(Blasting News) – The current crash course on nationalism in America, is not a figment of anyone’s imagination. It exists in certain manifestations — mostly online — before it spills out into reality and people begin to act on what they’ve learned. If we were to accept that the nationalism is what we’re seeing at the Trump rallies where people have — at the very worst, taken it upon themselves to physically assault minorities and reporters and at the very least, show aggression towards them while their candidate promises a crackdown on the same people; then it is definitely a threat.
While we don’t do politics on this blog — you can go to Survival Journalism for all things political, nationalism falls in the category of what we do talk about which are ideas and philosophies. So, imagine that there was an effective delivery system for that fanaticism which serves to help the nationalistic threat grow? Obviously, Donald Trump’s union with the Alt Right Breitbart itself as the campaign is that system, but within it is the hijacking of a character that’s spent one-half of its life so far, within the comic pages of Boy’s Club and some of its life as a harmless online meme, before it became a symbol of fanatical patriotism within that already effective system. Initially, in one of our op-ed pieces from last month, the threat was seen as one that was growing through the use of Matt Furie’s character ‘Pepe the Frog’ which he wrongly dismissed as just a phase.
Since then however, both the publisher of Boy’s Club and the creator of ‘Pepe the Frog’ himself, have started to take some action to get their character back, which is really the only way they’re going to be able to. It should be mentioned however, that the form that nationalism has taken online at least, is via a trolling culture. It’s at this point that those who are against it, have taken it upon themselves to battle with those trolls and now, ‘Pepe the Frog’ is the result of a more “scenic route” of trolling because — as mentioned in the article referred to from last month — apparently, trolls who are no doubt happy to creative a viral prank — perhaps without allegiances — are laughing at the fact that the character has been taken as seriously as it has, as if they pulled the biggest prank in internet meme history.
But as explained, this can no longer be attributed to them if they’re not willing to own racist culture that has taken it, from them. Making what was at first a prank, reality. And so it’s a fine-line if we were to analyze this a bit closer. But that initial momentum-of-the-prank isn’t there anymore. It is now in the hands of those who mean to play Pepe for bad, on both sides. And so the fact that Matt Furie and Fantagraphics are taking some action now — instead of initially dismissing the hijacking of ‘Pepe the Frog’ as just a phase in nationalism is as we’ve said, the right kind of action to take.
[Image by Lior Zaltzman/Twitter]