Pepe the Frog is a meme well loved by both celebrities and “deplorables” alike, but how did this frog who once “pulled down his pants all the way when he goes pee” go from a silly reaction image to a symbol of terror?
In 2005, artist Matt Furie published a series of comics, called Boy’s Club, online for his friends. His comics featured several anthropomorphic characters put into ridiculous situations. One of these comics featured a situation where Pepe, the frog character, was caught using the restroom. His toilet use became gossip.
Around 2008, a user on the NOTORIOUS imageboard /b/, posted the comic and Pepe’s response “Feels Good Man”, quickly spread around as a meme. These were the innocent days and the “Feels Good Man” macro was put onto nearly everything. Pepe’s transformation had only just begun.
Simultaneously, a term was coined out of two of Blizzard’s popular games. “Kek”. Kek saw its roots in the Korean Starcraft scene as a means to laugh at someone. When World of Warcraft came out, KEK turned out to be one of the auto-translations of LOL between factions (the two factions, Horde and Alliance couldn’t communicate with each other — and when in the same vicinity it auto-translated). Naturally, with most gamers being degenerate losers that spend all of their time on secret hacker dark web forums like 4chan, the use of Kek spread. As memes corrupt, ‘lol’ also ended up as ‘lel’ on the 4chan /sp/ board, which became toplel, which became topkek when reaching the SRS parody board, [s4s]. Whether the initial origins of KEK helped push the LEL or not can be argued.
Over the years, Pepe became sad, smug and successful. Today there is a ‘pepe’ for practically every situation. The “normies” began to adopt Pepe image macros in around 2013 — and the virgin NEET board, /r9k/ pushed an aggressive campaign to TAKE PEPE BACK (as he had become a mascot of sorts for their eternal state of wizardry). This campaign is known as PEE PEE POO POO and encouraged people to put Pepe in the most horrific situations, many akin to Hellraiser (with shit). Of course, being NEETs with no understanding of how the real world gets its memes, this campaign failed — but the legacy of PEE PEE POO POO can be seen surfacing on occasion.
Today, Smug Pepe is the most popular variation, and something about his ‘smugness’ spoke to the audience of anti-media and anti-establishment users on the notorious /pol/ board. It seemed to channel a certain Republican candidate. Before we get to that, we have to discuss something.
Traditionally Libertarian, the 2012 election took a toll on the mental health of 4chan’s news board, /pol/. The blatant attempts by the media to silence any positive news on their candidate RON PAUL, turned satire into a trickle of sincerity. The board has shifted to chaos since its /new/ days, with no one political view predominantly held, though there certainly is a loud demographic. I’ve discussed this at length in this article, but the GamerGate fiasco also disillusioned a large swathe of previously apathetic gamers to the wiles of the biased media. When the gamers met the news junkies, a monster was born.
Now, it’s 2016 and Trump is battling against Hillary Clinton for the White House. No one seems sure as to how we got here, but the media’s narrative is that Pepe is now a symbol of white supremacy. A cartoon frog is terrifying people more than Anime Avatars. Pepe is known now to many as KEK. How did this happen? I’ve provided some background, but it’s now up to you, dearest reader to continue down this rabbit hole of absurdity.
I’ll cut right to the chase: Pepe the Frog isn’t a white nationalist symbol. Pepe the Frog isn’t a harmless meme…www.pepethefrog.faith
See you on the other side, this isn’t a Boy’s Club anymore.