Trollish Ubiquity

Back when God was in diapers, Howard Greenfield wrote and Connie Francis sang a song that went,

Yes, everybody’s somebody’s fool
Everybody’s somebody’s plaything
And there are no exceptions to the rule
Yes, everybody’s somebody’s fool

And now it appears that also, everybody’s somebody’s troll. Today, the epithet is thrown around so loosely it has taken on a whole different meaning. A troll is anyone who disagrees with a genuine troll’s point of view. Talking about trolls in the third person is cultural commentary, but calling someone a troll to their virtual face is a troll move. It’s the world’s biggest case of “You spot it, you got it.”

Driven by drama-queenery and a simple inability to tolerate peace, the genuine OG troll fancies itself a sort of anti-hero agent of chaos. My initiation to the world of dedicated (and admittedly, often artful) trolling was via the Rogan Board, where I devoted some time to a controversial medical-related topic. No offense to Joe Rogan, who is known as the “bridge between the meatheads and the potheads.” It’s just that his forum can get quite meathead-intensive. When someone invited me to die in a fire, I asked, “Mom, is that you?”

The thing about that format is, your message can be as lengthy and complicated as you please, as long as you’re not bothered by the prospect of some condescending snarky person going “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read).

I didn’t have occasion to think much about trolls again until recently, when I got interested in the horrible death of Kendrick Johnson. It became obvious that Twitter is not a fitting locale for an ideological discussion, as anyone knows who has tried. At most, it should be used to point to some other web location, where there is space for the voice of reason to speak.


About Pat Hartman

Before publishing the two books "Call Someplace Paradise" and "Ghost Town: A Venice California Life", my main project was "Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics. " I wrote extensively for "Scene," a monthly arts and entertainment magazine with a circulation of 25,000. Also proofread, sold ads, put together the music calendar and, for a couple of years, served as editor. Presided over a couple issues of the local NORML newsletter, as well as being featured speaker at chapter meetings. Wrote a complete screenplay; collaborated on another one; worked on a couple of scripts (additional dialog and general brainstorming) with an indie film producer. Booked the talent for a large music festival. Wrote, designed, illustrated and produced various catalogs and brochures for small businesses. Spoke at a high school as a panelist on Women in the Professions; was a featured speaker at the 1991 Women in Libertarianism Conference; presented public programs on "Success in One Lesson" and "The Bloomsbury Group: What's It To Us?" Created the website and wrote many politically-oriented pieces for
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