By David Futrelle
That /pol/ campaign to smear the anti-fascist left with fake memes suggesting AntiFas support domestic violence against women, children, and the elderly? The one that I and others exposed yesterday as nothing more than a political dirty trick?
Racist fantasy author and all-around terrible person Theodore “Vox Day” Beale thinks it was a smashing success — and something to be proud of.
In a post today, Beale hails the supposed “brilliance” of the fake-meme Tweeters — despite their meme campaign being so transparently dishonest it was recognized as a fraud almost instantly. In Beale’s mind, this is “rhetorical meme magic” at work.
“Remember,” he writes,
the most effective rhetoric communicates truth without necessarily being literally truthful in the details. It persuades through emotion, not reason … .
This from someone who wrote an entire book complaining that “SJWs always lie.”
To those on his side who worry that all this constant lying might backfire, destroying the credibility of the alt-right and its fellow travelers, Beale has nothing but contempt, denouncing what he calls “dialectic-speaking spergs” for “cling[ing] to the belief that ‘credibility’ is the key to successful persuasion.”
Beale, who evidently isn’t much worried about his own credibility, has done his part to push the fake memes, urging his followers to spread the memes around and even posting several on Twitter himself, alongside such comments as “[t]here is no place for the violence and savagery of the #AltLeft in civilized society.”
Never mind that the particular “savagery” he is denouncing here — AntiFa’s supposed support of domestic violence — is something his 4chan pals have simply made up.
Naturally, Beale’s followers are enthusiastic about this particular form of “persuasion.”
“These meme wars are, from a sales perspective, BRILLIANT,” declares someone called dc.sunsets.
They’re the poster child of how Madison Avenue does product packaging in order to manipulate people into buying landfill-filling crap they don’t need.
Huh. What does that say about the ideology they’re trying to sell?
In a followup comment , dc.sunsets adds that
literal truth, veracity or “evidence” doesn’t matter. All it takes is a grain of truth, even a seed of plausibility, to leverage POWERFUL, emotion-level, irresistible re-framing.
Re-framing. That’s my word of the month, possibly year, and perhaps decade.
Reaching into people’s subconscious and turning them like pancakes. (heh, heh, heh.)
A commenter called Cail Corishev, meanwhile, has some advice for those wanting to make their own fake memes. “[I]f there’s a man’s fist in the image,” he writes, “try to make it a fat or wimpy, liberal-looking fist, not a real man’s.”
Ah yes, the good old “liberal-looking fist” ploy. Sixty percent of the time, it persuades every time!