CULTURE

11 Spongebob Memes to Help You Survive Super Tuesday

Mike Bloomberg is finally on the ballots, and that's not even the worst part

So the chaos we've been waiting for is finally upon us.

Today 14 states will be voting for nominees, and more than 1,300 pledged delegates will be awarded—compared to the 155 that have been distributed so far. California and Texas will both be voting, and their huge delegate counts could be what tips the scales toward one clear frontrunner. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar both dropped at the last minute—triggering an avalanche of endorsements for Joe Biden—and people who don't know any better will finally have a chance to cast a ballot for Mike Bloomberg. While rational debate and discussion of major issues like health care and climate change are obviously valuable, the insanity that tonight's results are going to bring calls for a different style of communication: Spongebob Squarepants memes.

After weeks of scouring the Internet, we have discovered the best Spongebob memes for every Super Tuesday situation you're likely to encounter.

For your friend who doesn't pay any attention to politics

super tuesday patrick

For your friends who get all their political insights from TV ads

mike bloomberg handsome ugly squidward

For your parents when they say they would consider voting for Bernie Sanders

medicare for all boomer

For your MAGA relatives who think there's nothing wrong with private health insurance

For your friends who supported Amy and Mayor Pete and aren't sure who to vote for

Patrick push centrists to the left

For your friend who keeps reminding you that Tulsi Gabbard is still running

Tulsi snobody cares

For your friend who is ride-or-die for Elizabeth Warren

elizabeth warren tough

For your friend who insists that no one is being harassed by "Bernie bros"

bernie bro harassment

For your friend who still misses Kamala Harris

kamala stans khive

For your friend who still misses Andrew Yang

yang gang

For the moment you realize Michael Bloomberg is actually going to win some delegates

bloomberg for billionaires

Buckle up...

CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

In 1998, Jeff Mangum and his band Neutral Milk Hotel released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

The record—a blend of energetic, philosophical folk with a distinctly vintage flair—became one of the most beloved cult classics in all of indie rock.

A notoriously private man, Mangum has largely evaded public attention following Aeroplane's release. He never released another record as Neutral Milk Hotel, yet Aeroplane still holds up all these years later.

Stereogum

Every once in a while, Mangum comes out of the shadows, waving his indie rock powers over his fans' heads and using it to do true good in the world. Recently, he upheld this tradition by coming out as a Bernie Sanders supporter in an email.

Entitled "bernie is punk," the note read simply:

"Hello my friends. Just writing to ask you to please vote for Bernie. Much love to all. Jeff Mangum."

The email also contains an image of Bernie interviewing two mall goths in 1988 and a photo of Sanders being carted away by cops (he was protesting segregation in Chicago public schools in 1963).

Mangum's wife, Astra Taylor, confirmed the announcement in a tweet, writing, "I endorse his endorsement."

While any Mangum appearance is a gift, long-time devotees won't be too surprised to see that the elusive musician has announced his support for America's most beloved Democratic socialist. After all, In the Aeroplane was (arguably) laden with the same kind of vintage, dreamy, visionary feeling that Sanders inspires in so many. The album's wide-eyed embrace of life's devastations and beauty has gained it many followers over the years, and the same goes for Bernie, a man who sees the struggles of human existence and yet presents a vision of viable change. In the Aeroplane feels lost in the past, but by the end it finds itself describing a new future, one wrapped in radio wires and possibility. Similarly, Bernie began his career in the past but he's come to represent a whole new generation of visionaries. Maybe we'll see Mangum at a Sanders rally soon; at this point, anything is possible.