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I think Iíve figured it out: what is enjoyable about trolling done well is exactly what is enjoyable about the trickster archetype. The trickster is amoral, chaotic, beyond good and evil; his actions are not, for the most part, guided by a moral compass, and as such he seems incoherent when analyzed in moral terms.

The trickster archetype appears all over mythology, religion and literature, but the instance Iím most familiar with is Loki, the trickster of Norse mythology. And the frustrating thing about Loki as a literary character, as a person, is that he appears not to have a character: at one point heís helping the good guys, the next he is their bitter enemy, and at no point does he seem to undergo a transformation of character that could account for the change. Both sides are integral to his character, but a traditional literary character cannot exist in a superposition of good and evil for any extended period of time, so the trickster appears like an anomaly. This is the same tendency we see with Anonymous: one moment, ďAnonymousĒ appears like an internet army of white knights; the next, theyíre fucking with peopleís reputations, livelihoods and families for fun. These actions are not opposed, but simply expressions of the trickster archetype. The internet troll has made Loki into an ethos; but, as per the Tricksterís nature, the troll doesnít take an ethos or code of conduct particularly seriously, so deviations from the established norm are, in a sense, normal. The Tricksterís character is charismatic, chaotic, amoral, highly sexually charged, and guided by a hedonism built around amusement of a hybrid sort: itís an intellectual amusement, in that cleverness is a highly prized characteristic, and yet itís also a juvenile amusement, in that it is often petty and frequently takes immature topics as its subjects.

If trolls got laid more, they would perfectly embody this archetype.

Enthusiasms: lol. This is actually more interesting in helping me understand Loki than helping me understand 4chan.

last timestamped: 00:56:00 14-Mar-2011
in categories:Arts





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