“The Internet is still undefeated” must be defeated

big boat Stuck in the Suez Canal, Oprah waves to Meghan and Harry “Stop it”, Teletubbies all brag to each other in blue as Baby of the Sun watches with permission, a photo knocking the trans athletes with Donald Trump Jr. These memes are united not only in summarizing the madness of 2021, but in the four words that have constantly appeared next to them and countless others, in comments and comments: “The Internet is still undefeated.”

Surely you have seen these words, but you may not have read them. (Congratulations on your sanity.) Both apolitical and immoral position very funnyAnd Damn you, And I thank you, used for both schadenfreude and GunThe Internet is still undefeated is a network of phrases about the Internet, omnipresent and nowhere, meaning everything and nothing. An expression that sounds cute – until you say it again.

The Internet is still undefeated. The Internet remains unbeaten. Internet remains unbeaten.

The more I encountered those words, the more fatally she feared me. It’s not just the rotten onion of their obscurity: When did the Internet’s streak of victories begin? What, or who, was not defeated against him? ourselves, perhaps. But why do so many of us rejoice at reminding ourselves that we have defeated ourselves? And what can, can, should defeat Internet seems? But my disdain for this saying is also due to the feelings underlying it. The real horror of “The Internet Still Undefeated” is that it is often used in hilarious contexts, yet it reveals the deepest darkness of our online lives, the darkness to which we have either become blind or numbed.

Searches in The term “undefeated Internet” suggests that the oldest extant use of this shocking phrase may belong to Timothy Hall (peoplescrtic), a film critic and meme-lord from Seattle. On the morning of August 12, 2013, he posted on Instagram a meme of a Russell Westbrook frowned, mercurial NBA dynamo, took pictures in the character selection screen of the classic arcade game Deadly battle, with the caption “The Internet Was Unbeaten”. It’s a textbook use that Slave Hall says has been posting on social media and in group conversations in the years since. For him, the old adage sums up the Internet as the world’s greatest equalizer. He says, “You can be tough, or you can be a soccer mom screaming at a game, without knowing you’re being filmed. Everyone is fair game to be a meme. Maybe it’s POTUS that gets you into the meme, or maybe it’s my old nephew. 14. You may not know it’s your day, you just have to ride the wave and let the internet beat you until it’s someone else’s turn.”

But Hall cannot take credit for crafting the phrase; He says he must have picked it up from someone on the internet along the way. He adds, “If someone claims to have invented it, the Internet will defeat them. That is its beauty.”

For a broad group of social media users like Hall, “the Internet remains undefeated” is, on the face of it, a simple expression of joy, or nostalgia for the more joyful age of the Internet. Ryan Milner, Professor of Internet Culture at the College of Charleston and author of Make the world meme, says the phrase goes back to a time, between about 2003 and 2013, when the Internet was “still sort of like this.” else A place where it doesn’t work and can transcend real-world rules.” This was the heyday of YouTube and message boards like Something Awful, 4chan, and Reddit, “When I saw a spree of sub-cultural activities and content creation that became a kind of tune-up for people who are still very much online.” So in 2021, people commented “the internet is still undefeated” on the boom of memes about Bernie Sanders and his gloves or the feud between Autumn plans and variable delta, because he remembers when life on the Internet seemed less about livestreamed mass murders and the algorithm-driven death of democracy and more about spins and cats. On a superficial level, Milner says, the phrase “is a way to sort of appreciate when the early spirit of online collective creativity resurfaces.”

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