I’ve heard innumerable lame defenses of anonymous comments on newspaper websites, but a few attached to my column this past Sunday stand apart for their pretzel logic and whiny self-martyrdom.
The bellyaching confirms that a few of the angriest losers posting at thetimes-tribune.com recognized themselves when I wrote:
Northeast Pennsylvania has long been held back by fatalists who would rather see a hearse in your driveway than a Cadillac. They live to point fingers, but won’t lift one to fix anything. On Election Day, they stay home and post anonymous poison on websites and message boards. They insist their votes don’t matter and prove it with their phony self-martyrdom. If more than 30 percent go to the polls, it’s considered high turnout.
Some people aren’t happy unless they’re miserable. They see life as a trial with the jury stacked against them. No verdict necessary. The outcome is already decided. They shackle themselves with low expectations and curse anyone who doesn’t wear the same chains.
A tough guy hiding behind the name brownandseedy wrote the following (the atrocious spelling and grammar are his. Or hers.):
“Chris, the anonomys monikers on this site are the ones who DO vote. Just because you HAVE to use your name because you are paid to write YOUR opinion doesn’t make you any better than anonomys writers. REMEMBER, your employer is able to rake in the money based off of how many HITS are made on the Times website. Meaning, they can charge more money to advertisers based off of how many times the website is viewed. Just like Lou Denaples can charge more per ton, to make more money.”
The notion that I attach my name to my opinions because I HAVE to is a new one, and an impressive bit of logical contortion for someone who can’t spell “anonymous.” My name is attached to my commentary because it belongs there. I am an adult (mostly). Freedom of speech implies taking responsibility for what you say. Nice try, brownandseedy, but you may as well sign your screeds A. Coward.
Same goes for Jane Bo, who wrote:
“Perhaps some of us have stood front and center fighting Louis and corruption. Perhaps we were let down by a media that allowed him to grow to such power by ignoring his actions. Perhaps we have been ostracized beaten and threatened in the most obscene manners so we choose to remain anonymous? But not really since most in the know, know who we are or at least suspect. And James B? I don’t care and won’t stop until he gives it back. And if the rest of you around him go down like Mellow, Veon, dWeese, AJ Bobby and the like that’s just a bonus. I turned over a big rock last week. More indictments shortly. Promise.”
Now, if any of the cryptic accusations Jane Bo makes here are true, why wouldn’t she/he want to tell me all about it? I’d sure like to hear it, and I’m not hard to find. How big was that rock, and what was hiding underneath?
We may never know. That’s the false beauty of anonymous commentary. You never have to put up, or shut up.