Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Friday, January 27, 2006

March of the wooden trolls

Command Group - Spearmen Close
Originally uploaded by Gobbo1000.
In my prior blog gossip post, I descirbed a certain individual, X, who seemed to be going out of his way to antagonize me on my BlogCritics post Those Army Ads are BROILING my BUTT!.

Well, he's since added a few more comments, but I finally noted that I would no longer be answering them, but that my silence should not be taken for acquiencence.

Thing is, on another post where he agrees with me, "Pro-Life or Anti-Sex?" we "get along" just fine. Bizarre, isn't it?

And as I said, I don't "resent" him for having a differing opinion than I--just the cheap snide little personal digs and unfounded "fault finding"--(i.e., claiming I was "rude" to a rude person.)

I still have three posts on the "hot topics" board: the two I mentioned above, and AA: Threat or Menace? This was my very first post on Shithouse rat, and I thought I'd dig it out, dust it off, and see how it fared at BlogCritics.

But wouldn't you know it, as soon as I posted it a troll came out of the woodwork and pounced on me. Here's what "Roller" had to say:

'Time for some new material.

Your posts here are almost all reprints from your personal blog.

Are you going to write anything original here?'

I hastened (boy did I ever) to point out that out of the fifteen pieces I'd posted to BC so far, seven of them were new to BC. (I counted six at first, but later corrected myself. Even I'm having trouble keeping track). Then I added:

'PS: where's your URL? Where's your blog? Where's your posts? Where's your comments to my posts here or on my blog, on old posts or new?

Everyone's a critic (sigh)...or is it troll?'

Then the other comments came in--all positive. Not one rabid AA'er attacking me--even those who had found AA to be effective for them. Perhaps this is because in my piece I had admitted as much--that AA does work beautifully for some people if they work hard at it.

Several commenters also came to my defense by pointing out that at BC, writers are allowed, even encouraged, to cross post. Some simply double post their pieces to their personal blog and BC, from what the commenters said.

So after that show of support, Roller came back with his tail between his rollers and said:

'My comment came out wrong.

I only meant that I have read all the stuff here, and I have read all the stuff on your personal blog.

I'm just eager for something new.'

If you wish to see my "snappy retort," you'll have to visit the blogpost at BC (heh heh--the old blogslut/comment whore coming out again).

It's been another good week for me at BC. The Pro Life or Anti Sex? post has amassed over 400 comments, and the Army Ads post is likewise still going strong.

Not only that, but another blogger wrote a post about how he has finally decided to "out" himself and use his real name instead of his blog name Alpha at BC. In his piece, he linked to another post of mine, My Blogging Doppelganger, which also dealt with using pseudonyms online.

And I noted before, the Pro-Life post got selected as a BC editor's pick last week. Since I was chosen, I had the opportunity to pick a fave piece from the past week as well. I cited this post, and it is a must-read if there ever was one (not that anyone "must" read it, of course--I'm not a fascist like some of the commenters on BC, after all)....

But it occurred to me as I was struggling yesterday to compose a short description of the post and why I loved it so I could submit it to the editor (the new Editor's picks comes out today), that I should try to find some way to thank the two people who had picked me last time around.

I went back to the Editor's picks post and realized that, as with all things BC, there were comments left there. In perusing the post, I realized that it was none other than Alpha (nee Howard)--the blogger who outed himself--who had recommended (along with the Politics editor) my Pro-life/Anti sex piece to begin with.

In another comment, I saw that another blogger had recommended my "AA: Threat or Menace?" as a pick for this week. This BC writer had had been picked twice last week as well, and thus had the opportunity to pick his faves this week.

As I noted in the comments, where I finally thanked those who had been so nice to me, "I love this place!"

Now, a word about the commenters to my two most controversial and comment-laden posts:

In a word, there are some seriously misguided and disturbed people out there, IMHO--people who would like nothing better than to figuratively--and perhaps even literally--come into your bedroom and have a say in how, when, and with whom you choose to sleep with, and whether or not you use birth control (some are ardently against it).

In the Army ads post, one sometimes belligerent commenter was a 17 year old whose parents have permitted him to sign up so he can officially be enlisted in the army after he graduates from high school. This selfsame kid (an untutored child, really) also had plenty to say about pro-choicers, calling them "pro-death athiests," among other things.

I have tried again and again to point out that using a condom can solve several issues: the prevention of HIV and other STDs; the prevention of unwanted pregnancies; and the prevention of abortions stemming from these selfsame unwanted pregnancies.

But many of the pro-lifers who commented either ignore my point, or will have none of it.

I try to see both sides of every argument, but when it comes, for example, to someone actually implying that they would control my sex life like some sort of fascist sex police unit, it kinda gives me the creeps.

In any case, I've found it very rewarding to receive and respond to this plethora of comments, and I feel very welcomed by my fellow BCers already. To me, having two forums to spout my Shitrat rants and opinions seems like a win-win situation all around.

Thing is, that since BC has a larger pool of readers, and thus commenters, I've had cause to come out of my little liberalish (I like to call it more like libertarian) New York Jewgirl bubble and be faced with the fact that the country does, indeed, have a large contingent of folks who support Bush and the war all the way, and who have ultra conservative views about sex and how it should be practiced by themselves and all others.

And the trolls are always looking for a little snackie, no matter how much I try not to feed them. But I'd say I've only dealt with three so far.

Truly a wild and wacky blogging adventure....


At 10:05 AM, Blogger jessie said...

as for your aa piece, i can say i do see your point there. i know someone who's sister , who's in aa, had a sponsor, who was actually the person responsible for running the aa group that met at the church, turn out to be a holistic healer. not saying there's something wrong with holistic practices, if done with common sense it can be quite effective, but this person decided it would be best to tell this woman to stop taking her psych meds because they're highly addictive and that you can't quit something addictive if you're putting other addictive things into your system. he spent 3 weeks telling her this till she finally decided to stop taking her meds. BIG MISTAKE!!! she flipped out, went delerious and tried to kill herself! she is now in a state mental institution. this being said, i think some would be best suited checking out the people they are trusting.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger fugusashi said...

That AA piece was one of the first things I read here. It's an awesome post, and there's nothing wrong with introducing it to BC readers who might not have the time to peruse your archives over here.

Keep up the good work, Elvira!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Walker said...

There are many commenters who love you and many who will hate you and some who well....have just been masterbating to long and a screwed in the head.
As I have stated to you in the past I can fight with you on some issues and join you in a battle in some others. If fact I have learned and rethought some of my opinions based of what some otherpeople said.
The idiots are just idiots who can't think of anything on their own.
I was recently liked to a bloggers post that I traced back and it was not in a favorable way.
Now this is no big deal to me if someone dissagrees with my views but as I scanned his blog I noticed the only thing he does is critisaize others blog posts in a derogotory manner and doesn't display any creative thought of his own or any personal beliefs.
This only tells me he is a dickhead and shit disturber.
I didnt leave him a comment because he wasn't worth my time or effort.
When posting on other sites like BC there is no problem reposting posts from your persona;l blog. Most people there have not read your personal blog. I have read most of your posts and I did reread them on BC and commented. It gives me the opertunity to add to my previous thoughts on a matter or maybe even introduce something new to a comment that has surfaced recently.
As for AA well I have never been and I have drank an ocean or two of booze and lets not go to the skids of drugs I have consumed.
I have no need personally to get help I have stopped onmy own but I do understand that some people need the support but some of those people as so fucken anal.
I know people who have gone there and their support group are like a bunch of kastapo freaks that look down upon you in order to make you feel bad about messing up. The worse part is when they come to you and try to convert you to stop drinking.
I think if you want to stop just stop and leave people around you alone. Your problems and habits are your demons and no one elses.

At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Neil said...

I think as you get used to have such a large readership and group of commenters fighting over your views, you'll feel more comfortable with attackers on "you.". It sounds like you're dealing with some pretty controverial topics, so when people are responding, they are frequently not just defending the subject at hand, but a specific world-view that they have been brought up to believe. Like you said, not everyone has had the luxury of having a liberal education at a New York or Boston university.

It sounds like you're doing fine so far, so don't fret too much. You should be proud of yourself for getting your views out there.

At 4:15 AM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

I've come to believe that a large part of people in the blogworld are just nutsos. People with too much freetime, hiding behind a monitor w/ no real lives, and they spend their time causing controversy and antoginizing people on-line. And these freaks tend to be relentless. I've had my share of psychos on my blog, and have recently witnessed 2 extreme cases.

I think you're brave for raising controversial subjects. I'm too chicken because I don't want to deal with the psychos who tend to come out of the woodwork.

You go girl!

At 5:52 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I like to think of myself as being at the meeting place of democrats, greens, and socialists. You know, like everyone should be, and would be if they knew what they were talking about and/or were not hypocrites.

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At 5:04 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

OK, I'm going back shortly to answer everyone's nice comments here, but I gotta first give a big hello to James (um) King and congratulate him for slipping through the spam blocking software.

James, your whole erectile dysfunction gig reminded me of a rather juvenile joke BG told me. Here it goes:

A guy comes into a pharmacy and wants condoms. The counter woman assesses the situation and calls out to the stockboy: Hey Henry, get me a box of smalls!

A minute or two later, she yells--shitcan that Henry--get me a box of mediums!

A minute later, and it's--get me a box of large!

And finally--Henry, forget that--just bring me a mop and a bucket.

Ta daaaa.....

At 7:47 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Your story is downright horrifying.

I know in the old days of AA, there were hard liners who felt that even an aspirin was inappropriate. And I've heard of misguided fools who have advised people not to take their psych meds. Fortunately, I think most AA'ers now realize this is not appropriate. But it does go to show how weird the rules can be, especially when applied by weird and not too bright people.

I also think people can latch onto a sponsor as if they're some sort of diety, forgetting that they're also a drunk just one step away from another drink. It really makes me wonder how people can be so ready to give up their brain and soul to another person just because they have more sober time. Go figure.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Thanks so much! Yes, the editor I spoke with said that is actually the norm. I'm trying to post new stuff as well as older posts that I feel are worthy to reprint there.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

What you said about the person whose website turned out to be a kind of one-man? troll site to complain about other's efforts riings true about trolls to me.

Some but not all hide behind their anomynity, and some do not blog but just go around to other's blogs and nitpick and insult just for the sake of a cheap thrill.

I've had surprisingly few encounters with flamers and trolls, but when I do I don't delete them, but engage them in a battle of wits which they usually lose sooner or later. I know others handle it differently, but that's my modus operandi in any case.

Anal is the word all right as far as certain "AA nazis," as a former ex-AA'er was fond of saying. Thing is, that because it's kind of a religious cultish thing in a sense, people take the 12 steps and try to interpret them as if they're the 10 commandments. And they often interpret them to suit their own needs.

There was one old timer in our home group who was a real yenta. She was always whispering about other's private business, and spend every meeting in the back talking and whispering. But when we started to spend some of our own money on treats and cakes for people, she admonished BG saying it went against the seventh tradition or something. She meant well, and perhaps BG was misguided, but it was yet another turnoff that finally led BG to quit in disgust.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

I think you hit the nail on the head: some partiularly rabid commenters do seem to have an overall world view which makes them very touchy about certain hot button topics beyond all reason. I'm fine with it all except when the nature of their comments starts to derail the topic at hand, but even then I will continue to engage them even if it's indirectly.

I think I was kind of naieve too or at least blissfully unaware of the fact that my left leaning, New York Jewgirl perspective is not shared by one and all especially in other areas of the country. Most of the people who comment here are pretty much on my wavelength politically and philosophically, and even when they aren't they are cordial and mature enough to disagree in a civilized way.

But yes--the larger the reader/comment pool, the more likely that there will be people out there who are very radical in their opposing views and feel almost a life or death urgency in attacking others who differ from them.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


"People with too much freetime, hiding behind a monitor w/ no real lives,"..

Hey, I resemble that remark--lol!

Yep, there sure are some nuts out there, and they tend to be bold in direct proportion to their anonymity. Very brave indeed.

Now I'm dying of curiousity about the trolls you've dealt with recently--I'll have to go back and check it out! I've fallen woefully behind on everyone's blogs and I'm trying to catch up.

Thanks for the kind words!

At 8:09 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

I'm guessing that you're meeting more liberal minded folks at college than you might in the "real world" though I know that a college education is not guarantee of that. There's plenty of people without it who are smarter and more on the ball than some graduates, but I think that a liberal education does tend to open up one's eyes to the inner workings of the world and perhaps make one more receptive.

But I definitely know where you're on this, college or no--lol...


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