Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sometimes I Wish I Blogged Under A Pseudonym

Sometimes I wish I blogged unde a pseudonym; but because I don't, I can't tell you any of the reasons I occasionally find myself dropping a perfectly good essay into a folder on my desktop marked 'Burn After Reading'.

You might be surprised to find that I'm holding back; I've made my share of inflammatory comments on this blog. But, there is a monster inside of me my friends, and there would be civilian casualties if I let him post here.

I've been hostile to pseudonymous and anonymous bloggers in the past. When bitchy anonymous bloggers comment here, my first reaction is 'I own my words, why don't you?' More often than not, I think my suspicion that these folks are pretty cowardly is correct; in other instances however, I can see the point of donning a mask.

Take Orac the science blogger, for instance. Or Banksy. Both of these guys have legitimate reasons for maintaining anonymity. Orac and pre-celebrity Banksy would risk their personal well-being if they did what they did in the full light of day, and post-celebrity Banksy has a personal interest in sustaining his brand (I am a capitalist, nothing wrong with making money).

But, man. wouldn't it be nice to air out some dirty laundry every now and then. Overall, I think blogging as myself has kept me accountable, and has forced me to hash out what I really believe before I post on whatever subject I'm posting on. It's made me a better writer in general, because I can't just fling around irresponsible ad hominems and vulgarities (my ad hominems and vulgarities are always responsible).

Posting as Spencer Troxell has kept me honest, sharpened my abilities, and has taught me things about myself that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. All good things.

So, I can't vent the spleen all day long, but it's a fair compromise in the end.

At least that's the rationalization I'm using to keep myself out of trouble.


Lodo Grdzak said...

Well, obviously this hits close to home for me. Course when I originally started blogging I was job hunting, so I didn't want my name floating out there in cyberspace. Besides, my real name sounds just as fake as my pseudonym. Half the people wouldnt think its was real.

Anonymity really allows you to open up about yourself; but its a big responsibility--like drinking or gun ownership. There are responsible ways to use it and dangerous/disruptive ways as well. If you're gonna write social commentary or politically charged posts under a pseudonym; then yeah, I'd say that's rather cowardly. But if you're gonna tell stories about personal experiences--or more important, that feature other real people that may or may not want to be attached to your actions, then a pseudonym is polite.

By the way, your kid should be using a pseudonym for his blog. (Just saying).

the elegant ape said...

elegant was a family name on my mother's side. Ape was my grandmother's madien name...