Monday, October 6, 2008


Dear Friends, Saurischians, and Cephalopods-in-arms. Please excuse my absence last week. I have an invalid excuse due to extenuating circumstances: My crisscrossed cat, Mr. Underfoot, mistook my keyboard for kitty litter.

I had an interesting experience in the blogosphere last night. I was reading a Story About Nothing at Lawyers, Guns & Money when, presto, a troll showed up with this comment:
Get a clue: Barack Obama delivered "hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of many years to fund Bill Ayers’ radical education projects, not to mention many millions more to benefit Ayers’ radical education allies. We are talking about a substantial and lengthy working relationship here, one that does not depend on the quality of personal friendship or number of hours spent in the same room together ..." Americaneocon | Homepage | 10.04.08 - 6:28 pm |

Captain Fogg, Repsac3, and I know this troll. An acquaintance of sorts, his initials are DD, his blog is called American Power, and his moniker is Americaneocon. DD is known as a drive-by troll. He stalks liberal blogs and drops nasty bits into comment boxes just to get liberal goats. When DD arrives, fire ants swarm.

More than a drive-by troll, DD is also a bait troll whose aim is to get you to click on his homepage and follow him to Mordor where he will subject you to extreme rendition.  It is doubtful whether or not his bait-trolling has subverted any elves into orcs.  Perhaps his motive is to boost his views in the TTL Ecosystem and raise his popularity rating from pathogen to parasite.

Whenever I encounter DD, I feed him to my cat. Captain Fogg enjoys a quick game of whack-a-troll. Repsac3 prefers the adrenaline rush of direct combat and engages trolls in long disputes over faulty logic and red herring fallacies. For Repsac3, troll-bowling means endless hours of entertainment.

I have not discussed with Repsac3 his morbid fascination with trolls, but I think he would at least agree with this: The likelihood of turning an orc back into an elf is nil.  Perhaps we can all gang up on Repsac3 and persuade him to share his adventures with us.

But I digress too much. In a rare moment of weakness and against my better nature, I responded to DD’s trollishness and returned a favor last night (slightly annotated):
About an hour ago, I spooled the comments of Mike (10.04.08 - 6:46 pm), imag (10.04.08 - 6:57 pm), Graham Shevlin (10.04.08 - 7:10 pm), and (10.04.08 - 8:07 pm) from above and pasted them at the American Power blog site of DD. I added a few comments of my own such as: Here is what others think of your drive-by trolling and Why bother making a fool of yourself - over and over and over again.

Within minutes, DD deleted my comment. So here is a point: DD is too craven to leave my comment up for his own readers to see, yet he returns here for one more drive-by assault (see timestamp 10.04.08 - 10:11 pm) on LG&M readers. The least one can say is that DD is a double coward who employs a double standard … (O)CT(O)PUS - 10.04.08 - 11:14 pm.

What tempted me to weaken my resolve and engage this troll?  Seven years of botched wars with thousands dead and tens of thousands injured or maimed, our foreign policy in shambles, millions of jobs outsourced, ruinous trade deficits, defective imports flooding our markets, another energy shock due to years of neglect, a mismanaged economy, and a sovereign debt of staggering proportions ... everything the Bush/Cheney administration touched that has turned into catastrophe.  It was a moment of misplaced anger.

And what task has our ubiquitous troll, DD, assigned for himself? He is a self-appointed foot soldier for talking points in the ragtag infantry of a failed campaign speaking for a Republican Party bereft of ideas and morally bankrupt.  In other words, DD is a Freeper Troll trying to pass the latest smear through the eye of a needle, the logical fallacy called Guilt by Association.   Consorting with trolls is also a form of keeping bad company.

In these closing weeks of Election 2008, there will more trolls like DD and more talking heads on mainstream media screaming phosphorescent in our living rooms.  The disconnect from reality will echo the background noise of the Big Bang, and the static will be deafening and surreal.  But we will always have Captain Fogg to sail us into a sunset, and Repsac3 to tell us his troll adventures, and Blogging Dino to recall the giants who once roamed the earth, and Squid to preserve our memories.


  1. Oh yes, I know him well. He's a junior college instructor, passionate lover of all wars and apparently a body builder. Perhaps what goes on the biceps comes off the cerebral cortex.

    Funny how the Annenberg Foundation which gives grants for improvement of education in the arts, photography, communication and culture has been transformed in his imagination to a radical group. One often sees them as a sponser of educational programs on PBS.

    It's as funny to say they are radicals as it is to say that Ayers owns it because he helped raise money for education.

    Here's who they are:

    One would almost suspect Douglass, or Dickless as I like to call him (you know what those steroids do) of being a pathological liar if it were not that he's really beyond description. English has no words to describe that level of venality. the lies just escalate exponentially as he goes along.

    Ayers and Obama have been on the board of directors of Annenberg, and that's as far as it goes. Ayers is a professor of education who has done community work in trying to improve Chicago schools (they need it)

    Of course McCain is a known associate of and beneficiary of a convicted felon - got anything to say about that Doug? I guess not.

  2. I prefer just to ignore the trollosaurids; I'm sure they're delicious when young, but that's about all I can say for them. As we know, you can't convince someone by rational argumentation when that someone is committed to being as irrational as possible just to piss you off and divert attention from substantive discussion. I suspect that what really gets under the hide of a troll (saurischean or otherwise) is posting some vile, dishonorable lie and finding him or herself utterly ignored. As Oscar Wilde says, "The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about."

  3. And by the way, Senator McCain's pre-announced campaign strategy for the remainder of the election is the very essence of troll activity: don't talk about the facts or the actual situation because you know you're wrong or clueless; just talk about personal things that anybody who's ever been through middle school can process: cruel, personal slights and schoolyard taunts. Bellow, bluster, threaten, smile contemptuously, sneer, etc.

  4. For years I've been interested in how smear campaigns work. Where do the smears come from? How do they spread? What are their methods and tactics?

    I personally don't like to engage with trolls. And, depending on the troll, they can provide value by showing what kind of junk is being pushed. Like listening to 3rd tier talk radio they give you a crude insight into the minds of the their more subtle breathern.

    I don't expect them to make logical sense or even to back up their assertions with facts. When confronted with facts they go into other strategies, "But, but, but Clinton!!"

    I grew up with a real live troll, who does this for fun, it's his way of asserting his power. He especially like to frame the arguments in ways that you are one down before you even start.

    With the talk radio people I decided that engaging them on the air would be pointless, because I knew that even if I "won" the conversation, they would never admit it or simply mock me the second I hung up. They have no obligation to the facts or truth. It's just "entertainment" for them.

    I suppose if you interacted with them in real life and there was a third party there they could be objective it might be interesting. However they won't see anyone as objective if they aren't on their side. My relative argues as if a judge is in the room watching and the rules of evidence are in effect with I talk about not when he talks. And that if I argue with him I need to argue in the 'approved' manner. Then if I do all this and win I'm exhausted and I haven't changed his mind, simply won a single point.

    When I took on the radio station I determined that I needed to 1) take my argument out side the sphere that they control 2)Go above them and their silly arguments 3)Have the "judge" someone whose decision has consequences because I'm tired of these jerks driving the country into some sick version of America.

    I could have won the converstation some times, but that wouldn't really be satisfying since they will still be trolls. Getting them in trouble with the judges and costing them money is the only thing that I could see that would change their behavior a bit.

  5. You're more sensible than I am, and you're quite right that you can't change them into anything other than what they are by showing them their errors, but sometimes it's possible to get them out of your own territory even without deleting them.

  6. Coincidence? I am spending the morning reading BEOWULF (don't ask). Lot's of loathsome 9th century trolls - I am "happy" to report that trolls haven't changed much since.

    "The bane of the race of men roamed forth, hunting for a prey . . . with loathsome tread . . . his glee was demonic."'

    yeah - that about sums it up.

  7. It was a sultry afternoon like every other in this part of town. The window blinds clapped in the breeze like late summer cicadas. The ceiling fan swirled wobbly overhead. Suddenly, my email screen-icon starts bobbing up and down like a half-crazed yoyo; it was email from Donald:

    Donald Douglas
    Date Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 10:03 AM
    Subject Octopus


    Look, I have a long relationship with LGM, and I'm a frequent target of their posts. You have no such relationship at American Power, however, and I don't like spammers.

    If you've got a beef with me, write an essay on your blog. Do not pollute my comments section.


    Please stay tuned to the next episode of Trolling for Trolls.

  8. So comments are spam and pollution. Oh well, sometimes people seem to have an inferiority complex because they're actually inferior.

    I'm sure he'll spend an extra hour at muscle beach to make up for the insult - and pump up the biceps - pump up the biceps.

  9. I knew this was your writing before I read three sentences.

    Oh and EXCELLENTE !!!

    Love the blog.


We welcome civil discourse from all people but express no obligation to allow contributors and readers to be trolled. Any comment that sinks to the level of bigotry, defamation, personal insults, off-topic rants, and profanity will be deleted without notice.