In the old days, they were evil and lurked under bridges. Nowadays, they're evil and lurk on message boards. But one person trying to give trolls a good name is our new favourite funny guy on Twitter: @ThPositiveTroll.
Positive Troll is a veritable ray of sunshine in the Twitter world. And in between tweeting nothing but positive things - see the slideshow at the end of this post - he's taken a well-earned break to answer our questions, and do a few doodles for us. Read on to find out more about his work, his inspiration, and how you can learn to be as positive as him. And Mitt Romney.
When did you join Twitter - and why?
Well, I was home one evening just minding my own business standing at my favourite window - I have to admit I was marvelling at a neighbour's window box - when from the corner of the room I heard the melodious tone of a wise, yet not in anyway snooty, man emenating from the television box. I turned on my heels, sat down in front of the television box, crossed my legs and watched with horror as for the next 60 minutes the man with delicate neckwear regaled me with a tale of evil that was being perpetuated by Negative Nigels across the world. His name was Richard Bacon and it appeared that people in the world were being negative to him on purpose! I struggled to compute this. He had immaculate teeth, a second name that was most people’s favourite food and he had never worn a bad neck scarf in his life! What was there to be negative about? I knew then that a quest had begun: I had to save all the Richards of the world from all the Nigels. I have barely slept since, but if I was to guess, I’d estimate this all happened a few months back, roughly.
Have you always been a positive person?
Great question! As soon as I popped out of Mummy Troll’s love-tunnel I exuded positivity. I high fived my mum and told her she did a great job at giving birth. I pinged my braces and gave every doctor in the room a nice Cuban cigar. So, yes. I’ve always been positively positive.
Who or what is your inspiration in life?
Of course top of the list is @richardpbacon, If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even be here today, I mean he doesn’t’ call or ring, or text or show even the slightest appreciation for what I do a lot but that’s OK - to wake up each day and just know he is safe is enough. Apart from that I love to eat poached eggs, and I shadow-box anywhere between two and a 100 times a day, usually while listening to the rap song ‘Niggas In Paris’ by the rap singers Jay-Z and Kanye West. It’s FANTASTIC.
Do you think positivity is nature or nurture?
I think positivity is something anyone can achieve, even the most Negative of Nigels. Nothing pleases me more than seeing someone optimistically striving for a goal. Take my great friend Mitt Romney, a man who with no real experience or major qualifications other than having more money than the National Trust. Does he let these negatives get in the way? Does he heck! He’s a Positive Peter who just ploughs on regardless. Even if he doesn’t become the prom king of the USA in November he will have done his best with the minimal opportunities he has. That’s positivity.
Do you EVER feel negative?!
I find it almost impossible to feel negative. It takes just a quick second to notice something in the world that is incredible and I just want to scream with excitement. For example, here are three things I spotted today that made me giddy to be alive:
1. You can wear a baseball hat even when you’re not playing baseball. You can even wear one having never played a single game of baseball in your life. In fact, you can wear one and not even KNOW what baseball is. Incredible.
2. I wanted to know how Keanu Reeves was this morning. So, I just asked my phone. He is, as I imagined, doing incredible. But, my phone told me that. My phone.
3. There is a phone in my pocket. A phone. In my pocket. Incredible.
Who are your favourite tweeters?
My favourite people on Twitter, apart from everyone, Is a group of happy chappies called @frabbits - they travel around the world being nice to people and then on top of that they play blooming lovely music, too. And talking of music, my good friend @laurenlaverne has a right great way with the CDs on the wireless. She once played my great friends @wwpj while I was listening. I went straight to my notepad and declared that day to be one of my Top Five Tuesdays Ever.
And if the question includes non-humans, then I’d include my great friend @PigeonJon. Have I ever met a man that could fly through the world having such a great time eating biscuits and soup? NO, is the answer to that question. But I have met a bloody great pigeon that does.
Has anyone ever resisted your positivity?
One time I tried to give a lady a hug on the street because she looked a wee bit down but she FREAKED OUT and called me a pervert. I tried to keep a positive outlook, but all the compliments I flew at her just seemed to exacerbate the situation. It all culminated in me getting arrested and thrown in a cell over night. It was fantastic: I got to coach all those troublemakers in there with me about my positive ways. We even sang 'The Safety Dance' together. So it was actually a fantastic situation in the end, just like I always knew it would be.
Have you ever met a troll of the nasty kind?
Most people are lovely - but this one time, after I'd tweeted something nice about those two lads that are trying to become CEO of America, a car (that's right, a car - if you don’t believe me, check out @rocbottum) came at me, quoting numbers like some sort of mathematical genius on wheels, like Stephen Hawking. I mean, I love to debate as much as the next guy - I wouldn't have named my dog J-Pax after Jeremy Paxman if I didn't - but just because you have an opinion that's different to someone else, doesn't mean you should be all Negative Nigel about it. It was OK in the end, though, because I just remembered he was a car and that it was INCREDIBLE that a car could have opinions at all. I was so excited I went straight to my notepad:
What top tips can you give us for looking at life in a more positive way?
It’s really quite simple. You just have to imagine life as a series of opportunities. For example, the other day I was sitting in my cave and I noticed that a small possum had broken into my SMEG fridge and was eating all my couscous. Instead of being annoyed, I thought: "Hey, I’ve always wanted a possum as a best friend!". So now Paul the Positivity Possum and I are having brunch this week. I’ve got him pencilled in my positivity planner - we’re going to eat poached eggs together and plot the downfall of nihilism.
What do you do when you’re not on Twitter?
I like to pontificate about positivity and try to figure out ways for average folk to circumvent negativity and just get high on life. I do this a number of ways other than Twitter. As well as working on the self-help book I'm writing, I shout positive thoughts from the tops of small but significant mountains, I write positive notes and leave them on bus seats, and I compliment people in the street. I just 'positive troll' people in real-life situations. Everyone should do it - it makes life so much easier and worthwhile.
And thanks for the questions. I never mentioned it earlier, but: fantastic interviewing skills, Oh, and that blouse really makes your eyes pop.
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