It's fair to say that things are a little tense in Britain right now. Not only is the country involved in a passive-aggressive civil war over Brexit, but it's also nearing that time when England gets knocked out of the World Cup and everyone spends a week sobbing into their crumpets. The whole joint is on such a hair trigger that anything could set them off ... such as a parody Twitter account making a dumb joke about soccer shirts.
Earlier this week, an account pretending to be the country's most popular pub chain, Wetherspoons, tweeted that in order to avoid offending the chain's "ever expanding [...} diverse customer base," customers wearing England shirts would not be allowed on the premises ever again. It was a joke so blatantly stupid that it's hard to imagine anyone falling for this. That's our problem, however -- we're just too unimaginative when it comes to gauging the depths of human stupidity.
The joke brought out the usual suspects, but things took a turn for the severe when the media started blasting out the tweet as official pub policy.
This is normally the point at which we'd decry the falling standards in journalism, but complaining that The Sun doesn't have any journalistic standards is like complaining that the desert doesn't have polar bears.
The subsequent outrage -- again, over a tweet from a parody account -- was so great that one outlet even sent a reporter to their local branch of Wetherspoons wearing an England shirt to investigate whether a surly barmaid would try to beat him to death. You know, the sort of hard-hitting investigative journalism that Woodward and Bernstein used to do. We don't want to spoil the outcome, but no, they didn't kick him out, and if we didn't know any better, we'd suggest that this was an excuse to drink whilst at work.
Wetherspoons was so besieged by angry complaints that they later announced that they'd dropped the ban on shirts ... a ban which, oh god, never existed in the first place. We're not sure what the ultimate moral of this tale is, but we can probably all agree that the world is an irrevocably stupider place because of it.
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