Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Demagoguery Backfires, We Call It Karma

If you, as I, follow #CdnPoli, you may have noticed something missing recently: it seems that Tobold Rollo (aka Blinky McFlopsweat, aka Troll-bold, aka @SettlerColonial) has folded his social media tent. At least for now.

The #CdnPoli Twitterverse, as well as the #IdleNoMore and #INM Twitterverses, have been wrought with messages lamenting the departure of Blinky from Twitter. Apparently, it's all a great shame.

Unless, of course, you consider why he's apparently chosen to make this decision:

"Last night my observations about land defence were ridiculed or countered with accusations of unchecked privileged [sic], arrogance, and malicious intent. This suggests to me that social media itself is insulating a serious problem. If calling for protection of the land is now cause for derision and accusation, I’m skeptical about the the possibility of affecting lasting change through social media. That said, I apologize if anyone was offended by these observations."

Judging from how Troll-bold chose to conduct himself on Twitter in particular, who could have ever imagined that anyone could accuse him of arrogance or malicious intent? Particularly after he pathetically stooped to the level of digging up a seven-year-old unflattering photograph of myself for the purpose of malicious ridicule, the latter complaint particularly inspired me to chuckle at his butt-hurt.

But then there's the grand irony of it all. See, Troll-bold is an adherent of post-colonial theory. Post-colonial theory is a critical theory, deeply rooted in the Marxist Frankfurt school. As one of its defensive tactics, post-colonial theory appropriated the notion of "white privilege theory." (White privilege theory was developed as a racial conspiracy theory by communists, and was later effectively disproven by communists.) Post-colonial theorists now use the notion of "privilege" to discredit those with whom they disagree on the basis of race, class, and even gender.

This has been one of Troll-bold's favourite tactics. And whereas once he gleefully used the accusation of privilege against opponents of #IdleNoMore, he is now apparently entirely stunned when it was, in turn, used against him. Apparently so stunned that it's prompted him to entirely abandon social media as his favoured medium of trolliing -- er, I mean "satire."

The remarkable thing about it is that it's nothing more and nothing less than his own tactics being used against him, apparently by the very same people he meant to use it in support of. He set the standard, apparently never bothering to stop and consider that he, as a white male PhD student -- who has apparently been able to afford a permanent career as a full-time student while raising a young family -- precisely fits the bill of someone he himself would describe as "privileged."

He was setting himself up for it the entire time. Then, someone perfectly positioned for it -- someone who did not fit the bill of someone Troll-bold would consider "privileged" -- saw fit to come along and knock him down.

Couldn't have happened to a more suitable candidate.

Now, in the wake of this, Troll-bold is off somewhere licking his wounds. And you may wonder: will he take it upon himself to reconsider the toxic ideas he's promoted, realizing just how easily they can be used against him as against those who disagree with him?

Well, Troll-bold's not as nearly bright as billed (mostly by himself). So I fully suspect that the answer to this question will be "no." Nor is this the end of him. Someone with an ego as large and unjustifiable as Troll-bold can never bring themselves to deprive themselves of attention for very long. He'll be back, and it'll be just as big a trainwreck as it was before.

And it couldn't happen to a more suitable candidate.


  1. Corrections: The Frankfurt school is not credited with postcolonial studies. Rather, postcolonial studies comes from poststructuralism (Foucault, Said, Spivak etc). The Frankfurt school is more famous for Adorno, Horkheimer, Habermas who all contributed to theories of dialectic thought, culture industry, etc.

    Let's at least get our Marxist theorists correct, shall we?

    1. Postcolonial theory is a critical theory. Ergo, inexorably linked to the Frankfurt school. You're incorrect.