In late 2007, the TROLL at ARBR seemed to be vacillating between thoughts of retirement and some kind of megalomaniacal mischief involving expansion of its particular style of disruption and discord to other Usenet cycling newsgroups. In response to a thread the pitifully senile fool started about The Trouble at ARBR I thought it was probably time to remind the group that we do still have the option of largely ignoring the irrelevant old idiot. My post included a teaser for the following poem:

The 'trouble' ARBR has is no surprise;
It's one old fool who's wizened, but not wise.

The 'trouble' ARBR has is hard to miss;
To paraphrase The Music Man, it's this:
We got some TROUBLE here! That starts with T,
Then comes an R, an O, two Ls... Oh gee!
We can't be sure that one who oft misspells
Will get that subtle message – "Hells [sic] Bells",
As it mistypes so often (poor old putz).
But 'trouble' here's spelled TROLL – no ifs or buts!

About a year or so ago I pled:
"Folks, PLEASE, let's all ignore the TROLL," I said.
That wasn't quite original, it's true,
But still... it's what I felt we ought to do.
I thought – and still believe – the plan could work,
To take away whatever fun this jerk
Derives from plopping pointless TROLLish poop,
Off-topic and offensive on this group.

Each time the foolish, impotent old fart
Displays its lack of talent, tact or art
By posting here, intending to offend,
Belligerence and insincerity portend
The fact that it will soon check right back in
To see who's been offended by its sin.
I have to think that part of this TROLL's fun
Is getting some response to what it's done.

Most cats that toy around with captive mice,
Catch on that biting more than once or twice
Won't get their little playmates to respond,
And soon the game – of which they're very fond –
Has lost its charm and challenge; they move on.
The TROLL's more like a dog that gnaws a bone –
A dull, dim-witted, mangy mongrel cur
For whom the past's an unremembered blur.

Year after year it gnaws – or gums [SNARF, DROOL] –
Not smart enough to see that it's not cool
To go so far beyond the bounds of taste
That most folks feel this group's now just a waste.
New readers write it off and go away.
Instead of hundreds browsing each TROLL post,
There's maybe five or ten now at the most.
The TROLL – less wise than any tabby cat? –
Drove off its audience; how dumb is that?

With just a tiny tad of self-restraint,
Attention paid to each sincere complaint,
I think the TROLL might, even now, regain
A larger group of readers, but it's plain
That it will really need to dial it back,
To let on-topic threads here stay on track,
To show from time to time a bit more class,
To not be such a domineering ass.

To everybody else, this brief advice:
Don't kick the TROLL – at least not more than twice.
Most folks enjoy a little bit of fun,
Like Tom's first quip with Opus 91,
But once contentiously pretentious blurbs
Become a run-on war of nouns and verbs,
Whatever fun it was is quickly gone;
Don't stoop to snatch the TROLL's old rotten bone!

Please don't commune with TROLLS if you're sincere.
Their brains are rock-hard pebbles; they don't hear.
Time spent discussing anything with TROLLS
Is like displaying photographs to moles –
A waste of internet resources. Folks, please note,
To ARBR's TROLL you're just another goat
Trespassing on its staked-out small domain;
You're merely prey – I think it's made that plain.

So... here it is, the simple bottom line:
Without the TROLL, folks, ARBR might be fine.
And even with it, mellowed out a bit,
The newsgroup's flame might once again be lit,
And time spent browsing ARBR could be FUN,
For posters and their readers, everyone...
But sadly, I'm not counting on it, guys,
Without the TROLL's reform or its demise.

HTBT Index

Last updated Nov 26 2007