Donald Trump has obviously become a very polarizing public figure. Every public comment or tweet is subject to disection and dirision. Deserved or not will depend on your politics, but last week I was struck by two critiques: both their similarities and how divergent they were.
The first was the photo of Kathy Griffin holding a bloody head that resembled Donald Trump. The photo quickly went viral, then a whirlwind of backlash ensued. (Then there was backlash to the backlash, as seems to frequently be the case on social media.) There were opinions that she’d gone too far; a line had been crossed; and she was inciting violence. It reached a crescendo when Donald himself weighed in:
Meanwhile, over on Facebook just after the United States removed itself from the Paris Climate Accord, Ben and Jerry’s Canada posted a link to a post entitled: “6 Reasons Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Agreement Was Totally, Definitely the Right Move“. Ben and Jerry’s has always been a little quirky, but their six point take on climate change was sarcasm at its finest. Not surprising (maybe a bit) it didn’t reach the viral level of the Kathy Griffin photo.
Both were a criticism of President Trump. Both were an attempt at humour. I would guess that the only one you heard about last week involved Kathy Griffin. To be heard above the constant noise of social media, do you have to be shocking? Is the fall out worth it? Ms. Griffin basically said it wasn’t for her with loss of employment and friends. How do we move beyond the lowest common denominator to a place where ideas not people can be debated?
Until then, I think I’m only going to follow ice cream companies…and maybe their trucks.