This morning I was at the barber shop with my youngest, and I popped on to twitter for only a moment. That moment was long enough to see this:
I laughed and laughed because a) I am not and never have been a Tolkien fan, but even I know the Lord of the Rings reference, b) STARBUCKS is giving out FREE ISLAMIC DONUTS, and c) SHAKIRA LAW.
I, for one, would welcome Shakira law, because my hips don’t lie either. We would all be dancing and hip-swiveling until the end of time.
The whole thing is so funny and ridiculous, and it really amused me until the realization hit:
Someone spent time and energy to make an anti-Muslim meme using a photo of a doughnut that was probably created on Pinterest for some kind of Hobbit party. Someone took the time to do this and also conflated Sharia with the fabulous Shakira, which, while funny, is the reason checking spelling is so important. This person also evidently had a grudge against Starbucks, probably because of their red cups.
This right here is the problem with memes. Anyone can say anything at all, and if that meme catches on, it’s passed around Facebook and Twitter and immediately becomes the gospel truth. This is how things like “Irish people were the real original slaves” happen.
Side note: the Irish were undoubtedly mistreated by Americans during their wave of immigration and were certainly, collectively, plagued by hardships. However. If ANYTHING this should be a warning to the public about the dangers of xenophobia.
So I’m sure that doughnut meme probably had a bunch of people up in arms, people who were not interested in Our New Hip Swiveling Overlords, people who immediately boycotted Starbucks and called the police about their brown-skinned neighbours’ suspicious activity of bringing doughnuts to the neighbourhood potluck. I am going to say this once: DO NOT JUST BLINDLY PASS THINGS ALONG IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANY CRITICAL THINKING OR RESEARCH REGARDING THE TOPIC. This goes for “news articles” and the like.
Oh, and this isn’t limited to people of a certain political background, because mass meme hysteria can come from any side of the spectrum. For example, the other day I saw one circulating about a certain famous football player who shall remain nameless and it made him look ridiculous. Well, since my husband has had Superbowl talk on all week, I actually saw the interview that the quotes were taken from, and I can tell you that they were not only massively taken out of context, they were not even correct. However, the meme generated a lot of hate for this love-to-hate-him player, which is the goal of the meme-maker, I suppose.
Remember So I Married An Axe Murderer?
Charlie: Hey Mom, I find it interesting that you refer to the Weekly World News as, “The paper.” The paper contains facts.
Charlie’s Mom: This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth highest circulation in the whole wide world. Right? Plenty of facts. “Pregnant man gives birth.” That’s a fact.
This should be obvious, but strive not to be like Charlie’s mom.
Actually, maybe it would be kind of fun to make my own meme, like Colonel Sanders Puts An Addictive Chemical In His Chicken To Make You Crave It Fortnightly, and then see how many people immediately boycott KFC. No, that’s not harsh enough. I would have to say that KFC uses kittens that they get from the pound, instead of chicken. Or fetuses*. Because this is what the world has come to.
*KFC does not use fetuses or kittens in their chicken. They use chicken in their chicken. They are still pretty gross, in my humble vegetarian opinion.
Ooh! I know! I could circulate a meme saying that KFC is a front for crystal meth distribution and money laundering*! That’ll get them, those kitten/ fetus fryers!
*That was Los Pollos Hermanos, from Breaking Bad.
The moral of this story is that we should all do our research because in this age of social media, information and misinformation can travel fast. Do your part and do your research. And only pass along memes like this:
Because that is HILARIOUS.