On Jan. 3, the Twittersphere woke up with the hashtags #WW3 and #FranzFerdinand exploding all over social media.
This came right after Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed by American drones in Iraq. Memes were then shared and next thing you know, people were joking about being drafted for an imminent World War Three.
But why exactly are the death of Soleimani and WW3 trending together even more than, let’s say, the twisted relationship between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear threats?
Soleimani was a highly-known Iranian figure all over the Middle East, described in a statement by Trump after his death as “the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world.” Now, parallels are being drawn between him and Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which the younger generation usually knows as a rock band from the 2000s, but who was actually another famous General, killed more than 100 years ago in Bosnia.
As the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ferdinand’s assassination is associated with the beginning of WWI. In comparison, Soleimani was considered as the next most powerful individual next to the widely popular President of Iran. With obvious similarities, the killing of Soleimani is seen as the boiling point to ongoing tensions between the US and Iran.
While the nonexistence of social media back in 1914 didn’t allow for these types of reactions, a hypothetical WW3 is currently turning into a joke. Knowing how devastating both World Wars were, aren’t these memes and tweets leaving you with a sour taste?
Yet, humour has always been a coping mechanism. So, in the meantime, I suggest revisiting the Scottish band’s 2004 song “Take Me Out” and scrolling down the comments for a good laugh.
As if you’re listening right before WW3 starts.
Graphic by Victoria Blair