Does This Bernie Meme on the Old Man of the Mountain Offend You?
For a solid week now, the go-to thing to do with your spare time is to put Bernie Sanders...well, everywhere. The picture of him at the Inauguration last Wednesday looking miserable and cold, while sporting some homemade mittens has easily taken 2021 by storm so far.
A few days ago, Cynthia Morelli was joining in the fun and posted a picture of Bernie on the face of the Old Man of the Mountain in the u Local New Hampshire Facebook page, with the caption "We've got our old man back!"
Now, anyone who either grew up in New Hampshire, is from New Hampshire, or has spent any time in New Hampshire, knows how iconic the Old Man of the Mountain is for the 603. People would come from near and far to see it. I think I mentioned that it became tradition for me that any time I drove up to Berlin to visit my Dad, I'd always make it a point to peek up while driving, just because it's been my favorite thing since I was a kid.
Obviously, the Old Man meant a lot to us, because when he fell off the mountain back in May 2003, it crushed a lot of us. The Old Man was an institution. Actually, I still remember where I was when I found out it happened -- I had just wrapped up taking a final during my Freshman year at Curry College in Milton, MA, and I was sitting on my bed and caught it on the Noon news of a Boston station. How has it already been almost 18 years, by the way?
Personally, I saw Cynthia's post and laughed -- I thought it was clever and hilarious, especially with the double entendre, since the Old Man is iconic and we lost him back in 2003, and well, let's be real -- Bernie is an old man. And while other people had the same reaction as I did, some others took real offense to it. Here are some of the comments from Cynthia's post:
This is disgusting!
This is just photoshopped & in poor taste! Do not make fun of our Old Man! He was & is precious to us.
Poorly done! The Old Man of the Mountain had great meaning and for someone to do this as a joke because they have free time, get a job and stop living off the government. Not cool! The people who grew up there and the one's who saw it, were crushed when it fell. Find a job!
That's insulting to the Old Man of the Mountain.
I will say, though, whether or not you think it's funny and satire, or you think it's offensive, or you think some reactions are over the top -- it's refreshing to see the absolute love and loyalty we have for our home area in Northern New England.
I think Cynthia did something she didn't realize -- yes, she made people laugh like intended. She offended people at the same time, which wasn't her intention (and I know that first hand since I reached out to her), but what did all-around, was make us all remember exactly how much the Old Man meant and still means to us, and also made us all remember how much we genuinely love home.
Also, for what it's worth, it's now possible to re-live looking up and seeing our beloved Old Man at the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza, where you line yourself up with where the Old Man used to be, and a side profile of him so that it's almost as if he never fell in the first place.