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May 3, 2011 / amanda stratton

i was kidding!


Shortly after CNN announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead, I posted a tweet:

The girl married her Prince. The bad guy is dead. It’s a real Disney weekend here on Earth.

It got retweeted and/or copied and pasted a lot, which is really kind of cool, and I will admit made me feel kinda special for a day.  Then I started scrolling through the responses and realized that some people got it, but most people were either angry with me because I made light of two very serious things or they thought it was a genuine comment, and I was all like “Yay! Everything is right with the world!  Oh, look, a shiny thing!”

To the first group, I have not so much to say because making smart-ass comments is what I do.  The only time in my life that I can think of when I stopped making jokes and asinine comments about what was going on was when my grandmother died.  Seriously.   To the second group of people, I guess I’m glad you liked it, but I feel tempted to write a stylistic analysis of the tweet to explain to you why you should have known that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement.  Granted, I did not expect many people who don’t know me to read it, and I think most people who know me would have had a head start getting it since I’m pretty much always sarcastic, and I’m openly critical of Disney for a number of reasons.

There is a small intersection of people who thought the comment was serious AND they were pissed off at me.  I understand those people, because their general sentiments are somewhat akin to the ones I was feeling when I wrote the tweet.

I kid, I kid
I wasn’t making fun of William and Kate or Osama Bin Laden.  I don’t know any of them.  All I know is the message I get from the media, and that’s pretty much what I was poking at–no individual or single instance, but the general tenor of the news media over the weekend. It was dominated by shallowly-reported stories about people oversimplified into characters and events detached from their significance and consequences.  The world’s events were being depicted like a Disney story, and truthfully, most of the world’s events were being completely ignored in favour of that story.

William and Kate’s wedding was routinely referred to, in legitimate hard-hitting news media, as a “fairytale wedding” and it was repeated time and again that Kate, a commoner, had become a Princess, just like every little girl wishes she could (right?).  And rather than effectively address the realities of the situation with Bin Laden, they really did treat it like it was the end of the movie, the bad guy was dead, and that was that.  roll credits.

to be fair: I posted literally about three minutes after they were talking about it on TV.  They did go on to address the realities of the situation eventually.

side note: One person sent me a tweet saying that it was politically incorrect to call Osama Bin Laden a bad guy.  Now, my tweet was sarcastic, but he really is a bad guy.  He’s certainly not a good guy.  And it’s not politically incorrect.  Okay, so terrorists are a minority, but I think they’re still fair game.  In future, if it makes everyone happy, I will refer to him only as “morally challenged.”  I understand that he was a human being with people who loved and cared about him, despite all his faults, and I will mourn for Bin Laden the same way I mourn for Hitler, Pinochet, and Stalin: it sucks that we live in a world that creates people like them, but it’s hard to feel much sadness about the death of someone who didn’t bat an eye at the loss of so many other human lives.

To the people who got it and retweeted it, thanks–that’s awesome, and it made me feel damn cool. :)

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