The Cuck Zone Looks Pretty Chill: Why the American Right Wing Can't Be Satirized
Poe's Law strikes again.
In 2005, while debating creationism in a thread on christianforums.com, a writer named Nathan Poe accidentally engineered one of the Internet's most prevailing theorems:
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article."
Now known as "Poe's Law," the definition has grown to encapsulate all extremist ideologies. Essentially, Poe's Law states that it is impossible to parody extremism online without first stating authorial intent, as no matter how absurd the parody, some readers will mistaken it as genuine.
So on that note, welcome to the Cuck Zone.
Popularly named after the Cuck Zone bar at the image's top-center, "Cuck Zone" is a Where's Waldo-esque illustration depicting the absurdity of liberal colleges. Along with the titular bar where, presumably, everyone is a cuckhold, there are actual Oppression Olympics, a pronoun police van, a white tears livestream, and of course, free weed.
It's a funny image no matter how you look at it, but it's especially funny when shared unironically by right-wingers who don't realize that they're the butt of the joke. Because, as it turns out, the Cuck Zone is satirical.
The image originated in Current Affairs magazine with the title "The Campus Seen Through The Eyes of US Conservatives." This means that, at some point, someone photoshopped out the bulk of the title and re-shared it as a genuine reflection of their views. Then, left-wing people found the image being shared unironically and began sharing it ironically without realizing that they were sharing it as it was intended to be shared in the first place.
All of which is to say, Poe's Law prevails once again.
The sad truth is that America's Overton Window has moved so far right over the past few decades (but especially during the past few years) that even baseline right-wing ideology is indistinguishable from extremism. We're reached a point where the majority of American Republicans believe that college education is bad. To be clear, the mainstream American right-wing platform has congealed around the criminally inept Trump administration and a rejection of education in favor of willful ignorance. This is truly beyond the pale.
But at least as we wait for the inevitable destruction of America, we can take solace in the "Cuck Zone," a left-wing interpretation of a right-wing fantasy that actually would be really cool because who doesn't love free weed?