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Jedi and the Troll

To be clear this is not a lecture or lesson on dealing with trolls. At least not in a formal sense. By all means take away what you will from this. But this is merely a reflection on a recent encounter with a person who has embraced being a running joke of an entire online community. And as the picture above shows I decided to take a different tactic -burn the house down to fix the problem- just this once to see if it would make even a fraction of a difference. Cold hard truth. Vulgar insults. A mixture. The other truth – “I don’t care.” Which ended up being repeated ad nauseam with no avail or effect. It was a absolutely fascinating experience for me, but that wasn’t the sole purpose of this experiment (I was hoping it would encourage accountability on those that support him as a Jedi Knight – spoilers, No.). Here is my account of what not to do. Because really – one ban click solves your problem (not the problem, but it might be very egotistical to think you can solve that problem).

Quickly – for a more accurate account on what I normally do and support in dealing with trolls, head here: http://www.jediliving.com/365jedi/jedi-vs-internet-culture-aka-trolling/

That said and done I finally wanted to see if accountability meant anything to groups handing out titles like special clubhouse passes. In case you are curious the answer is no. It is the usual turn and blind eye, allow the behavior, and thus by failing to confront it you encourage it. A recurring theme in certain online and offline Jedi Communities which annoys me because it perpetuates the behavior. And this is why I decided to go off books for a change. Spider in the house?
So I went fire with fire. “You don’t want to challenge me.” he said. “Fine. I challenge you. You are hereby challenged.” I respond. “Accepted” he answers. Oh noes. This means he is going to beat me up at the next Jedi Gathering. Or is it? My disdain for the individual was never a secret. The guy is a troll. He likes to run his mouth and this isn’t the first time he has made threats of violence should we meet in-person. A honest concern of mine (as I am not a fan of violence and we were filming a documentary at the time – so bad impression right?) my first time meeting him. In which he smiled and laughed and hugged me. All happy that we finally get to meet face to face. Yes, but about all those things you said? Called him on that and the next year we meet. Guesses? Again, as if we are best of friends. So am I worried about this new threat? No and sure because his previous threats have been empty, but also because a bully’s only power is fear. They use it for control. They use it as a way to manipulate people. Without it they have to honor their threats and there are problems with that (which feel free to point these out if someone is bullying you) – witnesses, legal repercussions, policy (school, workplace, organizational policies) repercussions, people not sitting by for their BS, that fact that fighting is rarely one sided and even one awkward punch can cause serious harm (the human body is amazingly weak and strong all at the same time). There are risks and many will only go forward with them if they feel very, very confident they can get away with them. This person may be delusional, but they know fighting me is not something without risk. So I have no fear of this person or their threats. And carry full expectation of laughing and trying to hug me.

But of course that wasn’t the beginning or end of the encounter. It was just another way for him to validate himself. Because I stated “I don’t care.” Several times in an effort to clearly highlight that his reasoning, ideas, opinions, advice, thoughts, all of it was wasted energy. You can only teach those that seek to learn. A reality of life. And so I conveyed my full unwillingness to even listen. Did that stop the constant messages of delusional superiority and belief that people are jealous of him? Of course not. So it continued. Don’t care after don’t care, it just kept coming. And so did his messages. So the truth then?

I threw it out there, done with the BS of it all. “You are a joke. Every Jedi holds this view of you. Not one Jedi takes you or what you say seriously. Even your supporters hold to, “he is a joke and that is why I like him.’ No one respects you. And this is all by your own actions, your own design.” His response, “I don’t give a f*ck what people think about me.” My response? “Yes exactly. I don’t either. But you are still here. Justifying yourself to me. Trying to defend and explain and convince yourself of these things.” The end? Of course not. I am the villain of this story and the hero cannot exit without defeating the villain.

It went on and in circles for some time. Finally I was left alone. I had given enough material for the troll to use. I am sure it will be spread around. “Look it at what Opie said to me! He was mean to me! And he wasn’t acting like a Jedi.” All which is true of course. I definitely took the time to throw my caring out the window and made the conscious decision to see if pure uncut as big as possible F-U would provide any level of change or realization. And certainly, not really what I would call the Jedi Approach. And no – it did not provide any level of recognition, change, reason, or even stop the constant messages. Again, eventually I was left alone, I suspect to other reasons (such as having to do other stuff). It was interesting, to be sure. But yeah – I can double down on my “Don’t burn down the house to kill the spider” philosophy. It is indeed pointless. And I stand by my original conclusions in the Post linked above. How do you deal with trolls? Be a Jedi. Make Use of Ignore and Block Options. Recorded the Problem and Bring it to the attention of those who can do something (even if just remove the person or just a shake a finger – at least show you won’t just sit there and take their garbage). Better that than the alternative which just hurts you.
 Of course I enjoyed the experience, but I am glad to have it done with. It was draining, not worth the energy or time used. A certainly does nothing for me as a Jedi. Definitely a failure (regardless of reasoning), but I am willing to own up to that. Acknowledge my idiocy, learn from it, and move forward a bit wiser for the fall. Be a Jedi. Use that block button. And focus on the things that matter. Which is definitely not trolls playing Jedi and my time is wasted as a Jedi playing a troll.

 

A Jedi’s View of Equality

Discrimination never really made sense to me. Like others I have an issue with the term Racism because Homo Sapien is a singular race. There is the human race and any difference is just glass wall non-sense. It just does not make sense to have this formulated opinion about a person because of some individual difference. Color of skin, religious belief, gender, country of birth, sexual preference. I mean where does it stop? Oh, you use an Apple instead of a PC? I hate you then and feel your kind should be wiped from the face of the earth. And while we joke about our iPhone vs. Galaxy wars, we are all just playing Trivia Crack in the end. 

Seriously, we are all different in one way or another. No one will ever have your DNA. Each of us are unique. It is a beauty of Humanity. To turn such a beautiful thing into a source for hate and fear is just not something I can get behind. We should be embracing our diversity and celebrating our commonalities. High five my fellow living creature. Keep on rocking life. All else is secondary. Color, Creed, Gender, does not give any information in which to judge a person. Judge a person on their individual merit. Or be one of those really enlightened people and don’t judge at all. I am a bit judgmental, but I fully believe in allowing people to express themselves freely and openly. Give them the chance to show you who they are and base your opinion off of that.

In the fictional Jedi Order you are shown skilled, powerful, and wise Jedi of all sorts. Male, Female, Black, White, Orange, Pink, Blue, and a plethora of Cultural Beliefs and traditions. A Jedi was judged solely on their desire and ability to be a Jedi. Hutts (Ya know, Jabba) have a bad reputation as a Race in Star Wars, but there are Hutt Jedi. Not judged or denied because of race, but allowed to pursue the Jedi Way because they had the ability and drive to do so.

For real Jedi there is a core general rule that is taught across all Jedi Websites. The Skywalker Code states this as: Jedi Respect All Life, in any form. The Jedi Rules of Behavior state this as: Honor Life. Life is an important aspect of the Jedi Way. We do not accept or deny a person on any other quality except their desire to become a Jedi. Anyone can be a Jedi Knight. Man, Woman, Straight, Gay, all Hues of the Skin, and all views of the universe. The question is simply one of merit, of intent, of action. Are you or are you not Living the Jedi Way? 

As a Jedi I say Racism, Sexism, it is all moronic. All lives matter. People are people where ever you go. Some are the most amazing people you will ever meet. And some seem to be there for nothing else but to remind you what not do, what not to become. None of that is dependent on some external or biological difference. Forget the glass walls of ‘isms’ and allow people the chance to show you how awesome they can be. It does not matter who they sleep with or who they pray to. If you want to be a Jedi you’ll have to put aside such prejudice and simply focus on the merit of the individual.

“Wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope and redemption, not because readers like happy endings, but because I am an optimist at heart. I know the sun will rise in the morning, that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.” – Michael Morpurgo
Photo Credit: http://davidetarabo.deviantart.com/