I know how it is.
Every day is the same, and every day after that promises to be the same, and you go through life aimlessly and ennui rushes in and you’re aimless and shiftless and purposeless and like a boat without a rudder. Where to go? What to do? Nothing seems to matter anymore. Nothing brings on that rush. You’ve tried all the usual forms of excitement – drugs, sex with strangers who seemed dangerous but were really just unemployed, wearing low-cut tops to the supermarket to excite the checkout boys, spending excessive amounts of money on unnecessary things like scratch-off tickets and gum. NOTHING WORKS.
So what do you do? What will bring excitement back into your life? What will get your endorphins pumping, put that sparkle back in your eye, that spring back in your step, that “hoo” back in your “whoo?”
I’m here to help, my little angst-ridden friends. I have just the thing. You’ve tried everything else; this is guaranteed to get your blood pumping, to give you a reason to get up in the morning, to keep you busy, and to bring the joy back. It’s not easy, but when is something totally worthwhile ever easy? It shouldn’t be easy. The level of difficulty tells you how important this is, not only to you as an American, but to ALL OF US. It’s a role we need people to play. Society hinges on this role, but it needs to be done right.
Are you ready? Are you ready for the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
The answer is:
BECOME AN INTERNET TROLL.
And I will show you how! I know most people would charge you for something like this, something that’s bound to change your life for the better. I am SO EAGER TO HELP YOU that I’M WILLING TO HELP FOR FREE. I just ask that you be the best troll you can be. Don’t half-ass this, seriously. Do it right or go back to your long nights weeping over your Good Times DVDs. This isn’t a job for the weak of heart.
First, some background. What is a troll?
THIS is an internet troll. It is a person! Just like you or me! Who writes inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in places such as chatrooms, blog comments, or discussion boards. Without trolls, we would not know JUST HOW LOW WE CAN STOOP. Also, without trolls, who would self-righteous internettians band together against? Just think, the “report this comment” button would go sorely unused. What a sad state of affairs that would be!
Here is an example of trolling.
Mamma: I’m having a really hard time right now and need prayers. My son just came out of the closet. I’m trying really hard to support him, but it hasn’t been easy for me. Please pray for us, and if you have any words of wisdom, I’d appreciate them.
JaneDoe: Sorry to hear that, Mamma. Praying for you and your son.
Harry: I went through a similar thing. It’s tough, but this too will pass. Stay strong.
AlexisPWinterbottom: Praying for you.
Francis: *Hug* Hope all works out ok.
Llort: All fags go to HELL! I wedn’t prey for him. I’d kick him out of the house bucause being that close to sin will going get you all sin-covered then you’ll go to hell too and BERN UP! Also he’s gay because your husband molested him and his PENIS!!!1!
Froggy: Sorry, Mamma. Praying for you at church today.
Gena: Love to you and your son. Just be supportive and let him know you love him.
Can you spot the troll?
I know, you might say it’s AlexisPWinterbottom, because that’s a very stupid chatroom name, but it’s actually Llort. We’ll explain more why below, but Llort did everything right in this trolling. Llort is very skilled in the art of trolling, and probably is onto my course in Advanced Trolling by now. Kudos, Llort!
What’s great about being a troll is, ANYONE CAN DO IT. All you need is a computer, an internet connection (or even a phone with internet capabilities! It is 2011, after all! The world is full of delicious possibilities!) and trolling abilities. What’s that, you say? Trolling abilities? What are these? How do I get them? HELP ME!
As you wish.
RULE THE FIRST: WHY TROLL?
Well, I’m kind of offended you would ask. It’s a noble calling, as mentioned above. For further proof, I would like to quote the brilliant musical Assassins, by Stephen Sondheim.
“People will hate me.”
“They’ll hate you will a passion…Imagine people having passionate feelings about (you.)”
“The death of innocence and hope…”
“The bitter burdens which you share…”
“The bitter truths you carry in your heart…”
“You can share them with the world.”
What’s that? This doesn’t apply? In this segment, they’re talking about the death of John F. Kennedy? WELL AREN’T YOU JUST A STICKLER. It TOTALLY applies. This is why trolling is IMPORTANT. You are going through life not mattering to anyone. IMAGINE HOW MUCH YOU’LL MATTER ONCE YOU’RE THE MOST HATED TROLL IN THE WORLD. There’s a fine line between love and hate. Well! SO MANY PEOPLE WILL HATE YOU THAT IT’S ALMOST LIKE THE WHOLE WORLD LOVES YOU. You’re totally Mr. Popularity now, muchacho!
RULE THE SECOND: FIND PLACES TO TROLL
You’d think this would be easy, but it actually takes some work. See, people don’t WANT you to troll. I know! So rude! So anti-American! FREE SPEECH!!!!! So you need to find places that are not only troll-friendly, but that are easy pickings for trolls. See, most small, independent bloggers have gotten savvy to the way of trolls, and want to keep them from commenting on their sites, for whatever reason. So they monitor all comments that come into their blogs, and delete the ones that are troll comments. I know. It is very sad. Trolling independent blogs is usually a waste of your time, and, as a troll, you want to disseminate your message of hate and stupidity as far throughout the interwebs as possible. The best places to troll are larger blogs, where they don’t monitor the comments; newspaper websites; message boards that are lax about reporting trolls; weird Facebook groups; and religious websites (because religious people want to believe the best about everyone and will probably not kick you off for trolling because they won’t even realize they’re being trolled. But then again, is it fun if they’re not getting offended? It’s like kicking a dead rat. Sure, it’s totally enjoyable, but the rat isn’t even in pain, so are you getting your full dose of enjoyment? ARE YOU?)
You’ll learn through trial and error which websites are the lowest-hanging troll fruit. Stay with your tried-and-true and DO NOT SHARE THEM WITH OTHER TROLLERS. If the websites get inundated with trollers, they will put anti-trolling measures in place, and you will lose your safe haven.
RULE THE THIRD: NAME YOUR TROLL
You want to name your troll something that fits in, but also something that stands out. Here are some good troll names:
Bad troll names call attention to your inherent troll-ness. You don’t want to use something like IAMATROLL or ILIVEUNDERABRIDGE or ROCKINANDTROLLIN or TROLLWITHITBABY or TROLLINWITHMAHOMIES or something like that. I know, they seem like cool user names, but you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, right, KRog?
Also, don’t be afraid to have multiple troll user names. More on this later, in the advanced trolling section.
RULE THE FOURTH: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Somewhat covered above, but in more detail: you need to be flexible to be a troll. No, not LITERALLY. Don’t worry. Trolling truly is for everyone, even if you’re not IRL bendy. Here. This will help.
Someone posts looking for advice about potty training. How do you troll this?
Think about it.
What did you come up with?
Correct answers are varied, but here are some good ones:
“I wasn’t potty trained until I was 7 and I’m fine. Why are you rushing it?”
“Your KiD HaTeS YoUR FAcE”
“Put hot sauce in his diaper hahaha NO DO IT”
“I LIKE BOOBZ”
“Dr. Spock says that if you have to ask that question you should have used birth control, you’re a horrible mother.”
A bad answer would be to give actual potty-training advice, because that’s not trolling, or to swear too much, because it’s obviously some sort of mommy forum and they don’t like that there. Again, research is key.
RULE THE FIFTH: GOOD TROLL VS. LAME TROLL
A good troll will say something outrageous and rude but not too obscene (depending on the audience.) A good troll walks the line. A good troll makes people think – hmm, maybe this person isn’t a troll! Maybe they really believe this malarkey! That’s what you want, my little troll hooligans. To cast some doubt in the minds of your readers. You also want to piss people off.
Someone writes a blog post about a very painful childhood memory in which they were chosen last for volleyball.
Lame troll: I like hockey better than volleyball show me your bewbs.
Good troll: You are a Lewser ha ha no one likes you are you gonna cry now ugly cow?
RULE THE SIXTH: GRAMMAR 101 – TROLLSTYLE
If your grammar is too precise, no one in the troll community will recognize you as one of their own, and even the “straights” (people who actually – UGH – make REAL comments on blogs!) might think you’re one of them. How embarrassing, all your hard work down the drain!
To write like a troll, you want to:
Spell words not only badly, but strangely. Replace letters randomly. Leave letters out. Example: “Your writing is so awful, I think I might vomit” should be written, in troll-speak, as “Yer wreitng is so bad I theink I might pueke yew suck.”
Don’t use correct grammar. It can only hurt you. You know those rules of grammar you worked so hard to learn? Unlearn them. Trolls don’t know the different between you’re/your/yore, they’re/their/there, where to put apostrophes in contractions, where to put capital letters, how to use basic punctuation, etc. For practice, find a child’s elementary school grammar homework and shit on it, then do it all wrong and force the child to hand it in that way. Old-school trolling and it feels so good!
Use lots of internet jargon (LOLZZZZZZZZZZ) and lots of exclamation points, interspersed with 1’s. For example “That was so funny I lollllllleeeddd!!!1!!!!” This shows you really care about internet culture and people can only respect you more for that, right? Right.
USE LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS SO PEOPLE KNOW YOU’RE YELLING YOUR SUPER-GOOD OPINIONS.
When applicable, cuss like a sailor on leave. +1 for mentioning people’s mothers. They love that.
RULE THE SEVENTH: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR? THE ANSWER: PUSH IT! PUSH IT REAL GOOD!
I know what you’re thinking. I can’t do this! It’s so hard! And can I really tell a grieving mother it’s her fault her child is dead, or accuse the president of being illegally in the United States, or threaten bodily harm to a teenager who dared question my opinion on something?
It’s your duty. You’re no dilettante. You’re a TROLL. If you want to get back in the kiddie pool, it’s over there. You accepted the job when you created your user name, GOGOAMERICAYOUWIN. You need to post things that live up to this name. If you don’t, YOU HATE AMERICA. Why do you hate America, GOGOAMERICAWIN?
I mean, look at Nancy Grace. She’s got a SHOW where she’s pretty much TROLLING ALL THE TIME. Only not in comments, in WORDS. And she’s super-famous! You’ve got to be willing to go the extra mile, people. I mean, Nancy Grace accused one chick of killing her own kid and then the chick committed suicide because she’d been found guilty in the court of public opinion and then they found out she wasn’t the killer after all? AND SOMEHOW GRACE CAME OUT SMELLING LIKE A ROSE. Aspire, GOGOAMERICAWIN. Aspire to Grace-ian levels of greatness.
If you think you’ve gone too far, take it one step farther, and then you might just have gone far enough. Maybe. Until the next time you think you’ve gone too far.
RULE THE EIGHTH: DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
People are going to insult you, and block you, and call you names, and threaten you, and, in extreme cases, you might get sued and/or go to jail. Don’t take it personally. That means you’re doing it right.
RULE THE NINTH: THE INTERNET NEVER SLEEPS, SO NEITHER CAN YOU
Does the internet ever stop for eight hours? No. No it doesn’t. Does the internet ever take a few hours off to take a pretty girl out to dinner or to play mini-golf with the guys from work or to go down to TGI Fridays to get a piece of free birthday cake served by people who don’t even want to be singing to you but it’s their job? Nope. GET BACK ON THAT COMPUTER.
RULE THE TENTH: ADVANCED TROLLING
Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you’ll get more comfortable with the above rules, and want to take it a little further. Some things you can do:
Create multiple user accounts on the same chatroom and argue with yourself
Multiply troll the same post on a blog under different user names
Create a blog, and then troll your own blog
Call call-in radio shows and vocally troll them (not for the faint-of-heart)
I’ve given you the map, my friends, and the keys to the Porsche. Now drive. Be free. Troll the internet like it’s never been trolled. IT IS YOUR SOLEMN DUTY. I couldn’t be more proud than if you’d hit and run my own puppy.