This is a special section of the 12 Angry Men Blog where we celebrate the best Troll to be found anywhere during the past week. While there are many varieties of troll, ranging from the fuzzy-haired dashboard decorations to the waylayer of the Billy Goats Gruff, we enjoy a well-executed jabbing that leaves an adversary stammering for a response. Any moron can produce a flame—mere sewage dumped upon the city square—but to produce a good Troll is a work worthy of the celebration of men.
The Troll of the Week segment will be written frequently enough to be termed “periodic”, but the actual label “of the week” is merely idealistic ambition, and it is not to be taken seriously.
We must ask apology for the long delay in this feature, but as we have always said, we will honor no troll before his time. Only the most refined and extraordinary trolls will even be considered for our high office, and so we have been forced, reluctantly, to watch and wait.
But we wait no longer. At last a troll as arisen, striding forth as boldly now as he once did in defense of his nation. And though he no longer fights with weapons of steel and fire, he still does battle, fighting with speech and pen—and, as we shall show, occasionally with song.
Context of the Troll:
From time to time, every man is tested. Even one whose iron will was forged in the hellish crucible of the notorious Communist prison camps of North Vietnam. And, as we have said in these very pages, if anyone will try a man’s soul, it’s those trolls without peer, the Iranians. And if anything will try a man’s soul, it’s running for President for about the nineteenth time. I mean, sure, if you have the overwhelming arrogance and towering self-opinion of a John Kerry, you might weather it, but any normal man must begin to wonder if, perhaps, the electorate just doesn’t like him. And for a man who has turned to the classics in the past, perhaps the pressure simply could no longer be withstood but had to break free in song!
Execution of the Troll:
At an unsuspecting campaign stop in South Carolina last Wednesday, Sen. McCain was asked, not without reason, just when the United States would retaliate for Iran’s unceasing provocations. For whatever reason, instead of giving the same stock answer he’s doubtless given dozens of times before, Sen. McCain responded by singing, in his own inimitable style, a classic from the past:
(If you’re not the sort to take to McCain’s “unplugged” stylings, you can enjoy the original sound in a relatively new video here. To all these younglings that seem to think that McCain was directly ripping off a Beach Boys song, I’m sorry, he was ripping off a jingoistic rip-off of a Beach Boys song.)
Lack of original unauthorized copying aside, it was a masterful troll. The Iranians are doubtless quite annoyed (or worried, depending). The Democrats are scrambling all over themselves to appear outraged. The other Republicans really don’t know what to say. McCain’s urging everyone to simply develop a sense of humor. And the American people? Well, aside from the hippies and peaceniks, most of them find it pretty funny.
This naturally puzzles most of the world, because they don’t understand that Americans find jokes about massive bombing funny. (Consider how UNICEF’s tragic Smurf Bombing Ad was found incredibly funny by many US audiences.) Sad? Perhaps. Immoral? Maybe. But true nonetheless.
So here’s to you, Senator McCain, for understanding both your target audiences so well! May your troll catapult you into the spotlight for good or for ill!
For this inspired troll, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is awarded the coveted Troll of the Week, and will receive an honorary beer at the Man Lunch. I’m afraid any accompanying bodyguards or campaign workers must buy their own. And, if women, must sit at an adjacent table. (Unless they’re really hot, then probably both of these strict rules of the Man Lunch get thrown out the window. I mean, we have principles, but we’re not fanatics…)
An Important Note: Dishonorable Runner-Up: Alec Baldwin
Some may wonder why Senator McCain won this week and not Alec Baldwin. As these folks may point out, it would seem that trolling your own child is somehow more pure: more clearly narcissistic and less likely to bring you any benefit, than trolling a nation run by misogynistic, antisemetic, homophobic religious zealots who make the Klu Klux Klan look like Rotary Club members.
All true…and all irrelevent. We have standards here at the Angry Man Blog, and Mr. Baldwin broke both of them. First, his “troll” was intended for a private audience, and not for public consumption. No matter how little Sen. McCain expected his words to be broadcast, he said them at a public appearance and before cameras. Second, and far more important, he trolled his little 12 (11? he’s not sure so how can we be) year old daughter! For goodness sakes, people, that’s not the action of a troll, that’s the action of a douche!
Trolls don’t destroy the precious psyche of a beloved child. Well, they may, but that’s not their primary intent. What Mr. Baldwin did was to engage in the worst form of douchebaggery. He doesn’t deserve a drink at the Man Lunch, he deserves a harsh beating at the monthly M.A.D.D. Brunch. And, in closing, may I just say:
[We will not dignify Mr. Baldwin's actions by linking to the heartrending transcript or audio of his phone message. If you like that sort of thing, you can find it on the Net easily enough.]