A few weeks back, I confronted a makanga. Last week, I argued with a pregnant lady. And yesterday I fought with a troll. It’s a descending spiral of violence assertiveness, and I suppose I should have known better. The first rule of the internet is not to respond to the %£$%$^$&^%$&£ but he rubbed me the wrong way, and he was really, really annoying.
The first time he spoke, I sat on it for a few days, then responded through somebody else. See, the troll had kicked up some stirring, and the new guy hit me in response, so I swiped them both with one broomstick. I ended yelling at the wrong person, who, by the way, was mature enough to apologise. The troll, on the other hand, just kept on pushing. Some people are just built that way.
The next time he posted, it wasn’t directed at me, so I just nkted, tsk tsked, highlighted the nut, and went on with my day. But the third time he did it, it made me so mad that I went onto Gmail and repeatedly called him a name. The name was idiot. I felt my sentiments were strong and that I should direct them in person, rather than catfighting in public for all the web to see.
Mr Troll chose to be offended, and suggested I should express my sentiments on the wall instead of posting them on email. [Can you say facebook?] Now, if I called you an idiot in private, why would you want me to repeat it in public?
Trolls are all about attention. They want you to get up and yell. After all, if you argue with a madman, no one can tell the difference. It’s like the story of a guy who jumps into a river. While he’s swimming, a crazy person comes and grabs his clothes. The naked swimmer then jumps out of the pool and sprints after the crazy guy who’s holding his clothes. When people look, they don’t see a man stealing clothes. They see a crazy naked dude harassing Millicent Bystander.
So really, attacking a troll is futile at best and ridiculous at worst. Still I took the bait and exchanged a couple of emails, then told him to go away, because he was messing with my kharma.
He didn’t go away. He quoted William Ruto. Like seriously? I call you an idiot and you respond by quoting William Ruto? Seriously?!
Now, in all honesty, I should know better than to talk back to a troll. The best approach is usually to ignore them. But I have to admit, it felt pretty good to fight back. It didn’t achieve anything, because an idiot is an idiot and a troll is a troll. Still, it felt good to stand up for myself. Granted, it’s far more empowering to break the brother’s nose, but I could get arrested for that. Plus, I punch like a girl.
After the exchange, the troll dared me to paste the conversation online, word-for-word, just to be sure I don’t give a biased viewpoint. I’m still thinking about that. But by the time he made that ‘request’, I’d gotten all the piss out of my system and could hardly be bothered to swat the fly away. So I just said ‘hmph’ and moved on to my next email.
Is there a lesson in all this? I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’m getting bolder, or maybe I’m getting older. I admit the war of words was childish, but it felt good, and I feel achoven. I’ve always said people shouldn’t mess with CB, and I guess I’m finally walking the walk. I don’t know whether or not such sagas will end well, but I’m feeling pretty good right now.
Now I just need to stop punching like a girl.
♫ Sound of pulling heaven down ♫ Blue October ♫