The man, the myth, the legend. The fifteenth anniversary of World of Warcraft’s most prolific meme swung around this month on May 11, celebrating the original release of the Leeroy Jenkins video in 2005. All corners of the community are celebrating in their own ways, but the US government is taking it one step further by lifting quarantine restrictions before experts advise that it’s safe, putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk. What an epic homage!
In the now-iconic video, human paladin Leeroy Jenkins impatiently rushes into the fray, ignoring the careful planning of his teammates. The guild hurries to save him, but it’s too late, ultimately resulting in the untimely deaths of everyone involved. It’s so cool to see the government doing the same thing: reopening parts of the country before a comprehensive testing plan is established, and while the body count is still climbing daily.
American citizens are showing their support for Leeroy Jenkins and US leadership by marching on state capitols with assault rifles and signs featuring eye-catching slogans such as “live free [and] die.” Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus can be neither shot nor shamed, but it’s still a lovely gesture!
Private-sector elites such as Jeff Bezos seem to be performing similar tributes as well, continuing to pay their essential employees poverty wages even as they suffer from a vastly escalated risk of contracting the virus. When asked if Bezos would be joining his warehouse workers on the front lines, Bezos replied, “Oh, certainly not. I’ll be socially distancing myself at home as per the CDC guidelines. It’s sort of a reverse-Leeroy situation, eh? But I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the true American heroes risking their lives under my employ. Remember, you’re not eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit!” Bezos is currently on track to becoming the world’s first trillionaire.
Sending millions back to work in critically unsafe conditions in the midst of a pandemic might seem like a huge overstep, but as Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick helpfully explains, “Don’t you get it? Because it was a viral video. Right? That’s hilarious.” It’s easy to see that so many officials are scrambling to reopen simply as part of an elaborate tribute to a fifteen-year-old meme, and not because the US is laughably incapable of caring for its own citizens during an emergency.
At least we have chicken (limited one per household).