There’s no doubt about it: Internet trolls suck. At their mildest, they’re obnoxious — and at their worst? Just ask Amy Davis Roth, or Briana Wu, or Zoe Quinn, or Anita Sarkeesian what that’s like. But hey, guess what? Now there’s a video that reveals the truth about Internet trolls… and it is magnificent. Ladies and gents, prepare to meet “Internet Trolls — The Halloween Musical.”
The brainchild of brothers Antonius and Vijay Nazareth, who run the AVbyte channel on YouTube, “Internet Trolls — The Halloween Musical” depicts people who harass other people online as they really are: Actual trolls. And no, I don’t mean the cute, adorable Treasure Trolls we were so obsessed with in the ‘90s; I mean the freaky mythological type from Norse and Scandinavian folklore. The trolls, you see, have gathered together in the aftermath of The Fappening — “a great success,” according to their twisted logic — to decide what to do next in a show-stopping musical number worthy of the Great White Way. With references to their roots, it also traces their journey from point A to point B: That is, how they went from lurking under bridges and eating whoever had the misfortune to cross above to large-scale assaults conducted via the Internet. And did I mention how hilarious it is? Because it is. It really, really is. Whenever I get trolled online now, I’m just going to imagine whoever’s doing the trolling like this. It’s perfect. Here, check it out:
According to the Nazareths, the video wasn’t inspired by an individual event; rather, it was the state of Internet culture at large. Said Antonius to Mashable, “We were looking at ‘The Fappening,’ and how trolling and sites like 4chan were involved. At the same time, we’ve been on the receiving end of some really intense, but fun and lightheart, trolling and we just finally wanted to address it in a video.” The brothers may not have been subjected to the incredibly vicious kind of trolling that a lot of women are, purely for the crime of being women on the Internet — but I appreciate that they’re still tackling the issue. They’ve shown a pretty firmly feminist point of view in the past (see: “Frozen: A Musical Featuring Disney Princesses”), so good on them for not staying silent.
AVbyte isn’t the only video to have taken Internet trolling on in a creative fashion recently; Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan produced a powerful animation in September that’s also worth watching. Unlike AVbyte’s video, Koyczan’s isn’t comedic — but it also delves into how the mythological creatures of old have grown into the very real trolls we deal with today. Food for thought, no?