Monday, July 25th, 2011

How the Internet Mourns: "But What About the Kurds?"

A million years ago these friends told me about a saying they'd taken on, that came from a heated dinner party conversation. They were having an argument about Armenia or Iraq or something, or Palestine, who knows, and it was getting unreasonably heated due to the way these kinds of conversations go, and finally at one point a woman banged on the table and screamed, in an accent that I always do as "really fake French": BUT WHAT ABOUT ZE KURDS??? This is an argument stopper akin to invoking Hitler. What about the Kurds? Let us not discuss provisional governments or the rights of women or whatever, when don't you understand the Kurds are suffering?

And that is basically what happened on the entire Internet this weekend, after Amy Winehouse died, and because it was boiling hot in 85% of North America, everyone was glued to their computers and their Twitters and had to really let it fly. Some people made jokes! Some people were offended by the jokes! Some people were sad! Some people were upset that people would pay attention to Winehouse's death when a really, really, unbelievably horrible thing had just happened in Norway. Some people were upset that other people were being self-righteous! And really, no one had any skin in the game. Everyone just got up in each others' business. Basically, no tweet went uncriticized!

To put it another way, here are the Seven Stages of Internet Grieving, which starts with something like "Unvarnished Personal Expression," pauses at "Ill-Conceived and/or Ill-Timed Joke" and ends with "Flipping Out on Everyone Because Everyone Else is Doing It Wrong." What an exhausting weekend!

36 Comments / Post A Comment

Sarcastro (#328)

The Kurds do have a whey about them.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Sarcastro Life is tuffet for them.

Sarcastro (#328)

@boyofdestiny I love you.

@Sarcastro I saw that woman ranting about the Kurds, too. Not at the dinner party–it was at a restaurant that I spied her.

cherrispryte (#444)

@Sarcastro Please don't encourage him.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@cherrispryte Who liked that comment!

saythatscool (#101)

@boyofdestiny *walks away whistling

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

When it happens at a dinner party, it's funny. When it happens on Internet, it's pathetic.

jolie (#16)


(Not that sorry.)


saythatscool (#101)

I'm up to number 3. I heard Amy left a half-finished suicide note by her bedside because she forgot the words.

saythatscool (#101)

@saythatscool But that was probably too soon.

saythatscool (#101)

@saythatscool Maybe I shouldn't be concerning myself with these jokes at all. Maybe I should celebrate her life.

saythatscool (#101)

@saythatscool But of course, those poor people in Norway should be in my thoughts too.

saythatscool (#101)

@saythatscool What kind of asshole spends time online worrying about this stuff anyway?

saythatscool (#101)

@saythatscool Fuckin' Matt and all his metacrap.

riggssm (#760)

@saythatscool "Wow. You just did a whole thing all by yourself." – Sam Seaborn

saythatscool (#101)

@riggssm I DID

Cotter Martin (#17,011)

@saythatscool I was suspended from another site for posting, "It should have been you, Gaga"

statistics_lie (#14,052)

@riggssm *Janet, un-surnamed third-ranking nonmale member of the minority on Ways and Means, to Sam Seaborn, RE: Horton Wilde and his heart attacks. I knooooooooow I hate me the most also

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Somewhere in the world, on 11 September 2001, there was some poor asshole on some TV news broadcast whose duty it was to utter the phrase, "Meanwhile, in other news …." He couldn't help being an asshole, but that doesn't mean he wasn't one.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Tulletilsynet Yeah, and especially so if that phrase preceded the news of 9/11, which I'm sure some "asshole" did, if you consider who big the world really is.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@Niko Bellic
Yeah, so last Friday, the "other news" was Amy Winehouse and the asshole was Twitter.

@Tulletilsynet Well, on September 12th, 2001, one of the news anchors on TVE-1, Spanish National Television* announced that "yesterday we broke our record for most viewers EVER!"
*this was while the right-wing Partido Popular was in power. Draw your own conclusions, I can't.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@SarahHeartburn I don't understand a word you wrote. USA!

keisertroll (#1,117)

Should've been Speedman.

How dare you.

deepomega (#1,720)

Please, fit your emotions into this proscribed box.

Niko Bellic (#1,312) imitates The Onion:

Players react to Norway, Winehouse tragedies

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@Niko Bellic
Oh sweet. The inimitable Chris Crocker had a take that was almost as morally sensitive.

oudemia (#177)

Oooh — my favorite recent-ish example of whatever this fallacy is, from Kakutani's review of JSF's Eating Animals:

. . . readers wonder how the author can expend so much energy and caring on the fate of pigs and chickens, when, say, malaria kills nearly a million people a year (most of them children), and conflict and disease in Congo since the mid-1990s have left an estimated five million dead and hundreds of thousands of women and girls raped and have driven more than a million people from their homes.

OK, so, now I'm confused. Does this mean I should send my cat food to children starving in the Sudan, or just send my cat?

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@SarahHeartburn ideally you would find 11 other cats, cram them all into a recycling bin, and leave them on the median of the nearest highway…IF YOU'RE A MONSTER.

hockeymom (#143)

People, and their feelings, are just so annoying.

Mea culpa. I admit I did my bit of self-righteous bitching on G+ regarding Winehouse's death hogging the spotlight while the non-famous victims in Oslo and China piled up.

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