A few weeks ago there was quite a media storm around Pepe the Frog. You are most likely already familiar with Pepe: he is generally seen as a happy or sad frog, used to convey delight or displeasure. As for the literal history of this particular meme, I see no way to improve upon the accurate histories that have already been recorded. I suggest that you read this article if you are completely and totally unfamiliar with Pepe before proceeding.
I am writing this introduction because this crossover between the dark corners of the internet and the mainstream media has created a fertile ground that may sow the seeds of a strange and unprecedented revolution in human consciousness. We are here to discuss a new form of what may be the oldest art, magic. Most articles on meme magic are either too esoteric, or they entirely miss the social and occult implications of our craft. This introduction will hopefully clearly illuminate the true nature of meme magic, while also remaining accessible to the average person. Let’s begin.
Meme magic refers to the practice of using memes to create reality. Let’s expand on a few of these terms.
Meme – Most young people are familiar with memes by virtue of growing up on the internet. In the internet sense, a meme is almost always a small picture that conveys an idea. Normally, the picture is part of an archetypal set of similar pictures that convey information in a similar fashion. Let’s forget about internet memes for a second, as, unbeknownst to most young people, there is another type of meme.
Here we have Gondola, one example of an internet meme.
The word meme has origins that predate the popularity of these fun internet pictures. The word “meme” actually allegedly originated with Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene, published in 1976, although it has some parallels with earlier ideas. Dawkins essentially posited that evolution depended on self replicating units of transmission. In simpler terms, he said that evolution happens because of tiny “things” that are able to reproduce themselves. In biology, this self-replicating thing would be your genes. You have certain genes, eventually you can have sex with someone else, and those genes will reproduce in your offspring. Some genes will be passed on into the future and others won’t, this is basically what evolution is.
He also posited that this type of evolution via self-replication doesn’t just occur biologically in the physical world: cultures and societies also obviously have ways of evolving and changing over time. What then, is the fundamental self-replicating unit that allows this cultural evolution to take place?
The answer is: the meme. Just like a gene is the smallest unit of biological information, a meme is the smallest unit of cultural information. Any practice, behavior, or idea that is passed on through generations is essentially a meme. It is not coincidental that meme and gene sound the same.
So, the wheel is, in a sense, a meme. It is an idea that was born, proved useful, and thus was passed on through the generations. Just as successful genes are passed on and bad genes tend to die out, successful memes naturally propagate and sustain themselves. If someone invented a square wheel, we could call this a bad meme: it is difficult to imagine it surviving in a culture beyond one generation. Likewise, no one had to make sure that people kept using the wheel: it proved useful and thus was naturally passed on.
A culture is then, in a sense, composed of memes in the same way that your body is created by its genes. Daoism is a meme, ancestor worship is a meme, dreadlocks are a meme, a dashiki is a meme, wearing black to a funeral is a meme, rock and roll music is essentially a meme. A meme in this sense is a type of behavioral archetype that is passed from person to person. This becomes slightly confusing because memes always have a physical manifestation, a human being can only intake memes through the five senses. It’s important to note, however, that the physical carrier of the meme is not what is being passed on. The physical carrier is just that, it is a vessel that carries the idea, the meme.
Let’s look at some examples to make sure that this idea is clear.
Rave “candy” is an excellent example of a meme. In case you (like me) have never been to a rave, essentially people that go to raves or are part of the rave / electronic music subculture will often wear rave candy to raves. If you have no idea what I’m talking about right now, a rave is basically a place where people go and (usually) take drugs while dancing to electronic music for long periods of time, it is normally quite a large event. There is definitely a rave subculture, at least in America, especially on the west coast.
Anyway, at these events, people will often wear many overlapping bracelets made of tiny beads that are bright and fluorescent colors. These beads often have messages on them, or images from pop culture. These bracelets are known as “rave candy”.
This is a perfect example of a meme. Someone started doing this, and when other people saw it was advantageous to adopt this practice in their subculture, the meme spread. Wearing rave candy confers obvious advantages onto the wearer – it designates you as part of the subculture, it attracts attention, and it probably looks cool while you are on drugs. This means that the meme hopped from person to person, and became a definitive feature of the subculture. The important thing to note here is that no one had to try and make rave candy into “a thing”. There is no rule that people have to wear it, there is no organization that runs a public relations campaign for rave candy. It is a self replicating idea that jumps from individual to individual- it is a meme.
Dreadlocks are also a meme. This is not to trivialize their spiritual significance, it is simply a fact. Dreadlocks are common in many parts of the world, but let’s zoom in on India. In India, wandering holy men called Sadhus often have their hair in dreadlocks. There are many reasons why this meme could have taken off – it’s hot in India and dreadlocks keep your hair from becoming large and messy, long hair is often associated with power and spirituality, and a particular hairstyle is often an easy way to let people know what kind of person you are and what subcultures you belong to. Whatever the reason, dreadlocks took off and now it is extremely common in India to see Sadhus wearing them, even today.
Likewise this practice spread to certain Caribbean nations, such as Jamaica, where it was adopted by the Rastafarians, most likely because of the advantages such a behavior confers upon the user. Just like the rave candy, no one had to go around making sure people put their hair in dreadlocks, there is no international dreadlocks council that has a million dollar marketing campaign for dreadlocks. It is another example of a self replicating practice that spreads spontaneously from person to person, it is another example of a meme.
We can also compare this with other naturally adopted hairstyles in other subcultures, such as the mohawk hairstyle in punk rock. No one had to make sure people put their hair into mohawks. Other punks saw someone doing it, thought it look cool, and copied them – another example of a self-replicating idea that jumps from person to person, another meme. I could keep going on and listing cultural memes endlessly. It is an interesting exercise to try and notice some on your own. The room or place that you are in right now is most likely full of physical manifestations of the ideas passed from person to person that make up your culture. Any idea that spontaneously replicates from person to person is a cultural meme.
Before we move on, I will concede that it does get confusing using the term meme in this classical sense with the advent of internet memes. If you’d like to differentiate between the two, you can use the terms cultural meme and internet meme.
We could discuss memes indefinitely but in the interest of your time, we’ll move on. Some last notes on what memes are:
- Humans have an instinct that memes should be naturally selected. Obviously people, especially with money or media influence, can attempt to push their own memes into the culture at large. This is knows as “forcing a meme”. For example, Hillary Clinton attempted to get the meme of “Dangerous Donald” to ascend into the popular consciousness. It didn’t work, and no one calls him this, because it sounds stupid. This meme failed to self replicate and died. Compare this with Donald’s own meme of Crooked Hillary. This sounds much cooler, and in the minds of his supporters, accurately characterizes her behavior. Crooked Hillary is now routinely used by the alternative media: his meme was successful, hers was not.
- Memes compete in the same way that animals compete. Terrence McKenna (who completely predicted the rise of memes) even describes ideas about family size as a meme. There is the meme of celibacy, the meme of having one child, the meme of having a small family, and the meme of having literally as many children as possible. All of these memes compete in a culture, and one or two typically dominate, just like in the animal kingdom. For example, in America today, the meme of having an eighteen child family has almost entirely died away, yet in some cultures having a large family is the dominant meme.
- When people say “Of course that’s a thing”, or “Yes, this is a thing now”, what they’re really saying is, “Of course that’s a meme”, or “Yes, this thing has now become a meme”. The idea of something becoming a full fledged meme is present in the popular consciousness, but it hasn’t crystallized enough to the point where the average person has the language they need to accurately discuss it. For example, in the movie “Mean Girls”, one character is trying to get the word “fetch” as a replacement for “cool” to catch on. Another character eventually says to her, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s never going to happen.” She is essential saying, “Stop trying to force your meme, it isn’t going to work”.
MEME MAGIC and THE OCCULT
The study of memes is known as memetics. Meme magic is simply the practical application of memetics. It is the active use of the study of memes to change society. Before we move into this fully, a brief explanation of the term magic is definitely in order.
Most people generally associate magic with stage performances or Harry Potter. Please clear those associations from your mind momentarily.
Almost all cultures on earth have had some designated group of people who were tasked with the duty of interacting with the invisible and intangible forces that governed their lives – a group of people who specifically had the job of interacting with non-physical reality.
In most early cultures, this manifested as the shaman. A shaman is a figure found in many cultures who is generally tasked with interacting with spirits and the world of the dead. Shamans with very similar tools and practices can be found basically everywhere humans have ever lived: North America, up into Finland and Sweden, over into Russia and Mongolia, through Japan and Southeast Asia, also in Africa, and elsewhere. Shamanism is truly a universal phenomena. Many cultures still have shamans or shamanic practices at the root of their cultures, such as Tibet.
Shamans can typically be found in cultures that have an active belief in spirits and the world of the dead. However, if these beliefs go away, there are still unseen forces that govern man’s life. There always is. Something replaces the shaman and cultivates the ability to interact with the non-physical world. Just to be clear, meme magic does not require a belief in the supernatural. Even if you are the most hardcore scientific atheist imaginable, you still live your life being pushed back and forth by forces that you cannot see and have no control over. You do not see your anger, only its affects, yet it sometimes can take complete control over you. You cannot physically see your memories of your childhood, yet they can have an affect on you that is greater than things that are actually right in front of you. Ideas likewise cannot be seen. You cannot show me where Atheism is, it is simply an invisible idea that creates a worldview.
In fact most of the forces that govern our modern lives are essentially immaterial with material manifestations. We cannot find “the law”, only particular manifestations of the law. “The government” does not really exist as a single physical entity, it is a collection of ideas, people, documents, and buildings, none of which are the government. My point is that being controlled by invisible forces has been a reality from the first primitive humans up until right now. It is simply a part of life.
In Western culture, our version of the shaman is the wizard, the magician, or the witch. Again, the popular conception of these things is mostly inaccurate. Western magic actually has a very rich history that unfortunately is too much to include in this short article. Suffice to say that Western people have always been interested in understanding and interacting with the non-physical world, from Plato (~400 BC), to Hermes Trismegistus (just after Christ), to Agrippa (~1500 AD) to Aleister Crowley (1900s) to the present day.
As Western culture advanced, these forces became more elaborate. It may be a good exercise to imagine all of the things that are not physically real, yet still are able to affect your life. As the culture of storytelling and the novel grew in Western culture, fiction became one of these invisible forces that altered people. It is not coincidental then that one of, if not the, most famous magician of all time in the West is Merlin. Merlin was based on an actual person. This person was not a wizard, but a bard – essentially a storyteller. Storytellers were seen as some of the ultimate magicians because their stories could literally alter your reality. Think of someone like Luke Skywalker – he is not real, yet millions and millions of people have had their lives changed forever by him. There are many stories about George Washington and the founding of America. Many of them are most likely untrue, but the effect they had on developing the nation of America was real.
Alan Moore, the author (his most famous works are the graphic novels The Watchmen and V for Vendetta) is a dedicated magician, in this sense, and has written often about the type of magic that we are discussing here. This quote, from the film The Mindscape of Alan Moore perfectly describes the fundamental nature of magic as a social engineering practice:
“There is some confusion as to what Magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if we look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic, in its earliest form is often referred to as ‘The Art’. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that Magic is art, and the art, whether that is writing, music, sculpture or any other form is literally Magic. Art is, like Magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. […]
At the moment the people who are using shamanism and Magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than to trying to wise people up, their shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people. To make people more manipulable. Their magic box is tv, and by words and by jingles they can make people all over the world think the same banal words and thoughts all at exactly the same time. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component.
The Bardic tradition of magic would place a Bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you and he might make your hens lay funny, or you might have a child born with a clump foot. If a bard were to place, not a curse upon, but a satire upon you then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates, it would destroy you in the eyes of your family, it would destroy you in your own eyes. If it was a finely worded and clever satire, that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries, then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and absurdity.”
Suffice to say, if you have not yet studied Western occult, the magic you think of when you think of wizards and magicians is essentially a caricature of what magic actually is. Magic is fundamentally at its heart the study of the science of manipulating reality. This reality can be your own internal reality, the social view of what reality is, or actual reality.
We’ll elaborate more on Western occult and meme magic at a later time, let’s keep it moving.
AVATARS and SKILLFUL MEANS
In many religions and philosophies, there is the idea of emanations, or avatars. A particular deity may choose certain forms or physical incarnations in which they can manifest. Basically, a god or goddess can become physical on Earth in different ways. The most common iteration of this idea in Western culture is Jesus and God. I am not speaking theologically right now, we are dealing with the popular conception of Christianity. Jesus is God, in a way, but he is also like an emissary of God. He is like God’s form on Earth, while still kind of being God. He is basically an avatar of God. Just like as you use an avatar to represent yourself online, Jesus was the representative of God in Christianity.
The word avatar is used in religious studies, but it is more commonly used in Hinduism and Buddhism, where this idea is much more explicit and concrete. The most famous set of avatars is in Hinduism is the ten avatars of Vishnu. You should know before we proceed that Hinduism is really the name that we as Western people gave to a large number of faiths found in India that may or may not actually share similarities with each other – there is no one thing that makes a faith “Hindu”. Since this is a popular introduction I’ll be using this term here, but it’s just something you should be aware of.
Vishnu, who is often seen as the highest deity in some forms of Hinduism, has ten different avatars that are his physical, earthly incarnations. So even though he is almost invariably depicted as a blue skinned man, usually with four arms, he has manifested on Earth in different ages as forms that range from animal to human. In fact, interestingly enough, his avatars fit relatively neatly into Darwin’s evolutionary tree. They are usually a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a half man half lion, a dwarf, a warrior, the prince / king Rama, then Buddha. We’re currently between the last two incarnations, the ninth was Buddha, and the tenth will be Kalki, a man riding a white horse with a sword who appears at the end of time to vanquish unrighteousness and evil (this should sound slightly familiar from the book of Revelations).
The ten avatars of Vishnu, Kalki is at the top
In Buddhism, there is also a system of incarnations and emanations. A true history of Buddhism would easily fill hundreds and hundreds of volumes, so I hope scholars and practitioners will forgive me for being brief, it is only for the sake of reaching more people with our message.
The one minute explanation of deity incarnations in Buddhism begins with the fact that, often unbeknownst to Westerners, the Buddha was actually (almost definitely) a real person that lived in northern India around 500 BC. After he taught a system of meditation and a philosophy of life and died, his teachings were propagated and became the earliest form of Buddhism. This had little to no emphasis on deities. Eventually however, Buddhism developed other forms and cosmologies where the Buddha was actually just an emanation, an avatar of, a higher more eternal deity that wasn’t subject to the decay and death of the human world. These forms of Buddhism that place more of an emphasis on deities and cosmology would eventually overtake what might loosely be called the “original” forms of Buddhism in almost every nation on Earth. (In case you’d like to research this further, I’m describing one difference between Mahayana and Therevada / “Hinayana” Buddhism.)
Anyway, in most modern forms of Buddhism, the idea exists that depending on the time and situation, a deity or great cosmic teacher or Buddha might choose to incarnate on Earth in a form that would benefit those beings living there. This is to say that the form the deity takes on Earth is ultimately somewhat provisional and conditional on who the people receiving the teachings are. So, in some stories, the Buddha was living up in the pure realms, being enlightened (kind of like the Buddhist version of Heaven) and saw that it was time for him to come to Earth and teach. Then, he chose the specific place, time, mother, he chose everything to make sure he would get the perfect earthly form that would allow him to “show the light” to as many beings as possible.
These incarnations persist into modern day Buddhism. For example, the Dalai Lama is an incarnation of the Buddhist deity Avalokitesvara, who is really ultimately a Buddha anyway. It is confusing, but this idea of incarnations that fit the need of the students is important for us to consider. It basically means that if the Buddha were to incarnate today, he would choose a form that fit the humans of today. We don’t need to believe in the Buddhas or Buddhism or any form of spirituality to find this idea interesting and useful. You can only receive wisdom in a form that is suited to you. Your life and your perception of the world are conditional, they are based on your moment to moment experience and your fallible sense perception and memory. Therefore, if “true wisdom” or “true knowledge” (whatever that means to you) were to manifest in front of you, you might not even recognize it. There has to be some form of meeting you halfway, this knowledge or wisdom would have to come in a form that was tailored to you in at least some sense.
Put another way, if Buddhism never happened, and the Buddha manifested in the middle of Manhattan as an Indian prince begging for food and sleeping outside, his philosophy most likely would not take off. He would have to do something differently to cater his teachings to modernity. They might even appear totally, completely different on the outside, but on the inside they would still have the same fundamental core.
This idea of catering to the audience is known in Buddhism as upaya (ooo -pie -yah), or skillful means. There is even a story where a man has a mansion that is burning down, and his young children are inside on the top floor, but when he goes to tell them that the house is burning down, they don’t understand. They are too young to grasp what is happening. He pleads with them but they think he is just playing around. So, he tells them there are great toys and gems scattered around the front yard, and that he got them each a horse and that their new horses are waiting outside. They run out of the house obviously to find nothing there. The Buddha uses this story to illustrate skillful means, justifying the mans actions by saying that even though there were no toys or horses, what they actually received (their own lives) is much better than those things ever could be.
MEMES AS SKILLFUL MEANS (INTERNET PARADIGM SHIFT)
So, with this all in mind, consider the age in which you live. We live in a largely digital world, where a toxic culture is rained down from on high into the masses, who largely exist to consume. There may be the odd artist or musician, but in general our culture and society is a top down phenomena. People with money and power curate it, and we, on the bottom, consume it. This phenomena is perfectly embodied in the former king of mass media, television. Television is one directional. You cannot interact with the shows or programming, it is obviously arranged and fed to you, requiring no input from you whatsoever.
But now a new age has come. Television is no longer the king of mass media, there is a new ruler in town that has almost entirely displaced actual televisions from the lives of young people: the internet. The internet is now indisputably the ruler of mass media and culture, as we will soon see at this point television is almost entirely subservient to the internet.
Internet, unlike television, is not one directional. You can and do interact with the internet. It not only requires your input, it flourishes from it. It requires participation on the part of the user in almost every imaginable sense. Even if you are using the internet to watch programming that would normally be on television, there is no station to tune into. You have to decide and curate what you watch: even the most passive activity on the internet is participatory.
This is a massive, unprecedented shift in our society. Mass media creates modern culture. The two are inextricably linked. Imagine the shift from radio to television, this is an even larger shift than that because both of those things are one directional.
The internet has been around for quite a while, longer than many people who are now supposedly adults have been alive. This does not mean that the full implications of the internet have hit our society. We have still been figuring out how to use the internet, because it is so different than the mass media that came before it. This is part of why the evolution of the internet has been happening so rapidly, we’ve just gotten better and better at using this incredibly amorphous form of mass media. Imagine how primitive MySpace seems compared to Twitter and Instagram – these things are not actually separated by that much time. MySpace just seems like a dinosaur because we’re moving so quickly away from it. As our use of the internet evolves, it becomes a more effective form of mass media, and its potential for social transformation also grows.
We are just now at the point of saturation where the internet has fully become integrated into our culture. Whatever the social implications of the internet are, they would not be able to transform society at a point where only 20% of the population is really capable of using it. It’s only now that basically everyone can use the internet that it is really beginning to change the every day social and cultural sphere. Of course it has radically changed certain aspects of daily life, but now the internet itself is beginning to become a part of the social fabric, with all of its implications and methods of acting.
One of the main ways this has permeated into our culture is through the internet meme. As we’ve discussed before, basically everyone knows what a meme is. Very normal people in our society now discuss memes, and use memes, and make jokes about memes in real life. This is pretty incredible considering our level of internet literacy as a society even ten or fifteen years ago. For reference, Facebook was only founded in 2004. Now the internet is fully enmeshed into the very fabric of life in America.
Consider the prevalence of Harambe jokes. I could literally go up to almost any group of young-ish people and make a joke about Harambe, and even if it wasn’t funny, they would get what I was doing and have a cultural context for it. That is pretty amazing considering that Harambe really became an internet meme, and by conventional wisdom, jokes about him should then be confined to the internet.
But that is the old paradigm, that is the way of the age gone by. It is a new age, where what happens on the internet is no different than what happens in real life.
It is possible that memetics is going to be the skillfull means through which knowledge of man’s occult power to create reality goes mainstream. Our birthright, the art and craft of manipulating reality, has always been an occult (literally “hidden”) art, confined to the shadows, waiting for a vehicle that could simply and easily convey the fundamental nature of magic to the masses. Memes could be that vehicle.
The Cincinnati Zoo actually shut down all their social media periodically because they couldn’t stop the Harambe memes. No one can stop a meme whose time has come.
Interestingly enough, even though this radical social transformation has taken place, no one really realizes that it has happened. The average, normal, person doesn’t really understand the implications of what we’re discussing, even though they live it every single day. Many academics have written huge extremely boring books on this subject, it’s been discussed in aesthetics classrooms, in sociology, in psychology, even in political science. But again, the average person doesn’t really get it, and even academics usually only view the situation through their own particular lens and fail to grasp the occult nature of this new social paradigm, where individuals can now rapidly create, curate, and alter their own reality. The masses need a way of understanding this, a way of grasping this new form of magic that will allow them to seize their own destiny.
The simplest way to explain meme magic is this: what you create is real. You can create reality. By skillfully using memes, you can literally alter reality.
Said another way:
By developing the craft of using and manipulating memes, you can participate in the creation of culture and reality.
Here I am using the word meme in every sense we’ve discussed so far, both in the sense of internet memes and cultural memes.
This is our magical paradigm, for our age. This is our revelation. This is our form of shamanism, our form of folk magic. Meme magic allows us to no longer be consumers of culture, it transforms us into creators of culture. We can make the society that we want by introducing new memes into the social sphere, and helping them to out compete the older, outdated memes.
Imagine our culture as a jungle of animals all competing. These animals are the ideas that dominate and control us. This is the first time ever where anyone, at any time, can release animals into this jungle and allow them to compete in the process of natural selection.
It is a new ball game.
MEME MAGIC IS ALREADY HAPPENING
PEPE IS NOT A WHITE SUPREMACIST
Meme magic is already real. If you’ve been wondering what meme magic has to do with Western identity, Pepe is already assisting us in taking down the enemies of Western culture: cultural marxists, anti-nationalists, and what may be loosely termed post-modern values. Observe:
One of the main faults of the left and “social justice warriors” is that they, as a rule, only think that people disagree with them for illogical reasons. In the mind of most people who are on the left, people that disagree with them suffer from some type of mental pathology. So, if you want to stop mass immigration into your country, it’s not because you’re worried about your society and your future, it’s because you’re xenophobic, you just hate foreigners for no logical reason. If you have a problem with Black Lives Matter, it’s not because you have a valid criticism, it’s because you’re racist: you hate black people. If you’re against welfare it’s because you just hate poor people. If you have a problem with Islam it’s not because of a valid issue, it’s because you’re Islamaphobic, you just hate Muslims for no reason. If you think western countries have a right to not become multicultural, you’re just a white supremacist neo-nazi, you SICK FUCK.
The problem with this is that people that actually think this way are starting to have huge influence in our society. It’s also, for the average person, a difficult narrative to counter. There’s no real way to prove that you aren’t racist, and paradoxically the left has set up a situation where actual proof that you aren’t racist just makes you seem more racist (“I’m not racist, I have a ton of black friends!”). Likewise, no one wants to be called racist or sexist in public. It’s one of the worst things you can be accused of, and when people know that the left will employ these serious accusations at the drop of a hat, it silences most people who actually have valid concerns that run contrary to the narrative that is being pushed.
So, what is there to do? The media pushing this narrative (everyone that disagrees with us is mentally sick) is extremely powerful. They literally have billions of dollars poured into them by the largest companies in the world, and most politicians are also on board. How can a small group of people possibly put a dent into this behemoth?
There is a concept in martial arts generally associated with jiu jitsu where you use the strength of your opponent against them. You turn something that is generally a strength for them into a weakness, and in this way a much weaker fighter may overcome a strong fighter.
That is exactly what we have done using meme magic.
Before we begin, imagine how seriously most people take the idea of antisemitism, racism, and things like that. Even though groups like the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) largely exist just to curtail free speech that they don’t agree with and generally play thought police, it would be pretty hard to get that narrative into the media, right?
Well, let’s take a very brief walk through the most successful iteration of meme magic thus far.
Long story short, if you have been on the internet for more than an hour and a half, you know that there is a percentage of people who will use the anonymity of the internet to say the most offensive things possible. Some most likely actually believe these things, and some are most likely just doing it for shock value, there is really no way to guess which percentage of this pie chart would be larger. So, once a meme like Pepe enters the popular consciousness, it is going to be used in this fashion. This naturally led to Pepe being portrayed as Hitler, a Nazi, with burning crosses, and in many other ways that our general society would deem “the maximum level of offensive”.
I can’t disregard the fact that many of the people circulating these images may have been actual white supremacists. I don’t want to diminish that, but it’s not the point of this article at all. Suffice to say that if you have a venue for free speech like the internet, people are going to be saying whatever they want on it, even things you may dislike. I’d take free speech over government controlled speech any day.
Anyway, many of the people circulating these memes were just trolling, using them because they were offensive. This is just a fact. (As we’ll get to shortly one of the main people responsible for the ascendancy of the “nazi / white supremacist” Pepe meme into the cultural sphere later revealed himself to be Jewish, although it’s hard to tell what’s real anymore.)
This creates a perfect storm. We have the social justice warriors and people on the left who ultimately don’t believe in free speech (no hate speech), they kind of thrive on being offended, they’re easily offended, and to them, everyone that disagrees with them is a racist homophobic nazi white supremacist.
People on twitter started to realize that by sending extremely offensive images of Pepe to journalists, these journalists could often be provoked into actually sharing the images with others. This is a very crude example of very effective meme magic: send an offensive picture to a journalist who is always looking for more attention, they retweet it or write about it, it becomes real. If what journalists write about is called “the news”, you can now turn yourself into the news using photoshop and your smartphone.
So, it basically hovered at this level of relatively meaningless trolling, until a “journalist” at the Daily Beast wrote this article:
I have to point out that it’s absolutely unfathomable that someone could get trolled this hard. The main people quoted in the article later confirmed on twitter that basically everything they told her was false, there was no “meeting over drinks” in 2015 to plan making Pepe into a “nazi” symbol, all the information they gave her was fake. Yet, because of that perfect storm, journalists are always looking for a story, and this one has everything: racist trump supporters, “white nationalism” and nazis, internet memes: it’s impossible to imagine the media at large resisting this, it’s just too flashy.
Well don’t worry, because they didn’t. After this article was published, many, many others hit the front page of media outlets worldwide letting everyone know that Pepe was now a nazi symbol.
Articles appeared in the Washington Post, on NBC News, in the International Business Times (actually, they published two, within two days of each other), in the Economist, and in Vanity Fair, and in the Atlantic all definitively stating with no irony whatsoever that Pepe the frog was a covert or overt nazi white supremacist symbol. Of course this means that Donald Jr., who once posted a picture of Pepe the frog to his instagram, must also be a white supremacist nazi. There were also many other articles I won’t bother posting. One website, Heat St., which isn’t even a left wing publication, published an article describing how ridiculous this all was, and then actually apologized and confirmed that Pepe is a neo-nazi emblem.
As I previously mentioned, television is now subservient to the internet, so this hysteria was not confined to online publications. Chris Matthews, one of the most recognizable television journalists in all of America, took time out of his primetime show on CNN to discuss an instagram post by Donald Trump Jr. and the fact that Pepe the frog is now a symbol of white nationalism.
Rachel Maddow also took time out of her primetime show on MSNBC to talk about nazi white supremacist Pepes.
I sent an extremely rare Pepe to Ms. Maddow on twitter, but unfortunately she did not respond.
Please hold on, because it gets way, way, better.
Hillary Clinton actually put a primer about Pepe being a white supremacist symbol onto her official campaign website.
This is an actual, real thing on Hillary Clinton’s website. This article, by the way, refers to the guy who originally trolled the Daily Beast, as a “prominent white supremacist“. Can you imagine getting trolled this badly? You most likely cannot.
Then, the ADL officially classified Pepe as a hate symbol on their website.
This is objectively hilarious.
Does the ADL actually have so little cases of real anti-semitism to look into that they can spend time lurking the dark corners of the internet to find Nazi versions of a cartoon frog? This is seriously something that everyone looking at this picture should ask themselves.
At this point, almost every liberal or neutral online media outlet has done a story where they are telling their readers with a straight fact that Pepe the frog, easily one of the most popular memes online ever with very little competition, is a covert symbol of neo-nazism and white supremacy. I mean seriously almost every internet news outlet has written something about Pepe now being a symbol of of white supremacy.
This Vox article actually says “Trump himself hasn’t addressed the Pepe controversy” as though discussing internet memes is actually something that sane people would expect from their presidential candidate. How can you write an article like this and still show your face in public?
The fact that Hillary Clinton’s campaign along with the mainstream media can come out with a straight face and seriously assert that Donald Trump and his family are white supremacists, using a picture of a cartoon frog posted to Instagram as proof, should show everyone in America that these people are completely unhinged and out of touch with reality in every sense.
These people were all right about one thing: there was a concerted effort around these Pepe memes. The concerted effort is not to normalize white nationalism, it is to make them look stupid. Which they now do. Some of the most influential forces and outlets in the world are literally taking the time to discuss a drawing of a cartoon frog rather than discuss the actual issues that matter right now, at one of the most critical junctures in world history. That is because this is their true nature: they don’t actually care about the issues. They only care about calling things racist and sexist and being offended by everything. They are incapable of solving anything or saying anything of merit whatsoever. They are inherently trivial people obsessed with trivial things and demons that only exist in their mind, as though there was seriously going to be an ascendancy of white supremacy in the U.S. because of an internet meme.
We, by using memes, have drawn them out of their cave and exposed their true nature for the world to see. Who can seriously look at this situation and say that the people discussing this actually have their priorities in order? It is impossible, because it is just not the case. They perceive their ability to complain and be offended as a strength, we are exposing it as a weakness, we are exposing them.
Meme magic has many practical and impractical applications, this is only one of them. I simply wanted to convey to you a brief version of the most successful manifestation of meme magic to date in hopes that it might inspire you to also step up and become a meme magician. You deserve to have a hand in directing the flow of your own society, it is your birthright, and knowledge of memes will give you that power.
Since we’ve just covered a lot of ground that normally isn’t grouped together as one topic, let’s briefly go over the main ideas we’ve covered here:
1. Memes are the fundamental units of cultural evolution.
2. There are cultural and internet memes, they are similar but different.
3. By creating and altering memes we can create and alter reality.
4. The popularization of internet memes is a direct manifestation of man’s ability to create reality. This means that an inherently esoteric craft (reality manipulation and magic) is going mainstream and may finally be realized by the masses at large.
Thus concludes our brief introduction to meme magic. This article is only a sketchy preview of what is possible. It is only a glimpse of the bright future we will create together using memes.
Praise Pepe. Meme magic is real.
Thanks for your time.