The world is a frustrating place. There are futile wars in Africa, Taylor Swift gets paid for making music and Tiger Tiger Fourways exists. The planet isn’t always the becoming little enclave of human paradise they make it out to be in travel brochures, or pornos. Basic human interaction is becoming more and more separatist, with the invention of mobile phones, wireless connectivity and an online world that is removed from basic reality. And thus our behaviour is slowly changing. Where one would normally exercise a bit of tact when engaging with one another on a face-to-face basis, we now see a new brand of internet warrior, whose pimpled chin, nasal mucus and Cheerio addiction are no longer a hindrance to telling that jock in the Camaro to go fuck himself. With his computer screen as his shield and his keyboard as his sword the internet troll is an all powerful digital mutant who takes no prisoners, shows no mercy, and calls your mother a fat bitch. Why should they ever leave the basement? Their precious virginity is safe there.
One might think that superior trolls come from afar, like the US, communist Russia, or the towers of Azgard, yet our local online juggernauts are magnificent in their complete lack of wit, or indeed their comprehension of the English language. Enter News24, the flagship site of Media24, where journalistic integrity is as common as Jews in Pakistan. This online newspaper cesspool harbours the lower end of South Africa’s Caucasian social elite as racism and constant bickering runs rife. Coupled with the like or dislike button, and we have all out online chemical warfare. “You’re gay” “No, you’re gay” can be as little as 6 comments down on an article about a government water initiative in Mpumalanga. Whether its because our education system has been a complete shambles for years, or because liquor stalls have historically sold brandy to pregnant women in Kraaifontein, these are not South Africans to be proud of. Whether it’s blaming it on 350 years of colonial rule, or 18 years of black rule, no one stays on topic, no one provides rational argument and chances are within 10 comments someone will threaten you with “Cm 2 Parow bro, nd ill fking work u”. The irony of the constant religious debate on the validity of Christ is that if Jesus does exist, he sure as fuck is pretty scarce on News24.
No matter how much you publicly deny it, deep down you know that sometimes you just want to beat the crap out of a cheeky pubescent 14 year old, and this is why Asians invented Xbox Live Call of Duty campaigns with headsets. Screaming down a microphone at a tween in Turkmenistan that you’re going to sacrifice his first born and rape his grandchildren has become a past time of 10 million Americans. For some reason the dark blanket of anonymity has given license to some esteemed gamers to be horrible people. Maybe it’s because they’re shooting Nazis, maybe its because their mothers never loved them, but if I get mistaken for a Brit and told to insert tea and crumpets into myself one more time, Im seriously going to lose it.
But in this sea of delusions of grandeur, veritable insolence and text speak are a few comedic pieces of gold. Between Facebook, Twitter and Youtube people bear every moment of their lives, and sometimes some young sod comes up with a brilliant reply. The world is littered with duck faces, self-shot-mirror-models, people bragging about teen pregnancy and replies to Kardashian tweets. It gives me hope that all is not merely lost in bickering, unworthy self “big-ups” and petty insults, when chances are the perpetrators aren’t even wearing pants. So as a conclusion I present to you those who are doing it right and are not merely out to fight with minimal ammo.
*Follow @Stroobz on Twitter as the police misconstrue recordings of him telling an Asian 12 year old to “suck my dick” during a game of Halo