This website was made mostly for my art, but sometimes my thoughts require more space than social media allows me, so expect the occasional blogpost. In this case I dwell in yet another controversial and super important topic: Can the left meme?

“The left can meme” is a rather popular line (practically a meme on itself by now) in the net, used by right wing, centrists, and even some classical liberals to refer to political memes or comics made by left wingers, usually social justice warriors, who they think are not funny.

Before addressing the topic, it’s probably relevant to say that my ideas are mostly on the left, similar to those from classical liberals like David Rubin, so you can say I’m a left winger, and I’m also an artist who lives from doing comics and drawings. I’ve been doing comics for over a decade, and while most of my comics are non-political adventure/humor comics, I also do political pages when I have something to say. So this analysis will be focused mostly on the Comic part, though it can be applied to simple memes.

Triggerhappy: Final fantasy double standard

So with that said, it’s true that “the left can’t meme”? I would say “Yes”.

I’ve discussed this with other left wing people and I surprisingly found people tend to agree with my reasoning more often than not. Here’s why:

Political comics are kind of tricky to do. It’s not just picking an opinion and drawing it in comic form. To actually do that correctly you’ll need an entire comic issue of 30+ pages to make your point across, (just think about how long you have to write to convey a point to someone in all detail) and it would probably be boring as fuck for anyone who doesn’t agree with you (and probably even for those who agree and don’t want to read their own thoughts again). Also, if you’re just going to do that, then there’s no reason to do it as a comic. To do a comic means you’re gonna use the particular elements of comic narrative because they’ll add something to it. If you’re not going to do that, then don’t do a comic, there’s no point to it.

Political comics usually have to make a point in a few panels, maybe 2, 3 or 4, and need to entertain in some way if you want people to keep reading your stuff. Not all political pages need to have a joke, but you can’t expect readers to come back if you make super long and boring pages. The attention span for people in the internet is very low. For that reason, political comics commonly use hyperbole and some other tricks, picking extreme examples or making characters to say ridiculous lines, as to create a joke and make a broad point. So, people from both left and right, don’t go throwing “fallacy” to all comics you disagree with; we know the issues are more complex than we show in our pages, but this is the most efficient way to do them. You cannot expect a 3 panel comic to be as nuanced as an article of thousands of words, when even those articles usually fail to convey their point to the other side.

Where I’m going with all this and why the left can’t meme? Well, because when doing political comics, I notice that most leftists artists (or meme workers) give preference to the political message over the joke, whereas right wingers and centrists tend to go for a joke first, and then a political message. And I would say this is something that is affecting all humor as a whole. I can’t say when this started happening, but it seems that the “side” with the humor has shifted, and while the left were for some time the ones who challenged the stern right with humor and irreverence, it’s now the left that gets offended by every joke, and the right are those who want to laugh about everything (Just look at Kekistan; we kekistanies have been opressed for so long for our jokes because the left can’t understand them and think we’re nazis).

Gamergate Triggerhappy: FreeKekistan

When we take this into comics (and memes), what we have is that the ones created by the right wing focus on making a joke that can be funny on itself, and then mix that joke with their message. So even when I disagree with the message I can still laugh with the execution.

For example they can say something about immigration or the use of violence I don’t agree with or I think takes things too far, but they do it through the use of some anime meme with a cute hamburger eating cat-girl in a maga hat chasing illegal aliens or muslisms or antifas, which is visually fun even if i don’t agree with the use of violence, or mass deportations, or a new crusade.

Resultado de imagen de animeright meme

Or some stereotypical Mexican lying his way out of been deported by Trump and the vision of it is just too funny not to laugh.

Resultado de imagen de dios mio that was close

There’s a reason characters like Taytweets or anime girls in nazi uniforms are fun, and it’s preciselly because of the contradiction of something so cute mixed with something so horrible. It creates enough shock value that if you don’t take it seriously (as it’s not intended to be serious) it’s funny to watch. But the left nowadays seems unable to understand that concept and just takes the visuals at face value, considering that those who post them are nazis. Thus, they don’t do this kind of stuff.

Resultado de imagen de nico nico nazi

Righ wing comics and memes, or those who are done by centrists or moderate leftists who understand this concepts, are filled with this kind of irreverent humor and shocking images, which gives them an extra fun factor independently of the message of it.

Yet when I see comics (and memes) from the left wing, they are usually just some character saying a political message and…that’s it. No joke. Nothing containing any shock value. No use of visual elements to be funny or convey the message in a different way than just a tweet. Nothing. Just a character saying a message out loud and we’re supposed to laugh because we agree with the message (IF you agree with the message).

Just look at the comic on top of this text. What is the joke here? Seriously, where is the joke? This is just a guy saying “there are more options than boy and girl”. That’s it. There’s nothing more. There is no joke mixed in there, and there is no particular reason why this should be in a comic instead of just a tweet saying “i think Pokemon should have more options than boy and girl”. There is no use of the comic narrative to express anything else, or do a joke, and the drawing quality is so low that there isn’t even an aesthetic reason to do it this way, when even a kid could do it. This comic is so bad, that many people at first thought it was a satire poking fun at Tumblerites, and that the joke was that they are so crazy they would shot a console because the game doesn’t have 72+ sexes to choose. But no, this is totally serious; this is just a guy saying what the author thinks and that’s it. Even if i agreed with the stupidity that a game should have 72+ options to choose, i would still think this comic is shit because it has 0 joke, 0 reason to be done as a comic, and doesn’t even say anything new, since the “pokemon should have more than boy and girl” thing has been runing arround Tumblr for years now.

Assigned Male - Cis People and Surgery

Now look at this shit over the text. What IS this shit? Seriously. There’s not even and attempt to a joke here. Worse yet. The comic defeat itself by making the artist look more retarded than the guy the comic wants to portray as “bad”. The total content of this comic is: Guy ask a completelly normal question in an educated manner; artist voice character acts like a retard cis hater; the guy raises a very valid point in an educated manner, and the comic concludes by saying he’s somehow the villain of the story, with no joke, no logical argument, no attempt to hide the hate and contempt the artist holds. This comic (and all the comics this retard makes) are Slam poetry made comic. They have absolutelly no meaning of existance, there’s no reason to do this as comic instead of text, there’s no joke, no use of comic narrative, the drawing quality is horrendous, there’s no argument been made and it just serves to convey the message that the author has absolute disdain for cisgenders but doesn’t see a problem with it. How do readers of this shit expect that anyone who isn’t a crazy tumblerite will find any of this comics funny or meaningful? This is one of the comics i most often see associated with the line “the left can’t meme” and everytime i agree.

It seem that many artists in the left try to rely on the kind of humor that is used in some comedy shows where they talk about daily life things that happen to everyone, like hitting your toe with a desk, and they get you a smile because you go “ah that happened to me too”. The problem is, that kind of humor only works because those comedians talk about non-political, non-partisan stuff that everyone can relate to. If you try to apply that to politics…well, the only people who’s gonna laugh are the ones very invested in the ideology you try to promote. Because even those who agree may not find it funny, since, well, there’s no joke to laugh at. A big part of what makes humor “funny” is because we know the comedian is not being serious. Especially when it comes to dark humor, we laugh because the things said by the comedian are so dark that they clash with our value system and the shock makes us laugh, because we know they’re not being serious.

That’s why things like “slam poetry” or far left comedy shows are so devoid of humor. They don’t try to make a joke. They just cry their ideology out loud, and if you agree exactly with what they say you may smile, but if you’re anyone else, the humor factor is 0, because you know they’re serious, and there’s no joke in there to laugh at aside of their opinion. A joke about gays or about male stereotypes is funny, but a feminist going to a stage and crying in all seriousness that all men are potential rapists is no more funny than a priest going to a stage to cry that all gays shall go to hell, because we know they’re both serious. In the same way, a political meme or comic has an opinion part you may not agree with and don’t make you laugh, but it also has (or should have) another part that is actually a joke and can make you laugh even if you think the message is horrible. That is totally lacking in the lefts “humor” nowadays.

Obviously, I’m not saying that every right wing asshole’s memes are funny, or that there is not good humor in the left. I’ve seen some right wing comics that seem to lack basic knowledge on what a comic is, and instead of using visuals they fill the panel with names of people and things. I’ve even subtly made fun of them in one of my comics, though not many people realized. There are also funny left wing comics and memes, and sometimes a comic can hold itself without a joke because it’s well executed. And of course as I said I do political comics while on the left, and I very well know I try to mix my message with a joke in every page I do. So maybe you don’t agree with what i say but you can still laugh at the random funny shit i do in the pages (and even some of my haters have conceded that much).

 

Gamergate life 89

 

But if I have to go by the trend, I would say that overall, I find myself laughing more at right wing/centrist comics/memes I disagree with, than to left wing ones I agree with.

So yes, the left can’t meme. And i would like it could be able to meme again.