EU Issues Urgent Memo Warning About the Dangers of Satirical Memes

EU issues urgent memo warning against funny memes

The European Union has issued an urgent memo warning about the “extreme dangers” of humorous, satirical memes.

Yes, really.

According to researchers at the EU, memes pose one of the deadliest threats to the globalist order.

“It’s Not Funny Anymore: Far-Right Extremists’ Use of Humour” is a recently-published report by two researchers, Maik Fielitz and Reem Ahmed, with the Radicalization Action Network (RAN), a group funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund . reports: The paper is easy to mock, but it is also rooted in truth: The right’s dominance of online “meme wars” is one of its most potent political weapons. The paper also provides a deeply revealing look at the thinking of the unfunny, uninteresting totalitarians who enforce globalist orthodoxy today.

The report opens very promisingly, by warning that the free exchange of humor will undermine “open societies.”

Humor has become a central weapon of extremist movements to subvert open societies and to lower the threshold towards violence Especially within the context of the recent wave of far-right terrorist attacks, we witness “playful” ways in communicating racist ideologies. Far-right extremists strategically merge with online cultures, their approach changes fundamentally. This trend has been especially facilitated by the so-called alt-right and has spread globally. This predominantly online movement set new standards to rebrand extremist positions in an ironic guise, blurring the lines between mischief and potentially radicalising messaging. The result is a nihilistic form of humor that is directed against ethnic and sexual minorities and deemed to inspire violent fantasies — and eventually action.

The paper then proceeds to explain that in the past, online humor was good, because it helped to “combat extremist ideologies,” though the authors note this comedy may be of dubious effectiveness:

Humor in the context of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) has largely been discussed as a means to combat extremist ideologies. Various counter-narrative campaigns have deployed humor to question the authority of extremist groups and ridicule their ambition. Even though it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of such campaigns, research has such endeavors that are appropriate to spin democratic alternatives for affected youths.

At many times, the paper actually does a good job of explaining precisely why satire, ridicule, memes, and mockery are politically potent. But the authors themselves are such rigid ideologues that they cannot see genuine humor at the root of right-wing comedy, and instead can only conceive of “supposed” satire and efforts to manipulate others.

Far right extremists … have learned the lesson that if — in our digitalized societies — a movement wants to be successful, it needs to be entertaining and participatory. … Laughter is imminently important to strengthen the collective identity and to better communicate their own positions to outsiders. By reformulating prejudices and disguising them in witty language, the interplay of hatred and amusement regarding the misery of supposedly inferior groups runs like a golden thread through the history of far-right movements.

Recent generations of far-right extremists have chosen transgressive humor and (supposed) satire the central weapons in the fight against liberal democracy and its “political correctness”, which is depicted as prudish and patronising. Praising a “politically incorrect” attitude, humor has been weaponised as a form of resistance against a political culture that is supposedly curtailing free speech.

At times, the paper becomes so dead serious that it reads like humorless aliens trying to understand culture they fundamentally cannot report to a basic biological level:

Digital culture is based on the core belief that ways of interaction online differ fundamentally from the offline world. “The Internet is serious business”, has become the ironic meme, the meaning of which is actually the exact opposite, which is to say that the Internet is not serious business at all, and anyone who thinks otherwise should be corrected and ridiculed. But why should P/CVE practitioners care about these trolls and memes? And what are these memes actually?

The European Union attempts to explain dank memes.

At one point, they even have to pause to explain what the “red pill” is.

The authors describe the fundamentally anarchic, decentralized, and meritocratic culture of memes as “temporal alliances of online users who employ trolling tactics to challenge meaningful conversation online.” This is a deception, of course. Meme culture does not “challenge” any meaningful conversation online. When used politically, memes are a reaction to a situation where meaningful debate has already been stifled. Scolds, church ladies, and petty tyrants may dominate Twitter. They may control every major paper. They may be able to get Facebook to ban their enemies, put them on watchlists, and cancel their PayPal accounts. But no amount of power will ever make them witty, so they will always be exposed to humiliation online.

The apex of the paper may come, though, when the authors get to their list of recommendations. Mercifully, being European, they actually don’t what American analysts would do, and simply screech for more bans to make the mean people go away. They do, however, make dry, impossible-to-parody requests for more funding so that anti-extremism experts can develop “literacy” and “authenticity” while “engaging” with memes.

It is a key element of humor to draw the line between those who understand and those who look foolish, as well as between those who laugh about others and those who are humiliated. In fact, humor is a social practice that bears several excluding mechanisms. As such, it demands specialized knowledge to make sense of it and to react appropriately — to determine if one likes the jokes or not. It is especially difficult to cope with the complex dynamics of humorous memes without a profound knowledge of the language and practices of online cultures. This requires the following:

  • Develop and support more resources aimed at understanding vibrant online cultures that far-right
    actors take advantage of;
  • Improve literacy with regard to memes, codes and symbols online to appear authentic when engaging with young people;
  • Build effective partnerships with the technology sector and researchers to develop knowledge on new developments.

So, other than being comically cringe, why does this paper matter?

It reveals a few things. It reveals that globalist’s war against “hate” is actually a war against humanity itself. Humor is the means by which people can highlight otherwise awkward and uncomfortable truths. It is the best weapon for deflating pretentious, serious, unimpressive frauds. Far from expressing “hate,” even “offensive” humor almost always serves to create warmth and break down barriers between otherwise different people.

In other words, humor is an existential threat to everything that the globalist order represents. Humor shatters the lies that globalism’s domination is based on. It exposes and humiliates the mediocrities who are perpetually elevated into leadership and positions of phony “expertise.” Humor itself is a pure meritocracy; no amount of state meddling or affirmative action can do something like the Ghostbusters reboot funny. And lastly, humor thrives on pointing out hypocrisy, inconsistency, and double standards. The modern regime is dependent on anarcho-tyranny, the ruthless enforcement of the law on some contrasted with the total immunity of others. The free exchange of humor would destroy such a regime.

That is precisely why modern “clown world” is so deliberately, brutally unfunny. Contemporary reality is inherently ridiculous, and it can only survive by making it borderline criminal to laugh at it. The alphabet community has morphed from “LGBT” to “LGBTQ+” to “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM.” Sports Illustrated puts mentally ill men and obese monstersities on the cover of its swimsuit edition. Ibram Kendi, the man who struggled to crack 1000 on the SAT, is paraded out as a leading public intellectual. George Floyd, the violent, disgusting man, is America’s chief secular saint. But smirk at any of this in public and one’s life can be destroyed.

A man cross-dressing as a woman is one of the most classic comedy bits in history, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to Rudy Giuliani:

But today, there’s nothing funny at all about drag queens. They have instead been elevated to objects for reverence and worship, a post-modern Vestal Anti-Virgin.

The EU’s analysts are right to be frightened. In any political battle, the side with more compelling satire has a tremendous advantage. There really is a pipeline from online humor to anti-globalist views. 4chan memes and Babylon Bee articles are more powerful than any op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. And that is why, even if the EU’s paper doesn’t end with proposals for mass censorship, such efforts are inevitable. In the long run, the Globalist Empire and humor cannot coexist. One has to destroy the other.

Sean Adl-Tabatabai
Sean Adl-Tabatabai

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