The Week on Twitter | Mariah Carey, Charles Manson, and the Alt-right

This week, the Irish Times published an article that included a glossary of racial slurs and fascist ideologies. They then published another article. And then another. And then another. And probably another by the time The Week on Twitter goes live, let’s be honest.

Some other things that happened this week were Mariah Carey having the greatest New Years Eve of her life, Charles Manson being hospitalised, and John Berger passing away.

#IrishTimes face serious scrutiny after publishing ‘informative’ alt-right piece

This week, the Irish Times published an article supposedly informing the Irish public all about the so-called ‘alt-right’, and all the vicious, racist, and hateful language they use. We don’t need to talk about the contents of the article. We’ve all read it. And if we haven’t all read it because we don’t want to give the Irish Times the satisfaction of a few clicks then we’ve at least all heard about it.

We at least know that it did not inform, but rather misinform those who may have never heard of the alt-right and their ideologies before, painting the group as an ironic, bunch of lads just out for a bit of banter in the form of racial slurs and ‘snowflake’-bashing. The piece was written by a self-proclaimed internet troll (yes, he has written actual articles about how pissing people off has made him a lot of money), who told the Independent that he sent the What You Should Know article into the Irish Times not even expecting a response. He then began Retweeting a lot of swastika themed accounts onto his timeline. These guys had really enjoyed his article. They thought it was great.

The Irish Times received a lot of backlash for publishing the piece. Instead of challenging the alt-right and everything vile they stand for, they had blindly let somebody else push this hateful, vitriolic discourse into the public sphere without an ounce of criticism. The article did not even vaguely reference the blatant fascist rhetoric of the entire alt-right movement. All it did was give out about the left, political correctness, and anyone who wasn’t a straight, white, abled man.

It was only later that the Irish Times decided to publish another piece attempting to justify their reasoning. And then another from Una Mullally detailing why the original piece should not have been published in the first place. And then another talking about the alt-right again. And then a podcast about the whole thing.

Yesterday, ‘Nazis’ trended on Twitter. Today, #nextITpiece is. It gives us, if anything, the chance to get about 1% worth of humour out of the whole sordid affair. It’s a good hashtag, and probably, not an entirely inaccurate one either.

#CharlesManson hospitalised in California

On Wednesday, the LA Times reported that Charles Manson had been brought to hospital due to a “serious illness.” Manson was removed from Corcoran State prison in California early on Wednesday morning, without the exact cause of his illness being revealed to the press. However, federal sources did confirm that he had not died.

It was later reported that Manson had not been a model prisoner in the Central Valley… Which came as a surprise to no one considering he was locked up there for viciously murdering seven people in 1969. According to prison officials, Manson has broken hundreds of rules during his time inside, including making weapons and possessing a mobile phone.

Upon hearing the news of Manson’s hospitalisation, lots of people took to Twitter to lament the fact that he had not in fact died. Manson was given nine life sentences in 1971, and has been denied parole twelve times.

Art critic and author #JohnBerger dies, aged 90

On Monday, it was reported that critic, author, and poet John Berger had died. Most famously known for his collection of art and social criticism essays Ways of Seeing, Berger’s ideas have dominated discussions around the male gaze and cultural aesthetics for decades.

Berger passed away aged 90 in his home in France. Following the news of his death, Twitter users, friends, and family took to social media to pay their respects, share stories, and remember the man who “radically altered and enlarged (…) ideas of what a book could be.”

#MariahCarey has some technical difficulties

New Year’s Eve did not happen this week. Let’s not pretend that it did. What did happen was a load of people awaking from their January 1st hangover slumbers to tweet about Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Like many giant pop star individuals, Mariah opts to lip sync her performances. This is fine. We accept this. However, unlike many giant pop star individuals, Mariah was harshly betrayed by some sound equipment that wouldn’t allow her to hear the song she was supposed to be singing.

Instead, Mariah simply had a bit of a chat for the performance, telling the audience that she couldn’t hear anything, and that she was trying to be a good sport. Eventually, the performance came to an end and Mariah, looking quite shook and annoyed, muttered some things under her breath and left the stage.

Some people laughed at Mariah. Others didn’t laugh because they weren’t watching and didn’t actually care about what had happened. But other people supported her. They didn’t laugh. They didn’t scorn. They simply accepted what had happened, wished her well, and blasted We Belong Together for the entire night because even though the sound wasn’t working that is still a soft banger and we all appreciate it.

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