Angry music fans eager to crucify those darn kids were handed a too-good-to-be-true situation when a surprise Kanye West/Paul McCartney collaboration called “Only One” left young people tweeting, “Who is Paul McCartney?” on New Year’s Eve.
Enter self-proclaimed music history professors, who took to Twitter and exploded into a sputtering cloud of outrage, reeling against kids these days who don’t even know about the Beatles.
But as it turns out, the real problem isn’t uneducated music listeners — it’s Twitter users who can’t recognize a joke.
And it’s not just Twitter users who were fooled by the (not all that subtle) trolling. The Mirror U.K. and Good Morning America rounded up a few tweets from confused kids asking, “Who is Paul McCartney?” But a little digging reveals that every Twitter user GMA and The Mirror blasted for their alleged ignorance was clearly joking about not recognizing one of the most celebrated musicians ever.
But really, you shouldn’t have to strain your brain to figure out the sarcasm in a tweet like this:
Kanye West really knows how to expose great new talent. Bet this Paul McCartney guy is gonna be HUGE after this song.
— Justin Morello (@Morello_Justin) January 3, 2015
If anything, the ensuing outrage is more about people who are all too ready to be angry (or just keen to feel superior to others) than it is about uneducated music fans.
In fact, Twitter users pretending McCartney isn’t already a huge deal are in good company. At the height of Beatlemania, George Harrison introduced McCartney’s first live performance of “Yesterday” with the following quip: “For Paul McCartney of Liverpool, opportunity knocks!”