Monday, April 11, 2011

For This You Can't Sign Your Name?

There was a recent post on Matzav about having a positive attitude regarding food on Pesach. In it, the author points out how people often complain (whether rightly or wrongly) about Pesach food and that, perhaps, we can have a better attitude about it.

This is a concept that I think all of us can get behind.  It's completely non-controversial.  And yet, the author chose to sign only his initials.  He didn't choose to actually put his name on the piece.  And that makes me wonder... have we gotten to the point where people are even afraid to speak up on non-controversial subjects?

I'm well aware that, when it comes to this, I fall into the category of "those who live in glass houses...".  But at least *some* of what I write is controversial in some circles.  This gentleman's post was completely non-controversial - and yet, he couldn't sign his name to it.

The Wolf

24 comments:

Ezzie said...

I've always been a fan of people not being anonymous, though with the caveat that there's sometimes exceptions.

For whatever problems people have with the powers that be, no one can take away their willingness to sign their own names.

BrooklynWolf said...

I've always been a fan of people not being anonymous,

I agree with you and, from time to time, I toy with the idea of just giving up the anonymity. I've even posted about it a few times.

The Wolf

Avram in MD said...

Two reasons that come to my mind, assuming the author feels that people who know him personally may likely read his letter:

* Humility - he doesn't want to appear to be "showing off" with his lofty ideal.
* He's responding to real life conversations, and fears that if his sentiments were known to his complaining friends, it would cause them embarassment.

bob said...

Not complaining about food is a "lofty ideal"? that's new to me. it sounds kind of reasonable.

also, it's kind of ridiculous to not talk your mind about reasonable things because of fear of embarassing a stranger to all the readers.

both your suggestions are kind of odd, too much of this false frum sensitivity, its a little overboard, dont you think?

bob said...

I've never commented on this site before, although i always read the posts. I'm only commenting now since i saw last week that Nate listed me amongst the ranks of the Apikosim ("....Slifkin, DovBear, XGH, Bob, Tesyaa....and the other heretics....")

as they say, it was an honor just to be nominated...

However, I am Orthodox, and ive have a far better yeshiva education than Nate, both in Israel and in the USA/NJ

BrooklynWolf said...

Bob,

I understand your point. However, I'd like to ask you (and the other commentators) to please keep on subject and not feed the trolls when/if they show up.

Thanks. :)

The Wolf

bob said...

I agree completely, however, since this was my first time commenting here, i felt like i should make that clear in case anyone recalls that comment. I'm done.

Back to the subject at hand. Maybe the author didnt write his name because Matzav = Yated and generally the Yated readership cannot have the internet. If Pinny Lifshutz wrote it he cant sign his name, his paper published ads with internet bans. If it was just some other Yated type guy, his kids will get kicked out of the Lakewood Cheder if his name appears (or if they find out he has a job.)

BrooklynWolf said...

I agree completely, however, since this was my first time commenting here, i felt like i should make that clear in case anyone recalls that comment. I'm done.

Fair enough... and because I forgot to do so earlier, welcome to the blog, Bob!

If Pinny Lifshutz wrote it he cant sign his name, his paper published ads with internet bans.

They've had other people sign names to their stuff before. Even if they're all pseudonyms of a single person, at least they were names.

If it was just some other Yated type guy, his kids will get kicked out of the Lakewood Cheder if his name appears (or if they find out he has a job.)

You think his kids are going to get kicked out because he says "don't complain about Pesach food?"

The Wolf

bob said...

--"You think his kids are going to get kicked out because he says "don't complain about Pesach food?"

no, because he (a) has internet access, and (b) has a job.

I dont know for certain if he's a Lakwood Cheder parent, was just an example, but if he is he cant have internet or a job. if he's just a plain yeshiva guy he cant have internet, the job part may be a problem depending on where he lives.

A Muppet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Muppet said...

Am I missing something? Isn't the likely explanation that the author is female, and Matzav and/or the author have a hang up about printing the name of a woman.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I was thinking maybe A Muppet is correct.

Ksil said...

Muppet may be correct. Someone told me that the steipler would not even read hand written letters by women - such insane stuff those guys on the right pump out!

Pragmatician said...

The mere use of internet can be considered "controversial" so this could be a reason for not mentioning a name...

make a psedonym said...

Dude, we live in the age of google. Does anyone really want prospective employers to see their comments about Pesach food?

For a lot of people the internet is just a hobby. No one wants it spilling over into real life.

Avram in MD said...

Not complaining about food is a "lofty ideal"? that's new to me. it sounds kind of reasonable.

Reasonable and lofty are not mutually exclusive.

also, it's kind of ridiculous to not talk your mind about reasonable things because of fear of embarassing a stranger to all the readers.

I don't think it is ridiculous. If I was posting in a forum, and I knew that a friend of mine read that forum (and he knew my username, or I signed my real name), I would refrain from making critical references to conversations I've had with this friend, even if it were generalized to a "genre" of conversation. I'm not saying that this happened with the Matzav letter writer... just putting it out there as a possibility.

both your suggestions are kind of odd, too much of this false frum sensitivity, its a little overboard, dont you think?

You disputing or failing to understand my idea of sensitivity does not render it false.

Avram in MD said...

make a psedonym,

Makes perfect sense to me.

colloquiallyspeaking said...

in the beginning, when internet chat rooms and forums where new, we all viewed it as dangerous to reveal one's true identity to the world wide web. there were stories of serial killers and child molesters...even though we've evolved and grown past that, i still wouldn't put my name in a public forum, no matter what the content of my comment. i know that times have changed...but those stories...

BrooklynWolf said...

Welcome to the blog, colloquiallyspeaking.

Believe it or not, I'm very public all over the net. My blog (and other places associated with it) are the only places where I use a pseudonym. Just about any other place on the web (and there are quite a few of them), I use my real name.

The Wolf

bob said...

Glenn Beck?

Englishman said...

Wolf: What many other places? There aren't too many forums around that people use real names in.

I also saw you posted on the FrumTeens.com site as "Wolf".

BrooklynWolf said...

Wolf: What many other places? There aren't too many forums around that people use real names in.

You don't actually expect me to tell you now, do you? :)

Suffice it to say, I participate in several different places on line -- using my real name.

The Wolf

ItcheSrulik said...

People are scared to have opinions period. It doesn't matter what the opinions are about; having a mind is dangerous. Chaim Walder, a popular charedi author is coming out with a book titled "People who had the courage to be themselves." I've already heard people speculating as to what will be in there and I've actually been frightened at how they whisper about the slightest deviation in style.

Shlomo said...

IIRC, the Chafetz Chayim says that you should basically never talk about another person, except for the most clearly le-toelet purposes, to avoid issues of lashon hara.

He also says that lashon hara about yourself is forbidden just like that about other people.

Put two and two together, and you should avoid talking about yourself, and by implication, make any information about yourself public.

Perhaps that sort of attitude is behind the anonymity.

That, or shidduchim paranoia.