Nobody Really Cares About What You Write Except Other Nuts Like You

I’ve just finished my survey of bloggers.

Okay, it’s unscientific. But based on my tally, lefty and middle-of-the-road bloggers seem more likely to sign what they write than righty bloggers do.

Anyway, I can’t imagine anybody not signing what he or she writes. Part of it is my ego.

I’m an ex-daily newspaper columnist. Even at age 62, I still get a kick out of seeing my byline and my photo on my scribblings, most of them online these days.

What’s funny to me is that a lot of conservatives consider themselves tough guys (and gals). They see liberals and moderates as wimps. But in cyberspace, it looks to me like the more conservative the blogger, the more likely he or she is to hide behind a pseudonym.

Okay, I’m a union card-carrying lefty Democrat. I voted for President Obama in 2008 and will do so again in November.

Oh, I understand that discretion can be the better part of valor among righty bloggers. Heck, if they put their names to what they wrote, Obama’s “New World Order” thugs would shut them up for good.

The president’s black helicopters soon would be hovering over their heads and radioing down to those secret, jack-booted, UN troopers – from non-white nations, of course — who love to smash down doors of patriotic white folks, dress them in orange jump suits and and frog march them in cuffs and shackles into one of Overlord Obama’s secret FEMA concentration camps.

On the other hand, I can safely put my mug and my John Hancock on my stuff because I’m — you guessed it — a hireling of the NWO “propaganda ministry.”

Anyway, this old reporter turned history teacher finds anonymous bloggers of any political persuasion eminently ignorable. In my book, no name equals no credibility.
I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, far from it. But my guess is that fear undergirds a lot of this anonymous ultra-right wing cant. I don’t just mean fear of the NWO. I suspect the pseudonym “patriots” — from latter day Know Nothings and neo-Confederates to birthers and folks of the Obama-is-the-anti-Christ persuasion are scared silly that:

  • precious few people take them seriously (They’re right, few do.)
  • the future is not theirs (It’s not.)

So they snipe and snarl, unnamed, in cyberspace, spinning conspiratorial fantasies and spewing tough talk that all sounds like crazy talk to most people.

“Before the Internet, every village had an idiot,” says David Nickell, one of my union buddies. “After the Internet, the idiots have their own village.”

berry craigSo the whack jobs blog away, nameless and faceless, their postings ever reminding me of the mindless screeds that arrived as letters-to-the editor at the paper where I worked.

At least those screeds were signed. As far as I know, all newspapers require signatures on letters to the editor.

No matter, the reporters, editorialists and columnists at whom the letters are aimed almost never pay any attention to them, except when the hate mail is especially crazy, vitriolic or just plain paranoid. The loopiest ones get tacked on bulletin boards as trophies or jovially swapped with scribes at other papers.

I got a kick out of trading poison-pen letters by mail with fellow pundits. I love cyber hate mail, too. It saves me money on postage. All I have to do is hit “forward” on my computer.

“Half the fun is making them jump,” lefty lawyer Clarence Darrow supposedly said of his detractors. Amen.

Berry CraigThe editorial page editor at the paper where I worked — a crusty, cigar-chomping guy straight out of the movie “The Front Page” said of rants: “Nobody gives a damn about Joe Blow’s letter except Joe Blow and nuts like Joe.” He’s pushing 90 and retired. But I’d bet he’d say the same thing about anonymous blog posts.

I suggested in this column a while back that if I ever wrote a book about anonymous bloggers I’d call it Profiles in Cowardice. I’ve changed my mind. I’d call it Nobody Really Cares About What You Write Except Other Nuts Like You.

Berry Craig

Comments

  1. markhalfmoon says

    Very well said Berry Craig. I’ve been noticing and thinking that same thing for years. People who won’t identify themselves tend to write the ugliest, nastiest things I’ve read on the Internet.

    I always identify myself when I write something because I stand by it. I want to speak with integrity and truth but if someone points out to me where I am wrong or not being fair, I shouldn’t have a problem being criticized as myself.

    I have had anonymous writers who apparently knew who I was remark about my public deeds but I was only able to address those and not the writer who was unknown to me.

    I must admit that I’ve also read thoughtful ideas and analyses by masked writers, so some may have other reasons to use a nom de plume.

  2. says

    I’ve been saying this for 15 years…  I guess we are the like-minded nuts…

    90% of what is evil on the internet would go away instantly if we eliminated anonymity… 
    Pete Daggett

  3. says

    As usual ;

    Your point has been made by those very same lying cowards who snipe but are afraid you sign their lies and sniping .

    _ESPECIALLY_ ‘ in awe ‘ who creates B.S. horror stories out of thin air…..

    FWIW , I’m a far right Conservative who (on like teabaggers & dittoheads) actually _knows_ what the word ” CONSERVE ” means .

    Mostly , those retards are just scared white trash .

    -Nate

  4. go99ers says

    I think you are entitled to your opinion, but there are many other reasons why people use pseudonyms, too numerous to go into here. I have found that people tend to look for content and don’t much care what the author’s name is. That has been my experience.

  5. Walter Brasch says

    Good observation! In my hometown paper, about a page a day is devoted to dozens of comments (usually 1-3 grafs). Most of the ones bashing liberals (and qwhich jkust scream inanities, many that they learned from I-net screeds) are anonympus or under fake names. Apparently, you are right–the village idiots may have taken opver the village.
    walt

  6. in_awe says

    Well, progressive and liberals in CA have proven themselves to be real-life thugs when dealing with people who disagree with them. As a history teacher and newspaper man I am surprised that you are ignorant of the tactics used by the left to intimidate any identifiable person of a conservative political persuasion. in the past couple election cycles we have seen conservatives being “outed” and subjected to being put on lists of people to harass through contacting their employer, or setting up pickets in front of their places of business, or threats of physical harm. We have seen videos of Tea Party members being assaulted by union thugs proudly wearing their union t-shirts as they beat done their “enemy”. The language of the President has been filled with characterizations that encourage his acolytes to treat conservatives as enemies worthy of being attacked verbally and physically. But you wouldn’t know anything about that would you – you are just a union card carrying leftist after all.

    • Walter Brasch says

      What universe does this happen in? I covered the 2008 election and the politics in 2010, and the ONLY violence I saw–and the only bleating I saw–was from the Tea Party–and usually in Palin rallies; the rallies for McCain were relatively civil. For the most part, the libs may be frustrated and mad at what passes as truth given out by the extreme right, but I have yet to see anything that you describe–at least in this election cycle–and I’m a lefty union-card ACLU officer who has been involved in activist campaogns for 4 decades+. Actually, for the mopst part, libwerals have a far better sense of humor than do the far-righties.

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