H.P. Lovecraft Was The Original Comment Section Troll
One of the reasons H.P. Lovecraft became one of the greatest horror writers ever is that he feared and hated everything -- in his mind, the unfathomable eternity of death and immigrants were equally terrifying. So perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the same man who created Cthulhu also foresaw online trolling by writing angry letters to a magazine when they published stories he didn't like.
While modern trolls can barely be bothered to string a few racial slurs together, a 23-year-old Lovecraft wrote 1,300 words to complain that Argosy was publishing love stories by one Fred Jackson. He was essentially upset that they were letting old-timey Nicholas Sparks stories mix with his beloved old-timey Neil Gaiman stories, and he damn well let them know.
This is a good time to remind you that Lovecraft was the cutest little baby girl you've ever seen.
That's right -- not only is Jackson "trivial, effeminate, and, in places, coarse," but he thinks about clothes and home decorating like a girl. Sick burn, H.P.! The magazine published Lovecraft's letter, which prompted responses from Fred Jackson fans. Responses that included a cowboy threatening to shoot H.P. Lovecraft.
"And excuse the handwriting: I was punching cows at the same time."
Remember, this isn't like today when you can post an angry comment in 10 seconds and only wonder days later if you were too harsh. That cow-puncher had to find his pencil and paper, sit down, spend a few minutes writing his threat, find an envelope and some stamps, address the envelope, and walk it to the post office, all while thinking, "This is a good idea and a productive use of my time." And then Lovecraft fought back, making fun of Jackson and his fans with a silly poem: