Anonymity has its advantages. For instance, I can call Derek Jeter a dude-loving nancy without fear of being approached on the street about it or having angry letters sent to my house, or even really worrying about a lawsuit regarding the veracity of my claims all while enjoying the plush comfort and dank scent of mom's basement. Also, given my blog's limited readership (and therefore my relative contribution to the "conversation"), I'm not pissing enough people off or getting enough anonymous credit to make it worth giving up my name. Or so I thought until recently.
If you've been paying attention, you've probably noticed that in the last couple of months a number of bloggers have taken off their anonymity cloaks and shown themselves to the world. It started with the gents from Fire Joe Morgan," and then the dude from The Big Lead came out, and then this week KSK's Christmas Ape came out.
Before Ape came out, the outing of bloggers was celebrated. The guys from Fire Joe Morgan (one of whom writes for "The Office" and appears periodically on the show as Dwight's brother Mose Schrute) were all but electronically felated when unmasked. Jason McIntyre of "The Big Lead" was featured in an SI.com article singing his praises. The praise gave bloggers everywhere confidence that perhaps it was safe to show ourselves and receive the laudatory bounty we so duly earned. And then Ape came out and all hell broke loose.
If you haven't read about it, you should, but to summarize, KSK's Christmas Ape revealed his true identity on the site this week only to be fired 48 hours later when his company (The Washington Post) learned of his "hobby" and felt that it was not in their best interest to keep him on. Fortunately for Ape, the boys at KSK are now getting paid for their work and he doesn't have to worry about filing for unemployment or applying for work with the Baltimore Sun. It was a ballsy move on his part and he upped the "ballsy" level by referring to the Newspaper biz in his "coming out" post as a "dying medium" (a reference not lost on his editor).
The firing brings up many questions about the fairness/absurdity of such actions, and while I could write at length about all of that (I would argue that the firing borders more closely the absurd than it does the fair) what the firing really did was get me thinking about my place in the blogosphere and my responsibility to the brave bloggers who have outed themselves and risked their very livelihoods to give blogging more legitimacy. Should I follow suit and join in this noble pursuit? I think I should. So it is without further ado that I present the real name and face of The Smittblog:
That's right. I am Jim J. Bullock.** Consequences be damned.
*The word "world" meaning the discreet world of obscure sports blog readers.
**Not necessarily true.