This post is not about Ezra's favorite virtual character.
All of the people who blog here met on the forums of the sadly defunct gaming website known as gonegold.com. Gonegold was begun by Rich LaPorte, a New York police officer who was disabled under tragic circumstances. An avid player of games for the personal computer, Mr. LaPorte developed a mania for keeping accurate track of the release dates for personal computer games. (Prior to Mr. LaPorte's work, when a longed for game would actually hit store shelves was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.) His news and predictions, as well as his insightful game reviews, were the site's front page. It was almost a blog before blogging became common. The site developed an active forum community for the discussion of many things beside games, which has now itself splintered into several communities.
At Gonegold and at one of the successor forums I go by another name, not my own, which is entirely invented, but sounds like the sort of exotic name that African-Americans sometimes choose for their sons. That's pure coincidence. The handle's genesis is something else. Nonetheless, in political discussions marginal members of the forum, who don't keep track of the community, have sometimes chosen for themselves to believe that I am an African-American. An angry African-American. And on a few occasions (three I think), I've let them take that assumption and run with it almost as far as they could. I'd argue with them from that perspective, never saying that I am African-American, but allowing them to continue to believe it, and (for the bulk of my arguments against them) cutting and pasting quotations from Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, and other black radicals, updated to reflect the times ("Iraq" for "Vietnam," etc.) Finally, I would let them know what I'd been doing.
The last time I did that, I assumed I'd never get the opportunity again, because the prank gets old and word travels fast. And yet, this weekend, I see the opportunity brewing yet again with one forum member. If I do it, this will be the last time. I plan to make the best of it.