In Massachusetts, there's a bit of a dustup regarding a blogger. He's decided that he wants people to boycott the sponsors of Howie Carr, a local talk show host, newspaper columnist, and gadfly in general. Now a lot of people want this anonymous chap (presumably) to have his identity exposed, and are denouncing anonymous bloggers.
As someone who still holds the tiniest shred or two of anonymity, I find myself a bit puzzled over this. It isn't that the blogger doesn't use his real name that bothers me -- it's the name he's chosen for himself:
For decades, Ernie Boch was a very successful car dealer who was his own main spokesman. He died a few years ago, and now it's being managed by his son, Ernie Boch Jr.
The Boch family insists that they have no idea who this blogger is -- especially to those people who call up the Boch family dealerships and want to discuss Howie Carr.
I have no problem with anonymity online. (Obviously.) Where I draw the line, however, is when one attempts to distance themselves from their own words (by constantly changing their identity) or use names that give themselves more credibility or respect than they deserve.
In college, I had a professor who carried a tote bag emblazoned with the following words from The Bard Of Avon:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed.
This blogger has stolen the name of the Boch family, and ought to be kicked off Blue Mass Group once more -- this time for good.