Joyce Carol Oates tweets: With ISIS, ‘is there nothing celebratory & joyous?’
Prolific novelist and enthusiastic Twitter user Joyce Carol Oates had readers scratching their heads over the weekend with a tweet that wondered why we never hear anything "celebratory & joyous" about the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS:
All we hear of ISIS is puritanical & punitive; is there nothing celebratory & joyous? Or is query naive?— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) November 22, 2015
Oates, a five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, recipient of the National Humanities Medal and rumored Nobel Prize in literature contender, followed that tweet up with some others, apparently attempting to clarify her question:
Cultures seem to swing between extremes of Puritanism & permissiveness; rigid order & disorder; control & "freedom."— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) November 22, 2015
Portrayal of non-combative life under ISIS so grim & narrow, why would anyone wish to live in such a way? Mass delusion?— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) November 23, 2015
Twitter users reacted with a mixture of confusion and sarcasm:
@JoyceCarolOates extremely naive, Joyce. Google is a wonderful tool.— Josh Delman (@jd87) November 22, 2015
They seem to take joy in rape and beheadings... perhaps the media is biased in not reporting that angle. @JoyceCarolOates— The Scandalous DJT (@AceofSpadesHQ) November 23, 2015
Sometimes Joyce Carol Oates sends out a Tweet that essentially paints her as that embarrassing great aunt who comes to family functions.— Benjamin Woodard (@woodardwriter) November 22, 2015
I'm just going to assume that Joyce Carol Oates's autocorrect did something to that tweet.— Caleb Crain (@caleb_crain) November 23, 2015
As Gore Vidal said the three most dispiriting words in the English language are "Joyce Carol Oates" https://t.co/99GO8x3Ftu— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) November 23, 2015
A few came to the writer's defense:
When I see a @JoyceCarolOates tweet people are mad at, i usually see a writer toying with our most basic assumptions, which is kinda her job— Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap) November 23, 2015
I mean the thing with Oates is she thinks like a novelist, in the hypothetical mode. What would it be like if x happened or x were true?— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 23, 2015
This is far from the first time that a tweet from Oates has caused the Internet to do a double-take. In June, she retweeted a photo of "Jurassic Park" director Steven Spielberg posing with a dead triceratops (fake, we assure you), adding, "So barbaric that this should still be allowed... No conservation laws in effect wherever this is?" (She later said the post was a joke.)
So barbaric that this should still be allowed... No conservation laws in effect wherever this is? https://t.co/hgavm9IBaM— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) June 9, 2015
@JoyceCarolOates Is this not true?Everyone seems outraged! A friend who has traveled to China a dozen times has said this. (Is he mistaken?)— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) May 13, 2014
The author also drew criticism for a tweet last year that read "'Cat food' in China actually is," following it up with, "Is this not true?Everyone seems outraged! A friend who has traveled to China a dozen times has said this. (Is he mistaken?)" That observation prompted another Twitter user to suggest Oates do what she does best.
Hey, maybe work on another book or something @JoyceCarolOates— patrick (@pattymo) May 13, 2014
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