NOMS DE GUERRE
IN DEFENSE OF PERSONAL SPACE: PRIVACY ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB
WHAT'S IN A PEN NAME? A ROSE WOULD WRITE AS WELL AS A RUTH OR ANY OTHER NAME
Why Some Of Us Choose To Use A Nom De Plume, A Nick, An Alias On The Internet
In the early days of my exploration of the Internets, I posted things in various places under my "real" name. I quickly discovered how far into your "real" life creepy people on the 'Net can reach. Since then, I only post using my nickname.
It's my nick, I invented it, at least I thought I did. Anyway, it's the only one I ever use, unlike all those creepy right-tard trolls. Cosanostradamus is who I am on the Web. I never post anonymously; anybody who wants to argue with me is welcome to do so on my blog, if they do so in a civilized manner and use the same nick all the time.
Idiots will say "Well what have you got to hide???!!!" They're the very same idiots who don't mind government surveillance of innocent American citizens, personal data-gathering by commercial entities for unauthorized use or sale, and video cameras covering every square inch of exterior & accessible interior space in the world. I ask them if they have doors on their house, or curtains, or if they wear clothes. WHY???!!! What have they got to HIDE???!!!
Here's the thing: Some things are private: Just for us and those we choose to share them with. Like, our whole lives; unless we choose to become celebrities. It's a matter of simple human dignity, and personal security. But that doesn't mean we don't have a right to participate in public discourse, or to protect our homes, businesses, friends and families while participating in public discourse. Anyone who doesn't understand and appreciate this is either extremely stupid, or just extreme. Or both.
The thing is, a right-wing psycho can go around loudly threatening the President, advocating the violent overthrow of the US government, and inciting hatred and criminal acts all his or her miserable life, harassing people he or she disagrees with politically, and only rarely will anything be done about it. If a reasonable left-of-center type speaks out peaceably against war or nuclear power or racism or homophobia, they may lose their job, get evicted from their home, have their credit ruined, be dragged into court for sheer harassment, be imprisoned and even killed just for advocating peaceful solutions to common problems, even within the existing system. History tells us that if you're going to stand up for what is right in this country, you are at risk. And that's bloody uncivilized. And I do mean bloody.
The Right is by definition violent and intolerant, and refuses to recognize the rights and the humanity of those with whom they disagree. Anyone on the Left who doesn't fear them is crazy. They don't just throw epithets, they bomb churches and medical clinics. They turn dogs loose on people and lynch them. They think rape and torture are funny. They start wars strictly for commercial purposes and slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians just for money. As long as we have to deal with such mentally ill people, we have to take steps to ensure the safety of our homes and families. The use of a nom-de-plume is not only a reasonable precaution, it is a long and respected tradition, from Voltaire to Twain to Dylan to Ol' Dirty Bastard. It allows people to speak freely even in an oppressive atmosphere. Until we can educate or eliminate the worst elements of the far Right, aliases are a right and a necessity on the World Wide Web.
I would include the right-tards in this. Unlike them, I would defend to the death the right of any man or woman to speak out, even if their words are unpopular, and especially if I disagree with them, under whatever name they choose. If the Right hadn't made such a mockery of the phrase, I'd say "God bless America." But they have.
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