Troll With It, Baby

I think I comment too much. In fact, I know I do. If I see a photo on Flickr or read a post on LAist, or Losanjealous, or Franklin Avenue, or Curbed LA — or any number of personal blogs that I frequent and enjoy on a regular basis — I won’t hesitate to chime in and under my name because I’m not one of those anonymousers that thrive and drive the internest.

Clearly I’m also not someone with a lack of time on my hands, because rarely do I see my fellow LA bloggers commenting elsewhere with the enthusiasm and frequency that I do. They all apparently have lives, and priorities and self-restraint and generally better things to do than run around sharing the comment love (or hate, as the case may be).

Anyway, I got called out for over-commenting by one of them anonymice the other day over on The Eastsider LA blog, a relatively new tenant to the LA blogominiumplexosphere that I  drop by to check out a couple/three times a day to see what’s new and up. It’s become a great resource for things happening in my area (even if we might differ in our constitutions of “east side”).

My comment came in response to a post about a woman walking her leashed dog who was assaulted by an unleashed dog owner in Elysian Park. Feeling threatened by the loose and aggressive animal she ended up tossing a rock at it in frustration and, well, the loose dog’s owner — another woman — went ballistic, slapping her and threatening her.

The unfortunate incident reminded me of a similar one I experienced when an off-leash dog charged us about 15 years ago, while my then 5-year-old daughter and I were walking Shadow out in front of the apartment building I lived in at the time on Burbank Boulevard in Encino. Without going into all the boring details I wound up protecting my kid and my dog, which resulted in me unfortunately injuring the  loose animal and then dealing with its almost equally aggressive owner who came running up the street angry that I dared defend against his free-ranging beast.

Silly me I nutshelled that story in a comment to that Elysian Park assault post, offering it not so much as study in what a badass I am, but instead as a tutorial to the benefits of leashing up your dog, since sometimes it’s the off-leashed animal that suffers the worst of the deal:


A short while later I found a couple shadow-dwelling keyboard peckerheads taking potshots at me:



In my responses, I  tried to be good-naturedly snarky — especially about the “ish” talking. Then the next day I find more asshattedness:



Now, I’m not one to trouble with trolls or be troubled much by them — in fact whereas conventional wisdom dictates igonoring the bastards, I can rightfully be accused of overfeeding them because I find it fun to keep coming back with semi-considerate replies at them and their goadings until they eventually realize they can’t win against me and give up lamely trying.

But I think what the third one (or maybe it’s the same jackass, for all I know) wrote carries with it a kernel of truth:

“He’s like bed bugs but for comments… everywhere and impossible to get rid of.”

How ironic that such hyperbole would come from a representative of the ultimate in deathless internet pest, but nevertheless I think I agree.

And so I’m going to stop, or at least give stopping a try. Sort of. From now on, if I find a post on a blog I frequent — be it a personal one, an “east side” one or one of the larger group/topical/regional blogs I haunt, instead of flailing my fingertips across my keyboard over there and giving pieces of my mind away free, I’ll consider if its worthwhile tapping out my thoughts over here and linking across to it.

While such a drastic scale-back in interaction could be seen as a troll victory, I see it more as bringing the little satellites I launch to a place in-house, where any uninvited chickenshits might think twice before bitchslapping at me, or at least understand that in doing so greater scrutiny can be focused on their reduced anonymity, and far less patience.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."