Save us from the Edgy 20 Year Olds
For those of you unfamiliar with youth subculture this meme must seem rather confusing. But it is a clear indication that the tides in the culture war have turned. This type of meme is called a “Starter Pack” in the tradition of articles on how to get started in a hobby. Starter Pack memes are used to make fun of groups of people; in this instance the meme is making fun of rebellious teenagers and young adults. This description of edgy 20 year olds as being interested in the Alt-Right /pol/ message board and rejecting feminism received more than 6000 up-votes and 500 comments on Reddit. More encouraging still, many disagreed that marijuana was within this new youth subculture. One comment that received 350 up-votes argued, “Ya, /pol/ is pretty anti drug these days. Have to be if you want to be a contrarian I think.” But of all the comments in the thread this one was too edgy even for me-
It’s also worth pointing out that the promiscuity promoted by r/theredpill and a desire not to settle down and have children would also be seen as degenerate by much of /pol/.While they would all agree that women are (for the most part) worthless whores that are not to be trusted, /pol/ would instead argue that you should try to get a young innocent (white) woman (as long as you are white of course) and “red pill” her (note: different meaning from /r/theredpill, in /pol/’s context it is a general term encompassing the differences in the races, the Jewish/Liberal conspiracy to destroy the white race, the ill-effects of modern degeneracy, and more) so that she doesn’t participate in modern degeneracy, and hence will be “pure” and less likely to divorce you for money. Then, proceed to have children with her so that you can help the white race not be destroyed.
Twenty-five years ago I was an edgy 20 year old GenX punk rocker. If I think about what our starter pack would have consisted of I begin to realize how breathtaking the change in youth subcultures has been over the past quarter century. Back in my day edgy meant being a social justice warrior, being an iconoclast; it meant tearing down the pillars of society and breaking every sexual taboo. Thankfully that is no longer the case.
Youth subcultures are undeniably powerful forces. Mao’s Little Red Book waving students, Hitler’s brown shirt street thugs and the hippies of the 60’s all demonstrated how youth subcultures can be used to effect change within the mainstream culture of a society. During my youth the far left and the far right were actively competing for the hearts and minds of Gen-X, a battle the ended in a complete rout of the far right.
The far right’s pitch to my generation was the laughable Nazi Skinhead subculture. It was ridiculous, how did they think that a style where girls had to shave off all of their hair would ever be effective? It was a disaster. Not only was there no use for gangs of jackbooted thugs running the streets but the meathead skins were uncontrollable and they made the entire far right look unhinged. The far left’s attempt to inject third wave feminism into the punk rock subculture was much more successful and facilitated the adoption of those ideas by the mainstream.
But somewhere along the way between then and now the far right discovered that, for the first time ever, the Internet meant fashion was no longer a necessary component of a youth subculture. The far left has not learned this lesson yet and they are now in the unenviable position of requiring young feminists to dye their hair blue, pierce their nose and wear old lady glasses in order to conform to the 25 year old Riot Girrl style. It is old, ugly, and played out.
Even music is now passe in terms of youth sub-cultures. The third wave feminists gained full control of Hollywood over the past twenty-five years yet Lady GaGa, Jay Z and Beyonce were not able to turn out the youth vote. The far right correctly realized that the Internet heralded a pure market of ideas where humor and wit were the new currency and fashion wasn’t worth they wage of the child that sewed it.
For the first time since the country laughed along with young Reagan fanatic Alex P. Keaton, as he made fun of his hippy parents on prime time TV, the Left is losing the culture war. Like every generation before us, we adults shudder at the extremism of the young and the violent language they express their radical ideas with. But we shouldn’t worry too much. Time will mellow them just as it did us. Despite all the times I got up on stage and screamed it to a crowd of moshing punk rockers, I never did get around to eating a rich person.