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To Troll, or Not To Troll

I have been intending to write about an epiphany I had after the sudden end of a torrid affair in Barcelona. I was going to write about how I realized that all women are crazy all men stupid, and how that refined over the course of a walk home to be be we all exist on an X/Y axis of "crazy" and "stupid" determined by the extent of your personal privilege. I might write about that later but I'm actually more interested in my continued distraction from writing the things I vaguely intend to write. When I committed recently to posting twice a month I also planned to start writing more regularly. I've come to realize that I have been writing regularly, probably more than the 30 minute minimum that was my goal, it's just that it's in increments of 240 characters or less. I spend a lot of time sparring with dishonest people on Twitter threads about electoral politics and progressive policy.

I worry a bit that this is some weird modern techno social media addiction that soothes my naturally contrarian nature. I worry that it stops me from writing more productively on actual projects I have in mind which require more concentration and offer the potential of greater emotional reward. Even now as I write this I find myself returning to the thread on which I've been arguing. I'm concerned by the degree to which this relationship to Twitter makes it difficult to cultivate boredom, a very creative space for me, the way I once did. To be fair that might also be a function of being older in a city where I know I'm not really missing anything I might want to experience. I enjoy staring into space much more than I ever have before.

I find that I really enjoy this internet sparring and I'm really good at it. The reason that matters is that there have been several large expenditures made to fund people on social media who essentially spread disinformation and cynicism. There was an initial expenditure during the election, which may have been as high as 9 million, and there has been a continued effort since the election to pin the loss on Bernie Sanders and progressives. One way that I am very much my mother's son is that liars piss me off. After initially giving people saying provably false things the benefit of the doubt I've come to the conclusion that there's little difference between the willfully ignorant and the willfully dishonest. I treat them all the same: there really is no good argument for continuing to fund our military at growing levels despite its size relative to other countries or that building it creates the need to justify its constant use. This argument is even more difficult to make when you consider that it's often made as a reason why we can't afford universal health care and despite the fact that our infrastructure is basically melting. I like confronting the discourse range of obvious bad actors, from the concern trolls to the obvious former Republicans arguing for a democratic party resembling the one that "abandoned" them. I've been going back and forth with a Black "activist" who has stopped talking to me because it makes it easier to accuse all of the white progressives of being racist. I find these attempts to use identity politics selectively to be toxic and worth constantly calling out the way it's used to deter conversations around economic justice.

I was going to set this up as pro vs con thread and realized as I was writing that for me my reasons for engaging in this outweigh my concerns, which are real enough, but I've already won an "award" for my trolling for Justice, and their are a lot of dishonest people who've not yet blocked me out of frustration.

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