Posts Tagged ‘cyber-bullying’

Doug Wildman - flickr

Doug Wildman - flick

Here in the productive but not slavish offices of The Curmudgeon,  I, the hoary boss, the guy in the large corner office overlooking the peaceful waters of Pelican Bay, sit self-satisfied with a cat-who-just-ate-the-mouse grin on my wizened face.  I have a troll and I just began trolling him.

For those who don’t know, a troll is a person who “trolls” the Internet looking for little billy-goats (unsuspecting people) to eat.  They will send hateful emails to this person—whom they don’t know—hoping to get a fight out of them, a response, anything to assure them that they have some meaning in their lives.  This backwards activity offers them the only reassurance that they matter, that they can affect something, and their incessant bullying of anyone and everyone probably gives them orgasms.

They talk mighty tough with the anonymity of the Internet to hide behind, but you can bet good money that in real life they are sniveling little worms, slight of build and meager-brained.  Almost exclusively males (and maybe it is exclusive to men…or boys), you can also bet that they have never had a girlfriend, have never been romantically involved with anyone, and have never had sex (excluding the family dog.)  Conventional wisdom says that you should not respond to trolls. “Do not feed the troll,” the saying goes, because once fed, they will come back for more and you never know what lengths they’ll go to to disrupt your life.

moohaha - flickr

moohaha - flickr

Here is how I acquired my troll:   I wrote an humorous article about making your own penicillin at home by nurturing mold in your refrigerator.  Then I suggested that you could cure illnesses—any illnesses—by consuming it by the spoonful.  And it was OK to give it to your kids too.  It was totally absurd, but covering my tuchus, I included a funny disclaimer about how it was a joke, that you could actually get sick from doing this, etcetera, etcetera.  So this guy leaves a comment that goes like this:
I Hate Jackasses.  This shit did not work

I did what I was supposed to do.  I ignored him.  He then sent an email to my personal account through the site, which gives me his email address but does not give him mine.  This message read:  “dumbasses like you  you are a f**king dumbass you shity (sic) redneck”  Kind of lame, true, but it still bothered me.  You never know about these people, and his elevator obviously doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.  Again, I was a good boy and did not reply.  At least not right then.  But it niggled.

And this is how I have begun to troll the troll.  I waited a couple of weeks.  I signed up for an anonymous email account that neither reveals who I am or where I live.  I should warn you here that you must be careful.  Some things are against the law.  Never claim to represent an official agency, such as the FBI or the police.  Never threaten anyone.  Do not cross the line into repeated harassment.  Although your target can’t find you by himself, if the police become involved, they very well may be able to.  Save any messages—especially the first one—from your troll.

So I sent him my first letter just a couple of hours ago. That’s called “Feeding the troll,” and I shouldn’t have done it. But I did.

How will he react?   For starters, he’ll probably have an orgasm.  Call it a scientific experiment.  If anything fun happens, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, I’m going to come up with some more tricks which I’ll also keep you apprised of.  You know, the Three Billy Goats Gruff was my favorite folk tale as a kid and it was fun to read it again. Google it and read it, if you like.  I feel a little like the third goat right now, and it feels good.

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Or is that “watch your fingers?” Nothing scares us around the offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon more than news of “the man” cracking down on the freedom of speech on the Internet. Not that we have ever disparaged anybody. Well, OK, a few celebrities, but they’re famous and they asked for it. But, you never know when we might want to lay into the car repair guy down the street or that rude checkout chick at the grocery, Yolanda, I think her name is– what a cretin bitch!–which is why we’re all a little twitchy today.

Cyber-bullying they called it. Just the other day, the woman from the “MySpace Cyber-bully Case” was only convicted on three counts of the lesser offense of accessing a computer without authorization on account of of she violated the MySpace Terms of Service. It’s a sad, sad thing that happened to that girl, but I don’t know if the mother is responsible for her death any more than J.D. Salinger is responsible for the death of John Lennon (Mark David Chapman had a copy of the book Catcher In the Rye in his back pocket at the time of the shooting).

Now comes this: In Colorado, A man has been charged with criminal libel for making unflattering comments about his former lover and her attorney. Seems he “suggested” she was trading sex for legal services. Normally, libel is a civil case, but Colorado has an antiquated 1800’s era statute that allows prosecution for speech “tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead” or to “expose the natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby to expose him to public hatred, contempt or ridicule.” Holy tort! It doesn’t even matter if what you say is true or even if the person is dead. They can still get you. She could have really been boinking for briefs and IT DOESN’T MATTER. Criminal libel carries a punishment of up to 18 months in prison just for shooting your mouth off. Now you know why we’re all twitchy around here.

Steve Zansberg, a Denver attorney specializing in first amendment law, said prosecutors seeking criminal libel cases could have a “chilling” effect on free speech in Colorado, particularly over the Internet.

It could be you (I saw what you wrote last summer). Do you know what outdated, moronic statutes are buried deep in the books where you live, just waiting for an over-zealous cop or an ambitious (and I mean that in the Shakespearean sense) prosecutor to come along and start swinging their dicks? So beware, my friends. You’d better keep you fingers shut. Even the dead can get you. Damn zombies!

The Shameless Self-Promotion Section

Which got me wondering about other trouble I could get into. I recently wrote a satirical piece about growing penicillin in your refrigerator and using it to cure yourself and your children of illnesses. Because of the way I had worked references and links into the piece, it had an air of authority in spite of it’s absurdity, even concluding that you could sell your homegrown penicillin on the black market. Some intelligent people thought that some of it was the truth, and then the inevitable question of what if some kid read it, thought it was true, and ate a big hand-full of mold? Could I be held liable if he got really sick or died? It was enough of a fear that I added a disclaimer, which is pretty damn hysterical all by itself. If you’d like to read it go to Make Home Grown Penicillin: Don’t Clean Out That Refrigerator. It’s funny.

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