The world’s greatest internet troll explains his craft


This guy — the one shrouded in darkness
— he’s the world’s greatest internet troll. “I prefer to call this bringing a banana to
a gunfight.” He leaves notes on broken comment sections
like those on Yahoo, syndicated news sites, and branded Facebook pages. And it works — he
has more than 150,000 fans on Reddit, a 40,000 person strong Facebook page, and it’s all
for leaving…comments. “I’m Ken M — carthy — and I play a well-meaning
moron on the internet.” When it comes to the brain, Ken M says:
“Brain Cells Can Outlive the Body.” “um cells can’t be destroyed, they just get
recycled. The cells we’re made of were once the cells of dinasaurs and before that they
were the cells of a star etc.” “STUPID statement from any world view point.”
“It isn’t stupid, although it isn’t the cells per se, but rather the molecules that make
up the cells. We are all a part of everything. I think it’s kind of beautiful.”
“the very cells in our brains were once the cells of planets, it make us all related”
“‘It isn’t stupid, although it isn’t the cells per se’ says Ophelia THAT IS MY POINT It isn’t
cells, and Ken just continues with his ignorance.” “theres actualy more cells in our brains than
there are brains in our entire body” This is how Ken M practices his craft.
“Calling it a craft? You know I guess I should actually go with it.”
Ken M uses anonymity. This is what Ken M looks like. Or this. Or
this. Or this. His avatars and appearance are anonymous, but we know his name.
“Ken M was the name that I used when I tried to engage with people seriously on Yahoo News
stories. When I slowly realized that it was such a futile effort to try to have like a
rational discourse, I suddenly decided to make it as irrational as possible. It’s literally
my name.” The face, however, is hidden for a reason.
“The people that like what I do have expressed that they have absolutely no interest in seeing
my face. It sort of demystifies the character that they have visualized in their mind. It’s
not as funny if they see that it’s just some late 30s dude with a stupid hat.”
Hey — it’s a nice hat. And Ken’s not a total recluse. We didn’t disguise everything, right?
“Use my mellifluous, chain-smoking voice that I’ve cultivated over many years.”
He was discovered by being consistently funny. “It all happened very organically and accidentally.
Ken M was my username on Yahoo because I am an aging Gen X-er and I actually have a Yahoo
account. It accidentally got noticed by College Humor and Reddit. That is the origin story
of Ken M.” But along with Ken M’s anonymity, the audience
is just as important. Ken M finds collaborators.
“Top Shots of the Week: October 14, 2013” “most restaurants have giant servings of spaghetti
that only consist of a few noodles and that is how they rip off their customers”
“So they rip off their customers with more meat than noodles?”
“no they make extra long spaghetti so they can fill a giant plate with only 2 or 3 noodles”
“The sites that have the most dysfunctional comment communities are the ones that I go
to. Yahoo is interesting to me because these are older people who still for some strange
reason feel compelled to misbehave in this way. Some of these interactions that I have,
it’s like Borscht Belt stuff. I say one thing and somebody’s like, ‘Whaddya mean?’ and then
I drop the punchline. And there’s something so pure about that corny, old-timey joke structure
that I love, and I love the fact that these people don’t know that they’re part of it.”
“The one I’m thinking of is ‘we make our OWN bacon and it is healthier with tastier flavor.’
And then somebody’s like, ‘Whaddya mean?’ And I say, ‘my wife crushes hot dogs with
a rolling pin.'” “It becomes an improv session. I’ve called
it coward’s improv. And if I fail, nobody will know because I’ll just not post it. Sometimes
I’ll have a joke in my back pocket, but when I start with something and somebody sort of
forces me to take it in a different direction, that challenge is really really fun. How to
double down without blowing your cover.” “It’s a funny and endearing surprise when
people try to help me out. When people are goodhearted about my ignorance, it just adds
more color to the interaction, cause it’s unexpected.”
And it’s not just people who play along. Ken M uses brands.
“Another thing I’m really fascinated by is the way brands cynically and smugly pass themselves
off as authentic. These people are unwittingly playing a straight man role. It’s some like
nonsense complaint followed by the brand covering their ass by helping me out in any possible
way that they can. This is not really criticism as much as a hilarious dynamic.”
“i was suppose to get a free sample of your sausage product but they ran out”
“Hi Ken – Thanks for getting in touch. Can you please send us a direct message (located
under our cover photo) with your contact information so we can help?”
“thank you please send the sausage to 3250 Beulah Rd Pensacola FL 32526”
“Hi Ken – Can you send us a direct message? The link to send us a direct message is located
under our cover photo?” “{please put this as a direct msg} well they
were handing out pieces of your sausage at wallmart but they ran out when i was next
in line and some folks took more than 1 piece” “Hi Ken – Can you send through your phone
number, please?Thanks so much!” “Thank You i sent my number but have not received
a call” “Hi Ken – You only provided us with your address.
Can you share your number as well? Thanks so much!”
“Thank You our phone # is a landline so we had to send it to your headquarters in the
regular old mail.” “Hi Ken – We have a package waiting for you
at FedEx in Pensacola, and they need your phone number. Are you able to post it in a
private message so that you can receive it, or can you share it on here? Thank you!”
“THANK YOU I will have my grandson drive me to FedEx this evening after church here is
my social security number” “They mailed me like eight pounds of sausage.
But the funny thing was by the time it go to me, it was rancid. So they won.”
Ken M finds the humor in our tragic internet. “I like — as a writer I’ve always been
driven towards a combination of funny and sad, and I think that the nastiness online
is completely unnecessary but apparently necessary to a lot of people…is the sad part. So if
I can inject hyper-silliness in the service of finding a strange joke, it just became
a cathartic exercise.” “It’s not about highlighting how nasty people
are so much as I find it to be a very funny dynamic.”
“Innocent Idiot Nice Guy Vs. Unnecessarily Hostile Assholes.”
“Inside the Mysterious Underground City That’s 5,000 Years Old”
“today’s archeologists seem hellbent on making discoveries at any cost, leaving nothing for
future generations” “That is quite possibly THE stupidest post
I have ever seen on Yahoo. Congratulations!” “but they are squandering the limited discoveries
left to be unearthed” “Very STUPID comment…”
“they should at least plant new discoveries to replace the ones they harvested”
“And the STUPIDITY continues…” If you’re a Ken M fan, you can find links
to all of his stuff — he posts it – but I wanted to make sure to point out what a
funny songwriter he is. This is just a short sample of a song that he wrote and performed
with that beautiful mellifluous chain-smoking voice:
“The world is run by hypocrites and liars, by greedy turds who want us all to fail. They
shit on our heads and tell us it’s raining candy bars, but still I always knew that I’d
prevail…”

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