AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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PEPE IS DEAD! LONG LIVE PEPE?

What follows is a guest post by Anthony Cross (Texas State University), following new developments in the Pepe meme story: Pepe’s death!

Faithful readers of AFB will be familiar with the saga of the internet meme Pepe the Frog. (For those of you who missed it, my guest post on Pepe and the nature and value of internet memes is here.) The latest update: Pepe’s death! But first, a bit of background: Continue reading


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THE CURIOUS CASE OF PEPE THE FROG: ON THE ONTOLOGY AND VALUE OF INTERNET MEMES

What follows is a guest post by Anthony Cross (Texas State University). This story also has a Part II, with updates on Pepe’s death!

In the waning days of last fall’s presidential election a frog took center stage. In early September, Donald Trump Jr. posted an image on Instagram featuring his father leading “The Deplorables.”

The image is intended to be a response to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark. However, what catches one’s eye is a curious depiction of a green frog wearing a Trump wig. The Clinton campaign quickly pointed out that the frog is an instance of an internet meme known as Pepe the Frog and denounced Trump for his campaign’s usage of the meme due to its associations with white supremacy and the alt-right. Not long after, the Anti-Defamation League added Pepe to its online database of hate symbols.

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