Friday, September 5, 2014

FULL RETARD FRIDAY: A Tale of Two Selfies

So this little bundle of fail is making its way around the congregation:

Well, sort of...

Right off the bat, we see that whoever created this meme is too stupid (or high) to understand the difference between a professional promo shot and an amateur selfie. Or they think that we are. My money is on the latter, as this meme is steeped in the sort of condescension and intellectual conceit all too common among congregants.

This is "how white/black guys who smoke weed are portrayed," we are scolded told. But let's ask the obvious question: portrayed by whom?

Are we to infer that these are racial stereotypes propagated by the white racist media? That white stoners are portrayed as addled buffoons and black stoners are portrayed as violent criminal thugs because racism? Is this accurate? Can we find no portrayals of black stoners in popular media who are not also criminal thugs? 

What about Dave Chappelle?

Bob Marley?

Chris Tucker?

Ricky Williams?

The juxtaposition of a white stoner buffoon with a Thug Lifer is meant to create a false equivalency and insinuate that it is racist to recognize an urban street thug when you see one.

But why would we assume that we're looking at a violent street thug? Well, let's take a closer look at the two images.

The one on the left is of Jim Breuer, a comedian who is familiar to pretty much anybody that has fired up a spliff in the past thirty years. His whole schtick is the stereotypical white quasi-hippie stoner. This is how he portrays himself to make his living in the world of stand-up comedy.

The image on the right is quite different as it is a selfie portraying the image of a violent urban thug, complete with a bandanna (which may or may not be gang colors) concealing his face in the time-honored tradition of the armed bandit, an automatic handgun (anybody care to wager whether applicable title and permits are in order?), and either flipping the bird or flashing a gang sign with his left hand, which has been cropped out of frame.

If we assume - reasonably, IMO - that the picture of Mr. Breuer is intended to portray him as the affable pot-head dumbass he has played his entire comedy career, may we not reasonably assume that the apparent Thug Life selfie is precisely what the guy intended it to be? For that matter, if we were to see it all by itself, would the first thing that comes to our minds be stoner?

"I'm not even that fucking high."

What is a selfie, after all, if not a self-portrait intended to be shared on social media? Are we to speculate that there was some Evil White Man or cackling Jewish media mogul forcing this Innocent TeenagerTM to portray himself as a violent street thug? No; he portrayed himself exactly as he wanted us to see him. He could have chosen a stack of books, a musical instrument, a science project, a kitten, or a picture of his dad, but he chose a gun, a mask, and the aggressive posturing of an inner city gang banger. Who are we to pretend that he wasn't keenly aware of the image he was portraying?

Jim Breuer built his career on being the goofball stoner. Odds are pretty good that Thug Lifer also smokes pot, but it's just plain stupid to think that his selfie was meant to portray the image of a harmless pot smoker.

But that's the whole point of this meme; to get us to internalize that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and we therefore call it a duck - but it's a black duck - we're racists. It's to get us to deny to ourselves what our eyes plainly see.

I'd be interested to know, based only on the photos, which one the creator of this meme would rather meet in a dark alley.

The photos in this meme were composed to portray two entirely different things. Putting them together and suggesting that we are somehow racist for recognizing that a gun-wielding urban thug and a harmless white stoner are vastly different people and therefore merit different treatment earns this meme a post on FULL RETARD FRIDAY.

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