We have all seen it, meme’d it, spoke of it, saw the mainstream media freak out about it, embrace its edginess, heard it being called “right wing solipsism” etc. The best argument against solipsism is that if everything is merely the construct of our minds, or that I in the singular self is the only “true” consciousness, then why would I choose to be some weak mortal in hell-world? Why would I not imagine myself to be a God among men, conforming reality to my will? At least this is the experience of being “woke” or “a non-normie” a “non-NPC” to the Online Right wing. At least this is what drives at the heart of the NPC meme, and why it is so effective against the liberal left. Most people, and most of them especially, feel that they can choose everything in life as a free and autonomous individual, including what one deeply believes. Ask them something, anything, like “why is freedom and equality a good thing?” They sure will have some waffled philosophic justification, or appeal to some inane naive empiricism that justifies their religious devotion to “freedom” and “equality”. But the reality is in a totally secular and groundless worldview, these so-called principles are simply images of thought, unconscious assumptions that, either through indoctrination or social osmosis, go totally unquestioned.
You see, there are very few occasions for true freedom to take place, and that’s usually reserved for artists, philosophers, certain athletes, Holy people, people with true power, etc. The tiny and momentary moments in life that are filled with brilliance, clarity, beauty, religious and artistic ecstasy, zen-like stillness etc. what Schopenhauer called the momentary “suspension of the will-to-live”. Most people live life through what Gurdjieff called “sleeping-wakefulness”, being a non-playable character following a script. What the extremely online Right got wrong (hence why the meme died out so quickly) is that this meme simply does not apply to *sniffs* IDE-OLO-GEE. AND SO ON, and so on…..Anyone and truly everyone can become an NPC, a drone following a per-programmed set of responses which removes the crucial, painful, nasty, gut-checking act of serious thinking from your list of to-dos. Even people who pride themselves on being “freethinkers” more often than not are just weaseling their way around trying to justify an unmatched degree of ideological conformity. This may be cliched, and not a hard and fast rule by any stretch, but there is some truth in the statement that those whom take it upon themselves to loudly proclaim their own freethinking-hood, often times are the worst conformists and boot-lickers imaginable.
When I saw this version of the meme, it all made sense to me, and I just had to write this little explainer. The NPC-pepe version of the meme is a somewhat mildly clever attempt to throw the meme back in the faces of those online Right posters that littered the internet with them. Its a degree better than doing what Bill Mahar did when someone hacked his billboard with the NPC meme, and proceeded to call the perpetrators conservative virgins, losers that (and the Chapo ironists love using the virgin insult and this line in particular) “live in their mother’s basements”. I have spent a significant amount of my life in my home’s basement, in fact I am typing this out now in my office/library with my studio room attached. I never understood this insult, basements have been a refuge for introverts since the dawn of 50s suburbia, even more so in the internet age.
Anyways, I am drifting off topic again. The Pepe NPC face is a good illustration of the lack of self-reflection on the part of the Online Right, and a lot of Anon frogs whom have an inability to truly analyze their own statements and ideological utterances from an objective standpoint. This is a bit more sophisticated then leftists and Boomers appropriating stale meme language like “snowflakes” (2015 GamerGate anyone?), but it drives home the point. Often times ideological conformity is not immediately a bad thing, one must have in-group solidarity, and have at least some consistency in the real world application of ideas. Often times leftists will fight with each other, but still get things done and maintain cultural and institutional dominance. Whereas on the Right, infighting is a sport, and every time the knives come out it translates into total inertia that holds everyone back. You need quality control on the other hand mind you.
When one is blinded by ideology, then the real consequences of waging infowar with such a meme is lost, and counter-attacks on the digital planes become easy. The Right thought the NPC meme was purely ideological instead of ontological and epistemological, in other words, everyone can subsume their being and their ways of thinking into NPC-dom. So then it becomes easy to point out how the Right too are nothing but a bunch of NPCs spitting out the same talking points and sense of superiority at being “detached from it all”. This is a crude and simplistic counter-attack, but an effective one seeing as how the meme is dead. Do I think that one side has a special, or perhaps a better word is a more “direct” window into the truth (if not truth than meaning) than the other side? Of course I do, everyone does, being a woke centrist is a punchline without a joke, and a total unreality. But at the same time the Pepe NPC meme is a good illustration of the Right being tone-deaf to its own ability to break down complex realities into memes, slogans and easily digestible talking-points.
I love this image in particular:
It shows how within every frog, within someone who is Anon, or whom lives on the edges of society as a total ideological outsider, a Right wing Dissident, for Pepe has become the embodiment of the online Right for better or for worse. Within every NPC is the swaying of this edginess and “wokeness”, and within every frog is the nature of the NPC, total conformity of thinking, the Taoist Yin-Yang of dissident politics. Look into the cold, black, dead eyes of the NPC long enough, and one might just see a piece of yourself staring back.