May 24, 2017
This is what weaponized irony looks like.
Ever since the end of world war 2, the forces of good have been on the defensive against the Jews in the brutal struggle over the future of the universe. Tethering on the edge of annihilation, all hope seemed lost.
But then, our top tacticians came up with one weird trick to blindside the enemy.
Instead of trying, like the conservatives, to win small meaningless battles to reclaim the cultural ground we had lost, we just went all out and advocated the most extreme positions imaginable – but with humor.
This allowed us to retake the offensive. Because anyone seriously opposing something that’s funny and hip will look insane and out of touch. Meanwhile, our messages and memes are rapidly penetrating the psyche of the youth.
Our enemies are starting to realize what’s happening. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter.
Even if they know what’s going on, all their memes are boring and gay, making them incapable of fighting on the new cultural battleground.
This is the level of meme ability we’re dealing with here.
Zzzzzzz… These antifa memes could double as sleep medication.
Earlier this month, hundreds of “alt-right” protesters occupied the rotunda at Boston Common in the name of free speech. The protest included far-right grouplets old and new – from the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. But there were no swastikas or shaved heads in sight.
Instead, the protest imagery was dominated by ostensibly comedic images, mostly cribbed from forums and social media. It looked a little like an animated version of a favorite “alt-right” message board, 4chan.
At least one attendee was dressed as the cartoon frog Pepe (a character co-opted by the movement against the wishes of its creator). Others carried the flag of “Kekistan”, the imaginary country created 4chan members. Kyle Chapman, the man who became the “based stick man” meme after attacking anti-fascists armed with a gas mask and a Captain America shield, also addressed the crowd. The same crowd later confronted a counter anti-fascist protest in the street.
A hundred are gathered with Kekistan flags, shields, stickman helmets and ski masks — "Normies out! Normies out!" pic.twitter.com/iMSeuWPG92
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) May 13, 2017
Until recently, it would have been hard to imagine the combination of street violence meeting internet memes. But experts say that the “alt-right” have stormed mainstream consciousness by weaponizing irony, and by using humour and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents.
Last week, the Data & Society Institute released a report on the online disinformation and manipulation that is increasingly shaping US politics. The report focused on the way in which far-right actors “spread white supremacist thought, Islamophobia, and misogyny through irony and knowledge of internet culture”.
One the report’s authors, Dr Alice Marwick, says that fascist tropes first merged with irony in the murkier corners of the internet before being adopted by the “alt-right” as a tool. For the new far-right movement, “irony has a strategic function. It allows people to disclaim a real commitment to far-right ideas while still espousing them.”
It’s just a prank, bro!
Well, they’re basically right.
But what are they expecting to gain by explaining this? Our strategy has never been a secret, because it doesn’t need to be secret to be effective. There is no counter-move.
You can’t be subversive and anti-establishment when you’re the establishment. You can’t be edgy when you have the same opinions and attitudes as every last cat-lady in the land.
The momentum is on our side, and we’re not going to stop until we achieve final victory.
Onward! Meme away, men!