Like many whey-faced liberals incapable of bench-pressing a budgie, I spend a lot of time with the paper version of the Guardian. I read it, I stroke it, I take it to bed. We all do, right? Right. But sometimes I read something on Comment is Free – maybe about anthropogenic global warming, or sexual politics, or anything by Polly Toynbee. And there, below the line, is a roiling sea of rage, misanthropy, and the kind of emotional imbalance that can only be the result of steroid abuse, or living with your parents for a really, really long time.
Talkboards are self-perpetuating in tone; unfortunately for the Guardian (and for the relatively sane), the initial colonisation of CiF by rigid humanoids constructed entirely from anger has proved decisive. Thoughtful, discursive types who are happy to concede that on the one hand this, but on the other hand it might be worth considering the other, simply stare in horror and rarely go back. (I know there are decent folk who post on Cif, but even they would surely concede that they’re hard to find.) Instead, the sub-linear hell-circle comprises representatives from the following groups:
The misogynist who isn’t getting any, and hasn’t for some time Who are women anyway? I’ve never met one. When did they start having opinions and stuff? Why don’t they just fuck off?
The swivel-eyed fantasist It’s the CIA. Or Marxists. Or eco-fascists. Or feminists. Let’s face it, these groups all get together on a regular basis to totally decide the direction of world governance. (For reasons I don’t fully understand, the Fantasist is no more likely to correctly place a semi-colon than he is to self-combust.)
The critic Don’t like the latest government policy/opposition suggestion? Feel free to insert a painfully laboured insult about a politician here. It’s so much more interesting than any sort of informed analysis. If you can point out at the same time that the politician in question did PPE at Oxford, then you can rest confident in the knowledge that your powerful polemic will utterly destroy their career. OH WAIT.
The Tory Because the comments on Mail Online just aren’t right-wing enough.
The linker He’s got a theory. It’s based on this link. And this link. And this link. It’s going to rock your world, but he can’t explain it here. You’ve got to read the links. Have you read the links yet? Why aren’t you reading the links?
The japester Closely related to Mike Giggler (via email) from Private Eye. Pops up on every damned thread to post the same joke.
SHOUTY TROLL-CUNTS A miscellaneous category (h/t Anton Vowl).
I’m sure there are more, but I need a few puffs of Ventolin and a lie down before I go back.
Some crowd-sourced hating. We could start dividing these by genus soon, I reckon. Some are not exclusive to CiF by any means, but fall into a greater ‘trolls we have known and those that irritate the piss out of us’ family.
The libertarian All new laws are bad laws. We fear change! (via @EmilyMaryDavis)
The anecdotal arsehole Always knows a family/OAP/quango/GP whose story disproves all data provided (via @Langtry_Girl)
The single-issue obsessive He knows that vaccines are dangerous (nay, evil) and that this is being covered up as part of a shadowy conspiracy of silence (a conspiracy of silence that does not extend to censorship of his tedious conspiracy theory nonsense on CiF). It doesn’t really matter what the topic is, he will soon bring discussion round to his hobby horse one way or another (via @jdc325)
The supercilious sarcast Likes to imagine his dazzling wit will get him a slot on HIGNFY; just confirms he’s pretentious twat (via @splintersunrise)
The superiority jock All of this is far beneath him, and you’re all stupid (via @katie_allen)
The guy who cannot BELIEVE that the Guardian publishes this NONSENSE (via @mePadraigReidy)
The rape apologist (via @stavvers) Nothing funny to be said about this one, but they’re out in force on the threads about the Assange case. Always refer to women as ‘young ladies’.
The all-purpose pervert (via @Mr603) Clusters damply on threads about prostitution or stripping.