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“I Ain’t Reading All That; Free Palestine”

The meme enrages Israel supporters because Israel apologia depends on mountains of verbiage to spin obvious atrocities as reasonable and appropriate. At some point the kids noticed this was happening, and started dismissing all the narratives. 

Caitlin Johnstone, June 15, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

A Zionist podcaster named Blake Flayton had a delightful tantrum that’s going around Twitter at the moment in which he bemoans the way pro-Palestinian social media users have been responding to long pro-Israel screeds with a graphic saying “i ain’t reading all that; free palestine”, a variation on the popular I Ain’t Reading All That meme.

The meme enrages Israel supporters because Israel apologia depends on mountains of verbiage to spin obvious atrocities as reasonable and appropriate. At some point the kids noticed this was happening, and started dismissing all the narratives.

“‘I ain’t reading all that, Free Palestine’ is a standard reply to any 10,000 word essay from a zionist employed at the Burgerwaffen Institute of Applied Hasbara on why it’s okay to bomb the limbs off starving children,” an account with the handle aufhabenenjoyer explains in response to Flayton’s post.

The retort is offensive to Israel apologists because it takes away their only weapon. Without mountains of narrative, all you’ve got is a nonstop deluge of raw video footage depicting the blatant genocidal criminality of Israel. No narrative overlay is required atop a video of a baby beheaded by Israeli military explosives. It stands on its own. You’d only need narrative to explain why the footage of the headless baby doesn’t say bad things about the side that’s dropping the bombs.

You don’t need narrative to frame such things are unacceptable, you only need narrative to frame them as acceptable. You don’t need mountains of words to frame Israel’s actions as evil, you only need mountains of words to frame Israel’s actions as good.

It actually speaks to a healthy wisdom that young people have begun disregarding the narratives and sticking to what’s immediately obvious before the narrative spin begins, because mental narratives are how humanity has gotten itself into so much trouble throughout the ages. It’s not the immediate here and now that has caused us to commit genocides and mass atrocities throughout history, it’s the mental stories that have been put in our minds by the powerful telling us why it’s actually good and smart to do something evil and stupid. In the immediate here and now there’s nothing telling you it would be good to start raining military explosives onto a giant concentration camp full of children; such things only look reasonable after ingesting and believing copious amounts of narrative.

Manipulators understand that they can use narrative to promote material agendas if they can get people to believe those narratives, and it enrages them when people handwave away the narrative and stick solely with the raw data of material reality. If you’ve based your life around trading empty narrative fluff for real material resources and gains, having your narratives dismissed can feel like holding a huge pile of currency that suddenly got devalued to zero. Of course the manipulators would be upset about this.

I’ve been very impressed with the way young people have been navigating through this horrible mess. Gen Z might just turn this world around.


My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.


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