Yolo, Oh no! #YOLO Deemed offensive to Buddhists
The latest internet controversy surrounds a Buddhist outcry against the term ‘#YOLO’.
The hashtag has sparked outrage from pacifists all over the world, potentially harming their chances of reaching Nirvana.
Hashtags are a way of marketing everyday speech on the viral online time toilet ‘Twitter’. YOLO is an acronym for ‘You Only Live Once’, a sentiment popularised by those irritatingly busy people who are always on about the importance of using your precious time wisely, while also inexplicably being on social media.
The popularity of this pseudo philosophy caused it to gain the attention of techno-savvy Buddhists worldwide. Various sects have expressed offence at this blatant condemnation of their belief that a person can be reincarnated into various lives, be they human, animal or supernatural.
Though no particular sect or Buddhist leader has officially spoken out against the hashtag, there has been a storm of furious Tweets and even Facebook posts, since the inclusion of hashtags on Facebook after the Treaty of Versailles.
One user tweeted: “This is an attack on our beliefs. I demand that Twitter removes these messages of #hate and replaces them with adverts for fetching orange robes!”
Meanwhile another posted: “Dafuq? I only live once? Now I’ll have to work even harder to eradicate ignorance and suffering!”
A rival hashtag, #YOLURE has arisen since- ‘You Only Live Until Reaching Enlightenment’.
Wishing to gain some enlightenment of my own about this debate, I attempted to secure an interview with Buddhism’s foremost global and online presence, the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, he was unavailable. The only person I was able to find willing to speak to me was the fictional Korean Colonel Lee “Gold Lion” Kim Sun, star of PC action game ‘Crysis: Warhead’.
Me: Good afternoon, Colonel Lee. Thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Colonel Lee: Glad to be here, Bret. Death to the West!
Me: Oh, you! So, Colonel Lee. May I call you Kim?
Colonel Lee (Kim): No.
Me: Okay… Colonel Lee. Are you a practising Buddhist?
CL: It doesn’t say otherwise in the Crysis canon and it’s a traditional religion in Korea, so yeah, why not? I care nothing for your Geneva Convention.
Me: I… I didn’t mention Geneva. Okay, so the explosion of #YOLO on the internet has outraged some Buddhists. Has it offended you?
CL: Us Buddhists believe that one’s life can take many forms across a variety of worlds, not as a direct continuation, but as a continuum of learning and development, until reaching Nirvana.
Me: I see. I assume you don’t mean Kurt Cobain.
CL: No, he was reincarnated as Paul Walker.
Me: Dude, too soon!
CL: No, Too Soon is my uncle. I’m Kim Sun.
Me: Erm… anyway… you feel that #YOLO is an attack on your religion?
CL: Yes, an unprovoked attack on a peaceful philosophy! We strive to eliminate suffering (except in the case of American pig dogs) and the selfish pursuit of material goods (except tanks). This derogatory denunciation of the cycle of rebirth will not go unpunished!
Me: I think it should be made clear that your views don’t reflect those of all Buddhists. You seem a little hostile compared the stereotype.
CL: Oh, well, there’s always moderate Buddhists who pander to your so-called Geneva Convention. You can’t reach Nirvana without breaking a few tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path, my mum used to say.
Me: Mine too! So, will you be advocating the use of the #YOLURE hashtag from now on, Colonel?
CL: Absolutely. Twitter is an important social platform where the free exchange of ideas allows people to debate, discuss and develop. At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters, you Western slut horse?
Me: I suppose it is. Mind you, here in the UK you can be arrested for a tweet, so perhaps it’s best to think twice when hashtagging any philosophical acronyms.
CL: Try living in North Korea, mate. Oops…
Colonel Lee’s internet connection was suddenly terminated at this point.
No official spokesperson from Hinduism or other religions with belief in reincarnation have commented on the matter. Also, none of the other stuff what I said happened. I don’t want to offend any Buddhists IRL.