Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Why My Name Isn't on This Blog

I am researching this week's Godscrum podcast topic of how the blogosphere is a force for change in the church, and I came across a transcript from the recent Christian Bloggers Convention (GodBlogCon, which I sadly missed due to scheduling conflicts). On a panel of pastor bloggers, this from Andrew Jackson of Smart Christian really hit home:
Here is my pet peeve. I cannot stand people who don’t use their name. They don’t want to expose themselves. How else is anyone supposed to know who they are? You don’t do that with books. We need to get past the faddish beginning of pseudo-names and tell people who we are, what our backgrounds are, and what we are about. Real identity gives you a good context.
Ouch. For the record, I have precisely two reasons for maintaining anonymity on this blog: first, to be able to discuss intimate personal histories and issues relating to my life and my family's life while protecting in particular my wife's deep concern for privacy, and second to protect myself professionally. Unless and until this blogging racket feeds my family, I have to earn my paycheck in other ways. And given that people are getting fired for crap that other people find they wrote on the internet, I can't afford to take that chance. I've been through the experience of having a professional enemy committed to my downfall. I had a woman at my work who saw me as a career threat to her, and she stopped at nothing to ruin me. This was 1998; if it were today I promise you she would be crawling the internet looking for incriminating evidence. She dug through my frigging trash looking for something incriminating against me. Literally. Imagine what she could find here if she was to arrive at it just by searching on my name.

I know Josh at Stupid Church People has a pet peeve against this too, and I'm sympathetic, but I have to uphold this policy for the reasons I just mentioned. If I ever decide to break this anonymity, I'll probably just abandon this blog and do something different. Something safer, unfortunately.

Also, for the record, I will send my real name and real email address to anyone who emails me and asks for it. I've already done that with a number of you, and some of you I've shared my phone number with. I am a real person, and everything you've read here about me, my family, and what I think and believe is the absolute unvarnished truth. I'm simply trying to be anonymous to my enemies and to keep my wife and daughter anonymous from the sickos on the internet. I'm genuinely sorry that it has to be this way.


At 8:12 AM, Blogger dorsey said...

Begs an interesting question. Is the truth of my words dependent upon who I am—upon my context?

For example, I proclaim the scriptural mandate of forgiveness. Does my current inability to forgive diminish the truth of that? I sure hope not.

I also prefer transparency, but sometimes the "context" can get in the way of the idea.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Marie Currey - Marja Sklodowska
Adolf Hitler - Adolf Schickelgruber
Liberace - Wladziu Lee Valentino
Mother Teresa - Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart
Pocahontas - Matoaka
Rebecca Rolfe
Anne Rampling - Anne Rice
Dr. Ruth Westheimer - Karola Ruth Siegel
Mark Twain - Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Oh YAH! I'm thinking pseudonyms hurt these people's careers majorly...they should have used their real names, they would have made a BIG difference...

At 6:26 PM, Blogger ninjanun said...

If Vin Deisel went by any other name, would he be as freakin' HOT?


Who you are is wonderfully and vividly expressed on this blog, regardless of the fact that it's not your real name.

I hate it when people take on entirely different identities on their blog (for instance, leading people to believe they're something they're not), in order to have an alter-ego, almost.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Sable Chicken said...

Zeke, I think that you are smart, I don't quite understand why it is so important for others to use their real name. I think that if true friendships are formed, people will figure out how to get in touch with each other when the time is right. It seems that people that blog have their own ideas as to what is ethical in blogging. I know I do, but I can only choose to enforce my rules on my blog. If someone else wants only real names on there forum, what stops someone from useing a name that sounds real but is a fake? Do we do a credit card check on them, no. Do bloggers have good ethics or bad one? If some one makes a decision to be open and honest with their writing with the thought that it would be ok for anyone to read, than that is what they stick with, even if it may not be to the likeing of others. I know of bloggers that nothing holds them back in writing any offensive thing they can think of, nothing can stop them. I can only hope that off the internet they use more self control. So this is who this person is, like it or not.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Am I the only one who couldn't access your podcast? I wanted to hear it (given our discussion), but I cannot seem to get it to may just be me!

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Dorse: All I can say is that not having a biography up here means that people have nothing but a psuedonymn and a hand-drawn scribble portrait by which to form an opinion of me and my thoughts outside of what I actually write. So I think maybe it's easier for me to get across to people.

Sofyst: I hear what you're saying, and I can't argue with you. For once. LOL...

Sable: Why not just call Josh by his name and be done with it. :)

Nun, it's good to see that us guys get to be the other foot wearing the shoe every once and a while, as I just got to compare myself to Vin Deisel. Time to lay off the root beers and go for a run...

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous McKormick said...

Don't fucking apologize man. Privacy is your choice in the same way that the bad christian advocates the opposite.

If you need to tell one lie so you can tell a million truths, that's the way it has to be. You can speak to things that the bad christian can't. You can speak about things that the bad christian won't. He has an internal compass that is guided by his (un)conscious desire to maintain his identity. That's his choice and this is yours.

Valid or not, it's not deception, it's just the way it is.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Hill said...

Blogs have been used for such good especially with several that I have had the privilege of frequently reading. Its a place of safety for us to completely open ourselves up and shine who we are. For someone that has grown up in the 'typical southern baptist' church. These transitions have not come easy; however, I have begun my journey opening up more to a close friend and also finding those in the blogosphere that have the same spiritual 'grace covered' philosophys its quite refreshing. When/if the time comes to meet anyone from this here community it will make the meeting that much more beautiful and real. As for now, I see nothing wrong with 'guarding' ones self. It is also human nature to hold back and for me that would be a struggle, knowing certain individuals could stumble across it. So scourge me if you will, but I'm taking the steps. I however, love the thought behind the issue.

-the silent reader (and fellow Audible subscriber) now speaks.

btw, Zeke great blog.


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