Fuck You, Anonymous! I've Had It With Mouthy Web Cowards

A one-finger salute to you knee-jerk douchebag Web whiners

Anonymity is an intoxicating thing, turning an everyday schlub with a keyboard into a vicious tyrant, drunk with power. For all its immense value, the Internet has bred a population of armchair kvetches marking proverbial fire hydrants all day without even having the decency to sign their work.

At least on Facebook, where people generally give their names, it's mostly hugs, support, and smiley faces, but on sites where the identities are made up, it's daggers, hemlock, and spooge in your face.

I first noticed this phenomenon years ago, when I was ordering Indian takeout at a neighborhood dive and felt a nearby customer burrowing through me with her beady eyes, clearly wanting me to mess up in some way. I unremarkably ordered a tandoori chicken platter and asked if I could have vegetables instead of the sausage side dish—which I did every time I went there—and they complied, as always. But sure enough, this ended up as an item on Gawker, and Beady Eyes was obviously the messenger, making it sound like a world-class incident of galling proportions—the famed "veggies instead of sausage" debacle! Emboldened by her anonymity, the woman managed to turn a non-event into a stunning monument to rudeness (i.e., her own) via sheer distortion. Well, if you're reading this now, honey, eat shit and die, OK? I'm nice, witch!!!

Paul Corio

Even more annoying are the douches who routinely post things—any things—contrary to what you write, whether it be "zzzz" or some impulsive argument designed to wear down your gay nerves. Once, I blogged about a certain porn star's bizarre diary entry and someone chimed in with, "He promotes barebacking! You're a stupid, irresponsible dumbass for not saying that!" But I'm the one who broke the barebacking story! Anonymous probably wouldn't even know about it unless I'd written about it—again and again! And this time, the item had nothing to do with the guy's curious distaste for condoms. Every time you mention Halle Berry, do you write, "Noted car-accident lady Halle Berry . . ."? And it wasn't a positive story I was running anyway. Eat caca, Anonymous! With sausage on the side!

At least on my own blog, such effrontery counts as traffic, so I actually welcome it. But the bilious opinions on other people's sites are an unredeemable downer. Last year, I judged something called the Broadway Beauty Pageant and came home to this comment on a Broadway board: "Michael Musto should never open his mouth in public again." Oh, really, Anonymous? The reality is that I'd gotten a text literally 40 minutes before the pageant, saying they needed me to sub for a judge who was otherwise engaged. I frantically rode my bike up to 95th Street and had all of 12 minutes to greet people backstage, learn the pageant's rundown, pose for p.r. shots, and write 10 Broadway-related questions for the Q&A section! Though frazzled, I scored a lot of laughs onstage and was congratulated by the two other judges, and an organizer begged to come back. And it was all capped off with that sour critique from you, you no-named monster? Fuck off! Then again, here it is, a year later, and the pageant didn't bring me back, so what really hurts about the faceless dissing is that maybe it was right. If so, I really hate you, Anonymous!

I opened my mouth again in public anyway, and it was duly noted by yet another Broadway chat board where people seem to loathe me even more than Spider-Man. (I'll keep it, you know, anonymous.) There, someone with the pseudonym "JoeJohn" started a post titled, "Has Theater Talk jumped the shark?," referring to that TV show's panel discussion episodes, like the ones I appear on. Wrote JoeJohn, "Michael Musto as a serious critic? Ugh!" (As if I ever tried to pass myself off as a serious critic. Ugh!)

"Guillaume" agreed, adding that many anonymous posters on the board are a lot more "knowledgeable, witty, and engaging" than we panelists come off. Well, perhaps some of them are, but would Guillaume and JoeJohn be in their front ranks? I doubt it! For one thing, "jump the shark" is an expression that has long ago, well, jumped the shark. And I did a little search—I'm obsessed—and here's one of JoeJohn's other observations: "I'm becoming addicted to Antenna TV, too. Glad to see Maude is back. Enjoyed seeing Mrs. Naugatuck. They're also showing Hazel, not a great sitcom, but with a great actress who's always a joy to watch: Shirley Booth . . ." Riveting stuff, no? Is it in time for the Pulitzer deadline? Zzzz.

How about Guillaume? Well, his only other posted comment was his reaction to a new musical I just happened to catch some terrific scenes from. His take on the hype? "Ick. I'll be tossing that flyer when it shows up in the mail." How knowledgeable, witty, and engaging! It reminds me of the famed adage: "Those who can't . . . teach anonymously."

But you can't beat enemies who are as unidentified as they are uninformed. They'll always win because they have all the time in the world to clank out one more recklessly bitchy comment behind your back. Whenever that nyah-nyah routine sends me into a rage, I try to catch myself, realizing, "I'm getting mad at a pseudonym! This is really silly!" And yet, in our quest to be loved by absolutely everyone on the planet, the cowardly hate can be wearying.

Oh, well. I'll stick with putting my name on things and getting paid for them—and that's consolation enough. In the meantime, fuck you, Anonymous. And you, too, Anonymous. And as for you, Anonymous, your mother sucks cocks in hell.

musto@villagevoice.com

 
My Voice Nation Help
90 comments
Sander Ramaekers
Sander Ramaekers

Quite the hypocritical (and bland) piece of writing. Too bad the world of journalism and its readers crave mediocrity or you'd be out of a job. You accuse Anonymous of things you are guilty of in the same text. You can try to pass that off as intentional, but even then the question remains why the hell you started writing this piece in the first place. Anonymous stirs the pot - just like you attempted with this off-kilter opinion on anonymous - the only difference is you are haughty enough to sign it with your name, thinking that you're the only one blessed with impervious vision concerning what's going on in the world. If verbally (cause let's face it, that's as far as you'll go) opposing a group of individuals that try to stand up for something is more important than trying to stand up for something, than I'm afraid you've lost the game. The game. You just lost it.

Anon
Anon

A bunch of liberal mommy tit sucking kids who are entitled and want to control the law through juvenile tactics. Your stage, (un)fortunately, is in a extremely liberal area and you get some slack (which really sucks). Grow up and quit being babies. Bad guys that you protest are killed for a reason. They break the law. Like you. Oh, your cell phone coverage gets cut off. Oh, so sorry. Your mommy and daddy pay for it anyway.

Anonimous
Anonimous

fck you, read a book ass hole, you are a fucking journalist? you are the reason for us to be, mother fucker, go get a degree you moron. Anonimous...becouse we love our planet.

Tzstt
Tzstt

Anonymous will occasionally protest on the streets in their ironic mass-produced, corprorate "V for Vendetta" masks: scientology centers, KFC...whatever puts a stick up their collective hipster asses that week.

They may not be the hackers, but guilt-by-association makes them a legitimate target. I have a few gallons of vinegar and a Super Soaker just sitting in my garage, ready and waiting for their next public event.

Jbs70
Jbs70

F*ck anonymous those little cowards don't even show their faces they just wear their pu**y masks and think they are all cool because they sat at their nerd stations all day and wine to sony and eventually took out their pu**y handbook that they used to hack playstation and said they don't want to harm the users but all they succeeded in doing is p*ssing everyone off

Roger
Roger

poor baby is offended

Explodingmango
Explodingmango

You are awesome. From, Marla, a mom in Juneau, Alaska.

Ashleigh24ts
Ashleigh24ts

I completely agree with your column. I am a pre-op transsexual and get never ending crap everyday from people who use anonymous names to do so. They tell me they feel it's their right as christians or catholics or whatever religion they happen to be using that day to back-up their rantings. I knew before starting my transition that this was exactly the type of crap I'd have to put up with but in the end did it anyways.I currently live in Tampa and am re-locating back north to NYC because at least there I'll feel just a little more comfortable.

Mvanburger
Mvanburger

Love it!!!! This is ALL new to me and if you got something to say well then say it in TRUTH,CLARITY, From the Heart, good, bad, Whatever!!! And ALWAYS from your YOU, That would be me Michael Van Burger!!!! Thanks Michael Musto for Opening up a whole new world of not being afraid to say whatever the FUCK I want!!!!! My voice is as important as anyone else's so fuck it!!! Here I come......Keep up the good work and I will be checking in..Best,Michael Van Burger

Teacherluvstudent
Teacherluvstudent

I love when a cooking video on Youtube, within three comments, turns into -- "Obama is a n*gger" ... people are indeed drunk on their id spouting bile ...

Ryan N.
Ryan N.

I agree completely. I sincerely doubt these douchbags would have half the balls they like to think they have if / when I ever met one face to face in public. The most I bet they would do is puff out their chest, talk alot of shit, and then when called on their bluff, they walk to the nearest exit cursing and giving the finger back.

I can't and won't respect men who hide behind masks trying to convince the world to respect them.

J. Pacicca
J. Pacicca

My name is J. Pacicca. You are exactly the type of person I would love to know as a friend! Well-written, and so very true. I have endured ruthless attacks from anonymous jerks for years, and, FB also has its bold jerks that feel they can interfere within a conversation simply because they "friended" someone else on the blog. I say man-up cowards and face the fact that there may be a comeback on your flabby ass.

no hope in america
no hope in america

ur personality is probably not as pleasant as you might believe it to be.. that doesnt mean be nicer that just means maybe you need to tone it down alittle and ppl would like you more

Curtis Dougherty
Curtis Dougherty

Re-read the column. I've changed my mind. I totally agree with you. Disregard the previous comment. You're actually quite handsome.

Curt55
Curt55

Maybe people just don't like you, Mike. Stop flapping your semen slurper for a minute and think: why do people say mean things about me? Gee, maybe what comes around goes around, numbnuts. You've spent your whole professional career rumor-mongering and bitching about other people, and now you're shocked that people are doing the same thing to you? Are you really that dense? I mean, I love it: a gossip columnist who doesn't like it when people gossip about him. And by the way: My name is Curtis Dougherty. Real name. You can even call me: 310-200-0201. You're not an attractive man, but I'll still let you stroke my nozzle.

Hgdflhsdv
Hgdflhsdv

"Buuu, huuu, everyone is mean to me!"Come on with the sensitivity and - the newest adjective of the day - bitchiness!!!

Can't stand the heat, get out the kitchen, biatch!

- Hateful anonymous.

Alessandra
Alessandra

You betta read for points, bytch!

Clint
Clint

Musto: Your Bitchyness and Cattyness is noted. Go to the Black Party & Bend over and take it Anally like a good Queen.

DDB9000
DDB9000

Ah, Michael...

A wonderfully well-written column.

I must say that for all the nasty comments various Anonymouses have spewed at you, you should really check out some of the websites of the internet providers (yahoo, msn, etc.) and some of the comments on news stories there. On one the other day on a story about Diet Coke surpassing Pepsi to become the no. 2 brand (with regular Coke at no. 1), you would've thought these people were fighting World Wars III, IV and V at the same time. If was as if a soda company had annexed the Sudetenland!

And except that they couldn't use the swear words seen here at the VV, they were saying much worse things to each other. And the spelling and grammar mistakes! At least your detractors have an education!

So be glad that at least you don't have to deal with all the world's rabble here at your site.

And in an unrelated note...Even though I can't get CurrentTV on my cable system, when Keith Olbermann gets there, I hope you'll be on with him again - your segments together were some of the best TV ever. Period.

MustoFan
MustoFan

I love you Michael Musto! Your vulnerability, wit and bitchiness are always appreciated by me! (Even though I do prefer to remain...anonymous)

Guest
Guest

A thinly veiled yet successful attempt at page hits whoring.

Krinklekut
Krinklekut

Is it any wonder everybody hates gay people? Meet Mike.

Jeff_nycguy
Jeff_nycguy

Bravo Michael. So many fun websites and threads have been ruined by Anonymous assholes. Keep on skewering them

Cire
Cire

FUCK YOU, ANONYMOUS! but by the way, aren't we all Guilty of the same behavior? I'm sure each and every one of you, including Mike has done this blasphemy, purposefully or inadvertently.

zqxz
zqxz

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

zqxz
zqxz

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

Randy Jones
Randy Jones

Tell 'em ALL, Michael.You know I got your back..xooxAnonymous (Randy Jones)

Jameswarrenp
Jameswarrenp

Michael, though your outrage is justified, can you imagine how many of those with whom you take umbrage are reveling in the attention and credibility you've given them? Everyone with a nodding acquaintance with the Internet has suffered these fools -- and not gladly! -- though and not publicly, as is being done in your case. Citing chapter-and-verse of these zeros just fuels their thimble-sized egos and prompts more of the same ludicrous behavior. Fuck 'em, is right. And then, silence. Jim Pinkston

Thomas S. Brown
Thomas S. Brown

Zingers add extra zest to your columns. If everyone sent in compliments, we readers would soon ..zzzz..... But just to be different I'll sign my real name

Stone
Stone

There's one person who keeps arguing with this column. Well, get this, person: It was clear as a column against the cowardice of anonymous hate. Of course you wouldn't get mad at an anonymous POSITIVE commenter. "How dare you write something nice without putting your name on it! How cowardly!" That would be absurd. It's the faceless negativity that's bad. And I don't think Musto is saying it should be banned, just that he's fighting back and urging people to not hide behind their anonymity to throw misguided hate out there.

Viola
Viola

I love what you say. People are forever aggravating intelligent productive in the name of anonymous self promotion and vitriol.

George
George

People may choose Anonymous instead of their real names because they don't want employers or such people seeing comments and holding them against them at their job. Or they may have a family member in some public position that they don't want to embarrass. Anonymity provides some freedom of speech. While many comments are simply smears, those that seemed to be thought out should be heeded. They probably would be said to your face.

Jobbernowl
Jobbernowl

Great column! Thank you and thank you for swearing. It does my heart good. I can hardly wait to share this my 1 friend that loves swearing as much as I do! Someday I may be able to type WTF without mild heart failure. On a more serious note, I agree with your sentiments. F U anonymous mouses!

Periwinkleblue
Periwinkleblue

Thank you, dear. That was illiterate but charming.

MLOP
MLOP

Those are my poples and I they are there as we all love Boardway. A little dance, a little class whatever it is they have and it.

Maryann MLOP

Jimjohnnyc
Jimjohnnyc

Great column, Michael!! It needed to be said!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Michael, you're just darling. I can't believe you don't eat sausage.

Musto
Musto

PS: There are also a lot of perfectly sensible and informed people posting anonymously on some of these sites. I've even gotten information and insight from them. So the whole system is far from a bust, thankfully. I was merely referring to the millions of people who tilt the scales by spewing hate simply because they're emboldened by the fact that no one will know where it came from. Or maybe it's just one person posting under different names, lol!

Mvanburger
Mvanburger

Not offended at all, read the article with thought, wisdom, and consciousness. Who's the poor baby? Roger are you and btard LOVERS?

Mvanburger
Mvanburger

btard, this article is CLEARLY written for people just like YOU!!!!!! Instead of btard you should be COWARD...State your full name and address with a phone number if your so brave with such harsh words. I recommend therapy for you but that means you would have to be conscious? Are you?OH paste a photo of yourself too, are you cute?

Mvanburger
Mvanburger

Hi Ashleigh24ts, I SUPPORT you 100 percent. Unfortunately the world is only waking up to transsexualism, its like what gays went through 20 years ago. Have HOPE as the door is opening and move back to NY where we WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS....BELIEVE in yourself, heart, and truth. Follow those and you will be ok, yes there will be bumps and even mountains to climb but you can do it!!!!!!

xoxo

Viola
Viola

lol! sorry, hit submit too soon, insert "discourse" after "productive. *sigh*

Monitoruser
Monitoruser

You realize that you've basically just stated that it's OK to post anonymously as long as you approve of the statements. Are you from North Korea or something?

Musto
Musto

No. I said I object to people who spew hate ONLY because they're emboldened by their anonymity. They get off on basically jerking off unseen and provided nasty and/or distorted views or info. I hardly object to all negative comments, even some anonymous ones.

Callagreene
Callagreene

That is incorrect. Sensible, informed, informative and insightful does not equal approving.

Monitoruser
Monitoruser

I hear you loud and clear. I just think anonymity is a minor factor in your thesis. In fact, the converse could be said of the naturally timid. They may have a timid voice online where they would feel less comfortable face to face. However, the type to spew hate I should think are ass holes in person as well (not timid.) I'm sure there is something to be said of the internet bully who is really a pussy in real life. I just don't think it tells the whole story.

Monitoruser
Monitoruser

Spin. Spin. Spin. Callagreene - slow down and think! "Sensible, informative, and insightful EQUALS approving to Musto. Otherwise, he would've stated what he wrote in the article about those comments he disapproves of. Please, do everyone a favor and think before you type and post.

Lastly, I think this blog-o-writ should have been titled, " #fuckyoutrolls" I can't wait for the next blog-o-writing. My bet is that it will be titled - "Only Bloggers and their Friends have Tiger Blood : the Rest are Just Anonymous Trolls"

 
Loading...