At first, I was going to launch into a rant about the stupidity of the people, here in the celebrity-addled West, when I took an additional few seconds to ponder this:
What do you see when you read this Twitter hashtag?
It’s supposed to be about Monday’s death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and looks to have been popularized by the website “IsThatcherDeadYet,” which was not upset to hear about the Iron Lady’s passing. “It’s fair to say that we are not fans,” site co-creator Jared Earle told The Guardian.
When Thatcher died, the website asked readers “how are you celebrating?” and suggested they use the #nowthatcherisdead hashtag.
“So sad to hear that Cher is dead. #nowthatcherisdead.”
That then led to some confusion and amusement. Comedian Ricky Gervais as among those who tried to straighten things out:
“Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead. It’s ‘Now Thatcher’s dead’. Not, ‘Now that Cher’s dead’ JustSayin’ ”
Idiots! I thought, and then I looked at the hashtag as though I were seeing it without the setup, and realized the natural way to make it out was to read “now,” then “that,” then whatever else one could make of the letters that remained.
So the stupidity, I now think, was on the part of the Thatcher-haters who devised the hashtag. The Cher interpretation makes for a better-written statement. The mind sort of wants a “that” after “now.” I mean, really, the thing would have made more sense, been easier to make out, had it read, “#nowthatthatcherisdead.”
Anyway, so much for the “Cher is dead” rumor. Which turned out not to be nearly as much fun as the “Paul is dead” one. That one had all those clues to look for…