By Spencer Kellogg | @Spencer_Kellogg
Monday, October 15, 2018: a day that will live in infamy. Everywhere you looked – NPC’s. Grainy NPC’s, Celebrity NPC’s, Fake News NPC’s, Communist NPC’s, Vegan NPC’s, Beltway NPC’s, Alt-cuck NPC’s. Kanye NPC’s, and Taylor Swift NPC’s. The list goes on and on.
What is an NPC?
An NPC (non-playable character) is a non-thinking person. The meme has roots in 4chan and video games in which AI and programming alone guided certain characters’ actions. They possess no inner voice and never question themselves or their ideas. Instead, they accept everything at face value, whether it comes from the media, government, academics, celebrities, or the global synchronized apparatus of prescriptive and mechanized thought. Dr. Russell T Hurlburt conducted research on inner voice processing and found that close to 75% of people never experience ‘innerly talking’. Of these people, a large portion never experienced inward reflection at all.
While the press lauded Taylor Swift for her brave support of milquetoast neoliberals, she became the first celebrity NPC victim. Soon after, a cult was born as Stephen Colbert, Che Guevara and Louis CK NPC’s sprang up across social media platforms.
Only days after her endorsement of Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, images began circulating of Swift with an emotionless face plastered over her body and a nondescript, robot-like political “statement”.
Internet Flame War
NPC is the latest in the long line of memes that have propagated the internet in the past few years. Memes have become a rallying point and a comical way to express the technological mania of modern day society. While the European Union is doing everything in its power to silence free speech (and the memes it births) an army of dedicated trolls continue to push forward. NPC is merely their latest battle ax. Twitter has already started deleting NPC user accounts and blacklisting the #NPC hashtag because they believe the meme is ‘dehumanizing’ and falls under their hate speech restrictions.
It makes sense: Twitter is itself a self-propagandizing NPC machine. Tuned perfectly for the tuneless, Twitter has routinely silenced conservative speech it deems hateful while hypocritically no acting against just as disgusting and insane rhetoric from the left. Twitter marches lockstep with other major centers of interaction and prescribed social thought like Facebook and Google. In this predicted Orwellian nightmare, technocrats and rhetoric wonks manipulate thought on every social media platform at their whim daily.
NPC depicts a world full of people without the ability to think for themselves or question norms. Instead, the laziness of conditioned academic thought and prescriptive social norms dictate acceptable beliefs. When controversy comes up, these people often backpedal into the weaponized machine of linguistics.
A common NPC meme: the right pokes fun at what they believe to be the left’s controlled talking points.
Are We All NPC’s?
Voted Hillary? NPC. Punched a Nazi? NPC. Listened to a celebrity’s political opinion? Drowning in student debt? Joined the Libertarian Party? Definite NPC. MAGA? NPC! Taken money from the geopolitical elite? NPC. Eat tofu? Eat cattle? Believe Don Lemon? Believe Tucker Carlson? NPC. Watch Sunday Night Football? NPC. In almost every case, the free thought of the individual cedes to collective jargon.
You get the point. I’m an NPC and probably, so are you. Nearly all of us, in one way or another, are part of the soul-sucking spoon that has become the modern media complex. NPC’s are the empty groove of your favorite record, lulling you to sleep in the back of Aphex Twin’s windowlicker limo.
Many on the right are now using the meme as a counter-intuitive ideological tool. By poking fun at the right with the coded language of the modern left, NPC memes are actually creating a significant system reboot of the tribalized instincts of both factions. This leaves each individual to question the program load of their own prescriptive monologues. But in both cases, this rarely occurs.
When Kanye dared to have a political opinion outside the hateful uncritical lens of the modern Democrat machine, SNL cast member Pete Davidson joked that Kanye should start taking his pills again. Pundits called Kanye’s visit to the oval office a “minstrel show” and Don Lemon had the audacity to suggest that West’s mother would be “turning over in her grave.” The media’s disturbing treatment and ugly depiction of Kanye West over the past few months is an example of NPC type thinking.
NPC is not strictly a right-wing meme. NPC’s are not characterized by a particular set of political or ethical beliefs but more so by a particular set of hierarchical non-beliefs that stand negatively against the interests of free speech and free association. NPC cuts at the heart of the big discussion taking place in the developed western societies of the world – with all the noise, is there any place left for critical thought?
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