The 4 Strangest (Non-Political) Things About The Alt-Right

There's a lot about the alt-right that scares me. It's the Nazi stuff, mostly. I take umbrage at that, I guess. But the truth is that I don't spend a lot of time actively being afraid of the alt-right because instead of being scary they all just come off as a bunch of doofs. Goobers. Dunderheads. People who need a good talking-to from Fred Rogers.

Any political ideology -- especially a hateful one -- deserves careful and sober analysis by intelligent people who can give the ideas the expert attention they warrant. But I'm not careful, intelligent, an expert, or even sober, so instead I'd just like to take a second to point out that...

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4
All Their Pop Culture References Backfire

How annoying is it when the media gets details about your favorite thing wrong? Some Fox reporter makes reference to "Lord of the Narnia," or someone accidentally says that Coraline was directed by Tim Burton, or some dumb internet comedian writes a sketch where a character refers to Treecko as a bug-type Pokemon. TV Tropes has a whole page about it. It's insufferable. Also, the alt-right does this every single time they put any words together at all.

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You know their obsession with calling people they disagree with "snowflakes"? Kellyanne Conway does it, along with other people, probably, I don't want to link to examples because I'll just get mad but trust me it's out there. And it's a reference to Fight Club, which was written by a gay man and is about how destructive and toxic masculinity can become if you embrace the wrong parts of it and buy into the incredibly stupid idea of a "fight club." Tyler Durden (the bad guy) says it in the middle of a sentence where he's being shortsighted about things and also a terrorist cult leader. His whole attitude is the thing the story is taking apart. It's an anti-alt-right movie made before the alt-right existed and they built it into their vocabulary.

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They also use the term "red pill" in reference to waking up to the fact that women are controlling the world with their inferior/superior intelligence and uncontrollable emotions which they also can't feel.

"Red Pill," of course, is a term referencing The Matrix, a movie written and directed by two trans women. Which is probably why the earliest example of using the "red pill" as a metaphor for gender politics that I can find was when it was used to show the sensation of waking up to see that the patriarchy exists.

Tatsuya Ishida
Also, Trinity riding a tricycle is inherently hilarious.

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Even the Pepe the Frog meme (a Nazi ... frog?) was designed by his creator to be "a chill frog" who liked to "hang out with his bros, watch TV, eat snacks, chill out, and occasionally smoke various plants." Which means Pepe the Frog is a beta cuck. A peace-lovin', pot-smokin', porn-watchin', lazyass hippie! Exactly the kind of people the alt-right wants to ... uh, melt into batter for their Nazi pancakes? I can't remember what their actionable goals are right now.

3
Their Insecurities Are Cringingly On Display

For those that don't know, a "cuckold" or "cuck" is the male husband of an adulterous woman. "Cuckoldery" or "cucking" is a sexual fetish in which a man gets sexual gratification from thinking about his female partner doing some sexy-times stuff with other men. It's named after the cuckoo bird, which is a fun thing that I'm happy is true. It's also one of the most common fetishes, and you're pretty much guaranteed to be friends who someone who's into it, if you're not into it yourself. And the alt-right is obsessed with it as an insult. There's even a graph:

Mel Magazine
From Jan. 2013 to Nov. 2016

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Which is crazy because being cheated on doesn't say anything about you, it says something about the cheater. They're the one betraying trust and acting like a total dick, even if they don't have one. The cheated-upon might be more hurt, but their moral slate and integrity remain unscathed. It's like calling someone an idiot for being mugged. Unless you think of relationships as men owning women and being responsible for their actions like they're a trained f*****g dog or something. I guess there's also a racial component to the "cuck" thing but I don't even know how to begin talking about that.

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It's even weirder if you imagine that they're insulting people who are turned on by cuckoldery. If it's the guy's fantasy to get "cucked" and he actually makes it happen, that means he's convinced two other people to commit to an entire evening of activities just to satisfy his sexual urges. In a world where most people are too afraid to admit that they wanna be called "Han Solo" in the bedroom, that's Olympic-level f*****g right there. But also who cares, whatever gets you off gets you off, it's just a thing.

Using "cuck" as an insult says a lot more about the insulter than the person being insulted. Of course you think being cucked is the worst thing that could happen -- you think of women as objects to be earned and kept rather than people that you maintain a relationship with through mutual work and respect and love. That's too bad. You should probably stop, because you're mainly hurting yourself. Also any women you might meet, but somehow I don't think you care too much about that.

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2
They Also Don't Understand Jokes

You may have heard about the time Donald Trump misunderstood a pun George W. Bush made as being a literal statement. You probably thought, well, fine. Wordplay isn't his forte. He's trained as a reality TV host, a job that requires very little talking or articulation at all. You can't expect him to understand the complex literary device known as "metaphors," since those usually aren't taught until fifth grade, while Trump himself told a recent biographer that his development ended in first grade.

CBS News
"There's no question."

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But this isn't a phenomenon limited to ol' Trumpy. Prominent Alt-Right ... Commenter? (s****y advice-book writer? Maker of rambling, pointless internet videos? Weird guy with an annoying voice?) Mike Cernovich has a blog post where he misunderstood a joke and thought Seth Rogen's wife had publicly declared her love for him, as the spouses of celebrities often do on Twitter.

Mike Cernovich/Twitter

Lauren Miller Rogen/Twitter
Ah, yes, a sincere statement.

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More recently, writer Jack Posobiec tweeted the hilarious witticism "Tomorrow I'll be holding a production of the Salem Witch Trials where Hillary is burned at the stake." The joke there is that Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is a witch, which (as Cracked writer Cristian Ramirez pointed out) makes no sense unless he thinks Hillary is innocent of all her criticisms or (and this is slightly more likely) that he thinks witches really exist and need to be burned alive, that their souls might be cleansed of satanic impurities. I dunno, call me paranoid, but I don't like the idea that a man should be able to be a successful, prominent political commenter and believe that Hillary Clinton had sex with the devil in exchange for magical powers. It unsettles me.

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Then there's Milo Yiannopoulos, who would play the old trick of saying something really horrible and then following it up with "I'm only joking!" like the very concept is God Mode for arguments. Imagine spending just a single afternoon with someone who said "I'm only joking!" any time you disagreed with them or they said something that didn't make sense. It would be maddening. Conversation would be impossible. Just say a thing. Even if I disagree with it, at least I'll understand you, which is the whole point of talking.

Man I'm really starting to think the alt-right are a bunch of lonely angry people with no convictions but lots of pent-up anger at the people who bullied them in middle school.

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1
They're Really Bad At Knowing What Looks Cool

Right off the bat, guys: I know that I don't now, nor have I ever, looked cool. In college I had long hair that I parted in the middle and smoked cigarettes and once wore a top hat over a hoodie because I thought I was starting something. I throw an embarrassing picture of myself in a column or video whenever I get the chance and today, my friends, is another one.

J.F. Sargent
Who am I kidding, I look fantastic in that picture.

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But even at my worst, I manage to look more adult and dignified than most alt-righters. This is a picture of Paul Joseph Watson, editor-at-large for InfoWars:

Paul Joseph Watson

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I didn't pluck that from an archived MySpace account. That's his Twitter handle. He thinks that's what an adult looks like. Again, he's probably out there saying Nazi stuff or whatever (I haven't been following the news because I moved into a new apartment and got a cute new fish and refrigerator) but the thing I'm focusing on today is that he thinks he can pull off Cillian Murphy's look in Peaky Blinders. He can't, though, because Peaky Blinders is a period piece and you could get away with certain stuff in the early 20th century that looks ridiculous in a modern context because why am I explaining this to you, Paul, you're a grown-ass man.

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Here's a picture of Richard Spencer that makes him look like he writes the books you buy if there are no more Dean Koontzes.

Richard Spencer

And here's one of the already-mocked Mike Cernovich that speaks for itself.

Mike Cernovich

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Again, I didn't go digging for these. This is how these people present themselves. They think this is people.

Anyway, I know I haven't dealt a killing blow to the movement or anything. It's just weird to me that it's come far enough to where these people are being taken seriously in the political sphere when they're really no more sophisticated than Men's Rights Activists or fans of Audioslave. I get that we have to tolerate people we don't like. Every party has at least one guy insisting that if you just give them a chance and look at things objectively then Audioslave is actually a pretty good band, and we all tolerate the guy and don't, like, kick him out or anything, but we also don't let him plug in his iPod or pick the president of the United States. Right? Because that'd be crazy.

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I dunno. I mean, whatever.

Like, yeah, I guess? Follow JF Sargent on Twitter and Facebook if you get around to it.

Be sure to check out our new Cracked Podcast miniseries, "Looking The Part," in which Soren Bowie and Daniel O'Brien are dissecting pop-culture's greatest beards, scars, and tattoos.

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For more check out 5 Things You Learn Being Attacked By The Alt-Right and 5 Dark Realities Of Being A Modern-Day Nazi Hunter.

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