Monday, January 23, 2017

The Joy of Trolling

Most of us can’t stand trolls on the internet. Posting comments and replies just to provoke a fight or to demean someone isn’t cool. Most trolls are sexist, racist, homophobic assholes. As John Oliver pointed out for us on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, some even terrorize people. But sometimes, trolling can be hilarious. Oliver has trolled a number of institutions with hilarious hashtags. His protest against elitism at Yankee Stadium was perfect.

Yes, sometimes, it’s fun. I do try to go after ideas rather than attack people. Some of my Facebook friends may remember a post where I wasn’t such a gentleman. . .

But I really wanted to talk about substance. I just acted like an asshole for a moment. I can take ownership of my failings. It’s sad that the post lost me some Facebook friends, but, as the Bard would have said, I’m a grown-asséd man. I can lie in that bed.

Since the election, though, I’ve tried to limit my comments and replies to posts that I don’t agree with on social media to statements of fact. I don’t argue nearly as much as I feel the urge to. I’m a work in progress, but I know most arguing on social media doesn’t result in changed hearts or minds. People just get pissed off, and I’m sure I’ve pissed lots of people off.

I do have a little social justice warrior in my heart, and it often shows. I also have a sense of humor. So, I try to make my trolling funny. Funny to me, anyway. I know my jokes don’t always get the laughs I think they deserve. Then there are the jokes that absolutely deserve laughs but still get me blocked on the Twitters.

Let us go back to the beginning of 2016 when Esquire said the at Tila Tequila could be the best follow on the Twitters for the year. I started following her, and it was entertaining. For those of you who don’t know, Tila Tequila is a rather empty-headed former reality TV star who’s dabbled in the pornography and crowdfunding her lifestyle and who apparently has Nazi sympathies. She also thinks the earth is flat.

She’s rather disconnected from reality, at least on social media. . . well, very disconnected from reality on social media. I really started paying attention during the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. day last year. I was under the weather and thankful for entertainment that required little more than holding my phone. She tweeted weird things about existing outside of space and time, and I decided to reply to every one of her tweets.

At first, I just started saying absurd things to her. I can’t see what she said anymore because she blocked me. I remember one person replied to both of us that we were going to hell. I tried not to take that personally, but it did hurt my feelings. Then, she started tweeting about going back in time to the 1960s. I’m not sure if she was tweeting from via mobile data or a wi-fi connection, but her tweets were still making it back to 2016. Her cell phone bill must have been outrageous.

In honor of MLK, I suggested that she go to 1968 and stop the assassination. Can we not agree that this would be a noble act for any time-traveler? I would gladly forsake a day off to save the life of such a great man. She had nothing to say about this, and then, well, I got greedy.

Call me crazy, but I figured that if she’s going back in time, maybe she could go kill baby Hitler. I didn’t know about her political leanings at the time. It just seemed like a good idea. Hell, killing baby Hitler may have even changed events to such a degree that she wouldn’t have had to go back to 1968 and stop MLK’s assassination. How could anyone not take advantage of that? Well, I guess I know why she didn’t kill baby Hitler now.

Feeling a sense of urgency, I kept replying to her tweets with encouragement to go back and kill baby Hitler. Indeed, the Twitters hashtag “babyhitlermustdie” is solely populated by my more than 50 tweets of encouragement at Tila Tequila to do just that. Perhaps it was her fondness of Hitler that made her block me, or perhaps it was a pro-life sentiment.

If she felt uncomfortable killing a baby, I suggested an alternative. . .

I may have crossed the line there. I’m not sure. I do know this. If harassing a Nazi sympathizer by suggesting that she take advantage of her time travels to kill baby Hitler hurt her feelings, I think I’ll still be able to sleep at night.

Now, I need to find another idiot to troll.


  1. Ted. You're forcing me to bookmark you and make a visit to you web page a daily occurrence. Damn you Red Baron!

    1. Every few days should be fine. I'm not that prolific, yet.