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.