“I am a folklore element, I have a document!” - such a slogan, probably, could have been uttered by Vasily Pupkin, if he had not been an exemplifier. But the unknown person is therefore not known because she does not have any documents. And what does Pupkin have? A fictitious name, a biography written by "the whole world" and extreme popularity on the Internet.
Why today is a participant in virtual communication on the network who, when filling out a visitor's questionnaire or specifying a username, does not want to be called directly, does not indicate that he is a name or Mr. N, but takes the unpretentious name Vasya Pupkin? The answer is simple: he is very ambitious and does not want to be "anyone". But at the same time he is afraid to openly express his point of view on the forum or in the chat. And here is such a successful combination of a simple name and a meaningful surname by someone accidentally (or maybe on purpose) thrown into social networks.
"Eh, Vasya!" - we sigh when we see a simpleton in front of us. "Well, you are straight - the navel of the earth!" - we say God knows what to the person who thinks about himself. And if you add several photos with comments to this username? For example, "here I was on vacation", "my friend", "these are my native places", etc. Then it turns out that the anonymous person is no longer "no one knows who", but a quite definite person.
This is how Vasily Pupkin appeared, created in his own image and likeness by numerous Internet users and became a folklore character on the Runet.
Of course, it was possible to advise those who want to touch the Russian folk art to name themselves like this: Kudeyar, grandfather Pikhto, Ivan the Fool, Alyosha Popovich, etc. But these names give too much “biting” and precise characteristics. And Vasya Pupkin is about everything and nothing, this is about me and not about me.
Vasily Pupkin is a collective image of the average person who is widely used in the mass media.
A similar instance name exists in many countries. The middle class in the United States is called Overage Joe (Ordinary Joe), in Germany - Otto Normalferbraucher (Otto Normal Everyman), in Australia - Fred Nyork (Fred Srednyachok). In France, a man from the masses is called Monsieur Toulmont, which in translation means the lord of the whole world. And the Finnish Matti Meikalainen is simply Matti One of Us.
But if everything is more or less clear with the name of the hero of the Russian Internet community, then one cannot say so about his life story. The facts of the biography of Vasily are very contradictory:
- According to some sources, he comes from the ancient Russian clan Pupkovichi, who settled in Siberia in time immemorial, founding the city of Pupkinsk there.
- Other sources claim that Vasily's ancestor bore the surname Pushkin, was the brother of Alexander Sergeevich and also wrote poetry. But he did not achieve success in the poetic field and, not wanting to remain in the shadow of his famous relative, changed his last name.
- There is even a completely incredible version that in the distant Amazon, among the savannas and tropical forests, there is the country of Puplandia, the capital of which is the famous city of Eldorado. And the people inhabiting it - relatives of our Vasily - move through mystical portals.
In general, the complete graphomaniac amateur performance of unknown authors - regulars of the network. They are the ones who write ballads and poems about Pupkin on their websites and blogs, talk about his friend Vasilisa, advertise new items from Vasya's store, provide links to resources where you can get acquainted with the details of his virtual life. Although there are quite literary publications on this topic. For example, the biography of Pupkin, posted in one of the issues of the online magazine "Hacker". Peru (more precisely, the computer mouse) of the Odessa writer Mark Krendel owns the satirical novel "The Adventures of Vasily Pupkin on the Internet and in Real Life."And "The Complete Diary of Vasya Pupkin" (by Alex Exler) claims to be published in paper form.
However, according to such contradictory biographical data of this semi-mythical character, it is impossible to form an idea of either his age or his occupation. The image requires completeness. In this regard, one of the numerous "pupkinists" made a proposal: on sites dedicated to the hero of the modern Runet, when creating media objects, supplement their text content with some other elements. The artists were the first to respond, suggesting versions of paintings and sculptures depicting Vasya Pupkin.
This artistic embodiment of the image added little to the general portrait of Vasily. But today not a single virtual discussion on a topical topic is complete without mentioning it. We learn about the aspirations and interests of Vasily Pupkin's Internet meme on sites with such names as “Vasya Pupkin - Russian National Tradition” and others. More than 40 thousand active network users use this nickname when communicating in chats and forums.
Vasily Pupkin is not just a media object. This fictional hero personifies the mass user of the virtual information space, and therefore is recognized as a folklore character on the Runet.
Most likely, a real person named Vasily Pupkin experiences the same discomfort as, for example, a citizen Ivanov who comes to an institution, who needs to fill out an application according to a sample. Or as a school teacher Maria Ivanovna, when among the students in her class there is a boy named Vovochka. Well, it is almost impossible to meet people with the names Rzhevsky and Rabinovich. Apparently, they simply changed their "glorious" surnames. Fortunately, now it is not difficult to do this. One expression of will is enough, and you have a name change certificate issued by the registry office in your pocket.
Does the thought come to those for whom the Internet is a way of self-realization that, calling themselves Vasily Pupkins, they bear social responsibility to the real namesakes and namesakes of this virtual character? After all, according to the general impression, this figure is by no means attractive. Popularization and replication of such an image in Runet and beyond for more than 50 Russian citizens may become a reason to think about changing the name and surname …