For those unfamiliar with the injunction against feigning surprise, the origin (AFAIK) is from Hacker School’s first social rule:
No feigning surprise. The first rule means you shouldn’t act surprised when people say they don’t know something. This applies to both technical things (“What?! I can’t believe you don’t know what the stack is!”) and non-technical things (“You don’t know who RMS is?!”). Feigning surprise has absolutely no social or educational benefit: When people feign surprise, it’s usually to make them feel better about themselves and others feel worse. And even when that’s not the intention, it’s almost always the effect.
And I think we can all agree it is bad form to create a caricature of an opposing position and then try to spread the belief that the caricature is an accurate portrayal of your opponent. I am sorely tempted to call this an Eggers-Man strategy, but that might be construed as Eggers-Manning Dave Eggers.
But what’s really irritating is seeing a satire being shared half a dozen times with OMG! feigned! disbelief! that anyone could do something so ridiculous!
Yeah, I’m talking about the “Fundamentalist Christian Rewrite” of Harry Potter.
Yes, I know about Poe’s Law. And I’ve read plenty of Chick Tracts. But claiming to not know this is a satire (or an extreme outlier) and that you could confuse it for normal christianity is to say you’ve never in your life met a Christian, and you suspect they have horns and can be warded off with garlic. People are simply pretending to not know this is satire so they can publically demonstrate just how stupid they think Christians are. It’s a game of “I think Christians are even stupider than you think they are! I am honestly befuddled by this satire, it is indistinguishable from how stupid all believers must really be!”
Remember how confounded you were when all those Red Tribe people started sharing that Onion article about Planned Parenthood opening an $8B AbortionPlex? And how you thought “There is absolutely no way anyone thought this was real. Anyone who mistook this for real must live in a completely insulated reality where liberals are the Dark Ages equivalent of baby-murdering Jews, and must also be completely and utterly retarded.” If you shared one of the “ZOMG Look At What These Christians Are Doing LOL” articles going around, congratulations. There is no functional difference between you and the AbortionPlex sharer.
The thing is, there’s plenty of real stupidity in christian belief. We don’t need to go making things up. And the complete lack of reading comprehension just makes me want to claw my eyes out. Is our side really that unable to read things? Then how the heck can they claim to be the smarter side? Or are they just that willing to misrepresent and mock the other side? Then how can they claim to be the less evil side? Is this what we want our social discourse to be? People sharing parodies of the other side and pretending they’re real? Do we see this going anyplace good?
If not, cut that shit out. And maybe comment on your friend’s relink with “Don’t be dumb, it’s a satire. We’re better than this.”