Before reading even one more word, start playing whatever song jacks you up, step away from your computer into the part of the room where you won’t crack your head when you fall. Now spin. Spin until your eyes fall back into your head and bile forms in the back of your throat. Spin until your face turns green. Spin until you lose consciousness.
Holly Fisher is a right-wing online agitator who posted the photo on the left above last week after a similarly in-your-face image taken in front of a Hobby Lobby went viral. Her pose was soon compared to the image at right of Reem Riyashi, a mother of two from Gaza who killed four people and herself with a suicide bomb in 2004. (It’s not clear who first put together the side-by-side comparison, which has been widely distributed on social media.)
Holly Fisher isn’t a suicide bomber, and the online commentary about her photo is—as far as I can tell—exclusively an unconstructive, sarcastic, ad hominem back-and-forth between extreme partisans. But still, after a holiday in which we use huge explosions to celebrate a country that regularly kills people abroad with missiles and bombs, perhaps even the nonextremist patriots among us might see the aesthetic overlap between the two images above and engage in some self-reflection about the potential consequences of aggressive national pride.