|BOERS, BORES AND BOORS
This posting was pretty much written as a follow-on to the Billy Goat Gruff piece, also posted here. When I wrote that in late 2004, it would have been fairly clear to most folks about exactly whom I wrote if I had said 'the ARBR TROLL'. But the next year, an even more obnoxious new quasi-anonymous persona appeared, initially to tout the wonders of the VeloKraft NoCom lowracer, then apparently to do his dead-level best to offend everyone who dared to read the newsgroup.
There was a really embarrassing period with messages posted using false names, vulgar one-liners, and... well, if you've ever seen other Usenet newsgroups at their worst, you know how bad it can get. Viewing this one as an outsider, it was hard not to feel like you'd bumbled into a neighborhood spat for which someone's backyard or a local beerbar would have been a much more appropriate venue. It was like the internet equivalent of a marathon of Jerry Springer's worst dysfunctional family reruns. I suppose it's inevitable that some obscure cable channel will sooner or later host such a horrible event, but I'm sure that the folks here at ARBR have had enough.
Thankfully, that first ugly episode ended in just a few weeks. Just before it did, the original TROLL, however, who had gotten more and more apoplectic day after day, announced that he hated the group, was leaving and would never return. Oddly enough, most folks who offered an opinion were torn between resenting all that icky stupidity of a flame war and feeling at least a bit compensated that we might have a few weeks without our classic TROLL. He came back – all too soon, of course!
But we had to somehow get over a big name-calling flap, where the guy that several folks have directly accused of perpetrating the chaos – most of it in the name of 'Johnny NoCom' – was Ed Gin, who's fairly well known in recumbent cycling circles, at least in the midwest, an active member of WISIL,and who was also on our VCRR mailing list, for whatever reason, as well. Anyway, in one message, presumably (but of course not absolutely as far as anyone could ever prove) from Ed Gin, we find this fairly silly proposition (that word chosen for its slightly less formal connotation than proposal):
> Prove conclusively I am the author of posts as Johnny
My somewhat frivolous reaction – in iambic quadrameter, of course:
Someone (who may or may not be
Ed Gin?) has told us he (or she?)
Will pay for 'proof' of his misdeeds,
A tidy sum in fact, which leads
To nagging doubts that he's sincere.
At least I think it's pretty clear:
It MIGHT be Ed and he MIGHT pay;
But "happily"? NO FRIGGIN' WAY!
Since someone (maybe Mr. Gin?)
By late last year, one single TROLL
Then Johny NoCom came along,
In February things got rough,
Protesting just a bit too much,
And then the TROLL got even more
This forum's open; no patrols
And so the TROLL at last said 'BYE',
(Well... five or six reminders, sure,
Six weeks or so of quiet peace...
Someone insists – he's sure! – Ed Gin
And then we saw the quote above,
Whose fingers fluttered on the keys
Plus what if Ed(?) somehow enlists
Is there a newsgroup (alt dot scams?)
The British won the Boer war,
Last updated Jan 13 2007