Oh, wait. Wrong historical farce. I’ll come in again.
They seek him here, they seek him there, they seek him… you get the picture. I was asked yesterday why I hide behind a pseudonym. Am I afraid of being revealed? Why anonymity? I say, why not? Ask Reg Dwight, Roy Harold Scherer Jr. Marion Morrison and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.
My inquisitor declared that hiding behind a pseudonym was common amongst right-wing tweeters. I say there’s a conspiracy theory lurking within every personal agenda and I’m sure, if I bothered to look, I’d find exactly the same phenomenon amongst left-wing tweeters. (Or just tweeters in general.) But I can’t be bothered to look because, in the main, I’d rather chat to people I can have a rational exchange with.
And there’s your problem, right there, mate. Yeah, wot it is, right, it’s like, we’ve already, like, decided, innit? There is little point in a Left arguing with a Right as both are ideologically opposed. As open-minded as I believe I am, there are some left-wing beliefs that leave me gape-mawed in astonishment. There’s as much chance of finding agreement between Muslims and Jews, or between chimps and wombats.
Which brings us back to Batsby. Once upon a time, many years ago, I adopted the forum name of ‘dingbat’. It wasn’t sinister – everybody had forum names. I used it to register on the multitude of sites which require a user name and I set up a similarly anonymous email address to deal with any spam. On one such site, the name dingbat was already taken, so I ended up with Batsby, from which, as I lived in West Yorkshire at the time, my pen-name of Bryan Battersby not so much evolved as ‘arrived’.
For the record, I rarely use my real name online, I don’t own any loyalty cards and I pay for my shopping in cash; I have no interest in telling Tesco how to target me. I use different email addresses for different types of interaction and I don’t answer the door or the phone to cold-callers. I have nothing to hide, but neither have I anything to gain from standing naked in public.
I don’t believe that spy satellites follow my every move and I don’t really own a tinfoil hat, although the Bacofoil is near at hand, just in case. I write what I believe – or what I think is funny or entertaining - you are free to agree, reject, applaud, ignore or block me (like Billy Bragg just did). There is no point in busting a gut to hate me or the people I find agreeable company. (Incidentally, I loathe extremists at all points of the compass.)
But, in the interest of transparency I’m going to finally come clean. I’m not actually a balding, greying, middle-aged loser… I am, in fact, a fourteen-year-old girl called J’anice Beaver, hoping to lure in balding, greying middle-aged losers for fun and frolics. And cash.