A fellow blogger recently emailed me and asked whether or not I planned to come out of hibernation and resume the blog. I responded by saying that not blogging is actually emerging from hibernation. Between the malware attacks and a few creepy internet stalkers, I am a bit hesitant to do much more.
A day or two ago, I was sent a link to the blog Ivy Style, authored by Christian Chensvold. In the blog post, he reveals another web-sleuth's stalker-bounty by posting the name and portrait of another blogger who wished to remain anonymous. The source of his animosity seemed to be little more than a dislike for the other fellow's blog. Instead of simply choosing to not read it, Ivy Style's author repeatedly took the low-road, dedicating countless pages to petty sniping and rallying a cowardly army of keyboard losers in a circle of self-gratification.
Not posting one's identity on the web serves to both protect one's personal interests (family, job, social life) and to keep the ideas and writings focused away from the author and on the writing itself. One of the reasons I have intentionally walked away from all of this is because of a series of emails I received asking me about my family, with links to the website for my son's school. The email was 'anonymous'.
Offline, it is common for bloggers to send one another personal emails, and "Richard" was no different, having entrusted a few of us with his true identity. But we honored his wish and mutually respected obvious self-set boundaries.
Back to Ivy Style...
Unable to let go of his childish obsession, Chensvold sought to direct his malicious and blood-thirsty cadre of trolls, snoopers, and bunny-boilers to the actual personal identity of the author behind the oddly named blog WASP101. With the operating ethics of a tabloid photographer, he published "Richard's" details, knowing full-well that his small band of laptop-hunched lonely souls would also immediately begin their own cyber-tormenting.
Several people questioned his motivation and professionalism (since he regularly voices contempt towards the "amateur bloggers") and he took the most gutless hand-wipe of a path possible:
"Let me once again clarify that I merely presented strange coincidences and behaviors here. I did not seek to prove something I’m not in the position to prove."
The simple fact is that a clothing blogger wanted to remain anonymous, and was not allowed to thanks to the efforts of a purportedly "professional" blogger.
In the end, the joke may be on Ivy Style, because it now turns out that all his theories about the true lifestyle of Richard were wrong. Richard gets the last laugh, because he was revealed to be quantifiably popular, genuinely charismatic, and socially confident. That must sting more than a little for Chensvold.
And all because of a clothing blog.
The way I see it, this will be my last post. I hate to end on so sour a note, but it seems that there are far too many readers of men's clothing blogs who feel that operating a blog automatically evaporates one's right to privacy, though commenting anonymously on those blogs should somehow remain a protected entitlement. In my world it does not, but I suppose that I have been naive. These sick perverts somehow consider one's entire family as fair targets as well, so with that in mind, I am stepping fully into real life by ending this blog.
I have enjoyed the very real friendships that I have made through this, the parties, the visits, the dinners, and every invitation that I was able to accept, and I will continue to enjoy those friendships, hopefully for the rest of my life. If you find yourself near Boston, I hope that we might raise a glass (of anything) together, and interact as humans were meant to, without the interference or distraction of a lighted computer screen. If you see the drinks flag flying in the late afternoon, please stop by. You'll know it when you see it.
That milky warm sea breeze from the Atlantic blows in with the smell of salt, and the city is quiet. A starling nips off a sprig of rosemary from my potted plant on the roof-deck, cocks his head, and flies off. Don't drop it you thief, it means the world to me.