The League of Extraordinary Internet Trolls 2: Troll Harder
Previously, I brought Art Attack readers a selection of a new kind of performance artist in the form of dedicated political trolls that used screen caps of their attacks on right-wing Facebook pages as their gallery shows. Duke St. Rollins, Duchess St. Rollins, Chest Strongwell and Surly Thor all treat the official profiles of famous conservatives as their personal canvas, defacing their comments sections with profanity, wit, vitriol or whatever is needed to make their statement.
More surprising is the community that has built up around this style of guerilla art to help spread and support it, hence my calling it the League. The response to the initial article was so overwhelming that I decided to showcase a few of the personalities that didn't make the cut the first time around. Ladies and gentlemen, meet...
Ahnold is obviously patterned off the A-level actor and Republican governor of California. He came by the handle for the simple pleasure of making cracks about Schwarzenegger movies, but the right-wing policies that Arnold has held make the identity even more fitting.
Like most of the League, Ahnold was inspired by the work that Duke St. Rollins was doing, and thought it would be both fun and enlightening. Unlike the famously long rants by his colleagues, Ahnold is known for being quick and concise, never saying two words where one will do. His precision with facts as well as a wry pop culture-based humor makes him a perfect model for the Age of Twitter. He is also, arguably, the best out and out writer of the community, in stark contrast to his namesake's famously odd communicating style.
He's also strangely optimistic for a League member, most of whom feel that there is little hope of changing the minds of the Facebook followers that they offend in the comments.
"If we can get just one person to open their eyes and see the truth, I think we have done more good than we will ever know," said Ahnold via e-mail. Many of these people couldn't be bothered with the facts, but if just one of them can see the light, then that is a step in the right direction."
Obviously not the popular comedic pundit because he has a goatee, see? Nonetheless, Kohlbert aims to be a mirror image of Colbert, a hilariously out-of-touch liberal. He claims to have challenged his "T-less usurper" to single combat multiple times without receiving an answer.
Kohlbert lives in Arizona, one of the states currently trying to top Texas in right-wing extremism, and it was this environment that made him take to the Internet and begin fighting under an identity.
Outside of targets in his own state, he's taken on some rather interesting figures, such as the artist Jon McNaughton. McNaughton is famous mostly for paintings of Barack Obama stomping on the constitution, as well as many, many, many bizarre representations of Jesus that usually feature the founding father, Vlad the Impaler, and, no shit, Roy Orbison in the backgrounds.
"In a recent painting, 'Obamanation,' he challenged all liberals to debate the image's overall message," said Kohlbert. Being the guy I am, there was no way I could pass that up. I took him on by debunking the points and sources brought up in the symbols he chose, and his reaction was to bravely run away from the challenge that he left for the world. Once I'd effectively eviscerated his main arguments, I invited my fans to take care of the rest, which they did in spectacular fashion."
Ronnie isn't the only person fed up with ridiculous birth certificate conspiracies, but he probably is the only one of us to turn it around so aptly. If he was a superhero, he'd be Alan Moore's Comedian, a walking mockery of everything that the most paranoid conservatives believe. He gets the joke.
"My crass sense of humor and penchant for satire are my calling cards," said Ronnie. "For many years I sang in a Gwar-like punk rock band, so over the top humor is second nature to me. I've always been a fan of ironic overstatement as a satirical tool and have parlayed that into stories like 'Obama turned me into a meth addicted gay prostitute' that I posted to the page for the Obama 2016 'documentary.'"
And like the Comedian, Ronnie is something of a nihilist. He isn't seeking to debate or sway at all like Ahnold and Kohlbert. Instead, he sees his work purely as left-leaning entertainment meant to prank his victims and give others a laugh. "Right-wing FB pages are renowned for making ignorant statements, leaving themselves wide open for satirical response," he said.
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