Hangover Archives: 2020–11
Froge Fucking Dies
I have written an article titled “Froge Will Die on May 20, 2021”.
This is a strange thing to announce after a four-months absence, but it’s true. Not the literal form of my human existence, but instead the online form of the persona I have curated for myself over the past five years. In direct terms, my reasoning for this is because I have become more mature and have outgrown the name I currently present myself under. I will upload some unfinished work as articles and a chronology of my work as e-books before May 20, 2021, at which point I will retire the Froge persona. I will not be deleting anything, and my work will remain available on Neocities and in various archives. The article expresses this philosophically with notes on the nature of creation and existence itself.
I like Froge. You can say we’re heterosexual life partners who happen to be gay and only occasionally have sweaty cloacal sex. But when you adopt an alter ego for so long, you realise the limitations you set for yourself by continuing to engage in a tradition you no longer believe in. Froge is a dork with a big mouth and no chill. I am also a dork, and yet I have evolved from him to give my words the weight and power they deserve. No longer am I so prone to the rants he would often go on. I more often consider the purpose of what I say before I say it. I have become less neurotic and more stoic, and through consistent effort and acquired knowledge of self, I have attained a consistent peace which was only sporadic before. In this state of mind I can no longer honestly state I represent Froge as we know him. There is power inherent in a name, and the power he possesses is no longer the one I want.
I don’t regret much from my time on Neocities, and though the output of my work is inconsistent, I understand it is ultimately mine. It’s also yours to enjoy, regardless of what I think about it, and my opinions on my own work shouldn’t matter to you. The past is the past, however imperfect, and the past is yours to hold. But I control the future through the power of my present actions, and I do not want a future where I continue on this course. The trouble with men is they don’t let themselves die, for they are more afraid of rebirth than living a life where they never really were alive. I’d like to be born again, with a new persona and a new conception of the world. Like all new lives, I have no idea what I’ll do with mine. But it’s what I need, what I desire, and Froge will not be a part of that.
The coming months will be marked by periods of arbitrary uploads and continued dissertations of what I have created with my short, short life. Expect my work at unexpected times as I engage with this months-long funeral march. And read the damn article. Dork.
BERNIE SANDERS HAS WON THE ELECTION!!!
Just kidding, it was Biden.
In prior years, I would have felt something about this revelation. Standing from afar and looking down at my stupid, southern neighbours gaslight themselves for years on end, delusional their wounds at the hands of a megalomaniac were inflicted for the sake of a country that was once the most influential world power to grace the 20th century, brought me great laughter as I found stupid people continually damaged by their own unlearned consequences, and great pity as I found the few good people in that shithole country to be victims of a broken democracy and a national culture whose greatest pride is hate. But I do find some creeping, satisfactory feeling from the election of that other, less important man. A feeling that our prior years of turmoil will be replaced with a period of prosperous mediocrity. A feeling where outright hatred will be replaced by repressed resentment. A feeling of peace and quiet.
The MAGA cope is real. Trumptards are jobbing harder than Salty Bet B-tiers, 4chan is Twitterposting so hard even the soyjacks can’t keep up, Reddit is having a goddamn jamboree, YouTubers are just now compiling the meltdown, Tumblr did the time warp again back to 2014, and the Twitter team is nae-naeing so hard on Trump’s tears that they’re not only marking all his whinging, illiterate tweets as blatant bullshit, they’re also shitcanning his account’s special snowflake status since — wait for it — he is no longer the President. “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. That’s Twitter speak for “Bitch, I CAN’T”.
I’m sorry, is this too much of a liberal circlejerk? Oh wait, the conservative opinion doesn’t matter. Because they lost. They lost the presidential race, they lost the House of Representatives race, and the position the remaining Republicans find themselves in are as professional trolls looking to block Democratic legislation for no other reason than petty ideological vacuousness, giving the Democrats opportunity to build up a years-long narrative of their party being the greatest option for United States citizens while the Sloppy Seconds party is using their Salty Bux to dictatorially destroy American interests. Although being the Democrats they’ll probably run Hillary again then wonder why conservatives wouldn’t vote for a woman.
This election was a victory for slightly less-insane causes, but you can’t run from the evil inside your heart. Joe Biden won 75,000,000 votes, but Daddy Drumpf still received 71,000,000. That’s seventy-one million thinking, breathing, working human beings who saw the platforms that both parties offered them as American citizens, compared the two through reason and thought, and came to the conclusion that Donald Trump was a capable administrator who was willing and able to bring the United States prosperity at home while acting as a representative of their interests in negotiations with foreign nations. Seventy-one million human beings found some internal justification to vote for Donald Trump, kept that justification in their heads over his four-year presidency, then showed up in person at a voting station — in the midst of a pandemic responsible for killing 240,000 Americans and the infection of ten million of their fellow countrymen — showed their identification to the election volunteers, took their ballot behind a curtain, marked it off in favour of Donald Trump, dropped it in a bin, and then walked out of the station fully believing their actions on that day were the best actions they could have possibly taken to secure the future of their country.
The American people, it has been shown, are cucks.
My predictions last week were righteous. “…the two candidates represent only slightly different shades of the most unfettered capitalism on Earth, and little will change from the new normal we find ourselves in, where nation-wide protests are part of the background noise and a pandemic with 45,000,000 infections is a minor concern”. Biden is a party dinosaur elected out of spite for Bernie Sanders — no refunds — and is one medical incident away from becoming a fossil. He’s 78 on November 20th, and while getting to be the President of the United States is a decent birthday present, he’s the oldest candidate to ever hold office, and the notion of the Democratic Party further fragmenting their hastily-assembled voting base with the unelected presidency of a Black-Indian-Asian woman who may or may not enjoy executing her own citizens is the political horror story that analysts tell their children in bed to stop them from voting third-party.
Between the two demented old bastards presented to the United States populace for the purposes of ruining their country, the choice was between an establishment Democrat who supports civil rights only as far as it’s politically popular, or a full-blown fascist who bumblefucked his way into office by virtue of the opposing party’s campaigning failures. Neither of these individuals have a legitimate interest in the American people, pursuing power for the sake of good business and the bolstering of their reputations, and it’s laughable to suggest Biden will make any changes to the United State’s economic infrastructure to close the ever-increasing income gap disparity. It’s delusional to think he can rouse enough passion in the American people to support his party in future elections when the 2020 election was a referendum on how much Americans like being killed by Donald Trump. Now that The Don has outlived his usefulness, the Party is free to profit from his far-right rhetoric while running future candidates that are actually able to fulfill Republican goals, relegating his status to a cute little mascot who had a turn at the big boy’s table but now has to let the grown-ups play. Trump’s platform isn’t going away. But his own party is sick of him, and it’s time for the old man to go.
Think about the position the Republicans find themselves in now. They got Trump’s ability to unite their voting base under hatred of any entity that isn’t them, they got the media and propaganda arms fully willing and able to give their next nominee the same type of ferocious, sycophantic coverage they did with Trump, they have the armies of cultists willing to commit acts of domestic terrorism to interfere with elections unfavourable to the Party, and they still continue to benefit from the USA’s broken political system that allows any party with a simple majority to block any legislation they deem unfavourable to their interests, all while saying with a smile they’re making America great and broadcasting that message to a voting base so radicalised that the counties with the most COVID-19 infections are the counties that voted most overwhelmingly for Republicans.
The Republican party has the opportunity to elect an administration that will fulfill the same policy positions but with none of the incompetence or in-fighting which prevented them from destroying the United States in a timely and efficient manner. Their future candidate will have all the benefits of the Trump train without any of the downsides of being Donald Trump. They could throw him in prison tomorrow, dump every single person surrounding him, rebuild the White House with a team of toadies devoted solely to the Party, and go from shit-eating grins to stone-faced seriousness in the blink of an eye. Trump set the tone of all future elections by showcasing that half of Americans are either stupid, spiteful, or just plain evil, and the only thing his supporters hate is his failure to act on behalf of their hatred. A Republican candidate gets to keep the evil while having the competence to see that evil through. That is a fucking harrowing thought.
But that’s a story for a future saga. Biden won. Trump lost. And we all get to feel good about that. Except for the Trumptards. Obviously.
I’ll end this Hangover with a punchline. Out of all the hateful, spiteful, demented, racist, sexist, homophobic, and utterly inane actions that The Donald has taken over the years, the capstone of his administration is booking the wrong Four Seasons and delivering his loser’s speech in a shady warehouse outside a porn shop. This mishap was so simultaneously stupid yet serendipitous I refuse to believe it was an accident. Some underpaid intern somewhere was handed off the task of booking a conference appointment, and used that opportunity to give one last jab at a failing administration by sending their people off to a shithole warehouse to whine about the election — which they lost. Four Seasons was an inside job, and Donnie has lost the election. He is a loser. And there’s only one thing we have to say to losers:
Donald Trump? You’re fired.
Soylent Green is Dead Memes!
Happy Friday to all you chungos and chungettes. According to our current calendaring system, it is the thirteenth day of the month November. According to the folk knowledge we have assimilated through our uncivilised Western culture, this is an unlucky day. This is obviously bullshit and if you believe it you are a fool. I have no reservations about expressing this because I’m abandoning you all in a few months, and scaring you freaks off means I don’t have to fill out any more Christmas cards. Speaking of Christmas, you know what else is dumber than superstition? That’s right, an infant! Also the notion of God. Yes, this atheistic criticism is phoned-in, but we’ve been social distancing for the past eleventy billion months, so you should be used to phone calls and higher deities abandoning this mortal coil in favour of transforming into animals and making White girls fall in love with them. You just know…
I effortlessly move from the topic of bestiality into the topic of soy. Soy this, soy that, soy everything, everywhere, until the end of time. “soy” as an insult originated from incels on 4chan under the crack theory that eating too many soy products will remove the testosterone from your male-presenting body, hence the term “soyboy”, used to make fun of men who don’t fit into stereotypical notions of manliness as defined by bored teenagers on the Internet. There is no evidence that soybeans or soy products have any effect on the male physique beyond being rich in nutrients, which is weird because anonymous strangers on anime message boards usually have good medical advice. The terminology was invented in 2017, the first soyjack edits became popular in 2018, and from there it became a self-inflicted plague within 4chan’s borders to the point where the word “soy” is filtered and replaced with “onions”.
The meme eventually mutated into unintelligibility, where both soyjack and soy in general has been used to insult anything that the soyposter doesn’t personally like. It went from insulting nu-males, to games journalists, to Nintendo fans, to spooky scary SJWs, and now the meme has devolved to the point where you can quote any random sentence, put a soy face next to it, and believe this is a real argument. For instance, “>the meme has devolved has to the point where you can quote any random sentence”, followed by soyjack-classic-facing-right-transparent.png. You can put any random shit next to a soyjack and some idiot will get mad at it. This is as pathetic as replying to a quote tweet with a smug anime girl, and with soyjack you don’t even get a boner.
However, there are a few things going for the soyjack meme. One, the face is really funny, and no matter how many times I see it, it’s still funny to see how easy it is to get a rise out of any random moron by putting a wojak next to what they enjoy. Two, the amount of effort that goes into constructing soyjack variations despite the laziness of the meme itself is the type of cultural output we’ll look back on in ten years and talk about how those were the “good old days” despite how tiresome it all is now. Three, even though the soy meme is incredibly lazy, the beauty of the meme is that the laziness is the point. You’re not supposed to put effort into what you’re arguing when you can post one of the thousands of soy face variations floating around the Internet, and the other party isn’t supposed to put in any effort when they reply in kind. 4chan went from Weebs vs. Furries, Bronies vs. Furries, /s4s/ Shitposters vs. Furries… it was always furries now that I think about it. But the beauty of soy there’s no need to fight against furries, because soy is both the aggressor and the defender, the instigator and the uniter, and the endless war of Soy vs. Soy absorbs so much drama that the rest of the website is peaceful by virtue of its stupidity.
I’ve only used the word “soy” a few times in my writings, mostly to make fun of the notion of soy, but even so I sometimes find myself wanting to describes arbitrary things as soy. Despite how warped the definition is, soy still carries connotations of childishness, rejection of masculinity, corporate slavishness, and an absence of the ever-elusive concept of “SOUL”. In an effort to maintain this useful property of baiting frustrated replies out of Internet clowns, I will now introduce a five-point SOYCON scale to more accurately define appropriate uses of the terms. SOYCON 5 is everything I like and SOYCON 1 is everything you like, ranging from no soy at all to soy production so extreme it would bankrupt the Brazilian economy.
Speaking of soy, you can look at my new article titled “Tumblr: A Stupid Written Oral History”, which is about a website containing so much soy it overflowed the SOYCON scale and wrapped around to being based. You can also look at the rest of my articles. Or you could run a botnet and artificially increase my view counter so I can sell this Web domain for 0.70 CAD. Or 0.53 USD. Or three Brazilian Reals, which given current wages would buy you a four-story house and twelve acres of farmland. For farming soy.
Trash Culture is Trash Culture
In the course of my writings I’ve made a lot of assertions about our culture and the relative worthiness of each creation compared to another. What we call “culture” in the abstract is the collective outpouring of hundreds of millions of human relics designed for communication with our fellow men. Whether that communication is for business purposes, or for aesthetic purposes, or just to exist as its own entity, there would be no culture if art existed in a vacuum, and the way we interact with our culture defines who we are as much as it defines our communities.
I don’t exaggerate when I mean you are what you consume. Consciously or not, the media we choose to spend our limited time alive with influences us in ways we both do and do not understand. Cranks, moral guardians, and armchair warriors will take this simple idea and project its effects exponentially to claim the simple act of viewing fiction turns us into inhuman monsters and causes us to commit atrocities against our own people. This is an absurd notion, and more interesting is the realistic notion of encouraging people to spend what little life they have being part of a culture where they get the most enjoyment out of the work they interact with, the communities rising out of that work, and what they eventually contribute to those communities once they have the wherewithal to do so.
In this sense, the role of the critic is to judge what works a particular type of person is most likely to enjoy and obsess over so they don’t suffer the opportunity cost of spending several hours watching a movie, a series, or a video game to end up not liking it. Good work creates opportunities for personal and societal growth, whereas bad work is a social parasite that steals human development in favour of cheap entertainment. As a critic can’t be anyone other than themselves, I have always encouraged writers to be themselves, and to write with all the stupid, petty, intrinsic biases they have so as to attract similar-minded peoples and to encourage them to seek out what they like as an extension of what you like. If a work impacted you in a positive way, then it’s likely to impact someone else all the same. You won’t always be able to express your feelings, but you’re human by nature of feeling them, and it’s far nobler to be human than to pretend to be objective.
There’s this game called “Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”. It became notorious in 2017 for being difficult to operate and excessively punishing for mistakes made while playing it. The core concept is to climb up a mountain made of trash while using a sledgehammer, the theme being the compromises we make while creating games, the expectations we have while playing them, and how games made of random assortments of cultural pollution can be their own, noble form of culture if we recycle them in a brand-new creation. In an industry full of asset-flipped games bootlegging off one another like rat kings biting each other’s blood for nourishment, it’s generous to express the idea of reusing commercial assets as a virtue and not a vice. As Bennett Foddy himself says, trash culture is still culture. And though our world sees it as antiquated prolefeed meant to be created and then discarded, it only takes talent for the disposed to become indispensable.
A critic also acts as the arbiter of trash, deciding what culture deserves to be exalted and what culture deserves to be mocked. What bad critics fail to realise is the goodness inherent in bad art. If there was no trash, there wouldn’t be anything to call trash. Goodness isn’t an objective constant that can be measured on its own. It only exists through the hundreds of years of trial-and-error individual artists have spent attempting to find higher beauty where none exists within the mundane days of our lives, alongside endless amounts of private failures and passion projects which existed outside of any attempt to make something for public consumption. As artists, we expect what we make to be failures before they’re even finished. That’s why independent artists are so stingy about what they decide to publish. The question is then what compels artists to deliberately release work that doesn’t fit our notions of what good work is. Is it out of pride, hubris, naïvety, or deliberate ignorance of external opinions? Or are they just examples for us to look at and see what not to create? If they exist as learning opportunities, then badness is nobler than goodness, as it is much easier to understand why something is bad than to understand why it’s good.
Informed media fans spend their lives attempting to curate their own personal collection of work they have personally gotten to experience, attempting to understand how it affects them, attempting to organise these works in a fashion where other people can believe their opinions of the work, and attempting to gain the maximum amount of enjoyment they get out of art without sacrificing their own sense of virtue. The circumstances of a work’s creation hardly matters on an individual level, whether it exists as a commercial enterprise or from the mind of a starving artist. It’s all for the public’s enjoyment, at the end of it all, and the public will reclaim media and commune in its presence through any means they desire. While we can enjoy art all by our lonesome, we find even greater enjoyment by expressing our enjoyment of it with similar-minded people. It’s rarely enough to be satisfied inside our own heads. Culture exists because we care enough to express this satisfaction with others, and in creating a community of mutual affection for work we didn’t create, we end up as more virtuous people by basking in the light of greatness.
And even if something isn’t so great after all, at least you’ll know why it isn’t.
You can read one of my own failures under “Just Another Failed First Chapter”. It’s about the first chapter I wrote for a novel. Which failed.