By now you either already know, or aren’t interested, that John Band’s blog Shot By Both Sides in no more. I don’t know the full details, but apparently someone took exception to something he had written and chose to respond through blackmail and threats, including contacting John’s employers. John B felt he had no option other than to pull the plug.
I was never a regular reader of SBBS; it was one of those annoyingly prolific blogs with posts coming out faster than I could read them. He was a bit hit and miss, a bit near the knuckle and provocative at times (obviously too provocative in the opinion of one particularly twattish individual) and I can’t say I agreed with everything he wrote; but when he was good he was brilliant.
One post I remember reading a few months back concerned his views on pseudonyms for bloggers; unless you were employed by the government he couldn’t understand why people didn’t write under their real names. I suspect he is reviewing his opinion on this matter, and may well reappear soon with a different blog under a different name, perhaps with a different Magazine song as its title. I hope so, and wish him luck.
When I started The Obscurer I hadn’t read another blog, and so I just thought it was natural to write under an assumed name. No, in case you havn’t guessed I’m not called Quinn; who refers to themselves by their surname for God’s sake? It isn’t even my surname; I picked it as it is the name of both the central, enigmatic character in one of my favourite novels (Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy) and of a former City hero (Niall). Since then I have toyed with writing under my own name, but decided against it. Other than the slight egotism of seeing my name in “print” across the internet I can’t see any advantages. There are, however, some definite disadvantages; for example, I haven’t yet, but I may want to write something scathing and critical about my employers whilst simultaneously keeping my job. A pseudonym is great for that, allowing more room for manoeuvre when it comes to such self censorship.
John B will still be writing over at The Sharpener, apparently; and I will keep my eyes peeled to see if he does start up a new blog; The Pseudo-nym Magazine, perhaps?