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When you find out you have a hot dog: Why AI-generated memes make more sense than those produced by MRAs

TFW you’ve just posted an incomprehensible MRA meme

By David Futrelle

You may have noticed a strange explosion of highly surreal memes hitting your Twitter home page of late. Blame the Artificial Intelligence-powered meme generator that you can find here, which will happily generate as many weird and baffling memes as you could ever want.

Now, the meme generator is a fairly basic thing, in principle: it takes in hundreds (thousands?) of human-generated memes in a variety of formats before pooping out something it doesn’t understand, but that we humans might.

Given that the AI-meme-generator literally doesn’t know what it’s saying, most of the memes it puts out tend to be a bit puzzling:

And sometimes it doesn’t seem to understand the meme format at all:

But alongside the surreal memes, the AI-meme-generator somehow manages to spit out others that make perfect (or at least only slightly imperfect) sense. I’ve been fiddling around with it for awhile and have been surprised and intrigued by these memes, which seem very much like the memes an actual human might produce on their own.

Indeed, these memes make a lot more sense than many if not most of the Men’s Rights memes I’ve run across (and written about) over the years — despite the fact that the MRA memes were generated by actual human beings who, at least in theory, should know what they’re saying.

Let’s look at examples from both genres — contrasting some of my, er, favorite MRA memes with memes the AI-meme-generator made for me.

Let’s start with this authentic MRA meme:

Apparently the thought process behind this, er, hilarity is: “Women are stupid! And rape is funny! Sharks!”

This AI-generated meme makes a lot more sense:

I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a nice hot dog once in a while?

Here’s an MRA meme taking aim at women in the military:

Contrast that with this cheerful and wholesome AI-generated meme:

Again, the AI hits the nail on the head. Everyone loves to see people talking about their cool stuff.

Here’s a dark and bewildering MRA meme:

I suppose the message here is supposed to be “even if she says she’s not a feminist, she might secretly be one, and falsely accuse you of rape.” But I’m not sure anyone not steeped in MRA-talk could discern that.

Also, why is “radical/white” in ironic quotes?

By contrast, this next AI-generated meme, while admittedly rude and perhaps a bit sexist, is as clear as a (school) bell.

This MRA meme may leave you scratching at your head as you try to puzzle out its strange “logic.”

This AI meme, by contrast, makes so much sense it hurts.

In the world we live in today, who has the patience to wait until you get home to get sloshed?

So why are MRA memes so illogical and incomprehensible? Part of the problem is that reality is not on their side, and so many of their memes only make sense if you’re already living in the imaginary world of the Men’s Rights movement, where black is white and mean, bitchy women rule over all. I know enough about this world from the many years I’ve spent doing this blog that I can usually make some sort of sense of most of their memes, but I still struggle with some of them. It doesn’t help much that many MRAs are bitter bastards choking on their own aggrieved entitlement; their attempts at jokes are undercut by their meanness and their barely developed sense of humor.

The AI may not have a sense of humor, but it’s also unencumbered by all this baggage, so when it pops out with something that’s funny, it’s genuinely funny.

Congratulations, MRA; it’s official now: You’ve failed the Turing test.

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Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
2 years ago

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This one’s pretty funny.

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This one’s funny, but in a more surreal way.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

I feel kind of like this when I see sportsballers doing a sport:

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Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

I miss how Eric Cantona used to do these live.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

If someone ever said “the apple juice is not a spelling deadline” to me, I’d be wondering two things: a) Who I’d been mistaken for, and b) What were the consequences of giving the wrong passphrase in response?

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

I can very much relate to this one:
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and this one:
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Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Hmm.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00922-8

Meanwhile, what the hell is going on in Ontario?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Ontario#Statistics

Check out the pink graph. The active case count did as expected at first: peaked, then began to decline. But for the past week it’s simply flat, level, no increase or decline. Almost exactly as many people are falling ill as are recovering each day now. I can’t for the life of me figure out what dynamics would reproduce these data. It has to be balanced on a knife’s edge between exponential growth and exponential decay, somehow. This is as astonishing as trying to flip a coin and having it land exactly on its edge six or seven times in a row.

I do have to wonder who is screwing up and how. Obviously someone did, or the decline would have continued. And whatever went wrong in containment here is delaying the day we’ll be able to return to some semblance of normal, by one week and counting. Which gives me good reason to be annoyed at whoever-it-is, on behalf I suspect of most of the population of the province.

komarov
komarov
2 years ago

By Zeus, after years (decades?) I’m delurking just to share what the meme generator just served up:

linky

Either that AI is magic or it really knows us. Maybe all those garbled memes are just pretense so we don’t realise what’s coming. (I’m not sure what life would be like under the iron fist of a memegenerator, but I’m not convinced it would necessarily be worse either.)

P.S.: No preview? How will I waste hours editing inconsequential stuff over and over again? Oh, good, I’m doing it right now.

Liquidmidnight
Liquidmidnight
2 years ago

The Dos Equis meme is actually pretty funny if you’re from my home state, Pennsylvania. If you don’t know, PA has some pretty archaic and backwards alcohol laws. The state has a Liquor Control Board, which was created years ago when the then-governor was butthurt over the repeal of prohibition.

For the longest time, you were unable to buy beer or wine in a grocery store or gas station. You had to go to a beer distributor, a designated “six-pack shop”, or a winery. I don’t know if the law was changed or if someone found a loophole, but a few years ago, stores were finally allowed to sell beer and wine. However, the caveat is that a cafe had to be attached to the store so patrons had the option to consume alcohol on the premises.

Allandrel
Allandrel
2 years ago

@Naglfar

And by “far-right groups,” we also mean the President on live TV talking to Fox & Friends.

There’s a FB group to support these “God-fearing men,” who were “just trying to protect their neighborhood.” And noting that Arbery (who they don’t bother to name) “did not comply with simple commands.”

Which… man, how unconscious is the racism there? Why the HELL should Arbery have “complied” with their “commands?” What authority did they have over him?

We know why, even though they won’t say it. “He should have known his place and respected his betters.” And it BURNS them that it is not acceptable for them to say that out loud.

Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ allandrel

“did not comply with simple commands.”

And particularly galling is the fact that people of this ilk will be the first to say “You can’t tell me want to do!” when asked to abide by a simple request to take basic precautions during a pandemic; whilst draped in the Gadsen or Confederate flags.

Fabe
Fabe
2 years ago

then there are the “what about all the white people killed by blacks” augments . Well how much victim blaming when on in those cases?

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Allandrel

And by “far-right groups,” we also mean the President on live TV talking to Fox & Friends.

That certainly is a far right group. Even when he’s not talking to Fox and Friends, his presence in a group makes it far right. As the saying goes, if there is one Nazi sitting at a table and ten other people talking to him, there are now 11 Nazis at a table.

Pedantic Speaker
Pedantic Speaker
2 years ago

Naglfar: “Also, stealing a red car is a crime. If you steal a red car, don’t expect to get off easier than if you stole a blue car.”
Yes, I understand that many MRAs do not believe that violence against women is real violence.
But the meme is more insidious and monstrous than that:
There is nothing about the colour red that makes it a special and distinct crime, qualitatively different and morally worse than stealing a blue car.
In contrast, what a lot of people call “violence against women”, and what the Violence Against Women Act was aimed at stopping, is more correctly referred to as (a subset of) domestic abuse: Violence that happens where people are most vulnerable, in their own homes, at the hands of their spouses or parents, and it is more than simply being punched in a bar fight or mugged. Many domestic abuse victims live in all-encompassing fear of “setting [their partner or parent] off” and being beaten, or are held captive in ways that would be considered kidnapping if a stranger did it, or are repeatedly raped.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Pedantic Speaker
I am aware of domestic violence and abuse against women, and I was not trying to diminish it. I was trying to mock the meme in a short way, and I am sorry if I have inadvertently minimized the suffering of victims.

Pedantic Speaker
Pedantic Speaker
2 years ago

@Naglfar
I should apologise too. I am not the best judge of social situations and I misunderstand people’s understanding of these things.
I have fortunately not suffered any of these things, but I guess I am hyper-sensitive; maybe it’s just an equivalent of survivors’ guilt, but I feel that if I won’t defend victims against people who minimise their suffering, who will?
PS, If I had my druthers, as Americans say, the VAWA would have been called the Domestic Abuse and Rape Act, so that no-one could pretend that the problem was just women exaggerating their vulnerability to violence.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

OT: Roy Horn, of the Siegfried and Roy magic act, died today of Covid complications. He was 75.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/entertainment-columns/kats/roy-horn-of-siegfried-roy-dies-at-75-2024476/amp/

;_;

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
2 years ago

Yeah. I’ve never understood the “Drive it like you stole it!” thing. Wouldn’t that be “Very carefully so as not to attract police attention”?

@Alan

Yeah, maybe it should be, “Drive it like it’s insured for 3 times its value”?

Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ crip dyke

it’s insured for 3 times its value

Heh, isn’t that an incentive to crash it?

Just remember to insure against fire or theft; the and policies aren’t that useful.

(Liked your latest article btw)

MansVoice
MansVoice
2 years ago

Fatrelle, have you ever considered actually making something of your own, rather than spending all your time shitting on others’ work? If it’s so easy, surely you can whip up a few viral feminist memes and get yourself some nice MSM attention.

Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ crip dyke

Aaaaand….now I’ve just realised that was your point.

Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ mansvoice

have you ever considered actually making something of your own

Well as I’m sure you’re aware, under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 commentary and criticism of other people’s writing is considered the author’s “own work”.

It’s part of the Fair Use doctrine but it also creates a fresh copyright in the commentary.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@MansVoice

Fatrelle, have you ever considered actually making something of your own, rather than spending all your time shitting on others’ work?

He’s a journalist, so yes, he’s produced a lot of his own work (not to mention that criticism of others involves creating his own work, as Alan pointed out).

If it’s so easy, surely you can whip up a few viral feminist memes and get yourself some nice MSM attention.

Feminism, as an actual movement, isn’t spread through nonsensical memes. I can see how you’re confused, however, seeing as you probably aren’t all that familiar with actual human rights movements.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Oh, look who couldn’t stick the flounce!

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 years ago

I’m shocked he failed to stick the flounce

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