A couple of years ago, Donald Trump had just about secured the nomination as Republican candidate in the Presidential campaign. I was living in Paris and had watched with a mixture of amusement, bemusement and horror as he launched his campaign, descending a golden elevator before calling Mexicans rapists and drug-dealers. I decided to wish him good night. I typed 'Night night, you disgusting halfwit. xx' and went to bed. And I did it again the next night. And the next. And I've been doing it ever since.
Why? I don't know. It amuses me, the mixture of affection and insult, the cheeriness of it and the anger, the fact it's in my time zone not his, the discrepancy between his supreme power and my utter obscurity, the fact that he must have seen it a few times and may have had a moment of confusion. I'd been tweeting at Trump since he decided to become a leader of the Birther movement (the group of thinly-veiled racists who claimed that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not Florida). My first tweet about him was in April 2011 and my first tweet to him was in November 2012 and I seem, looking in amazement at my tweet archive, to have tweeted to or about him over 3600 times.
And now Rowland Manthorpe of Wired magazine has written an article about my stupid nightly tweet. I'll be honest: when Rowland got in touch, I thought that either he was a bit mad or that he was going to denounce me. But we met and had a good conversation, full of laughter and interesting questions and the article is, I think, good. It doesn't make me sound like I think I'm doing something hugely important (which I don't), which was my biggest worry.
You can read it HERE
My only cavil is at being described as a troll. I mean, maybe that is accurate, but my experience of Twitter Trolls - and boy those MAGA-hat-wearing racists love to troll - is that they are usually anonymous and that's part of the threat. Since I use my own name on Twitter, I feel that's something different. No less needling and mocking, but not exactly trolling.