You know, usually when someone gets owned on social media, you wanna laugh.
Though I don’t mean just about anyone. I mean someone powerful. When it’s a nobody, who really cares? Besides, it can be a bit sad mocking some anonymous drone-cog on Twitter or wherever.
And I know! I know. That’s me saying that. I have an archive positively overflowing with random nobodies falling over or getting their faces almost snapped off by turtles. I’m aware of the slight stench of hypocrisy of me ruminating on the morals of laughing at random nobodies on the internet.
But, like, there’s a difference, you know? I try to be relatively discerning with my mockery. To make sure that we’re mostly just laughing at literally anonymous bods, and that there’s no actual harm done (though I know and admit I do fuck up sometimes; mea culpa and all that). But the point is that the laughter is ephemeral, and though we sometimes see their faces there’s no real way to link the person’s name to it. It’s also unbound in time. Sometimes these things happened years ago. Sometimes there’s just no way to tell when, or even where. So all in all the mockery remains at a healthy remove from the real person.
On social media it’s different. There’s a time stamp. A name. A direct route from A to B. That’s a different game. And the power dynamics can be iffy sometimes too. Like when somebody expresses a boneheaded opinion about something on Twitter, and then a celebrity with huge reach retweets it mockingly or with contempt, and then the tidal wave of responses crashes over Mr or Ms. 67 Followers’ timeline. Shit, sure sometimes they deserve it. Any abusive or racist twat deserves what’s coming to them. But other times, when it’s really just some daft kitten fart masquerading as an opinion? Who cares?
But when it’s someone who’s already powerful? Someone actively malicious, and full of hubris? Fill yer boots, ya Twitterati. Let them know their shit won’t stand.
But you know what, even that can be sad. Even a righteous dunking can fundamentally feel deflating. Just when considered as a whole. For example we’ve got to this stage in the evolutionary life cycle of our species where we have corporations crafting amiable personas on social media in order to ‘connect with the consumer’ and ‘further brand engagement’ and other such combinations of corporate wankspeak. It’s the final stage before capitalism wipes out life on earth as we know it—the natural evolution of the dissolving of the barrier between companies selling concrete products and instead selling ideas and personality markers as described in Naomi Klein’s seminal book ‘No Logo’—and watching it unfold is just depressing as fuck.
You remember that time people dunked on Chase Bank for condescendingly chastising people for not saving money, and it sorta felt good for something blowing up in that awful entity’s face, but then you think about the totality of the situation and really it’s just depressing more than anything else? Same thing happened a few days ago, when the US Army—the world’s no. 1 polluter, iron fist of the blood-soaked US empire, and destroyer of its own vulnerable citizens—sent out this tweet in ‘honour’ of Memorial Day:
Let’s just say the responses to that did not go the way they probably expected them to, but again, rather than any sorta victorious ‘gotcha!’ vibe, the whole thing just makes you depressed as hell.
My uncle received 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star in Nam. Upon coming home, the Army VA refused to see him on countless occasions. PTSD led to drug addictions, which led to him taking his own life in 2007. #MemorialDay #FuckTheArmy— Your Mother's Onion (@YourMothasOnion) May 27, 2019
4 sexual assaults, 1 stint at a psych ward for suicidal ideations (not the only time I’ve had SI), PTSD, being told I was “milking the system” bc of the issues I had related to the sex assaults… there’s more, but I’m tired.— Cakey McPettison (@BeesKneesV) May 27, 2019
I served well, made longlife friends but ended up with service connected mental disability. If I could go back in time, I would have never joined. Live and learn.— Richard Isauro Perez (@perezsolutions) May 27, 2019
My dad served in Vietnam. He was exposed to Agent Orange and I was born with multiple birth defects. What he did impacts my life every day. I can't have children and I'm in pain constantly.— Julie Swegman (@BlueChaosFaerie) May 27, 2019
My father served in Vietnam. Since then, he's been an alcoholic and a heroin addict. My mother had to divorce him because of his uncontrollable rage and emotional manipulation. He's still an addict. And a sociopathic liar. We're estranged.— The Libertarian Copywriter (@LibertarianCopy) May 27, 2019
Honor the troops by bringing them home.
Aside from the NAP pills, the oil fires, the vaccines, the constant pain and the cognitive decline, the memory issues and the impact on my family, I'd say it worked out pretty good. I got to ride in a helicopter, so I have that going for me, which is nice.— Warlizard (@War_Lizard) May 27, 2019
lemme think— penni on the move (@Pennijj) May 24, 2019
I didn’t serve but my brother did
he never went to war but still shot himself in the head so
he was the sweetest most tender person I’ll ever know and the @USArmy ruined him— penni on the move (@Pennijj) May 24, 2019
oh wait I have another brother who served also without fighting— penni on the move (@Pennijj) May 24, 2019
he’s been fucked up in the head paranoid and violent for forty years ever since and I don’t even know where he is or if he’s still alive
and the stories he told FROM STATESIDE
You drafted my dad as a 26 year old married man. It ruined his marriage. He was exposed to Agent Orange and was recently diagnosed with Lewy body Dementia. I'm hoping the VA steps up and covers his care.— Rachel Bayne (@SnoPhotos) May 27, 2019
My children's father used his military leave to periodically return to town to try to kill me and cause other havoc. He was never held accountable. One time he took our son and I haven't seen him since. I'm sure he's ok with his service. I'm still traumatized. Thanks.— Sista Self-care (@PoetRDF) May 27, 2019
My friend from high school joined the Army. Went on deployment and lost his best friend there. Came back with PTSD. Committed suicide in front of his wife by jumping off a moving vehicle on the highway. He was really proud of being a soldier but the Army would never know about it— Alejandro (@Call_Me_Paco_) May 27, 2019
Had a friend who joined the army. Came back telling stories about drug use, sexual assault, bureaucratic nonsense busywork…and that's just from the US base.— hermitalex (@hermit_alex) May 27, 2019
Suffering from PTSD, TBI, a plate and screws holding my arm together from jumping and not being nearly as sociable after returning from Afghanistan; I’m still serving and set to deploy soon. I’ve watched almost all of my friends get discharged from PTSD. So, I check on them often— Miguel A. (@MaGriff8) May 27, 2019
https://t.co/FnxB76LlhT— amanda olguin (@homeiswhereuare) May 27, 2019
My brother cannot answer the question
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