||06-28-2004 01:47 AM
I don't know about everyone else, nor do I presume to speak for anyone else, but I'm getting a little tired of the ho-hum, "aren't we clever", effete, minimalist school of sarcastic, caustic, non-constructive humor that seems to spring forth around here on occasion. Maybe it's just me. People who can't be bothered with punctuation, capitalization or proper names don't bother me (and even if they did, so what?), but people who can't be bothered with consideration for others, basic kindness or empathy are tiresome, dull and at least as boring as the people they like to mock.
Since there has been an internet, there have been trolls, in message boards, newsgroups and chatrooms. I don't understand trolls. They seem to be happiest when they are making other people unhappy, causing contention and anger. Some of them seem fairly intelligent, and yet that intelligence never seems to be applied in a constructive fashion, at least not in terms of how they relate to their fellows.
General characteristics of a troll: they smirk, they insult, they are snide, smug and snotty and never so happy as when they are pissing in somebody else's punch bowl. But they never seem to contribute anything more original than a smarmy, hostile remark calculated to upset people.
I wonder who they are when they are not online. Are they unpopular and unlikeable people who keep to themselves because they have no social skills? Or are they the kinds of people who would be ashamed for their real-life aquaintances to know how boorish their online behavior is? Are they such losers in real life that the only way they can unload their anger is to insult a bunch of virtual strangers?
Well, we'll never know, and probably shouldn't care. Best medicine for a troll is to ignore them. Like most parasites, if the host cuts off their food supply, they fall away pretty quickly, being incapable of generating their own sustenance.
Note to self: Do Not Feed The Trolls. They can't hurt you unless you give them permission.