Recently, the cesspit that is Twitter has found itself the battleground for a war between two of the Internet’s loudest partisan groups. No, they are not the Democrats and Republicans. It’s between the uber-fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and acolytes of legendary director Martin Scorsese.
There’s a tweet I’ve been thinking about far too much. On Oct. 21, writer and columnist for The Intercept Kate Aronoff sent out a rather strange looking picture of Facebook CEO and possible lizard-man Mark Zuckerberg and presidential candidate Pete Buttegieg doing their best at mimicking human emotions while driving a car, captioned with the statement, “when you see a peasant being naughty.” It’s a combination of a singularly strange image and a perfect caption for the moment, and I really can’t get it out of my head.
When you think about politically charged debates regarding the nature of the Iraq War and the morality of American military activity on the world stage, does Ellen DeGeneres cross your mind? Until very recently, I’d assume that answer was a definite no.
Unless you’re perennial front-runners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or the ascendent Elizabeth Warren, it’s tough to be a Democratic candidate for president. With the troika of the former vice president, the left-wing folk hero and the plan-touting senator eating up almost all available political and media oxygen, the other 20-odd candidates looking in are shut out in the cold. No one has felt this deprivation quite like California Senator Kamala Harris, once pegged by many as the odds-on favorite of the race.
Having just spent the previous semester working in Parliament, I can speak from experience that Brexit has made the British political class and hoi polloi thoroughly miserable, having sucked up every last bit of political oxygen and energy from an already exhausted nation. So how did they get here?
Shocking news: President Donald Trump gets made fun of in the media a lot. Crazy, right? Not like this is anything new, considering Trump’s been a pop culture punching bag for over three decades. If the concept of making fun of Trump on late-night TV was a person, it’d have three kids and two divorces by now. Now that he’s President of the United States, we’ve got wall-to-wall media coverage dedicated to various refutations of his administration and his equally abhorrent partners on Capitol Hill.
In the swirling vortex of unhinged toxicity and rampant moronic behavior that was 2014-era YouTube, one content team stood out as being somewhat watchable and personable. That braintrust was h3h3 productions, comprised of husband and wife team Ethan and Hila Klein. In the channel’s halcyon days, Ethan specialized in goofy reviews of bizzare internet videos, which he reacted to with a mix of disgust and outsized enthusiasm. If you desperately needed someone to make fun of DJ Khaled hitting on women in an abandoned pier on a jetski at 3 a.m., or laugh at a fake prank video involving a group of grown men calling themselves “The Salad Boys,” h3h3 was just the ticket. The combination of the overenthusiastic, loudmouthed Ethan and the shy, sardonic Hila was a winning one.
After a brutally long primary election cycle and a head-spinning run-up to the general election, the 2018 midterm elections are finally behind us. Sure, the heralded “blue wave” was more of a blue splash, but Democrats took back the House of Representatives and evened the score in governor’s mansions across the country. A new wave of exciting progressive politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) represent the likely future of the Democratic party, marking the first time the Democratic Party has bothered to actually care about people since 1967.
For those of you lucky enough not to know, the term incel is a contracted version of the phrase “involuntary celibate” and describes a person who defines themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one. In its current use, self-described incels are overwhelmingly white and male, and their behavior centers around a seething resentment towards women, girls and conventionally successful men.
Between the untold amount of Fortnite streamers that secretly love Hitler and “Top 10 Drops of Sweat That Rolled Down LeBron’s Face” YouTube videos, you might encounter advertisements put out by a group called Prager University. Calling them ads is a bit of a stretch, because most of them run in the four minute range. In fact, these ads are the channel’s uncut content, stuck in front of the actual video you were trying to watch. These videos are slickly produced lectures that claim to be short, information-dense overviews of contemporary historical and political issues. As their slogan goes, “Short Videos: Big Ideas.” What’s so terrible about that, you may ask?