Friday, July 9, 2010

Real news stories don't usually start with "FW:"

Here in Houston there is a store called Perfume Planet, owned by a Muslim American named Sajid Master. Last year he posted a sign on his store window during Ramadan explaining the store would be closed Sept. 11 in remembrance of the death of Imam Ali, a very important Muslim figure. What he didn't do is explain that Ali, who is remembered on a different date each year during Ramadan, died in 661 A.D., not on September 11, 2001. Imam Ali has NOTHING to do with 9/11. Unfortunately, people obviously love to be uninformed, because someone took a picture of the sign, and mass emailed it around, allowing other people to show their ignorance by calling and threatening to kill the shop owner, sending horrible letters, etc. Here we are 10 months later, and the guy is still being harassed.

Now, I know these people have the internet, that's where they found out about this story. Maybe search engines aren't as popular as we thought. Maybe they are they incapable of Googling Imam Ali and finding out who he is? Maybe they enjoy looking uneducated and ignorant? People will spend hours and hours on Farmville and Twitter and Facebook, but when it comes to not being a moron, they cannot be bothered? These are the same people who don't trust the EVIL MEDIA, but an email forward from their neighbor's coworker? ABSOLUTE TRUTH to them.

To see people so comfortable with looking foolish, to quote Ryan Howard on The Office, "even for the Intranet, it's pretty shocking."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know I saw that a few months ago and wondered how anyone would post a sign like that. It was asking for trouble. I will admit I didn't pursue it further. I also didn't pass it along to anyone else. I am rather wary of those types of things. You just don't know where they came from. We do need to be more vigilant in what we forward.
Thanks for educating me.

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

Thank you for your comment! I have to be honest, there have been times when I've read something and believed it immediately, only to find out it was bullshit after haughtily declaring said story as true. I've since acquired an incredibly obnoxious habit of always needing to prove I'm right, so I research (nearly) everything. I think people tend to look up things they want to be wrong, not things they assume or want to be right. At least that's how I am. Anyway, again, thanks for the comment, have a great weekend :)

The Driller's Girl said...

I have not seen this FW, however, I 100%, no, 200%, agree with the comment about people spending so much time on Farmville/Twitter/Facebook! People are starting to STOP living life! Just had to put my 2 cents in!!!

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

@The Driller's Girl, it's so true, I'm definitely guilty of it. I had to take the Facebook and Twitter tabs off of my browser to restrain myself!

Roxanne Dubier said...

Your writing has gotten to the point where I want to Google phrases to see if you've plagiarized, something I do a lot around research-paper-grading-time. What I'm saying here is that your writing is good, I'm impressed :-)

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

@Roxanne, LOL thanks!!

fowler said...

I hadn't heard about this until I was looking around on Snopes.com the other day-- I like snopes-- it's pretty accurate most of the time.

Anonymous said...

It also doesn't help that we're conditioned to soundbites and very condensed versions of the news. I fear that Twitter and amateur journalist bloggers will only make it worse -oscar

Unlikely Oilfield Wife said...

"amateur journalist bloggers"...I'll go ahead and take that as an insult.