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Friday, February 23, 2007

I have got a Troll!!

Well maybe it is more than one troll that visits this blog but Carnival Jumbie touched on this subject in her post about Blog Nazis last October and I finally decided to do some more research on this phenomena seeing as I seem to have trolls of my own!

Here are some interesting tidbits I found online about Blog Trolls:


1. Blog Troll

(n) -A depraved individual who sits in front of a computer all day and posts flames of an idiotic or pseudo-intellectual nature on public forums and private websites. Many of these people actually become emotional about what is said on the afore-said mediums and feel it is their duty to punish those who disagree with them. They too may pursue this object in an obsessive-compulsive manner.

What is it?

A blog troll is an obnoxious, hurtful and incredibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessed by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog. And while you can ban him/her from commenting on your site -- they’ll come back as alts and you can ban them, too -- you can’t ban them from commenting on other sites and pointing back to your blog, and you can’t ban them from posting things on their own blog that point back to your site.

And you really, really wouldn’t want to.

Because a blog troll will provide you with more traffic to your blog than an interview with William Shatner, a brief affair with Amanda Congdon, or even a pointer from BoingBoing.

Why? Because being hated is interesting, and tons of people will want to know why this freak has it in for you. That makes you special. That makes you interesting. Nobody targets a nobody.

Who Let the Trolls Out?

Blog Commenter Troll - One who floats in and out of many different blogs and leaves anonymous or non-anonymous comments that fit the "troll" trademark code of, well, shame?

Blog comment trolls are nothing new and have been around since comments on blogs existed. Webopedia offers the following definition of trolls which works well for blog comment trolls.

(v.) (1) To deliberately post derogatory or inflammatory comments to a community forum, chat room, newsgroup and/or a blog in order to bait other users into responding.

Blog comment trolls are a continual pest just like they continue to be on message boards. Google shows over 11,000 results for blog trolls. Trolls and spam are one reason some bloggers started moderating their comments.

And I absolutely love this "how to guide" of dealing with your troll by the author of the blog Mommy Needs Coffee; you can read it here!

The best thing I read about this entire Blog Troll issue is the fact that the troll may actually be suffering from a personality disorder, and reading the list of symptoms it all makes sense!

*Narcissism is the ego unbound. The DSM-IV describes the narcissistic personality disorder as, "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts...." Some indicative behavior are these:

* Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
* Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
* Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
* Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
* Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
So what I have learnt so far is not to feed the troll, ignore the troll, take it as a compliment that I being trolled and that all trolls are quite possibly mentally unstable, beware!

Island People Review

Now before all the anonymous posters come out of the woodworks attacking me, please note that the request for this review came from "jamette" and cb who played with Island People gladly obliged by emailing me the review to post here. I would love to get a review from masqueraders who played with Island People as well, I think it is nice to give others an idea of what we might be missing from other bands. And I have to say cb I loved Sacred Sand and you looked great in your costume! I made you out because of the comment you left on Carnival Jumbie's blog

As requested by Jamette, here's my recount of my Carnival in IP. I'd already told of my walk-thrus with TRIBE in the comments of a previous post, so didn't include that here. But, here's my take on IP:

Really bumpy. As I didn’t register myself, I didn’t have to go through the stress, but apparently, it was really tiresome for most. Online registration system really needs to be redesigned. Not even going to touch on the bias against potential masqueraders who didn’t fit into the ideal mould for IP.

Madness. Now, I know that it’s always a mad rush doing last-minute adjustments making sure the costumes are all ready. There will be the inevitable hiccup where some part of the costume is late, or not in the right colour and has to be redone, or the glue was defective and all your decorations ending up on the floor… Every potential mishap seems to happen a few days before they post those collection dates. But, for the goody bags to be messed up to the degree that people had to go back another day (the last day for collection and the day allllll the international masqueraders were scheduled for pick-up) was really inexcusable.

Again, I asked someone to collect on my behalf, so I can’t comment on Hooters and the layout of the place, but from all the reports of lines curving around corners and getting longer by the minute, obviously, the place was way too small and in terrible need of some feng shui, or something.

BUT, I must say that my costume (Sacred Sand) was so, so, so sweeeeeeet!!!!! I was telling somebody that it even made ME look good (and I’m 34 and really shouldn’t be running around half-nekked—already apologised for that on Carnival Jumbie’s blog). I saw plenty, plenty people losing pieces, but mine held up with no extra attention or adjustments. Oh, and the hot shorts for Monday were a godsend! I got so grimy on Monday, I couldn't imagine ANYBODY putting on the same clothes again for Tuesday pretty mas. I know people did it, but I have to give them their respec'. Not me at allllll!

On De Road:
Now, all the drama and commess that does be taking place leading up to the actual mas is completely swept to the back of my mind once the music trucks start up and the speakers start jammin’ de soca. For me, IP does win hands down for their road experience. So caught up was I, I had no clue there was all this drama with the big bands being at “war” with each other. In fact, all the favours I received from the TRIBE security, was apparently reciprocal with the IP security. I saw two TRIBE-ers waiting to cross the stage downtown with, I think, Sahara Jumbie section. I thought it was cool that they were being tolerant of masqueraders from other bands coming to get a likkle wine here and there. I didn’t realise that the spirit of co-operation only extended to the security team and not the road management personnel. That cutting-off thing real petty, boy, not to mention unnecessary.

This year, IP implemented a chit system for food. I didn’t hear anybody complain about this new organisation, so I’m guessing it was a better plan than just showing up at the back of a truck and bellowing out the number of meals you desired. It was meals on the go, which suits me fine because I cyah be sitting down to eat no big set of food when I have to be spending the rest of the day on my feet. In fact, I gave away my meal chits and just ate their snacks on both days—burgers, wings, corn soup, oranges, etc. They were supposed to have sno cones and lollies, but didn’t see any.

I think the bars fared much, much better this rounds. I know one truck ran out of ice for a while, but soon after I saw the fellas climbing on the truck with more. The drinks were generally replenished on a regular basis, and up til late they were still serving drinks.

There was the traditional wee-wee truck at the back of the band, but I feel they should have been like TRIBE and had two. There was always a line, and at a pre-judging point, when you’d expect people to be getting in their sections and not only now looking to pee, the line was long. I really wasn’t going to stick around to properly monitor the pee lines, but I could imagine that after crossing the “stage” and after lunch, those lines must have been nasty.

The DJs were good, but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe from the first truck (steups, the one that was assigned to my section, too!). Not a problem, because I was moving through the entire band. Now, I know that IP tends to attract real stormers and wil’ness, but I really liked the vibez this year, boy. I think it was the security team that had a lot to do with that. They didn’t rough up nobody (that I saw), but rather did their job without having to prove to nobody that they were bigger, louder, stronger and had the authority.

Now, after the Savannah on Tuesday, I have no idea what the IP road plan was. We don’t normally have a rest stop, and for the life of me I can’t understand exactly what happened where I found myself in Jenny’s car park listening to a rhythm section while the trucks went ahead (silent, yet at a healthy pace), but there it was. Now that really killed the vibe. It was just sheer confusion as to what was going on. And now, in hindsight, that I’m hearing of all the madness that move created for TRIBE and I’m sure other bands, it makes even less sense, but I realise that logic does be scarce come Carnival time. Left the rest stop, and met the band again on Tragarete Road and it became evident that we were heading to the Foreshore.

Mucurapo Road was sheer madness as we bounced up Harts coming in the opposite direction. How fun was that, hearing the music from about 4 trucks at the same time, and trying to squeeze two whole bands on that small stretch of road? Special! It was not all bad because we ended up losing most of the stormers as they had to be manoeuvring dem huge drains and rusty iron at the side of the road. Sorry for TRIBE who picked up our disgruntleds. Now, the Foreshore run was supposed to be the lead-up to the Las’ Lap at the Stadium where, if the theme were similar to last year’s, IP would have launched next year’s presentation. Well, there was traffic, traffic and then some more traffic. I walked ahead to the Stadium, and leaned up on a car for about 45 mins watching the same music truck in the same position on the Foreshore and showing almost zero sign of moving anytime soon. Well, that was the end of my wait and my Carnival.

Had a marvellous time, but really missed the stage. I knew the whole Savannah thing was going to be a waste of time, since even my 4-year old was dissatisfied with his Kiddies Carnival crossing. He kept asking me where the judges were, so he could know when he had to jump up and show off, poor heart. After only 3 years of having a stage, he really got programmed to expect that euphoric feel when you finally get to the open space and have the wood under your feet that almost propels you higher as you jump. My mother, whom I’m sure never played mas, was commenting that we only missed posing for the cameras, but we bloggers know better.

Well, that was my IP experience. Don’t know what 2008 will hold for me, but I’m already excited and planning my next Carnival adventure.

-:¦:-·:*''''*:·.-:¦:-·* cb *·-:¦:-·:*''''*:·-:¦:-

Earthquake AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah yes, another day for another earthquake! Thankfully it was short and I was at home so I did not have to go running out the people building screaming like a banshee!

I was just sitting at my computer desk when I felt my chair jolt very hard like someone pushed it then I heard all my dishes rattling. That was time for me to grab my keys which are AlWAYS close to me (talk about paranoid) and make my way to the door. By that time it had stop... I am waiting for the aftershocks and news updates to hear how strong it was.

Make a Stage!

If there was any hope of the spanking new, ultra modern Carnival Centre being completed within the next year or two it was all dashed to pieces by the Minister of Culture’s revelation that “Mas on the Move” will continue for a number of years as the Centre will not be completed in the foreseeable feature. Seeing as absolutely no work has yet begun in the Savannah I expected this news, however I think it is quite smug of the Government to boast that Carnival 2007 “Mas on the Move” was a success when we were at a standstill for three hours on Carnival Tuesday. In addition several Ministers including Hazel Manning, Jerry Narace, Howard Chin Lee and not to mention the President and his wife all played with Tribe so I am bewildered as to if THEY were not affected by our long wait to cross the downtown judging area. Maybe they met the band on South Quay or spent some time lounging in their private resting bus, because there is no way they could have met the band at Stanmore Avenue and inched forward to South Quay and call that a “success” in Mas on the Move!

In retrospect to circumvent that wait if I were the organizers of TRIBE I would have taken a move like HARTS once I knew Island People was ahead of us and after the band came down Tragarete Road, turn across Park Street (or one of the streets that could be navigated) and head up Charlotte Street to the Savannah, putting the band ahead of Island People. It made absolutely no sense to put TRIBE immediately following Island People when both bands take over an hour to cross the judging point! This is something the NCC and NCBA have to look into if they want to have a success at Mas on the Move in 2008 and 2009! Send the big bands to different judging points to avoid the congestion.

Another issue I have had for a long time is that the cameras and television coverage focuses only on the Savannah. Why not set up live coverage at each of the judging points? That way viewers at home can get to see all the bands, if there is a lull at the Savannah (which happened this year) switch to downtown coverage. Even without the “lull” viewers at home could be treated to what is taking place at Adam Smith Square, Downtown or Piccadilly because as we know several bands, including TRIBE did not make it to the Savannah on Tuesday.

I have no idea why the Government is so opposed to giving masqueraders a stage. I mean am I the only one who can look at the Savannah and see a wide expanse of land where a stage can be constructed in some other area? Surely if Machel could hold his Alternative Concert on the Western End of the Savannah and Panorama facilities this year were constructed ground up in another vicinity other than where the “old” Grand Stand is, given the time we have before Carnival 2008 it is quite feasible to simply move the stage and stands to another part of the Savannah. The issue is not with wanting to hold on to the past and not welcoming change, sure, we all welcome the new Carnival Centre that is proposed but in the interim and especially after seeing the results of Mas on the Move, why not give masqueraders that one element that was missing this year; a stage. I guess that would mean some official having to admit that Carnival 2007 was NOT the “best ever” as is being touted by the propaganda and bull shit regime!

Finally, if I were a Bandleader I would really lobby to get my OWN stage for my masqueraders to cross. Yes it seems like a “farfetched” idea and one that the NCC or NCBA might frown upon, but think about it; Harts and Island People both used the Oval for their masqueraders to have a “party” why then not use a venue as such and build a stage making your own route and taking your masqueraders across that stage? I mean friends, family, tourists and other persons could be charged a nominal fee to enter the area, be it in the Oval or some private park/grounds where bleachers are set up, and masqueraders have a stage to cross. Then we could go on the streets, enjoy Mas on the Move and return to that stage to cross as many times as we like! What would be even better is if a few bands could come together to put this plan in action so that spectators would have the chance to see more than one band crossing their own “private” stage.

Of course to make it appealing to the spectators the venue could be transformed into a big lime with drinks and food on sale, entertainment and even large screens set up so that footage of bands crossing from official judging areas could be broadcasted while they wait. I know for sure my mom and all her friends would pay to see me cross the stage because as soon as TRIBE crossed downtown she went home! And I know lots of people who waited only to see their friends and family cross the stage and then left. So I am copyrighting my brilliant idea since I think it could work beautifully! When I played with Harts we made out own route every year, with the focus being on the masqueraders having a good time instead of competition. My first taste of “waiting” to cross the stage was with Poison and to me that was a waste of time, having to spend hours at a standstill, literally playing mas all day stuck on Charlotte Street. Thankfully the wait, for me, on Tuesday was not as bad as Poison days, and after we crossed downtown TRIBE took the initiative to veto the Savannah and keep moving (until they blocked once again by Island People), the best part of the day being the jump up in St. James!

So I hope all the powers that be stop patting themselves on the back trying to fool the general public that this Carnival was not without problems, go back to the drawing board with Mas on the Move and revamp the concept for Carnival 2008!
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