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It has become traditional hereabouts that, when a troll posts a diary, we ignore the content of the diary and instead post recipes. The idea is to make use of the thread that the troll started without feeding the troll. Recently some of us have been wondering who started this marvelous tradition (for example here and here and here). I believe I have found the answer: it was kid oakland.

kid o posted Daily Kos's first anti-troll recipe in this comment. The key grafs:

Don't feed this troll...but if you must comment...consider participating in a tradition we have  here on dKos: responding to trolls with random discussions about food.

What's your favorite recipe that uses spinach?

I love it steamed and then cooked in a skillet with scallions and butter and hint of bacon.  But, hey, I'm from California....

kid o posted this on July 29, at what I think would have been 2:42am in his time zone. In response several posters advocated other methods of cooking spinach. I submit that this was the origin of the tradition of posting recipes in order to hijack troll diaries. It is a solution that, as far as I know, has only been suggested once, by WendellGee, in this comment.

kid oakland posted the fateful comment to a diary by torch, who had been previously identified as a troll (in fact a new incarnation of an old troll, popcorn). You can find torch's diaries here. People had attacked torch as a troll in previous diaries, but neither in them nor in any other earlier diary I have found are there any anti-troll recipes. Yet almost exactly 14 hours later, we find Maryscott O'Connor giving the now-standard response to a diarist she considered a troll, here. (In fact that diarist was not a troll, just too quick to cut and paste from Drudge.) torch was soon met with General Tso's Chicken (zeke L's recipe) on a diary charmingly titled Can Kerry's extreme makeover fool independents?. Horvo soon met with the same treatment here, though that seems to be another case of Maryscott jumping the gun. (Horvo had no time for Kerry, but he wasn't a troll. I am also suspicious of Maryscott's risotto recipe, but that's another story.) The tradition was quickly established, as you can see from the opening exchange in another of torch's diaries, this one from August 2, and in a diary slinkerwink put up on August 10 called Since It's a Quiet Day, how about a Kos Recipe Thread?.

Two things make me confident that kid o's post really was the first. First, I searched the comments from July for words such as "tbsp," "teaspoon," "salt," and "butter," and could find no relevant post that was any earlier. (It turns out that kossers are fond of taking things "with a grain of salt." Thank goodness Scoop won't let you search for words under four letters long, because the next thing I was going to check was "oil.") Obviously I might have missed something, especially if it were earlier, but I doubt it.

Second, notice that kid o writes, "consider participating in a tradition we have  here on dKos: responding to trolls with random discussions about food." He does not say, "responding to trolls with recipes." Instead, he refers back to a much older tradition of taking over troll diaries with various discussions about food. (I think it started with this comment from a gilas girl in anybodybutdean's rabidly homophobic diary.) He is proposing that people talk about recipes as a way to carry on the tradition of talking about food, and this implies that there was not already a tradition of posting recipes -- but as we have seen, 14 hours later posting recipes is definitely on the way to becoming an established tradition. Also, kid o suggests posting spinach recipes in particular, which is not really in keeping with the subsequent tradition (people don't say what sort of recipes you should post), and this again implies that the tradition was not yet established.

So apparently the credit goes to kid oakland.

Update [2004-12-14 12:5:36 by gong]: I've gone back and searched all comments from November 17, 2003 to the end of June 2004 for the word "salt," and did not find any anti-troll recipes (I had previously checked July 2004). Either kid oakland's comment really was the start of it all, or I missed every anti-troll recipe. I could have missed a troll recipe only if either it did not include salt, it did not reveal that it was a recipe in its subject line, or my eyes were busy glazing over. I do not believe that I could have missed all anti-troll recipes if there really was a recipe tradition during this time. (I stopped at November 17, because folkbum and I had already worked out it must stop after that, in this thread.)

Update [2004-12-14 23:39:46 by gong]: In coments, Jane Knowles points out that the same tradition arose earlier on other sites, but we agree that it probably arose independently on Daily Kos. And freelixir has filled in some of the backstory from July.

Originally posted to gong on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 07:56 AM PST.



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Comment Preferences

  •  More troll trivia (4.00)
    The first hidden comment after the move to Scoop was this one, by CW. You can't verify this now, but I was the second person to get to it, and it was my 0 that hid it. (If you go back to the first hidden comments you'll find two that look older, by OriginalOrrin and LeftCoastConservative. They were troll-rated retrospectively long after the fact.)

    Also, after a long hiatus I won back my trusted user status in April during the invasion of the Desserter trolls, when one of them troll-rated me (I think on this post). Honest to God Zhuangzi, I wasn't a trusted user, and then I was, and the only new rating was the Desserter's troll-rating. Great algorithm, kos!

  •  You Sure It Wasn't (none)
    ...Kennewick Man who started it?
  •  Terrific work, gong!!! (none)
    While you're at it, do you think you might be able to solve the grassy knoll mystery?
  •  Question (none)
    Are you sure the search function is going back past July?  I think cooking the trolls began before then.  
  •  But who outed (none)
  •  damn, that was posted in August? (none)
    It really has been a while...

    What's madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance?

    by slinkerwink on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:00:30 AM PST

  •  Someone wants to know... (4.00)
    ...who General Tso was. Well according to several websites I found (including Chinese web sites) it was Zuo Zongtang 左宗棠 (1812-1885), a Qing dynasty general who had a hand in putting down several 19th century rebellions. No one thinks he had anything to do with the chicken dish. The most common story seems to be that that was invented by Taiwanese immigrants to the U.S. (which would explain why I've never had it).

    Funny, I'd always assumed that it was Cao Cao 曹操 (155-220), the Three Kingdoms era general, warlord, Art of War commentator, and poet. But I guess not.

    (Annotation: "Tso" is an alternate romanisation for "Zuo," which is the Mandarin pronunciation of 左; but it is also a common romanisation for the Cantonese pronunciation of 曹. Sorry if the Chinese turns to gibberish in your browser.)

    •  Mmm, the General's chicken (none)
      General Tso's chicken is a great gooey, spicy food. I have found in my Asian cooking that coating the meat with cornstarch and then frying in oil in the wok is a key aspect to most of the good dishes. I make a killer Szechuan garlic chicken with noodles...

      And gong gets a 4 for utilizing the power of the modern web to include Chinese in his description. It's supposed to be world-wide, after all. Hats off to you.

      GOP: Party before Country

      by puppethead on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:32:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lol (none)
    I am proud to have taken part in those threads...

    Gbomb: Flip flops. Can I get a Eogget already?

    by ARingMD2B on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:21:03 AM PST

  •  Wow (none)
    I, too, thought it was earlier than July.  Maybe it just feels like forever.

    Nice work, gong.  In my searching, I was looking to far back.

    These guys looked deep into my soul and assigned me a number based on when I joined. -- Homer Simpson

    by folkbum on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:24:15 AM PST

  •  Great work, (none)
    but I must disagree with your conclusion at least on an anecdotal basis. Of course, I have no evidence to back this up.

    But I remember the recipes being kicked around as early as I joined back in the spring. I was curious and may have asked about them in May or June. Certainly wasn't me who kicked anything off, I was just asking. It may have been maryscottoconner who replied. But, as reflected in kidoakland's post, it was already a tradition before he posted in july.

    For the good of the country, it has to become fashionable to think, again.

    by DyspepTex on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:27:11 AM PST

    •  You might be right... (none)
      ...but if it was in June none of the recipes used salt or butter, unless some damn fool posted a recipe with a subject line that didn't label it a recipe.

      kid oakland's post reveals that there was a tradition in place, but it wasn't the recipe tradition; but then almost immediately after he posted, the tradition was in full swing. To me that makes it look like he started it.

      But I'm checking earlier comments now, just in case.

    •  I went back (none)
      I looked at your archived comments from May, June, and July, and didn't see that question.  It may have been on a disappeared thread, though.

      These guys looked deep into my soul and assigned me a number based on when I joined. -- Homer Simpson

      by folkbum on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 08:48:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  okay (none)
      while there may be a "1st" dkos-poster of recipes, this way of responding to trolls did not begin on dkos. i used to post a lot on, which is a feminist website. it's also an unmoderated site and people there came up with recipes as a way to responding to trolls there before kos existed.

      and can i add (as i did in another thread) that i find the whole recipe thing totally irritating. it didn't work on bust and it doesn't work here.

      trolls just want a response and they're quite happy with ANY response, including recipies. what's crazy is that i've seen diaries started by trolls, which get more of these recipe-type posts than diaries started by legit members, who put a lot of time and effort in and get nada in feedback.

      i maintain that ignoring or deleting the accounts of trolls is the best ways to deal with them.  

      "Some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power all right. Dark days Harry." --The Sorcerer's Stone

      by JaneKnowles on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 10:20:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  might i add (none)
        that i'm not saying that the tradition started on bust either. i'm guessing the tradition has been around on the internet almost as long as trolls have.

        "Some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power all right. Dark days Harry." --The Sorcerer's Stone

        by JaneKnowles on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 10:25:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Probably separate (none)
        Unless kid o got the idea from, or Maryscott or someone else recognised it from there, I think it must be a coincidence. The background for the dKos practice was discussions of food, restaurants, and shows, and it just turned out that recipes were more sustainable.

        I think the recipes are a reasonable way to respond to troll diaries; they get pretty irritating as responses to troll comments in otherwise legitimate threads. The main problem is the usual one, that people are too quick to call troll (as in a couple of the examples mentioned in the diary).

        I'd be surprised if posting recipes to a troll diary (rather than posting nasty comments, which is what they would otherwise do) has prevented many people from commenting elsewhere.

        •  i wasn't arguing (none)
          that the idea came from bust. my point is that this practice has been around on the internet for a while (as has starting random conversations about various topics in troll threads). i don't think the idea originated here, that's all.

          my question re: recipies or ANY response to trolls is why do it in the first place? as i said, trolls just like a reaction. recipies and discussions about hunky movie stars are just as good to them as being cussed out. they've disrupted the community in some way--mission accomplished.

          "Some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power all right. Dark days Harry." --The Sorcerer's Stone

          by JaneKnowles on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 10:52:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, that makes sense (none)
            It does seem to be a natural way to take over threads, I'm not surprised that it could have been 'invented' multiple times.

            The thing is, when people start posting recipes, that's not disrupting the community, it's building it. Maybe it'd be best if people stayed away, but exchanging recipes is a way of being friends, not a way of getting distracted. (Again I'm assuming that it's in a troll diary, not in someone else's thread that a troll is trying to ruin.)

            Has there ever been a blog with good troll discipline?

            •  that i can agree with: (none)
              the idea of posting recipes as being invented multiple times. but anyway, to each his own. i personally find the recipes annoying because i don't like to cook and am not interested in reading about how to do it on a political blog--especially in the middle of a diary that wasn't started by a troll, but may have been invaded by one.

              a blog w/ good troll discipline? on bust, the moderator, i.e. the editor for bust magazine, clearly stated that she would not moderate and repeatedly stated that the best way to deal with trolls was to ignore them.

              well, a lot of people did ignore them, but trolls are very good at baiting people so there were always people who couldn't resist responding. usually the trolls left on their own accord after a month or two at most. then we got this insanely persistant troll who polluted the board with multiple threads, which always featured extremely anti-woman headings (ex: "women are lazy gold digging cows!!" and so forth). that guy stuck around for at least a year and really destroyed the boards. i think a lot of people were really put off by the editors refusal to address the chaos he was causing, and he drove a lot of people away. i don't want to say i left because of him. mostly i wanted to focus in more on politics, but he definitely contributed to part of the reason i haven't been inspired to return there since i left last spring.

              "Some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power all right. Dark days Harry." --The Sorcerer's Stone

              by JaneKnowles on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 04:47:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Older than previously stated (none)
    A few of us have been here since well before the Scoop days. I'm pretty sure I recall seeing recipes posted on the "old" system in response to trolls.
    •  Sounds wrong to me (none)
      I was here pre-Scoop too, and don't remember it from then; but I don't trust my memory, so why should anyone else? Still, remember that pre-Scoop there was no way for trolls to start a thread; posting recipes would be just another way of letting trolls take over other people's threads, and that would defeat the purpose.

      In any case, if there was a pre-Scoop tradition like this, it died out and was resurrected. It was unknown in November 2003, and did not occur after that until kid o's post in July this year.

    •  No. Recipies (none)
      were a responce to troll diaries.
  •  What about The Lynx? (none)
    Did this practice possibly originate in responses to "The Lynx"?

    The Lynx was an apparent spam-bot that peppered dkos comment threads with comments proclaiming "The Lynx is coming" followed by the name of a dessert, e.g., "Boston Creme Pie" or "Cherries Jubilee".

    Some jocular food-fight byplay developed in response, as I recall, and perhaps evolved into recitation of recipes?

    •  Lynx (none)
      Definitely not. For one thing that bunch didn't start any diaries, and as Mike S said above (or below, depending how you've got the comments running), this started on troll diaries. (I actually linked to the Lynx as the Desserter trolls above.)

      Unless I have missed something obvious, this started July 29, with kid o's comment.

  •  nice sleuthing, gong (none)
    I guess this just means I spend waaaay too much time at this place.

    I'm a sucker for these dKos social history diaries (see also pontificator, DHinMI,  social democrat, and folkbum). They really contribute to the sense of this place as a true community, with shared history, memories, disputes, myths, folktales, and legends (heck, I think somebody even posted a Homeric "epic poem" about dKos back in the early post-scoop era, though I might be just imagining that). And in these dark post-11/2 days, that community vibe feels that much more necessary and psyche-sustaining...

    •  Thanks for the Mention (none)
      I also want to say that I seem to remember you, maybe shortly after you started posting here, getting kind of pissed or disappointed or having some kind of negative reaction to some dominant viewpoint or way of responding to people...whatever it was, it wasn't unreasonable, but you mentioned something about not sticking around.  I remember that it was you, becuase you moniker stood out for me because of the REM song and because I knew somebody named Wendy in college and some of us called her Wendell G.

      Anyway, I think I responded to you and asked you to not leave, but to stick around and argue your positions back to those you thought were doing or exemplified whatever it was that turned you off.  IIRC, somebody else also kind of gently challenged you to not leave, but to dig in.  

      And you did.  And I was always pleased that you did, because it allowed me the conceit that I may have had something to do with you continuing to participate at Daily Kos.

      Now, you may not rememember a damn thing about the incident I'm describing, and who knows, maybe you continued to participate at Daily Kos in spite of my comment and not because of it.  But like I said, it allowed me the conceit of beliving that me and whoever else responded to you that time kept you around.

      I dunno why I mention that other than it popped into my head when you mentioned the social history thing.  

      •  thanks (none)
        Now, see? That's exactly the kind of community vibe I'm talking about. Thank you, sir, for representing all the good things about this place. And I do indeed have a memory of feeling very alienated from dKos and I think you're not wrong in feeling like it was the words and presence of folks like yrself that kept me here.

        I can't remember the exact exchange, but I think the specific occasion might have been the Gore endorsement of Dean (could it really be only a year ago? it feels like ancient history), when it seemed to me that this place slipped into a Lord of the Flies dementia of triumphalism that really turned me off. That was an interesting moment, actually, since there hasn't really been another instance when a single (and very vocal) faction of the dKosphere could thump its chest and claim victory and demand everybody else shut and/or suck it up and fall in line. Since then (and even before then, if you include the 2002 midterms), it's been one long string of bitter disappointments and defeats for pretty much everybody, without much occasion for factional gloating. Since there was never much of a Kerry constituency at dKos during the primaries, there weren't more than a handful of smug Kerry folks rubbing it in after Iowa/NH. The vibe after the primaries was kind of shell-shocked and the evolution of dKos into a pro-Kerry blog was actually fairly slow and unenthusiastic, and more a case of facing realities than one of a single faction claiming the mantle of victory. And even the infamous SYFP diaries seemed to me more an expression of a desire for pragmatic media solidarity than the Kerryites laying down the ideological law, since for all my time here I still couldn't name a prominent dKos poster who I can identify as a specifically "Kerry Kossack" (except for those folks who actually have "kerry" in their handles) in the same way I can easily name lots of folks who are/were clearly Deaniacs, Clarkies, and Edwardians (and I can even list two Gephardtians--Trapper John and Kid Oakland--as well as GoVote the famous Liebermanite). There are many pro-Kerry people now (and I would include myself among them, though I loathed him with the fury of a rabid weasel last winter), but most of them seemed to either develop organically into Kerryites over the course of the campaign, or showed up after all the factional fighting was long past.

        So that Gore endorsement moment--when it looked like the primaries were effectively over--was really the high-water mark of factional triumphalism on dKos (it was all downhill--for everybody--after that). And, as someone whose position had evolved from a Deaniac to a Clarkie who still liked Dean, and who came to dKos for community and connection, that moment really bugged me, especially when our usually gracious host accused those who thought the Gore endorsement to be troubling of nursing "sour grapes." And the endless ugly and freeperish diaries about Dean's mighty and unquestionable righteousness. It got really unpleasant (to me) and felt like it had become a place I didn't want to hang out at anymore. And I think my frustration boiled over after the umpteenth diary extolling Dean's manly virtues and childishly bashing all the other candidates, and I think I mentioned in a post that I didn't feel all that welcome around here anymore (to my credit, though, at least I didn't post a diary grandiloquently announcing my momentous departure). And it genuinely was the reasonable, friendly presence of yourself (and the examples of MB, kid o, and AGG, and others like awol, abw, and al fubar to name just a few from the top of the alphabet) that kept me coming back, once my anger faded. So, while my personal and professional life might not agree, since I've basically blown almost 2 years of my life sitting in front of this damned computer arguing over electability, media strategy, and blog-etiquette, my community-spirited heart does thank you for allowing me to feel like that time wasn't entirely wasted.

  •  about those recipes (4.00)
    Sometime in July, we had a big uprising about trolls, with diaries about trolls, with trolls coming out of the closet and writing confessional diaries, members like pastordan writing diaries about how to deal with trolls, and so on.

    This all arose out of severe ratings abuse that was getting out of hand.

    In those diaries, and comments, noone to my knowledge was talking about food or recipes.  I really do believe that hit DKos in July.

    But who?

    There's no question (in my mind) that Kid Oakland was involved (obviously), and Maryscott had a lot to do with it becoming a more popular practice.

    So, I did a little searching, and this is what I came up with:

    It started with sandwiches.

    As far as I can tell, but I haven't done a search on sandwich yet, PBJDiddy started talking about sandwiches in the "Edwards Sells Out" diary by WaysAndMeans, and Maryscott follows that up with a response talking about her obsession with hash browns (and a reference that she knows PBJDiddy is joking).

    More in a moment...

    free the information

    by freelixir on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 06:41:14 PM PST

    •  a little more... (none)
      PastorDan's diary was on the 13th...

      ...where he points to another conversation...

      ...where PBJDiddy is still pushing what he ate for lunch (as irrelevancy) without much attention...

      ...KidOakland is in that thread too, which leads me to believe that after the controversy over banning and ratings abuse at some point the random and irrelevant discussions about food and recipes caught on, especially once Maryscott caught wind of it...

      free the information

      by freelixir on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 06:49:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and the earliest recipe link seems to be... (none)
        ...kid oakland

        And it's a link to recipe.

        Before that, it seems like random food talk, and, as far as the Sangria recipe, that seems sort of lost in the wilderness back in May, but it's there (only Kid Oakland can tell us).

        free the information

        by freelixir on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 06:53:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  oops (none)
        My bad on the food diversions.  That does go back to 2003.  I'm just trying to center on how the food diversions got re-upped and led into the recipes (in this particular manifestation).

        I've been around since early 2003, and the recipes are a very recent phenomenon, in terms of popular usage at least.  As for the food discussions, I'm guessing they were few and far between too.

        free the information

        by freelixir on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 07:07:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i'm pretty damn sure that (none)
        turducken was a response to

        PBJDiddy and Maryscott

        Fatkins, BLT / BS  and Ore Ida Hash Browns...definitely led to Turducken.  

        I remember laughing at those....and wanting to join in....

        Basically, it had gotten overserious...and there was just this creepy moment when Matthew Dowd revealed he was, like, seven different identities....

        and that spinach thing just seemed like a good way to get away from the over-seriousness of it.  So, PBJ and Maryscott had the right spirit.... and maybe I played with it and made a suggestion that many, many others improved upon and made work...

        but, yes, food was definitely already out there and in the air...

        I used to live like Robinson Crusoe--shipwrecked among eight million people. Then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were. -B. Wilder

        by kid oakland on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 12:51:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  kid o speaks....kind of.... (none)
    first off, gong, this diary is pretty damn brilliant sleuthing...and is really funny and well written.  kudos to you!

    I know that I had read the a gilas girl thread from November...the Bob Johnson, MAJeff  tabouleh interaction just rings a bell and a, from my point of view I'd give all the honors to a gilas girl and her merry band and not me.  I was definitely recalling that thread...if not some others that followed it or even preceded it as well.

    As far as me starting something....I don't think I did...but you lay that out pretty well....I guess I may be a bridge between two traditions.   Let's just call it....when turducken meets general tso's chicken.

    Now, imo. maryscott, hamletta, and zeke, among many, many brilliant others, all made "the recipe thing" work this summer and fall with a gusto that I never brought to gustatory laurels should rest on those kossacks as well.

    Sad to say, I think the quest for the lost origins of the recipe / food hijack may be in vain and doomed to be lost in the shrouds of cyberspace...

    I remember that banning at one time included the possibility of the erasure of one's diaries.  Entire trollish oeuvre's lost to future archive hunting hungry kossacks....true....

    now, it may be that doesn't happen anymore precisely because of recipe wars.....


    I used to live like Robinson Crusoe--shipwrecked among eight million people. Then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were. -B. Wilder

    by kid oakland on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 12:34:22 AM PST

    •  "a bridge between traditions" (none)
      Yep, sounds about right. Anyway origins are always messy, though sometimes we can mark the point where one thing turns into another thing.

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