Somewhere in here lives xXxGaryBearxXx, and you're going to punch his entire block when you find him. As Internet connections evolved, local BBSs became less prevalent and more and more was done with browsers. And with the popularity of the browsers came increased national and even international interaction, so the ITG was forced to evolve; it simply became impractical to offer to fight all comers when the man disagreeing with your assessment of exactly how much CCR rocks (you say "the most" while he insists it's merely "a lot") lives across the country or even the globe. So the ITG became less of a physical threat, but he still needed a place to take out his aggression. He became more of a refined typist; he now tossed out homophobic slurs and racial epithets instead of theoretical IOUs for punches. He was still mostly ignored, and the Internet was still mostly polite, but people began to see the benefit of the ITG: Now that he wasn't penciling "fisticuffs w/ queer" into his scheduler, he was free to make all the vague threats and insults he wanted with nobody to call him out for his lack of follow-through. More and more people saw his antics, and realized that the Internet could not only be a place to pleasure oneself to sad IRC orgies, it could also be an outlet for your rage with absolutely no consequences. Slowly, the ITG transformed from a rare beast into a common occurrence. He was a buoy of vitriol drifting into ports of reason and relevance and spewing obscenities at anything unfortunate enough to bump into him. Soon it was commonplace to find a few angry comments on everything from provocative atheist manifestos to innocuous recipes for macaroni salad (musterd?! WTF only fuckfags use mustrd shitbrew assbulge).
"More liek musTARDED am i rite lololwtfbbqroflmol" Eventually, there were so many forums on which to vent rage that they actually began to outpace the amount of rage that needed venting. In short, there were a dozen toilets available for every one verbal shit. What happens when there are more venues for you to vent in than there is need to compensate for a tiny penis? What else could they do? ITGs began to phone it in. Instead of page-long linguistic ragequits, shorter insulting comments cropped up, seemingly only there to establish the presence of an insult. But, of course, even if you deposit the tiniest, most insignificant bag of poop on a man's doorstep, the end result is the same: He still has to deal with your shit. Owners and operators of these venues--from bloggers to forum moderators--still became upset at even the most store-brand-quality of insults, and responded with the same vigor as they would any other attack. It was a complete reversal from how it all started: Instead of the occasional virtual Chuck Norris bashing on keys with his forehead because his fingers simply could not contain his fury, casual assholes (or 'casholes,' if you will) reigned supreme, and the true fury was now being espoused by the victims. It required so little effort on the part of the provoker, yet required so much effort on the part of the provokee that it was a net gain; they lost more than you put out. It mattered little that there was no actual benefit to be had from this practice; a fucking gain's a gain, right? You're winning! Something! Fucking finally!
"Who's my special little asshole? It's you!" The appeal was easy to see: If you can't whittle a toy horse, knit a blanket, write a poem or play an instrument, at least you might be able to destroy some amount of the free time possessed by the people that can. If the productive members of society who are usually out there creating something--no matter how small or trivial--instead used their time yelling at you for slights that you put absolutely no effort into, then they were also not producing. And if they were not producing, and you were not producing, then voila! You're suddenly just as valuable to society as they are! Instead of simply being "lesser than" the average person, now you're finally "lesser than or equal to"! You're no better, but at least they're a little worse! And thus trolling was born. It was easy, it provided a largely illusory benefit (but a benefit nonetheless) and best of all - you're ruining something! They always say, "It's easier to destroy than it is to create," and while most people saying that intend it to be a bad thing, you, the troll, see it as a benefit. They're totally right! It is easier, isn't it? Aren't easier things better? It's like you practically have no choice but to type "meh" or "fag" or better yet (and I'm only giving this to you because I love you) you could combine the two. You could type "mehfag." Because hey, what else do you say when you've found something to be of average quality that is also written by a fag? Necessity is the mother of invention, after all; it's hardly your fault that everything fails, is it?
Find Robert on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you could type "mehfag" into the text box below whe-oh you're already doing that? Well, aren't you clever.
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