As I may have said, the outing of Reddit user Violentacrez by Gawker journalist Adrien Chen had a strong effect on me, for reasons I don’t know. Maybe because I have never shared this story or my opinions, fears and questions with a single person. It is the first time I haven’t shared something that bothers me – maybe because I hopd it would stop bothering me. After 4 or 5 days I thought I was over it, but every day some tweet, blog post, Gawker/Jezebel/DailyDot story or comment reminds me of it. It’s like, no matter what I’m doing or how happy I am, this has happened. In a year, in 100 years, it will still have happened. And there is nothing anyone can do, ever, to make it unhappen.
I’m not going to share my opinions or which ‘side’ I’m most sympathetic to, because that changes by the day, if not the hour. I just do not even think this story is still news or worth commenting upon anymore, either. As far as I’m concerned, Violentacrez wasn’t newsworthy to begin with, but Chen just made him sound more newsworthy by putting a lot of drama in his article. So suffice it to say that I usually don’t see Chen as a bad person, just an average journo trying to get kudos and not caring how many lives he destroys in the process; and yeah, I see his point of view, too. Perhaps I’d be more sympathetic to Chen’s view if I’d known about VA before VA was outed. Or if Chen outed VA in his personal capacity, not as a journalist working for a corporation with its own political and capitalist agenda. Honestly, I’d have no problem with a private individual outing VA. I won’t go any further into all my other opinions – and confusions/questions – on this. Now doubt many others have pulled it all to pieces over the last two weeks.
So, for the puposes of documenting this slutty adventure of mine, I offer instead a poem I just wrote inspired by my worry over mine and especially Roland’s anonymity. It was/is a senseless worry, I know – I can’t be doxxed, and that’s the only thing I’m worried about, as I’m too unimportant to hack. And VA wasn’t doxxed, he gave out his personal info to lots of people and so Chen’s friend knew who he was. And my situation is very different from VA’s, and I know Chen himself will not out me (it’s other journos I’m worried about). So, why do I worry? I, the ever-giggling, happy-go-lucky person? Is it mild anxiety? I don’t know. Only that this is one of the first things I think about when I wake up, since the first day I knew (I knew 5 hours after Chen’s article was published).
But I am ready. I have spoken to both VA and Chen -under fake identities*- and I know they don’t consider themselves bad people. VA’s family knew about his trolling, and he didn’t believe in anything he trolled – he isn’t racist or sexist. Chen seems to think he’s on a mission, fighting a magical war against all internet trolls everywhere, and that trolls are worse than real racists/misogynists or cyberbullies. Though actually all of this can be seen from Chen’s article so I didn’t find out anything useful from talking to either of them.
Yes. I’m ready. I will protect Roland no matter what, and if I have to make a choice I will have myself outed if by doing so he can remain anonymous. This knowledge makes me calm.
So, at long last, here’s the poem:
Dark is the night
And unforgiving each star,
Cold and pointless
Or, to your eyes
A cold point
Tacked to a frozen sky
When this fear
Stretches from its sleep
Underneath your heart and shudders
Through your bones
Between the beats,
Between each beat,
Crying fear, fear;
It is here, it is over your head.
Then silence that voice
By welcoming the falling
Axe over your head
Because after it falls
What more is there to fear?
You will breathe
And the warm dark
Will reach out to envelop you
And starfire will remind your tearful eyes
Of the sun’s flaming at the end
Of the night.
*I don’t consider Kalika Gold a fake identity.