Categories
#gamergate 4chan advocacy of violence antifeminism atheism minus creepy empathy deficit hate speech men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny oppressed white men racism TROOOLLLL!! YouTube

Is the Trollhattan killer also the first killer troll? Anton Lundin-Pettersson’s online world

TrollFace_HD

Yesterday morning, a man wearing a military helmet and a Darth Vader mask entered a school in Trollhattan, Sweden, carrying a sword. After posing for a picture with two students who thought his outfit was a Halloween costume, he stabbed a teacher with his sword and began attacking other students. He killed two and seriously injured several others before being shot by police.

Those looking for a conventional answer as to why he did it don’t have to look too far: The killer, identified in the media as 21-year-old Anton Lundin-Pettersson, seems pretty clearly to have been motivated by racist and religious hatred towards Muslim immigrants. The school he picked for his violent rampage is overwhelmingly populated by immigrants; surveillance footage of his rampage reportedly shows that he deliberately targeted people of color.

A suicide note he left behind reportedly railed against immigrants. He was apparently also a supporter of a proposed anti-immigrant referendum, and a YouTube account identified as his followed several YouTubers known for railing against Muslims, including  Howard Bloom, an eccentric author whose latest book, the self-published “The Mohammed Code,” purports to show  how Mohammed sought to use violence to take over “the entire world.”

But Lundin-Pettersson’s rampage, while clearly driven by hate, was hardly a conventional hate crime. There is his bizarre outfit: in addition to wearing a Darth Vader mask (and a Nazi-era German army helmet) he reportedly shouted out Vader’s famous line “I am your father” as he launched his attack. And he apparently provided his own soundtrack for the rampage, playing what one witness described as “terrifying” Halloween music as he stalked the halls of the school, as if he were re-enacting a favorite scene from a movie or a hack-and-slash video game.

He may also have announced his planned rampage on 4chan the day before, in the creepy tradition of the Umpqua Community College less than a month ago. According to a screenshot now circulating on the internet — I haven’t been able to confirm it — he warned the denizens of 4chan’s r9k forum, in a post deliberately echoing the words of the earlier killer, to skip “school tomorrow if you live in Sweden,” adding a Trollface graphic along with his note and telling his readers that “my image will be of relevance.”

If the 4chan screenshot is real, it suggests that the Trollhattan killer was deeply enmeshed in “troll culture” online, a world in which violence and even mass murder can be reduced to an assortment of memes, where someone like mass murderer Elliot Rodger can be hailed, only partly ironically, as the “supreme gentleman” he famously declared himself to be.

Invariably, when people on 4chan or YouTube — or some other cesspit of the internet — start making jokes about mass killers, or even hailing them as heroes of sorts, we’re told that none of their comments really count; they’re just trolls, doing what trolls do.

But scratch a troll posting racist memes, and you will almost certainly find a real racist; scratch a troll posting misogynistic attacks on Anita Sarkeesian, and you will find a real misogynist. When trolls send rape and death threats to those they genuinely hate, their recipients need to take them as seriously as more obviously “serious” threats.

The world of the trolls is a nasty, hateful world, and those who soak in it too long may end up lashing out at the world in violent ways.

Indeed, it’s telling that the Trollhattan killer’s favorite YouTuber (if the account attributed to him is really his) was the noxious rager who calls himself TheAmazingAtheist. Lundin-Pettersson subscribed not only to TAA’s main channel but to his personal channel as well, and he favorited dozens if not hundreds of TAA’s videos (I stopped counting). Unlike some atheist activists, TAA doesn’t devote much time to trashing Islam; he’s far more interested in bashing Anita Sarkeesian and other supposed SJWs.

But TAA affects a hyperbolic “mad as hell” persona that, despite its obvious theatricality, seems to be rooted in a good deal of real anger. I can barely make it through a single video of his, and can only imagine the corrosive effect that watching dozens of his rage-filled videos would have on someone’s soul.

Naturally, YouTube comments being the cesspool that they are, the Trollhattan killer is receiving a good deal of posthumous support from racists, trolls, and racist trolls.  An assortment:

troll1

troll2

troll3 trlll4

troll5

troll6

troll7 troll8 troll9

There are critics, of course. And a few commenters who feel that he hadn’t killed enough people to deserve all this adulation.

trolcount trolcount2A reminder: these are from YouTube, not 4chan; I honestly don’t have the stomach to wade into the assorted 4chan threads devoted to the killer.

At this point, I think it’s become clear that websites that permit the posting of this sort of unregulated hate speech — from 4chan to Reddit to YouTube — are enabling the hateful troll culture that seems to have turned Lundin-Pettersson into the monstrous “troll” murderer who took two lives yesterday.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

256 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
justlikeheaven
justlikeheaven
5 years ago

@skiriki

The weirdest thing about the Highschool of The Dead one is that means her boobs were traveling physically faster than a bullet.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

@Skiriki and SFHC:

Always great to see other people who’ve seen Lain too!

*Double fist-bump*

And, yeah, Bronies never made sense to me. Not because they are guys that are into a show that is generally targeted towards a female audience – which is totally fine (I’d be liar if I didn’t admit to liking certain “girly” shows or movies) – as much as how misogynistic they are despite such.

chthonicgames
chthonicgames
5 years ago

Woo yeah, Lain and Satoshi Kon! Might as well mention Ergo Proxy while we’re on the subject.

The annoying thing about High School of the Dead is that underneath the eye-roll-inducing fan service there’s a decent Romero-style zombie story. Same sort of thing goes for Gate, really, although in Gate’s case I find the pro-military guff more directly troubling. You don’t get to pass off a bunch of attack helicopters cutting down people with swords and shields as a glorious triumph. On the other hand, I _really want_ to see where the story goes with Gate and I’m prepared to swallow back the vomit if necessary. The military angle might be related to Japanese politics sliding slightly rightward; there was a similar undercurrent in Attack on Titan (which seems to be allergic to actually taking its plot anywhere).

I always feel like something of an outlier when it comes to anime because I didn’t get into until after I’d finished my first degree, so I had no contact with it during the ‘hormonal mess’ stage of development. I tend to see the worst excesses of anime fanservice as hilarious rather than shameful, because I can’t see how anyone could take them straight. I swear in many cases it has to be stealth parody, taking the mickey out of the dullest elements of the fanbase.

Hiroyuki Imaishi has done some incredible stuff from FLCL to Dead Leaves to Gurren Lagann to Kill la Kill. He’s pretty much the poster child for how what seems superficially to be unabashed fanservice can in fact be satire at the audience’s expense. Words cannot express my disappointment at how KLK iconography was co-opted by the sewer of the internet.

dhag85
5 years ago

Just thought I’d share the latest update on the Trollhättan story here.

It turns out the killer tried to resist medical help after he was shot by the police, to the point where he had to be handcuffed.

The 15 year old who was seriously injured in the attack is still in bad condition, and is expected to remain in the hospital for a long, long time.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 years ago

One of the more amusing thing about Kill La Kill that I encountered… there was a lot of “fanservice” of both male and female characters, which was done in a moderately parodious (paroidial? parodizing?) way that was probably supposed to make the audience feel a little uncomfortable. Anyway, the amusing part was the discussions where half the male fans were complaining that nobody wanted to see men being sexualized like that, so the creators should knock that crap off, and the others saying things along the lines of “It doesn’t bother me that much, let the girls have their fanservice too.” Yeah, shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it?

chthonicgames
chthonicgames
5 years ago

@Snowberry

I almost laughed out loud at the first man’s nude transformation sequence in KLK. The comedy timing (both in terms of the episode and the series progression) was flawless. It’s a perfect ‘Take That!’ to anyone who’d drooled over the womens’ equivalent scenes but wanted to cross themselves and mumble ‘no homo’ when the sauce for the goose turned out to also be the sauce for the gander.

1 4 5 6