The reason Internet Trolls exist was brought into focus very sharply for me back in 1997 when I became one. This was back when there wasn’t an overwhelming number of internet sites that allowed interaction between people who didn’t know one another and there was little or no way to track down a person when they appeared. That was back in the days when I was a militant Atheist, and I would appear on some Christian message board and tell the people there they were going to go to Hell for spending so much time on their computers and so little time out in the real world saving souls. I discovered that almost any passage from the Bible I quoted would work, because there are always going to be those people who can figure out a way that it makes sense, no matter what’s going on at the time.
Here’s how it breaks down: You have a small group of people who react favorably. These people will believe the Troll is real and the message the Troll brings, and they will defend it. There will be a minority of people who realize the Troll is a Troll and attack the Troll. The people defending the message have to defend the messenger. A flame war breaks out and each side gets more polarized with each message sent.
There are a majority of people who are alienated and leave. The Troll wins by destroying the site totally.
Needless to say, I am no longer a Troll or a Militant Atheist. Mostly, I’m a writer with an opinion and with a friend who will let me write in public.
Now, here’s the tricky part; I do know a lot about three things, even if you do not agree with me, you have to admit I know the subject matter; American Politics, World History, and Dogs. I see American Politics as a function of the process of history. No president has ever operated outside of the system and none ever will. The same factors that act upon the Great will also act upon the Less Than Average. The same goes for both houses of Congress, and the nation as a whole.
When I write about Dogs, or Snakes, or things that happened in my past, or things I have witnessed in my life, I can count on getting maybe ten hits on the article. Five on them will be mine.
When I write about American Politics, no matter how badly people claim they hate it when I do, the numbers climb upwards around fifty, and about ten of them are mine. Commenting to tell me you hate me is the same as commenting to tell me you love me, in that it’s two pages hits that feeds Gus and Trixie.
As long as Friday Firesmith keeps getting more hits than any other funny photo or interesting video on the site, I’m more than willing to bet Jon isn’t going to boot me, no matter how loud the howls may get, and I’m also willing to bet those who like me outnumber those who hate me, because I’ve met some of these people in real life, and they love my dogs. As an aside, I don’t give a damn who you vote for as long as you treat your spouse, your children, and your dogs well. I can like you and maybe even drink with you if you treat other people well.
I’ve been paying attention to American Politics since Nixon. I was eleven when he resigned and even at that young age I thought he was the most evil person to ever hold the office and I still do. The war in Viet Name ended when I was fifteen, and even at that young age, I had no desire to go over and fight that war. I still have no desire to go to war, and lacking the impetus for war, I also lack the hypocrisy to wish it on others.
So, until the masses start showing more love for dog essays and my reflections on a red-haired girl I was in love with in High School, I’m going to keep doing what works for Gus and Trixie. To prove my point, I’ll post something on her next week and see what happens.