[-empyre-] more trolling

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Wed Oct 17 10:41:32 EST 2012

Ana writes:

>I was a bit provoked when I read the text Jon published when a troll
>saw her trolling as a piece of art,

For those who are interested, the full transcript of the programme is now online


and if you didn't follow the link from the article Ana mentioned see also:


Looking at all this stuff, there seems to be a form of distancing going on, which seems to be saying something like
"this is virtual, this is not real, you cannot be hurt, you are idiots for taking it seriously" and so on 
the latter comment probably being intended to further hurt and diminish the victim - kick them while they are down.

Trolling is significant becuase it shows that words can hurt, that they do hurt, .
that classification of others and one's self can be detrimental and painful
that the virtual is as real as anything else

and i'm not arguing that this is as bad as torture,  but if we see the operating and exact binary as harmless/torture then we are deleting hurt from our awareness, and probably not paying attention to the steps that allow/help people to move into torture and violence from the words and categories they and others deploy. Hence my talk of the *art* of the 'anti-sympathy project' 

And yet by taking the harmless/torture binary as a continuum, we risk prohibiting all talk if it is not bland and accepting of what is, and we can see that happening in moves to re-establish blasphemy as a crime.

So there is no easy situation and solution here.

just as Deena says:
"Many emotional abusers hide behind "What's the matter, can't you take a joke?" So... the notion of fun and playfulness has always been rather suspect in my mind"

humour, it seems to me, often risks being viscious and power hungry and being displacing of more properly directed aggression, as much as it risks being creative or undermining of power - indeed perhaps it can only undermine power because it can hurt the powerless? 

Our wanting tight virtuous categories does not seem to work and is a problem because art and humour make real and make reactions, and that can hurt and be used cruelly.

i guess if we accept that art can be hurtful and destructive then perhaps we can expand our idea of art, and have less faith in its capacity soley for good? 

Morality and the morality of art is important here, even though we might be reluctant to discuss it.

I'm suspended here rather painfully.....


UTS CRICOS Provider Code: 00099F
DISCLAIMER: This email message and any accompanying attachments may contain confidential information.
If you are not the intended recipient, do not read, use, disseminate, distribute or copy this message or
attachments. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete
this message. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the
sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of the University of Technology Sydney.
Before opening any attachments, please check them for viruses and defects.

Think. Green. Do.

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

More information about the empyre mailing list