Hirsch asked me recently to put up a post alerting his readers he was (possibly) shutting down his blog, or trying to figure out what to do with it, considering some perceived threats at that time. When he re-opened his blog, I had taken down that notice. From his post:
This is a hobby, and I have other responsibilities in my life that take precedence over the writing. There are people--little ones--who are under my care and protection, and I would rather burn the world down* than see them come to any harm..
What's Going On?
Within the past week, elements of my blogging life meshed unfavorably with elements of my real life. As a result, it is possible that my writings may be on the radar of potentially harmful parties. I say "potentially." Perhaps there is no danger....
- Blogging is indeed unsafe, which is one reason many bloggers use pseudonyms, to protect themselves and their loved ones. You (myself included) have to take super-extra-premeditated precautions nowadays if you are going to put your opinion about religion and politics out there on cyberspace, unless maybe if you don't care too much what might happen. Sir Charles Coulombe, for example, seems to be such an online voice, but I'm thinking he doesn't have "little ones" at home under his care. :)
- At the same time, there does run a necessary risk if you believe that the blogosphere can be used to fight the "culture war" that is in our society, and that has invaded the world. As do I. It takes a certain amount of gaul and willingness to expose yourself to a reasonable amount of risk. It irks me when the big bankers only want to invest in businesses with little risk, as if the bottom line is just profit, as in their profit. While I am not even close to being a business man, I have to ask, where is the fun and adventure in that? Where is the creative force that built once made this country great, at least materially speaking. Liberal capitalism is partly to blame for the country's decline. We must take a degree of calculated risk, abide by our own self-imposed rules, and then sit back and let the chips fall where they may. To any potential blogger out there, if you discern and take the necessary steps, I think you can really put yourself out there on the internet, and really spark a lot of thought, and activate people outside The Matrix to do Catholic Action. That at least is my outlook, though I too am at risk. I know that any Unabomber out there with a super-computer in his basement dwelling, could crack my full identity and target present and future employers, family, friends, etc. You name it.
- So my advise for Hirsch or any controversial blogger out there (except maybe the Soccer mom's who like to blog about their Paleo lifestyle, or bloggers like my trad friend Matto who blog about their dreams), is to not say anything online that itself, directly could be grounds for termination, calumny, or God's judgement. I like the old proverb about how to respond to gossipers "Just let people talk." If a man is willing to mean what he says, says what he means, and is willing to stand behind it, then he has nothing to fear. Or not much anyway. Me, if I ever "get called into the office" for something I said online, in a blog, Facebook, or otherwise, I will just state the facts, that what I said is outside of work, and am committed to being professional and respectful in my work place regardless of views about religion and politics. And I'm confident management will laugh it off, and say to get back to work. If not, then either I did something else to put me on the radar, in which case I can just rectify that situation, or they don't like me and it's an omen to start applying for other jobs. So I think if the blogger thinks these points through, then they don't have much to fear.
- I say "much to fear," because anything worth doing well is going to have a certain degree of risk, that if measured out according to one's circumstances and preferences, should make for some reasonable amount of peace of mind and confidence.
- That said, if a future HR department should call me into the office, and point to this blog post, then I just want to say "Whatup HR! It's all good. No harm, no fowl. I am perfectly able to work with anyone regardless of religion, politics, gender, or sexual orientation! Can I have a raise? :)"
- In all seriousness though, I understand Hirsch's concern. Myself, being newish to blogging, plan on one day investing in my own computer tower and server, and build The Wall around my blog with the heaviest duty Digital Security. Just for that added layer of peace of mind. And if a hacker should be able to penetrate it, what will pop up on the screen is a Free Amazon Gift Card, to leave me alone. :) And say something funny!