Thursday, January 7, 2016

I've finally made it...my first anti-woman troll


It had to happen sometime. In fact, I should've felt a bit hurt that it hasn't happened until now. I've read about the widespread phenomenon. I've even seen the noxious comments, but until today, it had never happened to me. Yes, I've finally arrived; I've drawn my first anti-woman troll. Ah, they grow up so fast....

It all started with a friendly exchange with my fellow atheist and friend Steve Watson regarding my post for the Secular Spectrum, Seeking a New Year's Evolution. I have a long-standing policy of not responding to negative comments. Someone had posted a comment with his pet theory that contradicts my contention (along with everyone else who truly understands evolution) that evolution doesn't have a direction. It sounded like he was mostly trying to promote his obviously self-published book, helpfully pointing out that it's on Amazon. Though his post wasn't that negative, he was clearly trying to pull me into a discussion where he would supposedly show off his impressive (in his mind) intellect and "brilliant" thesis.

I opted not to respond because I don't like getting into arguments where neither side could possibly be swayed to change their mind. Steve opined that I should take him on. Then he posted again to say that I was actually "taking the fight to the enemy as much as anyone."

My response self-mockingly played off the "enemy" part by saying, "My writing is indeed war by other means. ;-)"

Now, perhaps I should've made the self-mockery more evident--it was late and I was getting ready for bed--but the winking smiley is a universally understood clue. I'm sure Steve got it.

But here was the response it from my first woman-hating troll.


Sheesh, what an f-ing drama queen - "war by other means."
You're just one more lesbo skank who confuses anger and bitterness with intelligence.
Get over yourself, creep.
There are so many sarcastic ways I could take him down, but I've opted to keep to my policy (though I did downvote the post and flag it as inappropriate). By the way, I'm assuming it's a he based on the juvenile, sexist language. "Trueliguist" would no doubt love nothing more than for me to feed the troll. This has nothing to do with my comment, and everything to do with him.

Yeah, that's right, he was exhibiting so much more intelligence in his comment--without a hint of anger or bitterness. And his clever use of the term "lesbo skank" showed that he was indeed a true linguist.

Creep, indeed.

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Coma Girl

Coma Girl

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In July of 2013, I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died. When I awoke from the coma, I could barely lift my head. It has been a hard road to recovery. The doctors advised my loved ones to give up all hope for my full recovery, but while they were shining lights in my eyes to gauge my level of consciousness, I was telling them grumpily to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep...in my coma-dream. I was experiencing covert cognition, and the coma-dream was my version of a near-death experience. I'm a skeptic, so I saw surreal images instead of spirits or dead loved ones. According to my research, as many as one in five people with consciousness disorders have covert cognition.

Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine

In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.

I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.

But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.