So, I’ve ventured forth once more into the comments at Brian Edwards’ post, where much amusement may be had at Pete George wanking on about his perma-ban at The Standard.
Brian, in response to many comments along the same lines as my own, has this to say:
I said in the blog that if someone commenting on a post had reason to fear that giving their real name could lead to them, their families or associates suffering distress or harm, then it was entirely resonable for them to use an alias. I’ve now repeated that half a dozen times in reply to comments citing examples of discrimination by employers, various authorities or the state.
Fair enough, I suppose. But this only begs one question for me: um, what the fuck were you complaining about then, Brian?
It seems that, post posto, Brian and various commenters want to now act like “the problem” is the abusiveness, the trolling, the unconstructive shit that I know we’ve all seen derailing comment threads since the dawn of net-time.
But that’s not what Brian Edwards blogged about.
Brian Edwards said:
But, whatever my faults, I have at least always put my name to my opinions.
the commonest reason for not putting one’s name to one’s opinions is … cowardice.
But [anonymous commenting on blogs] is, in my submission, a democracy of the gutless whose commonest weapon is abuse hurled from behind the ramparts of their anonymity.
More contemptible by far than the anonymous correspondent is the anonymous blogger, particularly in a democracy like New Zealand
A few brave souls write under their real names.
If that post – and by all means go read the whole thing to establish I’m not quoting out of context, that’s the joy of links – is about anything other than “anonymous* bloggers are gutless cowards” I implore some helpful commenter – anonymous or otherwise – to explain exactly how.
So here’s the upshot: Brian Edwards totally doesn’t think all anonymity is bad, he totally understands that some people have good reasons for remaining anonymous (or, you know, PSEUDONYMOUS).
He just thinks he gets to be the person who decides whether or not your reasons are good enough, because obviously, as an anonymous coward, you can’t be trusted to have made that decision for yourself or anything.
So, everyone, please line up by Mr Edwards’ desk to out yourself and justify your previous use of a cowardly, contemptible pseudonym. He’ll let you know if your own reasons for your own choices are valid. He’s a respectable old white heterosexual middle-class dude who writes under his real name, you know.
There’s another theme emerging, which Farrar helpfully parrots: that pseudonymous bloggers are less polite, less restrained, less rational. I merely refer that entire argument to Wh*l* O*l.