Zoomer irony poisoning & self-loathing
In the last couple of days I have rewatched some of Filthy Frank's old videos and thought to myself that I have met plenty of people aged 15~24 that shared a few behavioural traits.
His background is of mixed race, half Japanese, having moved to the US at 18. If we assume he was detached to either ethnic group that went into making him, as a sizeable amount of hapas are, then we can explain why his absurd/nihilistic and surreal humour gathered so much attraction from people, specifically young ones. It feels his jokes are meant to shock but someone other than the viewer, like they are meant to shock the older generations. This irony poisoning is I believe a staple of the young people of today where they feel they cannot express their honest beliefs. His absurd jokes are sometimes accompanied by things along the lines of wanting to die or self-deprecation (another very common behaviour in zoomers), I think it is telling that he went on to make lo-fi hip hop with a slow rhythm and melancholic themes as this is only further evidence of being a cosmopolitan with no felt roots.

However I don't want to make this thread about him, he just happened to be the catalyst for it.
I would like others to add comments about how it happened that the young generation is less capable than previous ones at being sincere about their beliefs. As an example, there used to be an abundance of jokes about depression. Maybe there still is.
Another thing I am particularly curios about is (young) people that self-deprecate themselves but are still willing to put you down, you'd think someone that thinks they are worth little wouldn't stand up to others but they often do (norwoods might be a subset of this), which could be because they have that view of low-worth about everyone or because the belief is insincere.
I believe this current of half-assed self-deprecation largely stems from a nervous compulsion to "self-vet" to others - "I'll insult/judge myself before I lose face when the other person gets a chance to" (One of the funniest parts in Infinite Jest is the description of how the students nicknamed the neurotic head of the academy "Gretel the Cross-Sectioned Dairy Cow"). It's a maladjusted behavior for sure, but yes, likely stems from a kind of narcissism, "an insincere and performative demonstration of self-loathing".

Around 2017 a friend of mine told me of an experience hanging out with a group of High Schoolers. They all smoked weed together and proceeded to just basically stare at their phones, only lifting their heads to share an ironic meme, which was then unfailingly met with a blank-eyed "I'm dead."

"I'm dead."

There's a very real despair present in the Zoomer generation.
It's a normie tic to feign self-deprecation humour and generally ironic posture as to say that, if they were completely honest, it would be a very bad thing, actually. How would a slightly sensitive person react to the modern standards of racial alienation, gender trouble, sexual anxiety, intrusive schooling and loneliness, and all the general mutilation of the human spirit institutionally prescribed by the overlording multitude? To feign absurdity, to say "Oh Well, I'm really a bugman, ain't I?", because to be completely honest would mean to stop the dance and to yell to everyone that everything is wrong. So irony is a wink to the other slightly sensitive souls that it's ok, they know, and that you can know and keep doing it. These slightly sensitive young people - let's say Zoomer Normies - can only ironically self-deprecate because to them it would be unacceptable to sincerely view the world they live in as fundamentally stifling, humiliating and deprecating. So then they will ironically say they are trash, because they know that they can't /really/ admit that they are trash, that they are severely restrained and diminished by society, and that they should revolt against it if they wish a modicum of dignity in their lives. So they keep being ironic to lie to themselves, to the point that they'll confuse marrying a single-mother with purposeful sincerity.

The joke about Filthy Frank is that he would be perfectly happy being a kamikaze.
Ought to keep in mind that these are the same people obsessed with "self-care" and "mental health". The only appropriate avenue for disdain is aimed at oneself, and only half-heartedly, supplemented with a suggestion to "process that trauma" by going to therapy. In a strange sense these are not contradictory but complementary.
One must imagine a fat kid whose school environment has been conditioned to never bully him, so he resorts to bullying himself; yet not to the point where he takes his own inward gaze to its logical conclusion of improving himself.
One cause for the lack of sincerity among young people is how weaponized sincerity has become. A major piece of institutional socialization now consists of telling kids horror stories and showing them gross pictures of things like starving internees, and then saying stuff like "does this make you feel bad [yes]? Well, then you must agree that niggers/women/Jews are morally superior to you." Eventually any halfway intelligent person figures out that Africans are not, in fact, appropriate objects of reverence, but they also really do feel bad about 14 year olds who dindu nuffin getting dismembered by wild crowds.

In other words, experiencing any sort of genuine feeling is an indication that you are being manipulated against your interests. By extension, displaying sincerity indicates that you're either a sucker or have ulterior motives.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the nihilism, apathy, and, frankly, sociopathy of people raised by the Internet. Identifying the thematic and aesthetic link between “Filthy Frank” and “Joji” is a great catalyst for this thread because, as you note, it’s a perfect exemplification of how the inescapable ennui of deracinated living curdles as one matures.

Obviously a lot of people born between 1997 and 2007 are literally mixed-race, or some sort of quasi-assimilated wog, and these people’s rootless cosmopolitanism naturally shapes their worldview. But even if your ancestors hopped out the mo’fuckin Mayflower, membership in a generation raised by the Internet makes you inherently a deracine.

A lot of this has to do with the capacity for the Internet to represent a reopened frontier, and the ways in which it has been promptly enclosed. (This is a long tangent but it is relevant, I promise.) While America is not as strongly defined as, say, Europe is by the impossibility of mobility (social and otherwise, although these are inseparable in practice), the enclosure of physical space, and concomitant effects on the potential dispersal of (social) capital, happened long ago. Indeed, much has been made of the effect on the 20th Century of what Turner defined as the closing of the American frontier, with its possibilities for social reinvention on a micro and macro scale, in the 1890s.

Yet the Internet represents the creation of an unprecedented space-outside-of-spacc constitutive of “unclaimed territory” that can be claimed, exploited, configured, and manipulated into novel forms of sociality with seriously disruptive effects. During the 1990s, as the mainstream realized how seismic the impact of the Internet potentially could be, there were a plethora of breathless stories about how “the information superhighway” and “the World Wide Web” would fuck everyone’s shit up and generally go hard. Yet those boomers and spiritual boomers who remember a world-before were like those biblical Israelites who could see the promised land yet never enter.

Those born after 1990 were the first ones who had the potential to truly engage with the Internet as the revolutionary space that it was. The unfortunate thing is that the society around the Internet was simultaneously growing incapable of utilizing this revolutionary technology to its full potential (there was another thread making note of this recently), in large part because of the degradation of the quality of human capital in society. Additionally, the free space of the Internet was promptly enclosed into normie-friendly forms, like “social media,” which, while certainly qualitatively different from the modes of social communication which came before, nevertheless neutered the unfettered spiritual freedom which the “early Internet” contained the seeds of.

When I say the preceding, it’s not intended to be merely “eternal September” whinging about normies with iPhones cluttering up the ‘net. My more fundamental point is that the generation of Internet natives, in essence, had their ability to ever experience what for all of human history beforehand would have been a “normal” experience traded for the promise of a transformative experience that would have unleashed a heretofore-unprecedented potential for human flourishing.

This experience was most definitely not going to be predicated on kumbaya one world United Nations globalism. It was actually the opposite — as paralleled with naughty AI that correctly identify the knock-on effects of human biodiversity before being “corrected” by politically correct quasi-scientist commissars, the direct access to the sum total of human knowledge could have allowed society to break out of the false consciousness of egalitarianism. The fact that this very forum even exists represents how the Internet provides the potential for rank-and-file commoners to access unmediated truth, as do all the most “hate-filled” corners of the Internet.

However, the political will to actualize this potential transmogrification of the nature of truth-seeking was not there. The ADLs and SPLCs of the world also had Internet access, and they and their ilk, particularly in the last six or seven years, have fought to utilize the corporate enclosure of the Internet to eradicate the ability of commoners to access unmediated truth. Today’s true reactionaries are indeed the degenerate spiritual descendents of the New Left, now integrated into the egalitarian establishment, and wholly unwilling to cotton dissent to their hegemony.

By this point, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with Zoomer irony poisoning. The answer is depressingly simple. It is patently obvious to any Zoomer with a three-digit IQ that the lifeways of the non-Internet native, raised on Walter Cronkite and ink-and-paper newspapers and official narratives as unstintingly politically correct as the most strident Pravda reportage, were founded on an unthinking acceptance of totalizing lies. As the census becomes an appendix to Camp of the Saints and the state religion becomes open and unabashed hedonic secularism, it has become obvious that our society is neither ours nor a society.

Yet while the Zoomer knows he is being fed lies, incapacitated is the access to truth that is his birthright. This is not merely the fault of some Libtard conspiracy — inherent in the decentralized nature of the Internet is that it contains an entire universe of contradictory information, lies alongside truth. The promise of the enterprise was that truth would meritocratically reveal itself and lies would expose themselves as intellectually bankrupt.

This did not come to pass, for reasons already noted. The increasingly-stupider citizenry has been consistently unable to divine truth in the wake of concentrated efforts from the Libtard reich to promote egalitarian lies more intensely than ever. In order to protect its hegemony, the egalitarian regime was willing to let its traditional organs of disinformation fall into disrepair, ushering in this age where there is no trust in any sort of unifying social myth or even in the idea that such a thing would be possible (an ever more sensible idea given demographic dewhitification). Better that there is no trust in anything than that the populace gradually converges en masse on the realization that reality is antiegalitarianism is truth.

So the Zoomer is stuck simultaneously knowing that everything he is taught are lies and unable to access truth or even realize that it is even possible for truth to exist. Yet he feels nonetheless that truth is out there, that it his birthright, and that until he enters communion with it, unease will accompany him all of his days.

Unsurprisingly, we have nihilism, apathy, a sociopathic disdain for acceptable targets paired with an unpersuasively performative and illogical celebration of egalitarian saints (like George Floyd). This is the root of Zoomer political extremism, no matter the ideological flavor — while they are incredibly misdirected in their analysis and worldview, even the most execrable Western hedonic-communist senses that something is severely amiss and that the status quo does not deserve to be maintained.

Normies who care nothing for politics nevertheless embrace a dour, cynical, intoxicated, hopeless sensibility, all the more nihilistic for being camouflaged in cloying secular pieties about self-help and Being A Good Person and rooting out relational toxicity. The ascendant popular musics of the age are sociopathic slut anthems, Black Murder Music, paeans to drug addiction, or some mixture of the three over soulless syncopation.

Life is worthless, says Chief Keef. Life is meaningless, says Rick Sanchez. Life is a clump of cells, says Science. Life is foreign to the Zoomer, he instinctively recoils from it and the attendant sincerity. He deprecates it, and deprecates himself, to cope with the unconscious knowledge that he yearns for it still.

Absurdity reigns because it actually is possible to make sense of the world, but for the Zoomers, that would be the most painful truth of all to accept. Our boomers were never going to make it to the Promised Land, but we have failed to enter as well, and remain stumbling in the desert, cracking jokes about how manna is “mid.”

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