These days it's quite common to see people post the words "thoughts and prayers" on social media sites following a mass shooting, terrorist attack or a natural disaster. And now there is an app that will do it for you. Or will it? (video below).
Madeleine Kang has written a new video that shows two actors, Danielle Spisso and Ryan Coil, using the imaginary religious app in a skewering satire that has gone viral on YouTube since Sept. 19.
The video begins with a voiceover asking the couple:
Are you feeling sad and overwhelmed by the state of the world? Do you also like drawing attention to yourself with the least amount of effort possible? Then we have the app for you! Introducing TP, the Thoughts and Prayers app ... Just download it to your phone, then once a tragic event occurs somewhere in the world, TP will post "thoughts and prayers" on your behalf for all your friends and family to see.
"I feel like a better person, and I didn’t have to do anything!" Spisso gushes.
"Forget about cumbersome donations or boring policy changes," the announcer chirps. "With TP, screaming into the void has never been easier, or better for your ego."
Coil asks, "Now, it seems everybody is sharing their thoughts and prayers, but I want to show that mine are more important. How can we do that?"
The announcer replies that there is a TP premium service, for $39.99 month, that "will shoot your posts to the top of social media feeds, and post your thoughts and prayers first, before anyone else's."
“Wow, I can’t wait for the next school shooting," Spisso says.
The announcer adds that the fake postings will automatically get "1,000 likes."
Spisso wonders why a bombing in Turkey didn't trigger her "thoughts and prayers" postings, but the announcer assures her that it's not needed in "those countries," but will post in "civilized places" that her friends know of.
The mock video ends with this tagline: "Thoughts and prayer app. When you want people to know that you care."
Back in the real world, Rich Schapiro of the New York Daily News skewered several Republican presidential candidates in an opinion article in December 2015 when they offered their "thoughts and prayers" after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, but opposed gun control.
Schapiro wrote at the time: "Prayers aren’t working ... But after yet another mass shooting in America, GOP presidential contenders were conspicuously silent on the issue of gun control. Instead, the Republicans were preaching about prayer."