The formerly-renowned paper of record has devolved into explaining a hilarious new viral meme to its Baby Boomer audience.
“NPC means ‘nonplayable character’ or ‘nonplayer character.’ It’s a term, borrowed from the world of video games, for a character that is controlled by the computer rather than by a player. An NPC often advances the game’s plot by saying scripted lines, or assisting the playable characters in some way,” the New York Times said Tuesday.
Right-wing meme magicians have flooded Twitter with the NPC meme, parroting leftist talking points from accounts with grey-clad, stone faced avatars, infuriating the “social justice” crowd.
In case you haven’t seen any of the memes, here is an example:
“Orange man bad” is the most basic of the NPC jokes, referring to leftists’ proclivity for calling President Donald J. Trump orange. NPCs often use terms like “literally shaking right now,” and “so brave” to poke fun at leftists who have a habit of being overly-dramatic.
The Times described the meme thusly:
It’s a long story, but the short version is that a group of young, extremely pro-Trump internet trolls have spent the past several years mocking anti-Trump people as whiny, easily triggered snowflakes who are primarily motivated by social acceptance rather than by logic and critical thinking.
Many of Mr. Trump’s supporters — including, as of last week, Kanye West — put their support for him in the language of freethinking rationality and paint the other side as being motivated by blind loyalty and identity politics. (Mr. West said of his pre-Trump-supporting days, “I was programmed to think from a victimized mentality.”)
The NPC meme fits neatly into this narrative and offers Mr. Trump’s online supporters an easy shorthand way to paint liberals as humorless prudes who say “Drumpf” because the HBO host John Oliver told them to, who march in protests and put on pink “pussyhats” because they’re the popular things to do, and whose views can’t withstand scrutiny.
The meme’s effectiveness in demonstrating the ridiculousness of “social justice” hysteria has stuck a chord at Twitter’s corporate offices. The company, according to the Times, has suspended at least 1500 NPC accounts. The company claims that NPC accounts were spreading misinformation about the upcoming elections, which is apparently the newest violation of Twitter’s terms of service.
Some NPC accounts were indeed encouraging leftists to get out and vote on Nov. 7, which is the day after this year’s elections:
The political left’s reaction to the meme played into the meme itself.
Many leftists simultaneously decried NPC accounts as “dehumanizing” while also claiming that those behind the accounts were “Russian bots,” both of which are classic NPC/leftist talking points. The left’s inability to understand the joke then became part of the joke.
Alas, the Times assured its readers that Russia has nothing to do with this.
“Although some of the NPC accounts may have been automated, there is no sign that Russia is involved in this. Mostly, it appears to be a 4chan joke that spiraled into some mild voter suppression.”
The meme has officially come to life.
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