Well, it happened. The inevitable Singularity between the real and the ironic collided spectacularly yesterday on Buzzfeed and the result was the most painful, pathetic article perhaps ever written. I give you: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/ronald-reagan-yolo
For those visual learners it looked like this:
Yep. That’s former President Ronald Reagan with the words “YOLO” slapped over 31 of his pictures. It’s the inanest, laziest, dumbest thing Buzzfeed has ever produced. On a website that specializes in unabashed noncreativity, this has to be the low point. What could have motivated a person to write such an article or Buzzfeed, which presumably has even minimum standards of quality, to publish it? IT GETS WORSE.
The article in question was apparently bought and paid for by a Koch (pronounced “jerkoff”) brothers financed political group. I’ll let the website deathandtaxesmag.com explain:
Visitors to BuzzFeed Politics were greeted by a curious sponsorship badge at the top of its page Thursday. As ThinkProgress Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum pointed out, it appeared BuzzFeed pols had been sponsored by Charles Koch of Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the U.S. by revenue and notorious right-wing political power players.
So, in an effort to tap into the vast wasteland of “brain drain” that is Buzzfeed culture, a right-wing political group bought out the entire “political” page on it’s site and plastered it with silly Ronald Reagan propaganda. I can’t help but think if only the Soviets had thought of “28 Sorry Not Sorry’s from Stalin”, they could have preserved the Union and the Cold War would still be raging.
I cannot believe that this is real. I have to assume that the writer of this, Benny Johnson, is aware of how dumb this is. Like, while he was entering these photos into photoshop to add the word “YOLO” arbitrarily into pictures he found on the Reagan Library website, he had to have known that this was quite possibly the worst thing that will ever go up onto the internet. Which makes me think that he did it intentionally. You know, to be IRONIC.
But where the line of irony ends and sincerity begins is so fundamentally warped on a site like Buzzfeed that it’s hard to tell just what any of it all means. Is this an effort to make Reagan seem cool to teens? To lovingly poke fun at a hero to the Right? To parody the absolute ridiculousness of list websites, meme culture, and the lack of seriousness we muster for even serious topics? Who knows.
The idea that something is either ironic or sincere is apparently gone. We live in a post-sincere, post-irony world now that simply operates on the basic assumption that everything we do is a sarcastic, horrible, self motivated opportunity to mock and take advantage of a flailing society that doesn’t know how to quality check things any more. This article will be forgotten in 10 minutes, and why not, everything is forgotten in 10 minutes. It wasn’t meant to last. It wasn’t meant to inform. It was certainly not meant to say anything. It’s just nonsense, utter, tragic nonsense. But maybe that’s the point, you only live once, you might as well completely waste it.