Daily Dojo

Flame Warriors

Man oh man, I got this link via Open Left … basically it’s a treasure trove of all the various archtypes one will find whilst whiling away your time in online talk forums and blogs …

It’s called Flame Warriors.

Here are some samples:

Big Dog is a bully who doesn’t hesitate to use his superior strength to intimidate other combatants. Big Dog may be smart, articulate or just plain mean, but in any case he is a remorseless fighter, brutally ripping into even the weakest of combatants. Once Big Dog securely fastens his powerful jaws on a hapless victim, Me-Too will join the attack. Me-Too is far too weak and insecure to engage in single combat, and must ally himself with Big Dog or a pack of other Warriors to bring down his quarry.

Eagle Scout is a positive, constructive Warrior who endeavors to submit original articles which contain useful content and relevant information with supporting citations and links, thus initiating meaningful discussion threads. Eagle Scout regards the internet as an uplifting, egalitarian, worldwide arena for the exchange of ideas among intelligent, thinking individuals. He does not openly attack, but will (ever tactfully) chastise disruptive comments, gratuitous insults and cretinous insipidity. He is always kind and helpful to Newbie, and will shrug off even the most egregious insults. Eagle Scout is loathed with a poisonous intensity by Evil Clown, Jerk, Enfant Provocateur and Ego.

CAUTION: Sometimes Imposter, Evil Clown or Troller will masquerade as Eagle Scout. There have also been reports of Eagle Scout becoming Jekyl and Hyde.

Blowhard feels the need to present his credentials before entering the fray - even if they are irrelevant to the discussion. For example, in a movie forum conflict he might attempt to settle the matter by saying, “As a Ph. D. candidate in particle physics I believe I can say with some authority that the ‘Beavis and Butthead’ movie represents the emergence of a new cultural paradigm.” Huh?

Furious Typer’s combat strategy is to drown her adversary in a tsunami of angry verbiage. She is absolutely immune to subtlty and ignores all but the barest essentials of any argument. After breifly appraising the gist of her opponent’s counter attack she puts her head down and rapidly fires off long rambling messages replete with grammitical and factual errors. The typical Furious Typer lacks endurance, however, and if the other combatants can weather the initial assault she will quickly exhaust herself and retire from the field.

There’s a lot more - go visit, it’s totally cool.

For me, it’s more than interesting but also enlightening on a degree … Like my good buddy The Man Who Would Be King, I am insanely interested in the twists and turns of identity politics (as actor and writer, respectively, it’s a subject that goes hand in hand with our day-jobs) and we discuss such things at length, why people are the way they are and how they will fight to the death over an IDEA of their own identity, even if that idea isn’t represented by the facts at hand.

But in many ways identity is incredibly fluid … a person’s identity can change in a moment (a divorce, a job change, a health scare, having children) or … it may not. People fight change, even when they want it.

For my part, I’m well aware that much of what I am has evolved or changed over the years … and at times, I’m keenly aware of the areas where I, unfortunately, have not.

I came to online forum stuff much later than many people (and even then, my experience is limited to certain blogs) … but reading this, I became aware that I was very much a newbie in the beginning, then became a tireless rebutter and a Palooka … and now I’m working more toward philosopher (uh, at least I hope) … and maybe someday, if I keep at it, I can be a Kung-Fu Master.

I hope, anyway.

But I’d note, at least for me, that it also depends on where I am … there are some forums where I’m more of a fanboy, some where I’m sure I’m read as a Duelist, politically I’ve been called a Pinko … some where I’m a Lurker, and etc …

Even the site notes that some warriors masquerade as others … but this whole defining fabric has been certainly eye-opening, and I’ll for sure be thinking about it the next time I’m considering a flame grenade at a concern troll …

What type do you think you are?

Anyway, no real point to this other than to point out the interesting socio-political ramifications of flamewars when held up to real life.

And some more interesting samples:

Grunter always reponds to discussion forum messages with a single word or a short phrase, and he NEVER edits quoted material. Profundus Maximus, Philosopher, Tireless Rebutter, and other verbose Warriors find Grunter a particularly exasperating opponent because he will answer their lengthy pontifications with a simple “Yeah!”. “Get a life.”, “Whatever”, “I agree.” “Wrong.”, etc. While Grunter is not a strong Warrior, he is very elusive and difficult to engage in direct battle, and only by his extended silence is there any indication that he has been vanquished.

Ethnix is an extremely powerful Warrior who effectively wields his ethnic origins to undermine his opponents in battle. The accusation of racism immediately puts even the most powerful Warriors on the defensive, and Ethnix can use this weapon to deftly shift from defense to offense, keeping other Warriors off balance. Envious of Ethnix’s power, Impostor will impersonate him when the opportunity arises. All Warriors are wary of Ethnix, but Weenie is particularly vulnerable to his power.

Nanny tirelessly monitors forum discussions to make sure that everyone behaves. Though he is quick to admonish for off-topic messages and petty squabbling, he is generally slow to anger. Rather than wading into pitched battles, Nanny simply pulling the plug on combatants and bans repeat offenders.Weaker Warriors such as Innocence Abused, Weenie and Crybaby will run to Nanny for protection in the midst of battle.

Evil Clown is very quick with a joke, but his jests always have a barb. He has little patience for in-depth discussions and will often disrupt exchanges between serious forum participants by introducing irrelevant topics, fatuous quips, and offhand comments. His greatest thrill is to taunt and humiliate weaker or more plodding Warriors with his snappy ripostes. Not a particularly powerful Warrior, Evil Clown will attempt to avoid defeat by accusing his attacker of having no sense of humor.

Pinko has an angry, almost genetic loathing for privilege, greed, social exploitation, racism, sexism, homophobia, pro-lifers, the religious right, environmental degradation, the NRA, US imperialism, multinational corporations, big business, Republicans in general and George Bush in particular. Pinko openly admires Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and anyone else who is critical of the US government and bourgeois culture. She ardently believes there is no enormity of which the United States is incapable and regards its entire history as an unbroken legacy of avarice, deceit and injustice. Though Issues, Weenie, Fragile Femme and sometimes Ideologue will defend Pinko in battle, her extremely predictable and tedious attacks eventually exhaust even those inclined to support her.

Troglodyte seems to have emerged from the mists of time untouched by human evolution. Devoid of a single progressive idea and lacking the slightest awareness of social and cultural advances, Troglodyte has developed an incoherent political philosophy that he characterizes as “conservative” or “libertarian”, but which could be more accurately described as “bigoted narcissism”. His aggressive posturing often frightens off weaker, more timid Warriors. In pitched battle, however, Troglodyte easily loses control and his attack quickly degenerates into a rant. Just for the fun of it, Weenie, Issues. Pinko and Evil Clown will sometimes deliberately goad him into a towering rage.

And this one is a special favorite, because I know at least two people who are exactly this type:

Ferrous Cranus is utterly impervious to reason, persuasion and new ideas, and when engaged in battle he will not yield an inch in his position regardless of its hopelessness. Though his thrusts are decisively repulsed, his arguments crushed in every detail and his defenses demolished beyond repair he will remount the same attack again and again with only the slightest variation in tactics. Sometimes out of pure frustration Philosopher will try to explain to him the failed logistics of his situation, or Therapist will attempt to penetrate the psychological origins of his obduracy, but, ever unfathomable, Ferrous Cranus cannot be moved.

Heh-heh. Know anyone like that?

There are many, many more … go check ‘em out, it’s worth it - Flame Warriors.

One Response to “ Flame Warriors”

  1. Laminine Says:

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