How to Become a Troll Master

August 15, 2014

Welcome to the world of the ever evolving asshole!  As part of your journey into this “It’s a Small, Small World” – esque amusement ride, we must insist that you adhere to these very important guidelines:

  1. Keep yourself and your children in the vehicle at all times.
  2. Make sure all youngsters remain quiet (gag them if you must). Please don’t ruin the experience for other passengers.
  3. Remember to keep your arms and legs within the post at all times—or put them out there and feed the piranhas and sharks. It’s totally your call.

Thank you, and have a wonderful visit to the world of trolling.

Now that the legalities are dispensed with, let’s get started.

Google defines Trolling as such:
trolled definition
You may have guessed, we were not referring to this troll:

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Or these trolls…

Patent-Trolls-The-Hobbit-Wikimedia-Commons

We’re more along the lines of this troll king:

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And no, we didn’t say the “BOOM King”.


(By the way, HBO, you owe me residuals on using my image for your DVD episode selector, which wasn’t in my contract.)

Monalisa Troll Face

Yes, that face that makes you yearn for a baseball bat just so you can crack that grin into pieces, and just like Mona Lisa’s, where her smile hides a million secrets, this smile hides only one:

“I got you.”

Just within the past few months there has been a noticeable spike in celebrity trolling, perhaps spurred on from this little ditty, courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel:

At over 19 million views of the “Director’s Cut”, this prank caught national attention partially due to the onslaught of the Miley Cyrus twerking shame train.  You would think the casualties would be those that were the target of these shame campaigns?

Nope.

The numbers boosted Miley Cyrus’ ticket sales for her then upcoming Bangerz tour and her digital album sales, creating gaggles of screaming teens bowing upon the alter of M’s throne, and got this girl shamed all the way to the bank.  Forbes has been quoted (well, quoting rapper 50 Cent) in saying that Ms. Cyrus will most likely make their top earning women in music list for 2014.

This power play has not been lost to the masses.

Celebrity trolling has started to become commonplace, touching upon the human need to show superiority by shaming others.  One of the harshest variations of this recently was toward Zelda Williams, daughter of the late Robin Williams, who, after reports of her father’s suicide came to light, Zelda was bombarded by trolling tweets and instagram images taunting her about her father’s death.  Due to the backlash, she closed down both her twitter and instagram accounts.

Dear bully, quit pulling my hair.  I know you want my attention and don’t know how to get it, so you act like a jackass.  If you continue to act like a four-year-old, I’ll treat you like one and just put you on permanent time-out.

One of the more popular examples recently reflects this four-year-old mentality:

i-fucking-love-science-448x585Michael Hale, aka @dogboner on twitter, who describes himself as “dipshit supreme” (no he’s not Mike Hale, the television and film critic for The NYTimes) posted this image of what we were all led to believe was just a guy on the subway using his laptop, mocking him as a “nerd”, hoping those that saw it would get the joke.

Sorry dude, not happening.  This guy, after adding his commentary. is now reaping the rewards with over 44,000 followers to his twitter account (and climbing), massive press and one of the top searches on Google. The fallout, unfortunately, is that @dogboner has received death threats, his own trollers and the like, due to his supposed ignorance.

And his thought was “can’t anyone take a joke”?

Um, dude, you forget, the mass majority of folks don’t know you, therefore don’t know your brand of humor, and as such is more likely to decide to want to whoop your ass than think it’s your sad way of being funny.  You made it public, and therefore, you are subject to public scrutiny.

In Hale’s response to his critics in a recent Gawker article (yes, Gawker gave him a page to respond), he acknowledges that his post made him a target to Neil DeGrasse Tyson fans worldwide and that he was subjected to the ridicule and disgust of all those who wanted to worship at the astrophysicist’s feet, even though he too was awe struck when he saw Neil in the subway.

Dude, you can’t blame others for your stupidity.  It’s like walking into traffic on a fast moving highway.  You can’t expect a different outcome from stupidity.

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Then there was this lovely post that sparked a massive trend on Facebook. Originally a prank on the poster’s part, in response to the trending topic of animal hunting (which was originally birthed by GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons’ social media nightmare when he was filmed shooting elephants in Zimbabwe, and regained public traction due to model-not-to-be Axelle Despiegelaere’s photos of her hunting gazelles). Jay Branscomb decided to be a dick and post an old press photo of Steven Spielberg taken from a magazine, promoting his then upcoming mega blockbuster film “Jurassic Park”.

The post sparked three kinds of responses:

1. Kind responses from some to clarify that this wasn’t a hunting photo, but a press photo for the film and that the triceratops in the photo was a fake.

2. Shaming posts, calling the poster out to be an idiot and that this was a press photo for the movie and that the triceratops have been extinct for millions of years.

3. Sympathizers that followed the initial mock thought of the poster, condemning the hunting of “wild” animals, thinking this was a legitimate public awareness post, outwardly shaming one man’s hunting actions.

In other words, it caused a shit storm of responses, and the mass responses and re-posts, due to Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms, placed this popular post on the top of their public feed, fanning the flames with continuous posts on other social media outlets.

You have all been officially trolled.

By the way, when did mock bullying of others and ones self become the acceptable method of humor?  In other words, when did being a D-bag become the acceptable comedic norm?  Yes, I am talking to you, if that’s what you do, so stop it right now, or that baseball bat meant for the troll will be sight targeted to you next.

The fast way to celebrity and money have always consisted of two things:

  1. Doing something that nobody else would do. (In this case, what the folks above chose to do, which is, wearing a bulls-eye on their forehead in the digital space).
  2. Doing something that nobody else can do. (Which isn’t a guarantee to get you fame, but may get you into the Guinness Book of World Records)

To be a troll master, you need to be willing to be a target, walk the line of Eminem, but also pay that price.  Both variations will get you a gnat’s worth of popularity, unless you are able to sustain it, but there’s no guarantees.  If you choose the route of the “village idiot” for your 15 minutes of fame, per Andy Warhol, be prepared to take the heat.  Jenna Jameson did, and she made herself an empire of $30M back in 2006, leaving the porn industry, but then again, you don’t want to be her either, since she recently went back to porn after her house was foreclosed on back in 2013.

Whiplash is a bitch, ain’t it?