In nary three days’ time, the post “Me (Chris McGowan) & The LSAT” amassed approximately 500 discrete views. I (Carmen A. Petaccio) wrote the post as means of bestowing praise on the titular Me (Chris McGowan), an abundantly intelligent individual who receives far too little praise for his abundant intelligence. As far as I could surmise–taking into account site traffic and written paeans and verbal testimonials–the post was a success, well in keeping with this blog’s established tone (namely: ostensibly deprecatory bastardizations of reality coupled with an earnest reverence for the subject(s) at hand). This, in my humble opinion, is the humble opinion of many of the post’s readers, as well as the post’s writer. Nevertheless, I was forced to delete the post. I now seek to know why.
One does not venture forth into the public sphere under the assumption that his actions will be exempt from criticism. When writing (or as I prefer to call it “improvisational thesaurusing”) I expect most readers to respond with at best apathy and at worst silent derision. People are, by nature, critical creatures. We cannot understand before we question what we are trying to understand. Nothing plants fear square in the heart like “that which cannot be understood.” I understand that I write this blog so Will Zurich will have something to read while occupying the limited physical and spiritual space of his work-time cubicle. I understand that if I can make Will’s day relatively enjoyable, infinitesimally better for a fleeting moment amongst the preceding and succeeding swaths of boredom, I will have succeeded, I will via Will have had a relatively more enjoyable, infinitesimally better day myself. For this, I will withstand any criticism, any anonymous libel sent cruelly to my Gmail. What I will not withstand, what I cannot withstand, is the denial of my freedom to do this, to provide a nexus for delight as well as criticism.
On Saturday, I received an email from wordpress’s legal department requesting that the aforementioned post be taken down due to “claims of impersonation.” If I did not comply, my blog would be “permanently deleted” and I would face “further ramifications” and “do make us aware when this has been done.” It was the worst strain of legalese: the strain of straightforward dismissal absent of legal writing’s expected eclectic syntaxes and word choices. Fearing for the life of my blog, I complied with their demands, and wondered, who could have possibly accused me (Carmen Petaccio) of impersonation?
I thought two long days, gave the public a chance to view the post’s final hours, and narrowed the investigation down to nine potential culprits. Who could possibly be fell enough to do such a thing to me? To Will? To McGowan? I may deserve the chastisement, but they do not. My limited readership deserves access to readable materials produced by the writer of readable materials me. Thus, I am going to spend the remainder of the week chronicling the nine suspects in McGowan-Gate. Three suspects a day, with a weekend of rumination to follow, and a Monday poll to decide who is behind this most heinous of crimes, once and for all, and to bring that person to justice.