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Issue #341: Let's talk about memes

Oct 17, 2018
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #341: Let's talk about memes

As I'm sure some of you freaks already know, we've had a meme explode onto the scene in the last few weeks and it has begun to drive people crazy. It is even driving the people who run my favorite app, Twitter, crazy. As you can see from the tweet above, I'm referring to the freshly propagated NPC meme, which depicts people as bland faced, emotionless drones who only know how to parrot talking points about narratives that are currently being pushed in the mainstream.

I understand why people are mad, I certainly wouldn't want to be painted with this label. It's a pretty damning critique of the "individuality" that the people who are being targeted perceive they possess. However, I think the reaction from the media and some tech companies has been absolutely abysmal and harmful for Internet discourse. I am especially disappointed with Twitter, who banned hundreds of NPC troll accounts for innocuous, obviously sarcastic + trolly tweets like this:

I couldn't link to the above tweet because that account was banned for stringing those words together and broadcasting them out to the world. Absolutely asinine. If we have reached a point as a society where the account above must be banned for sending out a sarcastic tweet, it is official; we are the softest generation of humanity to ever breathe on this rock. It's as if critical thinking simply isn't a concept anymore. Instead of allowing people to work their way towards realizing this was a sarcastic tweet, the account must be banned to protect the idiot masses who can't tell the difference between sincerity and trolling. Think about how little respect the people in charge must have for the collective intellect if they think and react in this way. Everything must be simplified, everyone must be protected from ridicule. This is a dangerous road we're embarking on at the moment. Here is the headline from the New York Times article from which I copped the above screenshot:

The fact that the irony of this headline was completely lost on the editorial team of the New York Times is 1.) fucking hilarious and 2.) A REINFORCEMENT OF THE WHOLE GOD DAMN POINT OF THE NPC MEME.

Trying to paint anyone who uses this meme as "Pro-Trump" shows that the mainstream is addicted to framing things certain ways and isn't interested in having a nuanced discussion at all. They are the epitome of the NPC meme they are so afraid of, which is pretty telling if you think about it. Instead of looking inside, thinking about why these people are trying to satirize this culture of mega-phoning + repeating rote talking points, and rebutting the memes with logical arguments, they immediately revert to silencing this speech. They are afraid of coming to grips with the fact that they may actually be the personification of an NPC *gasp*.

I've pontificated on this plenty of times in this here rag, but the lack of critical thought in this country is beginning to alarm me. Actually, it may not be the lack of critical thought that is so alarming, but the recent actions that have been taken to lessen the possibilities for critical thought. Banning people with certain lines of thought from social media, public witch hunts fueled by emotion demonizing people with certain lines of thinking and only framing these discussions in polarizing fashions is making us worse off as a society. Sack up, bitches. Instead of plugging our ears and trying to ban our problems away, we should step to the plate in true Socratic fashion and thoroughly explore why these things are being satirized, whether the satire is deserved/valid, and how this satire may be able to create a starting point from which to debate.

Memes, they're changing the world by forcing people to reckon with who they've become. It's interesting to see who are the most insecure with who they are.

Final thought...

One time, when I was like 8. I was riding my bike down my block and accidentally scratched a neighbors car. Very small scratch. Negligible. The grown ass man quickly ran out of his house to scream in my 8 year-old face. Needless to say, I cried pretty hard that day.


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