Friday, January 6, 2012

"Trolling About the God Particle" Writer Kevin Horrigan of the St. Louis Post -Dispatch pokes some much needed fun at the odd folks who often are found trolling after a legit newspaper or magazine publishes an editorial that carries information they disagree with. I always find it amusing that sooner or later somebody will play the "Hitler card" or "you stupid liberals" or state opinions about something they lack even a reasonable common knowledge about.


  1. An interesting piece Doug.

    Reading it reminded me of those people who say the 60s wasn't anything special, that there was no Free Love for the working class and it was all a marketing hype restricted to the bourgeoisie......that in my experience is just plain wrong.

    This writer seems to me to want to comfort himself with the notion that the internet is just for porn and dumbed down opinions and that is that.
    My own opinion on this is that if you don't remember the 60s you were never there and the same is true of the internet and social networking.

    It is interesting to me that a professional journalist wants to make those points which are similar to the points online commentators sometimes make about the gutter press itself.

    The 'you stupid liberals' brigade are surely entitled to express their view and it is only right that those who disagree with them confront those opinions and either defeat them, or if the proponent becomes too impolite to tolerate (or just too boring) to delete and block them.

    Personally I'd rather be 'flamed' by any troll in the Anglosphere than be patronised by a middle class, middle of the road journo on the staff of some obscure provincial rag from somewhere at the back of beyond....but that's just a personal preference Doug.

    On the other hand having recently "played the Hitler card" myself, maybe I am just being too oversensitive and should be working on ways of kicking myself up the arse rather than being so uncharitable toward poor Kevin Horrigan? Bless 'is venerable soul.

  2. Granted there is some of that, AA. My main concern was not that the Internet doesn't perform an excellent function, but that some people simply don't bring anything but rancor and snap judgements to the table, so to speak.

    Many of the people on newspaper sites I find really off off-topic and nasty pretty fast. Saying that, there is a danger of stereotyping these venues.

    Even a venerable symbol of old media like "The New York Times", for instance, has unpaid anonymous commentators who often articulate an issue better than the professional columnist whose esay they are commenting upon.

    But i've also been on newspaper sites which shall remain nameless although the "San Francisco Chronicle, alas,has their share trolling boobs--where its a freguently a virtual shouting match, lacking only some alcohol and some paintball guns to turn the "discussion" into a cyber "frat house" brawl. I have since departed for more refined venues.

    All in all, I too would rather be flamed than patronized as well. I didn't sense that tone in Horrigan piece myself but again I'm not sure where how far he would expand his critique. Some on provincal rags can be a bit too defensive, perhaps this is true of this writer from St. Louis, a city of the America Midwest I have been to and refer to freguently as a venerable "Sacramento on the Mississippi". ;-)

    Yes,AA, but the difference you see is when you invoke the Third Reich in my opinion you actually use historical references and analysis. Others simply drop in "death camps" or "Nazi" when they find a political soul who isn't attuned to their way of thinking.

    I missed the60's thanks to an accident of being born in 1960. My parents sense of timing for my nativity is the only thing I can now fault them on.

    I understand I think from the record and slighly older sources like yourself and others that the 60's were indeed all they were cracked up later to be. If I could get a time machine going to only one time in the 20th centiry, it wouldn't be to attend an Eisenhower-Era bar-be-que

  3. It doesn't seem fair on the communists, they were always the bogieman of choice traditionally weren't they Doug?

  4. Well you might have been a late arrival but at least you turned up Doug

  5. Some peoples reason for being is to be upset and they have a right to tell us just how upset they are. Others role is to be entertaining and I wish I could write as well as Mr. Horrigan!

    Thanks for this morning's smile, indeed I have just picked my self up from the floor. ;-))

  6. I think generally Multiply is better than that Doug. I do know what you mean though and I suppose I know what Mr Horrigan means too, but there is a danger in his piece of throwing the baby out with the bathwater I think.

    Brawls also occur here from time to time, but the trolls that come to cause trouble are easily dealt with and sometimes their ranting can provide opportunities to open new lines of enquiry, or develop new strands to the argument.

    Trolls can be used to further our arguments right up to the point that we turn them off and therefore they are not completely without their uses.

    I especially enjoy attracting rebuttals, these are enormously rewarding because they indicate that a particular missive has struck the target it was aimed at. These are usually hastily contrived critiques by strangers or the occasional hostile visitor, and they often open up the topic and allow us to add new dimensions to the theme.

    It's great when the traps we lay actually render up prey to further toy with, usually they are defeated by their own anger or childishness which is a satisfying sport for as long as it lasts, before we tire of them.

    Such driven detractors never realise that they have been manipulated into entering a dispute they can never win, I must say I rather like that Doug, actually it's what I call fun.

  7. Hadn't thought of it quite way, AA. You make good points.

    If you enjoy that kind of back and forth debate, it can be kind of a chess game.

  8. Thanks right back, Jim. I wanted to post this to make a point or two, but also to share the laughs I got.

  9. They have been for decades over here, AA. If I were a communist organization I'd sue these people for always leaving them so much lately when most of our post-war politics was built on people calling even tepid liberals socialists or communists.