Combat Zone

Hashtag revolution

Lemmings, lemmings, lemmings. We have quite a predicament on our hands, and y’alls have been making shit worse for long enough. Let’s talk about hashtags. Once upon a time, these small, free-spirited epiphenomz frolicked upon the bonny banks of octothorpe-land and took bubble baths in the backwaters of linguistic cognizance but because of YOU ASSHOLES and your nasty twitty-twanking Facebookery these lovely, endangered creatures are free no more, bound instead to a lifetime of punctuating your shittyass “ironic” statuses and Instagrams that no one gives a flying f**k about.

And they’ve had enough. Twitter (#twitter) has finally recognized its abuse of these poor creatures, and in an attempt to rectify their heinous crimes (and rein in some of the more flagrant abusers of the hashtags) has started the “Hashtag Emancipation” campaign. “We really don’t give two shits about hashtags, but here’s the thing,” Senior Vice Counciltwit Funky Funk confided in me over the phone, “We’re broke. Do you know it costs Twitter $.01 every time one of these things gets out of hand? Such a messy business. Very costly.”

I shouted back into the telephone with the unmitigated rage of fifty-thousand Sherlock fan-girls waiting in the rain for two days yet unable to get into the f**king panel, goddammit, “These poor hashtags are homeless on the streets, you heartless Funk!”

Funky Funk cleared her throat awkwardly before replying, “Okay yeah so that’s a small setback. But we’re on the way to getting the hashtags secure positions of employment elsewhere. In the meantime, we’ve also installed a special security countermeasure on Twitter to prevent excessive use of hashtags. We’ve partnered up with Disney to put a small hex on the hashtags–a way to keep our users honest. Basically, every time you use a hashtag, well, you get it.”

“So, hypothetically speaking, of course,” I replied, “if somebody were to hashtag YOLO on the end of their tweet, they’d die as soon as it’s published?”

“Well, yeah,” Funky Funk mumbled back through a mouthful of what was probably some very tasty hangnails, “because if you only live once, then that tweet was it. Imagine how many f**king douchebags we’d be rid of in as soon as a day!”

Then, I was in awe of the possibilities, but in retrospect, I could see how this hashtag hex could become a bad thing. Just think about it: #unicorn–ok, fine, now you’ve got 500 kilograms of glittery high-maintenance-ed-nesh-estie to feed with a motherf***ing safety hazard sticking out of its forehead–is one thing, but #FML? I can’t even begin to ponder the metaphysical implications of a hashtag like that.

“So how would the hex solve a “f**k my life” hashtag?” I asked Funky Funk after carefully combing through my collection of (emancipated, documented, and well-fed) hashtags.

There was an awkward silence. “Oh…well…I dunno,” Funky Funk admitted lamely. “For all the hashtags that don’t really have an immediate, physical wish-fulfillment aspect (like #brownbag, #gardening, #potsandpans, #potatopotato) we just send out a buncha strippers.”

I almost snarfed my #orangejuice. “Wait, so if #time gets you a wristwatch or something dumb like that, then #f**kthepolice gets you…?”

“You? Nothing. All the hex does is dispatch a contingent of strippers to the nearest building of law enforcement.”

“That’s so f**king dumb.”

“Well yeah. But hey! The hex has done a lot of good too. Well, mostly. On the one hand, the #citizenship tag has solved a lot of immigration issues…but on the other hand, the United States no longer exists.”


“Yeah, I know. Some dumbass hashtagged “downwitdausa” in the first few minutes of the hex so we’re all kinda f**ked.”

“Why couldn’t they have said #fucktheusa?!! WE ALL COULDA GOTTEN SO LAID BY NOW.” And then Funky Funk burst into sexually frustrated sobs and hung up the phone. Meanwhile, we at the Flail have compiled a short list of pre-tested, “safe” hashtags that you may use in your daily twittery or in conversations with grandma or in a bar OR ALL THREE if you’re the kind who likes to take your septuagenarianish relatives to MaJooze on Thursday nights for the €3.64 pitchers. (I mean, it’s your life, so, y’know, #goham?)


#theflail – gets you a copy of The Flail! How neat is that! You lazy assholes don’t even have to walk the .02 clicks it would take you to pick up a copy yourself!


#puppy – this tag was okay in the first ten minutes of the hex but then they ran out and so now all you’re gonna get is a stuffed animal.


#chewbacca – this is an AWESOME tag! Occasionally inconsistent. Sometimes you get a wookiee (on loan, and only for five minutes at a time, because George Lucas is a dickhead) and sometimes you get a ringtone. Figures.


#toiletpaper – holy shit, can I get a “HELL YAH!” from all the just-girls houses??!


#pepper – gets you the condiment or the song.


#pitchperfect – gets you a five-second verbal bitch-slappage courtesy of Rebel Wilson. YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT.


#sosadrightnow – gets you a 1″x1″, 1-ply piece of tissue paper. You’re in a first-world country. Shut the f**k up.