Okay, this is epic. PewDiePie -- the world's most popular YouTube personality and generally wholesome Swedish funnyman -- enlisted prominent conservative Ben Shapiro to help respond to memes on the November 2nd edition of his meme reviewing show.
And the boo-hoo now being cultivated in the chronically too online petri dish would give Morton Salt a run for its money. Here's a sample:
Having Shapiro on Meme Review makes perfect sense. Together Ben and Pewds make the two biggest figures among those who attempt to walk the fine line between irreverence and reasonableness in the culture war, and you've gotta admit Shapiro himself is a(n accidental) meme machine.
Shapiro didn’t even say anything political during his four minute segment. He was simply there to review memes, and that’s precisely what he did — going over memes that fans and haters alike made, judging them for their quality.
“Ben Shapiro destroys sandcastles you spent the whole day building because you should grow up, you big baby."
"Ben Shapiro destroys you with FACTS and LOGIC."
"Ben Shapiro drinks your liberal tears.”
But alas, the personal is political and silence is complicity. The mere act of platforming someone who isn't biting at Trump's ankles 24/7 is problematic, you Super Hitler.
The commentary community’s Quinton Reviews was one of the many humor deprived zombies who couldn’t hold back a virtue signaling puke, and accused PewDiePie of “humanizing” Ben, as if he isn’t already human, or normal.
And I’m really starting to dislike the word “normalized.” They’re just memes. It’s not that deep.
It’s not that Shapiro even needs a larger platform to grow. He’s already got a big 'un. Every conservative-minded young person probably already subscribes to his podcast. Ben is smart. He’s got a lot to say about politics from a right-leaning perspective in a way that’s moderate, reasonable, and more importantly: not boring to listen to.
There’s probably an argument to be made about how memes are the lifeblood of political ideas in that they impart political consciousness to an otherwise sleepy and passive audience of apolitical gamers, who make up PewDiePie’s primary audience. Ideas are dangerous, after all.
But as far as I’ve been able to discern, nothing does a better job of waking people up more effectively than hysterical outrage over stupid shit. No one likes being told they’re not allowed to enjoy something, especially when that something isn’t harmful to begin with. Good job, fun police. Your sirens woke up the whole neighborhood.