An outing

A short while ago, the blogosphere was irate over the outing of the identity of a pseudonymous blogger, Publius. The outing followed the usual pattern: pseudonymous blogger annoys right-winger who can’t cope, right-winger lashes out by revealing the name behind the pseudonym (as if that somehow addresses the criticisms), then right-winger sits back and starts defending himself: “he deserved it”, “he shouldn’t expect to be anonymous”, “anonymity is bad, anyways”. It’s so damned stupid.

I have no problem with people using pseudonyms, especially since, as in the case of Publius, there was a consistent voice behind the name, and the person was not trying to avoid being called on his ideas (the fly-by-night, daily change of names by some trolls and sock puppets is a different thing altogether — that is an attempt to avoid being pinned down). When an outer decides to reveal a name behind the identity, though, that is simply an act of cowardice — an attempt to run away from engagement with the ideas to switch to personal intimidation. It is contemptible, no matter what your motivation.

Now we have another example: the Canadian Cynic has been outed. A sanctimonious right-wing she-git declared his identity because he called her mean names, and then justified it this way:

Outing bloggers isn’t usually my thing. I don’t see a point to it. But when you repeatedly abuse and demean people because they do not march in lockstep with you, I’m sorry but you deserve it.

Ah, sweetly stupid rationalizations — don’t they do such a good job of exposing the quality of the intellect behind them? It usually isn’t her thing…but she did it. I want to see a murderer try this defense: “I don’t kill people every day, it was just this one time!” Yeah, that makes it OK. Then she says she didn’t see a point to it…so what was her point? She doesn’t have one. She’s just lashing out angrily, as we can see in her next excuse: he deserved it. She sees it as a punishment. Which, of course, is why she also links to his business in her outing post.

If you know that something is wrong, since you admit to avoiding doing it, and if you know that there is no point to it other than to try to hurt someone personally and materially, there is a simple rule to follow: don’t do it. If you do it anyway, that just means you’re a self-confessed douchebag.

Besides, those of us who have known Canadian Cynic for a long time are just laughing. Larry Moran has known his identity for years. So have I.

Photo by Lost Marbles

It’s an open secret — the people who outed him are no geniuses, that’s for sure, and it wasn’t that hard to track him down. It was pointless, trivial, and accomplished nothing but expose his critics as petty cranks, confirming what CC has been saying about them all along.

And will his exposure change his behavior? Why, no. Like I said, many of us have known him for a long time, and by his work against creationism (under his full name) and his acerbic posts on usenet (under his own name). I expect him to be even more vocal now.

Case in point: he’ll be speaking in Toronto on 3 July, on the subject of Creationism, ID and the Douchebaggery of Really Bad Arguments: An Evening with the Canadian Cynic.

Ooooh. He sounds really intimidated.