Thursday, November 10, 2016

Song of the Day #345 - Ween - You Fucked Up

You really fucked up

I'm not really feeling any better about Trump winning the election. Rn I am lamenting the internet. It is not the most important tragedy of the election by any stretch but we have plenty of time for all of them.

For years now, I have fought against the pond scum that is the alt-right flooding onto my favorite sites, like reddit and 4chan. Most people know that reddit went from extremely nerdy tech-focused link aggregation to the home of /r/the_donald, but I feel like there aren't many of us anymore that remember when 4chan was leftist. Given the site's unique "provocation = proliferation" pattern, it isn't surprising that the dominant culture is the outside world's "counterculture", and indeed, until the Obama administration, 4chan was mostly anti-Bush, socially progressive (albeit often in a needlessly vulgar, irreverent way), and economically leftist.

Mostly, though, it was apolitical, and this is what changed more than any political shift between the Bush and Obama years. Through a well-documented and systematic attack, the white supremacist website Stormfront disseminated their lies and conspiracies on 4chan. Their goal was to reform the angsty misfits that have always been 4chan's core into outright racists and hardcore conservatives. It was, unfortunately, an overwhelming success. Before, 4chan's self-identification as outcasts, loners, and even losers was owned by each and every one of them, it was almost a point of pride, and if there was some discontent underneath, it was an intimate sort of blameless sadness. But the Stormfront invasion convinced them that for every injustice or unhappiness in their lives, there was an Other to blame. By focusing their dissatisfaction into rage against Obama, minorities, and "SJWs", they created the horrific fusion of memes and hate that is the alt-right.

I fucking hate these people. They're completely creatively bankrupt. Their medium is only the shitpost, their only cultural contribution photoshops of Pepe. Every single day I am shocked to find /pol/tards posting on places like /mu/ or /lit/ or /a/. Do they think a single person they admire in these fields agrees with them? Could they actually believe that anything they were doing or saying was in any way "cool" with anyone they find "cool"? How could they look at all these amazing works of art that were produced from the sadness and pain and injustice that they too felt, these beautiful works that seek only to make some sense of the world, to find some balance and peace within it, and think, nope, it's brown people, brown people and cucks, they are the problem, and I have a cartoon frog that says so... god dammit, beyond not a single one of them ever producing anything of worth, they actually ruined so many memes too, I used to dump Matt Furie comics on /v/ so many years ago, but now...

And even worse is that they're wholly morally bankrupt too, but you already knew that. It isn't even the sort of capitalist evil we're so used to: there's no bottom line here, just illogical rage. These are people that believe intolerance of intolerance is as bad as intolerance of an entire culture, who believe "racist" is a protected class, who believe their specific pedigree is the inevitable ubermensch, only kept down by the conspiracies of an inferior collective. I don't understand how they can possibly achieve lasting happiness and I would feel bad for them if it was evident that they had even once considered the happiness of another person in their lives. This attitude is destroying the parts of 4chan I loved best. They have "red pilled" /r9k/ from a humble den of commiserating losers to a endless gyre of misogyny and conspiracy. They have forced fandoms in every medium into pointless blind struggles against nonexistent cabals. No longer is the prevailing attitude "this person is also on 4chan, we must have something in common, we are already halfway to friends, even if we disagree now", it's "this person shouldn't be on 4chan, because they are showing outward empathy, and they are therefore a cuck, and maybe also a shill". My most precious memories of discovering and sharing interests and emotions and experiences too obscure to survive anywhere besides a slow-moving thread at 3AM on a Peruvian pottery imageboard are being blotted out by bickering and isolationism and pride in hate.

The one thing I always held on to was the idea that I was right, that the majority of the world was on my side, that I would be validated by history... And, yeah, I still think that. I feel that just as strongly today as any other day. Four years is not a long time. By 2020 we will be back on track. I really believe that. Set back, delayed, disgraced, damaged - but back on track. But four years is a long time on the internet, and I shudder to think about how much worse 4chan will get now that /pol/ has been validated on the worldwide stage. Between this and their recent financial woes, maybe it's time I quit the site. 12 years I've wasted there. Almost half my life. Welp.

Even in the shorter term, we all know they've fucked up. Both candidates would perpetuate the sort of corporate capitalism that has been slowly choking out the middle class, sure, but at least Clinton was making some effort towards fixing widespread unchecked devaluation of labor, the true evil in the world today. But Trump... Trump straight up does not give a shit about poor people. Most of the people that voted Trump are going to pay more taxes and receive less benefits and still they voted for it willingly because they have all the same ignorant hate he does, and so maybe they can get as rich as he is, and get all the tax breaks he's giving himself and his buddies. Great.

This song is about that feeling. I'm sorry these posts aren't very much about music but that's really all there is to this song. They fucked up, and now they'll have to pay. Look forward to more political ranting tangentially related to a song in coming days, until I'm distracted by something else, probably anime.

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