In which I extol the virtue and relevance of producing and commenting in "Troll" diaries.
First, for everyone who's been called (or insinuated to be) a Troll, a Sockpuppet, a Shill, an Agent Provocateur, a paid corporate minion, a commenter in bad faith, a dishonest political hack, an infiltrator, "they", disruptive, dishonest, disingenuous, mocking, nitpicking, quibbling, tangential, creepy, threadjackers, belittling, baiting, fallacious, making ad hominem attacks, raising strawmen, resorting to circular logic - for disagreeing with a premise or conclusion a diarist has written about. We know who you are, and we salute you as the finest exemplar of corporate infiltration.
My, that's a lot of words... especially if it's from someone who says that none of these types of people are worth a moment of his/her time, and that they should not be responded to in any way. In the annals of cognitive dissonance, this one's a keeper. But wait, there is an overall purpose to this seeming confusion.
Another case of seeming dissonance? Between the notion that these people are very easy to spot, and that they're very good at what they do. Now, the only way that both of these statements can be true is if the real job of the current crop of corporate infiltrators is to actually be spotted easily for what they are; the resulting outcry against them constitutes their raison d'etre, because it translates into a resounding and prolonged chorus of "SQUIRREL!!" Whether there is a subclass of agents whose duty it is to egg on the squirrel hunts is another question for a different day.
Now, a few statements about the proper milieu in which these agents can best promote the agendas of their corporate masters. One might think that they would congregate in diaries which expose ALEC, or lay out relevant statistics against WalMart, or lay out specific facts about the successes of the ACA, or even promote ending the filibuster. One would be wrong. The great preponderance of their work occurs in diaries where their very existence is a main concern of the participants.
A possible conclusion to this line of thought might be that their first objective is to drive all those participants into a mass of frothing, spitting incoherence, at which time they will, having silenced all those whose keen eyes can spot them, retire from the field. At this point others with more subtle agendas will proceed to more quietly infiltrate those areas where people are actually making a difference in the larger world, now without the presence of experienced trollhunters.
So, to all of you who have taken on the arduous task of winkling out and shaming the trolls who currently infiltrate Daily Kos, our thanks. Since the serious business of undermining the core of the site cannot be taken on until all your voices are reduced to muted whimpering, we commend your courage in calling out the infiltrators. We salute your never ending work against those who would spread dissent into the main company of users, by keeping it confined to a few sharply delineated areas, where none but the bold dare go.