Open Thread: Trolls

“Look at them, troll mother said. Look at my sons! You won’t find more beautiful trolls on this side of the moon.”

Commentor Currants reminded me that St. Lucia’s Day is December 13. I found this while looking for appropriate links.

(John Bauer, Illustration of Walter Stenström’s The boy and the trolls or The Adventure in childrens’ anthology Among pixies and trolls, a collection of childrens’ stories, 1915, from Wikimedia Commons.)

120 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  2. 2
    Poopyman says:

    Trolls. Now why would you bring this up tonight, Annie? I just can’t figure that out.

    BTW, in answer to Cole’s question this afternoon, IIRC, we started seeing new commenters after his dustup with Jane and BJ getting linked from a couple of high-profile blogs. Then there was that top-10 thingy that I don’t remember and don’t really care to.

    Anyway, just looked in to see what the trolls were doing. Now off to dinner.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    Nifty stuff on his page there AL. I wonder if he’s a cited influence of Marie Grand-Pre.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Lovely lovely lovely illustration, AL.

    Is anyone here as big a fan as I am of George MacDonald’s *The Princess and the Goblin* and *The Princess and Curdie* ?
    Oh my, HOW I loved those books (and still do).

  5. 5
    PIGL says:

    for these three handsome young trolls, I can feel sorry. Can one of them soften the maiden’s heart by some deed of selfless courage, to earn her love? But then, what of his two brothers. This can not end well.

    Internet trolls, otoh, should only choke.

  6. 6
    Loneoak says:

    Meta-trolling: All these new trolls are Obama’s fault!

    That artwork is great. Sort of an art-nouveau fairy tale.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Knowing that tomorrow is Ste Lucia’s day reminds me that I mised the appropriate day to listen to David Sedaris’ Six to Eight Black Men this year.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Which one is B.o.B.?

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    Look! It’s Stuck, BOB, Sanka, and Tim! So that’s what they look like.

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    Looking forward to seeing how matoko-kun spins this.

  11. 11
    Angela says:

    Aww..our youngest dog is named St Lucia..She was born on the summer solstice, nobody in the family would agree with me to name her Pagan. So we named her after the Winter Festival of Lights, since she was born on the most light filled day. I’ll have to remember to give her a treat tomorrow for her feast day.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T for JPL: any chance you’ll be around (Atlanta) between now and the end of the year? Would so love to meet up with you and SIA (and of course anyone else in the area).

  13. 13
    Jewish Steel says:

    I have been thinking about the non-charges of not-racism as it applies to some of the sillier threads recently.

    I do think some of the fire partially fueled by a generational divide. On one side of the divide, seemingly, things that were once winked at and tolerated are now strictly off limits. That’s clear enough.

    But on the other side there is a certain level of self-awareness that eludes, perhaps, older folk. People of my age acknowlege that race will affect our way of thinking about others. Acknowledge that stereotypes may have grains of truth. Acknowledge these things in an effort to expunge them from civil society. To make certain that race does not play a part especially where it counts.

    Or, to put it another way, I am racist. You are racist. Now that it’s on the table, let’s try to get past it.

    That kind of thinking requires some psychological leaps that are not exactly intuitive. Hence the shouting past each other.

    Unless, of course, you are Stephen Colbert.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: I would assume that she would call you a grey, say everything is WAI, and throw in a cudlip or two for good measure.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    I wish I was on an island named St. Lucia.

    It would no doubt be warmer and the wind would be less than a gale.

  16. 16
    Ranger 3 says:

    I am soooo loving how Obama told the tiresome internet hippy crowd to SFTU and how freaked out all those not racist middle-aged liberals were to have a black man put them in their place.

  17. 17
    stuckinred says:

    The pups are home and seem just fine except for funny leg fur trim and various charcoal debris.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ranger 3: Trying to start something? I think that topic is all fought out. Nice try though.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:


    Ha ha. nice one. It’s a freebie.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stuckinred: Woo, as they say, hoo!

  21. 21
    Janet Strange says:

    @stuckinred: Yay!

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: llo, That sounds like fun although before xmas would be complicated for me. We could meet near Lenox Mall. From what I gather it would be a mid way point for us. Stuckinred is in Athens so I’m not sure how he feels about it, but it would be fun to include him also. If momanon is lurking maybe she’ll agree to join us.

    Edit: Stuckinred..congrats on the pups. Maybe you can get some sleep tonight.

  23. 23
    change says:

    Gotta admire the Austrians. I wish our political leaders had balls like these when addressing the Muslim world instead of indulging in political correctness.

    One thing we need to be more like Europeans in is how they respond to the problem of Islam.

  24. 24
    Comrade Mary says:

    @stuckinred: Yay! So glad to hear they’re OK.

  25. 25
    ino shinola says:

    @Jewish Steel: Wow, a non-inflammatory post, you’ve almost restored my faith in the intelligence and goodwill of Balloon Juice commenters.

    More of this, people. Please.

    You too John.

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    Phew. You are a good dog daddy.
    Rest up and sleep well.
    You didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t deliberate.
    I could have so easily have done that.
    They must be glad to be home.

  27. 27
    stuckinred says:

    @JPL: It would be tough this “holiday” season. Go to the Cirque if you can.

  28. 28
    Josie says:

    @stuckinred: I’m so happy for them and for you. Will you all curl up in bed and snooze happily? I would never have thought that until I kept my son’s pug, who is a master of cuddling.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @General Stuck:

    It was a triangulation I did there. Glad you could appreciate that. Or not.

  30. 30
    stuckinred says:

    @Maude: It’s funny, I always peg the Lil Bit as the trouble maker but she didn’t get in the raisins and Bohdi raised hell at the ER all night!

  31. 31
    Elie says:

    I think that progressives are in a box and have to come up with a solution.

    We must be able to offer our valid criticisms, observations, whatever. We must also, however, not further handicap our own side and its effectiveness with the nasty, miserable name calling and contemptuous language. This is exactly, a living example of why Obama tries to hard to avoid giving as good as he gets…Don’t you see it? Nothing is penetrating the darkness that has been kicked up with all the name calling and negative labeling, aggressive hostility etc. No one has convinced anyone of anything using these tactics and it highlights for us why Obama has chosen the approach so much under attack by our own side. IT DOES NOT WORK!!!

    I do believe also, no matter how paranoid I am accused of being, that some of the broohaha is purposely fanned by entities with all sorts of interests and desires that have nothing to do with the progressive agenda.

    We have lots of folks of all stripes coming here to share their thoughts on balloon juice and that is wonderful. It is not wonderful staying and/or observing the ongoing name calling and hostile language that just pisses everyone off and leaves no more enlightenment for what to do that bloodying someone’s nose.

    Lets wise up if we can. We cannot stop those whose agenda is to disrupt and destroy and turn us against each other. But all of you know your own hearts, and those of you who are sincere in your opinions and are progessives, no matter what they are, there can be no hope for success or progress if this continues… do not sell out our hopes (not suggesting some sort of quid pro quo — just a figure of speech) so cheaply. Don’t lets whip our own asses….

  32. 32
    Morbo says:

    Who let Pamela Gellar in here?

  33. 33
    Poopyman says:

    @stuckinred: Yay!

    What do they do, roll the doggies in charcoal?

  34. 34
  35. 35
    stuckinred says:

    @Poopyman: Toxiban

    Activated charcoal is generally called the “universal antidote” by toxicologists, since it is active in adsorbing most toxicants except inorganic salts and heavy metals. ToxiBan is the “gold standard” for treating animal poisioning.

  36. 36
    BGinCHI says:

    @stuckinred: Heard back from Lamar right away.

    Man, I’m glad I asked. Thanks for responding with the link for his new restaurant.

  37. 37

    The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here. The 3rd annual Assclowns of the Year is up, with 50, count ’em, 50 of 2010’s biggest assclowns. So pop some popcorn, take a pull off the eggnog and curl up with your monitors because this one will split the skies.

    On the spit this year:
    George W. Bush (45)
    Glenn Beck (26)
    Lady Gaga (50)
    BP (4)
    The Cat Food Commission (17)
    The Pope (8) and much, much, MUCH more!

  38. 38
    BonnyAnne says:

    @ MikeJ:

    Six to Eight Black Men is genius, not least because I grew up with the traditional Dutch Christmas and it never once occurred to me (until I heard David Sedaris, of course) that the idea of Santa being previously employed as the bishop of Turkey was kind of weird. And now it just seems blindingly obvious; Santa didn’t used to be anything!

    Also: culturally sanctioned black face? Never stops being awkward!

  39. 39
    stuckinred says:

    @BGinCHI: Aw cool, he probably wouldn’t know who I am by description but f2f he would.

  40. 40
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @change: You must have seen the name of this thread and said “Ah, that’s for me!”

    Now go fly over some other blog and shit on it, as it your MO.

  41. 41
    Elie says:

    Its funny…just listening to the radio post mortem of the Football game between the Bears and the Pats…

    So much of the evaluation commentary sounds JUST LIKE the critiques I hear of this administration. All the extreme, armageddon language, the contempt for the Bears from their local radio commentariat, (well they lost, so they are definitely horrible, right?

    We are immersed in reality shows and 15 second win/loose celebrity. We no longer even know how to do long hard slogs with set backs and long gray periods of “Man, I don’t know”

    All these folks complain about how the real estate and financial folks drove us off a cliff with happy talk and can do and macho bullshit dishonesty. We make it pretty damned hard to be honest on the down side (please do not say that I am defending the thieves who ran the financial markets -) We do not tolerate set backs, or hard slogs or ambiguous intermediate outcomes.

    I hope that if we cannot change anything else, we can change this bs and give our brains back the capacity for deep deliberation

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    @stuckinred: Get over to his restaurant and eat before you both starve.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @stuckinred: If Philly loses tonight, the Falcons are guaranteed a playoff spot.

  45. 45
    stuckinred says:

    @JPL: They have a pretty favorable schedule. I destiny wasn’t pre-determined they could control their own!

  46. 46
  47. 47
    TrishB says:

    @stuckinred:Very glad to read that all is well for the dogs. Now kiss them on their noses and tell them not to scare you like that again.

    The ER can make for some interesting canine haircuts. A few months back, it was time for my mini schnauzer’s regular grooming. I thought the poor groomer was going to give up when she saw that Pepper had large portions of fur missing from both front legs and a very nekkid chest and belly. And let’s not talk about how a schnauzer looks without a beard. The poor thing hasn’t recovered from the indignity yet.

  48. 48
    Delia says:


    I read about your dogs’ adventure late last night. Didn’t comment, but I was thinking about them. Glad they’re alright. Many years ago my college roommate’s mutt, Mancha, ate a box of Raisinettes as well as a pair of my shoes. We didn’t know about chocolate and raisins back then, and they didn’t seem to affect her. Neither did the shoes.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    Is there anything that triggers the impulse to procrastinate more than having to write a self-assessment for one’s performance review?

    Maybe I should get geg6 to write it for me. ;-)

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq: I am also happy to assist.

  51. 51
    stuckinred says:

    @Delia: Yea it’s hard to figure out. The conventional wisdom seems to be we did the right thing but almost every anecdote is, “the dog was just fine”

  52. 52
    stuckinred says:

    @TrishB: I groom the cocker so I’ll just try to blend it but she has ginormous feet and skinny little shins right now!

  53. 53
    jon says:

    It’s okay as long as you’re not a Christian. Muslim? Who knows.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Anne Laurie says:


    The pups are home and seem just fine except for funny leg fur trim and various charcoal debris.

    And I’ll bet they’re starving! It’s like somebody took everything out of their little doggie digestive tracts with a pump!…

    Glad to hear everyone’s feeling better, and hope you all get a good night’s sleep now.

  56. 56
    magurakurin says:

    @Jewish Steel

    Or, to put it another way, I am racist. You are racist. Now that it’s on the table, let’s try to get past it.

    100% fucking A correct.

    Growing up in a racist society makes us racists. Not bigots, that’s a different thing, but we most certainly carry pre-conceived and in a large part sub-conscious notions about people in regard to their race. Black, white, brown, yellow or whatever, we can’t help it. Like the climactic scene in Good Will Hunting, we need a Robin Williams to bring home the point that it isn’t our fault that we have these feelings and ideas.

    It is, however, our fault if we we act on them because we have failed to examine and identify them. And that is precisely what Shirley Sherrod was trying to express when most of the country freaked out and Vilsack made her resign. Perhaps, because what she said is so true and strikes to a place so deep and dark within us that we’d rather not examine, perhaps that is why it caused such a reaction.

    Yes, you are so correct. We are racists because of the racist society we grew up. We can change it, but only if we look into ourselves, face what is there, and refuse to act on it.

    And as John pointed out in his post on the front page, the experience of this societal racism and the effects it has is not the same for black people as it is for white people. Because white people generally do not directly feel the truly negative effects of this racism, the actual discriminatory behavior, it is even harder to recognize and come to terms with. I’m a white guy, and that means I have to work harder at it.

    And, as to the trolling, maybe there needs to be some banning going on for chronic assholism.

    agreed. How the US gets there, though, is a rough one. It is disturbing when even people with post-graduate degrees engage in the kind of shallow thinking that you describe. One would like to think that education might be a solution, but apparently the problem is deeper than just that.

  57. 57
    change says:

    When’s the last time a Christian flew a jetliner packed full of fuel and terrified passengers into a skyscraper?

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:


    Phew! You’ll probably have to do a couple of follow-ups in a few months to doublecheck their kidney function, but all should be well.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    stuckinred says:

    @change: Or pulled a truck full of explosives next to a federal building and murdered a bunch of people you shit eatin dog fucker?

  61. 61
    Buck says:


    On Boehner:

    As my first official act as Majority Leader, I’m going to turn into Tantrum Boy and hold my breath and quiver my lower lip until the tax cuts are permanent for the richest 2%. And, trust me, NOBODY wants that.


    Good list.

  62. 62
    Currants says:

    *grin* Nice segue, Anne Laurie. I’ve heard it’s best not to feed trolls.

  63. 63
    change says:


    Such vile, childish profanity!

    But nevertheless, I will address you. Timothy McVeigh was an agnostic, not a Christian. He also opposed the Iraq War using language that would make even Michale Moore blush.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m bored with the current crop of trolls. Can we get some new ones for Christmas if we promise to feed them and walk them every day when we get home from school?

  65. 65
    Jewish Steel says:

    But here is the most important question facing this community: Are trolls truly like bedbugs? Once you’ve got em, you’ve got em for good?

    Or will the native creativity found here find some way to prevail where none have before?

  66. 66
    magurakurin says:

    wow. Now I really feel John Cole’s pain. His blog has people defending Timothy McVeigh on it. Maybe JC should add “we are all Aryan Brothers, now” to his revolving quotes at the top.

  67. 67
    change says:


    Please do tell, where did I ever defend Timothy McVeigh?

  68. 68
    Jewish Steel says:


    Word. It’s like explaining to a fish it’s in water, trying to make white folks see the privileged environment they glide through.

  69. 69
    something fabulous says:

    @stuckinred: Moreover, put a truck filled with explosives next to a building AND THEN WALKED AWAY?!?

  70. 70
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @change: Do you think McVeigh was wrong?

  71. 71
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    But here is the most important question facing this community: Are trolls truly like bedbugs? Once you’ve got em, you’ve got em for good?

    Better question: would a troll even know they were a troll.

    Moreover, I believe many of you who toss the ‘troll’ accusation around are using it the same way AIPAC tosses out ‘anti-semite’ to anyone who has a criticism of Israel.

    Regardless, it certainly seems to be reserved for those who voice strong opposition to a lot of Obama’s policy decisions.

    Now, going back to Cole’s post on Bernie Sanders. I was one of the first to toss in a criticism of Obama. Was that trolling? I got called out for it. My rebuttal was that the only reason Sanders was doing such a “cool thing” was to combat Obama’s policy.

    I don’t mean to get all meta and into the weeds, but I think some of you cool kids like to toss out the ‘troll’ tag just to show the others you belong in the back of the bus.

  72. 72
    magurakurin says:

    if one tosses out the term “cool kid” what special meaning should one attach to that?

    On my school bus, the “cool kids” where in the back of the bus doing bong hits.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    BGinCHI says:

    @magurakurin: Regarding the thread the other day about Marlantes’ novel Matterhorn, he has a really great exchange between a white soldier and a black soldier where the black guy explains it exactly this way.

    We get made into racists by our (white) culture and we have to denature ourselves of those inheritances. It’s a great scene and nicely handled given that it ain’t easy to write those kinds of things.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    BGinCHI says:

    @Mnemosyne: Maybe make a schedule so that regulars do a week of trolling.

  77. 77
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Own them all. Love them. Have you read George McDonald’s adult fantasy, like the Golden Key?

  78. 78
    Jewish Steel says:


    Better-better question: If a troll does know it’s a troll, what then?

    Or if someone is, by consensus, ruled a troll, again, what then?

    I am not being accusatory here, I ask in good faith.

    There is consensus that trolls are clunking up the site. So, what to do?

  79. 79

    @stuckinred: that’s what i was going to say! ::stomps foot petulantly::

  80. 80
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Do you deny some people are trolling here? The problem is John has been very personal lately and has expressed self doubt and confusion over recent political policy. That’s not bad…that’s good. This shit IS confusing, it’s meant to be wonky and jargony, and hard to understand by anybody who’s not schooled in the legalize.

    The problem is a lot of comments here are now just the equivalent of World of Warcraft trade chat bilge-water, with doucheballs saying fucking bullshit just to get a rise out of people, or in a vain attempt to be seen as the only fucking adult on the interwebs so they can fap-fap-fap to their own comments. It’s a exercise in retardation and is amusing at first, then annoying, and then you wish these people actually had jobs so they could waste their fucking lives on flipping burgers or digging ditches, which would be a better use of their time.

    *I* have doubts about Obama…I think he likes to get the shit get kicked out of him politically because he’s bought into the Bill Clinton mythos or some shit, or he’s scared to actually be an angry black man, or whatever the fuck. I dunno and do not really care at this point. However it’s not a bad idea to assume he knows what he’s doing a lot fucking better than the great internet unwashed, where anyone can claim he’s liberal and has done all sorts of shit and then do nothing to back his baseless assertions up.

    My main theory of why some on the left, like Blue Texan, want to primary Obama, is not because of poor policy decisions. Clinton made plenty of those. Clinton got savaged by the Right as well. But Clinton did well because the economy did well. Oh what’s that you say? I’m not a human being? I wouldn’t make such a shallow decision? To which I say HA. The second reason is because, after a decade of American political malfeasance, a lot of American liberals have become nihilists. They want America to fail…they want to teach America a lesson. What better way to do that than Sarah Palin or some other Republican whackjob who doubtlessly will lead America into a new Dark Age?

    So yes, to everyone who has participated in the Great Balloon Juice Ruination, fuck you, may your pets die, and may you realize what a waste your fucking lives have been. Go fucking hug your children or family members instead of wasting your useless, shallow, white-so-lily-white, effete, mealy mouth liberal lives posting useless words on a ultimately useless blog. For fuck’s sake. Go post on Taylor Marsh or some shit.

  81. 81

    Anne Laurie,
    I always liked that illustration and cannot remember where I first saw it. Thanks for the memory.

  82. 82
    BGinCHI says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Good snark, but kind of wordy.

  83. 83
    Svensker says:


    Good news. Yay!

  84. 84
    change says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner:

    Yes, I do think Timothy McVeigh was wrong. Only a partisan liberal could ever be under the sad, childish delusion that any conservatives ever agreed with the actions of Timothy McVeigh. Perhaps you were informed that we do, but I’m said to say that Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore liked to you (and that’s not the only time they lied).

    Do you think Muslims were wrong to attack us on 9/11, or instead was it some understandable reaction against “American imperialism” and “globaliziation” as most leftists seem to say?

  85. 85
    Morbo says:

    I thought I could make it through the evening with this thread and not link to Finntroll. Alas, I can not.

  86. 86
    Svensker says:


    One thing we need to be more like Europeans in is how they respond to the problem of Islam.

    Yeah, they did such a good job on the Jews. Mohammed’s next! No pc crap there.

  87. 87
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @change: I do believe the 9/11 attacks were wrong. Not the right reaction given their grievances.

    Why do you think McVeigh was wrong? Don’t you think Waco was a travesty? That was what OKC was in reaction to, correct, the Tree of Liberty being watered with the blood of martyrs and all?

    What would the right reaction to McVeigh’s grievance been?

  88. 88
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @change: Wonder who lied to you about us partisan liberals’ views on 9/11?

    Get that strawman! Get ‘im! GET ‘IM!!

  89. 89

    @change: muslims were wrong to attack us on 9/11 in the same way white people were wrong to attack us on 4/19/05.

  90. 90

    And so a BillObot shows up with about as much garbage as it can haul. Heh, kind of a welcome change of pace, though as stupid as Faux generally generates.

  91. 91
    El Tiburon says:


    Do you deny some people are trolling here?

    No. Although, I don’t sit and read every post. I skim and try to hit on something that someone says that I either strongly agree or disagree with. But in the true sense of a troll, like a true right-wing nutjob linking to Gateway Pundit or some kind of 9-11 truther doing similar, no, I don’t encounter too many of those.

    with doucheballs saying fucking bullshit just to get a rise out of people,

    Again, sometimes saying ‘fucking bullshit’ does not a troll make. One’s colorful language is anothers troll bait.

    the second reason is because, after a decade of American political malfeasance, a lot of American liberals have become nihilists. They want America to fail…they want to teach America a lesson.

    For fuck’s sake, what a bucket full of bullshit right here. I will admit to being somewhat politically naive, so when I say I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior, it’s not nihilism, it’s what we do. Kid throws a baseball through your window, you don’t buy him a car.

    So yes, to everyone who has participated in the Great Balloon Juice Ruination, fuck you, may your pets die, and may you realize what a waste your fucking lives have been

    Speaking of your definition of a troll…

  92. 92
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    There is consensus that trolls are clunking up the site. So, what to do?

    Maybe so, again though, I think some definitions of trolls are being interpreted very loosely.

    Otherwise, like an ED post, why not just scoot on by the offending troll? I think it takes all of 1-2 seconds to recognize one, maybe even 3? Okay, maybe 4 seconds. So do the math on an average post with 100 comments and a 10% ratio of trolls.

    My point being one man’s troll is anothers freedom fighter.

    As far as gunking up, I don’t know, these are some pretty big tubes, they are not a truck. Maybe get some KY and lube up the tubes and the trolls will slid on through.

    You make it sound like a serious infestation of trolls is fucking it up. Maybe someone can name a troll so I can get an idea of what you are talking about. Really not trying to be a dick here, just trying to understand.

  93. 93
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @Angry Black Lady: ABL, I’m thinking you might have meant “95” there instead of “05.”

    Though Ratzinger was elected Pope on the tenth anniversary of the OKC bombing. So I guess you could have meant that.

    Could these two events happening on the EXACT SAME DAY possibly be coincidence? I’m dubious.

    Does the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy never end?

  94. 94
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @El Tiburon: WyldePirate. change. burnsbesq has his moments. Those are the first three I can think of after about three seconds of cursory thought; given another ten seconds, I’m sure I could come up with another half dozen. I’m sure you’ll be deluged with other nominees. They’re not numerous, but they’re prolific.

    Many would consider Brick Oven Bill and matoko_chan trolls, but they are … something else. I don’t know what I’d call them, but “troll” doesn’t do them justice.

  95. 95
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I don’t see very much trolling at all here. It’s very rare that anyone reaches the level of the late, and for my part unlamented, MYIQ2XU.

    The Hillary hating and McCain/Palin loathing that unified the place back in ’08 are pretty much gone. I can see how that might be a shock to some people’s systems although it hardly seems to be the ruination of the place.

    That some reflexively characterize Obama’s detractors as firebaggers while others reflexively characterize his defenders as Obots is at times tedious to me because it can enable the wholesale denigration of opposing points of view. It’s still not trolling.

  96. 96
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Yeah, I feel compelled to defend burnspbesq from trolling charges. He’s a lot of things, many of them detestable, but he is certainly no troll.

  97. 97
    Jewish Steel says:


    I am not yet ready to brandish my list of known trolls before the bj committee on un-american activities.

    But, I think a good start for a working definition of a bj troll is one who argues without edifying. That is, someone who just hammers and hammers at a point well outside of their sphere of expertise. Davis X or morzer (where’d you go, morzer?) Can pick me up here but let’s call it argumentum sine edifictionem infinitum.

    Tiburon, do you think you are a troll? Again, I ask in good faith, not in my capacity as a “cool kid.” (Ha!)

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    Jewish Steel says:

    Agreed on the burnspbesq. He shows himself to be very well informed, insightful even, on a variety of topics and generally confines himself to his area of expertise.

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    @Evolved Deep Southerner: i did mean 95. my brain is devolving.

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    i’m new here, but the only troll that pops to mind is change. wyldpirate is… er… colorful with colorful language to boot. but we smoked it out. :)

    i’m pretty sure most people here could ease up on the personal attacks. i think when people are lobbing schoolyard taunts at one another, it engenders an atmosphere of total trollism.

    i, uncharacteristically, called someone a fucking idiot last week. there’s really never a need for that; although, in my defense, the person was being a fucking idiot. heh.

    point is: even if you have a valid argument, calling someone an obot or an apologist or a glennbot or a shithead or an idiot or whatever isn’t exactly the highest form of debate, and it is certainly not going to make the listener amenable to hearing whatever valid points you may have.

    my $.02.

  101. 101
    Xenos says:

    @change: When was the last time a Muslim shot a doctor in cold blood while he was in his church? Or shot the receptionist at a women’s health clinic? Or started a war under false pretenses, for naked political advantage, resulting in the deaths of thousands of American troops, hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, and millions impoverished and displaced?

    I would gladly take the next ten presidencies being assigned to ten people randomly selected from the Dearborn, MI phone book than to suffer another christofascist Republican administration.

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    BGinCHI says:

    Other than change, I don’t think there really are any trolls here.

    Shit, if you think burns or WyldePirate are trolls you ain’t been on many blog sites.

    Thicker skins, plz.

  103. 103
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Raw abuse, it should go without saying. Boys being what they are, alas, will try to silverback each other from time to time. Some taunts are pretty funny though, so I wouldn’t categorically rule it out. Didn’t stuckinred call change a dogfucker upthread? That shit is funny.

    @BGinCHI: True. I qualified my definition to apply to bj trolls. Different kinda troll altogether. Maybe we need a site unique term?

    Maybe dogfucker? I’m just spitballin’ here.

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    FlipYrWhig says:

    Does it count as trollish behavior if your comments on a post have little to do with that post or its comments but rather reheat old squabbles with other posters? Because that happens _a lot_ here. I know I’ve done it, against my own better judgment.

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    BGinCHI says:

    @Jewish Steel: Maybe whatever is less than troll on the fantasy scale.



    Dogfucker sounds complimentary in a way (also a character in Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl).

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    BGinCHI says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Squirrel!

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    Yutsano says:

    @BGinCHI: Goblins are basically one step down from trolls in the fantasy realm. Depending upon who you ask of course.

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    Jewish Steel says:


    How about Golems?


    The word golem is used in the Bible to refer to an embryonic or incomplete substance. Psalm 139:16 uses the word גלמי, meaning my unshaped form, which then passed into Yiddish as goylem.[2] The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person: “Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, and seven in a learned one”, Pirkei Avos 5:9 in the Hebrew text (English translations vary). Similarly, golems are often used today as a metaphor for brainless lunks or entities who serve man under controlled conditions, but are hostile to him in others. Similarly, it is a Yiddish slang insult for someone who is clumsy or slow.

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    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BGinCHI: Orc if you want menace, gremlin if you want to emphasize how they’re constantly fucking with machinery.

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    El Tiburon says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner:
    Pretty much what I thougt then. I don’t think any of those mentioned are trolls.

    Perhaps they use some adult language, also they seem to be able to respond more than your average commenter. Yes, their opinions are pretty strong, but not trolls.

  112. 112
    El Tiburon says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    i, uncharacteristically, called someone a fucking idiot last week. there’s really never a need for that; although, in my defense, the person was being a fucking idiot. heh.

    Cole has called me a ‘fucking idiot’ at least once, so I considermit a badge of honor.

  113. 113
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    But, I think a good start for a working definition of a bj troll is one who argues without edifying. That is, someone who just hammers and hammers at a point well outside of their sphere of expertise.

    So, according to you, someone has to be an expert, otherwise they might be a troll? ( I smell a Jeff Foxworthy routine here.)

    In that case, I hereby nominate 90 % of everyone here to be a troll. No, I don’t think I’m a troll. I comment on probably less than half of the posts. A few topics, like hamsher/ greenwald and now this entire Obama situation will usually get me going. And on the topics I feel very strongly ( and assuming I have the time at work) I will hammer my point as long as I have the energy. I think it makes for more interesting debate and is why this one of the better blogs out there.

    Its just a shame so many of you now want to restrict who can participate, you anti-trollites.

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    Suffern ACE says:

    @change: Sure, dude. When our leaders decide to give up attempting to be the foremost power operating in East Asia, Cental Asia, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic and Western Europe, our top leaders can be free to tell it like it is, too.

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    Jewish Steel says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Ah, well to state an opinion without expertise, no harm there. If you have something to say, let’s hear it! Bully!

    And certainly I would never presume to tell tell you what to argue about nor how to conduct yourself. For my own part I find that I can make my point pretty concisely if I give it some thought. One of the paradoxes of rhetoric is the more you say, the weaker your argument becomes. The hammering just blunts your point.

    Many of us read the comments in hopes to be illuminated on the topic at hand or to follow some digressive tangent that springs forth. When post I ask myself if what I have to say contributes something worthwhile. Something that someone might read and find interesting or funny. Because that is the value I get out of this blog.

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    @Jewish Steel: i understand “boys being boys” (and note that there are a lot of women, like me, who can do the so-called “boys being boys” schtick) but making a point and calling your “opponent” dogfucker is not exactly persuasive argument.

    ETA: dogfucker was entirely appropriate upthread. change brings nothing of value to the table.

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    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Let the trolls rant and rave all they want, they don’t bother me at all because they just don’t matter. Over the years I have built up a mental list of people here who are just plain assholes that I will engage on occasion, idiots that I will ridicule when bored, racists who I will spit at when sighted, ratfuckers and trolls who I ignore or engage when there is nothing else to do. And finally, there are the goatfuckers, who only exist to get your goat. I just call them goatfuckers and ride them like they are trying to do to me.

    Then there is everyone else.

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Personally I prefer goatfucker, they are out to get your goat and fuck it blue (or red, as it may be). It’s very clear that change is a goatfucker through and through.

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    Mrs. Polly says:

    @Elie: Wonderful. Brava. Applause.

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    A Humble Lurker says:

    On judging whether or not someone is a troll:
    While all trolls are annoying, not all annoying people are trolls.

    Think about that a minute, but only if you want to waste a minute.

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    Maody says:

    @stuckinred: Just wanted to say, late to the party, but YAY x 1,000 for your pups and your family. That’s just great news.

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