Saturday, December 13, 2008

Should Anonymous Unmask?

I recently made a blog entry entitled “Operation Drop the Masks”. I really did not mean that Anonymous should unmask during their protests, though I admit it really is not obvious through such a title.

What I meant to say was that if anons want to speak, on an individual basis, with Scientologists in an earnest desire to have some dialog going, as was developed in the page I was commenting on, then they should first drop the mask.

Would you like to speak in such a serious manner with an individual hiding behind a mask? I wouldn’t think so. Who would?

This brought me to think of the concept itself as the title of some operation, but I did not meant as something literal.

In reality, I don’t think Anonymous should unmask during their protests. One reason being that the mask now became the symbol of Anonymous itself, and it is even used by critics whose face and identity are already known.

In fact, I wrote about my initial fascination for this concept on my web page:

"What I do find interesting about the protest, though, is the concept of wearing masks. A wall of masks advancing silently down the street in protest of oppression... Hordes of exploited victims of Scientology brainwashing and harassment walking silently. The mask can't speak. The mask has been reduced to silence (OK, they were chanting but I take the mask figuratively here). There's something of a poetic message in that and I predict that all future pickets will be mostly masked ones. Quite impressive..."

I also wrote about the witty choice of the V mask per se:

"You've got to admit that the Guy Fawkes mask is terrific, and it carries another message through its sarcastic smile (or however you want to interpret that smile). Indeed, Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who was sentenced to death in 1605 after he attempted to blow up the House of Lords with kegs of gunpowder. In 2005, the fictional movie "V for Vendetta" revived the event. The masks used by protestors are modeled after those worn in that film, in which a crowd of people wear identical masks to challenge a totalitarian government."

Of course, I did wander about “The Other Side of the Mask” but these were just thinking out loud. To this day, I have not made my mind about it yet one way or the other, but I still think it is a terrific idea, and an indelible symbol of Anonymous. So, no, I don’t think they should start protesting unmasked.

However, if Anonymous wants to move to another stage of their protest, as was developed on the AnonymousHouston page, then yes, they should drop the mask – thus Operation Drop the Mask could be an option. But this should be done in a more subtle way than simply start to protest unmasked. I don’t know how. It’s just a cool idea, a food for thought. And also a witty title.

Blog entries in this series: