This is a satirical piece I did earlier in the year in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Seems as relevant as ever today.

I tried to raise several issues through the satire. For example, does it bother anyone else how sentimental displays of mourning are cheapened by social media? Is social media the right kind of forum to express grief or emotionally charged condemnations? Like, “OMG, no words.#prayforparis” or “ISIS scum can burn in hell!” right next to a Facebook or Twitter ad for, say, Fritos Barbecue-Flavored Chips and right below your friend’s photo dump of his latest restaurant meal.

Also, there is something artificial and contrived about collective acts of mourning as facilitated through social media. If you are devastated by what happened in Paris, do you need to Tweet that? And if so, how does the medium of a tweet diminish the expression of that sentiment, or the sentiment itself?

It’s interesting from a sociological perspective because social media started with a very simple purpose in mind: to maintain social connections. But not all social activities and functions can be successfully translated into that virtual world. If a person is really distraught by some tragedy, in the past they would go talk to a friend, talk to a counselor or religious leader, or just keep it inside and work through it alone. But that process of dealing with grief or reacting to tragedy is not something, imo, that can be done in the same way online in a social network without getting weird, distorted, emotionally-askew expressions of sentimentality.

Other points the piece raises:
1. Tis silly for Muslims to keep condemning every crime committed by other Muslims.
2. Tis silly for others to expect such condemnations from Muslims.
3. It is apparent that some Muslim personalities and groups try to win political points by bending over backwards to condemn things and making grand displays of mourning.
4. These same personalities and groups are unprincipled because they only save their moral posturing for issues that have mainstream support.
5. The death of brown people in brown countries is sad but expected. The deaths of white people in Western countries are the true tragedies.