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.



This week’s winner of Troll of the Week bears special recognition, as it recognizes an individual not only for a wonderfully executed and technically beautiful troll, but for a lifetime of trollish achievements. So let us all raise a glass, and without further ado, celebrate the life and trolls of Mr. John Bambenek.

Context of the Troll:

To many people, John Bambenek is a familiar name. Whether you know him from his noted career as a columnist for the Daily Illini, his popular political blog, television appearances, his work in the field of computer security, or efforts as a philanthropist, chances are you’ve come across his love of trolling. It seems that Mr. Bambenek loves a good hot flame war more than your average person, and loves starting them even more. But his latest “accomplishment” has even impressed his regular fans. John has managed to create quite a storm and trolled the living daylights out of the ultra-left-wing blog The Daily Kos who awarded him the title “Wanker of the Year” for his efforts.

Those of us who know him (and many of us here at the 12 Angry Men have been blessed with the opportunity to share a beer with this troll among men) know that for all of the vehemence and righteous anger that Mr. Bambenek so often writes with, he also knows how to laugh at his own articles and enjoys the arguments both for the sake of the argument as well as the points he is trying to make. As such, it makes all of us here chuckle even more when the wackos from both the right wing side of the aisle as well as the left demonstrate that they simply don’t get John at all. In their efforts to be furious and clever, they never notice that the joke is on them. We’re all laughing at you, and with Mr. Bambenek.

Execution of the Troll:

While John has stirred up quite a few hornet’s nests in the past, few of his previous attempts garnered the sort of press and recognition as his current pièce de résistance. On Monday, July 23rd, 2007, Mr. Bambenek filed an FEC complaint against Kos Media, LLC, alledging that they operate as a political committee, and not just a blog. He points out that the Daily Kos admits this fact on their own website, in their own words many times.

Forseeing cries that his action is an attack against free speech, Mr. Bambenek rebutts these claims up front saying:

Some will argue that this is a slippery slope that will snare all bloggers. First, most bloggers aren’t organizations. Second, most bloggers are read by like 3 people and their posts are certainly not worth $1,000. Third, most bloggers don’t exist for the primary purpose of electing certain people to federal office.

While the results of Mr. Bambenek’s complaint to the FEC are still unknown, the results of this troll on the Blogo-Sphere are already quite obvious.

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For his efforts at trolling not just one side of the political spectrum, but both the rightys and the leftys, and the enormous uproar his actions have caused and are still causing, we happily award John Bambenek Troll of the Week and an honorary beer at The Man Lunch, which we sincerely hope he will join us for as for once a recipient of this reward is within driving distance. Mr. Bambenek, we look forward to seeing you on Thursday and can’t wait for Part II of this exciting troll.

– The Staff of the 12 Angry Men


Update: Mr. Bambenek has posted an excellent response to his naysayer’s here. Keep fighting the good fight John. We love your work and applaud you.

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