Putting a lid on trolls

I just saw a quirky, Norwegian movie called “Troll Hunters,” which opened in 2010 in smaller movie markets across the U.S.  It’s a credit to most readers of this blog that they have not heard of it, much less seen it.  I went because the local film critic rated it a few stars too high.

Several scenes in the movie reminded me of my former job as spokeswoman for a school district, known otherwise as the “flak.”  It’s hard to find a good dictionary definition for this use of “flak,” but I did read “slick spokesperson” as part of one.  Whoever wrote this definition never met me.

In “Troll Hunters,” the Troll Security Services (TSS) was responsible for removing vicious trolls from areas where they were interfering with the lives and safety of humans.   The trolls went on a bit of a rampage, for reasons that are not important here, killing livestock, destroying farmland and laying waste to forests.  Luckily for the TSS, they had a flak named Finn whose boss’s sole instructions were for him to “keep a lid on it.”  “Keep a lid on it” is what bosses say to every media spokesperson, meaning, don’t let this story get out, but if it gets out, make sure it lasts through only one 24-hour news cycle and that our organization looks good no matter how nasty or accurate the information being shared about us.

Finn did his job by posing as a farm bureau official, hauling in dead bears from far away places and fingering them for the deaths of other animals.   He stood in front of the camera and pointed to a bear that had been trucked in from Poland and bear from Russia, assuring TV viewers that each beast was singlehandedly responsible for the loss of an entire Norwegian herd. He routinely blamed crop and forest devastation on tornadoes, despite the fact that tornadoes in Norway are “rare, rarely powerful and short-lived (a few minutes).”

After seeing this movie I can see why Finn was more successful than I.  If I had to do it again, I would make sure I had a prop, such as a dead bear, to pin the blame on.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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4 Responses to Putting a lid on trolls

  1. Karen Clark says:

    You crack me up! Just the picture of you with the media and a dead bear!

  2. Would this bear be good at math?

  3. Marilyn says:


  4. Lydia says:

    Ann, where do you find this material. You were an excellent “FLACK” and had plenty of dead bears to deal with along your 40 years of service. Your blogs always make my day and make me stop and think about life on a grander scale.

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