When I left work this evening, I texted my wife to let her know I was on the way home and ask if there was anything she needed me to pick up. As I closed out of the SMS window, I noticed my twitter notifications were showing unusually high numbers.
That's when I realized, I was on the radar of... THE FREEPERS...
Yes, my Kosmates, I got trounced on by some humorless schmucks on twitter for posting a joke about longtime Republican Shirley Temple's iconic song "Good Ship Lollipop":
I had no idea Shirley Temple was such a staunch Republican. I guess the "Good Ship Lollipop" was really a INS deportation boat.— James Kass (@jameskass) February 11, 2014
The tweet was discovered by the motley crew at Michelle Malkin's twitchy.com (not going to link to it) and added to a compendium of "lefty tweets" under the headline "‘F*ck Shirley Temple’: Lefties bash late Republican star, smear her as ‘roaring racist’"
Now to be fair, there were some pretty horrible tweets in this collection, as you would imagine there would be deep in the dregs of Twitter. I'm sure when liberal celebrities die you could find similarly cringe-worthy tweets coming from the R side of the aisle.
But among the truly heinous ones, there were quite a few that were simply noting her Republican advocacy. The implication that mere mentioning of her political affiliation, one that she was obviously proud of, is the moral equivalent of peeing on her freshly dug grave.
My tweet was commentary on the GOP's position on immigration reform, not a smear against, or expression of gladness towards, Shirley Temple's passing. They really must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to find messages that would fit their narrative for them to have to pad their collection with my relatively benign little wisecrack.
This posting also got picked up on a thread on Free Republic as well as a few lesser-traficked righty blogs. One freeper interpreted my tweet to mean I must be for amnesty and therefore lawlessness, anarchy, chaos!! Dogs and cats living together! MASS HYSTERIA!!!
This brings us back to the text to my wife and the discovery that I'd become "twitter infamous".
I won't post the replies here, but if you click on the link above to the original tweet you can see some of the threads. I replied to a few of them, blocked most of them, and took care not to feed the trolls too much. There were a lot of tea party loons that there was just no reasoning with. At least two bringing up the old canard that Dr. Martin Luther King was also a republican, so I must hate him too! Ah yes, such logic.
It was an interesting evening, I'll say that much.
Was my tweet a great joke? Eh, I've written better. Was it easy to understand? I think so. All of my friends (on both sides of the political spectrum) got it. A person would really have to go out of their way to misinterpret that tweet as coming from a place of hate towards the person, or happiness a their passing.
But that's freepers, and Twitter, for ya.
UPDATE: After much soul searching, this morning I sent two tweets of apology regarding the joke I sent out yesterday:
I fully admit that my knowledge of crappy 1930's songs about sugar rush fantasies sung by curly-haired 5-year-olds is not very extensive.— James Kass (@jameskass) February 12, 2014