Don’t Feed the Trolls
I wrote this post after finding out my troll was posting shit about Kasdeya all over the web within a lovely review of Mark Allen Smith’s Queen of Hell. It’s sad such a lovely review was marred by a troll’s useless and fabricated “critical discourse”. Mr. Smith basically asked me not to post comments refuting my troll on his blog (since I wasn’t refuting the review itself), which I respected. Instead – I refuted the troll over on demonolatry.org.
So today I want to talk about feeding trolls.
There have been a few folks recently who have pointed out that if I don’t allow everyone the freedom to express their ideas on my website or pages that I am somehow lowering myself. The complaint is that in the occult world we have this problem where critical discourse is not encouraged because some occult authors are not able to take criticism.
I disagree as I don’t think this is the case. I think we can take CONSTRUCTIVE criticism just fine. I think there is such a thing as a way to tactfully disagree with someone and their ideas without being obtuse, aggressive, or chiding and superior. But that’s the problem with trolls, isn’t it?
I don’t mind hearing why someone disagrees with me. They are allowed (imagine that!). It’s when the disagreement comes from the pen, keyboard (or mouth) of a troll that I find myself clicking the delete button.
There’s an old axiom out there about not feeding trolls.
Trolls are people who know more than everyone else. If you don’t agree with them they will call you names. They will act like they’re “someone” you should bow down to. They’re trolls, clear and simple. Their entire goal in life is to create chaos wherever they go (because they have no lives). They get off on pushing people’s buttons and pissing them off. Then – when they’re deleted or banned they “act” shocked and they whine, “You’re just not interested in a critical discourse!” Waaaa!
I am very open to critical discourse when it doesn’t start out, “You need to explain to me why….” Or “You need to explain yourself…” or they talk down to me like I’m some ignorant child who doesn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground. No sweetie – the only two things I HAVE to do in this life are pay taxes and die – everything else is optional.
Or (and this is my favorite) the “critical discourse” contains lies or fabrications, or just good old-fashioned misunderstandings because someone has a reading comprehension problem. I actually get the latter A LOT. Someone, for example, once made an assumption that I had something to do with the publishing (and editing evidently) of Michael Ford’s work simply because some shared fans put us on the same reading lists over on Amazon. Talk about misunderstanding!
Look – it’s not my fault you’re tech-tarded.
It probably wouldn’t have gotten my goat so much if the troll hadn’t asserted his assumption as if it were a fact. You should probably not name drop, lie, or make erroneous assumptions if you want someone to take your “critical discourse” seriously. Otherwise it just sounds like the nonsensical ramblings of a crazy person.
The problem with trolls, of course, is once you start speaking to them they will harass you indefinitely with more and more bullshit. By the mere act of acknowledging them you are feeding them with what they want — your undivided attention. When you know who the trolls are and you delete them – you are doing yourself a service by not allowing them to waste your precious time trying to talk to them.
Don’t feed the trolls is great advice. Sadly not everyone thinks so. Especially younger occultists and some occult authors. Look, if you want to feed trolls – go for it. But me, I have spent enough wasted time in my forty years on this planet dealing with trolls. I’m done. I’m all for polite and mutually respectful debate. However, know that BEFORE you write me or attempt to post on my sites, everything you purport in your “critical discourse” better be 100 percent factual and not laden with gross assumptions, snotty comments, or some superior tone like I owe you something or you’re somehow special. Because I will delete and ignore. I’ve honed my troll-spotting skills.
I don’t feed trolls because the second you do – you can’t get rid of them.
So for those young people and those authors out there who do feed them – enjoy your troll(s). You can have them. I’ve got better things to do with my time. 🙂
I am currently ignoring a troll myself.