And now for a post on current events that will probably get me on a terrorist watch list for refusing to see things in black and white:
No, not the state of being a faceless being in a crowd. Something related, but much different. This is Anonymous with a capital A.
Before I begin I would like to make something very clear. I am not a member of Anonymous, nor do I represent them in any way, shape, or form. I’m not here to somehow unmask their inner workings. I haven’t the foggiest how they work or gather, I can only see what they do, claim to do, or is attributed to them, just like anyone else observing a group from the outside.
What I want to discuss is the group’s pseudo acceptance on the realm of the interwebs. Anonymous is a group that has been said to hack security firms, data bases, and well known companies as well as government entities. They sound like the epitome of all things that are tearing the room apart, but that’s only if you don’t know the OTHER side of their internet lore– they’ve used their collective powers to hunt down child molesters and animal abusers as well. Anonymous is the greatest example of chaotic neutral I’ve found in the real world.
For those that don’t have experience with Dungeons and Dragons, allow me to explain what I mean by Chaotic Neutral, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Chaotic Neutral is called the “Anarchist” or “Free Spirit” alignment. A character of this alignment is an individualist who follows his or her own heart, and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although they promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first. Good and Evil come second to their need to be free, and the only reliable thing about them is how totally unreliable they are. Chaotic Neutral characters are free-spirited and do not enjoy the unnecessary suffering of others, but if they join a team, it is because that team’s goals happen to coincide with their own at the moment. They invariably resent taking orders and can be very selfish in their pursuit of personal goals. A Chaotic Neutral character does not have to be an aimless wanderer; they may have a specific goal in mind, but their methods of achieving that goal are often disorganized, unorthodox, or entirely unpredictable.
Anonymous fascinates me, mostly due to the fact their particular brand of vigilantism is not outright rejected but, instead, accepted on a larger scale than I thought possible.
Anonymous is a sign of our times… they are anyone and everyone. You are anonymous, if you follow their cause. In a small way, perhaps, but you are still a part of their “movement,” as it were. We’re a generation of kids bored at home while our parents worked three jobs to pay for houses too large for their salaries and treated us like we were precious glass, not human beings that could take a round in the school of life unaided. Is it really any surprise that out of a generation neglected, yet over protected, would emerge a group convinced of it’s own invincibility and so loosely organized that they are like roaches, impossible to destroy because when you smash one, three more crop up in its place?
I’ve read what little the mainstream media has said on Anonymous. What is most amazing is their absolute inability to believe that a group can not have some evil mastermind behind it all, that instead it is just a mob following whatever idea sounds best at the time, be it good, ill, or something else in between. The media are convinced there has to be some sort of hierarchy, that nothing else can exist but an ordered system that merely appears chaotic as some sort of grand ruse. They are also throwing around the word terrorism, per usual, because it’s what they use to describe anything that they want people to run screaming from. This is amusing in two ways: One, I can think of nothing more terrifying than something you cannot possibly predict. Thus, for once, calling them terrorists is more accurate than normal. However, terrorism, as used by the American media, implies a predictability– terrorists are just evil people out to do evil things because they hate America and all things good and shiny. Small problem: Anonymous hates everyone. It has nothing to do with nationality or any other characteristics, mostly it’s all about whose day they want to ruin today because it sounded like a way to pass the time. Sometimes their actions have a higher point, sometimes not. Sometimes their means are their end. Sometimes they’re saving a kitten from being lit on fire, and sometimes they’re stealing secret files.
All that is really known about Anonymous is that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that a saying often paired with them rings true as the eyes, ears, and vigilantes of the internet: We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. Expect us.