Cliven Bundy is not your average conservative cattle rancher. He is exceptionally passionate when it comes to states’s rights, he has some interesting views on race in America, and, oh yeah, he has been breaking federal law for over 20 years.
For the uninitiated, Bundy is a cattle rancher in Nevada. He has been letting his livestock graze illegally on public land since 1993, when grazing laws changed and the land Bundy was using would be subject to grazing fees enforced by the federal Bureau of Land Management.
Well, more than 20 years and over $1 million in unpaid fines later, the issue has come to a head. The BLM went to the land to seize Bundy’s cattle, only to be met with an armed resistance from Bundy’s supporters. And if threatening armed violence against the federal government doesn’t give you a sense of what this guy is like, here are some gems that complete the picture:
“I abide by all of Nevada‘s state laws. But I don‘t recognize the United States government as even existing,” Bundy told nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch in an interview earlier this month.
“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton,” Bundy said during a discussion of race at a press conference on Saturday. “And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Get the picture? Good.
Well, the racially tinged comments and the threats of armed violence against government officials has brought the story to a head. And as often happens when a story like this comes to a head, Twitter was on the case. And, if you didn’t already know this, Twitter is a bit weird.
Rather than have a discussion of the Bundy standoff and the reaons behind it, hashtags like #ClivenBundyMovies and #ClivenBundyFilms caught on. Twitter users took the medium to use movie titles to mock Bundy’s views.
Here’s a sampling:
Django Unchained but not necessarily happier #ClivenBundyMovies— Think Gooder (@StillJohnCA) April 24, 2014
#ClivenBundyMovies One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Landed at Bundy Ranch— Cletis Stump (@CletisStump) April 24, 2014
Twitter is definitely weird. The content of most of these tweets isn’t all that funny (though “Blazing Cattles” is pretty on point), but what is amusing is the idea of dealing with offensive comments via a bizarre, film-themed hashtag. This is the world we live in.You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me @dougsaffir