Weaponised Boomer Memes
November 7, 2019 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Then we shall "okay, boomer" them in the shade.
posted by Reyturner at 8:23 PM on November 7 [17 favorites]

I remember once years ago quonsar called someone a 'pouting, Napoleonic little toddler' and never has it seemed so apt as when I learned about these two. I hope their chosen profession makes it impossible for them to ever get laid again.
posted by um at 9:09 PM on November 7 [7 favorites]

Plot twist: "Okay, boomer" will be the proper & mandatory way to acknowledge the orders of your gerontocratic superiors.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:11 PM on November 7 [14 favorites]

Appearing before a Sunday afternoon session at the Australian Libertarian Society's annual Friedman Conference

Of course.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:35 PM on November 7 [5 favorites]

I've wondered for a while if the "Engadine Maccas" meme was a flipside one of theirs - it's puerile and funny and stupid enough to get traction and be repeated and embellished and re-purposed however you want, but dumb enough that no-one's surprised that it's never been confirmed or denied.

And it makes that faux-folksy arse-smiler Morrison look even more folksy and human and relatable…
posted by Pinback at 9:40 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]

We see so much of this approach in NZ; the National Party put out a low-quality, thrown-together ad. Leftists and liberals share it to mock it - but they're sharing it, which is the whole point. Likewise the use of comic sans in a pro-Brexit tweet. We mock, they get coverage. Repeat.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:02 AM on November 8 [16 favorites]

I'm sorry, world.

I'm especially sorry, UK.

First we inflicted Rupert on you, then we sent you Crosby Textor, and now we've exported this pair of arseholes.

I don't know what we could possibly do to make amends. Perhaps unilaterally raise global temperatures by some substantial portion of a degree?
posted by flabdablet at 1:53 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]

More like "G'Day Boomer," amirite?
posted by chavenet at 4:09 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]

I didn't know about this, or notice it at the time. I was stunned by the election result and have been feeling stupid and depressed ever since. But I am so completely unsurprised by this news. It makes perfect sense that Morrison, who is at heart a marketer, would hire the first good social media team in Aussie politics.

And here they are, celebrating and bragging. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, half of NSW is on fire, rivers are drying up. But hey, they feel a sense of belonging and family with their fellow conservatives, so who gives a fuck about anything else?
posted by harriet vane at 4:23 AM on November 8 [15 favorites]

What is it, exactly, that the current crop of self-styled conservatives understand themselves to be conserving? Nothing of value to me, I suspect.
posted by flabdablet at 4:39 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]

This week, I have mostly been shouting “WANKERS”
posted by prismatic7 at 4:43 AM on November 8 [8 favorites]

I find it amusing as long as it's directed at a mindset rather than an entire generation, and used it last week on my 72-year-old husband, but as with all broad-brush insults it has major deficiencies as a rhetorical move. Perhaps its popularity this past week means it will wither and die.
posted by Peach at 5:13 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]

What is it, exactly, that the current crop of self-styled conservatives understand themselves to be conserving?

Their positions of power and privilege.
posted by nubs at 5:30 AM on November 8 [18 favorites]

Richard Seymour: The right’s use of trolling is so predictable, why do we keep falling for it?
Why, then, do we tend to fall for it? Particularly when the trolling so obviously and eagerly craves our outraged response? Why do we think we gain from quote-tweeting or replying to politicians and journalists who say things we find hateful? However clever, snarky or “fierce” our replies may be, we all know we’re helping to spread the very messages we want to discredit.

The answer may lie in a version of what Natasha Dow Schull, in her study of machine gambling, calls “losses disguised as wins”. Gamblers, hooked on the machine, are almost certain to lose most of their money, most of the time. Yet the experience is punctuated with regular rewards, apparent wins signalled with flashing lights, noise and the clatter of change falling into the dispenser. Social media, with its notifications of likes and shares, offers similar pseudo-victories in exchange for our engagement.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:16 AM on November 8 [15 favorites]

However clever, snarky or “fierce” our replies may be, we all know we’re helping to spread the very messages we want to discredit.

This is so true. A snarky clap-back on Twitter may seem like political action (which it never is, even in the best of circumstances), but most of the people who see it already agree with you. Meanwhile, the politician's message gains penetration old-media marketers couldn't have dreamed of.

For this and a host of other reasons, social media was a mistake. Burn it all to the ground.
posted by FakeFreyja at 6:36 AM on November 8 [5 favorites]

So let’s start our own goddamned memes.
posted by conscious matter at 7:06 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]

It seems like the hinted answer here is "ignore it, don't fall for the bait!" but it seems like that's really only half the problem?

Basically, the idea here is "flood everything with our bad memes!" which yields some baseline amount of advertisement, and a bonus of amplification from criticism. Ignoring it just cuts off the amplification, which is good, but doesn't address the baseline.

So, wouldn't the better counter strategy amount to both ignoring to avoid amplification, but also to meet the "flood everything" approach with your own flood? This would bring up your own baseline and hopefully provide opportunities for amplification via criticism from the other side?
posted by delicious-luncheon at 7:07 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]

One thing I see sometimes goes like this:


- CLAIM 1 is slightly ridiculous
- CLAIM 2 is a lie but time consuming to disprove
- CLAIM 3 is blatantly false and anyone claiming it looks like a clown
- CLAIM 4 is not a factual claim but reveals the attitude of a cruel person


"Lol, look at this thing, they're saying CLAIM 3 which is patently absurd, as well as CLAIM 1, and CLAIM 4 shows they are terrible people"


"Well, sure, but what about CLAIM 2 though?"
posted by RobotHero at 7:46 AM on November 8 [8 favorites]

They're applying a social media marketing mindset to politics. Remember when Nixon lost to Kennedy because Kennedy "got" TV and used it well and Nixon didn't? If candidates don't learn to use social they're in trouble.
posted by rednikki at 9:31 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]

Sort of a miniaturized Gish Gallop there.
posted by sotonohito at 9:50 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]

So let’s start our own goddamned memes.

The thing is, I may be getting confused here, but I think I know one of the admins of the ALP spicy meme stash. I've seen a lot of left-wing Auspol memes created, and they get traction, but the whole issue with social media is whether that traction is ever leaving already left-wing circles.

If I'm remembering the adminship correctly, I hate the guy, the worst example of a Labor Gay you could pick out, but I can't blame the failure on what I think are his terrible politics.

I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Australia has more similarities to other settler-colonial nations than I previously thought. Perhaps the majority of the white working class have been effectively bought off by white supremacy, and can't be shifted without a comprehensive re-education and consciousness-raising program that Labor will never endorse, let alone start.
posted by Acid Communist at 10:45 AM on November 8 [4 favorites]

I just saw someone dunking on a guy trying to do a poll that basically says "since boomer is equivalent to the n-word, should it be banned?" with the follow-up "DO NOT RETWEET if your intent is to disrupt the poll further with troll voting" which strikes me as kind of "don't throw me in the briar patch."

Though I don't know that it really has any benefit of spreading the "message" or if it's just for personal fame, which you get with a lot of "alt" right dudes online.
posted by RobotHero at 8:13 AM on November 9

"Topham" is a bit too on-the-nose for a conservative provocateur in a bow tie. I wonder how strong the temptation to put on a top hat is for him.
posted by clawsoon at 9:41 AM on November 9

For years and years and YEARS I've been pissed off by not knowing whether I'm supposed to call myself a boomer or an X. But now that the line has apparently been officially shifted to 1964, which is not the year of my birth, I don't need to be in doubt any more!

I have a tribe! I am in a Generation! Huzzah!

Pity so many of us are such fragile, humourless, reactionary arseholes.
posted by flabdablet at 10:23 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]

Though in this case, where a bunch of non-boomer ad-agency employees are making what they dub "boomer memes" it's clear they're treating "boomer" as an aesthetic rather than a literal age. Though I suppose they feel it's an aesthetic that helps them target a demographic that may be literal boomers.

Now I'm wondering what is the boomer equivalent of "brands saying bae." Like, are there cases of marketing trying to speak to boomers in their own language and failing in ways that a true boomer would recognize?
posted by RobotHero at 11:01 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]

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