Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Masks: Quote from AWAD

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

Interesting thought, especially to those of us who are hiding behind a mask of anonymity. What do you think? Are we more free to tell the truth when we blog anonymously? Do we tell the truth? Or does anonymity encourage us to stretch the truth? embellish the truth? strain the truth?

Hmmmmmmm. What do you think?

March 3, 2009 - Posted by | Blogging, Character, Communication, Community, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Humor, Kuwait, Lies


  1. Interesting thing about bloggers in Kuwait is that it is easy to find out who is who – the one behind the mask. Whether we use facebook, meet in person, etc – sooner or later the anonymity vanished and everyone knows who is who – more and more bloggers are leaving their masks behind because Kuwait is – thank Goodness an open society when it comes to freedom of the press and blogging; even though there have been attempts to clamp down on rights.

    The more despotic a society gets, the less freedom of speech there ia – and this could happen anytime in Kuwait btw, we shouldn’t let our guard down – the more people retreat to their masks.

    The more freedom there is, the less anonymity we need.

    In my case I always blogged with my own name from the outset, there was no mask, the reason I did this was not for notoriety but to impose a kind of limit on myself, to think twice about what I was posting, why and to what purpose.

    Had I had a mask I might have gone overboard on many things based on an emotional whim or otherwise. The mask doesn’t protect me, its removal does.

    Comment by hilaliya | March 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think many of us who blog anonymously are only semi-masked. In our case, our families know who we are and read our blogs, which I would argue keeps us honest, or at least keeps us anchored in our ordinary selves :). I don’t think that I would be comfortable with a full mask.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. LD is right about the “anchored in our ordinary selves” aspect of the semi-masked blogging. Don’t you think that a completely anonymous blog would then allow the freedom of expressing “extra-ordinary” selves, without the barriers of norm? Really only good for opinions, though, as anonymously expressed “facts” are rightly met with skepticism.

    Comment by sparkleplenty | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. LOL, Amer, I always thought Hilaliya was a pseudonym. And you have always been very forthright about your ideas.

    Little Diamond – hmmm. Yeh. Semi-masked. I guess I qualify. 🙂

    Sparkle -Yes – allowing freedom of expressing “extra-ordinary” selve. I think being in Kuwait makes a difference. I think the penalties for thinking outside the box can be severe, especially for women. Some are very brave, and some are very discreet. Several women have successfully cloaked their identity for years.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  5. In the 15Th century the people had Masquerades to entertain themselves
    in the 21 century we have Blogging , The need to wear a mask ,an electronic one at that ,seems part of the human nature .

    BTW the Mrs does not read my comments nor does she know that i make them ,otherwise it will not be a masquerade but it will be maskara (مسخرة a joke) and i think that’s where the word Masquerade came from .

    See back in the 15th century Gisseppie the Italian trader invited one Arab merchant named Abdul to a a party , when Abdul showed up and saw all the shenanigans that went on , the Abdul looked really puzzled and the Italian host asked him You hava party like dat back home NO !! what do you call it ???
    The Arab merchant said this is Maskara مسخرة , the proud italian host said Bravooo we will call it lika you Masquerade , I knew you are a cool guy Arab friendo and here is another 10 percent discount on your purchases of Murano lampadaires.Abdul quickly accepted the generous offer putting his hand on his head and then on his chest in a double loop movement .

    And here you have another page of the glorious inter- action between the Arab and the Western civilizations.
    it goes way back .

    Comment by daggero | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  6. Daggero – LLLLOOOLLLL! You have been watching too many late-night-movies from the 1930’s and 40’s!

    On the other hand, I love it – mascara, in arabic – means a joke? something hidden? You could be right . . . I love words and now I have to go look it up.:-)

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 5, 2009 | Reply

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