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Discussion: Trolls

in: jjcote

Jan 11, 2021 4:00 PM # 
Again, apologies for interloping.

Thanks for referring me to the backstory for the NEOC logo. That may be all there is to say--that the logo arose accidentally from reproducing a stuffed doll nearly 50 years ago.

However, it wasn't clear how the "troll" association came about? The doll was a cutesy Viking apparently, but maybe Vikings were thought too ill-tempered or whatever to be a mascot. Wouldn't trolls have been also? At least at that time? Were there efforts made to rehabilitate their image? Or, was there an alternative mythology of troll-ness that the NEOC mascot-makers could immediately derive from? One in which trolls embodied a bunch of desirable characteristics?

Anyway, sorry to make a mountain out of a molehill, but the divergent etymology here, acute in the orienteering world, intrigues me.
Jan 11, 2021 6:56 PM # 
First, I have to say that the real history of the NEOC logo predates me; I haven't been around this game much longer than you have. As you say, I guess people just saw the logo and it looked like a troll, and so it became. But trolls have not always been viewed in a negative light. There's a city in Sweden called Trollhättan, and I remember seeing the window sticker shown on that page on SAABs back in the day. Also popular when I was a kid were these dolls, which were known in my neighborhood as "wish-niks", but other people called them trolls. It's true that the trolls in Tolkein's work are best avoided, and the troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a baddie, but even ogres can be viewed as lovable, as we see in Shrek.

In fact, based on the etymological info provided on wikipedia, the notion of an internet troll may not be earlier than 1992, and the origin is likely not the creature of folklore, but rather the verb as used in fishing, to drag a baited line behind a boat. This makes sense, as an internet troll isn't doing something like demanding payment to cross a bridge, but rather tossing something out there to see what he might catch.

That said, the origin has been made blurry, and thus people tend to associate someone disingenuously looking for an argument with flat-footed cave denizens. As a result, it's quite unfortunate that the string-O division of our national association is known as the Little Troll Program. Srsly?
Jan 11, 2021 7:55 PM # 
Thanks JJ. A number of things to touch upon, but quickly--the troll/trawl notion makes sense. In fact, before Dasha became familiar with the specific words and perhaps even thereafter, she accuses me of "trawling" her (to my ears.)

I don't read a lot of fantasy, but yes on Tolkien.

And, cutting to the chase. Indeed, the Little Troll Program? I don't like it. But, then we also have had the Golden Troll awards. Did these troll concepts escape from New England and spread like fungal spores more broadly?
Jan 11, 2021 10:33 PM # 
I loved those troll dolls.
But never liked the Little Troll name or, wow, Golden Troll award. Those need to be changed! (Uh oh, cancel culture ...)
Jan 11, 2021 11:34 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I wouldn't necessarily cancel.

Little kids certainly like the 2016 Trolls and 2020 Trolls: World Tour movies. These are big budget movies based on the old dolls.
Jan 12, 2021 1:24 AM # 
Cat defends a small girl from a troll
Jan 12, 2021 1:28 AM # 
I forgot about those trolls. They came along much later than the NEOC troll, but seem to have superficial similarities. They generally aren’t the putrid, elemental Tolkien concepts. In that way, Orienteering was actually well ahead of the curve?
Jan 12, 2021 1:30 AM # 
Hi yurets. Thanks for the book recommendation. While I appreciate the open source link, I’m picking up the hard copy on Amazon so as to maintain the Tao. (I only read books in paper form.)
Jan 12, 2021 3:19 AM # 
"Golden Troll" was short-lived (similar disgruntlement to "troll" as seen here) and became the Golden awards a year or two after inception, about 10 years ago.

Perhaps the Little Troll program was a NEOC invention that hit the national level when NEOC members were on the board? I don't recognize names of any of the early Board members (Google doc). It hasn't been challenged or adopted by anyone interested in updating it, so it stays as is.
Jan 12, 2021 3:28 AM # 
Aha! I found an article on the NEOC site about the NEOC troll drawing. It started out as a Viking concept.... (link)

Edited: oops, I just re-read the top of this thread. Sorry for being redundant.
Jan 12, 2021 4:02 PM # 
I always assumed the NEOC troll was just a self portrait of NEOC#1 or some other NEOC pioneer in stylish orienteering visor. Looks like a good early 70s hairstyle
Jan 13, 2021 5:43 AM # 
Hi there. I see you are interested in the proof of Gödel's theorem?

Better read Solzhenitsyn to learn what life under communists looks like.
This could be more useful
Jan 13, 2021 11:16 AM # 
I’ve had the Gulag Archipelago for some time but never got around to finishing it.
Jan 13, 2021 9:57 PM # 
This Bud's for you, yurets!

Jan 15, 2021 2:04 AM # 
Thanks, j-man

I reciprocate with this Reuters coverage of the recent events

Jan 15, 2021 8:32 PM # 
My local ski hill in Wisconsin, Trollhaugen, has been in operation since 1950, and we love our main troll and all our troll figures, and in the past years the troll has been incorporated in all kind of marketing. Kids in the Little Trolls Ski courses love to have their pictures taken with one of the trolls, and last year most lifties had a troll-like beard :) kids sometimes really get pulled into the fairytale promis. On FB Trollhaugen posts and advertises as the "Trollhaugen Troll"
Jan 17, 2021 2:46 AM # 
I don't know where this thread started, but I will add that AFAIK, the Troll drawing is pretty much the imagination of Lena Bengtsson. NEOC#! could probably provide more info.
Jan 18, 2021 5:34 AM # 
How To Brainwash A Nation, by ex-KGB spy Yuri B.
Jan 18, 2021 4:33 PM # 
It's interesting--my ready notion of demoralize is to "weaken the morale" rather than the primary definition, and the one used in your video, viz., to "abrade the morals."

This construction is so literal, too: de-moral(e)-ize. Clearly, both the denotations are right there starting at me.

I guess my demoralization is proceeding apace.
Jan 18, 2021 5:28 PM # 
His English was not of a native speaker, it obviously shows. You should focus on content. There is a full-length video, more than 1 hr. long. I watched it years ago,
youtube kills them, I recall it was titled something like "stages of communist takeover"

This discussion thread is closed.