Some of the Most Terrible People from the Internet in 2016
Between the Alt-Right Sis and the vlogger's boyfriend, it's been a particularly dire year online.
2016 was not cursed. Nor was 2016 a year riddled with bad luck. 2016 did not turn out so fucked up because someone bound a picture of it in black ribbon in the 90s and threw a photograph of its parents into a fire. 2016 was appalling – very – but that had nothing to do with planetary alignment. It was appalling because of the people who exist in the world in 2016. People did this. Shit people like you and me. You and me did this.
But we also had help from loads of other people, too. Between the alt-right army, outraged liberals and #pizzagate fanatics, 2016 was a year of horrible bigots and man-babies. Man-babies who tweet about having eaten all the chocolates out of their advent calendar the day they bought it. Even though they actually didn't. They didn't even fucking buy one. Social media has made the world grim. Here are all the grim people you will have met on it, this year.
OLD RICH PEOPLE BEING POLITICAL!
R U more offended by Kate Bush sympathising with Theresa May, an empowered woman whose rhetoric emboldens people who want to abuse migrants, or the blathering of liberal writers denouncing the Labour party for being too radical? 2016, a year of political turmoil, saw many earwigs of mainstream culture and media scuttle out from their desks at broadsheet newspapers and demonstrate their absolute ignorance and stupidity. My thoughts? The phoney liberals are worse. Please hurry up and resign from the Labour party; you'll be identifying as Conservative in five years anyway when your brother starts dating Samantha Cameron's cousin and you realise you actually only care about politics when it gets you the retweets that keep you in column inches.
THE VLOGGER'S BOYFRIEND!
Let's move away from politics momentarily so we can breathe oxygen and not suffocate ourselves by hyper-ventilating with anxiety. One of the new characters we've been introduced to on the internet this year has spent the last five years of his life taking pictures of his girlfriend wearing a mauve maxi skirt and fake-laughing, outside a shop that sells biscuits and scones at a 500 percent mark-up. This organism who previously only existed in a sort of sub-conscious state has now evolved a kind of self-awareness that means he's ready to turn the camera around on himself and exist in the digital world he's hovered on the edges of for so long. The Olympus PEN is to him what the hand-mirror was to feminists of the 1970s. Previously used as a weapon of oppression, now finally the tool of his liberation. And what a joy it is, that his confidence as the Vlogger's Boyfriend has developed to such an extent he now feels able to create his own content. His own little corner of the internet where he teases and tempts us with sponsored posts about Zizzi and reviews of Beard Lube and Leather Scent. A gormless selfie in a train mirror. An Instagram flat lay with a delicately torn croissant and a rose-gold wristwatch. It's what we all secretly want to do, and he's fucking done it. If you liked this video, click subscribe for constant updates from his brave new world.
Join me, if you will, in casting your mind back to simpler times, earlier this year, when Trump was physically very far away from the White House and the western world woke up daily to fascinating developments in the Kardashian-West-Jenner-Chyna-Tyga neo-odyssey. If only this dark year could have continued on that same trajectory; before the political Big Bang, before the Middle Eastern genocide (was broadcast), when racism in America didn't exist and rapists roamed social media freely and with abandon. Yes, we met quite a few rapists online this year. And not only did we meet them, we also experienced them being met and supported by groups of people who apparently think rape is a totally justifiable thing. But only, of course, if a woman is a slut or drunk or a drunk slut, which we know that all women are once they hit 16 and start wearing bras and tampons
THE ALT-RIGHT SIS
Alt-Right sis starter pack: excessively straightened hair; Deus Vult hoodie; profile picture holding an assault rifle; faved tweets detailing that they are pro-Israeli settlements; pro-increased legislation of gay and women's rights; pro-racial profiling; general inability to comprehend structural inequality in the West. Idolises: Faith Goldy, Lauren Southern, Ann Coulter, Christina Hoff Sommers, #doesntneedfeminism, obviously.
The phenomenon of the alt-right is fascinating mainly because it's been propelled into the public eye by a man who's happy to be filmed wearing a waistcoat without a shirt underneath, which is literally the most repulsive image I've seen all year. But while alt-right broshave been trash-talking progressive politics in favour of raw dogging cavewomen on Reddit for years, the emergence of the female alt-right warrior online represents something new.
Where archaic ideas of male privilege and entitlement pushed disillusioned trilbies and bros into a regressive right-wing political group, a growing number of women are now becoming equally aggressive towards any attempt to magnify the effects of white privilege on American culture. AKA all the white women who voted for Trump. The Alt-Right sis sees everything in black and white, except race, which she'll publicly refuse to acknowledge has any social ramifications whatsoever. Privately, of course, they all engage in a spot of eugenics chat. It is 2016 after all, freedom of speech guys!
AMERICANS GOING ON ABOUT #PIZZAGATE
Possibly my favourite internet phenomenon of the year, no online roundup of shitheads would be complete without the brave Americans SPEAKING OUT about the #Podesta #pizzagate #coverup. A conspiracy theory big-hitter drawing as much bizarrely-narrated content out of the dark web as Sandy Hook and its ilk, #pizzagate was borne from leaked emails from a restaurant in DC frequented by members of the Democratic party. In light of probably one person's assertion that the leaked emails were communicating in code, thousands of people now believe some brothers who run a pizza shop are engaged in a cannibalistic satanic paedophile ring. Says q a lot about the American psyche, no? A few weeks ago a guy pointed his gun around in their restaurant, demanding answers. Now. Watch me cover my back and say hey, I've read two JG Ballard novels, I don't doubt the presence of deeply dark shit in high places. But when the actual skeleton of this movement is literally two hours of a guy scrolling through Instagram repeatedly calling images by Chris the Simpsons Artist and Gosha Rubinksy "creepy", "damning" and "horrifying" I have but two words: Try Harder.
AN INEXHAUSTIBLE BRAZILIAN FAN BASE
The current "come to Brazil" meme circulating may have more impact than we have predicted. Judging by the success of mob mentality across the world in 2016, potentially before the year is up, all D and E list celebrities will be rounded up and forced to live in cages in Brazil, performing round the clock for their glamour-starved fans before collapsing into a mass grave teeming with acoustic guitars and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Not necessarily a bad thing.
BORING IDIOTS LIKE YOU AND ME
Let's not forget that we're on here too. Boring, self-involved, lazy idiots who think talking about South Park makes us sound clever and linking to an article from Verso Books renders us immediately fuckable. If you have shared two or more of the following sentiments, you deserve a place on this list:
"Planet Earth makes everything OK."
"All the young people in America voted Democrat! Forward the revolution."
*shares beauty shot of young Hillary Clinton* with caption: do the right thing and make history, America. *Cries on insta story that she lost because America is too sexist*
"Black Mirror ep 4 was absolutely beautiful, really impressive and so progressive."
"I ate my whole advent calendar in two hours looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool"
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