Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A ather long but insightful and non judgemental portrayal of 4chan.
Dale Beran
Viewed through the lens of the people first posting him, Pepe makes nothing but sense. The original comic panels from which Pepe is excerpted feature him getting caught peeing with his pants pulled all the way down, his ass hanging out. Surprisingly, he is unashamed of this, "feels good man" he tells his roommate.

The grotesque, frowning, sleepy eyed, out of shape, swamp dweller, peeing with his pants pulled down because-it-feels-good-man frog is an ideology, one which steers into the skid of its own patheticness. Pepe symbolizes embracing your loserdom, owning it. That is to say, it is what all the millions of forum-goers of 4chan met to commune about. It is, in other words, a value system, one reveling in deplorableness and being pridefully dispossessed. It is a culture of hopelessness, of knowing "the system is rigged". But instead of fight the response is flight, knowing you're trapped in your circumstances is cause to celebrate. For these young men, voting Trump is not a solution, but a new spiteful prank.

Amid all the talk about Facebook and troll farms we shouldn't forget about the social base described here.  

by generic on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 09:01:28 AM EST
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"Won't someone think of the oppressed white boys!"
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 09:31:35 AM EST
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Well, quite. While the economic dimensions are probably overstated in the linked article, it describes a very real phenomenon. Specifically the (pre-Facebook) internet means that there is now a broad support network for clinging to all the insecurities and self-loathing that usually come with being 14. And there is very little to snap people out of it.
by generic on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 11:23:55 AM EST
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Trump managed a small margin through luck, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, a shrewd open appeal to racists, the resentment of white conservatives who generally don't give a shit what happens to poorer whites or themselves so long as blacks and other "minorities" get it in the neck and with the help of  a media that was either only concerned with exploiting controversy for clicks and viewing hours and/or being run by rich white racists in order to push a certain political agenda. Not to mention breaking the law in assorted ways to get an extra edge.

Lots of things one could worry about there, but the one we like to concentrate on is the poor little economically insecure white boys. If only they got more cash, more respect and more sex all would be well. Isn't it weird how that works?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 11:32:23 AM EST
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Who is "we"? I certainly don't want to talk about the election right now and the article is only peripherally about Trump.

I posted it because I used to hang around there some years ago, long before gamergate was a thing. There was always a lot of casual racism and misogyny going on, as well as the stylised self-loathing.
But my general impression was that you would get many helpful replies if you found the right thread to ask and ignored the first three replies that told you to kill yourself. And while it certainly seems a hostile environment for women and minorities the very basic structure of the site made personal attacks difficult. And I know that the population of certain niche threads was neither as male nor as white as you would expect. Frankly, I had a certain fondness for the place.
On the other hand I can totally see how the "ironic" toxicity could quickly turn into the real thing, especially if it didn't involve getting up from the PC. I also hadn't really spent much thought on how the the very anonymity, the fact that you didn't have to be anyone, that you were discouraged from being anyone, would disproportionally attract people who couldn't just shrug off all the silliness. And this was the good old internet that was supposed to save our society before Facebook came along.
In hindsight it is no surprise that it would turn into Trump country.

by generic on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 12:33:56 PM EST
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And I should add, that I didn't think about how it would help grow entirely toxic sub cultures. I certainly hadn't heard about Men's Rights Activists at the time.
by generic on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 01:01:04 PM EST
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Trump Voters Driven by Fear of Losing Status, Not Economic Anxiety, Study Finds - NY Times

A study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences questions that explanation, the latest to suggest that Trump voters weren't driven by anger over the past, but rather fear of what may come. White, Christian and male voters, the study suggests, turned to Mr. Trump because they felt their status was at risk.

"It's much more of a symbolic threat that people feel,'' said Diana C. Mutz, the author of the study and a political science and communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directs the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics. "It's not a threat to their own economic well-being; it's a threat to their group's dominance in our country over all."

The study is not the first to cast doubt on the prevailing economic anxiety theory. Last year, a Public Religion Research Institute survey of more than 3,000 people also found that Mr. Trump's appeal could better be explained by a fear of cultural displacement.

In her study, Dr. Mutz sought to answer two questions: Is there evidence to support the economic anxiety argument, and did the fear of losing social dominance drive some voters to Mr. Trump? To find answers, she analyzed survey data from a nationally representative group of about 1,200 voters polled in 2012 and 2016.

by Bjinse on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 at 10:38:31 AM EST
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