Don’t Feed The Troll
Zen and the art of surfing
In 2006 I was hired by Cycling Plus to administrate their troubled forum. They had a troll infestation. I set things aright, and even had the opportunity to reinstate Simon L2, who had been banned; apparently the owners didn’t see much difference between him and said trolls.
Also, was that guy actually calling me a troll? Either it’s obvious or it’s not. Doesn’t really matter, except this too set a chain reaction going in my brain until I finally concluded: I am a troll. What else do you call someone with a history of riling people up on forums (and obliterating them on occasion)?
Wait just a minute! came my frontal lobe/front bumper to my defence.
A troll delights in posting to raise hackles: that’s always been precisely the opposite of my intent. It seemed a trial was in order. I hired Saul Goodman as my lawyer.
For prosecuting attorney I’ve pulled Evilchuffy, aka Chuffy, beloved OP of CycleChat’s Beer thread, out of retirement. Talk about a blast from the past.
Evilchuffy: If it please the court, I call as my first witness Flying_Monkey. He can’t be here today given his importance to the Canadian economy, but I submit his sworn testimony that the defendant is “a sophisticated troll” by dint of the fact that he gets under certain people’s skin in a literate if not literal way.
Judge: The court recognises Flying_Monkey as an expert in absentia.
Saul Goodman: Objection! Who has time to read all these links?
Evilchuffy: The prosecution rests.
Judge: I’m ready to render a verdict.
Saul Goodman: Wait a minute! I’m not done yet.
Judge: Very well. Any last words?
Saul Goodman: No evidence of hostility has been presented. Ever. This trial is a travesty of justice. My client has always tolerated dullards until they practically throw themselves under his wheels.
Judge: That’s not helping your case.
Saul Goodman: Mercy. Also, be sure to catch me on Netflix later this month.
Judge: The vedict is guilty, of not fitting in. I sentence you to hard labour of fitting square pegs into round holes, or vice versa, depending on what’s in stock. Oh, and damnatio memoriae.