Thoughts

Extra! Extra! Read All About it! MAGA Troll Trolls Ye Olde Blogge!


I’ve long since concluded that I must be living wrong. I’ve prayed and lit incense and tossed coins into fountains on four continents all fervently wishing that someone anyone would be offended enough by these blog posts to troll me. But, alas and alack, they have not. That is they haven’t until earlier this week! Praise Jebus and pass the offending plate, a MAGA troll has stumbled across Ye Olde Blogge and was offended enough to troll us. Now, I can relax and enjoy my vacation!

Maybe there is a god because it finally happened!!! It did. I have a TROLL. For now, I’ve kept him locked in the spam dungeon of unapproved comments while I determine how I can take him out and show him off to all the other cool bloggers and social media folk without him ruining the carpet by dripping his trolly juices all over them. Here, let me tell the story from the beginning.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when someone with moniker, mocskerr, dropped in and left a comment that was as innocuous as it was baffling on the post, Why Is He Putting So Many People At Risk For #COVID19? Trump Lacks Empathy– Part 1, published almost one year ago. What a coincidence! A year ago. How’d that happen? The coincidences keep piling up suggesting to me that there must be a god lurking in the hedges somewhere.

He wrote, Dude Trump aint a Doctor. Duh.

Hunh. Ass scratcher. Did he think I was claiming that Trump was a doctor? That only doctors have empathy? That Trump is putting people at risk for #COVID19 because he isn’t a doctor? What could he possibly mean?

Did he mean it as a hostile rebuke? A sympathetic agreement? A bland neutrality? It didn’t even have CONNOTATION. At least the guy who called us all a bunch of deranged idiots had connotation. A definitiveness. You knew where he stood and it was right on your big toe, you know the one with the ingrown toenail so it really hurt? At least the whinging Bernie Princesses had connotation when they were stamping their little feets, gnashing their braced teeth, and shaking their wee fists in their sputtering outrage of being compared to royalty, oh, and by the way, do you mind helping me get this pea out from under my mattresses, they asked. I just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep with it down there. Their impotent howls of indignation were at least as indignant as they were indulgent, self-indulgent that is. But, this guy was drowning in ambiguity.

What was worse, his comment had been lost in the spam folder amongst all the innocent inquiries about where to find CDB oils and negligees and vaguely worded praise for some random post. I only found it by luck when I went in to muck it out because I read my spam.

So, I asked him what he meant. And apologized for not getting to it sooner because spam.

Of course, he answered with a screed. A veritable deluge of MAGA half-twitted half-truth. A turd of Trump tropes.

Of course, it landed with a resounding thud in the spam file.

A few days after my response to his initial comment, I figured I had lost him as a commenter by the delay in responding due to the spam file thing. Then, I noticed that there were comments in the spam file. Well, egg on my face because he had answered, and there it was.

My dilemma was born. Do I approve the comment and try to refute it? Do I answer point-by-point or just with a general dismissal? Should I just ignore it?

Another ass scratcher. It is a good thing I have an itchy ass.

So, I answered with what I thought was a thoughtful polite response explaining that I appreciated any and all commenters and hated to turn people away but I could not in good conscious publish disinformation. Also, there were a few factual errors in his claims that I refuted. Not many. Only six. Six of the most egregious.

I was done with the troll, or so I thought. That ought to have been the end of it, but I couldn’t let it go. Some of the stuff he claimed was just so stupid it was screaming to be debunked at decibels that Ted Nugent and AC-DC could only dream of. It was way past eleven. It was feeding back and reverbing around in my head. I had to consciously make myself not write out the point-by-point refutation, but I couldn’t stop thinking of it. Like some PTSD-induced intrusive memory, a claim he’d made would pop into my head and I’d begin mentally arguing with him.

Fuck.

He got me.

Still I persisted. I resisted.

And, then, the other day, I saw that I had a small explosion in my stats. I was a good fifty visits over my average. When I looked, I had a three to one ratio of views to visitors. Someone had come to the blog and looked at a lot of posts.

Hunh.

Usually that’s the end of that. There was no referral source that reflected that many views. There was no country other than the States that could account for it. There was no blog post that was garnering that many views. The stat page, as usual, wasn’t revealing much of any useful information about my visitors or their views. You just never know where your visitors come from, why they were there, how long they stayed, or anything. All you get are cold hard low numbers lining up in columns on a page. There is little there to warm any blogger’s heart.

Man, another ass scratcher.

But, then, I noticed that my spam file had filled awfully fast from the last time I had mucked it out and found mocskerr’s last screed.

Jackpot and BINGO! There were twenty-seven comments in the spam folder, twenty-six of them were from him! Twenty-six. There were comments on blog posts. There were comments on comments. There were comments on my comments, on Bob’s comments, on the comments of other people. None of us were spared. He commented on recent posts, posts from years ago. Something had pulled his string. He was on a roll. He was a troll on a roll. And covering all of the bases: the fraudit, abolishing the central bank, states’ rights, Trump apologisms. There were one liners, multi-liners, a couple of paragraphs. They were repetitious, incomprehensible, nonsensical.

I had gotten under his skin, more than he had gotten under mine! Ha! Take that mocskerr!

And, every freaking one of them landed in the spam file. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Other than there is a god. Because if there were ever a spammy spamming spamster trolling the Interwebs, it was this guy. And, the patron saint of bloggers, Saint Francis de Sales, had obviously intervened with god or jebus or someone on my behalf and tossed this sucker into the spam vat where he belonged. I’m telling you, god has never made her views of someone any clearer than landing this troll right where he belongs.

When someone tells you who they are, you should listen, but when god tells you who you are, you should straighten up, listen, and mend your mo’fo’ ways.

So, I did what I always do when a Trojan horse is wheeled up to my doorstep, I think about the psychology behind it all. I came up with three cognitive tendencies that explains the utter stupidity of MAGA Nation and their willful fucking ignorance of the world, but you’ll have to read the post that explains all that cognitive Tom fuckery. When I tried it along with the story, TL;DR.

Now, I have a new dilemma. When I get trolly comments, I don’t approve them, but I don’t delete them, either. I leave them in the pending stack and take some satisfaction at watching their ineffective impotent attempts at everyday sadism remain as flaccid as Trump is. I’m up to eleven — See? The hand of god at work again? Eleven. I’ve turned it up to eleven? When a comment erroneously lands in the spam folder, you have to approve, dig through the approved stack until you find it (it goes in at the date it was submitted) and then respond to it. Believe me, it is a pain in the ass that WordPress should fix. Then, if the comment is offensive and you wish that no one would see it, you have to unapprove it, and it moves to the pending stack.

Now, I have twenty-six trolly comments in the spam file. I don’t want to approve them all and then unapprove. I’m going on vacation in a countable number of hours. I guess I can leave them in the spam file in some kind of offering to Saint Francis de Sales. If you have any suggestions, please put them in the comments.

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Image Attribution

“St Francis de Sales blessing by Lawrence OP is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

23 replies »

  1. I’ve had several spirited dialogues with antagonists. But I have been largely blessed with honest debaters. One or two became friendly participants.

    One actual troll disappeared once a single post was rejected, not for content, but for lack of content. He had posed only a link to an unrelated site.

    Twitter is another matter. The anonymity and the limitation on length may contribute to safe hostility.

    I am especially entertained when some comment obviously seeks a hostile response. Sometimes I can respond to insults to my intelligence, lack of research, age, or appearance with amiable agreement. I can then repeat some point that has my antagonist has not yet answered. The surprised anger is entertaining when I am not provoked by the intended provocation.

    At my advanced years (yes they are right about that) I can use all the enjoyment I can find.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Burr!

      I think the policy of approving every comment before it is posted has limited the number of trolls I’ve encountered here. It couldn’t possibly be the obscurity of the blog. I reckon I get a good hunnert or so trolls a day reading Ye Olde Blogge and they are just discouraged by the commenting approval policy. Maybe even a thousan’ Probably ten thousand, but who’s counting, amirite?

      Your comment reminds me of a technique I used to use in when I was being a therapist. I always called it, “Yeah, I am an asshole.” In everybody’s therapy comes the day or weeks when they are pissed at the therapist and are bound and determined to tell you what an asshole you are. So, instead of being defensive and arguing with them, I would agree. “Yeah, I can be an asshole now and again. What did I do? Yeah, that would make me an asshole. What else have I done?” Usually they can’t make it through more than two rounds of that before their anger is spent and they delve into a deeper exploration of what really set them off and that I’m not so bad.

      It’s one reason that I always respond politely and firmly to trolls. “I appreciate the comment, god knows we get few enough of them, but just like my blog posts you have to have a developed argument and some support for it, not just name calling or an extended rant.”

      When you reject the first comment based on that reasoning, most trolls just give up. This guy came back with 26 comments on, literally, 26 different posts. Other than my mother — did the temperature just get colder for you, too? — I don’t think I’ve had such a close reading of the blog. At least her criticism had that maternal sting that only mothers can bring to it.

      Trolls are like fasting… I don’t know if either are actually good for you, but both should only be undertaken for their entertainment and amusement purposes.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A thought or two as to why and what-for: in early iterations of WordPress if you marked a commenter as spam they were marked as spam across the platform. All WordPress blogs. Not unlike the invitation only beta version of g0mail I ran for years. I don’t know if that has held over or if even applicable but I long ago, before I turned off comments at my house, marked mocskerr as spam. What-to-do? You know that saw about sleeping dogs? I quit, was overwhelmed, hunting and engaging trolls a couple years ago, I’ve got better things to do with the time I have left, but my feelings are leave it in the trash, don’t dignify it with the attention it craves. You’re not going to counter its talking points, you’ll just end up frustrating yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Ten!

      Thanks for the “tip” on the once a spammer, always a spammer, thing. It might explain why several other legitimate commenters ended up in the spam file.

      I generally don’t do much with trolls on the blog or on social media. I certainly don’t try and change their minds. When they comment on the blog, I answer that I don’t allow such comments on the blog and then unapprove their comment since you can only respond to approved comments. Pain n the ass, especially when you find the little worm in the spam file and when you approve it lands in th approved file by date, but you can’t search comments by date, so you’re stuck going back through them or finding the post. Anywho.

      Like they say, “Don’t feed the trolls.”

      Mocskerr has been at a while, eh? It makes sense given his explosion of crap that he threw my way. There’s an obsessiveness and compulsiveness there that probably belies some deeper psychological issue on top of the soul crushing cognitive dissonance and general antisocialness it takes to believe and spout that obvious garbage.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

    • Howdy Bob!

      Usually, the spam file is a place for the inexplicable comments of bots, not real live “legitimate” commenters. I’ve gotten a couple of commenters in the spam file, though. Mostly, they’ve been good folks who’ve wandered in their by accident. Friend o’ the blog, Ten Bears, thinks that maybe if someone on WordPress marks your comment as spam, then the entire system will treat every comment as spam. Could be.

      The compulsion to post 27 comments and 50+ views knowing that they’ll never be approved and read by anyone is a strong compulsion. Someone is deeply unhappy and probably suffering from a treatable mental illness.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

    • Friends, countrymen, Romans, lend me your trolls…

      You know, they are good for the occasional amusement. Damned odd lot the bunch of them, though.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

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