Farewell, PittGirl, we hardly knew ye

Written by Reg Henry on .

This is the part in which I reveal how out-of-synch I am with the modern world, and, even when I blog, I am no better than a guy who ties messages to the feet of carrier pigeons.

The occasion for this is the decision of PittGirl to quit her popular blog.

I take this departure as a sadness and a loss to the general conversation. My remarks here should not be taken as a personal criticism of PittGirl, despite my mention of pigeons, which she hated. Clearly, she turned a very frisky phrase and her talent made her unusually successful. I begrudge her none of it and I admire her for it.

My problem always was with her anonymity - the very thing that made her attractive and alluring to her fans. The blogosphere allows people to lie anonymous in the weeds. In my out-of-step way, I am all about standing up and being counted. I can't say this makes me a better person; I am sure it makes me seem quaintly old-fashioned.

You may say (because I know your type - you are argumentative) that the Post-Gazette editorials which I help write are anonymous - they appear under the paper's masthead on the editorial page and are not signed. That is because they represent the collective view of the paper's Editorial Board, not necessarily that of the individual writer.

But the truth is that the authorship of these unsigned editorials is no great secret. There's usually a box under the editorials listing the various members of the Editorial Board. And if you are particularly offended by an editorial, you could call me up and I'd be happy to tell you that Tony Norman wrote it.

Seriously, if you called up and asked, someone would tell you. By contrast, PittGirl quit because she was fearful of being outed. That doesn't sit right with me. It's like your mother said: If you don't want remarks about another person attributed to you, then perhaps you shouldn't be making them in the first place.

In life as with blogs, you should have the courage of your convictions. For the life of me, I don't see how a new technology should be the reason to upset basic decencies.

Sorry, PittGirl, and best of luck to you. But I have been attacked by too many e-mailers lurking in the tall grass of anonymity to have much sympathy for those who try to hide their identity in any electronic forum.

I'll go off now to feed my carrier pigeons.


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