The Second Coming Out of EnWhySeaWonk
Back in the day, lots of people wondered who EnWhySeaWonk was. People in real life several times even asked his creator if he knew who EnWhySeaWonk was. Depending on the situation, he usually admitted it was him. I don’t know if anyone still cares, but it was my creator’s job that kept him from blogging under his own name. His employment situation has finally changed after over seven and a half years, and he is therefore able to reveal his “secret identity”: EnWhySeaWonk, a/k/a “Enrique W.S. Wonk” is the creation of Matthew Wright Carlin, a 36 year-old attorney who lives in E. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As so many people already know this, it might be a little anti-climactic, but I hope this post will prove a point about pseudonymous blogging.
Although I hold the exact same opinions and political views as Matthew Carlin, I, EnWhySeaWonk, am a persona, or character if you will. Matthew Carlin would make the same arguments as me, and stands by everything “I” ever wrote, but he probably would have been a little less bitchy about it.
I hope this story will illustrate that there are people who simply cannot use their names on the blogs for various legitimate reasons. My points were just as valid yesterday as they are today and the fact that I can now reveal who posts the words written in my name does not in the slightest change the veracity or sincerity of them. I believe that anyone who rejects commentary because it comes from a source without a real name, is just making an excuse to dismiss it. Truth and opinion are just that, whether there is a name attached or not.
Matthew’s first “coming out” was when he was in college and started telling people he was gay. This is his second “coming out” and it’s happening now, because his job at a small private law firm with mostly conservative Republican partners prevented him from blogging openly (there’s an actual written blogging policy that he would have had to abide by and he’s sure it would have eventually gotten him in trouble). Despite the conservative partners, it was a great job to start his career and he’s made life-long friends in three quarters of a decade there.
He can be open now, because he is starting a new job at very small “boutique” law firm with extremely liberal partners.
Now that he’s “out” (eliminating a certain someone’s primary criticism of him), he will continue commenting, but only sporadically posting, because the reason he cut back his posting and commenting has not changed. One of the great things about his job has been the reasonable hours, which allowed him to serve on the Board of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City for the last six years, two as a Vice-President, and then he became the President in last year, a position he plans to hold again this year (he was even recently quoted in the Times for the Club, which he proudly forwarded the link of to his new boss). He stopped posting because enough people knew who EnWhySeaWonk really was, that he wanted to prevent the appearance of impropriety or attributing his personal views to the Club. What he writes on the blogs is his own opinion and not the Club’s.
He tried to explain “on the blogs” his situation the best he could, especially when I was called by, um, someone on this site, “intellectually dishonest” a “coward”, etc., because I did not reveal his name (notwithstanding my valid criticism and points) (and to be fair, other people called me a liar, too, when for instance, I said that I was not and had never been a political staffer, which he hasn’t). When Matthew’s firm created its blogging policy, his choice was either to use a fake name, use a pseudonym, or not write on the blogs. He chose, obviously, the pseudonym route, but he was never cowardly or dishonest, intellectually or otherwise. In fact, he stands by everything I ever said and never put words in my mouth so he could hide behind semi-anonymity (he thinks there’s a distinct difference between anonymity and pseudonymity, but I’ve said enough about that in the past); by the time he stopped blogging regularly, dozens of people knew who I was, so it really wasn’t that anonymous.
Matthew doesn’t remember exactly when he “created” EnWhySeaWonk; it was in the long gone comments of the original Politicker. Much later he came up with “Enrique W.S. Wonk” as a joke when Azi went to blog for another paper (he thinks it was “The 51st State” on the NY Sun’s site) and the paper came up with a policy that everyone had to post by name, even if it was a fake name! He thought being “Enrique” was clever, and played into his mixed-race background, so he kept it, although it was always a joke.
As some people have been dubious about my biography over the years, I will take this opportunity to say that Matthew never lied about anything as EnWhySeaWonk and state the following for the record (many being things people doubted at one time or another), he:
So, again, I have no idea if anyone still cares, but that’s his (and my) story, it’s all true, as has everything he’s written on the blogs since EnWhySeaWonk was “born.” And, my opinions and views are no more valid today than they were two years ago when this site was launched and I was asked to be one of the founding bloggers because Ben and Gur respected my comments on the Politicker.
Coming out of the closet the first time was the most liberating thing Matthew ever did; this doesn’t even vaguely come close to that, but after all the intellectually dishonest name-calling he received from numerous bloggers for not being able to use his name and full biography on the blogs, it feels pretty damned good. And besides, it gave him the excuse to buy a new outfit and have it shipped from Germany for the above-photo (and yes, he realizes how incredibly gay that sounds).
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