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I am STILL being trolled by a blog

June 14, 2010

For some reason, I found a link to a previous entry on this blog…aptly named, “I am being trolled by a blog.” I was raging and butthurt over being put on moderation/bannination (which others tried to assure me either that it was an honor so I shouldn’t rage so hard, that nothing of the sort had happened so I shouldn’t take offense at a [metaphorical] misspelled name, or that raging was exactly the reason why.)

Ah, that was exactly one year ago from today. Isn’t it interesting how that works?

I guess I can now evaluate now and then.

As the title says, I am still being trolled. These days, the silent treatment is the weapon of choice.

What I’ve learned in a year is that trolling, like tango, requires two. It requires the troll and the trolled. Because trolling is an art, and art requires an aesthetic response (thus, some audience to provide the aesthetic response.)

So, what I have realized — the tragic flaw in this miniature drama — is that I am trolling myself.

Here we go…two posts on this. No one else even cares. Tons of people are banned all the time (and multiple times, etc.,) and the world moves on. And that’s exactly the point. The trolled are trolled precisely because they take the trolling to heart and don’t let it evaporate away. The trolled are trolled not because they care too little, but because they care too much. Not because they weren’t invested enough, but because they are too invested.

The takeaway I’m getting from this is somewhat Buddhist, if I think about it. Desire is suffering. Get rid of desire; get rid of suffering.

In this case, the desire to be heard. Recognized. But more importantly, understood. Accepted.

Actually I don’t know which of these is more important. It is one thing to be misunderstood. But the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

So, here’s when the meta-trolling comes into play. The meta-trolling comes into play because I know how silly and petty this all is, and yet here I am. I know I should let go, and I want to let it go, but I don’t want to let go. Yeah, exactly like that.


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  1. Chris permalink

    Yes! Get rid of desire, get rid of unfulfillment, and ultimately get rid of emotional pain. This is my basic premise in the other post.

  2. Get rid of humanity too, ultimately.

  3. Chris permalink

    Heh, no. I’m not exactly sure what it means to have a desire to connect to humanity actually. A subset desire I suppose would be to desire that others agree with you (for example). This subset expectation, I think, could be re-worked. I think it’s a safe bet to rid the desire that other internet people should agree with you and replace it with merely a preference.

  4. Not quite. That is a preference.

    It’s more an issue of understanding. To have people disagree with you, but at least understand what you’re saying, and understand the validity of it is one thing. To have people marginalize what you’re saying is completely different.

  5. Chris permalink

    Ah true. But one could still have the desire to have people not marginalize what you’re saying. I think in general people do expect this. And it is generally a ‘rational’ expectation. But nevertheless it is an expectation and inevitably will lead to unfulfillment at times. Could you not re-work this expectation of all people? I mean it is the internet. If some random dude on the internet marginalizes what I say, should I really care? I suppose it depends. But I think you can still modify the expectation to only apply in certain situations.

  6. But that’s the thing…it’s not JUST some internet thing. What I see in one blog community, for example, just seems representative of a problem that happens everywhere.

    That’s why I know it’s silly to expect certain things. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that way…

    • FireTag permalink

      Don’t worry, Andrew. I’ll still be here to misunderstand you. I’m really good at misunderstanding. 😀

      • the feeling is SOOO mutual, FireTag. But you sound so much better at it!

  7. Chris permalink

    Well of course people everywhere will marginalize what you say. I was just trying to point out that, for example, if some random pimply ass douchebag teenager from alaska is marginalizing to his heart’s content in the youtube comments section, I would just let him go at it. I would rather ‘fight’ up, then down.

  8. If you’re being banned by the blog I think it is, trust me: it has precious little to do with you. Or maybe it does only in the sense of looking for love in all the wrong places. Those folks over there on the blog-that-shall-not-be-named have circled the wagons. What you think is free inquiry they see as an assault on all they hold dear.

    Why don’t you start writing for Main Street Plaza?

  9. That’s a funny thing, MHH…

    For however much I struggle to write at Mormon Matters each week (and then it’s not very good, and it’s something that gets scrawled at the last minute), and for however much I simply do not fit in at other blogs (that shall not be named), I struggle just as much to write at MSP again

    Perhaps I’ll try it again though.

    • If only you had some relation to USU, I’d beg you to come write for the SHAFT blog.

      • this will sound like a non sequitur, but SHAFT is so dark and claustrophobic.

        That being said, maybe I should go to USU for a class or too, if only because if I did, I could say I’m an Aggie in three states.

        • Ha ha, what do you mean? Is the style/layout of the blog dark and claustrophobic? Or does the word just conjure up images of mine shafts and the like?

          • style/layout.

            haha, although I guess I can see what you mean.

  10. I was confused about what your post was about at first. For some reason, I thought you were being stalked by some unknown (or at least you can find out the IP) blog/person who was also following you on the internet. I don’t think that’s what you were saying.

    I confess, I’m old, and I don’t understand the meaning of the word “troll” any longer. I remember it used to mean someone who would join a group just to create trouble – and would say things they may not even believe. Now I think it has a different meaning in internet speak – more of joining a group and sharing a different opinion?

    So, am I mistaken that someone is still following everything you post on the internet? Mistakenly thinking you are anti-mormon?? (which I, for one, have never thought you are/were). Or, rather, is this post about the fact that you are banned from commenting/posting on a particular blog? I believe it’s the latter (and I am fairly dense most of the time, so I could be wrong).

    If it is the latter, I have further comments about groups and group dynamics. But I wanted to double check first.

  11. aerin,

    I actually do know that there’s a guy who keeps tabs on all the people he considers “anti-Mormon.” I have been put on his list, of course. But I stay away from him, and he sticks to his own haunts for the most part.

    But that’s not really the thing.

    I have heard of that as being one definition of troll…but the real controversy (that I think continues is)…is a troll incendiary because he purposefully intends to cause trouble (in which case, would we say that someone who only ACCIDENTALLY riles people up is not a troll?), or would we say that a person is a troll because she is incendiary, regardless of her intention?

    And I don’t think it just has to be an individual with relationship to a group. It can be group to group, or group to individual. I think that if an individual wants to participate in a group, but the group shuns the individual, gives him or her a runaround of explanations, etc., then the group could be considered trolls.

    So, to answer your questions…while it is true that there are those who think I’m one of the worst kinds of antis (it’s kinda…flattering? in a way?), this is more about the latter. So please, bring on comments about groups and group dynamics!

  12. Ah! The question of intention! (Your answer does help, btw. )

    Your first question was whether or not a person can be a troll if they accidentally rile people up. Well. This is an interesting question. I don’t think that is your responsibility. While I believe there is a notion of civility that is important in most interactions – if that civility is there – I’m not sure that a person can be responsible for “riling” people up. Yes, a person needs to be responsible for yelling fire in a crowded theater. But if the original person (we’ll say you for example) is respectful in their disagreement of a given topic- whose fault is it that someone else has hysterics because of what you said? And in particular, if a person has facts to back them up. Saying something like “oil is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico” is a fact. Some people might get upset or riled up – but you are just stating the truth.

    Now, the definition of civility and respect is up for debate. One person might not want me to put my feet on the coffee table or sofa, and find that horribly offensive. Other people might not care.

    Respect and civility are completely society/culturally based IMO. I think about all the Christian missionaries who would go to tropical countries (in the 19th century) and yet still wear long-sleeved woolen clothes. That’s what they considered civil, and wearing fewer clothes than that would be considered immodest or even improper.

    So, in my opinion, every group (however loosely applied) gets to decide who they will allow to participate and who they won’t. I am okay with that. One group might decide that wearing shoes in their house is completely disrespectful, and if I visit them and wear shoes – they ask me to leave. That’s their right.

    I suppose for the most part, I would prefer to spend my time at friend’s homes where I’m welcome.

    Now, to your original point, the reason you might have been originally banned from a particular place or blog may be completely unfair. It might have been wrong. It might have been a mistake. Someone else might have seen you wearing shoes in the house when you weren’t. I can’t say.

    I respect the right of groups to define their boundaries. Some of those boundaries might be arbitrary or some even discriminatory. Who knows.

    There might be some sort of smoke-filled back room where everyone sits next to one another and says “don’t let aerin in”. It’s always easier to define yourself by who you’re not. But for me, I can certainly choose to spend my energy (like with the boy scouts with girls and atheists, for example) talking about my right to try to join their group. Or choose to spend my time elsewhere.

  13. I find this part intriguing:

    “I respect the right of groups to define their boundaries. Some of those boundaries might be arbitrary or some even discriminatory. Who knows?”

    If we were back in the days when the boundaries were, “Women should stay in the home, or if they work, only in certain fields,” would you try to talk about your right to join other groups or spend your time where you are appreciated (e.g., in the traditionally “feminine” endeavors).

    At some point, I think that this group boundary maintenance is stifling.

  14. Andrew, it’s true, the boundary maintenance may be stifling. And there have been unjust boundaries and continue to be unjust/unfair boundaries in society.

    But people also have a right to protest. There is a club downtown where I live that only recently (in the past 20 years) allowed women to join. Do/Did I support the right of people to peacefully protest that club? Sure. Or to join other clubs that allow women? Sure. That’s another way to protest.

    So it’s okay for groups to set boundaries, and okay for people to protest those boundaries (you’re sort of protesting with this post, right?) And each protester/person has the right to choose to protest, or choose not to protest. And to decide one wants to belong to a group or chooses not to – due to the boundaries.

    And, it is a sticky situation when finances get involved. A person might argue that the participating in a club may or may not lead to greater financial livelihood.

    Yet there is a difference to my mind about what a person can and cannot do for a living, and what clubs or churches a person can join. Clubs and churches seem to be more voluntary activities and organizations. The boundaries seem a bit looser to my mind, a bit more flexible.

    And I’m not sure what is stifling in boundary maintenance. Stifling to whom? I think women not having the priesthood in the LDS church is stifling to women – but others’ disagree with me. They believe that boundary is absolutely important and worth maintaining.

    I’m flexible on this point, but I still think groups should be able to define themselves and their conversations. I suppose it’s a bill of rights/free speech/right to gather thing.

    And other people have the right to protest others’ speech and gatherings.

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