The Virtues of Internet Trolling

The Republican nominations are getting a little strange. Watching Donald Trump and Ted Cruz fight it out can leave one feeling even more jaded than Jeb Bush. Sometimes it feels like we’re all stuck in a Japanese B movie, cowering in the rubble while two skyscraper sized sweater-vests take prick sized chunks out of each other. It was a welcome reality check then when comments made by Cruz’s college roommate back in 2013 resurfaced on Twitter. According to Craig Mazin, now Hollywood screenwriter, Cruz is not only a life form, but a terrible one at that.

‘And, you know, I want to be clear, because Ted Cruz is a nightmare of a human being. I have plenty of problems with his politics, but truthfully his personality is so awful that 99 percent of why I hate him is just his personality. If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only one percent less.’

Mazin has since clarified his hatred of Cruz in more recent twitter diatribes.  As the internet makes it increasingly easier for the past to come back and haunt us, the future seems fertile for those who love a bit of old fashioned dirt.  How far is the humbling experience of reading shit about someone on the internet going to change the way we view the once sacred and untouchable? How different history could have been if this wonderful opportunity had been available sooner.

For Adolf Hitler the rise could have been much harder. With the wonders worked by a Kickstarter or Just Giving page, who knows how far the failed artist could have gone with his watercolours. And what of the dictator’s earlier reputation for furious anti-Semitic bar rants? One reduced to the odd comment on Facebook they would have undoubtedly lost their edge.



All is well, all is white.

History throws up countless examples of figures who needed taking down a peg or two by an accurate social media portrait of what they were really like. Cruz is unlikely to lose voters over reports of his creepy approaches to females at debating competitions. It does however give us, the jaded viewer at home, something to cling onto, a bit of substance to the vitriol we take out on our loved ones.

Democratic in its nature, the free flow of abuse on the internet could liberate us all from our pretensions. Humbled by the possibility of a photo re-emerging we would be kept in constant check by our own embarrassment. So preserve the virtual memories of your contemporaries, and do it well.


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