June 24, 2007

"I would like to think that Prof. Althouse is cultivating a troll garden, for fun."

"I hope she is having fun, anyway." Thanks. Actually, I am!


Ron said...

"Lawn Gnomes against Bush" --clearly a new meme in the vortex!

Curtiss said...

Will there be troll photos?

hdhouse said...

define "troll" pls

amba said...

That's a really good post by Hector over there. I like him.

AlphaLiberal said...

I like how any effective writers are simply cast as "sock puppets" for someone of more fame.

This dispenses with the challenge of an intelligent response to the content of the post.

IOW, blah, blah, blah.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is running a secret shadow government.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saul said...

It's good to know we at least have a shadow government running the country.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that you know trolls when you see them. In this case, one give away is attacking Ann for some claimed offense somewhere else in a thread w/o any real connection with the subject at hand.

And then there is gratuitously throwing in side issues that have no bearing on the subject. Indeed, ALs throwing in the thing about Cheney is verging on trollish behavior. Add to this, are ad hominem attacks. So, if you see "Bush Lied", or anything similar, unless the subject directly relates, you probably have trolling.

AL - I also acknowledge that many of your arguments are fact based and not drive by, and on topic. Just not IMHO all of them.

theMickey's said...


*wakes up

Makes nice ? !

blake said...


You mean AL wasn't being ironic and subtle by referencing Hector's post?

Cedarford said...

An old song popped into my head:

I beg your pardon.
I never promised you a troll garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's got to be a little rain sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Garden trolls can be in terrible taste or an amusing ornament.  I think in Althouse's case, however, we're dealing with two distinct species:

     1. Common trolls.

     2. Flying monkeys.

The ordinary troll is well-known. Hector and the commenters here have nicely explored the subject. Althouse may wish to leave them around her garden if she likes.  We can admire the flowers and smirk at the trolls without too much loss.  Just don't talk to them

Flying monkeys, on the other hand, are much more troublesome. They are more intelligent than the simple troll, and are often, in  fact, quite motivated and self-aware. Their purpose is to disrupt a blog for political purposes. They may be part of a planned campaign, in which case they resemble a claque in the opera or those who take over meetings and assemblies for their own ends. 

They commonly do not emerge, however, directly from an organized campaign. Ideological people picking up what are the latest fashionable political ideas and actions from their subculture(s) can find themselves transformed.  Perhaps they've been taken over, Body Snatchers-like.  In any event, we soon have a flying monkey.  Such-and-such a website says that Althouse is crazy, alcoholic, pathetic, etc., etc. The commentariat at that and other favored sites chimes in with other bad things about her, and the typical flying monkey feels motivated to join the swarm. There is no identifiable Wicked Witch, but the effect is the same.

Simply ignoring them won't do. They are not garden ornaments.  They are stomping on the daisies and pulling petals from the roses. Hector has dissected some of their strategies. Trolls and flying monkeys may hybridize to a certain extent, but they are different. Flying monkeys require security measures, not knowing smirks.

Althouse says she may delete some comments, depriving flying monkeys of some group support.  Current anti-monkey measures seem to be limited to mockery. Not having a Wicked Witch or a bucket of water complicates things. But perhaps Althouse's approach is like the law-enforcement model of the GWOT, requiring the subtlety and patience that Hector so rightly ascribes to our hostess, but which is invisible to the rest of us.

Maxine Weiss said...

What's going on with the Sons of Althouse. What are they doing right now?

Unknown said...

"define "troll" pls"

They show themselves; we know them by their markings; they know who they are, even when they protest (too much) to being such.

Ann Althouse said...

Theo: Very good analysis. Feel free to email me if you think I should be deleting someone. My tendency is to be tolerant, because I want debate (and I can take a joke), but I do want to week out the commenters that are here to destroy.

Ann Althouse said...

weed out (not "week")

Unknown said...

"define "troll" pls"

anyone with a differing opinion than most here.

Randy said...

That reminds me that a couple of days ago, someone here scratched a left-wing troll and discovered a homophobe using the name luckyoldson.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"I like how any effective writers are simply cast as "sock puppets" for someone of more fame."

The people accused of being Greenwaldian sock puppets tend to obtain that designation because they display similarly inability to write. To the suggestion that they're tarred for being "effective writers" is doubly wrong, all the more so since what you really mean is "people who agree with me."

"Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is running a secret shadow government."

I'd have thought you'd be glad to discover that the "chimperator" isn't, in fact, running the government. I know I'd be a whole lot happier if Cheney were in charge rather than Bush.

Laura Reynolds said...

anyone with a differing opinion than most here.

LOS: I've already refuted your definition, when is your vacation over?

Hector Owen said...

When I can stop laughing about Theo's monkeys -- there, that's better. Looked at my Statcounter today and thought for a second that it was broken. An Altalanche! So that's this "traffic" of which I have heard. Which was followed by hours in the car. A high-traffic day for me, all around.

Professor Althouse, I'm glad you thought enough of the post to link it, thanks.

Thanks for the kind words, amba. That post was a continuation of an in-person chat on the difficulty of finding interesting conversation in a small town. It did turn into something else.

Cedarford, that's laugh-out-loud funny too. Oh, dear, the monkeys are vandalizing the troll garden!

I actually got the blogger ID to comment here, but have only done so a couple of times. I don't generally have that much to say, being more of a listener, and, I hope, a learner, than a talker.
Returning to lurk mode, now. Unless I just can't help myself.

Ann Althouse said...

"That post was a continuation of an in-person chat on the difficulty of finding interesting conversation in a small town."

Now, you can have a conversation with the whole world.

Freder Frederson said...

And it continues. The original post was a complex joke yet at the same time an insightful analysis of the video. It was meant to outrage the left and parody the outrageous and over the top analysis of the final Sopranos episodes yet Hillary really did mean to include the sexual imagery in the video.

Anyone who doesn't realize that is just too dumb to live.

Yeah right.

Randy said...

Freder, while I know you are being sarcastic, I think you are close to being right (except for Hillary's intent). It also goosed average daily views by about 10% since then. As did the last so-called "over-the-top" controversy.

Fen said...

hdhouse: define "troll" pls

For starters, those who insist on a definition so they can weasel their way around it.

And Theo is spot on re Flying Monkeys. If often does seem like blogger-warfare: disrupt Althouse because she doesn't toe the Party line. I'd also be curious to compare IP addys. I'll bet a handful of our more notrorious monkeys are the same person.

Randy said...

I think hdhouse is far from being a troll around here, Fen.

Anonymous said...

Ronin is absolutely right.

I wrote a couple of paragraphs about it, but Blogger ate the comment, and life's too short to resurrect it, so I'll just second Ronin's motion.