Tweeting Happily Ever After

It started, as all great fairytales tend to, with a change in the way we live our lives. Ten years of fear were over for many people. The Big, Bad Wolf was dead and the piglets were rejoicing in the only way they knew how, not one of them realising the wolf had cubs around the world or that there were bigger and badder wolves out there. Meanwhile the author realised his metaphor was being stretched a little too thin. Of course our world is a little more technologically advanced than those you find in fairytales so the party for the sheep of this world was a little more public than those that multitudes of princesses and talking animals attend. And with a public party comes even more public humiliation when you make a fool of yourself.

Within minutes of the reported news of his death, a quote started spreading across Twitter. “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” The quote was attributed to Martin Luthor King Junior, and I’m pretty sure I saw someone mention that this day was exactly the one he’d been talking about in his dream. I’ll dispute that fact simply by calling the poster a moron and continuing on with what I was saying.

So yeah, the bad guy was dead and people were trying to take the high route by tweeting and retweeting this quote from a man renowned for his peaceful solutions to problems. But this wasn’t good enough for some people. They were rejoicing in the death of a man they had never met and they wanted others to know that they were glad he was dead. These people responded with their own quote from further back in history. “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” This quote was attributed to Mark Twain.

The two quotes have gone back and forth on Twitter with each person using them to state their position on the matter. What is a little disappointing is that I’ve only seen one person try to point out what the quotes have in common, rather than using them to set themselves apart from what they view as the enemy. You see, both of these quotes with their opposing views were originally said by completely different people than they have been attributed to. The Mark Twain quote is from Clarence Darrow, a lawyer and author who was one of Twain’s contemporaries. Whoever made that first mistake has allowed thousands to show what ill educated sheep they are and can be forgiven that mistake for that reason alone. The Martin Luthor King Junior quote is a little more complicated.

On hearing the news of the death of the Big, Bad Wolf, a Facebook user posted what appears to be the Martin Luthor King Junior quote as part of a longer monologue from his book Strength To Love. The entire quote runs as follows:
“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Now that seems all well and good until you compare it to the original Facebook wall post by Jessica Dovey and take a note of where the quote marks are.

Note that the quotes are around all but that line, showing that she made a profound statement and then quoted Martin Luthor King Junior to back up her point. Somewhere along the lines her message was reposted and the quotes were removed, making the entire quote seem to come from Doctor King. As it had to be shortened to fit onto Twitter the opening part of the quote was attributed to Doctor King even though it’s a Jessica Dovey original. It’s also the stance I tend to agree with for those of you wondering which side of the fence I’m on, and I salute Miss Dovey for her beautifully succinct statement that sums up my feelings on this so well.

As with all fairytales though, it’s the little pigs who need to end the story as they began it with nothing changing in their world at all, and they will keep these mistakes going for months I’m sure, to the point that anyone searching for these quotes will find them attributed to the wrong people. One might say they’re tweeting happily ever after.


24 thoughts on “Tweeting Happily Ever After

  1. Excellent post.I can understand frustration in USA that was ended with killing of OBL, but I can`t understand partying all over the country. Unfortunately, Al-Kaida is not a one-man-organisation and intelligence structures should better be aware of that…

  2. I think it was a great PR exercise for Obama, and probably a very good thing that the target has been eliminated, but honestly, it's not going to have much effect on the world's terrorisnm stage, is it? The dude was in hiding for the last decade, is a figurehead now, dead, just as he was alive, and can be turned into any kind of hero or villain anybody wants (depending upon where in the world their sympathies lie)….Good that he's disappeared though, buried at sea, no photos – I do think that's very wise…

  3. There was a rather interesting parallel, IMO, between some Palestinians dancing in the streets on September 11, 2001 and some Americans dancing in the streets earlier this week. Different reasons, sure, but it still boils down to, "Hey, someone's dead! Let's dance!"I understand that many of the friends and relatives of those killed on September 11 found 'closure' with Osama's death (a yearning for 'closure' seems to be a very American thing from what I can tell, but maybe that's just me), but chanting, "It's over" gave me a strong WTF feeling, regardless. And exactly what is over? The ridiculous suspension of civil rights at US airports? Let's see what Wil Wheaton has to say about that:

    I got groped so aggressively by TSA at LAX just now, I never want to fly again. Not even my doctor touches my junk that much. Fuck you, TSA.I’m so angry right now, I could punch someone. I don’t feel safer. I feel violated and humiliated. Fuck you, TSA.Dear travelers: today, you are safe from my deadly, dangerous, sinister balls. You're welcome.

    The deployment of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the associated costs, both human and financial? The Patriot Act? No.Just like Darko and Flarin say, killing Osama is essentially a spit in the ocean. Yes, it's good that a possibly still active organizer of terrorist acts has been taken out (though a trial would've been better). But it's bad to celebrate the death of a person. Ideally, we're supposed to be better than that. With that in mind, methinks this guy celebrated a little too early.

  4. I understand why lots of people are glad he's dead, because he turned into a symbol of terrorism. It's just important to remember that it was one man, who got killed and not terrorism itself.

  5. I'm intrigued by the alleged face recognition software that picked him up *from satellite* – that's amazing imaging power – I'd *love* to have a play with that! 😀

  6. I have stopped watching and reading news. I felt nothing after hearing the news of his death, that's strange 'cause India has also been facing terrorism for decades.

  7. What made this totally surreal for me is that I'd just watched yet another 9/11 cover-up/conspiracy theory documentary two days before. :doh:.And now, after watching the first reason of Doctor Who, I'm thinking, "is it 1984 already?" :doh:.

  8. Consider that, in the book/movie, the real point was that there probably wasn't any "Big Brother" to begin with. However, people were constantly bombarded with the news of the enemy of the day. (an enemy that conveniently changed all the time yet was 'always' the enemy.)And the two main characters even begin to question the existence of the war after a while. They theorise that the rockets are being fired by their own government. :left:.It's hard to read that book or watch that movie in light of current events of the last decade and not wonder about it. :insane:.And I grew up in a time when Communism was the only enemy. :left:.(yes, Northen Ireland and the Middle East were happening, but those weren't 'global' threats apparently. :rolleyes:)Of course, here we had, "Die Swart Gevaar!" to worry about, another 'local' threat. :irked:.I grew up in a 'Police State' and what I see today is exactly the same thing, just on a global scale. :irked:.Just reading some of the blogs from people living in America I see it. Americans are constantly being told how many 'islamic terrorists' were caught 'yesterday' trying to sneak over the Mexican boarder. :faint:.Likewise, in South Africa in the eighties, we were constantly bombarded with news of the border skirmishes. Yet many conscripts posted at the boarders never even encountered any 'ters' :left:.And despite our, virtually impenetrable, boarder defences, we had bombs going off left right and bloody centre in this place! :irked:.The Government of the day did everything in it's power to convince us that it/we were the 'good' guys. Today, those exact same 'terrorists' are now the legitimate Government of the day. And thanks to thirty years of highly effective mind controll, many white people can't cope with it. They've either left or are on the brink of suicide/insanity. :awww:.I'm one of those wierd people who just don't fit into the 'stereotype' that Apartheid tried to create. :left:.It's always been hard for me to look at a human being and see a 'terrorist'. :awww:.Yet I can't walk down the street and not wonder if that 'black guy' over there is going to pull a knife or gun. So all that brain washing did affect me in some way. :cry:. But I still fight it. I choose to believe the best about every person, if I can, untill they show their colours. :awww:.

  9. Penn Jillette seems to have been responsible for a lot of the spread of this quote – it went nuts after he tweeted it to his 1.6 million followers.Bye, Osama. Enjoy your virgins…

  10. Originally posted by qlue:

    Yet I can't walk down the street and not wonder if that 'black guy' over there is going to pull a knife or gun.

    Shave your head and move to England. You'll fit in well, although the description those groups give of "Muslamics" may confuse you a bit.

  11. Sounds like he's spiked his turrentine with methylated spirits. :rolleyes:.In South Africa it's some of the black people who shave their heads while the white supremacists grow their hair long. :rolleyes:.I don't think they'll like my beard in that group. :p!I've seen this 'anti sharia' campaign arounduie Net. And it's clear that most of the people trying to 'ban the Sharia' don't even know what the Sharia is to begin with. :doh:.That they are so confused between the term Muslim and Islam that they have to invent new words to describe their confusion is either worth laughing at or very sad. :left:.

  12. They're not that bright over here. Ten seconds after "reading" that comment they'd be trying to ban My Sharona.

  13. Quotes are like statistics – you can turn them into whichever way fits you best…Originally posted by theoddbod:

    Enjoy your virgins…

    😆 One of my favourite scenes!

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