Geez – I return to [landlocked] Paradise Island for just a few days and patriarch’s world totally falls apart. People lost their damn minds over a flu outbreak currently affecting 0.00000003 percent of the nation’s population; Larry Krammer missed his own point in a shrill screed; a Supreme Court Justice called it quits; and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Okay, that last one was as predictable as the sunrise. Still, those others took me off guard.
All that aside, I recently had an e-mail exchange with HistoriAnn concerning a reoccurring troll outbreak on her space. No, I am not talking about Timothy Geithner -- This time. Rather, it's a reader who just won't take a hint -- or an explicit statement -- or an outright demand to just go away.
It got me to thinking, do trolls know that they are trolls? Maybe they actually think of themselves as a force of good rather than an unnecessary drag on humanity.
So, I devised this helpful quiz to determine whether you are a troll or not. Answer the following questions to know for sure:
1. I read blogs because:
A. I want to be exposed to wider range of viewpoints than is available through mainstream media.
B. My computer has a porn filter installed.
C. I believe that I am the only person qualified to police the internet.
2. When I encounter a blog post that I disagree with, I:
A. Simply move on and read another blog. Life is too short to worry about what other people are doing on their blogs.
B. Leave a short comment of disagreement with an explanation.
C. Leave comments suggesting that the blogger has questionable parentage. Then I click on all of that bloggers links and leave additional comments asking them all to just shut up.
3. My favorite blogs:
A. Challenge me to think in new ways.
B. Give helpful hints on knitting.
C. Are written by people against whom I have sworn a blood oath to defeat.
4. Most bloggers respond to my comments by:
A. Acknowledging them politely.
B. Linking to my own blog.
C. Deleting them.
5. After reading blogs, I feel:
A. Like I spent time more productively than reading a magazine.
B. Like I should have spent that time watching porn.
C. Like I need to seek revenge.
6. My day job is:
C. Handing out riddles before allowing people to pass over bridges.
7. The bloggers who I read most often:
A. Write about events in their daily lives.
B. Assess popular culture or news stories.
C. Have filed a restraining order against me.
8. The best way to engage in an on-line discussion is to:
A. Ask more questions of the author.
B. Offer a counter example.
C. Leave half a dozen comments on a single entry, all of which are longer than the author's original post.
9. If a blogger asks me to stop reading/commenting on their blog, I:
A. Stop reading/commenting on their blog.
B. Apologize for offending them and then stop reading/commenting on their blog.
C. Develop a new alias to trick them so that I can keep commenting on their blog. After all, they clearly need my help to show them the errors of their ways.
10. If I find a blogger who has made a mistake on their blog, I:
A. Send them a private e-mail noting the error.
B. Leave a short comment.
C. Phone their employer and ask that they be fired.
11. To my mind, the least interesting blogs are:
A. Not updated often.
B. Depend upon gimmicks, like campy comic book covers.
C. Are written by people with whom I actually agree.
12. Before leaving an accusatory comment, I:
A. Re-read the entry to make sure that I understand the tone and reasoning behind the post.
B. Read some of the blog archive to get a sense of that blogger’s overall politics and purpose.
C. Don’t bother reading the entry or anything else on the blog – I just know when a blogger is wrong.
13. When I read a blog written by somebody who identifies as a different race/gender/sexual orientation as myself, I:
A. Take it as an opportunity to expand my own understanding of different experiences.
B. Consider points of common humanity.
C. Assume that their blog is part of a vast conspiracy intended to rob my race/gender/sexual orientation of our basic rights.
14. In real life, my friends:
A. Don’t know that I read blogs.
B. Occasionally receive e-mails from me recommending particular blogs or entries.
C. Don’t exist outside the confines of my imagination.
15. The last time I spent a night on the town, I:
A. Went for cocktails at my favorite bar.
B. Saw a musical/play/movie.
C. Replaced a newborn infant with a changeling.
16. If another commentator disagrees with me on a third-party’s blog, I:
A. Allow the conversation to continue on its own. I said what I needed to say the first time.
B. Leave it to the blog author to respond, or not respond, as s/he sees fit.
C. Depend upon sarcasm and ALL CAPS to silence and intimidate my critics.
17. If a blogger makes reference to an event or issue that I didn’t previously know about, I:
A. Look to read more about it in my local library or from reliable internet sources.
B. Ask my friends about their knowledge of the event or issue.
C. This has never happened because I know everything about everything.
18. My own blog:
A. Is very similar in scope and content as the blogs that I read.
B. Allows me to experiment with different ideas and sharpen my writing.
C. I don’t have a blog – It would detract from all the time I need to spend “correcting” other bloggers.
19. When I have met bloggers in real life, I:
A. Have been pleasantly surprised by their approachability.
B. Exchanged helpful tips about html code.
C. Predicted that their eldest daughter would prick her finger on a spindle and die.
20. Many blogs are explicitly partisan. I think:
A. This is an important part of free speech and the exchange of ideas.
B. This has been an important transformation in political discourse over the past ten years.
C. This demands police intervention.
21. Without blogs, I would:
A. Watch more television.
B. Read more books.
C. Beat up small school children.
22. I think of blog space as:
A. The equivalent to an individual’s living room. We are all guests.
B. Akin to a coffee shop. I use the same basic manners as I use in polite society. If I wouldn't say it out loud, I won't write it.
C. A war zone where one must kill, kill, KILL.
23. Anonymity on blogs:
A. Allows individuals to be free to express their ideas without fear of reprisal.
B. Is often fragile, but should be respected.
C. Is my exclusive right. Everybody else is a coward.
24. If I were only able to leave one last comment on a blog ever again, I would:
A. Thank a particular blogger for hours of free entertainment over the years.
B. Ask why a certain blogger is disturbingly haunted by Wonder Woman.
C. Write, “To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” Or words to that effect.
25. As a child, I:
A. Learned basic manners.
B. Read too many comic books.
C. Never received the attention that I felt that I deserved.