So, the whole #teamelan vs #teamdianne thing that’s been keeping a large segment of the twitterverse, bookface and the blogosphere hatertained this weekend?
If you haven’t already read something about it, you can get up to speed on the background via Butterflies and Wheels and Popehat. Short summary: some guy called Elan live-tweeted how he ‘schooled’ another passenger on a plane for being annoying, with thousands of approving retweets, then a storify of the tweets went viral, with high-fiveing blog posts and FB shares showcasing the storified tweets to a readership beyond Twitter. Elan’s justification was that the other passenger had been rude to the flight attendants therefore he was standing up for service staff against obnoxious customers. Then some others started saying “wait a minute” about how the narrative looked very much like the live-tweeter being a smug bully who escalated a situation that the flight attendants had already handled, making life much harder for the flight attendants in the process, for no reason other than having an internet connection and time on his hands.
So now there’s much debate/stoush about how much of Elan’s live-tweeted narrative is fact or fiction or a combination of the two, and there’s many #teamelan folks very very upset that Elan is being criticised for his narrative celebrating his self-described bullying behaviour, because [insert justification for why Diane deserved it here] (so shut up).
Then there’s the mocking of those criticising Elan (not least from Elan himself), mockery for being so gullible as to believe the epilogue (a report from a purported relative that ‘Diane’ has terminal cancer and that’s why she was behaving in a self-centredly irritating way about the flight being delayed upsetting her Thanksgiving plans) because there was no independent verification of her medical condition (so shut up).
I’m not engaging directly in the twitterstorm on this, but I commend everybody who’s not shutting up about what the initial reaction to Elan’s tweets revealed: tens of thousands of people cheering a man on while he told a story of harassing and bullying a woman who was a total stranger, a story of harassing and bullying a woman who couldn’t get away from him in a confined space, a story of gleeful satisfaction with how he was making her soooo upset. A story where he gutlessly didn’t reveal his own seat number in the notes he sent to her seat number. A story where he showed zero consideration for the passengers who were sitting next to her while he was upsetting her. A story where he showed zero consideration for the flight attendants who had to deal with her not calming down despite their best efforts because he kept on harassing her to keep her upset for the duration of the flight.
It doesn’t matter whether Diane actually exists or not. What matters is that this story told by a man to justify the harassment and intimidation of a woman in a confined space was so widely celebrated as “hilarious”. But don’t you go looking behind that curtain to examine the general approbation of keeping women down by policing every little deviation from patient compliance, little ladies. Just smile at the super-hilarious ‘schooling’ of that uppity bitch over there, and learn your lesson about how not to end up like her (so shut up).
Right. That sort of bullshit couldn’t possibly matter at all. #teamnotgonnashutup
1. Elan Gale is a reality-TV producer who is known to have live-tweeted fake stories about ‘schooling’ women before. (back)
2. See what I did there? It’s true! Not being on #teamelan does not mean that therefore one is on #teamdiane! #teamwerejectyourfalsedichotomy (back)
3. Yeah, what could anybody possibly learn from studying patterns of interaction on a a real-time global self-publishing media platform that encourages rapidfire responses anytime anywhere? #teamnotgonnashutup (back)
4. That there is no independent verification of any of Elan’s narrative either seems to have passed these mocker’s scepticism filters entirely. (back)