Friday, September 29, 2006

Anger makes strange bedfellows: trolls and jihadis

I'm back from DC and naturally have a backlog of things to do, the way it always is when one goes away. So I wasn't online much today, and the troll commentary has managed to pile up on the previous thread. I've left it all there so far, although I may delete it later. As I know I've said before, sometimes I leave such comments up because they are so very instructive about the techniques and thought processes of a certain segment of the Left.

Why would trolls think such "argument"--amounting mostly to ad hominem attacks and insults--would convince anyone of the truth of their cause? On the face of it, that doesn't make sense. But the argument of a troll only masquerades as argument; it's not really meant to convince. It's meant to harass, and to strut a sort of macho aggressiveness (my strong sense, even if saying it is not PC, is that the vast majority of trolls are male).

Trolls exist to disrupt a blog. That's their entire raison d'etre. Trolling is a strange and sorry way to spend any of the precious hours of one's life, but there you have it.

It must have its own rewards for the troll. Every time a person responds to a troll, the troll feels good. Every time the blogger has to write a post like the one I'm writing now, the troll feels good. Every time a blogger has to change from one form of comments to another in order to increase banning capacity (as I've had to do previously, and will probably do again soon in a major reorganization of the blog when I get some time) the troll feels especially, exceptionally good.

It's interesting that the previous thread, the one that drew so many trolls (or so many sock puppets--take your pick; I don't even feel like taking the trouble to check who's who right now, although I can easily do that) was about the ubiquity and free-floating quality of Muslim rage. When you think about it, there isn't much reason that Leftists and jihadis should have much in common, although politics (and hatred of neocons) does make strange bedfellows. But one of the things both groups share is their rage, and their pride and even glee in expressing it.

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