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 Light Refreshment, Rules For Trolls & Pills
Posted: Jan 20 2006, 08:09 PM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 96
Member No.: 25
Joined: 27-December 05

Ahem, couldn't but laugh, it's so familiar.


WHEREAS, 95 percent of all the e-mail received by critics and columnists
is civil, friendly or respectfully constructive;

but WHEREAS, this is the Internet age, and we're all anonymous and can
avoid making eye contact forever;

and WHEREAS, there's so much information overload, a little heat and
drama on your part may be necessary just to be heard above the din;

and WHEREAS, many of those who fire off potshots are missing out on some
of the best techniques for effective snippiness;

THEREFORE let us now post the rules for membership in the Pills of the
American Internet Neighborhood Society.

1. Use the strongest language possible. Calling names is always
effective, and four-letter words show that you mean business.

2. Having a violent opinion of something doesn't require you to actually
try it yourself. After all, plenty of people heatedly object to books
they haven't read or movies they haven't seen. Heck, you can imagine
perfectly well if something is any good.

3. If it's a positive review that you didn't like, call the reviewer a
"fanboy." Do not entertain the notion that the product, service, show,
movie, book or restaurant might, in fact, be good. Instead, assume that
the reviewer has received payment from the reviewee. Work in the word
"shill" if possible.

4. If it's a negative review, call the reviewer a "basher" and describe
the review as a "hatchet job." Accuse him of being paid off by the
reviewee's *rival*.

5. If it's a mixed review, ignore the passages that balance the
argument. Pretend that the entire review is all positive or all
negative. Refer to it either as a "rave" or a "slam."

6. If you find a sentence early in the article that rubs you the wrong
way, you are by no means obligated to finish reading. Stop right where
you are--express your anger while it's still good and hot! What are the
odds that the writer is going to say anything else relevant to your
point later in the piece, anyway?

7. If the writer responds to your e-mail with evidence that you're wrong
(for example, by citing a paragraph that you overlooked), disappear
without responding. This is the anonymous Internet; slipping away
without consequence or civility is your privilege.

8. Trolling is making a deliberately inflammatory remark, one that you
know perfectly well is baloney, just to get a rise out of other people.
Trolling is an art. Trolling works just fine for an audience of one
(say, a journalist), but of course the real fun is trolling on public
bulletin boards where you can get dozens of people screaming at you
simultaneously. Comments on religion, politics or Mac-vs.-Windows are
always good bets. The talented troll sits back to enjoy the fireworks
with a smirk, and never, ever responds to the responses.

9. Don't let generalities slip by. Don't tolerate simplifications for
the sake of a non-technical audience. Ignore conditional words like
"generally," "usually" and "most." If you read a sentence that says, for
example, "The VisionPhone is among the first consumer videophones," cite
the reviewer's ignorance and laziness for failing to mention the
prototype developed by AT&T for the 1964 World's Fair. Send copies of
your note to the publication's publisher and, if possible, its advertisers.

And there you have it: the nine habits of highly effective pills. After
all: if you're going to be a miserable curmudgeon, you may as well do it
up right!
Posted: Feb 19 2006, 08:38 PM

Advanced Member

Group: Members
Posts: 65
Member No.: 31
Joined: 19-February 06

Yup. Seen all of the above (and more!) during my days as a 'Usenet God'

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