitely a character that came to life in the mind of Odin (sounds kind of mythological phrased that way), and not some mechanical, meticulously constructed creature.

And that leads to my puzzlement about the outcome here. For those who feel they were tricked, manipulated and used, anger is understandable. But from an outsider looking in, it makes no sense for all that writing, that effort, the engrossing story to simply vanish. All those years of great writing, something friend and foe alike seem to agree on, and it all comes to nothing? Seems a shame.

I for one hope something positive eventually comes out of this. But regardless thanks to all of you for the riveting detective story this past week. And thanks for showing me a side of the blogosphere I rarely get to see.

Posted by: Doug at June 28, 2004 09:59 AM

Any person who feels as if they were actually damaged by Soli's writing really, really, needs to endeavor to acquire a life.

Posted by: Will Allen at June 28, 2004 10:15 AM


You have beautifully put into words my own incoherent thoughts on the whole thing. I like your attitude.

Posted by: red at June 28, 2004 10:17 AM

I should qualify my comments by saying that I don't think anyone was damaged by the writing, I believe most people were probably made better.

But I think there was some avoidable damage done by the way it ended. didn't have to come to this, hey? :)

Posted by: Lily at June 28, 2004 10:23 AM

Blogging is fine -- if anything it was damn good fiction. But "interactive" to the point he was trading IMs and emails with people using a bogus identity? that isn't "interactive" --> it's an abuse of trust, a con job. Even with his statement, there isn't any explanation offered for this particularly disturbing behavior.

Posted by: peebrain at June 28, 2004 11:22 AM

I blog under a pseudonym. Those who know me, know why I chose to do so. Everything else, however, is all me. I am female, I am married, I am staring 40 in the face and all the hormonal imbalances that implies. I understand why this person felt he could/would/should do this, but it smacks of disingenuousness, still.

I blog under a fakee name -- but I blog about me, not shit I made up. I understand why some folks feel betrayed by the charade of "Layne" and a short time left on this earth because of heart disease or for whatever reason doesn't give one a pass to become a pathological liar.

A sticky wicket, for sure. Verrry interesting.

Posted by: Emma at June 28, 2004 02:24 PM

I guess my only sticking point goes back to Johnny Huh? I've spoken with and worked with Johnny, so I know that he truly believed Layne was a real person, and he asked me why Layne and I had never met. Obviously, I couldn't explain why at the time. Still, Johnny was emotionally involved to the point of sending Layne an invitation to his wedding, and Odin gave him a fake address, so the invite bounced back. I don't care who you are: that's some cold-hearted shit right there. Old Odin should have really pondered fessing up right around that time, but no, he kept on keeping on. Myself, I never did much emotional investment in Layne, so this whole thing is more amusing than anything else, but I can see why some people feel pretty duped and betrayed.

Posted by: Ryan at June 28, 2004 04:03 PM

Emitter strikes again.

Posted by: Lily at June 28, 2004 05:04 PM

I guess we're supposed to care that that Odin has a medical problem. I guess that's supposed to be relevant. Or, I guess we're supposed to care that he started two companies and is going to start a third. I guess that's supposed to be relevant. But since he is starting that third company and doesn't have the character as an outlet any longer, he'll probably die sooner...based on his rationale. So he's got that going for him.

Odin is just a narcissistic wanker. Nothing more. He's not an novelist or an accomplished writer, he's a confidence man. One who is really, really sick - who worked really, really hard - who was really, really stressed.


Posted by: Joey at June 28, 2004 05:39 PM

You know, not to suggest that I particularly care about any of this, but I am reminded of the time I said that I thought Layne was fictional and was immediately kick/banned and de-linked. I didn't promulgate the e-mail "she" sent me in response to my, "Um, what the fuck was that about?" e-mail to her, but it was pretty extreme— it was a lot of harsh invective and who the fuck do I think I am suggesting she's fake and I'm obviously incapable of respecting her and treating her with basic human courtesy and blah blah blah.

I am also forced to remind you all that suggestions within Layne's comments to the effect that "Layne" was a fictional character were deleted by Odin.

And, I guess nobody else remembers this— but on several occasions I posted long harsh comments about something Layne had done and, when the inevitable crew of cheerleaders would get all up in my shit about it, my reply would often be, "Hey, who the fuck cares what I think? Why would Layne care what I think? I'm just characters on a screen. None of you know me. None of this matters."

To which the "Layne" character repeatedly and explicitly responded that, no, the people on her blog were more than just characters on a screen to her and that she thought of these people as real friends and that their input helped her make decisions and so on and so forth.

So my point with all this is that, obviously, anyone who believes what they read on the internet is taking a risk. To the extent that the world is a bad place full of liars and thieves, Odin's behavior is par for the course and nobody should be terribly surprised by it. But also? Odin went out of his way to maintain a strong emotional connection between his character and his readers. He took specific steps to convince his readers that the connection was real. He made a targeted effort to get people to invest in a person who he now claims was complete fiction.

Your whole, "they swam toward their own vortex" line has some merit. But your bit about walking through a crowded bus station or a bar or a mall isn't accurate to case. "Layne" flat-out insisted, in the face of SPECIFIC INQUIRY, that "she" was a real person and that "she" had a real connection with her readers. "Layne" took action aimed at silencing speculation as to the veracity of Plain Layne web-log. And this line about taking time off for her family is bullshit; Odin dumped Plain Layne because there was a consensus developing on the fiction question. There's a difference between that, and writing a really good story that people believe in too strongly.

Now Odin is writing a bunch of crap over at his Emitter domain about "the character and stories I created during the past 3 years", and "the writing I shared". The pull-quote from Odin's very first explanation at the emitter domain is, "Writing is not a performance, but a generosity."

And the not-so-hidden message here is that Odin is just too good a writer for his own good. That he created this miraculous fiction that was so believable that SOME people, UNFORTUNATELY, became emotionally invested in the character.

I can say, credibly, that I wasn't one of those people. I was getting booted off Plain Layne for calling it fiction way before that was fashionable. But I still call BULLSHIT on this, "the clues were there for anyone to see and it's not my fault people can't tell fiction from reality" crap. Odin Soli misled people ON PURPOSE. Not with the strength of his fiction. Not with the excellence of his craft. Odin Soli explicitly denied the existence of a "fourth wall". He explicitly denied that what he was engaging in was art, and if anyone suggested to the rest of the audience that this might be nothing more than a play, he silenced them. He kicked them out of the theater if necessary. And when someone stood out on the sidewalk and said, "I think this is fiction," Odin closed the theater. ODIN had an investment in people believing what he was writing. Not just an investment in their NOT DISbelieving. Not just "suspension of disbelief". But in ACTUALLY believing it.

You can, if you wish, insist that even Odin's treatment of the nay-sayers was an expression, of sorts, of art-- like dadaist art, which includes an audience reaction component— so that it is, to some extent, permissible for the artist to steer the audience reaction in very deliberate ways.

BUT: dadaist art is not the standard. Statements to the effect that, "People who became invested in Odin's art did so because of a combination of poor boundaries and Odin's own sublime artistic skills," ignore the deliberate steps Odin took to mask the truth from his "audience"— those people formerly identified as "Layne's" friends. People's investment in "Layne" is not just a failure to recognize the boundary of "the fourth wall". There is no such common convention in this interactive medium and, in any case, Odon's explicit denial of such a boundary (up to and including "Layne's" offers to meet people in the real world), would abrogate such a convention.

Arguments absolving Odin of responsibility for how thoroughly people became invested in his art on the grounds that ALL Odin did was write a good character are fallacious.

And, frankly, the smugness of people who believe that Odin was just engaging in his art and that all the anger on the part of his readers is just the product of some mental or emotional deficiency on their part— those attitudes are starting to piss me off just a little.

Odin Soli didn't just tell a good story. Odin Soli made an explicit effort to mislead people.

The world is full of liars and thieves, and everyone should know that. But the fact that liars and thieves are common doesn't mitigate the fact that a liar is a person of low character. The ubiquity of vice doesn't transform it into virtue.

In conclusion, as I have said repeatedly throughout this business: whatever. Odin told a lie. A bunch of people bought into it. While all this has been going on, two hostages were decapitated in Iraq. So what're you gonna spend your time being indignant about here? Don't get me wrong: this Odin Soli guy did something shitty, and I have no plans to invite him to my house for the 4th of July. Odin is utterly ignoring several important facts in his presentation of Plain Layne as any form of conventional, and therefore excusable, fiction. And I think all y'all who're talking shit about people who bought into Soli are in a little to big a hurry to feel good about yourselves. But, you know— on the scale of things? This doesn't matter much.

(and, lest some smart-ass immediately reply with, "so if it doesn't matter, why'd you write such a long screed about it?" allow me to provide a preemptive answer:

bullshit annoys me.

that's the only reason i commented on plain layne in the first place. or a small victory. or, really, pretty much anywhere on the web.

go figure.)

Posted by: Joshua at June 28, 2004 07:18 PM

nicely said, joshua.

Looking at the size of his ego, and considering he now appears to be hosting some cheapshot writing course on his website (like how Layne was his "mouthpiece" on so many occasions!), Emitter should just change his footer info from "operator info/scan/calling frequency" to "operator info/SCAM/ calling frequency".

Now that should bring the whole snafu full circle

Posted by: peebrain at June 28, 2004 07:34 PM

Damn, Joshua! That was well said, even for you.

Mitch, if Odin is your best friend, you REALLY need to find some better friends. He's been lying to everyone who'd listen for years without the slightest regard for their feelings. How can you be sure you're not just another mark?

It should be interesting to see how he profits from all the new exposure, and how he spins the whole story.

Posted by: dubious at June 28, 2004 11:59 PM

Sorry, Mitch. But, I gotta say, Odin's not a friend I'd be all proud to tout around. Of course, I don't know him personally, but wow, as far as "I" can see, he's a pretty self-centered yuck. So am I, mind you, but he's way more so.

Posted by: Ryan at June 29, 2004 12:57 AM

I always find Joshua's comments amusing, especially the brazen ones. Reminds me of the time someone faked a post from him on the comment board (it wasn't me!).

Posted by: Joe at June 29, 2004 01:09 AM

uh.. Mitch. According to Ryan (Quiplash), apparently Soli didn't solicit permission from the people from whom he tooks the photos from. Still think he doesn't owe anyone an apology? I think not.

And boy is that guy in BIG trouble.

Posted by: peebrain at June 29, 2004 07:33 AM

As I understand it, Ryan is wrong.

Posted by: mitch at June 29, 2004 10:00 AM

hmmm. I'd like to retract my previous comment -- I don't know what to think, or say any more.

Posted by: peebrain at June 29, 2004 10:37 AM


All I can say is, I'm glad that when I decided to call bullshit on "Layne," I did it on my own blog.

Even Soli couldn't touch me there.

Posted by: Pete (Alois) at June 29, 2004 10:46 AM

peebrain: "uh.. Mitch. According to Ryan (Quiplash), apparently Soli didn't solicit permission from the people from whom he tooks the photos from. Still think he doesn't owe anyone an apology? I think not."
Mitch: "As I understand it, Ryan is wrong."
Mitch, Odin called me yesterday specifically to clarify:

Odin Soli did NOT have permission from any of the people whose photographs he used in the Plain Layne blog. Therefore, if you use these photographs, you do so at your own risk.

That was the exact message he gave me. However, the reporter from the San Jose Mercury News who interviewed Odin sticks by his story that Odin said "Yes" when asked if the woman pictured as "Layne" knew how her pictures were being used.

I'm sorry, but something doesn't add up here.


Oh, and this person you described so well?
"I used to share a house with, among others, a young woman with serious boundary issues. She seemed to have a sign above her head, "Confide In Me", which was visible to every dawg in the Twin Cities. They'd see her at the store, the gas station, wherever; they'd start talking about their troubles; she'd listen, commiserate, share; in short order, she's "lend" them money, feed them, sleep with them, hold their cocaine shipments...the story was always the same, differing only the details."

Classic, VERY unhealthy Enneagram Two :-)

(*grins, darts out of comment box before someone throws something at him*)

Posted by: Ryan Schultz at June 29, 2004 01:32 PM

Oh, and just when you thought things could not *possibly* get any stranger... this was posted to my blog today:
Is Soli a serial faker? He claims that Acanit's journal was his first fictional diary project, but in early 2002, a month or two after the journal disappeared, some people on The Usual Suspects connected "Acanit" to an earlier vanishing diarist. Following are a couple recent comments by those who were involved:

David B. wrote (email, 6/25/04):
"Before [Acanit], it appears, was a 'Santiago Robles Romagosa' who (1) kept a journal called 'Superbrown' that was, for a time, hosted by a domain registered to Soli, (2) was based in the Twin Cities and worked for Soli ventures Aptura and AgDomain, and (3) ran head games on his readers very much in the later style of Acanit. I got this from someone who read Acanit and said "that's Santiago," much in the way some people read Plain Layne and said "that's Acanit." As far as I could verify some pieces of this, it seemed to check out, though I never felt that I was getting near the whole hinky story."

Beth (, 6/25/04) wrote:
"I'm not sure Odin is a real person but he is the person who ran Acanit's original web account, and I think he also ran the web account for another persona (male, possibly not entirely fake) who was on Diary-L some years ago. (Santiago of "Superbrown," for anyone who remembers.) All the same person, but totally full of shit so I'm not sure how we would know (or why we would care) what his real story is."

Posted by Ian at June 29, 2004 12:30 PM

Posted by: Ryan Schultz at June 29, 2004 02:16 PM

Also, someone claiming to be Odin's wife said the pictures were of her (On Ryan Schultz' blog I think). If this is true, then how can Mitch be best friends with Odin but not know what his wife looks like? I'm still confused.

Posted by: Melanie at June 29, 2004 04:14 PM

"If this is true, then how can Mitch be best friends with Odin but not know what his wife looks like? I'm still confused."

The key phrase being "If this is true".

I have met Odin's wife a zillion times.

I'm keeping his family completely out of my discussion of Layne, though, so I'll neither confirm nor deny anything.

Posted by: mitch at June 29, 2004 05:08 PM

Joshua has cut very cleanly to the ethical centre of the Layne ruse. If it had only been a question of fictional writing, without a comment box and e-mailing and IMing, then pulling a 'caveat emptor' might pass muster. But as Joshua pointed out, there was a active effort by the author to refute the truth and keep readers deceived. That DOES do damage (you were right the first time, Lily).

Don't couch it in the euphemistic term of 'interactive fiction' -- that would only be accurate if BOTH SIDES in the interaction were aware it's fiction.

Does a talent for writing give you the prerogative to use it however you wish, regardless of how it impacts others? I think if you have an "I"-centred view of the world, you'd say Yes. But if you are "other"-centred, you'd have to answer No.

Posted by: Janice at June 29, 2004 11:53 PM

What "girl" watches "The Shield" or uses phrases like "torrid girl on girl action?" Soli emailed me a few times as "Layne" to reassure me that all was well with "her." When I questioned her validity in email, (s)he retorted "Why would anyone make this up?"

Why indeed...

My guess is that Soli is a pre-operative transsexual, a woman trapped in a man's body, and is unwilling to get the surgery due to perceived social norms, a wife with lesbian tendencies that she doesn’t want to surface, and two kids that really don’t like the idea of having two mommies. It's probably hardest of all on the wife, who if not a lesbian, has to deal with the fact that the man she married is really a woman. Either that, or come to terms with the fact that she's a lesbian herself and was attracted by those feminine qualities of his that led her to marry him in the first place.

Do you think Mrs. Soli cringed every time Odin suggested she penetrate him with the strap-on? Do you think she ever wondered "Why do I always have to be the man in this relationship? Was that thought going through her mind as she posted her defense of Odin in Ryan's comment box? "Again, Odin? Why am I always the man here?"

As embarrassing as it must be to Odin to have been "outed" it must be doubly so for Mrs. Soli to have to acknowledge "Yes, I am Odin Soli's wife."

Posted by: Pawn at June 30, 2004 07:48 AM


That was creepy, and you're mean.


Posted by: Joshua at June 30, 2004 12:24 PM

Pawn, that was so... Jerry Springer. My God!

Posted by: Ryan at June 30, 2004 07:15 PM

(Glad I'm not the only one that thought so!)

I've been really hoping Odin Soli isn't real, but another fictional creation - perhaps created by the real Layne. Yes, it's a META-hoax! It's so far beyond... we can never understand.

Posted by: Chuck Olsen at June 30, 2004 10:42 PM

Odin Soli - is that a Finnish name? Goddamned Finns. It figures.

/so, ja, okay then.

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2004 01:46 AM

And what the hell is an enneagram? I'm way overedumacated, and I never heard of it. Is it as aggresively stupid as it sounds?

Posted by: Dylan at July 1, 2004 01:50 AM

I don't know about "Soli", but "Odin" is the name of the paramount-chieftain god of the Norse pantheon. He's a god of battle, fed by blood, who lives by his wits and thrives on his ability to manipulate people. He's well known for masquerading as persons other than himself (though not, as I recall, a woman, unlike some of his fellows).

So let's just say that "Odin", at least, is a peculiarly appropriate name for a person who'd engage in this kind of project...

Posted by: eric at July 1, 2004 12:17 PM

Soli/Solie/Solli is usually Norwegian, altho' I can't rule out the existence of similar/related names in Denmark and Sweden.

Eric, I think it was "Loki" who was best known as the god of deceit, manipulator, master of disguise, and crossdresser of the Norse pantheon. Loki was a classic Enneagram Three if I ever saw one. The god Odin on the other hand was more like an Enneagram Eight with a Nine-wing.

Posted by: disciple of Quiplash at July 1, 2004 01:05 PM