CULTURE

How Memes Sparked an Area 51 Invasion

1 million people have said they're going to Area 51 to meet the aliens. Is this the result of a collective millennial/Gen-Z desire to die, to revolt, or a little bit of both?

It started as most revolutions start: rather innocuously, the product of a half-hearted joke that managed to hit a nerve.

The first whispers of an Area 51 invasion began with a Facebook event called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us." Hosted by three primary parties—"Shitposting cause im in shambles," "Smyleekun," and "The Hidden Sound"—the page quickly amassed support, with a total of 1 million users committing to "going" as of Monday, July 15.

Several plans of attack have been proposed: "We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let's see them aliens," posted one of the group's creators.

Other plans were more detailed, dividing raiders into ranks. Revolutionaries could identify themselves as "Karens," "Kyles," "Tylers," and "Daltons," among other things. Karens are, presumably, momager-types, aggressive and fast-talking women. One proposal suggested that we send a "Karen" with "no-nonsense hair" to the front gate to attempt peaceful negotiations; should that fail, the Kyles, pumped up on energy drinks, would be unleashed.

According to Know Your Meme, "Kyle is an online caricature of a white boy referenced as an antagonistic character in memes. Similar to how Karen is used online, 'Kyle' jokes parody of a certain kind of person with a set of characteristics one associates with the name; in 'Kyle's' case, these are characteristics of an angry white male teenager. 'Kyle' is generally presented as rage-filled and aggressive, and he is a fan of Monster Energy Drinks and Axe body spray, which has been documented in the Kyle Punches Drywall meme." In essence, Kyle is the heart and soul of the Area 51 attack. Perhaps Kyle is the heart and soul of the fragile, toxic masculinity at the core of America, or more likely, Kyle is the wreckage left behind when this fragile masculinity reveals itself for the hollow shell that it is.

From there, the memes blossomed like fireworks on the Fourth of July, filling the web with increasingly outlandish theories about what it might be like to actually "see them aliens."




The Call of Area 51

While the Area 51 invasion might be more based in absurdity and conspiracy theory than anything else, the amount of support it's has amassed is not a joke. The U.S. Air Force is scared, as they should be, because the popularity of this event is proof that the people have the capability to organize and take down the government, should they so desire. "[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces...The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets," stated the Air Force, confirming that it knows about the planned raid, and that it's prepared to defend whatever it's hiding inside the base, even at the cost of citizens' lives. That's right: a Facebook meme has the U.S. Military on alert.

Why Area 51? The super-secret military base in the Nevada desert has long been at the center of conspiracy theories that which propose the US government is hiding aliens inside. Other theories include the belief that the government is conducting experiments on teleportation and time travel inside the base.

There's a definitive allure to the prospect of discovering alien life, and that certainly plays a role in the interest. More likely, Area 51 is so alluring because of what it symbolizes. In some ways, it's the perfect representation of the distrust that American people feel in their government and in the state of the world.

In its surreal, almost mystical absurdity, Area 51 just might be the perfect symbolic portrayal of our postmodern hellscape, which seems to be entirely run by the Koch Brothers, juul companies, and tech bros who have achieved god-like status, like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Area 51 feels like it could be the source of whatever oozing, radioactive substance has made the world the way it is today. In a way, it's represents the Truth in a world beyond truth.

In light of this, planning to storm Area 51 via memes feels like a way of meeting our world's absurdity—be it the government's, the Internet's, or any of life's many other oddities—on its own terms.

Even more fascinating than the causes of the proposed Area 51 raid, though, is the rapidity with which the event gained traction. Its success reveals that a full-on political revolution is really just one meme page away. The success of the Area 51 venture shows that it's not hard to amass the kind of support needed to make the government take notice—and that's at least a start.

So grab your Monster drinks, Karens and Kyles of the world, and channel that rage into some hefty Photoshopping. You just might be our best hope at a revolution yet.




CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: "Game of Thrones" Is Sexist and YouTube Gets Emotionally Violent

What's a "ProJared" and why should we care? Society has proven once more that we love sticking our noses into strangers' emotional conflicts and watching their personal lives burn.

VectorStock

But on to the really important news this week: Society has proven once more that we love sticking our noses into strangers' emotional conflicts and watching their personal lives burn. It's not that we love or condone emotional violence—we're just terrible people who are glad not to be one of the following individuals.

1. No One Knew What "Camp" Meant at the Met Gala—but Neither Do We?

All we learned from this year's exclusive event is that its theme of camp isn't gender-bending fashion, Zendaya in a Cinderella dress, or Lady Gaga removing layers like she's melting from all the attention. It might be Lena Waithe's historic jacket, though.

AsiaTatler

2. Game of Thrones Doesn't Know How a Woman Thinks or Speaks or Acts or Survives

With its final season winding down, Game of Thrones seems to believe that women can't be strong without men and that people can suddenly see in the dark. With female characters showing poor development, weepy dependence on others for validation, and given deeply problematic lines, it's almost like the show...maybe...just isn't that good or worth the hype in the first place? Sorry, never mind me: I'm a "Never Seen an Episode and Don't Care" type of viewer, according to our writer's Dan Kahan's Game of Thrones quiz, "What Type of Viewer Are You?"

popdust internet hell Brienne ugly-crying like the amazing, strong, beautiful woman that she isMetro

But on to the important questions: Was that or was that NOT a damn Starbucks cup in front of Dany?!

popdust game of thrones starbucks cup What was news like before "Game of Thrones"?USA Today

3. YouTube Gamers ProJared and JonTron Trended on Twitter

This man is an online "celebrity." Gaming YouTuber ProJared is apparently divorcing his wife, who, among other things, accused him of soliciting nude photos from his underage fans. Once again, this man earns his living by owning a YouTube account.

Twitter

4. Honor the release of It: Chapter Two's trailer by buying your very own Pennywise!

We loved Stephen King's classic novel It, we enjoyed the film adaptation, and we maybe peed ourselves a little when the trailer for the sequel premiered this week. So in the vein of evil clown fandom, please consider purchasing this eBay seller's "Haunted 20 inch tall CLOWN Doll spirit Vessel. Supernatural Paranormal power."

Meet Ollie, "a spiritual hobo clown vessel that is 20 inches tall. Sometimes late at night you will hear talking in his room. We have seen Shadow figures all around him. Ollie the hobo like's to play with the car keys, like hiding them at times and putting them right back where you first looked for them, he is a joker. He also likes to play with the lights and TV remote, Radio and much more. I got his name from my spirit box voice recorder and confirmed it on my Ouija Board as Ollie."

User: terris145 /eBay Everything Else>Metaphysical>Psychic, Paranormal

User: terris145 /eBay Everything Else>Metaphysical>Psychic, Paranormal

5. Please Let This "Nice Man" Drive Your Car to Florida

Here at Popdust Internet Hell we usually feature one of Florida's gloriously dumb criminals, from posing as a police officer to pull over an actual police officer to smearing your own feces all over a public picnic table. But this week, we just want to spotlight this lovely Craigslist user who wants the best for you and your car and is maybe also fleeing the state: "➡ Nice Man Will Drive Your Car To South Florida"➡ Nice Man Will Drive Your Car To South Florida." Good luck, Michael!

Craigslist



Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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CULTURE

This Week in Internet Hell: Clueless Men Pretend to Be in Charge and Jason Momoa Might Kill Us All

Aquaman's clean-shaven face could murder us all with its unbearable beauty before climate change does by 2050.

Screen Rant

The Mueller Report is out. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD. Please adopt this adorable succubus. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD. Not all Florida cops are real. AQUAMAN SHAVED HIS BEARD.

1. Clueless Man Pretends to Be in Charge

Matthew Joseph Erris, from Pasco County, Florida, just wanted to be a police officer. Maybe he'd been dreaming of it since he was a little boy. Maybe that's why he put a police light bar on top of his Chevy Trailblazer, along with red and blue lights on its grill. Maybe that's why he flashed his fake police lights on Tuesday night and signaled the car in front of him to pull over; maybe he just believed in himself.

Unfortunately, as WFLA reported, he pulled over a real police officer, who was undercover when Erris stopped him. After reporting Erris and searching his car, the cop found found a "realistic looking" airsoft pistol in a holster. Impersonating an officer can result in up to five years in jail, but while Erris waits for his sentencing, at least he got to live his dream for a day.

"FLORIDA MAN PRETENDS TO BE A COP, PULLS OVER ACTUAL COP, GETS ARRESTED"

popdust internet hell florida man Newsweek

2. (A Different) Clueless Man Pretends to Be in Charge

If you want to understand the true, investigative essence of Robert Mueller's report on Donald Trump's alleged collusion, obstructions of justice, and most vicious firings on The Apprentice, turn to the art form of the meme. Twitter has graciously translated the most salient points of the 400-page report, which is mostly comprised of color-coded redactions. But that's fine; memes already proved we're living in a post-word society. The truth lies between the lines:

3. Jason Momoa's Jawline Can Save the Planet

Prior to this week, the Aquaman actor hadn't shaved since 2012. He finally unleashed the divine light that is his bare face in order to "bring awareness" to the environmental damage caused by plastic bottles and promote a new line of "infinitely recyclable" aluminum cans. It's pro-active and honorable, but since he's even more handsome now, he could murder us all with his looks long before climate change does by 2050.

4. Craigslist Missed Connections

Throughout the politically-charged week, everyone was craving a little love. As for SJ (a.k.a. "boot girl"), she's just "Searching for: Boot Boy," and she's not letting a little limp slow her down. Also, have you Googled "twin flames" lately? It's a stupid idea; we believe it whole-heartedly.

Craigslist

5. eBay Has a Succubus for Sale

For only $49.99, you can purchase this "HAUNTED RING: SEXUAL SUCCUBUS! DOMINATE YOUR PERSONAL DEMON LOVER! INTENSE! " from the trusted seller mysticmagicks. With 98.9% positive feedback, Laci is a proud mother, wife, and practitioner of "the art of Magick." More importantly, she uses her powers for good, using eBay to "re-home" many of her "spirit children," which are "very dear" to her. Be careful with this ring, however, for it holds great orgasmic power.

eBay

eBay

internet hell ebay haunted ring succubus eBay


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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