An online war has started and yet very few people realize the ultimate ramifications.
There is a darkness spreading across the internet. It is spreading slowly but steadily. Consuming everything it touches. Leaving in its wake, a void. A void, of memes.
What exactly is a meme?
There are various takes and definitions of what a meme is, however when it relates to online, it is typically an image. The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 and at that time, he defined it as an idea or behavior that spreads across people in a culture through writing or story telling. Online, memes are essentially the same, with the medium, being the internet.
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A meme typically is an image, embellished with text. However, it can take many forms, such as screen caps of Tweets or ‘private messages’ that may have been modified after the fact, or a sequence of frames from a movie or video, set in a storyboard. Or even animated gifs clipped from a larger video that captures an emotive situation. Some definitions state that a meme must be viral to be a meme. However, that tends to be in violation of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” [This can also be thought of as a meme.]
Daddy, where do memes come from?
The majority of people ingest their memes from Email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but few know or understand where the memes come from. The vast majority of “dank memes” comes from, what those in the know would consider the birthing place of all virality on the internet, 4chan (http://4chan.org) and Reddit. It is here that the ‘competition’ to one up each other, spawns the memetic graphics that permeate the rest of the internet.
That is a problem, for a very large group of people in the United States, The Democrats. Often referred to as ‘the left’, ‘lefties’, or ‘leftists’.
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The Left can’t meme.
A meme itself, it has often been noted, that “The Left Can’t Meme”. And that poses a very big problem for the Democrats. For nearly 3 years, the Left swears up and down, that POTUS Trump won his election by Russian meddling. After a lengthy investigation that cost the American public $32 million (this number is claimed to be anywhere from $25MM to $50MM) there is not any substantial proof that this occurred. However, the Left still swears that 13 Russian Trolls spent a little over $4000 and swayed the election of one of the most powerful countries on the planet. Using memes.
Who is Pepe the Frog? Oh poor Pepe.
Pepe has taken the brunt of the Left’s hatred. This anthropomorphized frog went from an innocent children’s cartoon, to the “hate symbol of the alt-right”. Any time the Lefties have a problem with something that Conservatives do, they label it “hate speech”, or a symbol of “white supremacists”. That is what they did to Pepe. Unfortunately, for the Left, this tactic does NOT work against Conservatives. It usually has the opposite effect, simply amplifying the use of memes, that are deemed “alt-right”, “supremacist”, etc.
The war on memes.
Closing in on the 2020 election, the Leftists are leaving nothing to chance. And in their sights, are memes. The claim is that 4chan and subreddits such as /r/The_Donald created such “dank memes” that, along with the dozen+ Russian trolls, they were able to hand the Presidency to the “Ultimate White Supremacist” (their words) Donald J. Trump. Minutes later, they will emphatically state that Trump did not win the popular vote. That means that the members of the Electoral College, whose average age is 58, were perusing ‘the internets’ for the dankest of memes and were swayed by “13 year olds, living in their parent’s basements” to vote for the “most racist President the United States has ever had”. I am sure that will come as a shock to James Buchanan, the President who served before Lincoln.
‘OO-RAH!’ – We Are The Mighty Memerines!
No sooner had /r/The_Donald declared The Great Meme War of 2020, did the Leftists make their first tactical strike. Up to this point, the Left, through their monopolization of social media sites and search engines, had banned certain memes, #hashtags, and “Wrongthink”. These actions, only slightly slowed the progress of Conservatives “red pilling” the country.
To Red Pill, is a reference from the movie “The Matrix”, wherein Morpheus says to Neo: “You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Referring to becoming aware of the controlling Matrix beneath the fake digitally created veneer of the world that they inhabit.
The Conservatives refer to the Matrix as ClownWorld. A bizarro world where all of the norms that made this country great are being eroded. Often depicted as a modified Pepe, in a rainbow colored clown wig, ClownWorld symbolizes the policies of the Left that are diametrically opposed to the things that make our society in the United States, strong, harmonious and unified. Pedophiles having Drag Queen story hour in Libraries. Transgenderism being normalized and pushed on pre-teens. Socialism and UBI (Universal Basic Income) that will cost the taxpayers $3.2 Trillion dollars a year. A non-existent gender wage gap. Demonization of boys acting like males because they are too “aggressive” in their play. Calling all white people rayciss (phonetic memeing of the word Racist). And the destruction of historical artifacts that suddenly have become “problematic”. A word the Left loves to use to mark things that were once normal, as being subversive now. These are just a few facets that identify that you are currently living in the Matrix or ClownWorld.
The massive tactical strike laid down by the Leftists, was the banning of ALL MEMES on Instagram. Insta, being one of the largest image sites in the world, would be the main site where the majority of the nation would be exposed to the “dank memes” created by 4chan and /r/The_Donald. Strangely, this coincided with the European Union’s Article 13, which would also BAN ALL non-original memes, in the entire EU, not just on one site. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter, have upgraded their AI algorithms to detect certain content in images and are automatically banning users posting certain images to these sites and/or auto-deleting these certain memes.
These actions will have a chilling effect on the spread of memes.
People generally have defense mechanisms that prevent the intake of new information. Mentally, we rebel against things that alter our worldview. A method of instinctual protection, this is a natural human mechanism that one must circumvent to get people to accept new ways of thinking. Memes and their visual nature are the most effective way to convince people to see things in a different light. They (memes), as the saying goes, create the crack that lets the light get in. The light that illuminates the darkness. Humor and satire connects with people’s emotions, a poignant image with just the right wording, can break down someone’s mental defenses. A meme can stick in someone’s mind for a very long time, and the ease that someone can share this meme, allows it to affect many people in a short amount of time.
The Left banning memes on Insta will have an effect. However, they will need to ban memes on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit as well, to be successful in stopping the spread of
Conservative views. Twitter can probably survive a meme ban, since it originally was supposed to mimic text messages. However, it will take banning Trump, the “Troll in Chief”, entirely to stop Conservatives from using the service. It will not be possible to ban memes on Reddit, far too many subreddits are built around memes. So, the admins and mods will be working overtime to shadowban and delete “wrongthink” memes instead. This will become a tiring chore and will probably cause many mods to leave. Facebook will be able to ban and police memes out in the open, but I am not sure what Facebook will be left with, if no more images are allowed.
In the end, the banning of memes will be seen as a desperate attempt by the Leftists to silence the thoughts of the Conservatives. It will not however prevent POTUS Trump from being re-elected in 2020. The Left have secured Trump’s win with their crazy ideologies, their pushing of ClownWorld concepts, and it is unlikely that candidates will back down from their campaign policies, since they have nothing else to offer.
After hammering in the ears of everyone that Trump lost the popular vote, it is unlikely that Conservative Republicans will allow anything of the sort to occur again. The number of Republicans that vote in this 2020 election will be epic, with or without memes.
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About the Author:
DarkStar (obvious pseudonym) has been an active humanitarian for the past decade, running a charity dedicated to helping the mentally challenged overcome life obstacles.
DarkStar left the corporate digital world working for Google and Chicago Tribune to seek more philanthropic pursuits, after becoming tired of helping the “elites” become richer while people were suffering.
With a degree in Computer Engineering and a background in Physics, DarkStar created and patented an Artificial Intelligence to take the place of mental health professionals and services, to help the mentally ill navigate their daily life.
An avid inventor, DarkStar hopes someday to connect with a similarly minded Angel Investor to create a company that can expand to help many more people around the world.
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