Thursday, June 12, 2008

McCain rocks the troll vote

Trolls - universally reviled by everyone that's ever legitimately logged in to a forum, message board, or blog - have finally found a candidate who represents their interests. In fact, Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain doesn't just represent Trolls, he encourages them. Here's the latest news on McCain's strategy in courting the Troll voting block, via Wired.

McCain Asks Supporters to Invade Liberal Blogs, But Few Respond

The McCain campaign in late May launched a new blogger outreach section on its website that encourages supporters to lobby for their candidate across 94 blogs
The strategy reinforces the central role that blogs have come to play in shaping and framing the issues in the 2008 presidential election. The question is whether sending supporters to do grassroots lobbying in the comments section of activist blogs like DailyKos, whose membership is dedicated to defeating the Republicans in the general election, will really benefit McCain's campaign.
No, it will just piss people off. But that's the point. Recent polls of Trolls have found that "pissing people off" is one of the key issues most likely to win the Troll vote.

According to a special gallup poll, here's what Trollish-Americans are most looking for in a Presidential Nominee:
95% of Trolls want a President who "Pisses people off, just 'cause he can."
82% seek a White House that will "defend our constitutional right to eat Dwarves."
63% of Trolls indicate the quality they value most in a political candidate is "Regeneration: 5".

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has announced it's intention to appeal to Trollish Americans by selecting a running mate with neon hair that stands on end when you comb it.

If any portion of this went over your head, read the comments.


r_b_bergstrom said...

It pains me to explain the joke, but a friend of mine responded to this with "I don't get it, what's a troll?" and it just seems cruel to keep the joke above her head.

So, to clarify for those who don't have all day to hang out on blogs and fora: Trolling is the act of frequenting online sights with the express purpose of starting arguments. Trolling itself is derived from the fishing term, which involves fishing from a moving boat. Fisherman who do practice such fishing methods are called Trollers. However, those who just emulate this method online, throwing out bait and then moving on, are called Trolls.

For those who don't have "gamer" or "geek" on their resume: The other meaning of Troll is from fantasy. They show up as big orcish brutes in Lord of the Rings, and sinister regenerating monsters in Dungeons & Dragons. Of course, if you were ignorant of both those references, you're probably pretty confused by this whole blog.

Trolls also appear as goat-eating monsters who live under bridges in Grimm's fairytales, and as creepy little dolls with neon hair in toy stores. We call people who do online trolling "trolls" as opposed to "trollers" because they have more in common with ill-tempered monsters than with fisherman, not because they have vacant stares and hair like static-grass.

McCain has employed internet trolls, not fishermen or D&D monsters. He's encouraging his supporters to create accounts at liberal fora and blogs for the express purpose of posting his speeches. Clearly, his message won't win voters at such locations. The actions are therefore only intended to cause anger and inhibit the work and discussions that happen at such places. He's taking his campaign to sort of a guerilla warfare level, and it's ethically stinky, though I'm sure he sees it as merely akin to civil disobedience. Mind you, the man doesn't seem too big on legitimate civil disobedience, so we can both call each other hypocrits.

Ultimately, McCain's real motivation in doing this is an attempt to look all internet-saavy and thus attract younger voters. However, it'll likely backfire. I mean, if McCain were truly in touch with the 'net, he'd know trolling is pretty much universally reviled. So the existence of this campaign proves he's just another fucking old fart. But really, what else do we expect from McSame?

r_b_bergstrom said...

PS: My apologies for politicizing this blog far more than I normally allow. I've become rather politically active lately, and that has resulted in my post rate at this blog taking a nose dive. Here was a chance to keep politically active and tie in some gaming-related humor, so I took it.

You see, I could just go back to posting plot-threads from my Scion campaign, but since Cheney is a titan-worshiping corrupted Scion in my campaign, who's declared martial law and attempted to fuel-air-bomb the Player Characters, it really wouldn't result in any less political rhetoric hitting these pages, would it?