Author Topic: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods  (Read 659 times)

Beck Nergal

  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • SPAG
    • View Profile
The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« on: August 16, 2017, 04:34:26 pm »
Hi guys,

I'm kicking around writing an article about the development of shitposting on the Internet, and it pretty clearly starts with Discordia and gets crappier from there. Early days, newsgroups, RAW, pure madness, all good fun in plain text. But I wanted to hear your opinions on how things have progressed from there, and maybe help point me in some directions for better context and accuracy when talking about it.

I know Discordianism started long before the Internet, and was embraced early on newsgroups.

I think the Church of the SubGenius started a bit after that and caught momentum as a sibling/cousin movement.

Then there was Kibology into the mid-90s.

After that I have a bit of a gap until the advent of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a broad symbol beyond evolution arguments.

Then... there's modern shitposting and Kekistan. And that's where I'm hitting an unpleasant wall because of how, to me, it seems really close to literal Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Their flag is a green, meme-filled Nazi flag, but when it's waved at the same rally as the actual Nazi flag, when they call people cucks, when they complain about SJWs way more than engage in pseudo-Dadaist nonsense... well, could anyone help me understand any of these angles a bit better than I do?

I've been a non-practicing Discordian for years, have appreciated the humor and sentiment since the newsgroup days. And now... there's this frog. Who, according to Knowyourmeme is a fictitious Egyptian chaos deity.

I mean, Eris is a way better chaos deity than that shitbag frog by any measure, but there have to be some dots I'm missing along the way.

Faust

  • Tyrannical Overlord
  • Deserved It
  • *
  • Posts: 82501
  • The Greasy Strangler
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 04:52:40 pm »
The frog has been adopted by imbeciles, their cause will go exactly like any other chaos worshippers with only a passing cursory knowledge of what chaos means, they make a prayer and get exactly what they asked for, a president who they thought embodied their nature, who actually turned out to be fragile, emotionally, physically.

The frog will survive them, and be laughing as realise what it actually means to get your prayers answered by Eris, or MuMu or Kek. Sadly because of their hubris we also get to sink into the shit.

Hitler lost the war after seeking the Spear of Longinus, and the carpenter isn't even a vengeful god. What do you think will happen to these guys?

PoFP

  • Word-Salad Enthusiast and Terrified Meat Sack
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 13068
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 05:18:11 pm »
I would say that the only relation between Shitposting and anything related to Discordianism is the fact that the humor in both is generally subversive, or at least absurd. I would argue that they were born separately, and developed separately.

As far as I know, modern day shitposting is just propagation of unintelligible memes for the sake of irony. This obsession with irony among the Alt-Right shitposters creates a sense of community when one shares in the creation and distribution of these unintelligible memes, and this allows for easy displacement of responsibility for any sort of offensive content/concepts the shitposting memes might contain. One can easily blow it off as "Bro, I'm just posting this stuff ironically, the comedy comes from your butthurt. None of us actually care about this shit. " etc.

Usually, Discordian newsgroup exchanges include memes that would seem unintelligible to someone who couldn't read in between the lines, or to someone who wasn't aware of Discordianism's background. In this sense, you could say shitposting is a bit of an esoteric community for the same reasons Discordianism is considered esoteric. The difference is, Discordianism was intended to get you to question things. Whereas shitposting serves no purpose but to be ironic and esoteric for the sake of being ironic and esoteric.

Not only that, but Shitposting has the unfortunate side effect of lowering the bar for acceptable communication to the point that people are desensitized and resistant to actual communication.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

Beck Nergal

  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • SPAG
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 06:16:05 pm »
I would say that the only relation between Shitposting and anything related to Discordianism is the fact that the humor in both is generally subversive, or at least absurd. I would argue that they were born separately, and developed separately.

As far as I know, modern day shitposting is just propagation of unintelligible memes for the sake of irony. This obsession with irony among the Alt-Right shitposters creates a sense of community when one shares in the creation and distribution of these unintelligible memes, and this allows for easy displacement of responsibility for any sort of offensive content/concepts the shitposting memes might contain. One can easily blow it off as "Bro, I'm just posting this stuff ironically, the comedy comes from your butthurt. None of us actually care about this shit. " etc.

Usually, Discordian newsgroup exchanges include memes that would seem unintelligible to someone who couldn't read in between the lines, or to someone who wasn't aware of Discordianism's background. In this sense, you could say shitposting is a bit of an esoteric community for the same reasons Discordianism is considered esoteric. The difference is, Discordianism was intended to get you to question things. Whereas shitposting serves no purpose but to be ironic and esoteric for the sake of being ironic and esoteric.

Not only that, but Shitposting has the unfortunate side effect of lowering the bar for acceptable communication to the point that people are desensitized and resistant to actual communication.

That's an interesting perspective. I hadn't considered that there might simply not be any hard connection, because I see thematic parallels, at least in some form.

But yeah, there's some nested irony there when the irony shitposters claim to embrace actually makes them unironically connected to Neo-Nazis. At some point irony simply breaks.

PoFP

  • Word-Salad Enthusiast and Terrified Meat Sack
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 13068
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 06:34:08 pm »
I would say that the only relation between Shitposting and anything related to Discordianism is the fact that the humor in both is generally subversive, or at least absurd. I would argue that they were born separately, and developed separately.

As far as I know, modern day shitposting is just propagation of unintelligible memes for the sake of irony. This obsession with irony among the Alt-Right shitposters creates a sense of community when one shares in the creation and distribution of these unintelligible memes, and this allows for easy displacement of responsibility for any sort of offensive content/concepts the shitposting memes might contain. One can easily blow it off as "Bro, I'm just posting this stuff ironically, the comedy comes from your butthurt. None of us actually care about this shit. " etc.

Usually, Discordian newsgroup exchanges include memes that would seem unintelligible to someone who couldn't read in between the lines, or to someone who wasn't aware of Discordianism's background. In this sense, you could say shitposting is a bit of an esoteric community for the same reasons Discordianism is considered esoteric. The difference is, Discordianism was intended to get you to question things. Whereas shitposting serves no purpose but to be ironic and esoteric for the sake of being ironic and esoteric.

Not only that, but Shitposting has the unfortunate side effect of lowering the bar for acceptable communication to the point that people are desensitized and resistant to actual communication.

That's an interesting perspective. I hadn't considered that there might simply not be any hard connection, because I see thematic parallels, at least in some form.

But yeah, there's some nested irony there when the irony shitposters claim to embrace actually makes them unironically connected to Neo-Nazis. At some point irony simply breaks.

I agree, there are definitely parallels. For example, the fact that both are geared toward breaking down constructs created by societal norms. Shitposting just breaks down comedy and communication, while Discordianism breaks down dogma, social pressure, and influence mechanisms.

And yeah, the shitposting is often intended to also be anti-Political Correctness, so it ends up normalizing hate-speech. Even if 98% of the people who shitpost offensive shit aren't actually bigoted, it desensitizes them to hate speech and gives actual bigots the impression that they aren't a minority anymore. And of course, it escalates from there into Nazi rallies NOT immediately getting shut the fuck down. Which is unacceptable.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

The Wizard Joseph

  • Tryna transcend duality or whatever
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 47228
  • Product of Wisconsin
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 09:41:31 pm »
The frog has been adopted by imbeciles, their cause will go exactly like any other chaos worshippers with only a passing cursory knowledge of what chaos means, they make a prayer and get exactly what they asked for, a president who they thought embodied their nature, who actually turned out to be fragile, emotionally, physically.

The frog will survive them, and be laughing as realise what it actually means to get your prayers answered by Eris, or MuMu or Kek. Sadly because of their hubris we also get to sink into the shit.

Hitler lost the war after seeking the Spear of Longinus, and the carpenter isn't even a vengeful god. What do you think will happen to these guys?

THIS
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

LuciferX

  • Metanoia
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 28062
  • fripping moncrey!
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 10:50:43 pm »
Re: above, I have it on good authority Hequet has been stirred to give Anubis full interrogation privileges - whole different kind of rendition this time.
Hic Salta?
________
Constant Eso-Opthamologist of Elicited Stopped-Clock Illusions, brings it back, or sinners just repent______

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 130574
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 06:16:41 pm »
History of Shitposting

A topic close to my heart


A good place to start is the usenet rec.pets.cats invasion. This is one of the first instances of organized internet trolling. The short version:

alt.tasteless mass-invaded this newsgroup specifically for cat lovers. They started slowly, by posting bad cat advice. Then they slowly turned up the temperature, getting more extreme ("when my cat misbehaves I pick him up by the tail and swing him around 3-4 times"), and participating in the hostile reaction to those posts ("people like you should be beaten to death with hammers"). This was before the September that Never Ended, so there wasn't a lot of irony on the net yet, people didn't have good tools for recognizing it and routing around it. It became a huge, hilarious spectacle.

I actually first heard about this in a sociology of the internet class - good times.




To speak a little bit more about the modern day form of shitposting....

Last weekend, a kid showed up at the Charlottesville rally, marched with the white nationalists, got separated from them and was surrounded by counter-protesters.... took off his shirt and said "I'm not a real white supremacist, I'm just here for the fun". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacist-march-for-fun_us_5994647de4b009141641d8f4

I think that if you can understand what happened here, you can understand a lot about right-wing youth radicalization via 4chan and similar places.

The anonymous internet forum gives people license to say what they want without any blowback. There is no identity at play there, all content is evaluated by itself, with no context of who said it.

The veil of anonymity gives you a safe space to say shitty taboo things without really meaning them. A lot of people experiment with racist ideas there, not motivated by hatred or fear, but mainly thrillseeking--the rush of violating a taboo. They know they're not supposed to say the n-word, and that's why it's fun to say it.

But the thing about irony is, if you gaze too deeply into the ironic abyss, it gradually becomes sincere. Our minds have a way of rationalizing the things we're thinking.

and it doesn't help that stormfront and other genuinely racist groups like to get into the mix -- so the ironic racism gets mixed with genuine racism, creating a fuzzy border between the two, a gradient across which osmosis takes place.

Pop it in the oven for 45 minutes and you've got kids shouting WHITE POWER for fun, the living shitposter.



I call this phenomenon THE MAN IN THE IRONIC MASK


PoFP

  • Word-Salad Enthusiast and Terrified Meat Sack
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 13068
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2017, 06:24:39 pm »
History of Shitposting

A topic close to my heart


A good place to start is the usenet rec.pets.cats invasion. This is one of the first instances of organized internet trolling. The short version:

alt.tasteless mass-invaded this newsgroup specifically for cat lovers. They started slowly, by posting bad cat advice. Then they slowly turned up the temperature, getting more extreme ("when my cat misbehaves I pick him up by the tail and swing him around 3-4 times"), and participating in the hostile reaction to those posts ("people like you should be beaten to death with hammers"). This was before the September that Never Ended, so there wasn't a lot of irony on the net yet, people didn't have good tools for recognizing it and routing around it. It became a huge, hilarious spectacle.

I actually first heard about this in a sociology of the internet class - good times.

Well, shit. I had no idea it started during Usenet.


To speak a little bit more about the modern day form of shitposting....

Last weekend, a kid showed up at the Charlottesville rally, marched with the white nationalists, got separated from them and was surrounded by counter-protesters.... took off his shirt and said "I'm not a real white supremacist, I'm just here for the fun". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacist-march-for-fun_us_5994647de4b009141641d8f4

I think that if you can understand what happened here, you can understand a lot about right-wing youth radicalization via 4chan and similar places.

The anonymous internet forum gives people license to say what they want without any blowback. There is no identity at play there, all content is evaluated by itself, with no context of who said it.

The veil of anonymity gives you a safe space to say shitty taboo things without really meaning them. A lot of people experiment with racist ideas there, not motivated by hatred or fear, but mainly thrillseeking--the rush of violating a taboo. They know they're not supposed to say the n-word, and that's why it's fun to say it.

But the thing about irony is, if you gaze too deeply into the ironic abyss, it gradually becomes sincere. Our minds have a way of rationalizing the things we're thinking.

and it doesn't help that stormfront and other genuinely racist groups like to get into the mix -- so the ironic racism gets mixed with genuine racism, creating a fuzzy border between the two, a gradient across which osmosis takes place.

Pop it in the oven for 45 minutes and you've got kids shouting WHITE POWER for fun, the living shitposter.



I call this phenomenon THE MAN IN THE IRONIC MASK

I never actually thought about it from the anonymity and breaking social taboos perspective. Very nice.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 07:03:32 pm »
I haven't really thought this out completely, but could the same pattern be applied in IRL communities absent of any visible minorities?

I'm thinking small towns that have been exclusively/massively majority white/cis/het.  It's not anonymity per se, but it does allow for space to say taboo/shitty things about Others, which can start as 'off color' jokes and then becomes a reality tunnel.

PoFP

  • Word-Salad Enthusiast and Terrified Meat Sack
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 13068
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 07:17:10 pm »
I haven't really thought this out completely, but could the same pattern be applied in IRL communities absent of any visible minorities?

I'm thinking small towns that have been exclusively/massively majority white/cis/het.  It's not anonymity per se, but it does allow for space to say taboo/shitty things about Others, which can start as 'off color' jokes and then becomes a reality tunnel.

True. I guess you could say there is a lot of weight that should be placed on the demographic analysis of the social system in reference, when referring to social taboos. The small towns that lack minorities wouldn't have anyone to be offended by the taboos you'd find elsewhere, so there isn't any incentive for the small social system of the town to include racism and bigotry in its list of taboos.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 130574
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 10:01:46 pm »
I haven't really thought this out completely, but could the same pattern be applied in IRL communities absent of any visible minorities?

I'm thinking small towns that have been exclusively/massively majority white/cis/het.  It's not anonymity per se, but it does allow for space to say taboo/shitty things about Others, which can start as 'off color' jokes and then becomes a reality tunnel.


Both of these are situations where the individual is protected from blowback. But the shit-talk comes from a different place in each case.



In a homogeneous face-to-face community, people have a safe space to express things that they're really thinking, but might not vocalize in mixed company.

with the anonymous imageboard shitposter, I think most of them don't start off expressing anything that's real to them, it's more about trying to out-edge each other.  And you remain in that space, doing an impression of a racist, and eventually you have built walls around those behaviors, you start to feel it sincerely.



I had a chantard explain some of the culture to me - a lot of people are attracted to the anon imageboard format because it's very hard for people to engage in linguistic turf wars there. You can't really police other people. Your judgments roll right off them. Because a lot of people are just doing a shtick, so all statements could be ironic. And if you read the irony too sincerely, you're the moron that doesn't get the joke. When they enter an IRC channel, they will often just try to say the shittiest thing possible right off the bat, as a litmus test - is this the kind of room where people get easily offended? If someone flips out, that's an easy target for trolling. If everybody is cool, and not easily upset by words, we can have a real conversation. That's the idea, at least.


For those of us that have been on the oldschool PD forum-boardings, you kinda know what I'm talking about. We would approach a forum with the intent of provoking the moderators' territorial impulses, to draw the controlling behavior out of them and then rally the locals against them. Like at wicca.com, we would shitpost in their wand threads - people would be posting pictures of their wands, we would be posting pix of bongs. And then we'd get to have an argument about the definition of a wand. The intent was to jar some of these people out of their uptight patterns, or to bring the anal-retentive behaviors to the surface, where they could be confronted. It's actually an altruistic, playful impulse, albeit a contentious one. But on a long enough timeline, a lot of us started to feel a real annoyance towards these people. You start to lose track of where the act is vs where your real feelings are. (This is why I quit trollin' and got on board with the New Sincerity)

Cause when you're playing the shitbag character (like the Pterodactyl Handler), your brain is coming up with what defenses you'll use, how you'll dismiss the criticism of what you're doing - I mean, it's only a game! But those rationalizations are real.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2017, 12:20:51 am »
History of Shitposting

A topic close to my heart


A good place to start is the usenet rec.pets.cats invasion. This is one of the first instances of organized internet trolling. The short version:

alt.tasteless mass-invaded this newsgroup specifically for cat lovers. They started slowly, by posting bad cat advice. Then they slowly turned up the temperature, getting more extreme ("when my cat misbehaves I pick him up by the tail and swing him around 3-4 times"), and participating in the hostile reaction to those posts ("people like you should be beaten to death with hammers"). This was before the September that Never Ended, so there wasn't a lot of irony on the net yet, people didn't have good tools for recognizing it and routing around it. It became a huge, hilarious spectacle.

I actually first heard about this in a sociology of the internet class - good times.




To speak a little bit more about the modern day form of shitposting....

Last weekend, a kid showed up at the Charlottesville rally, marched with the white nationalists, got separated from them and was surrounded by counter-protesters.... took off his shirt and said "I'm not a real white supremacist, I'm just here for the fun". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-supremacist-march-for-fun_us_5994647de4b009141641d8f4

I think that if you can understand what happened here, you can understand a lot about right-wing youth radicalization via 4chan and similar places.

The anonymous internet forum gives people license to say what they want without any blowback. There is no identity at play there, all content is evaluated by itself, with no context of who said it.

The veil of anonymity gives you a safe space to say shitty taboo things without really meaning them. A lot of people experiment with racist ideas there, not motivated by hatred or fear, but mainly thrillseeking--the rush of violating a taboo. They know they're not supposed to say the n-word, and that's why it's fun to say it.

But the thing about irony is, if you gaze too deeply into the ironic abyss, it gradually becomes sincere. Our minds have a way of rationalizing the things we're thinking.

and it doesn't help that stormfront and other genuinely racist groups like to get into the mix -- so the ironic racism gets mixed with genuine racism, creating a fuzzy border between the two, a gradient across which osmosis takes place.

Pop it in the oven for 45 minutes and you've got kids shouting WHITE POWER for fun, the living shitposter.



I call this phenomenon THE MAN IN THE IRONIC MASK

This is exactly what Angela Nagle talks about in her book, Kill All Normies.  And I'm inclined to agree.

ceit

  • Known
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • SPAG
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 01:17:45 pm »

gross

Eater of Clowns

  • Deposed Mexico
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 57804
  • Limpid Lust Pariah of Foulness
    • View Profile
Re: The Devolution of Shitposting and Competing Chaos Gods
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 10:05:13 pm »
There's always been a creative element to Discordianism, probably because of the influence of those goddamn hippies, that's completely lacking in keki4chastanishitpowhatever. It's probably because of the latter utterly embracing nihilism, but nihilism as espoused by Flea in Big Lebowski. Meme culture is the perfect outlet for it because it's discarded so easily that it never actually forms anything valuable. That's pretty great for jokes, but it doesn't have much else to offer. Enter fringe elements, as Cram pointed out, who have a hundred years experience or so of backing up their own nihilism via elaborate confirmation bias, with white supremacy and fascism.

EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.