The simple and grift easy “Let’s Go Brandon” meme is perfect for shallow politics

A screengrab from Google search by typing “Let’s Go Brandon” into the search. The image shows a return of hats and t-shirts adorned with the phrase, all from different online shops.
Grifting off the latest extremely lazy meme

It seems the meme war never ends and is usually at odds with reality. When you build an entire political movement on memes and shallow rhetoric packed with unrewarding nostalgia, you have to constantly reinvent the messaging. …

There is no outside to Facebook as there is no outside to capitalism and downtime is not an equally distributed problem

“Melted” by craig1black is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The last 48 hours have not been great for Facebook. In fact, it really hasn’t been all that great for the last month. Over the last several weeks, Facebook has suffered a variety of public relations issues from leaks, to user pushback, to congressional hearings to an untimely massive blackout.

It’s one thing for politicians to use memes and another to actually understand them

By sheer meme magic and synchronicity, two Republican US lawmakers shared memes on September 22 to make their policy points. Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Iowa’s Senator Jodi Ernst brought out the large printers to share their favorite internet memes with the public during their presentations. …

In real time, we’re watching the darkest digital denizens manipulate media and get away with it

On the morning of August 19, diehard Trump supporter Floyd Ray Roseberry parked his truck outside the Library of Congress. He turned on his cellphone camera and began to livestream on Facebook. For five hours, Roseberry held a standoff with police as his pickup truck allegedly held enough explosives to…

Why use a term from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel when his newer books provide a far better example?

A man looking at three dimensional displayed data while he wears a headset.
“Data immersion” by Idaho National Laboratory is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Near the end of July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg had some thoughts about Facebook’s evolution. A few days later, the word “metaverse” was trending on Twitter and references were being made to the origin of the term: Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.

Grief and loss are difficult and even more if you live in the alternative reality of the president. Memes are one way of coping and they require our attention if we want to understand future strategies of the far right.

Pepe the frog in a MAGA hat inhaling “copium”
The Pepe the Frog “Copium” meme appeared soon after the election was called for Joe Biden

On the day of President Trump’s Inauguration, Jessica Starr was recorded screaming in angst at the thought of Trump becoming the United States’ next Commander in Chief. The New York Post went out of their way to make Jessica the face of the liberal “snowflake” — a pejorative term for…

This election is not over when we find out who wins, but what we do over the next several years.

“Vote” by Dean Terry is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There was literally a candidate on the ballot that had a vision for a healthy future for the country. One that foresaw a need for accessible healthcare for everyone, a distributive model of economy that would uplift so many. …

2020 has shifted how we use our internet and amid the chaos, social media has a responsibility to provide collective safety

“House of mirrors in the desert” by Steve Devol is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

We are currently embedded in digital chaos with nowhere to go. The walls of the echo-chambers have concretized over the last decade and most people enjoy the comfort of our their own ideas on repeat like a glitched playlist. Meanwhile our critical thinking skills have reduced to passivity. The digital…

Things are never what they seem when you have control over the visuals

Video creators have so much power when it comes to producing content that bends what we would objectively call a narrative style. Being a video producer means that you are in control of your audience — you control the eyes, the time, and the mind of the viewer. The tools…

VR missed several opportunities, but this is the biggest yet

A man wearing a virtual reality headset against a nature background surrounded by a circle of colorful dots.
Photo: Vasilina Popova/Getty Images

The first time I put on my headset and walked around in VRChat, the avatar-filled virtual reality multiworld, I accidentally interrupted a small gathering of friends. They were meeting in a small cabin on one of the hundreds of worlds hosted on the platform. As far as I could tell…

Jamie Cohen

Digital culture expert and meme scholar. Cultural and Media Studies PhD. Internet studies educator: social good, civic engagement and digital literacies

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