My pet troll Dennis likes to spend time on twitter and do the online equivalent of YELLING AT ME if I tweet something that upsets him about Toronto politics.
I should probably ignore my troll, but I have to confess, it's fun taunting him to see what stupid thing he'll come up with next.
Here's a recent sample:
In the above screen shot, I responded to something from Sue-Ann Levy, whom I know in real (offline) life, and had provided her with some background for a recent item on Olivia Chow she wrote for the Toronto Sun.
Dennis, whom I have never met, but who has sent me some weird tweets in the past, was evidently trolling twitter, saw it, and sent me an affectionate message:
Now what my troll Dennis was referring to as a "Pure Smear," and as he so eloquently put it, "U Deliberately Mislead," is my publishing an excerpt from the official record of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in which the province's Housing Minister confirmed that Toronto Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow and her husband Jack Layton were indeed living in taxpayer-subsidized housing while making a combined income of over $120,000 per year.
The SubsidyGate issue is an old one and really wouldn't be all that important, except for the fact that Chow and her supporters have dredged the subject up and are lying about it. In order to help set Dennis right, I gently pointed out, in my own idiosyncratic fashion, that he might be mistaken while reaffirming his right to free speech:
Rather than a catalyst to thoughtful re-examination of fact and self-reflection, I'm shocked, yes, shocked to report it only exacerbated Dennis' fury:
Now Dennis did have me confused.
Does "Clumsy OX Clown-Dresser" mean that he thinks I'm a clumsy ox who dresses like a clown? Or is it supposed to imply that I dress clumsy oxen (and perhaps by my poor choice of wardrobe for them make their clumsiness more pronounced)? Or is the hyphenated "clown-dresser" supposed to suggest that I'm a clumsy ox who dresses clowns? Well, whatever the answer to that question may be, the one thing that seems pretty clear is that Dennis was having an online freakout. Being the sympathetic person I am, I thought I should draw that to his attention in the most sensitive, compassionate way possible:
Did you think that pointing out to someone that he was having a public meltdown might lead him to calm himself down and stop?
Naw, me neither:
Meet Dennis downtown!? Gee, maybe he's seen the error of his ways, become a fan and wants to buy me a beer! I love when my fans buy me beer.
...OK, I've never actually had a fan buy me a beer, but I can unequivocally say that were it to happen, I'd love it!
Hey, wait a second!
What's that about "pathetic parasite"??? You know, I don't think Dennis wants to meet me to by me a beer at all! I think what he wrote to me sounds like some kind of threat!
I like to think of myself more of a lover than a fighter, but I also like to think I can handle myself when need be. But this whole deal sounds entirely like a no-win situation for me. From his twitter photo, and even more on facebook, Dennis looks well into the geriatric period of his existence. And he also looks like he has a hefty weight advantage over me. Now if there's anything less dignified than fighting with an old coot and beating him up, it'd be fisticuffs with an old coot and having him beat me up!
All-in-all, it didn't seem like Dennis was offering me a very attractive invitation, and I thought it only reasonable to highlight that:
I have an admission to make.
I was being facetious and don't actually own a set of dueling pistols. And even if I did, am hardly going to use them on some fool in downtown Toronto.
Not that I don't find them to be interesting artifacts, but as far as firearms technology goes, we've come a long way since the 18th Century. But there are some really neat literary accounts of dueling pistols, like in Joseph Conrad's The Duel and Thackeray's The Luck of Barry Lyndon, so it seemed like a good evocation.
Obviously escaping Dennis was the irony of him calling me a "parasite" while he was bellowing his vicarious outrage for Olivia Chow, who is the preferred candidate of every special interest public-trough feeder in Toronto. It would have been remiss of me not to point that out:
Needless to say, Dennis didn't like any of that either:
Afraid of my own shadow!? Ha! Just goes to show how stupid he is!
I'm not the least bit afraid of shadows! I'm just cautious around them because they're good places for spiders to hide! So there, grampa!
Anyway, it's difficult to tell if the the syntax-challenged Dennis was trying to call me a vacuous miscreant who is a mouthpiece, or a mouthpiece for vacuous miscreants. Whatever the answer to that may be, my pet troll is always good for a laugh and let's hope Dennis eternally remains Dennis.
UPDATE: 20/3: Dennis was evidently up well before dawn this morning and decided to take another of his blind twitter swings at me. I have to say, this one stings a bit. He has insinuated an acute need for popularity on my part. Of course that's true. I so desperately want to be part of the mainstream media clique like the popular gang at the Toronto Star and CBC and in politics like with the NDP and the Ontario Liberal Party, and of course with the well-funded bureaucracy of the higher ups in the education establishment. For reasons I can't comprehend, my exposing their idiocy and wrongdoings, and publicly making fun of and insulting them has had the reverse effect. Oh, well... I suppose I'll just have to reconcile myself to going on with the small circle of people I actually like and respect.
If only I could be more like Olivia....