The Lost Art of The Troll - Part II
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself
my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using
for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning.”
― James Joyce
n the shadows behind the curtains where no one sees or even cares to look, the beast of propaganda purrs
like a well-greased machine, wholly supported and maintained by the very people it is meant to deceive. The sound of distant drums can be heard
throughout the night, and the faint light of torches can be seen colouring the dark horizon, shadows of distorted figures flicker on the mountainside.
The mob is coming. They are approaching—pitchforks in their hand, moralities in their mouths, and a lynching in their minds.
They seek the Troll.
Enter the internet, a vast wasteland where even the most fair-weather of pundits reign free. Anyone who can push a key can also crystallize his spirit
into the consciousness that exists among the tubes and wires, just in case someone happens to pass by and take a look.
The strangest part about this place is the social aspect. Millions of people, sitting at their desks, paradoxically together but entirely alone,
gazing into the frozen glare of unnatural light behind a piece of glass, imagining their way through life, momentarily forgetting themselves or how
they actually are. How strange. How cheerful self-delusion can be. But like any media, there is prime material for a healthy creativity, and the
internet serves as a canvas. And here especially is quite an interesting phenomena: a pen-pal type discourse between complete strangers that has never
once existed on earth, a media worth cultivating if you ask me. If we were to live together as spirits in an afterlife, the internet would be a great
analogy for how heaven would be—bodiless minds bumping into one another, sharing the mundane back and forth for eternity. But like any large
gathering of lambs, it proves as the perfect feeding grounds for the predator; or in the case of the internet, the modern troll.
With the onset of the internet, riding in on the back of television, trolling is no longer a past-time set aside for a rare breed of intellectual
literati, revolutionaries, artists, and philosophers—the ones who with their words and ideas shaped the very culture we find ourselves in—but is
the go-to sport for your average screen addict, the same fellow who lacks any other outlet for his negativity and expression—he rarely even goes
outside. As a result of this nowhere to go and nothing to do, this breed of opinionated cavern-dwellers are prone to the typically typed-out trysts
that manifests as the best attempt at artistic expression that a synthetic life could ever produce. The art that once toppled regimes and sent the
slumbering public into a revolutionary frenzy is now the prime means to deface facebook pages with lazy acronyms—your typical lol’s and wtf’s,
that we spend most of our time trying to figure out wtf they mean—or to post a picture of a celebrity face or an animal with text over it in a
simple but ultimately mediocre way to express oneself, to nonchalantly cyber-threaten the innocent with meaningless poop-humour, and to flat out
digitally deceive the gullible for the sake of a few laughs—and all this while sitting, sipping on a silly mountain dew. Like any subculture that
has been assimilated into the pink and bubblegum depths of pop culture, trolling has become bland, tasteless and without the artistic subversiveness
that once made it so powerful, as soon as it became open to the public.
But there is so much at risk, so much at stake here. Online bullying has become a real phenomena. One can be convicted for typing words on a screen,
for a thought crime, as the Orwellian eye of the populace constantly scans this wasteland for detractors and deviants. There is very real danger for
trolls here. The agitated populace believes
what they read on their screens. They cannot for the life of them see through it—and God-forbid
if anything sticks out, or worse, attempts to poke the stupid lumbering beast. It is no wonder that trolls in the past submitted their manuscripts
without their name. They risked death. Nowadays, pixelated influence lifts off of the words and into the minds of those who read it, and sometimes,
outside of their digital worlds, they lash out on the very un-digital world in which they actually live, simply for something that happened on their
screen. They’ve gone and thrown their feelings into the binary code of their software; they've become
software. The’ve gotten themselves
along with the mundane details of their lives so tangled up in the wires and engineering of the whole thing that they are almost permanent fixtures.
For that they are territorial.
HOW TO TROLL SOMEONE
Brothers and sisters; because of a few bad apples with even worse seeds, the men and women who in the past, trolled governments, the so-called elite,
modern culture, and those who would seek to oppress, are at risk to being innocent victims of this witch hunting mob. Their crime? Having a different
opinion than the kindly plebeians, the easily-offended ones, who upon seeing a thought against the grain, crush it beneath the boot of mob rule. Words
hurt them, and thirsty populace would rather hurt a real person than to hear them spoken not in their voice.
There is only one solution. The idea of the Troll must reshaped by the very trolls it idealizes. Trolls must become favourable in the minds of the
many once again, a voice and protector of the people. We all hate rules, but a proper method might be developed if trolls could ever put their
stubborn minds together and to good use.
Is this possible?
Can the Troll be vindicated before we crucify him?
Is there a proper way to troll someone?