How I know I’m Right

A million people disagreed (far more than I deserve!)
Which tells me very plainly, that I must have touched a nerve!
A thousand thousand people in a screaming, howling throng
United in their fantasy that what I said was wrong!
My rightness is self-evident! I should remain aloof,
And point to my detractors as my evidence—my proof—
But the truth is, I can’t help it! Cos I really love the fight…
I’ll illuminate my enemies, as proof that I am right!
Here’s a physicist from Brooklyn, who challenges my claim—
See the detail he goes into? Clearly, ego is to blame!
A biologist from Buffalo who, just as I’ve expected,
Cites a mountainload of evidence, and claims I’ve been dissected—
Such an overkill (attempted) shows I’ve got her on the run,
Or she wouldn’t thrash so wildly, as I’ve shown that she has done.
And psychologists, historians, reporters by the score
Show I’ve clearly pressed some button that they simply can’t ignore
All those eggheads up at Harvard; “intellectuals” from Yale…
The philosophers from Stanford, munching California kale
There’s some weakness in their character, some fundamental flaw
I elicit some reaction; they’re forbidden to withdraw!

Oh, my loyal opposition, such an educated crowd…
I must be onto something, or they wouldn’t howl so loud!

I’d link to the site that inspired this verse, except that it wasn’t just one site, it was more like the entire internet. There were stories about religion and atheism, about climate change, about gun ownership or control, about vaccines. Any time one side can pull out a mountain of evidence, the other side’s go-to move appears to be to pretend that the mountain of evidence is an emotional over-reaction that shows we’ve hit a nerve.

And maybe I’m being paranoid, but it really does look like there is an organized group of denialists. Since the study came out that showed the effect of internet comments on the perceptions of the article itself, it seems that there have been more denialists, better organized, commenting early and often. It would not surprise me in the slightest if some people are making a decent living by being trolls.

If you are one of the people employing them, and want someone who can troll in verse, let me know.


  1. Chris J says

    Seems like the MO these days for arguments is to just appear as smug and above-it-all as possible. I wonder if this is caused by the medium of the internet, or if it was always a thing…

    A man on the corner of Bently and Horner
    Spoke out to the people who wandered on by.
    “My critics,” he shouted, “are all of them routed!”
    “Not one stands a chance ‘gainst a man such as I!”

    The people, however, had heard of this feller,
    Had seen him “debate” in the tavern before.
    His twice-drunken raving left all of them craving
    The silence that fell when he fell to the floor.

    The man on the corner of Bently and Horner,
    Frustrated by people ignoring his slog
    And feeling defeated, morosely retreated
    Back home to his laptop to write on his blog.

    In life he was lacking, his foes sent him packing.
    Online he was master of feud and debate.
    He slyly would gloss over every loss,
    And bask in the mythos that he would create.

    A man on the corner of Bently and Horner
    Sits down at a cafe, his ego restored.
    The net is a wonder, it finds every blunder,
    But only when denizens bother to look.

    Tangent: if I never see the phrase “first they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us, then we win” as a rallying cry for a reactionary regressive movement again, it’ll be too soon.

  2. says

    The explanation is far simpler than it seems:
    Their brains are infected; it’s a battle of the memes.
    The God crowd sends snipers to every blog and thread
    To browbeat their beliefs into everyone else’s head.
    And should their foes prove resistant to words and shuns,
    Well, there are always bombs and guns.

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