4 Chan.

Linebaugh

Well-known member
I actually was about to double back on that a bit. Gen Z's sexual candor doesn't seem too radical.

But Tik Tok is what I had in mind. I had an image in my head of glassy eyed mom's spending hours on tik tok watching leftist educational twerking videos of inscrutably gendered people.

More than anything its the trans/non-binary visibility that I think isn't ready to be completely absorbed into pop just yet. But I'm not completely sure. And maybe the leftism, but I'm not sure thats as popular as it may seem.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Actually what makes 4chan un-co-optable isn't obscenity, which is quite mainstream now, but it's political incorrectness.

But also, it's irony. Nobody but the initiated really knows what the symbols and memes they use really mean (and even the initiated don't necessarily know).
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It isn't like the old days when you could be a kid playing video games with the adults oblivious. The adults are now watching you play video games on twitch, if they're not playing them themselves.

I imagine it's quite suffocating. Nothing stays cool for long.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
I think that's an element with Gen Z though. The proliferation of micro-cultures and movements over the internet is dizzying, and they all have their own jargon/memes. You log off for a a day or two and can be completely lost upon returning. Seems adults are content to watch the kids morph like fungus on a petri dish, content to impartially observe without the threat of it ever breaking out and disrupting general order.
 

nilprenia

Well-known member
People on 4chan talk about their dads showing them the site now. The mainstreaming happened a long time ago
 

beiser

Well-known member
Lots of Gen Z media is too obscene to be co-opted right now too, rather something just to be gawked at.
I was thinking about this meme today—doomers and femboys definitely have mainstream/middlebrow crossover appeal. White nationalism and harassing women have always enjoyed a modicum of popular support too, but of course not in the same ways.

5FA7B217-F849-4D4B-8292-EEA78EC4993A.jpg

I guess the question is, what is the Gen-Z culture to be co-opted? Most of it doesn't really have the depth necessary.

100 gecs, roblox, minecraft, fortnite, tiktok, poggers...

Surely short dance videos will make it to the mainstream, but it doesn't feel like a strong record to me.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Do you think any of those, treated as cultures, could be imbued with something substantial, impregnated with the seeds of something more robust and promising?
 

nilprenia

Well-known member
So much of "Gen Z culture" online was created from the top down. Advertisers disproportionately target youth; things like tik tok are very closely curated to facilitate the worship of conventionally "attractive," white, rich people that is already a cross-generational mainstay in the West. Honestly seems like most ideas that are original or interesting get quashed despite it being theoretically easier to put your material out
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
... things like tik tok are very closely curated to facilitate the worship of conventionally "attractive," white, rich people that is already a cross-generational mainstay in the West.
There's the issue of algorithms disproportionately excluding or negatively highlighting minorities too, e.g. facial recognition software.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This bit in particular's something that worries me,
Artificial intelligence and modern computing are giving new life and a veneer of objectivity to these debunked theories, which were once used to legitimize slavery and perpetuate Nazi race “science.” Those who wish to spread essentialist theories of racial hierarchy are paying attention. In one blog, for example, a contemporary white nationalist claimed that “physiognomy is real” and “needs to come back as a legitimate field of scientific inquiry.”
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This is why I'm suspicious of the language of tech, the talk of optimisation, efficiency and so on. It gives me the same feeling as rebranding torture "enhanced interrogation". A respectable veneer for nasty ideas.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I know fuck all about 4chan really so that pepe documentary was an eye opener for me. Like I never grasped how the way the forum is set up is inherently competitive, like a video game, so you get this initial dynamic of kids trying to one up each other in terms of offensiveness. And then the mainstream adoption of pepe causing 4chan to go ultra offensive/racist to wrest control of it, and then that stuff being appropriated by neo nazis without the irony that was initially involved (allegedly). And now mainstream americans are using 4chan memes and believe in 4chan conspiracies.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Storyville, Pepe the Frog: Feels Good Man: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000nwrq via @bbciplayer
Watched this last night. Thought it was pretty good, although hearing anyone discuss memes and very online things irl is always awkward, the two 4chan posters they interviewed were particularly embarrassing. I also found myself feeling sorry for the character. You're bombarded with this cartoon to the point where he almost feels real, as though there's an actual sad frog people are doing horrible things to. Similar sort of feeling to watching Toy Story as a kid and thinking back on when you've thrown your own toys around, broken them etc.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
On a non unrelated note:

This is why I'm suspicious of the language of tech, the talk of optimisation, efficiency and so on. It gives me the same feeling as rebranding torture "enhanced interrogation". A respectable veneer for nasty ideas.
Just a blanket forum ban on opinions by Boomers at the New York Times and BBC about tech
 
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