There are two things that trigger certain folks on the internet—Rickrolling, and children speaking up against global warming—and Greta Thunberg just combined both of them.
Did you ever get rickrolled?
Just in case you never heard about it: rickrolling is defined as a prank that involves an unexpected performance or display of the song “Never gonna give you up” by Rick Astley.
It’s quite easy to do: send someone a link that looks like it’s about something serious, maybe even write some sort of intro—and then simply link the music clip of this well-known 80s song.
As this popular song is quite catchy, the victim of rickrolling might end up with this melody stuck in their head all day long.
And Greta Thunberg seems to have a thing for this popular prank. Earlier this year, she rickrolled her online community by posting a link to Astley’s hit single. But this weekend, she took this joke to the next level at the “Climate Live Festival” in Stockholm, Sweden.
She entered the stage, and everyone expected her to hold a passionate speech on climate change, but instead, she started performing the infamous 80s song.
I enjoyed seeing Greta having a good time—but apparently, some folks on the internet freaked out and started making fun of her.
Greta perfectly explained her performance by saying, “At the end of the day, we are just teenagers fooling around with each other, not just the angry kids the media often portrays us as.”
And that gets people angry these days?
I have heard people complaining that they don’t like Greta’s seriousness. Others argued that she is just a child who shouldn’t be spending her youth holding speeches at climate summits. And some folks even pretend to be worried about her burning out from all the activism.
Unfortunately, the same folks who rather focus on her looks, age, and gender are the ones angry about her performance at “Climate Live.”
Why is that? First, she is too serious, and now she is not serious enough. Or is it maybe not about that at all?
I don’t see any reason why anyone would make fun of this. She is a young woman who dares to have fun. That’s it. It reminds me of the outrage among Conservatives after a video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing surfaced on the internet.
Are women who speak up not allowed to enjoy their lives? Is there a rule that folks who care about things are not allowed to have fun? Does an activist need to be serious 24/7? No, no, and no.
Even Kamala Harris faced criticism after several clips of her dancing went viral prior to the 2020 elections. So why is it acceptable to Conservatives when someone like Donald Trump dances awkwardly at rallies?
There seems to be a double standard at play—and that needs to change.
We need to stop holding female leaders and activists to different standards than their male counterparts. Everyone should be allowed to be joyful in public, or not?
It doesn’t help anyone or any cause if we pretend not to be human. We should not judge anyone for having a good time. That goes for Greta rickrolling us—and probably also for Trump dancing to the tunes of “YMCA.”
There are more than enough problems in this world. Let’s not kill the few moments of joy by overthinking them.
Let Greta have some fun. She deserves it.