Trollz Antidotes: Part 2 -- How to Enjoy Trolls
Sunday, August 12, 2007
(Continued from Part I)
This entire post assumes that you are not going to take the cleaner, clearer "Option #1 -- Starve the Troll" approach, and that you have consciously decided that you want to have fun with a troll.
[Disclaimer: I only use these techniques with people who have proven themselves to be trolls by continuing behavior over time. I recommend that you do the same, lest you become a troll. Fangs, bad breath, eeeeew!]
The key to enjoying trolls is to understand the basic energy mechanics of the troll interaction.
I'll begin with the generic individual troll. This type of troll generally wants one thing: Your donation of time, energy, and attention -- in as large a quantity as it can get it. The more ramped up the Troll can get you, the more energy you are likely to spew it's way. Since most of us don't like to feel "mad" or "scared" or "upset", we tend to discharge these emotions away from us, thus losing that energy. If we laugh (an energy that we generally enjoy), we tend to keep our energy with us. This is the one reason that I would advocate having fun with a troll.
Of course, any self-respecting troll will tell you that they are NOT a troll -- that they've just come for an intelligent discussion of the matter at hand. This pretty much recaps what happens if you dare to believe that:
So, fix this maxim firmly in your head: If you choose to toy with a troll, do not entertain the slightest delusion that you are going to "win" -- the point of having fun with a troll is for YOU to HAVE FUN. As far as I'm concerned, all troll play should include the FEPO disclaimer (For Entertainment Purposes Only).
That said, here are a few fun and entertaining games to play with the average everyday individual troll:
- Give it something shiny to play with. Trolls like shiny things. Shiny things could be links to involved statistical websites (if they are a stat fanatic), fascinating wikis, very long video or audio files (like 30 minutes or longer, and include something like "Be sure to listen in to time-mark 24:35 to get what I'm talking about" in your comment). Send it over for a friendly chat with BlogWarBot, but obfuscate the link with something like "Here, THIS is exactly what I'm saying, but the author is way more articulate than I am."
- For the html impaired, here's a cut and paste for your "troll-fun" file -- simply remove all the asterisks *:
Here, <*a href="http://faultline.org/index.php/site/blogwarbot/">THIS <*/a>is <*i>exactly <*/i>what I'm saying, but the author is way more articulate than I am.
- Play with it on its own terms.
- Play the "Bible Study Game" with Fundamentalist Christian trolls. I generally whip this one out any time a troll cites or quotes scripture. It's really fun, because, as I said before, the Bible can be used to justify almost anything. Don't worry if you don't have a wealth of biblical knowledge -- that what sites like these are for: http://www.biblegateway.com -- you can simply search on a keyword and whip up a delicious biblical pastiche.
- Play the "But That's Not What You Said Yesterday" Game -- Keep a handy note-pad file open while you surf your regular community (one note-pad file for each recurrent Troll), and save the Troll's particularly juicy comments (with date and time included) to that file. When the Troll flip-flops (and they usually will -- especially Trolls who accuse you of being inconsistent), just copy, paste, and voila!
- Start a impromptu Virtual Party/Pub with the people that you think are actually making intelligent discussion on the thread -- invite them specifically, offer them a cordial flask of strong drink or a cup of tea -- and request that they ignore the troll completely as you continue the conversation and sip your refreshing virtual beverages. Here's a template: "Hey! I'm declaring a Party on this thread. /*plumping cushions, tapping the keg*/ _______, _____, _________, and _______, will you join me? Let's go over here where we can't hear the troll." (Warning: this must be very consistent -- you must all then ignore the troll's whining about exclusion, freedom-of-speech, the intolerance of regulars to opposing positions, etc.). Make sure that the party includes lots of good humor and serious discussion.
- Play Troll Bingo -- there are a number of great issue bingo cards out there -- including rape apology bingo, fat hate bingo, libertaraian troll bingo, etc..
- Acknowledge the Troll's service to the view that it opposes. If the troll has truly outdone itself, offer it an award:
If you aren't that gifted with photoshop, there are also some handy-dandy images here that are great for troll fun.
The first rule of Troll Enjoyment is Have Fun! The second rule is Be Creative! Go wild!
There are also exciting group games that you can play:
- Put the Enterprise into self-destruct mode if the troll is very persistent. (It's worked for Captain Kirk several times). Let other regulars know that when anyone types "Destruct sequence 1, code 1-1 A." Another commenter will respond: "Destruct sequence 2, code 1-1 A-2B." A third will respond:"Destruct sequence 3, code 1 B-2B-3." A fourth will respond: "Destruct sequence completed and engaged. Awaiting final code for one-minute countdown. The commanding officer would then state: "Code zero zero zero. Destruct. Zero." From that time forward, everyone leaves the thread for the next 15 minutes. In haloscan, have everyone close their windows, so that the comment thread shows evacuation procedure. Upon return, ignore the troll. Yes, this takes some coordination, but it's really fun. If you're the owner of the blog, you may be able to close the comment thread. Have an agreed-upon rendezvous point if you do this. If you want to know my secret rendezvous point, you have to leave a comment here -- and it's still at my discretion whether I reveal the rendezvous point to you or not.
- Have an anti-troll device that you can hand out to regulars. (This is that exciting invention that I've been working on.) Presenting:
Just hand out the 4Ls in the thread, /*employing 4Ls in five, four, three, two . . . */ and enter a pure arena of blissful troll-silence. Then, simply move ahead with the topic! Share them with your friends!
A word of warning. Sometimes, when you are playing with a troll, you may actually find that they become so outrageous that you lose your temper. (That just happened to me a few moments ago.) Do not panic. Simply dedicate that rage. Use it. Use it to change the world. Don't let the asshat have it. Tell It that you are ticked, irritated, mad, angry, or raging, and tell the Troll, calmly and clearly, that you intend to use that energy for transforming the world. Thank them for the extra sauce for your activism.
Some of you may find this entire screed just too much to digest. No problem -- there's an easier, softer way to play with trolls. When they start up, simply type these words:
"I'm very sorry, but I told you -- I'm not allowed to argue with you unless you've paid."
Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:00 AM