If its headlines are to be believed, the Internet is all about losing and subsequently regaining faith in humanity. (And cats. And porn. Also maybe pizza.)
Well, this past weekend, the former sentiment was massively in play after a smattering of Kanye West fans apparently confessed to having no idea who Paul McCartney is after West dropped a new track, "Only One," with the former Beatle.
After a host of outlets from Buzzfeed to "Good Morning America" trotted out a selection of tweets from seemingly clueless music fans, the Internet reacted how it is wont to do: with fiery indignation.
Let's take a look at the responses to the tweets in question:
"omg I can't believe people like you exist."
"this is whats wrong with the world !!"
"Losing hope in humanity by the minute."
And those are some of the tamer responses.
There are a lot of issues with pulling out a few tweets and proclaiming that the younger set is completely unaware of an icon -- the fact that the names of the tweeters were not censored, leaving them open targets for unfiltered vitriol not the least among them. However, the biggest problem, undoubtedly, is a lack of context.
18-year-old London resident David Lofgren, in particular, was the author of one of the tweets that went viral -- a tweet that he shared in jest. I mean, come on -- dude lives in England. You do the math.
In the wake of all this hand-wringing over our youths' alleged collective ignorance, MTV News caught up with Lofgren to talk about what it's like to have your joke taken too far.
MTV: What's the deal with the tweet you sent out? Were you serious?
David Lofgren: I know Kanye West supported a couple of artists -- like Big Sean for example -- and I just thought it would be kind of funny to lightheartedly joke about him finding Paul McCartney. It was a joke the whole time -- despite what people are saying.
MTV: So, you obviously know who The Beatles are.
Lofgren: Of course. Living in England it's kind of hard to get away from them. I was pretty much raised on The Beatles. Yeah, I know who he is.
(Note: This tweet, too, is a joke.)
MTV: Are you a fan?
Lofgren: I wouldn't say "fan." I know a few of their songs. I like a few of their songs. I'm not a huge fan, no.
MTV: When did you first hear that your tweet had gone viral?
Lofgren: After the first two hours or so, it got maybe one or two retweets and a couple of favorites... And then someone told me that it was on Buzzfeed and I was shocked, because obviously I didn't know that it had that sort of reach and I was shocked that Buzzfeed would pick up on it -- a story like this.
Then I saw that other people had tweeted similar things and mine started picking up -- a bunch of retweets and stuff. From there, it got just as popular -- if not more.
MTV: Were you upset that people thought you were serious?
Lofgren: At first, I was a bit upset. I was like, "It's pretty obvious [that I'm joking]" -- or I hope that it was obvious. But then, after a few of the things that people were saying, yeah, it was pretty upsetting -- the fact that they didn't get the joke. The rude things they were saying.
Eventually I just started laughing it off and thinking, "If you didn't get it, that's your loss, really."
(A tweet in response to being called a "maroon.")
MTV: So, there were probably a lot of people calling you stupid, huh?
Lofgren: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah, the Facebook comments... I try not to think about that.
MTV: Do you think it's kind of irresponsible for people to share those tweets -- without any context?
Lofgren: Well, yeah, when I saw it [online] I was pretty shocked that they didn't censor my name out. I didn't really care -- and it was pretty funny to see my name on there.
MTV: What's the weirdest thing that's happened as a result of this tweet?
Lofgren: I think the weirdest thing would be the fact that my parents saw my tweet on Facebook. And the people who hit me up on Twitter -- what countries they're from and the reach. It's worldwide some of the people that have seen it. And I think that's crazy.
MTV: Why do you think people were so mad at you?
Lofgren: I can understand. I guess I insulted someone they idolize. I mean, if someone had done that to an artist I love -- I don't think I'd be so upset that I'd say stuff like "Kill yourself," but I'd be upset. I wouldn't really care that much. No offense to them.
MTV: So, what have you learned from this whole experience?
Lofgren: Next time, if I'm going to do that, I guess, I won't pick on any members of The Beatles.
MTV: Or any other British boy bands, I'm guessing?
Lofgren: Oh, God, yeah. If I insult One Direction, my sister would kill me first.