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MacBeth lolmac wrote in bethinexile
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Signal-to-Noise Ratio

I've spent a lot of time over the last two days watching the #LoveWins hashtag on Twitter (where, as most of the online world knows, you get an automatic little rainbow heart easter egg on the hashtag).  It's been, mostly, great -- astonishing and glorious and vibrant, a massive shout of joy.

The first 18 hours or so were the best -- I had hoped that the whole weekend would be good, given that it's Pride weekend in many of the major cities.

But, oh, the haters gotta hate.  And they gotta hate in your face, because it's just no fun pissing on other human beings unless you can force them to watch.

On Friday, the ratio of trolls on the hashtag -- that is, people who deliberately chose to post angry attacks using a hashtag that they knew was used by the people they want to see suffer and die --  was less than one in ten.  It's gone way up in the last day, and this morning, I decided I'd had enough; I'm sick of the bile and spew.  I'm sick of the posts of:

"The only #LoveWins is [picture of tortured Jesus on the cross]" (seriously, torture fetish much?)
(This is a verbatim tweet, but there are thousands of variations on the theme)

"You lefties are so horrible!  You're intolerant!  You're haters!  #LoveWins"
(This is a paraphrase of DOZENS of tweets that I saw, and hundreds that I did not.)

"Gay rights was never about gay rights, it's always been a War on Christianity!  #LoveWins"
(verbatim)  (other, similar tweets get harsher)

I kept telling myself to ignore the trolls and focus on the happy, which has worked very well -- except for the way in which hatred and abuse really do pile up on the soul, as most of us know all too well from either childhood or our school days (or ugly workplaces, or toxic relationships, etc.)  But damn, it's hard to enjoy a giant global party when a growing percentage of the attendees are gatecrashers who only came so they could spit in your face while you were celebrating.

Still, it was nice that Huckabee got 419 retweets to his "Retweet if you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman", while Obama's retweets were approaching half a million the last time I looked.  Or the amazing memes showing the three female Supreme Court justices -- especially Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who probably never expected to be Photoshopped onto a motorcycle shooting rainbows out the back -- or into armor, facing down the Lord of the Nazgûl -- and generally embraced as an icon of badass womanhood!

So, as I leave Twitter to itself for the time, I'm going to revisit some of the really, really good memories:

- Someone posted a meme shot of Jeff Probst doing a glad hands move on Survivor, captioned "Love Wins!".  Guess who retweeted it with glee?  Jeff Probst!

- Another celeb who posted in support:  Michael Des Barres.  (Formerly known as Murdoc)

- One tweet that went viral early on also got detached from its original poster, retweeted as an orphan, and eventually circled back around to its originator:  Cole Ledford, an amazing young activist who describes himself as "the 51st President of the US".

- Buzzfeed did a slew of fun roundups, including Disasters You Can Expect Now That Marriage Equality Is Here reviews the state of the countries that preceded the US in the fight. Don't worry about the title: it's tongue-in-cheek.

- So, so many goregous images of happy people, rainbows, rainbow flags, and major buildings and landmarks lit up with rainbow lights.

- I did a graphic of my own, using (of all things) a quotation from the Old Testament.  I had vaguely hoped it might get picked up as a peace offering between the gay and Christian (which is a Venn diagram with a huge overlap!!), but it's pretty much gotten lost in the torrent.  I suspect it would be regarded as blasphemous by the inevitable vocal minority.

- An ever-growing list of companies and sites, mostly on their Twitter feeds, rainbowed up their icons and logos and/or did special posts.  Chobani did three.  Others (Facebook etc.) put up widgets to add rainbow filters or hearts to profiles and avatars.

I saw a few cynical put-downs of this (and, of course, way too many pearl-clutching shrieks that I WILL NOW BOYCOTT ALL THE BRANDS), but the cynics don't seem to realize that major corporate branding decisions aren't something that gets slapped together in a few minutes and slapped online.  Most of them, I suspect, had been prepped for Pride weekend, and were pushed out ahead of schedule -- Ravelry did this, and said so in so many words.  The site owner then publicly held his delightfully calm ground against an incredibly shrill minority of pearl-clutchers.

Maybe some of the brands were bandwagoning, but I don't care even if they were.  It was lovely and shiny and I want to remember it.  Some of the brand responses were incredible works of art, and the advertising boffins who created them should be proud.  Two of the most incredible, subtle, elegant pieces were -- of all unlikely candidates -- cheap mass-market beer brands:  Miller and Heineken!  (Look closely at each of those; it may take a minute.)  Seriously -- Miller Lite?  Subtle and elegant and progressive?  I kid you not.  I may be a beer snob, but I'll have to set aside some of my own deep prejudices there.

Which is a wonderful thing to say on any day, but this weekend especially.

Lothi sez

I think your graphic is beautiful.

Re: Lothi sez

*hugs da Lothicat*

Re: Lothi sez - lothithil, 2015-06-28 20:41 (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Lothi sez - lemonpiefirefly, 2015-06-29 03:46 (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Lothi sez - lolmac, 2015-06-29 04:07 (UTC)(Expand)
Re: Lothi sez - lothithil, 2015-06-29 12:30 (UTC)(Expand)
I had no idea that this decision was hovering in the air when the internet suddenly exploded on Friday afternoon. Apparently people who knew about it waited with bated breath but it really took me by surprise and took a while to sink in. Such great news though. My first reaction was: if it is that easy, why didn't they do it years ago...

The happiness all over the internet is so palpable. I can't begin to comprehend what it means to finally getting something having fought for for so long. I just hope it'll keep now? Nobody coming next year and snatch it away again? As someone said, this will be in the history books, and we have been here.

Of course, there was a huge celebration on the streets in Palm Springs as well:





The only way it can be "snatched away" would be an amendment to the US Constitution. Such an amendment would first have to pass Congress, and then be ratified by at least 38 of the 50 states. Prior to Friday's ruling, same-sex marriage bans only remained in 13 states.

And one of the well-established patterns of the civil rights struggle is that it is very hard to persuade people to vote away rights. This is why the conservatives originally put the bans in place: they wanted to block the right before it was seen as real, before it became something that could be taken away. Prior to the formal bans, we did not have the right to marry. It simply hadn't been banned formally, because nobody dared try.

As for "if it is that easy, why didn't they do it years ago" -- it wasn't easy. It has never been easy. People have died for this, and many more have died waiting for this. We reached this point because a steadily growing section of the country kept looking at the bans and saying, "Wait a moment, that's not right."

It's been astonishing living through it -- in some ways, as overwhelming as the Soviet Union collapsing and the Wall coming down. I no longer live in the country where I was born, even though the map says I do.

- dieastra, 2015-06-28 21:36 (UTC)(Expand)
- lolmac, 2015-06-28 21:48 (UTC)(Expand)
- lemonpiefirefly, 2015-06-29 03:35 (UTC)(Expand)
I suspect it would be regarded as blasphemous by the inevitable vocal minority.

I share your suspicion, but then I don't think they have the slightest clue about how to truly follow the faith. I think your graphic is both beautiful, and very appropriate. <3

*happy glow* Feel free to share the graphic with anyone who might enjoy it! That's why I made it.

Your graphic is lovely. :)

Fellow beer snob, the Miller and Heineken images are brilliant! The Miller one did indeed take me a minute but then it was wonderful. :)

Thank you so much! Feel free to share the graphic with anyone who might enjoy it. The underlying images were all on Google search, and the quote is, let's say, definitely past its copyright date. *G*

I do wish Guinness had done a cool graphic, but oh well. They still make great beer!

I've been faving the #LoveWins gay Twitter party & hope transgender rights will next benefit from the momentum. I also hope to soon see LGBT workplace equality & job security so that no one must fear losing their livelihood due to bigotry.

OMG I haven't been on Ravelry in a while, but it's so like Casey & Jess to stand up to haters.
817 agrees/123 disagrees on the OP; obsessed haters clicking 'disagree' on happy replies LOL

Also on Twitter: Nothing like a rainbow necktie on a Siamese kitten to filter out bigots:
"829 people have unliked our Facebook page so far for posting this photo.

*smacks LJ* Dumb LJ put your comment in the screening queue! Admittedly, that's because the security settings on this comm are turned up fairly high, so links often get screened.

Oh, Ravelry, I do love it so. (I spend almost all my time there on LSG, so I forget that there's a lot of other stuff on the site.) Casey and the mods (should be a rock band) were encouraging the pearl-clutchers to "click disagree and move on" (rather than engage directly). By the time the thread was five minutes old, it was a badge of honour to get a minimum number of 'disagrees'. My "covenant flag" graphic, which is about a thousand posts in, only had 5 the last time I looked -- most of the trolls had apparently just worn themselves out by then.

Also, I just Friended the Tiny Kittens page. Guh teh cute

- campylobacter, 2015-06-29 13:59 (UTC)(Expand)
I will never understand that need to troll someone else's happiness. I also cannot understand why it ever seems better to someone to restrict others' rights; access to health, happiness, or sustenance; or opportunity. An argument could be made in matters of fiscal choices, and to debate priorities of limited budgetary means is the responsible thing to do, especially as we are each the "source" of the pot of money the Government then uses.
But seriously, man - I just *cannot* get these things that really literally only affect those who are willing participants.
Majority rule with protection for minority rights.
Separation of church and State.
I am so glad the decision was made this way (but really guys, 5-4? We had to make it that close? And Justice Thomas, sir? A mixed marriage legalized by your institution as recently as 1967? Have a little empathy, man), and hope that the backlash mostly minimized to impotent rage on anonymous social media.

I keep checking in with all my straight married friends, and nobody's marriage has disintegrated yet. Clearly, I suck at the whole gay agenda thing.

Oh, wait, here's the problem -- I never got past the second bullet point, "Live happily ever after". "Undermine marriage", "Destroy civilization" and "Hasten the heat-death of the universe" are all so far down the list that they keep getting tabled in favour of important items like "Be fabulous".

- lemonpiefirefly, 2015-06-29 03:25 (UTC)(Expand)
*sends hugs and kisses* I am so happy for you guys, I too had no idea this was going on until the internet exploded! Some companies and pollies are just bandwagoning yes, but who cares, this is a good step on the way to true equality. <3

I've seen it being used to turn up some of the pressure on Australia! It will take a huge amount of pressure, and probably the death of half a generation of your home-grown troglodytes -- that's what it took here -- but we're rooting for you!

Hmmm. If only we could airlift our own remaining troglodytes to Australia, and drop them on top of yours -- without parachutes, that is -- that would solve so many problems on both sides of the Pacific! You'd have to hose down some sidewalks afterwards, though. Do you think the clean-up effort would be worth it? Troglodytes do start to smell so quickly after you've dropped them on each other's heads..

- magnavox_23, 2015-06-28 23:50 (UTC)(Expand)
- lolmac, 2015-06-29 00:02 (UTC)(Expand)
- lemonpiefirefly, 2015-06-29 03:28 (UTC)(Expand)
This is an epic post!! Such wonderful things!! Hopefully it will drown out the trolls and venomous snakes in the grass! Keep smiling, lovie! This is just the best news of Ever!


*hugs* back

I'm a bit late to the party because I had family over, but I just wanted to say that I'm very happy the Court came down the way it did.

About time, really.

Loving your good memories:)

One day all our people(s) will be free!

OMG that Miller tweet. Fabulous!

Also, dude. Twitter breaks are a necessary thing. I personally very rarely hit hashtags and usually only hang out on my mentions. It works. :)

You know, I've spent the year dealing with bullying and excluding of The Whirlwind that got so bad that she was contemplating suicide.* When I read about the trolls, the first and strongest thing to pop into my mind (other than the completely obvious and obligatory "Horrid and Ugly-Minded Trolls are Horrid and Ugly Minded!") is the lesson that The Whirlwind learned in her bones this year - When people are mean and hateful, it is never about you. It's always about them! How small minded they are, how afraid, how insecure, that they have to meet rejoicing with vituperation. I am so sorry that a moment of glee that people have died for, that people have waited long lifetimes for, that so many did not live to see, had to be tarnished by the forces of self-righteous Christian hatred. Jesus wept indeed!


*We have been working all year with the school to stamp the behaviors out, but fifth and sixth graders are sneaky and it meant that it all went underground and we had a choice, either tie her to an adult all recess and during any activity where the kids move about or have her move freely but tell an adult early and often.

There was one boy who was ring leading, and it did not help that his parents were the type that (even after a meeting with the teacher, the principal, the school counselor, and both sets of parents) maintained that their poor innocent darling was being unfairly singled out. After all he had been bullied at his previous school, so he couldn't possibly want to turn around and do that to others! HEADDESK! And they are educators. I thank goodness that they do not work in our system, but feel sorry for the kids who are affected.

When things got bad, we informed the school, found support in the adults, here at home (of course!), and informed her counselor. Unbeknownst to me, her principal's father had committed suicide, and this made The Whirlwind's cry for help, sent to me as an email and forwarded with permission to select adults in the school building, a Last Straw. She finally allowed The Whirlwind to do what she had wanted all along, sit down with her bully and the principal, and explain to him face to face what it was like to be in her shoes and how his actions were affecting her. She wanted to make it clear that she didn't think he was a bad kid, that she wanted to be a friend, and that she just didn't think he understood the harm he was doing. The principal sat there jaw grazing the floor, while The Whirlwind eloquently and deftly as an adult mediator took control, and finally got him to understand. She achieved the miracle that no one expected. She changed his mind. He stopped bullying her, and when others tried to curry favor with him by attempting to start a round of "let's falsely accuse The Whirlwind and have fun getting her in trouble!" he stood up for her. She finished the school year happy. "He still says mean things, Mom," she explained, "but it's just the way boys talk to boys. I'm his friend."

Tl;dr: Victory and happiness, made all the more sweet because she crafted it herself with insight and kindness. She made us all so proud.

Edited at 2015-06-30 22:06 (UTC)