In my last post I described Jennifer Jennings as the blogger formerly known as Eduwonkette. I had thought we only had to call her Eduwonkette when we didn’t know who she was. But I guess she continues to go by her rapper name, Eduwonkette. And Aaron Pallas, an otherwise respectable scholar, continues to call himself Skoolboy — with a k! And I guess they are both cribbing (in the non-rapper meaning) from Eduwonk, who we’ve always known to be Andy Rotherham.
I find the use of rapper names by bloggers to be downright silly. It’s especially silly when accompanied by self-aggrandizing cartoons and graphics. Here at Jay P. Greene’s Blog we’ve gone for a minimalist approach, both out of laziness and an aesthetic vision that tried to put the focus on content.
But if a bunch of other folks are going to continue to call themselves rapper names and have cartoon graphics to represent themselves, maybe I should do the same. Perhaps I should go by my rapper name — DJ Super-Awesome. And maybe we should use Thundarr the Barbarian graphics to represent ourselves. I call the image of Ookla and I’ll let Greg and Matt fight over who gets to be Ariel.
Sorry, Jay, but Eduwonk has already given you your rapper name: Bionic Super Analyist.
I’ll be DJ Edu von Munchausen
How about “The Notorious J.P.G.?”
I’m down with JPG.
What about the world’s most famous alcoholic clown?
Bloggers aren’t all safe in think tanks and academia. You have bloggers that blow whistles on corrupt practices, or draw attention to things that political powers would rather have under the covers.
What if someone wants to talk about legalizing drugs? If they are at CATO it won’t be a big deal, but what if they work for a regular company and have a family? They may not be comfortable with putting their name out there.
A lot of local politics have strong-arm tactics that have always been in place. Whether it is taking on the local school board or exposing a local politician, those actions can have severe consequences. If someone likes to funnel government grants to his friends, his friends won’t like you if you start taking bread off their table. You go to any decent sized city with a political machine and you will get threats of violence if you upset the applecart.
As an added bonus the internets are chock full of loons.
Shakes The Clown,
Anonymity is sometimes a necessity in blogging – we all know that. Needing to remain anonymous doesn’t force you to choose a moronic pseudonym, though.
Maybe I’m just partial to those guys who go first/middle-initial-last for the web address.
Jay has actually been defending the right to blog anonymously. The use of an online handle for “coolness” even when your identity is known is a different issue.
Matt would make a terrible Ariel…sorry Matt.
I remember catching some of that conversation when Jay talked about it Greg, and I agree.
I would tend to agree that if your identity is known you might as well use your real name. The guys at Powerline used to go by monikers. I never held it against them. I guess it is silly when you think about it but it is part of blogging culture.
I guess I am defensive about my own moniker. Matthew, speaking as someone who assumed a moronic pseudonym, what would you suggest?
Being the world’s most famous alcoholic clown can at times be a blow to one’s credibility. And you never hear anyone say “You know what Shakes the Clown said about that”.
Perhaps we should take a page from the greatest rock band of all time. I can be Matthew Ramone.
Interesting footnote to history: the PowerLine guys dropped their online handles after all the publicity when they took down Dan Rather’s forged document story. Their real names were always posted on the website, right there on the front page, but because they used handles in the actual posts almost all of the MSM coverage of the story mistakenly reported that they were anonymous bloggers. Apparently MSM reporters were too busy with their four layers of fact-checkers ensuring accuracy to look at the front page of the website they were reporting on. What more could they have done to prove the PowerLine guys’ point?