Today is a pretty rough one to find comedy on the Internet. It’s been 13 years since the attack on the World Trade Center and there are still many exposed nerves and ongoing issues stemming from that horrific day. While it’s quite easy to offend people with crass jokes or lazily shocking references to that infamous moment, it’s also possible to anger folks by shamelessly trading on the iconography and emotions to shill some product. Comedian (and Parks & Recreation) writer Joe Mande has noticed this trend and has spent today retweeting various corporate accounts who feel compelled to join in the conversation and add to a hashtag.
Some of the messages are simple, but when taken along with the products they are selling, it all becomes a bit of a mess:
Then there appears to be some sort of American flag arms race in the twitpic itself, first with this salvo from Cinnabon’s:
Which then escalates into Dunkin Donuts’ giant crop of patriotism:
Before culminating in Fleshlight’s twofer of a crazy amount of flags plus inappropriate message/company:
There are many more that Mande has been posting throughout the day from the seemingly related (lots of gun manufacturers) to the…less seemingly related (Hormel and White Castle). It’s quite possible all of these large corporations are sincere in their expressions of sympathy and loss—highly probable, even. However, the disparity between the accounts and the messages prove that corporate shilling and Internet weirdness never take a day off.