An Internet fable
The Troll and the pixie dust
Once upon a time, oh best beloved, there was a young blogger who painted his thoughts, such as they were, on the magic pages of the Interweb. A happy frolicker in the fields of dreams that forms the blogosphere. His name was Bill, and he loved the idea that people being free was heaps better than anything ever invented. Better even than the wheel, good whiskey, or fresh black olive bread with lightly salted butter and a nice chunk of Camembert. Or even the entire Interweb itself. Although not as good as sex (Well, we all have our own criteria.)
Most days, young Bill would take his blog down to the village of freedom ideas, deep in a small corner of the Interweb, and put up his board with what he had written on that day. Sometimes he would sit all day in the village of ideas and no one would come and talk to him. Occasionally he would stroll over to another board and scribble a note, sometimes serious, sometimes meant to amuse, as a comment on the other postings. More rarely Bill would return to his obscure little blog to find comments written by others. Sometimes he would reply, at other times he simply read and laughed at his friends cleverness or their enemies stupidity.
One day, Bill came back to his message board to read an angry comment from a fellow blogger, a wise man who went by the name of ‘Ironlegs’ which read; “I hate you, and don’t want you playing on my board any more. Go away forever and ever.”
Mildly upset at the vehemence of this comment, Bill erased the links as requested, and with a heavy heart wondered if he would ever read the wise sayings of Ironlegs again. A few days later, another comment appeared on his message board while he was out chatting to friends and drinking coffee. He returned to read “I don’t want to talk to you any more, and you can’t play with me.” From the Captain of Ranters from the far side of the village. Now Bill actually knew the Captain of Ranters and a few of the other members of the village to talk to, so sent a magic message to him which no one else could see or hear, then he took a short walk over to the Captain of Ranters message board, and asked what the problem was.
“Hello Bill.” Said the Captain of Ranters. “Sorry about that, but there’s a silly troll who has found a magical chameleon cloak. He’s using it to pretend he’s other people and go round writing foolish messages telling us not to talk to each other any more.”
“Why?” Said young Bill. “What’s the point?”
“Could be because he’s simply a weapons grade twat.” Commented the good Captain sourly. “Go talk to the Rider.”
So young Bill sent a magic message to the Rider, who stepped off his iron horse and sighed. “Sorry Bill, this silly troll who can neither read nor write properly has stolen a piece of the Interweb wizards magic chameleon cloaks. We think he’s doing this to us so the Wizards of the Interweb will think he’s jolly clever and ask him to join them. He hasn’t a hope.”
“Why is that?” Said Bill.
“Because the wise old Tea Witch knows of him. She says that without the magic cloak he’s a fat, blubbery pointless loser with all the grace and panache of a masturbating twelve year old. The Wizards of the Interweb all think he’s stupid as well.” Sighed the Rider, sadly. “He’s becoming a pest, so we’d better put out the Pixie dust, which he will tread in, and show us exactly where he lives.”
“Then we go over and beat him to a pulp?” Suggested Bill, then caught a stern reproving cough from the Inspector of Gadgets, who happened to be passing by.
As they stood and chatted, Bill noticed a number of the villages other inhabitants wandering over to talk with the Rider. Ironlegs, Richard of the Coated Puddle, High James, The Captain of Ranters, the wise old Tea witch. All the visitors to the village dropped by to discuss what to do, and how to stop the troll being so annoying. One thing was certain, thought Bill, the troll was going to be very unhappy because some of the villagers were talking about using Billygoats. Not that the troll would understand the folklore reference, because he was a very poorly educated, unimaginative and pointless troll, but that Billygoats were very bad indeed for trolls in general. They hurt a lot.
“Okay.” Said the Rider. “Here’s what we do. We scatter the pixie dust, which will only stick to the feet of invisible fairies like trolls, then use it to track it to its lair.” A number of the village bloggers took the pixie dust and scattered it around their message boards. Shortly afterwards, trails of glowing footsteps could be followed from board to board as the troll continued to leave silly pointless messages.
“What is he trying to do?” Asked the Wolf of the Snow.
“I think he’s trying to stop us talking to one another.” Opined Bill. The Captain of Ranters looked at the other villagers and smiled. The Rider picked up the smile, and then all the villagers began to laugh amongst themselves at the abject failure of the stupid troll, because, oh best beloved, all he had managed to do was to make the villagers co-operate more closely. After the laughter died down, the Wise Tea Witch said “Let’s see who we’re dealing with.” And all the villagers trooped off to their far seeing scope, following the trail of pixie dust coated footsteps to the trolls real home in the fabled poisoned woodland of Anglia.
As they looked closer, the troll came bounding out of his lair and roared at them very fiercely indeed, waving a club that was almost half his height long. The villagers stopped and looked at each other in astonishment. “Goodness!” Said Bill. “Hasn’t he got big feet!” Sure enough children, the troll had the biggest, ugliest, most scabrous feet ever seen on a fairy creature.
“Doesn’t match the rest of him.” Giggled someone else. And all the villagers stared at the tiny and very ugly troll with the oversized feet as he danced with impotent rage, waving his teensy weensy twig of a club at them.
“I think the Billygoats might well be overkill.” Said the Wolf of the Snow.
“I don’t think there are any Billygoats quite small enough.” Remarked the wise Tea Witch.
“Gosh, he’s really fat and ugly.” Commented someone else. “No wonder he’s got no chums.”
“Dirty too. He really should take a shower.” As if to make the point, a passing Woodland pig took one sniff at the troll and turned away in disgust.
“How could anyone love a thing like that?” Remarked someone else.
“I think that’s why. Nobody loves him because he’s so deformed and unpleasant, so he creates mischief instead.” Commented the Rider. “He hasn’t anything worth saying either, so all he can do is disrupt. He hasn’t got any worthwhile reason for existing at all.”
With wise murmurs of agreement, everyone turned away and went back to the village and carried on as usual. Of course dear children, this did not stop the troll leaving pointless messages, but now everyone knew who he was, no-one cared, so he became even lonelier and sadder than he had ever been before. Eventually he became ever more deranged and developed an obsession with collecting used pizza boxes and filled his tiny house with them. What is sadder still, when the troll died prematurely of a massive heart attack because he spent his life behind a keyboard, pointlessly taunting people and getting no exercise, nobody really cared. Not even the trolls mother, who was already hiding in shame for giving birth to such a sad creature. Not even the council workers who had to dispose of his maggoty decomposed remains or the tons of smelly pizza boxes. His noisome cadaver was eventually shoveled into a cheap chipboard box and burned at the crematorium as a health hazard. Because he had been so nasty to others in real life, there was no-one to cry for him at his funeral. No one even to put up a headstone to say who he’d been, or if he’d done anything positive with his life.
The moral of my little tale, children, if morality means anything; is that if you treat others like morons, then they will feel no need to even consider your point of view, and you will eventually die alone, ignored and uncared for after an unfulfilled life. Your brief sojourn on this mortal coil will have been wasted. Here endeth the lesson.