Today is the 9th anniversary of HA. So I thought I would celebrate by remembering the top nine most memorable trolls who have lurked in the comment threads.
Any such list is necessarily subjective—trolls are memorable for may different reasons, sometimes rather personal ones. Some have invoked anger, some have provided “entertainment,” some were just very, very…VERY different. Okay…so here goes:
- Mr. Cynical was Goldy’s first real troll. He showed up during the Great Election Contest of 2005, and loudly and boldly tried telling us how things would come out. Cynical was largely a propagandist for Republicans, so his many, many prognostications almost always came out dead wrong. Cynical was so wrong over the Great Election Contest of 2005, that the took on the moniker, “Mr. Irrelevant after his side lost. At least he had a sense of humor. An example of a Cynical long term political prediction, from the summer of 2005:
Santorum and Rice will win in 2008 and 2012….
Then Rice will become the first African-America and first woman President of the United States in 2016 and 2020.
Mr. Cynical occasionally returns to the comment thread to offer his opinions on important events, like presidential elections. During the 2012 election, Cynical came back as Ryanistheman, Jody, and likely other commenters. A little know fact is that Cynical was the first troll to really get under Goldy’s skin…until Goldy got toughened and jaded into the troll-aloof person we know and love day.
- Another of HA’s early trolls, JCH, was hell-bent on simply being disruptive. And he left lots of comments in attempts to disrupt. He was also a racist, spewing anti-Semitic slurs ad nauseum. It’s hard to know what drove him. He admitted that he lived in Hawaii, and I was able to deduce that he had previously lived in California, where he actively wrote letters to the editor of his local newspaper, pushing wingnut causes, of course.
JCH has the distinction of being the first troll to be banned from HA. It was largely for his unwillingness to stop the barrage of anti-Semitic insults. And even his banning came after a long spell of having his comments moderated.
- Chardonnay was HA’s first “concern troll,” but really stood out for being an (apparent) female in a largely male-dominated field. Something else that stood out about Chardonnay: she was excessively stupid. Now, whether this was an act or real is hard to tell. But she specialized in taking Republican talking points and re-framing them as “concerns” that were promptly demolished by other commenters. Here is a fun Chardonnay comment that came during the Ron Sims, David Irons, Jr. King County Executive election:
oh ya Ivan, King Ronny is toast he’s as wacked as algore if not more. ronny f’d up with his trumped up enviro BS. and his election dept debacle. stick a fork in him.
I’ll tell ya what ivan, if ron wins I’ll donate money to Goldy’s beer fund. You ‘buddy’ get zip unless Goldy wants to share his beer with you. If David Irons wins you buy Goldy a beer.
I cannot say whether she ever donated beer money to Goldy. Chardonnay disappeared (under that name, anyway) after that election in late 2005. She made one more appearance in 2007.
- Christmas Ghost is notable as another female commenter. She was much brighter than Chardonnay but, perhaps, crazier. A notable characteristic of her comments was an absence of upper case characters. Eventually, she moved to the Bay area and quit commenting on HA, but not before EFFin’ Unsound had some fun with her.
Interesting, odd facts: She was a raging asshole to Goldy in the comment threads, but he reports that she was a nice and reasonable person in her emails to him. Goldy once posted a missing person piece on behalf of Christmasghost. The niece was eventually found, though I don’t know any of the details.
- Piper Scott makes this list, because no commenter was more full of himself than was Piper. He was seriously insufferable and really did take himself seriously. Everyone else…not so much. In fact, Lee started a series of posts about him called The Crackpiper Chronicles (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4).
Part one highlighted one of my favorite protracted exchanges with any troll. It’s still a fun read that shows, in the end, underneath all the pretense, Piper was reacting emotionally like a very typical reality-challenged wingnut.
- Puddybud. Ahhhh, yes. What can we say about our beloved Puddybud. First, he gets kudos for longevity, having first posted back in 2005. Puddybud is a smorgasbord of illogical thoughts, nonsense, child-like arguments, illiteracy, hatred, bigotry, and right wing tripe, oddly mixed, on occasion, with pious religious fervor. And to add to it all, Puddybud has some deep insecurities as evidenced by his need for silly bragging. (Anyone remember the conversation about Puddybud serving in the military?)
An interesting thing about Puddy is the he has actually engaged with some of us in person by coming to Drinking Liberally. In person, he is a friendly, articulate, and intelligent person—really, the antithesis of his online persona. How could this be? The answer is that Puddybud is a character. The person producing the character is engaging in performance art. This explains everything about Puddybud. Think about it…if your objective is to maximize disruption and “make liberal heads explode,” then debate using emotional arguments, use bad logic, be inflammatory while saying stuff that is barely comprehensible, misuse data. Hell…just blatantly lie—it’s the character Puddy, not the God-fearing person playing Puddy lying to you.
- Mark the Redneck is a typical, if once prolific, propagandist/troll. What puts Mark the Redneck on this list is an infamous bet he made with Goldy…and reneged on.
- Marvin Stamn was a prolific, nearly robotic troll. He had commenting down to an art:
- Open up Drudge and find an “outrage”
- Excerpt a quote from the piece
- Write just enough commentary so that it constitutes “fair use”.
- Go to 1
Marvin eventually did himself in when he admitted to getting paid for his propaganda. It is hard to know if he was serious or joking, but since he lived in Southern California, commented for many hours a day, and had nothing to say about local politics, it seems more plausible than not. I don’t miss him.
- I had a hard time picking just one last troll to memorialize. I considered pbj, chuck, manoftruth, howcanyoubePROUDtobeanASS, Max, YO, josef, and so on. But I choose Klake. What I remember about Klake was his long, rambly, semi-coherent comments, with random parts of the text in bold. Like here and here. Classic stuff.
So those are my “top” nine. How about you? Who are the trolls you would memorialize and why?