This probably isn’t worth the time it takes to write about it, but even crudely-drawn graphics, the kind we see on Twitter, have been polarized.
But anyway. What I see on Twitter is that the Pepe graphic is almost exclusively used by white supremacists and MAGAts. Wojak, on the other hand, is almost exclusively used by those who skew normal; i.e., non-racists & Democrats. They’ve come to represent, at least to me, different sides of the culture war.
I hate them equally. No matter the message or intent of the posters who use them, the drawings come across as hateful and hostile, the sort of thing you’d see on a racist flyer taped to a telephone pole in an ethnic neighborhood. They remind me of the cartoon Jewish caricatures Goebbels published in Der Stürmer (you can look that shit up yourself, if you feel you must). They may not come from the same place (well, Pepe does, for sure), but they look like they come from the same place.
Look, I’m all for graphic memes. The photographic kind, that is, like the guy checking out a new chick while his girlfriend looks on disapprovingly, the Vince McMahon reaction sequence, or the Orange County Chopper argument. Those can be, and are, used by anyone, and are generally disassociated from politics, race, and hate.
The cartoon ones? I’m okay with Swole Doge vs. Cheems and This is Fine. But I shudder every time I see Pepe or Wojak, no matter what the underlying message is, and wish people would quit using them.
© 2022, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “Pepe, Wojak, & Goebbels”
Is V. McMahon still bff with T. FormerGuy? RE Twitter, mayhap E. Musk will buy it and destroy it as a public service.
Thanks for the research I don’t have to do. I knew the Pepe meme had been subverted by the racists by the video of famous actual nazi Richard Spencer getting face punched by a masked, hoodie wearing antifa super soldier. Whilst in the midst of bigot-splaining his Pepe lapel pin to the camera. I could watch it over and over and it never gets old. Like Buzz Aldrin decking that heckler. Society would be more polite if fisticuffs was still a thing, ‘come on, put up your dukes’. But since this is the USA it would instantly turn into Shootout at the OK Corral, if not The St Valentines Day Massacre.
The funny war video vlogger Lazerpig uses that other ugly face meme on his videos. I have to think the ugliness is the point, war is certainly hideously ugly. Same with the extreme profanity that war and military service seems to require. And the heavy drinking and whoring culture- sex worker overworking, to be PC? The ugly has to escape somewhere.
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