How the internet wreaked havoc on Alex Jones and Elon Musk
TW: Genital mentions, profane language
I have three words for you: Kung. Pow. Penis. These three words are emblematic of how the internet was leveraged to destroy the good fortunes of two of the most destructive, bloatedly egotistical forces known to our times: Alex Jones and Elon Musk. Both these men were upended by online mayhem recently, and their upendings can give us all hope that perhaps, if we are smart, the same trollish tool that brought Donald Trump to power can also be used to unseat him.
How? Well, settle in, because Dr. Meme Studies is here to give you a complete history, synthesis, and conclusion in about ten minutes.
First, I want you to briefly astrally project yourself back to mid-2016. Donald Trump had not yet been elected. We were out playing Pokémon Go and drinking Rose in the sunlight of God’s love. But an icy wind was sweeping across the golden garden of our thoughts. We first felt the goosebumps from it when Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic primary.
To a certain demographic of earnest progressive, Bernie was beloved, and his failure to secure the nomination left them genuinely bereft. In July of 2016, political cartoonist David Horsey captured this in a plaintive image of a crying Bernie Sanders voter being comforted by Bernie himself. In the original comic, Bernie pats the voter’s shoulder, and says that Hillary Clinton is a politician, but she’s not a threat. She’s not Donald Trump.
The comic is painfully sincere. It speaks to the pain of naively wanting something and not getting it.
One day, a random furry on Tumblr took the comic and replaced Sanders’ dialogue with a three-word phrase: Kung Pow Penis.
This image was eventually recreated as an audio file, which spread across Tumblr widely during the early weeks of 2018. It’s unclear why the meme’s moment came then, or what…