I’ve been having a decent time with Twitter now that I’m using the condom of HootSuite. I mostly stay away from the app itself except to check DMs and likes (which I told myself I would only do once a week, but dopamine is a hell of a drug), and today while Logging On I saw this trending topic.
How sad that I know exactly who this is about. I could have used that brainspace to, I don’t know, learn facts about birds. And yet, I recall this woman’s takes, which are the most obnoxious Zionist bullshit you’re likely to see on the internet. You know exactly what I mean: the kind of stuff that posits any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, etc. etc. Exhausting stuff. I won’t bother you with her tweets, which you can go look up if you want (there’s a whole hashtag! but why would you want to?), and instead look at the bigger picture.
What made seeing this goofy trending topic so interesting is the timing. I wonder if we couldn’t work up a timeline for how internet rage works. First comes the inciting incident, then comes the coverage, then the breathless demands to your five followers to…give proper attention to an issue? Followed eventually by targeting one individual, roasting them a little, and moving on.
The time for caring about Israel/Palestine is winding up for spectators (it’s been several weeks) and, largely knowing that the answer is to Free Palestine but having no real recourse to make that happen because the world is ugly and unfair, the collective internet has set its sights on one person to rip into for a day.
“Eve Fartlow” is pretty funny, and I’d be hard pressed to find someone who deserves this relatively gentle collective ribbing more than her. But it’s worth reflecting on the idea that this is how we do things now. There was one collective four-year scream over the presidency of Donald Trump, followed by him losing the election, and then…nothing. We’ve moved on. The problems that existed under Trump are still there, but now we’re placated. We burned the witch. Do children still get put in cages? Yes, of course, but now they’re called “internment facilities.” Etc.
We’ll burn more witches when it comes time to put the January 6th Insurrectionists on trial, which I’m sure will be exhaustively (I’m using that word a lot lately) covered on social media, and people will argue whether or not Jan 6 was “worse than 9/11,” which is an actual thing that’s happening in the discourse right now. Then they’ll probably get punished, although whether or not it’s “good enough” for the blood mob is up in the air. We’ll almost certainly see assertions that the government and the cops are actually on the side of the Insurrectionists because they refused to shoot them in the face on live television. You know I’m not exaggerating, here!
It’s all a culmination of impotence, a Wicker Man being burned when you’ve run out of ideas for how to make it rain.