Tricksters and Trolls

Phillips discusses the connection between tricksters and internet trolls in her “Introduction” to This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Unlike the trickster, whose purpose resides in a “moral order,” today’s troll does not subscribe to the same cultural ethos. Though, as Phillips states, trolls and tricksters appear to act in similar means, the troll is created by extreme culture. The internet, unlike the scenario of the trickster, is a land of anonymity and falsehoods. Where you can unmask a trickster and reveal their “moral order,” a troll has this anonymity to hide behind and enact their cruelties on the world. Without any form of “moral order,” the troll only enacts chaos, a chaos which is despised and frowned upon by society.

Though I think the connection between tricksters and trolls is interesting, I also think it is important that trolls can tend to be malicious with the goal to cause harm. Tricksters are usually caught and are forced to confront what they have done. Trolls are rarely caught, and have little to no regard (or care) for who or what they have caused injury or pain. They have no purpose, besides being infuriatingly annoying.  Unlike their “counterparts,” we can learn nothing from trolls except how to ignore them. Which might be the most valuable lesson where they are concerned.

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