OKC Twitterati attacks TLO for pointing out cost of Kings of Leon concert…
4:23 PM EDT on July 1, 2019
Thursday was a long day.
I'll spare you all the boring details, but highlights included:
• Dropping my car off at the dealership to get some warranty work done
• Hanging out with my 91-year-old grandpa, who drifts in and out of dementia
• Finding out my car would need to be kept at the dealership overnight and through the weekend
• Taking two Lyft's across Oklahoma City that made me question the company's employee hiring practices
• Hosting a private trivia event for a fun group in Bricktown
• Ubering over to my dad's art show opening at Gaylord Pickens Heritage Museum
• Going home and pissing off the OKC Circle Jerk Twitter-mafia with a tweet about Kings of Leon
About that last one…
At one point during that long day, I chatted with a Mole about how much the Kings of Leon were being paid for their big free Scissortail Park concert. I had heard six-figures, but the Mole suggested it was way more. Without giving it a lot of thought – or knowing News 9 already reported the total price tag was over $1 million – I fired off this sarcastic tweet asking for more info before heading to bed.
I don't know if it was the sarcastic quotes I put around "free" – or if trying to find out why we're backing up the Brinks truck for a "hometown" rock act that peaked ten years ago is bad form – but you would have thought I complained about Emily Sutton giving a weather forecast in Spanish.
When I woke up the following morning, opinionated trolls from all across the OKC Twitter spectrum responded with a barrage of snide comments, memes, jeers and insults. For some reason, I guess they interpreted my tweet that simply asked for more information about the cost of a sunshiny, feel-good concert that came with a comically absurd price tag as insinuation that people shouldn't be paid...
Here's a sampling:
Those are five of the about 100 or so negative replies to the tweet. Even journalists who are supposed to be asking these types of questions chimed-in with snide remarks:
Other people took a more indirect and bashful sub-tweet approach.
That's weird. I thought Ferris only quoted Morrissey B-sides?! It's good to see he's expanding his scope.
I'm not going to lie – the knee jerk backlash to the tweet felt pretty good. Sure, getting ratioed by people who specialize in missing the point can be annoying, but we're a media outlet that thrives on attention, controversy and angry reactions from a wide variety of echo chambers. If people want to make our job as an antagonist easier by amplifying – either positively or negatively – a three-second thought I had while watching Rick and Morty before bedtime, go for it. Not to brag, but we're the original OKC Twitter troll! We've been eating billygoats on that thing since people tweeted by sending text messages! I can handle whatever you dish out, or, better yet, just mute you.
Naturally, as one who likes to embrace and milk a local social media controversy for all its worth, I decided to double-down on things:
Just to clarify, I've now heard the cost is creeping closer to $1.5-million. I guess the band is going to have to perform on a big, fancy, temporary outdoor stage, because the one at our new state-of-the-art park is too small to handle Kings of Leon. At least that's what I heard, but WHO CARES...DO YOU THINK MUSICIANS SHOULD NOT BE PAID?!?! DO YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO WORK FOR FREE??!! HERE'S A MEME FROM THE OFFICE I FOUND OF SOMEONE ROLLING THEIR EYES! I'M POPULAR ON REDDIT!!!
Although most of the complaints were foolish misinterpretations that missed the point, some people seemed to really care about why we cared.
We sent two tweets about it. I think the better question would be...
This guy did have a fair question...
Kurt has a point. Who gives a fuck? Our city got the Chickasaw's to overpay top dollar to have a rock band with loose ties to Oklahoma come play a free concert – so what? Who cares the free concert has a bigger budget than the last four Norman Music Festivals combined, or what perks and benefits the benefactors get out of the deal; it doesn't cost us a thing, and as an added bonus, rich folks will get to schmooze with the band at the OU game the next day. We should just be happy and grateful to have a mega-popular band from Obama's first year in office show up for a quick and easy paycheck. Goodnight.
Sadly, we're not good at putting our head in the sand like that. Trust me, I wish we were, because then we'd be way more profitable and successful, but just like how our city needs sellouts like Mayor Holt to stand on a stage and hold a Kings of Leon bass drum high over his head while wearing a gooberish grin on his face, we need people like us to look around and sarcastically say "You do realize we're paying over $1-million dollars for a Kings of Leon show, right? That's only worth it if it also comes with a time machine to 2009!"
Seriously, we had that much cash to throw around for a big park grand opening and we got Kings of Leon? As I mentioned in the past, I have no problem with the band. Hell, I'll probably go to the damn show! But considering the park will also be used as a restroom by our city's homeless community, that just seems a bit... lavish?
By Friday afternoon, as the collective Twitter consciousness shifted to women's soccer, the controversy evaporated like a wire transfer to the Kings of Leon business checking account. This tweet kind of summed up the whole experience:
Actually, there's a fourth group of people in OKC – those who didn't even know there was a Kings of Leon concert controversy because they're wise enough to stay off Twitter. If only we were all that smart.
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