In announcing her departure as lead voice on Strumpette, the artist previously known as Amanda Chapel says she’s tired, and has made a difference in the fight against hypocrisy in public relations.
The anonymous author, whose favorite target was Edelman, made a parting statement: “Practically speaking, I fought the good fight. I’ve variously made my points. Together, we’ve exposed a few frauds and killed countless sacred cows.”
I’m ambivalent about Chapel’s departure. As a caricature of a rabble-rousing iconoclast, she stood out from the crowd. Her writing is less verbose than Conrad Black’s, less polite than any other PR blogger, and more interesting than many of them.
‘Her’ anonymity rubbed me the wrong way from the day ‘she’ e-mailed me with her first post. ‘She’ says ‘she stands for honesty, but hides behind the mask of a seductive Italian model. ‘She’ talks about upholding the values that public relations people should represent, but launched bitter, personal attacks against various companies and individuals.
I like everything about what ‘she’ was doing, and nothing about the way ‘she’ approached ‘her’ chosen crusade.
There is a lot of hypocrisy out there. Hopefully, those who continue the fight in ‘her’ absence will borrow more from Bill Maher and Jon Stewart than from Gossip Girl.
Many of Chapel’s think pieces and tirades were well aimed, pointed out serious breeches of ethics, and mocked those who took themselves way too seriously, poking holes in the facades of thought leadership and social media corporate pioneering. For that I was grateful to have ‘her’. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of time, energy, intelligence and stress to make a stir in the blogosphere like Chapel has done doesn’t understand the logistics of blogging and participating in social media.
Chapel worked hard, stayed consistent, and made ‘herself’ heard.
But the singling-out of big whigs and small fry alike for attacks was totally inappropriate, coming from behind the safety of a pseudonym. No good explanation was ever given (that I’m aware of) for the anonymity. In the absence of a good reason, I have to assume it was either cowardice or professional self-preservation, or a combination of the two.
Either way, the anonymity undercut the points that were being made. This isn’t Myanmar, Iran or China. Dissidents don’t disappear in the night.
Otherwise, the question remains: If you’re so confident about your statements, why don’t you stand behind them?