1. The word “fanboy”
“Fangirl” is a perfectly acceptable word with an illustrious history; it simply means a young woman who enjoys good literature and who may or may not have married Snape on the astral plane.
“Fanboy” – as used in terms like “Microsoft fanboy” or “Bitcoin fanboy” – is not. The basic assumption is: you like a thing, therefore you suck.
Seriously, f@&k people who like things.
2. The word “butthurt”
“Butthurt” is one of those magic words that completely suspends human decency.
For example, suppose a headline reads: “Jewish community saddened over swastika graffiti on synagogue”. You might make the mistake of feeling sympathetic to these Jews, or believing they’re human beings whose feelings matter.
So we change the headline to “Jewish community butthurt over swastika graffiti on synagogue.” Haha! Stupid Jewish community! Always getting butthurt over stuff!
(Even better: “Torah fanboys butthurt over swastika graffiti on synagogue.”)
3. People saying “Just because there’s a cold spell or worse-than-average blizzard doesn’t mean global warming is false!”
This is, of course, completely true and very important. On the other hand, the moment there is a warm spell or worse-than-average hurricane, these very same people immediately start talking about how this proves global warming is real. So this argument is now banned. Once you learn to consistently separate single data points from meaningful trends, I will allow you to use it again.
I realize my stance may result in the Earth becoming a giant cinder and everyone being boiled alive, but it’s the principle of the thing.
All memes go through three stages.
In the first stage, a mildly amusing image or video catches some people’s attention and they show it to others. For example, someone notices a hilarious translated sequence involving the phrase “All your base is belong to us” and email it to friends.
In the second stage, people riff on this theme to create other similar memes, some of which occasionally have comedic value. For example, a chemistry site might say “All your alkaline is belong to us”. Or a math book teaching hexadecimal might say “All your base 16 are below to us.” Okay. Fine.
In the third stage, people abandon all pretense of humor or creativity, and expect to be rewarded merely for mentioning the meme’s existence to other people equally aware of it. “HEY! GUYS! ALL YOUR BASE IS BELONG TO US! LAUNCH EVERY ZIG FOR GREAT JUSTICE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
I’m not sure doge ever actually had stage one or two.
Someone reading this post right now is thinking “I’m going to post in the comments that I think Scott is acting butthurt over these Internet things he’s criticizing! And then I’m going to call him a fanboy of something!” Even after reading this paragraph, somebody is going to try this.
Listen very closely. There is a time and a place for meta-humor, the sort of humor where you try to be funny by applying something to itself. The time is when you are Douglas Hoftstadter. And the place is in a Douglas Hofstadter book.
In all other situations, it is so algorithmic a computer could do it, and so obvious the people you are trying to amuse will have no doubt already thought of it.
Somewhere in a volcano lair, there is a supervillain working on a doge meme that says “SO DOGE. MUCH MEME. MANY COMIC SANS.” I just hope some government agency is assembling a team of plucky misfits to stop him.
6. Appeal to “I bet he lives in his mother’s basement!”
Get it! He’s poor! He has low socio-economic status! Haha! That’s funny!
7. “Dude”, “bro”, or God forbid, “dudebro”
I had no problems with “dude” when its use was limited to cowboys, surfers, and giant anthropomorphic turtles. And I had no problem with “bro” when it was used by members of fraternities to refer to their brothers in those fraternities.
But somehow when I wasn’t looking these words turned into things Internet feminists call anyone they dislike. The usual referent seems to be geeks and people who disagree with them about gender issues. I can only imagine the picture the average Internet feminist must have of fraternities to allow this state of affairs to continue:
“Hey, Chad, let’s go grab a brewski and pick up some hot chicks!”
“Bro, that sounds totally awesome, but you know I’m busy writing a Haskell program to determine whether the gender pay gap disappears once you adjust for confounders. Wooooo!”
“Whoa, Chad, you never told me you were WRITING A F@&KING HASKELL PROGRAM TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE GENDER PAY GAP DISAPPEARS ONCE YOU ADJUST FOR CONFOUNDERS! F@&k chicks and brewskis, I’m staying here to help you out! DELTA CHI, ALL THE WAY! WOOOO!”
Obviously none of the people involved have ever seen the inside of a university, and although on its own that just proves that the college admissions people are marginally competent at their jobs, I can’t help but wonder how this rumor got started. Has some ultra-high-level troll just been going around telling people this is how colleges work? If so, kudos to you.
Now stop it. Now.
8. Arguments about which generation is better
This generation is made entirely of upstanding, noble folk who made this country great. But that generation is made entirely of whining, entitled brats who are destroying everything their ancestors and/or descendants worked for. Clearly that means this generation is better than that generation!
9. Hating on girls with male friends
“Haha, how about those girls who say they prefer to be ‘one of the guys’ or that most of their friends are male, huh? Isn’t that always a huge warning sign?”
I see this so often, most recently on Reddit. “Never trust a girl who doesn’t have female friends” or “They don’t get along with other girls because they themselves are usually bitches”, just to choose two comments from the thread on this pressing issue.
Well, I’m the male version of this. Most of my friends are girls. This is none of your business. And if a girl does the same thing, that’s none of your business either.
Also, people trying to earn your social justice halo by calling this “a big red flag for internalized misogyny”? You would be a lot more believable if you didn’t add “…and I bet they’re huge sluts” in the very next sentence.
In conclusion, I propose a compromise:
1. Girls can make friends with whoever the f@#k they want.
2. Go to hell.
(I am not very good at compromises)
10. Doge memes referencing the actual doge of Venice
I really should have included this in with doge memes in general, or with meta-humor. Yet here it is in its own category.
Look. I don’t know why you choose to misspell “dog” as “doge”. I’m sure you have your reasons. But once you’ve deliberately confused the word for a small furry animal with the word for the ruler of Venice, then acting like you are extremely clever for pointing out that the ruler of Venice is also spelled like the ruler of Venice is not “edgy” or “creative”. It’s like…taking a picture of a bale of hay, misspelling it “ball” instead of “bale”, and then jumping up and down excited because you suddenly realized “ball” is also the word meaning “ball”. No one would possibly try this, right?
And if twelve images of one doge aren’t enough for you, somebody kindly decided to make one image of twelve doges. Which got picked up by the Washington Post. You know, I remember when the Washington Post was uncovering the Watergate Scandal. Now they are talking about how funny it is that doge can also, in some cases, mean doge.
Well, now it is 2014, and this sort of thing is no longer acceptable. Up your game, Internet. Up your game.