“No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”
~Bane, The Dark Knight Rises
“So why the mask?” Some of my friends ask me. Why do I write under a false name? Why do I hide behind the identity of an undead armored corpse?
Indeed, Fallen Angel has even written an article here about using aliases and anonymous blogging and why some react so negatively towards it. However, this article will describe my own reasons for using “Thaddeus Grimwald” over my real name and why I’m not planning on giving the latter any time soon.
To be honest, I initially intended to use my real name. Seeing the works of Paul Farol prior to 2015, the year I joined GRP, I sought to imitate him and author my writings through my offline identity. I only used “Thaddeus Grimwald” as a means of trolling some old friends (and old enemies) who were familiar with the name. I planned on using my real name after I had written quite a bit but changed my mind and decided to stay anonymous when I started receiving death threats.
No, I’m not going to go into detail about what was said but note that whoever this was (he was probably using a pseudonym as well I think, the hypocrite) was willing to personally look for me. Truth be told, I actually expected as much. Look, I’m willing to admit that the concept of death still scares me but I’ve more or less made peace with my own demise as, more likely than not, it is an inevitability that none, save God, can prevent. However, I’m not too keen on people making threats towards my loved ones. I know that most of them are probably just internet tough-guys but I still can’t risk the possibility that some of them might be more insane than their often angry and nonsensical insults and ultimatums imply.
If I get beat up for what I do, I suppose it’s just another part of what it means to be a “social critic” but I’m not going to put anyone else at risk other than myself. Unfortunately, considering the kind of people who are all too eager to oppose us, I have my misgivings about revealing personal information about myself as that may put my loved ones at risk. Even if some of my more violent detractors are just bluffing, I am not going to put at risk anyone other than myself if I can help it. “Better safe than sorry!” Is, after all, one of the guiding principles of my life.
Here are the three big reasons why I choose to continue to write as Thaddeus Grimwald:
Everything Is So Personal
As I’ve said before, one of the biggest problems in Pinoy society is that people tend to take things a little too personally. Heck, sometimes, if you put a scathing post on your wall in FB, you can bet that there will be people who will assume you are talking about them even though that can’t be further from the truth. Indeed, whole feuds have started because there are so many people who like to assume they’re who you’re talking about on your FB wall.
When it comes to blogging, when you criticize a given aspect of society, typical Pinoys will immediately brand you as a “hater”. They assume that you are attacking them directly instead of simply calling them out on their bad behavior. What I find ironic in all of this is while a critic might hate a person’s acts and not the person in question, the person’s often butthurt defenders readily attack the critic in question rather than the argument the latter presented.
People Can Be So Crazy Sometimes
I’ve said a lot about idolatry many times before but I’m going to mention it again just to get my point home.
While I think that it’s okay to admire certain people, we shouldn’t worship them because they’re people too, just like us. Sure, I’m a big fan of William Hope Hodgson and hope that one day, I can be something like him. However, I’m certain that William Hope Hodgson isn’t perfect and that he probably issues of his own to deal with. Now, I may admire the man’s works like The Night Land or his Carnacki series, but my life isn’t about loving or being William Hope Hodgson, it is about being me, Thaddeus Grimwald.
Unfortunately, from what I can see in our society, some of us give attention to public figures and celebrities that far exceed “admiration” and enter the territory of “idolatry”. Instead of simply seeing their respected individuals as people with good traits to be emulated, they see them as living gods to worship. They come to see them as divinities and jealously protect from all criticism, taking all their words, no matter how absurd or profane, as truth and all their acts, no matter how cowardly or conniving, as heroic.
Rule Of Cool
Truth be told, Thaddeus of Grimwald was the name of a protagonist in a poem I wrote back in college. I also wrote it under a pseudonym back then which was Amorsolo Jacinto. As fate would have it (and also since the poem was written in first person), they assumed that Thaddeus of Grimwald was the author’s name and it pretty much stuck since then.
However, the choice of name, I must admit has a certain ring to it. I chose it specifically for the protagonist of my poem as it was a tale about the Crusades of the Dark Ages. Thaddeus of Grimwald was simply a young boy who out of misguided dreams thought he could make a name for himself by fighting in the holy city. However, while he thought he’d be fighting Muslims, he and the other crusaders with him instead encountered a nefarious plot by heretical members of the Catholic Church who had formed their own satanic cult beneath the Holy Land.
I am essentially using the name Thaddeus Grimwald and not my own because I know that something bigger is at stake here and that what my people need is a noble crusader and not some backwater rustic…