Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Who Am I?

There are bloggers who claim they don the cloak of anonymity because they insist they would be otherwise unable to openly discuss communal issues without some sort of societal backlash.

Whatever I write about here, I talk about to others in real life; my choice to duck behind a false identity stems, rather, from a healthily paranoid upbringing. 

My house in under so many protections that it lacks only the crocodile-infested moat. Telemarketers are believed to be enemy agents trolling for vital, personal information. That pleasant Israeli that stopped his car to ask for directions was probably an ax murderer, his hatchet dripping brains over the back seat. 

With the clock change, I shudder in fear. I prefer bright sunlight, when I can see through bushes, whereas after dark who knows what sort of stalkers may be lurking? That shuffling noise behind me; just rearranging items in my backpack, or a serial killer wielding a bloody knife? 

One thing is for sure, my Law & Order fetish is certainly not helping. 

I am faceless since, no offense, I think that out there on the big wide internet there may be one recent parolee with computer savvy who can find my name and location in under ten seconds.  

But my skulking behind an alias niggles. 

One Shabbos morning in shul more than twenty years ago, my sister tore a dangling thread from the bottom of her skirt. The next day, an anonymous note was slipped through the mail slot expressing "surprise," since my sister "should have known better."

Shocked at this cowardly move, my parents showed the letter to a psychologist friend. "If someone doesn't sign his name," he responded with a disparaging wave, "it's toilet paper."

So it would seem I am on the horns of a dilemma. How to blog, if anonymity cheapens the written word? I made a conclusion: Anything I write would be anything I would say, with my face and name. I have told others, face to face, that which I type online, verbatim. I don't claim to use as a sanctuary to share my deepest, darkest, thoughts; there is plenty that I have abstained from posting.    

I blog because I love to write, and in order to improve my craft I must exercise it constantly. I choose to remain anonymous out of oversuspicious terror. But I don't think that gives me a loophole.