“Well, it’s nice to know that the Trolls made it this far south,’ Ulath said. ‘I’d hate to have to go looking for them.’
‘Their Gods were guiding them, Ulath,’ Tynian pointed out.
‘You’ve never talked with the Troll-Gods, I see,’ Ulath laughed. ‘Their sense of direction is a little vague – probably because their compass only has two directions on it.’
‘North and not-north. It makes finding places a little difficult.”
—David Eddings, The Hidden City
Troll. It’s a word that used in fairy tales to describe a disgustingly ugly creature that generally lived under a bridge and was pretty much always bad.
It’s come to mean something akin to that but in a virtual sense on the internet, to describe “a person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues.” The troll generally engages in conversation entirely to provoke. He doesn’t care if he’s right or wrong, and often doesn’t even believe what he’s saying. His only purpose is to get everyone riled up.
In some cases, trolls use multiple fake identities and will engage in arguments with their alter-egos just to get an argument started. Then they sit back and watch the show. It’s a form of entertainment. They are not seriously engaging in conversation or having any exchange of ideas. They are just fiddling around poking people to get a reaction.
And that is what a troll is.
It is not a pejorative used to describe anyone who doesn’t agree with you.
There are a lot of screen shots like this. Nicole flips out the word often and regularly. Here she insists that there are “six of them.” But that number really changes to accommodate the set of “anyone who disagrees with Nicole and Joe Naugler and doesn’t kiss their joint asses.”
She has extended the borders of the set to include me. I’m flattered.
“The real story” that she is referring to is that the evil state came and took her children and that CPS is evil and bad and takes children away to sell them or something. Don’t be like CPS.
But of course, we trolls ignored the “real story” and focused on, you know, a few bad checks from the 90s (those weren’t just bad checks, BTW, those were arrests for passing bad checks) and you know, an eviction or two (what does it matter that Joe and Nicole have been basically unreliable their entire adult lives). We need to focus instead on the “real story”—the evil state.
And to lead off, she presented a whole little piece about trolling from some podcast that Joe likes. Their definition is like Nicole’s. “Trolling,” for them, is anyone who disagrees with them. And that’s probably most of the population of the whole planet. I spent a little while one day listening to some of that podcast and then went and cleaned my ears out with bleach. It’s a kind of looney Art-Bell-wannabe sort of thing. Here’s a sample from their Facebook page.
In order to show what a terrible “troll” I am, Nicole included a screen shot of a comment I made a while ago, and which I addressed at length in a separate post. Please go read them both if you haven’t already. Then come back here.
That’s not trolling, folks. This blog is not trolling. I am not talking about this stuff because I just want to rile everyone up and provoke a lot of controversy. I am talking about it because Nicole and Joe regularly and frequently mislead people about who they are and what they are doing and while doing so, seek donations to help finance their “lifestyle.”
In addition, the whole subject of Joe and Nicole Naugler and their views on things is a kind of interesting place from which to have reasonable discussion about issues involving, yes, free speech, and sustainability, and government (not necessarily politics – they aren’t the same thing), and education, and even religion. They, by their own desire, made themselves into a public spectacle. The fact that this has worked out about as well as the Oregon snack-forgetters’ little mission is not my fault.
Remember, reasonable conversation about stuff—even controversial stuff—is not trolling. Disagreeing with somebody’s public statements is not trolling. Presenting facts (who owns the Naugler land?), asking questions (what do they do with the shit?) isn’t trolling. Discussing the pros and cons of so-called unschooling is not trolling.
But since Nicole has brought up the subject of trolling, I’m going to accommodate her and talk about, not me and my supposed “trolling,” but her. But that’s another page for another day.