Today we looked at the latest Islam-related outrage: Google's desecration of its own Veteran's Day logo. Horror and outrage and stupidity and all of that. Makes you think! And it made one commenter think in a very nice way.
When I was in high school, students could buy balloons attached to heart-shaped candy for Valentine's Day from the drill team. Then, all day on Valentine's Day, the drill team would go from class to class, passing out the treats. My friends and I always exchanged them, and we even sent one to my little sister in junior high, which pretty much made her the coolest person in her class that day.
But our senior year, my best friend decided to play a joke on me. A guy in our class, we'll call him Bob, was really annoying. Couple that with me being kind of a bitch, and it was really the perfect idea for a prank. It all started a couple weeks before Valentine's Day. I had to work with Bob on a project. It sucked. I complained to my friends. Days after the project was over, my friend said she heard Bob liked me. I was, like, soooo grossed out and irritated. In class, Bob would say something to me like, "what are you up to today?" or "hi," and I would freak out inside, later telling my friends about my horrible Bob encounters. On Valentine's Day, I received a balloon, and thought it was from my friends. I opened the card, and it said it was from Bob. As soon as class was over, I met my friends and we headed out for lunch. I freaked out, telling them all about Bob, the balloon, and how I was so grossed out. My friend started laughing, and I couldn't understand why. Finally, between gasps for breath she told me about her prank. She had made up the stuff about hearing that Bob liked me, and it was she who had sent me the balloon.
I was pissed. My anger, directed at my friend, was really at myself. The whole prank never would've worked if it hadn't been for my reactions, which in hindsight were absolutely ridiculous.
In the moment, when Bob had asked how I was, or said hello to me, I would freak out inside (Ewww! Bob is soooo grooooss! I effing hate him!). In reality, Bob was just saying hello, or making small talk in the 20 seconds while we waited for the bell to ring. My viewpoint and reactions were changed because of the lies I was believing, and I gave things weight which had none.
So, we've all seen the Google logo. We know there's an "e" at the end of Google. We all realize that of all the letters in the word, the "l" would make the most sense for an artist to turn into an American flag. But on Veteran's Day, when nationalistic sentiment is high, those who believe the lies that all Muslims are out to get America will probably feel that anti-Islam tug all the more. Those feelings will cloud their judgment, and they will turn the lower part of the "e" into a crescent. Because when you believe lies, things that really don't mean anything suddenly do.