This starts as a joke on the Onion News Network, back in 2011 when that was a thing:
It’s funny, but it’s not brilliantly funny. The joke is that the autistic guy does not get that the story is about the dead guy and not about the train. That’s sorta funny. Mean, but funny. It’s probably funnier because its a forbidden kind of humor.
So a guy named Sam Hawken posted it to his blog, back then. Big deal, the internet moves on. And then someone in 2015 revives it and people start using it on Twitter, mostly as a rhetorical device to suggest that someone is narrowly obsessing about inconsequential matters. This, Sam decides, is utterly unacceptable, and he goes to great lengths to argue that the video itself was a fine way to laugh with autism, but referencing it is a cruel way to laugh at autism. Which is nonsense on stilts, but whatever.
What I find myself thinking on is how this makes a nice analogy for how the Left have been dealing with Paris. Sure, ISIS made a big mess, but they’d rather suck all the oxygen out of the room talking about how not all Muslims are Terrorists and how it’s insane and un-American to question whether ISIS might be bright enough to slip a few troublemakers in with the next round of Syrian refugees.
Which statements, I don’t even care if they’re true. I know enough Muslims to know they’re not all terrorists. Saying that is meaningless. I don’t think every Syrian refugee is an ISIS sleeper. They don’t have to be, and in any case, arguing about how many refugees we take in is NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
Can we talk about getting rid of ISIS? Of handing them a military defeat? Of preventing them from gunning down innocents in a theater?
Or would we rather talk about matters tangential to this?
I mean, sure, a bunch of people in Paris (and Syria, and Iraq, etc., thanks, Internet Guilt Brigade) are dead, but is the train fine?
The train is fine.