Trolls

I often complain about how many emails I have to deal with, and this week there have been loads. But this is nothing compared to what happens when the trolls get their teeth in – but more of that later.

I seem to have spent most of the week dealing with emails. In between, I have attended an Artlift Board meeting and written up the minutes – something I don’t enjoy much, because of the weird format I am required to use. I’ve sold some more stuff on eBay, which gives me a disproportionate amount of satisfaction. And I’ve finished weeding the drive – equally satisfying.

I’ve managed to write a poem every day, as part of a September project; some of them I’ve been quite pleased with. I’ve done quite a bit of Poetry on Loan work – fixing up gigs and events and updating the website. And I helped make the final decision about who will be the next Birmingham Poet Laureate and Young Poet Laureate.

I had a good session at the hospital, and a very good session with my group in Cirencester, and an extremely good first session with a group in the Roses theatre in Tewkesbury – they were amazing.

I went to see Don’t breathe, which was exhausting because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time; and I also went to see a rehearsal of TADS forthcoming production of Faustus, which is coming on quite well.

I did some invoicing and some Artlift stuff, and my end-of-month accounts, and prepared for the coming week – all the usual stuff.

But on Friday, the storm started. The Son tweeted a comment that was not well considered, but understandable considering the situation he was in. This started a Twitter storm; he immediately apologised when he realised that his comment could be seen as insensitive, but that wasn’t enough. Someone told the Daily Mail, and they took pictures from his Facebook account and posted an article on their front page online. A deluge of comments followed. Many of them were personal, criticising his physical appearance; many of them assumed that he was selfish, vile, greedy, arrogant, etc.. There were demands that he should lose his job, and even be hanged. It went on and on, with just a few more balanced comments along the way. It was awful; painful to read, as his mother – oh, and apparently his evil behaviour was because I hadn’t put him on the naughty step enough. And none of these people know him; they don’t know that he is kind, thoughtful, considerate, polite, and good fun.

It died down after a while, of course, but it opened my eyes to what people mean when they talk about trolls. I feel sorry for people whose lives are so empty that they feel they need to do this kind of thing.

And I remember when the Daily Mail was a good newspaper. This was a long time ago, when I was a child. It’s sad that an ill-judged Twitter comment is regarded as news, and reported on so badly.

But still – all done now. Yesterday The Bloke and I had a pleasant day visiting the Tower of London, where the Yeoman Warder conducting the tour made comments that were offensive to almost everyone, in a very funny spiel. Nobody has told the Daily Mail about him yet, and let’s hope nobody ever does.

What we need are more goats… a reference that will mean anything only to people of a certain age.

 

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