— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 14, 2015
Who would’ve thunk that one day we’d live in a society where political inclinations were displayed by putting the vegetable embodiment of Shrek out front of your house.
Yesterday’s absurd #PutOutYourOnions viral trend, encouraging Aussies to leave onions on their doorstep to symbolise the commemoration of Abbott’s reign in parliament was one of many great displays of Australian unity: bringing people together over how much we hate our politicians.
The tear-jerking (note the onion pun) #PutOutYourOnions tribute to our ex-PM says a lot about what this generation think of the state of politics. When the most prominent legacy a leader of a nation leaves behind is his perplexing eating habits, that’s pretty alarming. However, this isn’t the first time the hashtag has been used.
The action was appropriated from more sincere sentiments. #Putyourbatsout went viral when Aussie cricketer Phillip Hughes passed away last year, prompting people to lay a cricket bat on their front porch in honour of the sportsmen. The hashtag has since been used for several other eulogical purposes, such as #putyourdressout when school teacher Stephanie Scott was murdered before her wedding, where women took to social media to photograph their wedding dresses hung up on their front doors in solidarity of the women who are victims of violence every year. More recently, #putyourscarvesout became prominent with the death of Adelaide Crows coach, Phil Walsh who was murdered by his son.
— Victoria Kahn (@vic_kahn) March 28, 2015
#putoutyouronions may seem a bit tacky by gutting the sombre significance and respect for the departed behind the hashtag; though many argue the recurring use of social media trivialised the consequent hashtagged deaths. Despite the questionable appropriation though, there’s no denying it added a bit of humour to the #auspol shitstorm that went down.
Politics, for the most part, can be difficult to engage with. It can all seem a bit too distant and convoluted; not so much about the people, more about the money. You can’t blame Gen Y for the seeming apathy and disinterest in the current state of affairs going on in Canberra.
— Peter Taggart (@petertaggart) September 14, 2015
But when an action as brilliantly simple and ridiculous as causing an onion shortage catalysed by a rapidly circulating hashtag kicks off, it brings people together, regardless of political understanding or prior political engagement. It’s a way to feel part of something bigger, an ‘in’ with the cool crowd, a way to be associated with people who know what’s going on far more than you do, while not committing to any actual stance besides a vague distaste for someone who is incapable of eating like a reasonable human being.
It’s mob mentality, and we’re self aware enough to know that. But people aren’t sharpening their pitchforks or getting their pickets ready. It’s simply the act of jumping onboard a harmless bandwagon and contributing to a snowballing joke. #PutOutYourOnions is taking the power of the media back into our own hands and being able to say, “yeah, I was part of that” *flicks hair*. We’re making the news now.
— Mashable (@mashable) September 14, 2015
We need satire, soundbytes, and memes to break down the fat and give us something to chew on.
When you think about it, how else are we meant to understand what goes on in the House of Reps? Pollies aren’t there for our entertainment (not intentionally, anyway), or to make things easy for us to understand. We need satire, soundbytes, and memes to break down the fat and give us something to chew on. We don’t have time to read the fine print of policies, and it’s evident we don’t give a hoot about hurt feelings. How do you think Tones would have felt about everyone celebrating the demise of his career.
But hey, for anyone feeling bad for the man, at least we know he’ll be eating well. After all, he’s got a free meal laid out on every doorstep.