As my friend
As my friend
Entirely unsurprisingly, the word ‘troll’ now has a politicised range of meanings—all the way from anonymous internet bully to subtly provocative dialectician, with a fractally wriggly continuum linking these extremes—and the comment this is a response to (a) made it reasonably clear which meaning one s/he had in mind* and thus (b) deserved a better (or at least more self-aware) answer than “By using the word X you can only be saying Y about me and I know myself well enough to say this is false.” Of course dsquared was trolling here — and it’s not as if Farrell is historically that good at identifying the motivations of the people he deems trolls by his own over-simplified (which is to say self-exculpatory) definition. The revealed fact of the faultline is an indication that people on both sides are uneasily (=angrily) aware that they too exist within contradiction: “just a lot less so than those OTHER deluded clowns,” the more twerpish partisans on both sides are busy telling themselves.
*And yes, s/he later disappointingly backed away from a good strong usage…
Which is likely to depress me more: a Guardian debate between a scientist and a philosopher, or a Crooked Timber thread on Westerns and John Hughes?
(Truly you can hunt for them yourselves and please keep the answers from me…)
His politics is what he does. What he says — his “line” — is merely how he gets his hand on someone’s wallet, or up someone’s skirt. Ideologues and intellectuals — left, right, centre, other — are often (actually not so) strangely boneheaded about this. They’ve invested so much in mastering specific verbal arguments, big technical shibboleth words and metrics, that they can’t bear to cede how very much easier they are to play as a result.