Back in the days when I was a benevolent leader of an internet forum, there was a character whom I will call Chris2 (because his name was Chris, but there was this other Chris, and…well, a) Chris1 deserves his own story one day, and b) Chris is a common name – oh, and c) we wanted to make Chris2 feel less important [although we didn’t really want to make Chris1 feel important either…]). Enough needless elaboration in series of parentheses. The important part is to know that he was a right-wing asshole college student/Marines reservist from upstate New York who tried to get into as many elaborate arguments as possible with otherwise open-minded youth.
This morning I got nostalgic about one of his primary targets – a Canadian teenager and vegan who had a lot of capital-o Opinions on things. I was thinking back to a particular discussion about underwear – going commando is the natural choice, yadda yadda yadda, underwear lobby – but also shaving the region got into the conversation and there seemed to be a logical disconnect with the whole “natural” argument (plus the fact that pubic hair serves a purpose, in women at least, that underwear can substitute for so you better either have one or the other if not both). This girl and Chris2 got into innumerable debates about her left-wing views and how it conflicts with the we-should-all-eat-meat-because-capitalism-you-fucking-hippies philosophy he goes by. But they agreed on the shaving thing, surprisingly enough. (Chris2 also had his share of perversions which he mostly told in private IMs to a dear friend of mine, who naturally passed them onto me.)
Chris2 also called a girl’s mother a horrible parent because the two of them (mother, who’s a doctor, and daughter, who was a smart 16 year old) sat down to talk about sex and the mother prescribed birth control before the girl went to that new level with her boyfriend of a year. To sane and reasonable people it seems like a very responsible thing for both the girl and her mother to do, but to Chris2 it was an example of the horrible moral decay of society since it meant teenagers were having sex before marriage. Chris2, in his private IMs to a dear friend of mine, showed no shame in his sexual activities and even talked about how he nearly scored with a 15 year old. You can’t spell “hypocrisy” without “Chris”.
He was a complete music snob, pro-war, and thought that anybody who wasn’t getting a STEM degree (specifically the E for engineering, because that’s what he was doing) was going to college for useless reasons and would contribute nothing to society. He was a Rush Limbaugh Jr., cognitive dissonance and all. He demeaned everyone else’s writing skills thinking himself a sophisticated poet, despite all of his spelling and grammar mistakes. Any evidence presented by others was propaganda and his was solid. How much of this was purely to be an asshole and how much he was actually fooled by fell far more towards the latter than he ever cared to admit. He was a troll, but he seriously held the values he trolled with.
The site itself has disappeared, but I have some of it on record. Maybe one day I’ll have the time (and find enough purpose) to go through those and come up with some of his best quotes. Surprisingly I, and the dear friend of mine, were respected by him, and seen as modestly intelligent in spite of the naiveté behind our liberal values. I suppose that merely means we were in on the joke – his joke, at least. He may have suspected something, but he was far from being fully in on our joke. Those were fun times, rousing both the theatrical and true opinions of this genuine troll. I wonder where on the internet he’s arguing now…