Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paranoia Is Not An Endearing Trait

I subscribe to Snopes. I love Snopes. Barbara and David Mikkelson present the truths and fictions of email hoaxes, tales and urban legends in an entertaining way.

The best thing about Snopes? I used to receive a plethora of emails from friends and family telling me how I could get shitloads of free stuff if I forwarded this email to ten people. Or that some kid was dying of cancer and was collecting used bubble gum wrappers to knit a quilt cover for his future coffin. Or that I could die if I drank from a Coke can without washing it because Leptosporosis carrying rats had pissed on it.

My first action before replying would be to go to Snopes, copy the URL of the relevant page that explained to them in nice terms that they were all a little gullible, then I'd reply to all with the link.

After about six months, I stopped receiving email from friends and family.

Maybe they read Snopes now too. Or maybe they just think I'm a smart arse and don't want to talk to me. Either way, I haven't received a Snopesworthy email in years.

I stay up to date with (ironically) an email update subscription from Barbara and David, so I still get to see what's circulating, just in case...

Anyway, this weeks update contained a few 'Trues' amongst the Falses. One being the following. Yes, the photos are real, but the description is somewhat strange.

Seriously. Are some people that paranoid of other races and religions that they could come up with something as misconstrued as this email that has been circulating:

Obama Is Changing The face of America

Read the Snopes article to get the full picture.

Then there was this one:

Store Honors Islamic Matyr

Some misguided, paranoid soul decided that this store was closing to honour a terrorist involved in the September 11 hijackings. Then they decided the world should know of this herecy. Perhaps if they'd asked the store owner first, they may have come away with a little more knowledge of the world.

We live in an overly paranoid world. No wonder people get stressed!

When is everyone going to just stop, chill out, take a deep breath and stop being so fucking racially and religiously obsessed!!!

The store owner explained the sign:
Store manager Imran Chunawala was stunned [by the reaction] because the holiday had nothing to do with 9/11.
Then he realized what happened. Imam Ali died on the 21st day of Ramadan in the year 661 AD. It's a somber and significant holy day for Muslims. This year it coincidentally fell on September 11.
"We did not explain enough in the sign because that is the exact same sign we put up every year on this particular day for this particular reason," said Chunawala.
He apologized for the confusion and put up a new sign thoroughly explaining the martyr they were honoring died in 661 AD.
"If people thought that that's what this was about, I apologize," Chunawala said. "That was not what this was about. I'm clarifying once again and I seriously am sorry for any misunderstanding that this caused."

On a more local note; last week, at about 7 am, the Police were alerted by a 000 (911/111) call. Apparently a suspicious man was walking up the street with a balaclava on and carrying a bag with tools in it.

When Police found the man, the exasperated reply was, "Could you tell the informant that the bag of tools are his work bag. It contains his lunch and he is on his way to work. The gentleman was wearing a beanie pulled down over his ears because it is cold."

Beanie Pulled Over Ears

It's not that hard is it?

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