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!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rules of engagement

The fabulous Mr. Snitch! has posted some rules for internet trolls to live by. My fave is this one (just substitute comment for e-mail):

"If the writer responds to your e-mail with evidence that you're wrong (for example, by citing a paragraph that you overlooked), disappear without responding. The 'net is built for anonymity - don't fight it. Choose to battle another day. Bide your time."

This one seems particularly apt to me, for that is what generally happens when the occasional honest to goodness troll has a go at me on this site or at BC. Whether it takes four hundred comments or one, sooner or later the troll will be worn down and vanish into thin air.

Just to clarify--I may not always be this bold and ballsy in real life (though sometimes I am), but put me behind a keyboard and I am no shrinking violet. I will batter my opponent relentlessly with logic (or at least that's the way I see it) until they simply give up and move on.

Thing is, it's not that I want to convert the world to my way of looking at things. As the always wise and worldly Walker pointed out in his comment to my previous post, sometimes a free exchange of dialogue and ideas can actually make you see the other person's point of view and maybe even rethink the veracity of your own conclusions--or at least modify them. I try to look at issues from all sides, but I still have my biases, and it can be very enlightening to see an argument from a multifaceted perspective. I am also careful to use qualifiers such as "some," "most," "perhaps," and so on, and try not to cram my way of thinking down everyone's throat. However, as a comment whore, I've found if you please everyone your comment box may remain so empty that you can hear an echo.

So these kinds of back and forths honestly don't get to me, for I relish the challenge even if they do get a bit on the heated side. It's the one or two genuine trolls-- the ones whose only interest is in full frontal attack or sneaky personal character assasinations--that can lead me to label them for what they are and refuse to engage (feed) them any more. If they continue to comment, I may refer to them indirectly using the third person or just respond with a general statement. Trolls hate impersonal exchanges because they crave the attention and frisson of hand to hand combat.

And so it seems that the two red hot BC posts I mentioned seem to be winding down, and that I and my "allies" have managed to get the last word in--at least for now. But who knows what the day may bring....


At 5:26 PM, Blogger digibrill said...

Oh yeah, well you're wrong.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger digibrill said...

I couldn't resist. Sorry.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


At 6:37 PM, Blogger Walker said...

Who doesn't like a good fight?
Even better,winning a good fight.
I have seen you stand for what you beive in and defended it.
I think you have to use words "some, many, a majority" to respect the ones that are not of the same opinion.
I believe that we should always speak our minds and believe in our convictions unless we decide otherwise and re adjust your beliefs.
Some may not agree with what you say but they are allowed too.
If the try and force their thoughts upon you against your will then beat them back like you would a rabid dog.

BTW you flatter me.
"Wise and Worldly".
I will accept a small piece of that but I must point out that I was a dumb fuck first, before I found what little wisdom I have.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger !ce said...

I think there is nothing wrong with being opinionated. Personally, I do it a lot. Not everyone seems to appreciate this, but who cares?

Elvira, I have updated my blog yet again with some more positive news. I think you'll like.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger dan said...

Hey, sometimes your wrong. It happens to all of us. We can admit it and deal.

And then sometimes other people are just asses. Nothing to be done about that either. ;)

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Maggs said...

You're unique, just like everyone else.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Good for you for being a Net Tigress! I myself am more of a tiger in real life. I LOVE to debate. I don't look for fights, but if I really feel strongly about something, I love to duke it out.

Online, however, is another matter. I used to have heated discussions online and it wore me out. It takes SO LONG to write something out, and even then, my facial expressions and tone isn't conveyed. It's frustrating.

I try to avoid writing about TOO controversial topics on my blog, for this reason. Perhaps this is bad? Hm...

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Justine said...

when you're involved, i think debate is great. when i'm involved... I get a bit sheepish and am afraid we won't all be friends tomorrow! :-)

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Justine said...

i'm *sensitive*

At 4:54 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Beat them back like a rabid dog I do and will!

I think opinionated is your middle name, bless your heart. I came, I read, I commented. Glad it's working out so well for you.

Me wrong? Hey, if I ever am wrong, I'll be the first to admit it--lol. But seriously, you're right...

Somehow now I feel so un-unique hearing it put that way (lol)...

At 4:57 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

So far I've found that if I post a controversial topic here, most people seem to basically agree with my philosophy and I get little flak.

But post the same thing over at BC, and all the wackos come out in full force.

If one is a comment whore, posting anything that engenders debate results in a commenting bonanza. Publish a funny little essay, and the comment ratio is likely to be considerably less.

After awhile, defending myself can get a tad exhausting, but I guess it's still worth it.

At 4:58 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


I hear you...I think I try to be mindful of not ruffling too many feathers here, but I gotta speak my little

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

I hardly ever get any trolls on my site...I'm not exactly sure what to make of that! When I do though, I totally ignore them. I figure they just want the spotlight.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Mr. 12 Step said...

I don't mind admitting I'm wrong. I'm not perfect

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

I would say you've got everyone in your corner on this one.

Don't forget. Reya has got a poetry project going today where you put a piece/or more of some poetry on your blog. A lot of the D.C. writers are participating. Once done, you link back to her at:

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Trolls are tasty.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Well, I guess all the crackpots and crazies you meet in the outside world are enough, and the trolls must sense that you are at the end of your rope and leave you be? LOL.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mr. 12-step:

I hate admitting I'm wrong--lol. No, not really, actually. Sometimes it's better to get out of one's comfort zone and realize one might not know everything, hard as that might be to believe...

At 9:01 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Washington Cube:

Oy vey--you probably left this comment ages ago and I'm just seeing it now. The poetry thing sounds awesome. I've been seriously remiss in visiting my blogpals, though I'm trying to do so a little at a time now. And I'm now trying to catch up on responding to comments too. I'll check in with you soon--I love your blog and miss seeing what you're up to with your posts and photos.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Jack's Shack:

Trolls ARE ususally tasty--but a few of them are old and gnarly and I have to throw 'em back.


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