elevated blood pressure bursts head.....
February 25, 2003 7:42 AM   Subscribe

The troll gap - Despite heroic American efforts such as the "Kick/nuke their ass and take the gas" troll, "Each year, the Institute for Comparative Troll Studies publishes a report on the state of trolling vis a vis national security of the United States. This year, the outlook is not good..."(via Kuro5hin)
posted by troutfishing (19 comments total)

Here's one classic American troll, recently discussed, inconclusively and ad-naseum - typical for trolls - here here (disclosure - shameless self-link to Mefi comments)

But I'd say that the North Korean "We're crazy, really crazy, and we have at least one nuke-tipped missile which can reach the west coast of the US" troll easily beats the "Nuke their ass..." troll.
posted by troutfishing at 8:04 AM on February 25, 2003

posted by Plunge at 8:09 AM on February 25, 2003

is this the most self-referential troll post in mefi history? it's supposed to be about trolls, includes a iraq troll in the fpp text, and isn't even gramatically correct! what more could we ask for? can anyone add an i/p angle before this thread gets shot in the back of it's sorry head?
posted by andrew cooke at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2003

andrew - great troll! thanks for sharing.
posted by troutfishing at 8:25 AM on February 25, 2003

Nope. I'd say Bush has been able to successfully troll most of the world. He's basically been saying "PH34R M3!!1!" for six months now and everyone keeps falling for it.
posted by wobh at 8:30 AM on February 25, 2003

I like trolls. They're misunderstood and maligned just because they live under bridges and aren't pleasant to look at. Disney has been trying to restore the image of trolls and monsters lately in the cartoon movies so I expect the mindless masses will eventually come around to my way of thinking on the matter soon enough.

Oh, that kind of troll! Never mind then!
posted by nofundy at 8:43 AM on February 25, 2003

If it wasn't for the trolls you'd be speaking German right now.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2003

Nope. I'd say Bush has been able to successfully troll most of the world

Oh I think N. Korea is showing him a thing or two...
posted by PenDevil at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2003

Well, as a troll, Bush is not very good. He's repetitive and irritating which makes me think he's earnest and sincere (which technically makes him not a troll) but he's successful and getting a lot of people riled up and that's what matters most.

Now Saddam Hussein has become a really good troller, and is finally taking advantage of some opportunities to troll the west sowing confusion and dissent the whole way. This latest interview is awesome.

N. Korea I'm undecided on.

But I'm also undecided on a more interesting issue the FPP article depends on and we aren't talking about yet. Are usenet and similiar discussion forums useful analogies for understanding national and international politics? At first I thought no, it's clever, but not cogent. After further consideration I'm not sure.
posted by wobh at 9:02 AM on February 25, 2003

Unfortunately this troll took it too far and became ridiculous.
posted by Summer at 9:03 AM on February 25, 2003

wobh - will my trollish troll about trolls pull in any enraged - mathematical modellers? I know there are some on Mefi....

Hey! That idea of yours would make a great Phd. thesis topic, I'd bet. My modification: what about the tactical value of trolling?

PenDevil - Strangely, I agree with you - with the one reservation that Bush is trolling the American left, while North Korea is trolling at the international level. Still.........how can you beat "I'm crazy! I'm crazy. To prove it, I'll arm to the teeth while my subjects starve...I'm crazy, I'm crazy....I have nuclear tipped missiles pointed at YOU!" - the guy is a master.
posted by troutfishing at 11:09 AM on February 25, 2003

Oh I think N. Korea is showing him a thing or two...

Seems to be working, too:

U.S. to Resume Food Aid to North Korea After 2-Year Halt
posted by y2karl at 12:05 PM on February 25, 2003

The media part of this is easy: Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill Mahr, and Al Franken, all trolls. Most good pundits are trolls, they get paid to write and say provokative things. The analogy fits so well we might as well port the word "troll" into this area. In fact, during the long string of Coulter threads we had a while back, just this kind of terminology was used.

But if you are a politician in a democratic state it's different because your political interests are vested very differently. The fact that they are vested at all makes it a different game. Trolls get paid by attention (even if it's mostly negative). Politicians get paid by the more nebulous means of "approval" of their electorates. This makes their various moves in the political arena much more of a gamble.

Dictators don't have to worry about the approval of their electorates. I'm not sure what exactly they get out of it really, living out their power fantasies perhaps or basking in the glow of their cult of personality. Anyway, the point I want to make is they're much more like pundits and usenet trolls in that they are not politically vested and can therefore more safely engage in troll-like tactics for attention from the rest of the world.

Sidenote: Does anyone else read about N. Korea and think of The Mouse that Roared?
posted by wobh at 12:38 PM on February 25, 2003

Like wobh said, we've got great trolls in our pundits, but they're focused on their own people, instead of at our enemies.

If someone could point Ann Coulter away from trying to equate any statement she disagrees with as "treason", and instead towards north korea or iraq, the troll gap would be gone.
posted by mathowie at 2:07 PM on February 25, 2003

turmeric would be so proud ... He's now trolled two websites for the price of one. He's our special pet troll ... you should know that 9 out of 10 things he posts are incoherent rants, unlike this. Hmm ... maybe I should tell him ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:39 PM on February 25, 2003

I can't believe no-one's mentioned Al Qaeda yet. You have to admit -- having a long beard, being clearly Middle-Eastern, and appearing in a succession of poor-quality, badly translated video recordings proclaiming death to the United States is awesome as far as trolling goes.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:42 PM on February 25, 2003

Can we include this post in the report?

I second what plunge said.
posted by hama7 at 3:07 PM on February 25, 2003

Sonny: this is because I forgot to equate them to the great net kooks of past and present. Bin Laden == Serdar Argic. Although a better analogy is probably Hipcrime.
posted by wobh at 3:16 PM on February 25, 2003

Or his pals Skippy the Kangaroo, Steve Boursey and company. Now that was a true axis of evil ... MEOW!!
posted by pyramid termite at 3:31 PM on February 26, 2003

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