Have you seen this video?
How about this one?
Aside from the theme of robo-voices and and imagery choices, they
seem pretty diverse for being released from the same group, right?
That’s because they AREN’T from the same group, a fact that escapes newscasters like broccoli escapes Chris Christie’s gravitational field.
There’s something, dear reader, that you might not know about me.
Well, actually, there are probably quite a few things that you
don’t know about me since I haven’t really written a bio yet; I should
work on that. But I digress. The thing I was referencing
that you might not know about me is that I am Anonymous.
DUN DUN DUN!
Before you ask, no, I’m not a part of some nefarious organization
bent on throwing the world into anarchy (though I AM an honorary member
of the Houston Tea Party…) nor am I some sort of genius hacker with
thousands of botnets at at my disposal; I’m just a guy who grew up in
the 00′s, had an internet connection and enjoyed geeky stuff.
And 4chan breeds Anonymous.
What is 4chan?
To put it short, 4chan is a collection of image boards.
To put it long, watch this excellent video of 4chan’s creator Christopher “Moot” Poole’s TED talk.
4chan is kind of like Pinterest. Except it’s not at all like Pinterest.
Actually, 4chan is pretty much Pinterest’s creepy uncle, featuring many
boards dedicated to things like Food & Cooking /ck/, Politics
/pol/, Music /mu/, as well as ~14 boards dedicated to various types of
pornography. Also Pokemon/vp/!
Another thing that sets 4chan apart from Pinterest is that you can post there Anonymously.
You don’t need to register. You don’t need to enter your email
address. You don’t need to download a toolbar. 4chan doesn’t
want to know who you are.
In fact, they don’t really care who you are. Therefore, you
are, for the most part, anonymous. And that makes you a
“part” of “Anonymous” insofar as anyone can be part of a group with no
real barriers for entry. Heck, as a 6-year veteran of 4chan
(endearingly termed on the site as an “oldfag”, contrasted by the
pejorative “newfag”) I’ve seen it get to the point where you have people
running around with Guy Faux masks making fools of themselves thinking
they’re “Anonymous” without realizing that the whole schtick of that get
up is derived from a meme known as Epic Fail Guy.
Yes, that’s right. The whole dumb V for Vendetta idiocy was brought to prominence by a stick figure cartoon guy who epically failed doing things.
The irony is particularly delicious when you consider how hard Occupy
Wall Street leaned on that old and tired Internet construct…….Only to
fail miserably on all of their ephemeral “goals”. Well, except car
pooping and assorted violence; they did okay there.
Those like the OWS are, to quote an overused witticism of the site
“the cancer that’s killing 4chan.” 4chan, a place where I’ve
witnessed intense cruelty as well as intense kindness, vulgarity and
art, and debates ranging more topics than I thought existed.
There’s a raw humanity to 4chan. Personalities, ironically,
become stronger without the name tags and credentials of a Facebook or
Twitter; there are conversations between multiple people where, even
without any form of identification, you can determine who is saying what
to whom over the duration of a thread. Visiting the site and
reading threads is kind of what I think colleges were supposed to be, an
open forum for discussion where expert and layperson have equal ground,
and only the strength of their arguments decide who is right.
Well, strength of their arguments and who has the bigger image
folders. It IS a very visual medium after all.
And that thing about having really strong arguments is wrong too,
displayed elegantly here by one of my more cherished 4chan memes: The Rules Of The Internet
Yes, all of your most carefully picked arguments can easily be
ignored. Kind of like how the media chooses to ignore the fact
that Anonymous isn’t a group unified by a cause, it’s merely a Potemkin
aesthetic that (usually small) groups use to appear vast and epic.
In truth, Anonymous is about as ideologically diverse as it gets.
Just check /pol/, it’s full of capitalists, Marxists, Randians,
socialists, greenies, anarchists, Democrats, Republicans and even a
moderate or two. It’s truly a fascinating melting pot of all
different types of people.
And they’re all Anonymous.
And that’s pretty cool to me.
Of course the coolness has a dark side; pretty much all of the bad
stuff you’ve heard about 4chan is true. There are no (meaningful)
filters and the moderators are never on, so chances are good that you’ll
see some pretty gruesome stuff if you sniff around some of the seedier
areas like /b/. But don’t let that dissuade you from checking
For all of the bad stuff, there’s at least twice as much good content
waiting. Plus, you get to be on the bleeding edge of memecrafting;
what 4chan is laughing at today is very often what the web is laughing
at for years to come. That’s important. Anonymous and 4chan
are in many ways the premiere trendsetters for webculture, and
understanding who they are and what they do will do wonders for the
conservative movement as our fight progresses further into the digital
In closing, I hope that this article has helped at least in part to
clear up some of the misconceptions and shine a spotlight on some of the
better parts of the often-fearmongered “group” known as Anonymous, as
well as the endlessly interesting petri dish that is 4chan.
I also hope for 9,001 unique page views. /oldhackneyedmemejokeclosing