Finding Dory and Security Uniforms2013-08-15
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Finding Dory and Old, New Parliament Hill Security Expose Tensions Over Social Media
There was a time in which people would have scoffed at the idea that someone posting a photo on the Internet could have possibly inspired a serious conflict between security officers. Those days are long gone. Social media tweets and messages are now the stuff of serious politics, as is evidenced by this recent situation involving the way old, new Parliament Hill security expose tensions over social media.
The Parliament Hill security force has new uniforms now, and these new uniforms were released back in June. However, these uniforms were promoted on social media websites in a way that was interpreted as disrespectful and distasteful. There was a popular photograph featuring the officers in the new uniforms, but Dory from Finding Dory appeared in the foreground of the photo, along with an ad for the new Disney movie itself. This is one of the biggest movies of the year, and the defenders have said that they were more or less trying to raise awareness about the uniform even as they were more or less giving the movie itself even more publicity.
However, the RCMP was targeted after the photo was posted. Many of the older members of the Parliament Hill security force assumed that the RCMP was insulting them, the uniform, and presumably everything else that the uniform stands for and what they represent. Some people felt that they were reading too much into this simple photograph, but they talked about how the juxtaposition of the uniform with iconography from Disney is something of a symbolic insult. The term ‘Mickey Mouse’ was used to demean members of their generation at different points, and they assumed that this was what was happening there.
Some of this conflict reveals a simple generational gap. Disney movies are treated with more esteem than they used to be, and they are considered acceptable fare for adults in this day and age. There’s also the fact that photo juxtapositions like this appear all the time on the Internet in the form of memes. The Millennial generation is known for having this level of highly self-deprecating and referential humor, and many members of the generation do not read into it. Cross-promotions, especially cross-promotions that seem very unlikely in many ways, are the order of the day for many young people on social media. However, it is going to be difficult for both groups to entirely overcome their generational biases in this regard.
Then again, many people would say that this situation has nothing to do with social media or generational gaps. The RCMP and the House of Commons security officers have been in conflict for a long time. It is reasonable to say that this is just another symbol of that conflict, and that there is really nothing else going on by this point. When the tension is high between two groups, it usually does not take very much to get them to fight with one another.