Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Digby unmasked

As an admitted Digby fanboy, I was a little worried when I heard that she was going to go public at the Take Back America cluster.

We've been through this before, when Atrios revealed himself to be the merely human Duncan Black. It didn't affect his readership, or his influence over the progressive blogosphere, but going Public seems to have circumscribed him in a significant way. He doesn't seem to write as much anymore. He is still an important arbiter of The Buzz, but wasn't he once a more essential voice in his own right? Maybe it's just me and my inveterate fondness for the lost past, but I don't recall "Atrios" being the Glenn Reynolds of the Left before he was known as Duncan.

So I was worried that Digby would become a regular eating, pooping, gesticulating ape like the rest of us, and that that would subject her to all of the ignominious imperatives of our species - the marking of territory, the saving of face, the stimulation of prestige.

All of that may happen, but Digby did a wonderful thing. She gave us a face, but no name. I've only found one blog that claims to reveal Digby's civilian name, and it's a fairly minor one. All of the "big time" blogs are playing along as though nobody had asked the face and the voice for their identification papers. It's a huge shuck, and as far as I can tell, nobody is calling them on it (yet). It's genuinely beautiful (so far).

Now, I don't begrudge Digby (or Atrios, either) the recognition they have earned, and I can't imagine how anyone could bear the pressure of maintaining pseudonymity when they had become as essential to the public discourse as Digby has. Any publication that plows the fields of politics would make a killing by signing her to an expensive contract, and I hope it happens very soon. Digby's work on Hullabaloo has shown the world that the fabled American Spirit still lives, and those of us who are paying attention (and those who are not) owe her a massive debt. I'd gladly subscribe to any MSM organ that carried her work. I'd take out subscriptions for my friends and enemies.

That said, part of me still hopes that maybe the woman who delivered the speech at TBA was Digby's college roommate or something - that it was all a shuck, and that Digby still rides through the American polity like Zorro or the Lone Ranger, masked and immortal.

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