How History's Villains Always Get Their Comeuppance

Dear Kay Ivey: The internet never forgets.
How History's Villains Always Get Their Comeuppance

Over the last few years, social media has reflected on being a thing that's totally existed for more than a decade. And judging by the way things are heading, it's not going to disappear anytime soon. Even long-forgotten sites like MySpace leave behind embarrassing artifacts of our past selves, as evidenced by this photo of Tom Hardy in his underpants.

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I don't mind flaunting this image because a) I'm not Tom Hardy, and b) Tom Hardy has already gone on record saying that he's downright proud of this musky display of beefhood. Surely we can all appreciate the unbridled sexual heroics of this grandstanding moment in time, unlike this way more offensive image below:

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Julie Bennett, Alabama Media Group

That's Alabama Governor Kay Ivey smiling proudly after signing into law a bill that allows religious adoption agencies to refuse gay couples. Because according to the supporters, who unanimously voted for the bill 87-0, there is no holier institution in need of vigorous religious protection than child adoption services.

The reason I brought up Tom Hardy's photo (other than it being glorious) is that it spells a warning for all those living in today's civilization: The internet never forgets. We are in a new era of unforgiving permanent records, one that even our politicians are not immune to. So I have a really simple question for Gov. Ivey and the many people who supported this bill: How do you suppose this moment is going to be remembered? Years from today, will the day a rich straight lady prevented a chunk of the population from having equal rights be praised as a victory for America? Will the words "No gay couples allowed" be etched in granite in front of a city hall?

It's the South ... so maybe, I guess?

Library of Congress

That's a New Orleans monument literally celebrating a failed coup fueled by white supremacy. It's right there written on the fucking thing. And yet it's become a great source of controversy between the state taking it down and the people who feel as if their heritage is being snuffed out.

And what I'm realizing more and more is that these situations will happen all the time in the future. Because thanks to social media, our every shitty backward belief will be etched into digital stone. Old Facebook and Twitter accounts will be monuments and reminders of the mistakes we make now. Mistakes like, you know, fighting tooth and nail to keep a racist monument from being removed.

How History's Villains Always Get Their Comeuppance
Sarah Gamard, LSU Manship News Service

The lady in that photo has gone on record not only supporting this cause, but calling the college-aged counter-protesters "terrorists" and "paid agitators," and comparing them to ISIS. As if a big concrete dick celebrating white power would never cause offense unless someone is getting paid. And that wet fart of a quote is likely to be part of her legacy, you guys. Thanks to the internet, it's not something that will fade like old newspaper.

Here's what I'm getting at: History has a funny way of looking back at controversial moments with hindsight that's far more objective. And so far, literally every case in which a person was proudly attempting to limit the civil rights of a group of people or desperately clinging to old racist traditions has been seen as hilariously wrong. And because of the terrifyingly immortal nature of social media, these people (with entire lives beyond these beliefs) are going to be forever immortalized as wrong-headed chucklecocks.

Hey, remember this picture?

How History's Villains Always Get Their Comeuppance
Indiana University Archives

The teenager in the front is Elizabeth Eckford, who on September 4, 1957 was heckled with lynch threats as she tried to enter a newly desegregated school in Arkansas. The sneering white girl behind her is Hazel Massery -- who was forced to spend the rest of her goddamn life trying to atone for this moment in time.

Everyone I'm mentioning in this article has the ability to change with the times. They are imperfect humans who no doubt feel love and are loved by others. Save for Hitler and whoever invented TruckNutz, no one is trying to be a villain in this world ... But Hazel would forever be immortalized in her dumbest, most hate-filled moment. Unlike the countless other faces you see in old lynching photos and anti-Civil Rights protests, Hazel didn't slip into oblivion. And thanks to Facebook, neither will all of us. Every racist meme posted, every protest fistfight, every shitty ignorant opinion will likely have a name floating right there next to it -- attributing us like a historic quote.

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And as I said before, history has literally never fondly remembered the people fighting to prevent others from having the same rights as them. There's never been a time where someone said "This broad type of human is not equal" and was right about it. And it's genuinely baffling to me that more people don't realize that. There will be no bronze statue of Kay Ivey smiling while signing a bill telling gay people they can't adopt babies. There will be no historical celebration for a big expensive wall to block out immigrants. No one is going to fondly remember people like Steve Bannon or Donald Trump for trying to ban Muslims from our country. And your grandkids will not hold you in reverence for some shit-post on Facebook or a picture of you punching someone at a protest rally.

No, this kind of hogwash will not get a place next to the future statue of Tom Hardy pretending to lick a wax statue of Patrick Stewart.

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Let's just hope this is what aliens find when they rummage through the wreckage of our civilization, and not all that racism stuff.

Follow Dave as he immortalizes himself on Twitter.

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