By Kaileigh La Belle
This week’s readings focused heavily on media and the transmission of far-right ideas therein. Popular culture and the internet feature heavily in nearly every article. One of the things that I found most intriguing was the construction of popular culture, social media, and the internet as a political space, one which can be connected to but is ultimately distinct from legacy media. The characterizations of the internet/pop culture as flexible, transmissible, and translatable are recurrent in these articles and are, particularly in Doerr’s article, constructed as something conducive to the spread of far-right ideas. While I do agree with these authors that the internet is a space where knowledge can be transferred more rapidly, I nonetheless found myself wondering how these subcultures deal with a ‘containment breech’ so to speak, when these memes/images/narratives are shared outside of their intended audiences and used in ways other than the intended. As these authors highlight, these images/tv shows/memes/etc are manifestations of and situated within particular discourses that are familiar to and therefore legible to a particular person/group. Yet, they are put into a space that is not exclusively occupied by people of that mindset. For example, I was particularly shocked to see the ‘I know the feel bro’ meme in this context, as I have seen similar ones spread in leftist/left-leaning Indigenous online spaces to poke fun at and highlight the irony of settlers panicking about ‘invaders’. While I think the plurality of interpretations can act as a shield from criticism, I do think that the transmissibility of the internet is multifaceted. As such we should consider how it can also be muddling and how that might affect politics.