Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Outed" by the Star

I have maintained and enjoyed a loose anonymity with this blog for a little over 4 years. Like most bloggers, I find it a little more comfortable to blog without my real name attached. My real identity is essentially irrelevant to the dialog I attempt to provoke here, and to the points I seek to make. Dan at Gone Mild is an online personality, whose only impact on the world lies in his ability to persuade, or at least provoke thought.

Anonymous blogging has huge advantages - or, more accurately, non-anonymous blogging has huge disadvantages. Voicing your opinions and engaging in a rolicking public debate has risks. Most bloggers do not live off of trust funds, so they have employers who may disagree with their opinions. Neither employment law nor the First Amendment protects a blogger who offends his or her employer, even if the matter has nothing to do with his or her job, and even if it is written outside of work hours on a home computer.

Even apart from the risk of losing your job, there is the risk of losing your effectiveness at your job. If part of your job consists of getting people - clients, coworkers, etc. - to think favorably of you, it might not help to have them know what you think about George Bush, his optional War, or even a local restaurant.

Anonymity also reduces the risk of physical confrontation. It should not come as a shock that the world is full of crazy people, and some of the comments I get here reflect some unhealthy states of mind. Sure, I suspect that most of the inflammatory ones come from meek nerds whose bravado exists only in words, but who's to say that some nutcase won't cold-cock me someday out of the blue? Some of the comments on this site yesterday made me wonder what kind of person would write them.

All that said, I have not been at all obsessive about maintaining my anonymity. I've posted pictures of myself (and Jim Glover, my twin). I've written about my son's achievements in drama, and included links to sites that list his name. I've told many friends about my blog. A politician recently noted my presence at a fundraiser and made a kind comment about Gone Mild. If anyone has wanted to figure out who I am, they've not been faced with a difficult task.

However thin the patina of anonymity, and however appreciated it was, it came to an official end on Monday. Prime Buzz ran a story on Funkhouser's "kitchen cabinet", which included the line "Also joining the inner circle is Dan Ryan of the blog Gone Mild." The information has been repeated on a few blogs since Monday.

So, there it is. In all my life, I finally attend one single meeting in the Mayor's office - my first meeting in there since moving to Kansas City in 1985 - where I'm not getting paid or even seeking anything for myself or a client, and I wind up making it into the press. Just my luck . . .

I don't blame the Star one bit for writing it. I wish we had heard more about the countless developers and lawyers who made it into the Mayor's office in the past and emerged with pockets full of incentives. Nobody, myself absolutely included, should attempt to have influence with the Mayor and expect to remain anonymous.

What does all this mean? In all likelihood, nothing. I don't overestimate my importance in people's minds - I doubt that anyone who didn't already know it will remember my real name after a week. I doubt that the people who attack me in the comments are inclined to do anything more severe than attack me in the comments. I doubt anything unpleasant will happen, and people will have more important things to worry about than my identity. If I'm wrong, I can pull the plug on this thing, and find something else to fill my time.


Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

My condolences on the loss of your anonymity.

This is just one of many reasons why I am perfectly content to fling shit from afar without getting directly involved.

7/11/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


You remind me of the orangutang I saw during a high school trip to the Washington DC Zoo.

I was standing next to my friend Jerry, who was taunting the orangutang through the bars.

The orangutang was looking past us with a bored look on his face, and with a casual flip of his wrist flung one of his turds - hitting Jerry in right the middle of his chest.

7/11/2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a good thing you weren't raised Italian or the Star reporter that outed you might wind up at the bottom of the river.

7/11/2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

This is clearly a result of the vendetta against Funkhouser.

On the brightside, at least Funk has someone in his "kitchen cabinet" who can

7/11/2007 9:39 AM  
Blogger reverse_vampyr said...

Sorry to hear of your loss of anonymity. I think much the same way you do on this subject.

7/11/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hey -- having been outed by a group of liberal Democrat bloggers (who also attempted to get me fired from my job a a public school teacher), I know how much this sucks. They even managed to get the hit piece linked to by the Houston Chronicle, which made certain that my name got spread pretty far and wide. They justified their actions based upon the fact that I am an elected GOP official -- a precinct chair.

Net effect on my life after the first week -- zero. Indeed, given the campaign to get me fired for my exercise of my First Amendment rights, I actually have sufficient documentation to file a civil rights lawsuit against them.

7/11/2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Stephen Bough said...

Dan - you have done what you have sought: encourage an educated debate and attempt to improve your city, state and country. If you wanted to stay in the shadows, you can't run a successful blog and get involved in politics. You know me, though - stick my name on everything.

7/11/2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous I didn't vote for her said...

So, now that you have written your little rant about your trials and your tribulations, you might want to apologize to Tony. Seems like you hold yourself to a different standard than you hold others.

7/11/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan, keep on doing what you're doing.

7/11/2007 11:06 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

Too funny. Not to laugh at your personal troubles, Dan, but it's amazing how the Funk fiasco festers.

Of course, now that you've been "outed" as a Funk advisor, we can at least judge your comments for what they are: propaganda.

7/11/2007 11:20 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Note to "I didn't vote for her" above:

Apologize to Tony for what? Dan's a volunteer sounding board for Funk, so where's the conflict of interest?

So Tell me what the difference is between advocating on behalf of a candidate and being a volunteer sounding board for that candidate?

Dan's objective is not to make money off the Funk, and doesn't have anything other than an ideological stake in a successful Funk administration.

What's next, asking bloggers to disclose their political $$ donations??

7/11/2007 11:26 AM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

mainstream, I think the beef with Dan and TKC is that Dan took a swipe at Tony for being biased after the Pitch outed him as his mother's son a few months ago. It would now seem that Dan's pot is as black as Tony's kettle.

TKC has taken the high road on it, but it still might be nice to at least see Dan offer a tip o' the pen to Tony and acknowledge his hypocrisy.

7/11/2007 12:45 PM  
Blogger Eolaí gan Fhéile said...

I suspect you're right on the loss or non-loss of your anonymity.

Once we write about anything local, being anonymous is effectively impossible.

Most people won't care though and the ones that ever might will have to go trawling through newspaper articles that are then behind subscriptions walls, or paging through huge amounts of other blogs' archives.

To be truly anonymous you'd have to write about national or global matters, expressing views nobody knows you for, employing a different writing style to anything by you already in the public domain (or your friends' hands for that matter), and then go through several technical hoops.

And all of that was more than the Unabomber even managed.

7/11/2007 1:10 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I hope you're getting a kick out of this, Dan. Why not apologize to everybody, get it over with. Then maybe we can get on with bashing those nasty conservatives and christians...actually been rather boring around here for a few weeks watching everyone eat their own.

BUSH CHENEY LIBBY ROVE FALWELL .. Hey, even a new one to go after VITTER

Smile :-)

7/11/2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Nit, that's a fair point, but a family connection, in my way of thinking, is a lot more significant than a volunteer/ideological fan club connection.

Ask me what I think Dan's biggest issue is, and I'll tell you it's Battered Groupie Syndrome, similar to Battered Wives Syndrome.

I don't think Dan has hidden his sympathies or agenda in the least, he's definitely been straight up on that.

He's misguided, but honest nonetheless.

And Travel - why is it that anybody who presumes to know/interpret the will of God, and is in or near politics, has serious psychological problems?

7/11/2007 2:12 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

"Battered Groupie Syndrome"
Great name for it.

As for the TKC/Dan thing, I don't have a dog in this fight. Just trying to help you connect the dots. That said, if you take a swipe at someone for doing something that's not too different from what you're up to then an apology hardly seems out of bounds.

What can I say, I'm all about the love. [ snicker ]

7/11/2007 2:26 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Mainstream, you asked,
"And Travel - why is it that anybody who presumes to know/interpret the will of God, and is in or near politics, has serious psychological problems?"

Very good question. I would say the most probably answer is that we all have free will and it's how we use it. Taking that one step further to those who know/interpret the will of God in combination with politics and bad choices or hypocritical behavior, I think the answer is "power". It corrupts like money can, but in a worse way because they are leaders. It also happens to ministers..saw it happen in the church I attended.

So, that's my best answer, not being a psychiatrist, best I can do.

7/11/2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I think that's right, Travel.

I would also add that power sometines corrupts, but it always reveals.

7/11/2007 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really? outed? or are you just embarrassed you got caught going to these meetings?

7/11/2007 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Michelled said...

Who's Dan?

7/11/2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow, Anonymous 4:46, I don't know whether to be flattered or creeped out that you are keeping better track of me than I am. I don't think I knew about the Pitch thing back in '05, and, if I did, I had forgotten it. Who'd have thought I'd be such a lackadaisical narcissist?

As for those calling for an apology to Tony, there may be some confusion in your minds somehow, so let me be crystal clear: Funkhouser is not my mother. Okay? I have been forthright in my support of him, and my support of him has been because I viewed him as the best candidate, not because of any prior parental relationship.

Finally, if you want to discount my support of Funkhouser because I support Funkhouser, I'm not sure I understand your logic, but you are welcome to do so.

7/11/2007 6:21 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

mainstream - "I would also add that power sometines corrupts, but it always reveals."

That's pretty fucking profound. I might just steal that. What does my power and motivation to do that reveal about me? Heh heh.

Dan - "Finally, if you want to discount my support of Funkhouser because I support Funkhouser, I'm not sure I understand your logic, but you are welcome to do so."

While I understand where you are coming from, I would make this analogy.

Lets say I make repeated posts on my blog talking about the great service that I got at a local cafe and how wonderful the food was and how much I love going there and how it feels just like home.

I just LOVE this place! I go there all the time! You should too!

If I made those posts cloaked in the assumption that I was simply a happy customer without disclosing that I was a partner in the business and had a vested interest in increasing traffic and revenue, then I would be misleading people.

My core opinion about the quality of the food and service would still be honest and uncompromised. But my motive for promoting and defending it would be sullied and open to question.

Does that make sense?

7/11/2007 6:59 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

But that's exactly the point, XO. I'm not a partner in the restaurant. I'm just a customer in the restaurant like anyone else. I don't even get free meals there - all I get is an opportunity to sit in an uncompensated meeting. I'm invited because I have a lot of contact with other customers of the restaurant, and they tell me what they think of the food and the service.

I have no vested interest in the success of Funkhouser other than my interest as a loyal citizen of Kansas City. I don't get paid more if he gets more traffic and revenue. When I criticize his choices, as I have done, I do it for the same reason I defend him from unhinged attacks. I do it because I hope to help our city be a better place.

7/11/2007 7:10 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


You say with confidence that Funk is not your mother. I buy that defense for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his height.

But...he could be your father! older brother or cousin. You conveniently have never posted a clear picture of your face...much less posted side-by-side pics for comparison.

How old are you? Funk is 57, I believe....

My conspiracy hat is on and tucked WAY over my ears. Could you be the illegitimate Son of Funk?

7/11/2007 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Buhda James said...

My conspiracy hat is on and tucked WAY over my ears. Could you be the illegitimate Son of Funk?

Lets look at this logically. Funk and Dan. F comes AFTER D. Funk is 4 letters, one number after 3. There are 3 letters in the name DAN.

Funk is Dan's illegitimate child!

7/11/2007 8:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Good theorizing, my friends. What happened in my family before my birth is obviously beyond my scope of direct knowledge, but I see very little resemblance. Remember, we all agree he's made a few political mistakes, and I'm not wrong about anything.

7/11/2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger Spyder said...

Remember Dan looks like Glover, and not Funk!

7/11/2007 10:54 PM  
Anonymous the nitwit said...

So does that mean we can all have our votes back and make Glover our mayor instead?

7/11/2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan looks like Glover?

That explains a lot.

7/12/2007 9:43 AM  
Anonymous I didn't vote for her said...

Maybe you could do a Jimmy Swaggert apology to TKC.

If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology. - Jimmy Swaggart

You really do sound like you might be Funk's secret son. He and his de facto Chief of Staff/wife seem oblivious to how their actions offend others.

Think you should go cook up a clue for yourself and the Funks in that kitchen.

Justifying why you were not wrong in covering up your relationship with the Funk doesn't excuse your holding yourself to a different standard. Unless - - you are pleading justifiable obfuscation?

7/12/2007 9:55 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Yes, Dan, let's see if you can replace the Funk's Recipe For Disaster with a Recipe for Common Sense Government.

Here's my recipe for Common Sense Government:

- 1/2 cup of good luck
- 1 Cup of forgiveness for the people that have pissed you off over the last 18 years
- 1 Gallon of Respect For Others at all times regardless of what you think of them
- 1/4 tsp of Focus On getting Something Accomplished (this is concentrated stuff)
- 5 heads of Intelligence And Good Advice

Combine the first four dry ingredients and set aside.

Break all of the heads of current staff togther with the 5 heads of intelligence and good advice. Mix the brains with the mixture of dry ingredients until everything is lumpy.

Simmer for the next four years and LISTEN.

Oh - and reserve Gloria for another recipe, preferably for some good old fashioned HOME cooking.

7/12/2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused, it seemed to me that Dan wasn't outed but that the reporter was giving the names of people that Gloria told them were advising Funk?

This post should be "outed by gloria"

7/14/2007 6:22 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What a dumb anonymous comment. I suppose anonymous would be happy if Ms. Squitiro kept secret the names of people the mayor is talking with?? I thought I made clear that the "outing" was entirely legitimate, and I'm not blaming anyone.

But it is the season to pile on the Mayor's wife, isn't it? It's nice and easy to pick on her as a part of the wolf pack, shielded by anonymity, isn't it?

7/14/2007 9:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"I didn't vote" -

Please articulate the different standard I am applying, or how I have obfuscated my relationship to Mark. I am not related to him - I came to support him not through familial relationship, but as person who decided that his skills will make him an excellent mayor. He has since asked me to participate as an adviser, and I'm proud to help where I can.

7/14/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

And Dan, you know that I am joking when I said anything about a familial relation with Funk.

I would encourage you, as always, to hold your allegiance to good government first, and the person second.

7/14/2007 11:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - I caught your humor, and appreciated it. "I didn't vote", however, seems to think that my support of Funkhouser because I viewed (and view) him as the superior candidate is somehow equivalent to Tony's filial support of his mother.

7/15/2007 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this blog and all of these comments.. and I thought to myself.. didn't I warn you this would happen??..

But after all, I think if anyone wanted to know badly enough.. they could find out who you were beforehand. huh? =)


8/13/2007 1:29 PM  

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