Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hashtag drama!

Oh man, there's some hashtag drama going on at Twitter right now. Warning: Spoilers for the TV show Supernatural.

Tonight is the 5th (and, I think it's been confirmed, final) season of the CW drama Supernatural. The show stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki as Dean and Sam Winchester, two young men who are raised as hunters of supernatural beings by their father, who was devastated by the death of their mother, murdered by ... a supernatural being.

The show is essentially a route 66 road trip horror movie, except it's a story, not just, "Okay, let's do all these gruesome stunts and come up with a story!" While the violence isn't minimal in any way, the gore certainly is; much like older suspense movies, Supernatural relies on your imagination to create violent images. Otherwise, I'd have a lot of trouble watching the show (I'm NOT a fan of any kind of horror or violence or anything).

In last season's plot arc, Dean and Sam were trying to prevent the Apocalypse (I know, I know). Survey says? Sam was actually tricked into bringing it about. OOPS. Last we saw the brothers, they were sort of freaking out because, uh, Lucifer was on his way up.

Today, in honor of the show's season premiere, two of the top trending topics at Twitter (aaah, alliteration!) are #supernatural and #luciferiscoming. I saw the latter before I saw the former, and it was plainly obvious to me what it was referring to. My friends who are not family with the show also knew, although it required a bit of digging. So, where's the drama?

Apparently, a lot of at least moderately devout Christians on Twitter did not get the memo. #Godishere (with the capitalization) is also a top trending topic. I checked it out, and while there were a few joke responses to the hashtag (#Godishere so look busy!), most were either condescending messages about how Supernatural promotes Satanism, moans and groans about how #Godishere and yet we still have horrible, blasphemous shows like Supernatural, or just the hashtag repeated over and over and over.

What bothers me about this isn't that some people don't like Supernatural, or don't want to watch because of the premise (or the whole "some demons can be good, and some angels can be bad" thing). It doesn't bother me that some people believe deeply in a god. What bothers me is that the #lucifer hashtag refers to a fictional character in a TV show, and a shitload of people who do not watch the show have decided that it's not okay to have a hashtag with the name Lucifer in it, or one that says he's coming.

I'm not going to tell people not to get offended; that's not something that can be controlled. But I will ask them to rethink their actions, or to consider LOOKING UP the hashtag before assuming that we're all heathens or something.

As long as Christians are a dominant social group, I view this action as a silencing technique. I have every right to not believe in a god, or to be excited about the premiere of a show in which Lucifer and the Apocalypse play a role. If Christians were, say, an oppressed social minority, perhaps I would feel differently. But right now, that's not the case. I'm not going to be silenced.

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