YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE A MEME. THIS MEME INCORPORATES A PHOTO OF A MODEL. THIS MODEL: HE IS JUST A MODEL! HIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS PURCHASED ON ISTOCKPHOTO. AND HE’S A VERY GOOD MODEL, TOO!
REGARDLESS, HE DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY OF THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THE MEME THAT INCORPORATES HIS PHOTO. OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: CHRISTIAN BALE DOES NOT DRESS UP AS A BAT AND FIGHT CRIME, AND STEVE CARELL DOES NOT WORK AT A PAPER COMPANY IN SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA.
AS FOR OUR USE OF THE PHOTO: IT WOULD APPEAR THAT CRITICISM, COMMENTARY, AND NEWS REPORTING ARE FAIR USE! READ ON, THEREFORE, FOR SOME CRITICISM AND COMMENTARY. AND ENJOY!
Ah, Privilege Denying Dude. Never has a meme captivated my heart so! Never have I figured out how to generate a meme before, Privilege Denying Dude! And yet, it is done. I am yours! All yours! Enraptured in your icy glare, bewitched by the swirl of fluorescent color that surrounds your precious head. When I look back, I think this is the moment that you got me:
Because I am a sucker for food-snobbery jokes, Privilege Denying Dude. I mean: People think that growing your own food is a viable alternative, for poor people who work a lot! Hilarious! You sure are a douche, Guy In This Meme! But wait: There was more of you. Oh, so much more! So many individual iterations of your meme-y presence.
Some were witty!
Some were very literal and specific!
Some stuck to the eternal verities!
And then, the Others came.
And it became impossible to tell the real Privilege Denying Dudes from their parody counterparts!
They came to insist that everybody who made a Privilege Denying Dude meme was white, despite the fact that several people of color were actually visibly credited for their work! They came to insist that nobody was talking about class, despite the fact that memes about class were made, thus fulfilling the “a Marxist-ish white dude will come along to focus on the oppression that doesn’t require him to focus on women or people of color” requirement of all social justice discussions ever! They came to invent a “Feminist Cunt” meme, which wasn’t very funny! But a plan for that was already in place:
And they just kept coming. Somewhere, deep down, all of us thought that we knew exactly what Privilege Denying Dude would say. We’d had that fight; we’d heard that excuse; we’d read that column. We knew Privilege Denying. We saw this dude’s face, and we knew exactly what it would say. But to have it meme-able — to have a lovable little puppet who could re-iterate everything that had ever made us angry, in bold white font denoting its inherent ridiculousness — was a boon we had not foreseen. Because it was stupid. It was quick. It was funny for approximately five seconds, which is as long as it took for us to scroll to the next post. IT WAS INTERNET.
People keep talking about how The Next Wave Of Feminism Is Online Feminism, and honestly, if that is the case? We’re kind of screwed. But this is the actual Internet: Blowing off steam, entertaining us, making us feel better. Causing Very Serious Internet Outrage with things that took us five seconds to type into a box, because you know us: We’re the overemotional take-things-too-seriously permanently outraged harpies who exist on the fringes of society and OH GOD OH GOD NO SOMEONE SAID SOMETHING I LIKE IS PROBLEMATIC YOU THINK I’M A BAD PERSON DON’T YOU DON’T YOU WELL YOU’RE A TOTAL BITCH I KNOW BECAUSE I IMAGINED A DATE WITH YOU AND YOU WERE MEAN AND I WROTE A BLOG POST ABOUT WHAT A BAD LAY YOU’D BE AND NOW TO WRITE AN E-MAIL ABOUT THE MANY FACETS OF WEEZER OR “500 DAYS OF SUMMER” OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THAT YOU HAVE TOTALLY NEGLECTED OR PERHAPS JUST NOT UNDERSTOOD, TO WIT: MY FEELINGS. MY FEELINGS?! MYYYYYYYYYY FEEEEELIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGSSSSSSS. Everybody has an ego, and everybody thinks It’s About Them, and that’s also the Internet, it turns out; I do it, too. It’s just tiresome, the way we’re all progressive feminist-friendly forward-thinkers, until it lands at your doorstep, at which point: Can’t you be nice about it? And understanding? And empathetic? And basically just be the Deanna Troi of this particular Enterprise?
No. Sometimes, the answer is just no. It’s not like there are no problems with Privilege Denying Dude; our tendency to oversimplify ideological opponents is something I’ve spoken at tiresome length about, whilst being treated like an extremist bitch who subsists on a diet of sensitive dudes’ testicles and wants to personally come over to your house and burn everything you love and yell at you until you cry burning hot tears of shame. Some people used it to pile on specific bloggers; some people used it to make points that weren’t so terribly convincing. But at a certain point, you can’t hold enough public symposiums about your inner conflicts and your ideas about responsibility and your intentions. You can’t ever apologize enough; you can’t ever be careful enough; you can’t ever make enough Sympathy Faces and phrase enough statements as questions and say “that’s a reasonable point, but” enough, because there are always people who want to listen until it turns out they’re implicated.
And from this fact springs Privilege Denying Dude. Hundreds of Privilege Denying Dudes, within hours — I went to sleep when there were 37 pages of Privilege Denying Dude on MemeGenerator, and woke up when there were 75. I started this post when there were 75 pages of Privilege Denying Dude, and checked back in when there were 81. This is what we sound like when we’ve given up on getting approval. When we just think it’s funny. When we’re not trying to do anything but vent. And in the midst of all of this, there is a man. A lone, somewhat attractive man, posing one very important question:
You’ll never know, Privilege Denying Dude. That’s why we love you. Long may you fold your arms and wonder.