The Troll Wars 3.5
|I am not wholly immune to the emotional pull of the season, I must admit, but I am traveling this year to see my little granddaughter so I think I’m going to make it through alright, that is, unless she keeps bashing me over the head with her favourite toy, the
The Troll Wars is pure inside beisbol. You would have to follow several different blogs and twitter accounts to learn the convolutedly complex history of interactions in order to grok this story very well. I don’t recommend it unless you already have fried your brain on previous occasions during similar worthless activities and/or have lots of time to waste at work.
The Troll Wars has morphed from a demented reality into a perverse form of ARG, and might also be termed an example of creative “unfiction”.
A main point of this exploration for me is the study of how the court system discriminates against poor defendants who cannot afford travel and legal expenses to defend out of state pro se litigation, which in this case seems to be specifically targeted to stop a blogger from discussing the plaintiff in the following way:
In fact, it has been noted elsewhere that there is a conscious strategy in play to intimidate and shut down the internet speech of certain “provocative” bloggers, one that very clearly resembles Socrates’ court case.
For those who have invested the time, the story follows a dramatic arc and grows more irresistible as it evolves. Socrates is someone whose writing and online persona I have followed for a few years. We have interacted on several blogs and have been alternately friendly and at odds. He is a much maligned, much banned blogger, whose language is colloquial, quirky and quite interesting, at least to me.
In some respects I consider him to be the Neal Cassady of the internet age. Cassady, if you aren’t familiar with him, was the protagonist for Kerouac’s beat-era bebop anthem “On the Road.” He later became Ken Kesey’s bus driver for the Merry Pranksters during the days of the “Electric Kool Aid Acid Test,” famously written about by Tom Wolfe. Some have even claimed that Cassady was the inspiration for Randall P. McMurphy, the protagonist in Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.”
Neal Cassady thoroughly informed the countercultural zeitgeist of the postwar (1950-60s) United States, through a blend of his historical being as well as the popular literature that was based on his amazing persona.
Of course, we live in an age where this type of romantic literary mythology simply cannot be created anymore, at least on such a vast scale. Literature itself, not to mention printed books, magazines and newspapers, seems particularly dead as an art form in the 21st Century.
Today, we mythologise the Steven Jobs, the Google and facebook guys, the people who invented, no, marketed the technology itself, rather than celebrate the writers/artists/musicians who use the technology in a creative way. Some see this as a good result because the technology has tended to deflate and flatten the elitism inherent in the message control by the capitalistic ownership of the printing press, the paper, as well as the costly mass marketing of the physically-produced intellectual goods of yesteryear.
However, those old school businesses also employed people of all socio-economic classes, including the proletarians working the presses, stocking the warehouses, stocking the store shelves, clerking the cash registers, driving the trucks, delivering the newspapers, whereas the replacement industry developed through technology employs fewer people who make more money through stock options, tends to be more centralised and noncompetitive until its technology is replaced by even better, more efficient, even less labour-intensive technology, relying much on college and technical school graduates. As we have seen increasingly in our post modern US economy: the working classes need not apply.
So, you tell me, are we truly better off in the internet age? The answer is a qualified yes/no (depending on the historical perspective developed long after we die), but the price has been steep for so many of the less fortunate who are unprotected from the vicissitudes of technological progress. And for the rest of us, even the fortunate beneficiaries, more of our freedoms have been relinquished, while the pain of being human endures.
Socrates’ story is an amazing one in its own way and while he may lack his Kerouac or his Kesey, thanks to technology, it is now possible for him to become Cassady and Kerouac, simultaneously, and spread his writing within his own milieu, which will grow as large or small as the interest in him waxes and wanes. He will clearly never attain the mythological status of a Cassady or a Kerouac in the mass market of literature, however, he has most definitely already become a legend of the internets, inside a small but growing and influential circle of internet addicts.
I already know what the final installment of this story will entail….and lets just say it will be the same regardless of the final outcome of Socrates’ legal bullshit. And I believe he will find it a gratifying conclusion.
Like him, I also cannot fathom why that Liberty Chick ratted on him. However, I also cannot fathom why he sent the email that he did to all those peeps. I gather this was before he reached his current stage of enlightenment?
Since that time, I have found Socrates attitude to be rather noble and heroic, especially as a dude who is willing to go to the gallows (well, OK its only 30 days in the cooler, but you get my drift) on behalf of his principles, while his adversaries slither around spasmodically in the muck like
OTOH, we need to consider the full picture here: jail time for Socrates isn’t the problem, even in the unlikely event. Not at all.
No, its probation that really does people in. Ironically, as a student of sociology and social theory, Socrates would find himself as a common criminal at the mercy of social workers wedded to the corrupt criminal justice system as accessories after the fact for society’s murder of the common peoples’ soul.
Once ensnared, they will attach all manner of “do’s and dont’s” on you, in effect robbing you of your freedom for years, not to mention piling on the additional costs for monitoring your probation. Once you’re trapped, the failure of any one of the terms of probation could lead you into more serious jail time, lengthier probation and of course additional costs.
And then: wash, rinse, spin, repeat.
Suddenly, you find that you are a career criminal. Your record is public, your finances are ruined, your prospects nullified.
That is the essence of the vicious legal cycle in this here banana republic by the rich for the rich which fosters the ridiculously heinous imprisonment of so many non-violent offenders, most of whom are serving time not for their actual “crimes,” like smoking a little weed, or fighting with their spouse, but simply for failing to follow up on all the kafkaesque bureaucratic bullshit that they put on you post-conviction.
Funny, I just left a post to Wendy at FDL that literature is dead.
However, the internet is very alive but pervasive life forms can be insidious, like crabgrass or Team Numbnuts, for instance.
I probably will work that comment into a dairy soon, while I’m on vacation. Man, I’m productive when I dont need to be, doing stuff that doesnt need doing. In fact, if I never had to work again at all my boorishness would surely reach vast stretches of the Universe that even Krishnamurti cant touch.
I read his biography several years ago, first hearing about him through Henry Miller, but I must have found him forgettable, since I don’t remember anything about him. Didn’t he have some rich Judeo Christian Female handler that pimped his schtick for him? maybe thats what both of us need, eh, a sugarmama? I know how to sing for my supper, that much is true.
I guess I get what you’re saying in a way but I think maybe its your expectations of the internet that are causing you some problems, not so much the internet itself. My new masterpiece will touch on the societal dysfunction of the internet age caused by uncontrollable and unforeseen technological advance, of which the internet is one very prominent feature that everybody can touch but few can fathom its really destructive impact on our wasted lives, because we are too addicted.
So maybe, just as in your learning to accept yourself for what you are, you can also learn to accept the internet for what it is, a curse as well as a blessing.
Yes, I am an introvert, although I’ve known it for quite some time, like 30 years, through the battery of personality tests they put you through when hiring sales people.
Unfortunately, that specific knowledge hasn’t been nearly so uplifting for me. But it sometimes did disqualify me for sales jobs.
Luckily, I don’t work in sales anymore.
OK, the problem with the Fake Left isnt drug abuse, its our use of information as if it were a drug. And reliance on dogma is an epidemic unfortunately, you see it across the aisle too, just a dumber and more illiterate version. People don’t want to think for themselves, they dont want to face their own contradictions, the known unknowns as whats his fuck face in Bush Admin famously said. Rumsfeld. You may hate that guy, and I do, but he was pretty fucking clever in a diabolical way. He deluded Bush and Cheney but I never got the idea that he was self-deluded at all. Those are the most dangerous people in the world. On the internet especially.
People in this age of the infoboobtubes select certain types of info sources, not at random but from where we are led through SEO and the herding effect of blogs, partake of regular hits from the infobong and then sit back and let that feeling of ersatz mental certainty wash over our minds. The element of discovery and surprise of the new and different has been completely lost in our inability to escape the google prison of our own predetermined preferences.
Its a lot like heroin, actually better, because its cheaper and always available. it eases our doubts and makes sense of our nagging frustrations, allowing us to exist in an illusory environment where no matter what becomes us in the negative reality of our existence, we will always have at our fingertips someone else on whom to scapegoat our circumstance, an untouchable (so why bother doing anything about it?) conspiracy of forces that holds us down despite our obvious superiourity. And no matter what, that feeling of euphoria is always just a mouse click away. No more need to chase after your fix, even, as long as the cellphone is charged up and ready to surf.
To Wendy Davis:
“Tralala” is a character in the 60s cult novel “Last Exit to Brooklyn.” This book was considered shocking for its time in depicting working class degradation, drug taking, prostitution, homosexuality and gang rape. Probably not suitable for everybody’s holiday reading list, but it is definitely a tour de force that I found impossible to put aside the first time I read it as a kid.
For me, it is similar to Huckleberry Finn in a way. Both are shocking, eye opening, written in humourous vernacular style, both are also cynically tragicomic portraits of the average American’s lot in life.
On a side note, one of the vignettes from the novel, “The Queen is Dead,” about a transvestite named Georgette, seems to have inspired Rod Stewart’s “Killing of Georgie,” although I have not seen this acknowledged by Stewart.
Interestingly, the song’s coda is an almost direct rip-off of John Lennon’s “Don’t Let Me Down.” This song confirms my belief that Stewart is one of the least original artists of the post 60s rock n roll decadence.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and remember to duck when the kids start throwing pots and pans at you.