Dave, I'm not sure you understand the actual definition of troll or trolling. Here it is, according to Indiana University's IT Department:
In email discussion lists, online forums, and Usenet newsgroups, a troll is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers-by, but rather a provocative posting intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The term can also refer to someone making such a posting ("a troll") or to the action ("trolling", "to troll").
The article goes on to say "people post such messages to get attention, to disrupt discussion, and to make trouble." Using this definition, is the term even pejorative? I like to think of trolling like the term is used in fishing. When I was a kid, we used to troll for carp in the lake by my house, dragging big rusty treble hooks across the bottom hoping to snag something.
For example, when Ned posts something like this
, as he did in March, what's his goal?
Personally, I'm waiting for the Sunday line-up:
Cross-Dressers for a Nuclear Free World and Breastfeeding Lesbians for the Emancipation of Tibet.
Bring cameras and popcorn!
You might think it's funny, you might defend it as satire or parody and you might hold it up alongside the stuff produced by John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. You might also classify it as mean, cheap and homophobic (note that I'm referring to the post as homophobic, not the poster). Depending on the context, both sides might be right.
But it's hard to deny that it's trolling when using the very fair definition of the term offered by Indiana University. Growing up, allowing oneself to be baited ("feeding the troll") was always a worse crime than doing the actual baiting, and I think that's been reflected on this message board. Most often, when someone is ID'd as a troll, it's to point out to the respondents that they've been sucked in and made to look foolish. Some, like fisticuffs, don't seem to possess the self control necessary to just ignore him and are constantly toyed with.
We've discussed Ned's contributions to the Forum for years now, as he owns one of the oldest accounts. The general sentiment is that he adds a certain "something" to the board and the majority don't have any problems with him. Unlike other trolls who are banned quickly because they can't resist being vulgar, offensive and vile, Ned often contributes to discussions without deliberately pissing people off.
David, I know you like to paint your fellow conservatives as victims, but pointing out that Ned can be a troll is simply stating the truth and many of us believe he not only knows this, but relishes the label.