By Daniel Greenfield
Your classic troll was an amoral sociopath or played one on the internet. His only cause was his own amusement. He advocated horrible and contradictory causes because it amused him to infuriate people. If he could get an entire group howling for his blood, he won. If an outraged media reported on his antics, he was a prince among trolls. Chaos and absurdity were his only agendas.
But eventually the trolls who did it for the “Lulz” gave way to the “Moralfags” sincere trolls who
were sincerely terrible people. They had the same style as trolls, but there was nothing to deconstruct there. Trolling was just how they advocated for their agenda. It was like the difference between Andy Kaufman and David Letterman. When you actually have an agenda and a program, your surreal deconstruction isn’t deconstructing anything. It’s just a stylistic choice, it’s how you present your agenda.
It’s the difference between Dadaists dumping a kitchen sink in a fashionable art gallery and a fashionable retailer selling art prints of that kitchen sink a hundred years later. Deconstruction becomes fashion. The subversive becomes stylistic. The troll turns sincere.
Today the sincere troll is everywhere. There was a time when Anonymous was a name associated with random acts of trolling, many of them nasty and malicious. Then it became trolling for a cause. It stopped being subversive or chaotic and just became another tool of political intimidation.
Read the Remainder at Sultan Knish