January 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
May 2, 2011 § 3 Comments
So. Tonight. Apparently it’s a celebration? The news was/is especially surreal because I just, I mean just, found out that my aunt died after a relatively short but especially nasty battle with cancer. I assumed my phone was beeping because my mom was sending more details, but it was actually my friends at MSNBC telling me that Obama would be making the Big Announcement shortly. My first thought was a series of expletives because goddammit, now??? -which was solipsistic and stupid but what can I say, I didn’t feel like dealing with anything else. Not in that moment, anyway. My second thought was the realization that I would always associate my aunt’s death with bin Laden, which made me laugh because it shouldn’t have.
But I digress. I got the news, barked a few swears then dragged my sorry carcass over to my computer because this sort of shit won’t archive itself — and spent the next few hours screencapping as much troll-related activity as possible. Which was tricky, since within 5 minutes 4chan had completely crashed; the AMERICA FUCK YEAH sticky thread on /b/ alone was racking up a thousand comments every 20 seconds.
Two things jumped out — first, I have never seen so many trolls so earnest about anything ever. They actually seemed happy, it was weird. There were a few outliers (mostly coming from professed foreigners), but overall Anon –who seemed to have shed their usually-intractable trolling personas/masks/fronts– were thumping their chests as loudly as anybody. Not what I was expecting at all. The second interesting thing was where and how people heard the news. 4chan itself, Facebook, and text messages were the top three sources of information — very few people mentioned Twitter and even fewer mentioned the news, except as a post-hoc augmentation to the initial onslaught of texts/status updates (i.e. people turned on the TV because the internet told them to). I ended up collecting quite a bit of information, which will come in handy someday. I mean I hope. I mean I think I hope.
So yeah, overall, it was………strange. The whole thing. And that’s saying nothing about the mainstream media’s response, which is a different issue entirely (not really).