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Why memes are so effective


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2022 Jul 22, 6:32pm   30,322 views  335 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (55)   💰tip   ignore  

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/the-revenge-of-the-shape-rotators

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/the-revenge-of-the-shape-rotators-735

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/the-revenge-of-the-shape-rotators-a5e


lying with taut talking points or evocative images is easy. hell, that’s what they’re for.

but memes that lie mostly do not work.

they are not funny or evocative because the analogy fails. it’s code that won’t compile. only that which draws valid comparison sets off the associational informational cascade that leads to the vast enhancements in informational density that make this modality special.

and without that your meme loses its potency.

you can only tell people so much in a brief span.

that’s why they call it an “attention economy.”

the true meme gets you to run code you already have installed.

that’s why it is so powerful and why its effect cumulate.

we are just starting to see the capability of this jump in communication evolution.

it will shake worlds.

and this is a glorious thing.

it skewers everything.

no one is safe.

(not even if they were promised that there would be a monkey to help them)

the speed with which this can pour a spicy glass of “shut the hell up” and provoke real thought by eliciting and evoking analogy is unprecedented as is the sublime, anarchic free market to select and spread the best means of doing so.

once, the powers that be needed fear only a few cartoonists and voices and could easily suppress their spread. now you must fight against the full force of the insight and creativity of the global myriads and the relentless upvote of the informational instantiations which best work to convey meaning as infallibly adjudicated by an audience of billions that play off one another like jazz night at birdland.


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1   HeadSet   2022 Jul 22, 8:00pm  

Patrick says

but memes that lie mostly do not work.

Example to the contrary:

"Know why you never got polio? CAUSE YOUR MOM HAD YOU VACCINATED."

This unfortunately worked when the Covid jab came out, despite the obvious logic flaws. Too many people think that the Covid shot is in the same league as a polio or measles shot because it also is delivered by syringe.
2   Hircus   2022 Jul 22, 8:36pm  

HunterTits says

But 99% of Left meme attempts fall flat.


So true. I think one of the few left memes I ever laughed at was when they made fun of Trump using a big marker to write on a map of the usa around the time of some looming storm in SE states. But I have a feeling those memes were probably actually created by one of the few conservatives/independents who became disillusioned with trump.
5   Patrick   2022 Jul 23, 8:31am  





but look at those temperatures closely. they’re lower, not higher. it’s not the world that changed, it’s the manner in which the world is being presented. this has long worked to mislead, but this ability is failing, supplanted by a new memetic technology.

memes like the one above are anti-propagandistic gold. their informational density is surreal and they lay plain not only how shabby this trick is but how the trick is done so you can more easily spot the next one. best, they teach away from the provocative image that previously evoked fear or rage and invert it so that the same image in the future now screams “they are manipulating you” instead.

it’s an entire argument, indictment, and informational immune booster in one simple medium.

memes are changing everything.
6   Patrick   2022 Jul 23, 8:36am  

welcome to the age where you can devastate a whole movement with one well chosen flourish:



for perhaps the first time in history, we have the template to refute big lies more quickly and more comprehensively than they can be told.
7   Patrick   2022 Jul 23, 8:43am  






the prior impact is effaced and replaced by the new (and yet retains its power). the old images, even unaltered, wind up inverted in significance because the new ones are more compelling, more memorable, and evoke greater meaning.

where once they evoked status, they now cry fraud.

it’s dazzlingly effective and it multiplies and expands to suck in all adjacent energy.




and, let’s face it, this is way more fun.




there is just nowhere to hide from this. the ridicule and linkage is too intense, too fast, and mutates too rapidly consuming everything you try to use against it.

no sooner do you utter the phrase “malign creativity” than there are 200 memes that have adopted it as their own gleefully boomeranging it back at you.

all information is meme-fodder and the jiujitsu of using the power of someone’s own images against them has a wonderful feeling of turnabout being fair play.

and striking back in response to this is difficult.

fighting humor with stridence is a terrible look.

that’s as low status as it gets.

never bring outrage to a meme fight.

they so desperately want to stop this because they cannot compete with it.
8   richwicks   2022 Jul 23, 8:50am  

Patrick says

for perhaps the first time in history, we have the template to refute big lies more quickly and more comprehensively than they can be told.


And in my opinion, that was the whole point in making the Internet.

It's also why there's so much censorship, but that effort will fail.

It is said that Zbigniew Brzezinski coined the term of "a great awakening" where he fretted that in time the populace would realize they are largely lied to and systematically propagandized into harming themselves and being taken advantage of. Before I'm dead, I expect we'll be there and I honestly think this may have been Trump's biggest legacy, whether he intended it or not.
9   Patrick   2022 Jul 23, 9:01am  

OMG, this is brilliant and I think a great illustration of the power of turning the lies and stupidity of wokeness against itself:

https://notthebee.com/article/i-wont-apologize


I don't know for sure that he's the one who originated it, but writer Matt Walsh has certainly popularized this increasing tendency among online conservatives. Whenever a leftist or progressive revolutionary weighs in on an issue or offers a condemning retort, the response is to quote tweet with the phrase "pronouns in bio."

The point being that someone who fastidiously toes the line of what's-happening-now to the degree that they feel it necessary or even morally responsible to tell everyone what pronouns they use for themselves is not someone in whose wisdom we should place much confidence.

As I said, the trend is catching on, and as much as they pretend it doesn't bother them, it routinely evokes some of the most indignant responses.


Just quoting a wokie and adding "pronouns in bio" is more devastating than "OK, boomer" ever was.

It's the kind of jujitsu that el gato malo was talking about. How can they fight the weight of their own stupidity?
10   richwicks   2022 Jul 23, 9:02am  

HunterTits says


HeadSet says


Example to the contrary:


Oh, there are exceptions. Make me laugh, too.

But 99% of Left meme attempts fall flat.



I'll say something that I bet more than 95% of the people here will disagree with. The left was the first to create the art of memes







They weren't trying to be funny in my opinion back then, they were trying to wake "the right" up. Bush really was awful. I think a lot of people forget this, or still deny it.

11   richwicks   2022 Jul 23, 9:04am  

HunterTits says

Patrick says


for perhaps the first time in history, we have the template to refute big lies more quickly and more comprehensively than they can be told.


This is why they ban memes in Europe.


They can ban whatever they like in Europe. Just make a website in the United States. Their laws don't apply here.
12   richwicks   2022 Jul 23, 9:35am  

HunterTits says

Yes. Back before they all collectively went insane. Or were just starting to.


I think quite a few of them just stayed where they were and let what they thought were principled, moral people, go along like bulls with a nose ring being led.

The reason I remember the memes of those times, is I created a few.

If we get a new Neocon "republican" president, he will suck, and you will see quite quickly how fast the worm turns and it will be "the right can't meme" in short order.
14   AmericanKulak   2022 Jul 23, 6:18pm  

richwicks says

I'll say something that I bet more than 95% of the people here will disagree with. The left was the first to create the art of memes

Yeah, I gotta disagree. Leftist memes pretty much all suck.

They also called Reagan Hitler, too. And Nixon I think, but I wasn't alive then so I'm not sure.
15   Bd6r   2022 Jul 23, 7:52pm  

Rare to see more than 1 conservative sticker on truck. Usually just FJB or trump won or trump 2024 around here. Lefties on other hand plaster their puny cars with tens of stickers.
16   richwicks   2022 Jul 24, 8:16am  

Bd6r says

Rare to see more than 1 conservative sticker on truck. Usually just FJB or trump won or trump 2024 around here. Lefties on other hand plaster their puny cars with tens of stickers.


I think the screw up, except for "Trump '20", is that none of those bumper stickers are real.

https://www.amazon.com/conservative-bumper-stickers/s?k=conservative+bumper+stickers

Really, the cartoonist was AFRAID to put up authentic stickers.
17   Bd6r   2022 Jul 24, 8:51am  

richwicks says

Really, the cartoonist was AFRAID to put up authentic stickers.

Yeah, other than trump 20 I have not seen any of those. T shirt also is fake. Lately driving around TX countryside I also see explicit Fuck Biden stickers.
18   HeadSet   2022 Jul 24, 8:53am  

richwicks says

I think the screw up, except for "Trump '20", is that none of those bumper stickers are real.

Yep, when building a straw man the author cannot use facts.
22   Tenpoundbass   2022 Nov 29, 6:38am  

Bd6r says

Rare to see more than 1 conservative sticker on truck. Usually just FJB or trump won or trump 2024 around here. Lefties on other hand plaster their puny cars with tens of stickers.


The MAGA hat, has got to be the biggest collection of new unused hats in the history of hats. People will have a brand New MAGA hat never worn in 20 years. They only time they get worn is a Trump rally.
23   Tenpoundbass   2022 Nov 29, 6:49am  

Proud of you Son!


25   Patrick   2022 Nov 29, 10:29am  

Tenpoundbass says

Proud of you Son!






This is appropriate behavior. It should be strongly rewarded by everyone.

If I ever see a tampon dispenser in a men's room, I will do the same thing.
29   HeadSet   2023 Jan 18, 7:51am  

They say "You won't fix anything by posting memes." What are they saying, we need to go after them?
36   Patrick   2023 Feb 13, 4:10pm  

https://barsoom.substack.com/p/just-fucking-lift-bro


Years of increasingly deranged cancel culture, of watching as friends that I’d thought to be intelligent, sane, balanced people on the right side of history got mind-jacked by the Skinner box and reduced little by little to little more than bugmen with little souls animated by little ideas about ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ that they wielded like daggers against everyone who looked like me ... one day, I thought to myself, these people are insane, everything they say is insane. So I started looking up those people being criticized the most viciously by the people I’d once respected. My introduction was Vox Day, who the science fiction writer Charles Stross was ripping on at the time. Vox’s blog and its comments section provided the entrance to the rabbit hole, and soon enough I’d discovered /pol/, right-wing podcasts, and all the rest. Over a period of weeks I immersed myself in the meme culture of the Alt-Right, and its savage humour ripped away my illusions and burnt away my emotional triggers with an agonizing, glorious catharsis. To enter the wilds of /pol/ in those days, even just to lurk, was akin to shamanic initiation, for it forced you to confront horrors, to face the possibility that everything you’d been taught to treat as sacred and beyond question was nothing more than a lie, that your entire worldview had been carefully constructed from raw falsehood ... and in the midst of this horror, to laugh. ...

The objections of the left, motivated as they are by resentful destructiveness and a hatred of all things beautiful and strong, are of little interest to me. The left merely wishes to emasculate men, to make them soft, pliable, self-effacing, and dependent, for the left feeds on weakness and misery – the weaker and more depressed its male extensions become, the more ferociously powerful the horde. The left is like an entropic vortex. To get sucked into it is to be subjected to a constant harassment of passive-aggressive discouragements that inexorably communicate, in a million different ways, through little comments and body-language and tone of voice, that physically powerful, virile men are to be regarded with suspicion. You don’t want to be one of those people. One of those gym-bros, those frat boys, those meatheads. Everyone knows it’s more important to be intelligent than strong, and being strong means you must also be very stupid. What are you wasting time in the gym for? Here, man, I made pot brownies, let’s talk about the gender spectrum. ...

So perhaps it is not to be wondered at that these objections crop up repeatedly. There is a certain kind of man to whom they appeal, indeed seem quite natural. I know this well, for I used to be just that sort of man. I made the same arguments, and I thought I was very funny and clever to make them. But they were just a cope. An excuse. A defence mechanism, to reassure myself that it was okay, indeed preferable, to be squishy and weak. After all, that meant I wasn’t wasting my time, I wasn’t one of those vain narcissists, I was one of the smart ones. All just cope and nonsense. ...

The dark lords of the World Economic Forum sought to trap us indoors, weakening our spirits as they paralyzed our bodies with the seductions of electronic comforts. The weak of body are weak in spirit, and easily ruled. I responded to this challenge with an inner howl whose intensity only grew over time. You would make me weak? I will become the opposite.
37   AmericanKulak   2023 Feb 13, 7:04pm  

Speaking to the above quoted text:

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