Welcome to 2019, where it takes just 19 hours for a faked homemade video of Joe Biden to travel from the keyboard of a pseudonymous “memesmith” to the president of the United States.
The video, which splices footage from Mr. Biden’s recent apology for unwanted touching of several women with older footage of Mr. Biden, ricocheted around the pro-Trump corners of the internet. First on Twitter, then across Reddit forums, before getting picked up by White House director of social media Dan Scavino, Donald Trump Jr. and, finally, the president, who appended the caption “WELCOME BACK JOE!”
The video has been viewed 31 million times and counting and forced Mr. Biden to respond in a tweet, “I see that you are on the job and presidential, as always.”
Yep, a grainy, edited parody clip of the former vice president that’s made to look as if he’s kissing his own neck and creepily massaging himself will now be forever preserved by the Presidential Records Act. It’s a perfectly unbelievable and dispiriting artifact of our fractured and chaotic political media ecosystem, where politicking is conducted through viral memes and retweets.
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The entire event is at once silly, trivial, offensive and, thanks to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, something we’re now begrudgingly made to pay attention to. The same goes for the video’s creator, a stay-at-home dad in his mid-30s, who goes by the pseudonym “CarpeDonktum.” As his handle indicates, the meme creator is purposefully outrageous and yet, seemingly now has an indirect line to the Oval Office. And his elevation — from a Kansas City keyboard warrior to right-wing internet fame as the president’s unofficial meme maker — is a telling example of how the internet has fully blurred the lines between meme posting and business of politics.
“It’s definitely an organic process,” CarpeDonktum told me over the phone shortly after Mr. Trump tweeted his video. “Dan Scavino follows me on Twitter, but there’s no formal relationship there between me and the president. If there’s something I want to make sure [Scavino] sees, I’ll wait for him to post a tweet and try to be the first to reply, linking to what I want to show.” He said that he doesn’t get paid for any of his videos (other than his Patreon crowdfunding account and occasional YouTube ad revenue) and has no relationships to outside politicians.
Back in February, Mr. Trump tweeted out a CarpeDonktum video, mocking liberal members of congress during the State of the Union speech. The video, set to the tune of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” was removed from the president’s account for copyright violations, sparking outrage in pro-Trump spheres over allegations of censorship. The controversy bolstered CarpeDonktum’s reputation among the #MAGA crowd.
“If a political campaign wanted to hire me to do viral marketing stuff for them, that could be interesting,” he mused. I asked if he’d work on a Trump 2020 campaign. “It depends on the specifics,” he said.
CarpeDonktum started making memes, like countless other online Trump supporters, after spending time on Reddit’s The_Donald forum. The forum has come under scrutiny for alleged instances of harassment and sometimes hosting content alleged to be from white nationalist personalities or communities. CarpeDonktum denied such behavior went on in the forums.
His first public meme was posted in the summer of 2017, when Mr. Trump tweeted an infamous gif made by a Reddit user depicting the president body slamming a wrestler whose face had been replaced by CNN’s logo. He argues that the nod from Trump and the fallout after the tweet encouraged a race on the pro-Trump internet to create the most elaborate meme to troll mainstream media organizations. “That’s when the game changed,” he said, “and memes went from being crummy images to these high-fidelity ones.”
Since, CarpeDonktum said he’s gone from creating the videos frame by frame in Microsoft’s Paint program, to using the expensive, high-powered motion graphics software, Adobe After Effects. Last year he won a ,000 meme contest hosted by the conspiracy site Infowars and now said that he gets more than dozen requests per day to make bespoke political memes. While he said he doesn’t “need or care about the money” he expressed hope that his information warfare tactics could someday lead to something more — like a job doing viral marketing for political candidates.
According to their creator, it’s no fluke that the videos caught the eye of the president; he tailors them to an older generation of internet users. The elaborate memes feature footage from old Looney Tunes cartoons or depict Mr. Trump as a cowboy from an old John Wayne-style Western, slapping a man with a CNN or MSNBC logo across its head. “It’s boomer humor,” he said of his style of videos. “I’m not a boomer. But that brand of humor is most easily shareable by lots of people. So, I stay away from real violence, or overly sexualized stuff so it appeals to the largest amount of people.”
The strategy works. The videos share extremely well among an aging Trump supporter contingent who are prolific and aggressive posters of misinformation and hyperpartisan content on platforms like Facebook. They also make the rounds on Fox News. “Sean Hannity is going to play the video tonight,” he told me (a short clip ran early in Hannity’s broadcast). “Some kids that are 18 can retweet it and so can some grandma in Wisconsin. It’s slightly edgy but universal.”
Though his videos are dressed up using cartoons or slapstick humor, all of them center on the incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan themes of Mr. Trump’s politics (the wall, anti-media sentiment, making fun of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats). And CarpeDonktum, who described himself as “an entertainer” who “wants to make people laugh,” is not above engaging in all-caps Trumpian politics (which includes angrily tweeting at liberal politicians). His desire not to reveal his name suggests that he’s aware that those outside Trumpland find his content toxic.
“I’m not shy about this stuff but I don’t advertise it,” he said. “If I were to go to a party I wouldn’t introduce myself as the ‘Trump meme guy from Twitter.’”
That CarpeDonktum’s online musings or personal life should be picked apart is controversial in its own right. At first glance, it feels silly, maybe even wrong, to elevate him. He’s not a politician. He’s a Reddit user wielding far-right “Dad humor.” He’s not a public figure, save a few Infowars appearances and Persicope live stream videos where he films himself talking while he makes lunch for his children.
But at a time when our politics is programmed by what’s viral on Twitter, CarpeDonktum appears — stupefyingly as it might seem — to have something approaching power in MAGAland. It appears he senses it, too.
“All of the memes and stuff like that.” he said. “That’s the future of political advertising.”
“The 30 second spots on TV aren’t the way to market anymore. The stuff online that people dismiss as memes — that’s the way to motivate people,” he added. “It’s the viral political marketing of the future.”
In theory, his story is a perfect realization of the utopian understanding of the utopian promise of the internet: a truly democratic system of communication where anyone, anywhere can create things and get them seen by important people — even the president!
But in keeping with our current political moment, that utopian vision is used for vapid, divisive ends. The reality, as we should all know by now, is darker and a whole lot dumber.
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【是】【不】【是】【太】【自】【恋】【了】？ 【昨】【天】【我】【和】【宝】【宝】【分】【别】【出】【院】【了】，【但】【是】【出】【院】【以】【后】【的】【情】【况】【不】【是】【特】【别】【乐】【观】。【主】【要】【是】【我】【情】【绪】【特】【别】【易】【低】【落】【哭】【泣】【和】【自】【责】。【甚】【至】【莫】【名】【其】【妙】【迁】【怒】【孩】【子】，【然】【后】【陷】【入】【深】【深】【自】【责】。【我】【在】【努】【力】【调】【整】，【只】【有】【听】【冥】【想】【才】【会】【好】【些】。 【等】【待】【与】【你】【们】【的】【相】【会】！www.kk85.com【墨】【道】【山】【庄】【人】【声】【鼎】【沸】，【卡】【尔】【骑】【龙】【归】【来】，【一】【扫】【前】【几】【日】【的】【悲】【凉】【气】【氛】。 【穆】【雷】、【阿】【朵】、【苏】【丽】【淇】【和】【一】【众】【第】【九】【法】【师】【团】【的】【人】【都】【聚】【在】【了】【一】【起】，【一】【次】【开】【席】【了】【二】【十】【几】【桌】。 【席】【间】，【青】【桓】【来】【了】，【卡】【尔】【忙】【迎】【了】【出】【去】。 【青】【桓】【没】【有】【入】【席】，【而】【是】【和】【卡】【尔】【来】【到】【了】【书】【房】【中】。 “【这】【个】【时】【候】，【法】【王】【不】【方】【便】【来】【看】【你】。” “【我】【明】【白】，【在】【法】【王】【山】【口】【我】【也】【未】
【欧】【阳】【天】【他】【这】【里】【一】【个】【个】【的】【人】【去】【看】，【不】【多】【时】，【他】【这】【里】【便】【也】【是】【看】【到】【了】【叶】【辰】【了】。 【叶】【辰】【他】【看】【着】【欧】【阳】【天】【向】【着】【自】【己】【这】【里】【看】【了】【过】【来】，【他】【这】【里】【也】【是】【没】【有】【丝】【毫】【的】【表】【情】【变】【化】【的】，【心】【中】【这】【也】【是】【没】【有】【任】【何】【的】【变】【化】。 【因】【为】，【在】【他】【看】【来】，【欧】【阳】【天】【这】【是】【看】【不】【出】【来】【自】【己】【隐】【藏】【的】【这】【个】【光】【球】【的】！ 【少】【许】【后】，【欧】【阳】【天】【他】【从】【叶】【辰】【的】【身】【上】【收】【回】【了】【目】【光】，【直】【接】【向】【着】
【池】【渔】【来】【工】【作】【室】【报】【道】【的】【时】【候】，【郁】【锐】【哲】【也】【是】【在】【的】，【确】【切】【的】【来】【说】，【她】【是】【知】【道】【池】【渔】【要】【来】，【特】【意】【过】【来】【的】。 【对】【于】【池】【渔】，【她】【真】【的】【是】【太】【感】【兴】【趣】【了】【好】【吗】，【也】【不】【知】【道】【这】【到】【底】【是】【不】【是】【她】【小】【叔】【的】【闺】【女】，【小】【叔】【都】【那】【么】【说】【了】，【应】【该】【是】【吧】，【那】【这】【就】【是】【她】【妹】【妹】【了】【呀】。 【可】【是】【这】【小】【婶】【婶】【到】【底】【是】【何】【方】【神】【圣】【呀】？【她】【真】【的】【是】【挺】【好】【奇】【的】【嘛】。 【一】【颗】【八】【卦】【的】【心】【根】【本】
【她】【开】【始】【害】【怕】，【因】【为】【她】【拥】【有】【一】【切】，【她】【这】【么】【年】【轻】【怎】【么】【舍】【得】【去】【死】【呢】。 【啪】！ 【第】【二】【十】【三】【个】【巴】【掌】【过】【后】，【杨】【树】【终】【于】【停】【了】【下】【来】。 【他】【揉】【了】【揉】【手】，【说】【实】【话】，【手】【还】【真】【有】【些】【酸】【痛】【呢】。 “【你】【以】【为】【你】【是】【文】【家】【人】【我】【就】【不】【敢】【打】【你】？”【杨】【树】【一】【向】【奉】【行】【的】【准】【则】【就】【是】【先】【将】【人】【打】【服】【了】，【然】【后】【再】【聊】【天】，【这】【个】【准】【则】【不】【论】【是】【他】【做】【小】hun【混】【的】【时】【候】【还】【是】【现】【在】