Stick to straight-up mockery.
(Via Instapundit) So, Max Lindenman over at PJ Livestyle attempted to imitate Jackie Kennedy’s somewhat… candid private style (this would be the interview where the former First Lady “suggests that ‘violently liberal women in politics’ preferred Adlai Stevenson, the former Democratic presidential nominee, to Mr. Kennedy because they ‘were scared of sex’”*) by writing up his own, fake quotes and interspersing them with the real ones, just to see if he could. To Max’s credit, he recognized that he currently can’t:
Reading back over them, it occurs to me that the real Jackie sounded admirably direct and concise, or else arch and playful. My version of Jackie-ese sounds stilted and neurotic — less debutante than doyenne. I really need to get hip.
And I am being perfectly serious about this realization being to Max Lindenman’s credit. Would that more people had this level of self-awareness.
Come, I will tell you a secret of the Internet: most people suck at being trolls. I say this as a site moderator, which is functionally equivalent to being a super-troll with a badge and the blessing of the community to go out and Smite the wicked**, to the amusement of the crowd. But I digress: people suck at being trolls, and some of the absolutely worst (in the sense of incompetent) trolls are the people who try to pretend to be their ideological opponents – whether real-pretend or fake-pretend – in order to denigrate/mock/make said opponents look bad. And the reason why they’re the worst kind is because… well, there’s a couple of reasons. The first is probably because most people are actually about 20 IQ points dumber than they think that they are***. The second is that most people also kind of suck at writing.
But the third and most important reason that people suck at imitating their enemies is because true imitation involves understanding. And understanding requires empathy. And empathy implies love. All of which suggests that true satire (which is what these people would ostensibly claim to be aiming for****) requires that the satirist love his target, or at least respect it… which, of course, is absolutely out of the question for anybody whose self-image, say, is tied up in the notion that he’s obviously inherently superior to those Christianist fascist RepubiKKKan tea-b*gging h8rs. Of course, all of this does mean that it’s great fun to watch them try and fail to cause trouble, particularly when it’s clear that they were trying to do the long haul and can’t get past the first flurry of posts. But consider: unless you yourself can get into the headspace of people whom you fundamentally despise (and don’t assume that you can), you’ll end up looking the same way if you try the same trick.
So just be insufferably rude and mocking towards them, instead. They hate that, too.
PS: If this advice helps, by all means: tip jar. I’m burning through my post-surgery recuperation library at an alarming rate.
*I don’t know: were they? I wasn’t alive back then.
**Which I do. Oh, how I do.
***I think that I’ve discussed this before, by the way. It’s pinging my deja vu radar.
****I suspect that most practitioners of this particular form of trolldom are really instead just looking to provide cheap masturbatory material, but it’s still uncouth to admit to that sort of thing in public.