About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    On Trolls

    By Kyle | March 9, 2013

    People write in to tell me I’m a troll. Am I?

    To me a troll is one who, as it were, goes to his neighbor’s house and urinates in the shrubbery. I, on the other hand, write for my own site and for that of my employer. The New York Post is known for its attitude, for its sense of humor, and for its contrarian, independent, irreverent streak. No one goes there expecting the mild dispassion of a wire-service report.

    In other words, you have to come over to my house if you wish to hear my opinion on anything. I won’t tap you on the shoulder while you’re walking down the street and beg a moment of your time.

    Northern Ireland, it is said, is the one place on earth where a man will walk a mile out of his way to receive an insult. The observation has been made during Marching Season, when Protestants would take up the insignia of their faith and idea of patriotism, and then march proudly through Catholic neighborhoods. Catholics do the reverse.

    Is not a troll a creature under the bridge who waylays the unwary? I don’t do that. I don’t write emails to people I don’t know to shower them with profanity, invective and threats. Nor do I do the same via comments on other blogs. Nor do I do the same with other types of social media. Occasionally, if someone sends me a bit of snark on Twitter, I reply in kind, but I never initiate such exchanges.

    So: My friends, who exactly is the troll here?

    Peruse tomorrow’s Post for my response to the responses to last week’s column. Or don’t, if you’re easily offended or lack a sense of humor. But don’t claim I “trolled” you.

    Topics: Blogs, New York City | 6 Comments »

    6 Responses to “On Trolls”

    1. Laurent Says:
      March 9th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      you are not a troll Kyle. Apologies for being misdiagnosed. You are just a product of your environment. Little else can be said for you. Just someone trying too hard to get under people’s skin and be a Don Imus as you certainly will never be anything legitimate. So go on and throw insults out and hope someone will pay attention to you like a real life Eric Cartman. In real life nobody watches that kid. Sorry you were not so good at writing. Sorry you are drowning in your insults like a Junior in high school. You are less than a troll. You are Kyle Smith; the writer that never was.

    2. Sam Haysom Says:
      March 9th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Kicking a hornet’s nest here, but your banner quote is the kind of thing a troll would have as a banner quote. By your definition you are definitely not a troll. Certainly, you spend less time stirring stuff up on other bloggers’ sites than lets say, Steve Sailer, but if your stated goal is to offend people then yes you are probably a troll.

      At least you aren’t pretentious and self-righteous about it like NYT’s unofficial comfort the afflicted afflict the powerful mantra. And no I am not a waiter the only thing that you write that bothers me is your paeans to Christie.

    3. kishke Says:
      March 10th, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Just someone trying too hard to get under people’s skin

      He certainly seems to have gotten under yours.

    4. Union Jack Says:
      March 10th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      one underpaid prole beating up on a whole class of others

      nothing gained really

      just hurt feelings and more degradation

      just laughs for the powerful—who have to pay little or nothing for the entertainment

    5. K Says:
      March 11th, 2013 at 11:55 am

      A definition for “troll” that’s more appropriate here is “a method of fishing where fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.”

      Trolls are good – if you’re looking to generate web hits or sell your newspaper. Howard Stern baby!

    6. Victor Erimita Says:
      March 27th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Well, Laurent, you seem to be paying attention.