Forbes Doesn’t Understand Memes, Ties Hentai to Trump Support

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Something to remember when perusing the net: if it might be a meme, it is. Forbes picked up on the fact that tolls and edge-lords are purveyors of the internet’s more vague jokes, but failed to see why.

In January of last year, Rick Wilson, a staunchly anti-Trump republican, was on live TV making some hilarious, if obviously false and insulting, remarks. Remarks that probably offended the average weeb as much as the average Trump supporter.

Wilson made the assertion that Trump voters masturbate to anime.

Anime is something that can be difficult to get into for its obvious cultural dissimilarity to our own media, but it is something that, like video games, the internet can be very defensive over, and is part of the cultural identity grown within digital media.

Memes and internet culture are in a dadaist phase. Hyper- and post-irony are commonplace. There is a reason that the meme-er CNN threatened to dox came out against his own edgy posts. Because they were satirical. Like most shitposts, they probably were meant to convey a slightly deeper message than many will inevitably understand. To edge-lords the jokes aren’t just racist, in a way, racism also is the joke.

The way the left has taken to fighting against the meme-war is a losing strategy. Calling something that knows it is racist evil for being racist doesn’t actually do any good, and ruining lives over it only makes the internet mad.

The ironic racists of /pol/, reddit, and 4chan are not entirely beloved by white supremacists. Typically Nazis, even modern Nazis, don’t take kindly to being made the ass-end of a joke. When racism is funny, white supremacy is a joke.

Shitposting, anime, and other benign things the internet has love for, are often called sexist or racist without ever having had that intent. The internet does itself no favors by playing along, but public relations are not the focal point of this group, already dismissed and vilified by those they engage.

“If you are besieged by trolls and are also okay with blocking people who might be extremely intelligent and engaging and also fervent otaku… the ‘anime avatar’ is a mostly though not entirely reliable indicator of trolldom, and block anyone you see with one,” – New Your Times Columnist, Max Read

Meme makers are happy to exist within their context, as context is definitively the punchline of a meme. A shitpost can only be seen, correctly, through the lens of it’s absurdist context.

The necessary dissonance of memes goes completely unnoticed by the Forbes writer who penned this article. Lauren Orsini, seems to stumble over herself as she writes that anime shitposters often espouse ridiculously radical Trump-isms. Soon after in her article she doubles back to say “Wilson ought to be courting the vote of anime-porn masturbators in order to get some much needed millennial blood into the Republican voting bloc.” She simultaneously is saying anime is a Trump-troll indicator and a sign of young, liberal blood. Somehow, without room in that logic to see the intelligence Read acknowledges or satirical intent.

Maybe this article is just a prank, who even knows anymore. If so, you got me, Lauren.

Forbes, as a whole, could give a pass to stories pertaining to murky online culture, but because the business of fandom is a money making one, Forbes sometimes tries to do a bit of reaching from its typical subject matter. Seeing the link between “shitposting” and Donald Trump is easy. Apparently recognizing the satire within is excruciatingly difficult for those not totally submerged in the culture trafficked in in the recesses of the internet.

Steve Forbes looking like he’s about to ask you “how to pronounce maymay

The internet can be a dark place where evil is bound to exist in some capacity. But the way the left has over-generalized the internet, as well as any other form of ideological dissent, as racist scum has caused a large portion of liberal or centrist internet users to feel insulted. Without anywhere else to turn, and having been told that open discourse, in and of itself, is racist, where else is there to turn but shitposting?

Much of modern memery is centered around the idea that a dystopian reality is already upon us. This is not a celebration of that idea, but a lighthearted acceptance of it. Memes shout into a void where they know they will be misinterpreted and joke about it. Articles like this only fuel the fire.

Forbes is out of its league. The reason it seems so cyclical and counterproductive to explain some of the more strange happenings in the interweb is that much of it is tongue in cheek, making articles like this one akin to explaining a joke, in a few hundred words.

So… exactly what I just made you suffer through. (Hey, at least I almost know what I’m talking about.)

Liberty Viral needs a section for “Explaining Memes to Old People,” because this is getting ridiculous.

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  • Fernando Deveze

    so is it maymay or meem or mimi

    • Annonymous

      Meem

  • Killua Sakaryan

    >using anime profile pictures in 2017
    people still do that?

    • gfy

      using fire to cook meat in 2017 people still do that?