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Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

Written by Angela Nagle

Narrated by Mary Sarah


Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

Written by Angela Nagle

Narrated by Mary Sarah

ratings:
3.5/5 (200 ratings)
Length:
4 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781541485334
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet. On one side the alt right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous. On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signalling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression. Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781541485334
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

EbookSnapshot

About the author

Angela Nagle (Dr.), geb. 1984, schreibt für die Zeitschriften The Atlantic, Jacobin und The Baffler. Die LA Review of Books zählt sie zu »den wichtigsten Vertreter_innen einer neuen Generation linker Autor_innen und Denker_innen, die sich von intellektuellem Konformismus unabhängig erklärt hat«. Angela Nagle kommt aus Irland und lebt in New York.


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What people think about Kill All Normies

3.5
200 ratings / 17 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Plus points for addressing the way the internet utopia s accidentally spawned vicious alt-right subcultures. But feel like this didn’t dig in enough, and was a bit... blurry. Needed better editing too - if I’m noticing typos etc it’s bad.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Life these days 12/2021 Definitely strange but at least not predictable and boring. although it seems most would rather have that. I miss the 2010s, 90s was infested with drugs, 2000s was strange due to war, but 2010s where alright until 2019 thats when we all just kinda fucked up again. Strange world indeed.
  • (3/5)
    Interesante análisis de la guerra cultural de la extrema-derecha (y la alt-right) internauta en Estados Unidos, con una enumeración básica de algunos de los protagonistas y algo de relato de su modo de actuación y patrones culturales. Un poco espeso en tema de conceptos que el público en general puede no estar familiarizado aunque por otra parte el tono y el análisis es bastante correcto evitando juicios previos y ofreciendo una visión lo más curosa posible.
  • (2/5)
    At least the writer did some research before writing but the result is brutally biased woke propaganda nevertheless
  • (5/5)

    5 people found this helpful

    an unapologetic history of liberal identity politics and the Alt Right, and the cultural battle that ensued. This book is not too terribly biased towards any political direction and is interesting no matter your political affiliation.

    5 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A chilling overview of how the psychopathic Right is claiming social media, and how its dismal views seem to be seeping into the mainstream. It's a wake-up call for the Left.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    5 people found this helpful

    Just so there’s no mucking about, let me say up front that it is a rare and fleeting pleasure to read Angela Nagle. She is delightfully well read, distills the nonsense of the world calmly and directly, never loses her dispassionate center, and doesn’t descend into pop culture citations. She is effortlessly authoritative. Would there were more like her.In Kill All Normies, things online have gone unaccountably negative. The internet was supposed to be a giant uplifting community party. Instead, it is a morass of trolls, alt-right, and out and out hatred, from racists to neonazis to feminazis. Even the arts have turned negative, and to criticize them as such just makes you outmoded – and subject to vicious threats. “The whole online sensibility is more in the spirit of foul-mouthed comment-thread trolls than it is of bible study, more Fight Club than family values, more in line with the Marquis de Sade than Edmund Burke. “ Her criticism of her own generation stings. They “come from an utterly intellectual shut-down world of Tumblr and trigger warnings, and the purging of dissent in which they have only learned to recite jargon.” They couldn’t even debate the hollow showman Milo Yiannopoulos; they could only prevent him speaking.We are approaching anarchy. The right is at least as fractured and disorganized as the left. There is no longer any typical or classical right; every individual colors it their own way. So despite Republicans’ control of all the levels of government, they continue to fight amongst themselves and make no headway in their agenda. Because they can’t even agree on the agenda. Nagle takes an entire chapter to deconstruct the character Milo Yiannopoulos, who embodies all the contradictions in one neat package. The feeling you’re left with is that barriers to entry need to at least exist. Today, the internet offers equal time and space to every flavor of hate and ignorance going.Nagle doesn’t go far enough. Unsaid is that all of her characters have one thing in common: a tiny bit of power. It is easier to wield negative power than positive power, so they armchair jockey hatred, and laugh at their own cruelty. It is ignorant and outrageous, and that is the whole point. It is a deadly combination of too much time and too little future. The other thing unsaid is that it is infinitesimal. Almost none of the characters has real fame, much less popularity or value. They are their own audience, insignificant in the scheme of things. The occasional Milo is a shooting star than soon fades to black. I look forward to Nagle leveraging her talents into a deeper examination of a heavier issue. This is a terrific intro.David Wineberg

    5 people found this helpful

  • (1/5)

    4 people found this helpful

    The author only has superficial and skewed view of the subjects she discusses. She's definitely biased and mostly ignorant (at times, seemingly willfully). A good book if you want to go from uninformed to misinformed.

    4 people found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Do you want to know what was happening on the internet 4-10 years ago either because you’re too old or too young? You’re in luck, sort of. This book is an excellent contemporary history of a very strange time for humanity. Highly recommended!
  • (3/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    It was informative but terribly biased. If you want to understand what went wrong on the left then look elsewhere. This author is too interested in trying to garner sympathy for ideological allies receiving nasty anonymous messages without recognizing many were the “cry bullies” people were complaining about.

    As a liberal supporter of social justice I’m disappointed that authors inability to be honest about how a hateful and dogmatic online activism became on the left. It’s enablers undermined the credibility of social justice and we’re still dealing with the consequences of scorched earth tactics being employed by left leaning media publications quashing all any at dissent often with claims of “harassment”. This book is sadly more of that.

    The sections on the Alt Right were good and informative but it fails to link alienation of these white males with sadistic identity attacks on them in mainstream publications. Frequent inflammatory click bait articles like “why it’s good to hate White men” or “Gamers are Dead” in gaming publications wasn’t about building a culture of inclusion or respect. That was bullies with big platforms doing what bullies do, which is picking on soft socially accepted targets. The gamers just turned out to be way more than they bargained for.

    Those with big platforms pushing inflammatory content attacking communities and identities with faux social justice were never held accountable for all the animosity they manufactured for clicks. The author expecting we empathize with flame throwers getting hate mail is a bridge too far for me. What we should be doing is demanding apologies from those who recklessly exploited social justice for fame, power, and profit without recognizing the harm to all those left vulnerable when it’s trivialized by bad faith activism.


    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    I really like this author and learned a lot from her. She sheds important light on online trollers that grew out of 4chan and ended up aligned with the alt-right. She has a few central arguments: 1) that transgression is the foremost value of channers and they picked this up from modernist critics (who were usually on the left); 2) that the virulent anti-feminism of channers grew as a reaction to something called "Tumblr feminism," which started on line and then jumped to university campuses; and 3) that 4channers are "beta" males who feel sexually insecure in a post-sexual liberation world where the rewards have gone disproportionately to the top "alpha" males. She also opens with a broadside against the digital utopians who might persist in believing that online "crowds" are a force for the good -- that, she says, is so 2010.

    But this book is a quickie book, rushed out so quickly that no one bothered to proofread it. The author doesn't even take the time to tell you the name of books that she quotes from at length. This quick-and-dirty approach might be a wise publishing decision, given how quickly online trends come and go. But this is a book after all and it's not unfair to bring to it greater expectations than one would to a magazine or an online post.

    So, on the positive side, I like the author because she was a strong point of view. She advises progressives to abandon "transgression," which is simply a-moralism; she implies feminism needs to get over the trigger warning/safe space BS; and she believes that a progressive politics needs to put less emphasis on identity and identitarian politics. I don't agree with her in all respects but I appreciate her willingness to take stands.

    From the fairly casual style and lack of any footnotes or bibliography -- and, indeed, from her willingness to take stands -- I took her to be a journalist or freelance critic. So I was surprised to learn that she's an academic. Learning that made me wish she'd displayed some of the virtues of academic writing. For instance, she doesn't tell us anything about the research on which she bases her observations. One assumes she spent a lot of time on social media, Tumblr, and perhaps IRC channels, in reddit forums, or whatever. But she doesn't bother to share that with us. I think it matters. For instance, what do we actually know about these guys (including the assumptions that they are all guys)? Who are they and where are they? The author is Irish but an awful lot of this book is about the US. Why not address the limitations (and potentials) of this sort of limited online research?

    A yet bigger problem for me is that, despite her interest in the alt-right, she really drops the ball on the issue of race. She focuses instead on the gender side of this problem because that's what she knows best. I suspect this is because she feels much more confident around gender issues. She clearly finds it easier to criticize Tumblr feminism and the influence of Judith Butler than she does the other much maligned "social justice warriors" concerned with mass incarceration, extrajudicial killing of black people, intractable racial disparities, institutional violence, etc. But haven't they played a big part in campus "anti-free speech" politics on university campuses today? And haven't they too raised the hackles of the newly emboldened on (and off) line racists? And why are young women attracted to these alt-right groups?

    Finally, geography and culture matter. The author makes little of the fact that she is Irish and writing in Ireland. It's as if in writing about online groups, history and specificity disappear. But, as someone reading in the US, I've got to say: history matters. Is Tumblr feminism universal? Did the alt-right play a part in Ireland's recent elections? Does "free speech" mean the same thing on an Irish campus as it does in the US?

    But it's really the race issue that rubs me the wrong way. Nagle can't expect anyone to think she's come to terms with the alt-right based predominantly on her interest in its anti-feminism.

    In the end, I find Nagle strong, intelligent and nervy, but her interpretations in the end don't address the marriage of 4chan and the alt-right in the past few years in a way that satisfies me. For that, she needs to go deeper, wider -- and to wander offline. And she needs to admit what she can and cannot know using the methods she employs.
  • (1/5)
    Mental masturbation. The author clearly thinks this is an important topic, rather than a soon to be inconsequential curiosity. Beyond that it's factually incorrect, pretentious, badly edited and keeps mentioning Milo Yiannopoulos's "spectacularly" imploding career. Sounds personal.
  • (5/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    A tour de force of the Materialist Left. Very well written and referencing a million different facets of history and philosophy along the way. Highly suggested for all Lefties as well as the Anti-SJW right.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    if u read this book then you're a normie sorry it's the truth. I haven't read it I'm just assuming. normie

    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Excellent study of the alarming rise of the 'alt-right' movement treating the subject with the scholarly care and attention that it (unfortunately) deserves in respect to its influence on the current political climate. Very readable and sobering, especially in respect to the complete failure of the left to respond to the challenges raised in any meaningful way.
  • (2/5)
    This has some good information and it's nice to have a 3rd perspective on, how should I say, the topography of the far-right internet. However, there were no major themes and the writing was frequently confusing.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I'm ambivalent about Kill All Normies. The subject is important, and Nagle provides a reasonable history and framework for understanding the online cultures of both the right and the left. Nagle, herself a leftist, offers cogent critiques of the left in particular. But there is a paucity to the book's substance: The prose is hurried, which, given its publication in 2017 on the heels of the 2016 election and Trump's inauguration, should be unsurprising. Still, one doesn't expect to see Peter Thiel's name misspelled, and a number of similar spelling and grammar faux-pas undermine the text's gravitas, and the pleasure of reading it. Further, there are no notes or reference lists, which would be of interest to the curious reader. There is the germ of a greater book in Kill All Normies, but it didn't quite achieve it.

    1 person found this helpful