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There was a glorious time in the late 1600’s when American villagers gathered in large groups, at night…with torches, to confront the greatest scourge of their time – witches. Today, a new generation of digital villagers was born with equally divine powers – to hunt and slay evil directly from an iPhone 5s, possibly even an iPhone 4. These young idealists have nearly eliminated every problem facing this nation. From insensitive duck hunters to mistress mishandlers to fowl-mouthed comedians. This is only the beginning. They are capable of so much more. This is my tribute to the noble iHeroes keeping our society from crumbling. Are you brave enough to read this…or are you a witch?

First, thank you bearded bloggers. You taught me that your snark can have bite. You heroically paused a Portlandia binge to blog Donald Sterling into submission. Sure, the man has been sued multiple times for housing discrimination, but you knew that wasn’t a real issue that affected lots of people. You were crafty enough to wait… To voice outrage at his real crime – how he spoke privately with his odd lady friend on illegal recordings. Because of you, those recordings have touched millions of lives and elevated millions out of poverty. Though I know you’ve never attended a Clippers game, thank you for showing us there’s no need to patronize a restaurant to write a scathing review of the lobster bisque. Once Sterling’s private property is forcibly confiscated, your work will be complete. Bravo!

Our eHeroes also taught me that every offensive or misguided Tweet must lead to a firing. Permanent unemployment is the only way racially insensitive people can truly feel apologetic, forever. Unlike digging wells or providing micro-loans to locals, Witch e-Hunters knew that raining outrage on the woman who made the terrible Africa joke would truly change the world. Since taking 13 seconds to click “share”, Africa’s problems have been solved. Since she was fired, Rwanda’s ex-army chief has been sentenced for genocide and Malawi has nearly cured elephantitis. And it’s all because of you! Malawi’s citizens asked me to send you this card:

Thanks to our brave Twittererers, I learned the importance of brevity. Could you imagine countless inner city children reading long, righteous blog posts on their iPhones while crossing treacherous intersections…? Disaster averted. It’s your 140-character restraint that kept those kids alive.

I also thank our iCrusaders for not tolerating intolerance. By denying Condoleezza Rice and the IMF’s Christine Lagarde the right to speak at your colleges, you knew that the slightest whiff of dissent would unleash hellish bloodshed last seen in the movie Carrie. You saved hundreds of lives – and thousands of dollars removing rivers of crusty blood from auditorium carpeting.

Most importantly, I learned that iMobs are just as good as real communities. As more people live alone and religion disappears, I too feared a lack of belonging, of common purpose. Not anymore. You showed me that a swarm of outrage is a bonding experience. Together, we can achieve self-esteem by standing high atop the misery of others. Then, like a frog, leap from one miscreant to another, stomping on their heads just long enough to ensure they lose their jobs and die penniless.

I know that you, my short-term outraged friends, are never done innovating. I expect big things from you. When the next controversy comes, I know you’ll kick it up a notch. With each Tweet of outrage, you’ll include a selfie of you helping the group you graciously chose to protect. Or maybe an invoice from a recent donation to their least fortunate. I hope you’re never too busy crowdfunding some massive charity project to get all worked up on Facebook.

Never forget, you are our Marie Curie. And your words are our radiation. Without them, ducks killed by unenlightened barbarians just won’t taste the same.Tweet me at @ideafaktory, heroes. Together, I know we can build a just society, where we all have the same opinion and are equally afraid to share it.

Post Script to Companies

To the companies that fired employees over a brief spike of outrage, I salute you too. Instead of waiting for your own paying customers, fans, and subscribers to protest, you wisely decided to respect the one audience that counts – a flash mob.

Don’t let their instant disappearance cast doubt on your decision. I promise, promise, promise you they care as much about these issues today as the day they scheduled their Tweets. Unfortunately, they were called away on other urgent matters. You see, Kanye is trying to break into fashion…and Kim bought a new outfit…and the guy from that band is dating Cameron Diaz…

– by Steve Faktor

(original viral version of this post on LinkedIn)

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Provocative predictions & prescriptions on where innovation, economics & culture will take us. Fearless. Funny.