All posts filed under: Satire

“Kill All Normies” Online Culture Wars and the Rise of the Alt-Right—A Review

A Review of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt- Right, by Angela Nagle. Zero Books, $9.99 (Kindle edition).   An Irish literary critic and academic as well as a “dirtbag leftist” with bylines in Jacobin, The Baffler, and Current Affairs, Angela Nagle documents here the background and breakthroughs of the online politics which helped shape the 2016 election. It is an important topic and a fascinating one, and Nagle demonstrates the requisite impartiality: her conclusions do end up fitting her new-old-left politics nicely (as demonstrated by approving book-jacket quotes from Connor Kilpatrick of Jacobin and Amber A’Lee Frost of Chapo Trap House and Current Affairs), but they’ve garnered approval across the political spectrum, from Nagle’s neck of the woods all the way to the stodgy Never-Trumpism of the National Review. Unfortunately, one gets the impression that Nagle and Zero were both quite aware of how urgently this analysis was needed; the product seems rushed, even unfinished. Kill All Normies is merely a good start in need of deeper research, …

In Defence of Anonymity

Few recent events have united public opinion more than CNN’s petty, vindictive and astonishingly self-defeating investigation into the life of an anonymous Redditor who had created a mischievous GIF aimed at the station. It had repurposed a clip of Donald Trump clotheslining WWE CEO Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania by putting a CNN logo on McMahon’s face. Many thought it puerile and obnoxious when the President tweeted the GIF out to the world but when the media giant targeted its obscure, anonymous creator—discovering his real-life Facebook page and implicitly threatening that they would expose him if his postings annoyed them again—their bullying angered even Trump’s liberal critics. One did not have to like “@HansAssholeSolo” to dislike the power imbalance. Being so dense as to think that people would side with the multi-billion dollar corporation says something about the delusions of the media classes. Still, some sympathised with the network. Most of them were journalists. David Frum, the Atlantic columnist, proclaimed: Predictably, this did not go down well on Twitter. “Spoken like someone who does not fear for their safety,” wrote “@SaucissonSec”. …

Your Guide to Blaming Russia for Everything

There’s a secret that not many people know. It’s time you were briefed on it. Close the door and make sure you’re not being followed. Things have gone too far to keep this under wraps any longer. This is going to feel like Ivan Drago punched you in the face. This time there’s no Rocky Balboa to dance around in a boxing ring wrapped in a flag in slow-motion and save freedom. It’s just you and me. This is liberty’s last stand against the barbarian hordes of the steppes. It’s time to wake up and smell the dark-roast Kremlin coffee. I’m talking dark-roast as in a steaming cup of pitch-black, irredeemable evil splashed in your face right after you smell it. If it’s any consolation for the disturbing content to come, the following semi-information will allow you to criticize populist, white Republicans as well as Russians, so it’s an automatic win-win. Let’s start at the beginning. Remember the serpent who tempted Eve to disobey God? That serpent was actually called Vladimir Serputin and he was …