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THIS Is Why Dogecoin Is The Current Thing
As the Russia-Ukraine conflict drags on, a meme war has broken out on the home front between the American media and the people of the Internet.
The media deploys memes to build support for further military intervention, while the people counter-meme in service of peace and prosperity.
The stakes are nothing less than the American mind itself. Let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about.
The Current Thing
This week, the people struck a blow against the mainstream narrative, unleashing a powerful meme on the world: "I Support The Current Thing."
The Current Thing meme first appeared on Twitter at the beginning of March.
Its use has exploded in recent days, catching the eye of Elon Musk, Mark Andreessen, and others. Andreessen suggested it could be "a seminal meme."
Like all powerful memes, The Current Thing is packed with meaning.
On the surface, it is a critique of slacktivism. The meme originated in response to thousands of social media users attaching Ukrainian flags to their profiles as a reflexive show of support for the beleaguered nation.
At a deeper level, it points to attempts from corporate media and big tech to control public discourse through an endless succession of crisis narratives.
As the public's attention is battered by one disaster after another, crises aren't so much resolved as papered over by newer, more urgent-seeming emergencies.
Because the public is constantly being dictated to about what counts as important and how they should feel, it scarcely gets a chance to decide for itself what community projects are worth pursuing, much less build political capital to pursue them.
There's something almost nefarious about the way the disaster cycle stymies grassroots momentum.
By keeping the public in a constant state of apprehension, media pumps its own ratings and gives political elites virtuous-seeming justification to extract billions from the middle and lower classes for projects that don't provide any benefit to regular folks.
With rampant inflation, soaring energy prices, and people still getting back on their feet from the pandemic, there's little sign of relief on the horizon—that is, unless the people take collective action to demand it.
On the bright side, the Current Thing meme's growing popularity is a sign that people are onto the crisis-narrative ruse.
Though it is just weeks old, the meme has proven has amazingly versatile, spawning endless spin-offs and permutations to skewer groupthink at every point along the ideological spectrum.
It even contains its own contradiction: a bizarro-world "Opposite of Current Thing" stock figure whose rejection of mainstream narrative leads to bland embrace of all sources fringe and conspiratorial.
Together, these memes illustrate how media narratives can induce us to tribe up, wave opposing flags, and invest negative emotional energy in a sort of social proxy war between powerful interests that has nothing to do with our day to day lives.
At the same time, the meme provides an escape from this media-generated war game. Equal parts satire and gallows humor, its message is a half-smirking, half-resigned, "I'll wave your flag if you wave mine."
Proof of Support Required
The Current Thing meme's deepest power lies in its comedy.
Humor is a useful tool for putting a finger on things in the zeitgeist that we intuitively sense but hadn't quite been able to articulate.
While no one denies the plight of the Ukrainian people, the media effort to shape cultural attitudes against all things Russian has raised a few eyebrows.
It's one thing to cut Russia off from the global financial system, a tactical maneuver whose consequences are still unfolding.
It's another for Western nations to join in lockstep and give Russia—a country comprising 145 million mostly peaceful individuals—the full cancel culture treatment.
Recent days have witnessed a censorship campaign against all things Russian, including excising Russian literature from curriculums, stopping Russian ballet from being performed, banning Russian cats from cat shows, removing the name of a dead Russian astronaut (the first man in space) from a Space Foundation conference, and a campaign to require the world's #1 ranked men's tennis player to publicly denounce his President as a condition for being allowed to compete in Wimbledon.
In each case, there's a murky line between where reality ends and the joke begins. That line becomes clearer when the examples are understood as Supporting The Current Thing to its most ostentatious maximum.
Elona's Current Thing
At a time when it's difficult to distinguish historical events from Monty Python skits, Elon has embraced the spirit of Supporting the Current Thing to its hyperbolic extreme, affirming that even he, the world's richest man, can be nudged into holding an opinion due to group pressure.
Already backstopping Ukraine's Internet infrastructure, he raised the bar for Russia-disdain last Monday by challenging Vladimir Putin to "single combat," setting the stakes at no less than Ukraine itself.
Putin has yet to respond, but the tweet drew an offer from the Head of the Chechen Republic to train in Chechnya "to pump up those muscles in order to change from the gentle (effeminate) Elona into the brutal Elon you need to be."
Elon declined, saying "such excellent training would give me too much of an advantage" before signing off on the tweet as "Elona."
The challenge also caught the attention of the head of Russia's Space Agency, who chided Elon for his weakness with verse from Pushkin (ironically exactly the kind of thing being cancelled in classrooms): “You, little devil, are still young. You are weak to compete with me, it would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first."
Elon countered with an absurd meme to hype the battle and an offer of more "pay per view money."
Pay Per View
These satirical back-and-forths hint that, however bad the war is for Ukrainian citizens, a significant aspect of the conflict involves media spectacle, and a profitable one at that.
Like the pandemic before it, the war has captured the attention of social media and is likely driving ad revenue for big tech.
Yet amid the chaos, there are signs that the war as depicted on Twitter and Facebook is different from the one being experienced by Ukrainians and Russians.
Although smartphones are ubiquitous among the millions of Ukrainians fleeing their country, surprisingly little genuine footage of fighting between military combatants or attacks on civilians has emerged.
In this evident photojournalistic void, outlets have been caught using clips from old wars, movies, and video games to falsely depict the conflict.
The media-managed spectacle goes deeper. Two weeks ago, the White House started briefing TikTok stars about the war to establish consistent messaging.
As wars go, this is nothing new—all international conflicts involve a level of propaganda.
This war seems exceptional, however, for how difficult it is to pin down even the basic motivations of the participants.
Western media portrays the conflict as a play for land and natural resources by a monomaniacal dictator obsessed with restoring the glory of the old Soviet Union: Moby Dick with nuclear weapons.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has echoed these sentiments and asked the US to institute a no-fly zone to help defend his country, a move that would likely result in direct conflict between American and Russian aircraft.
Russia, meanwhile, claims it is carrying out a temporary occupation to remove neo-Nazis and bioweapons from its border, with plans to present evidence to the United Nations later this month. China has called on the US to come clean about its biolab activity.
Similarly, Russia has outlawed "fake news," leading CNN and other American networks to withdraw from the country. It has also banned Facebook and Instagram.
Whatever the kinetic reality on the ground in Ukraine, it's clear we're witnessing a form of mimetic warfare, with each side competing to traffic its preferred memes and win global popular support.
As the narrative battle plays out, capital has started flowing from American taxpayers into the war machine, with the President approving multiple aid packages to Ukraine totaling close to $15 billion dollars.
Money is also flowing into politicians' pockets. Two weeks ago, an Unusual Whales report found that several members of Congress had purchased oil and war stocks immediately before the invasion, in a maneuver eerily reminiscent of Congresspeople dumping their investments before the pandemic or loading up on pharmaceutical stocks ahead of drug announcements.
These money plays are happening while Americans are being asked to stomach record-high food and energy prices amid perhaps the greatest transfer of wealth to the rich in history.
However justified it may end up being, Supporting this Current Thing has become a luxury only a few can afford.
The Inflation Thing
In many ways, The Current Thing is a convenient distraction from the profound transformation happening in the American economy.
Both the pandemic and war have hurt American wallets, but inflation is the worst culprit when it comes to eroding the wealth of the middle and lower classes.
In a recent thread, Elon asked his followers what where they thought inflation was heading.
Crucially, at the end of the thread, he said that he is still holding his Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies, suggesting that he views them as a viable hedge against inflation.
Last May, when Elon's SNL appearance coincided with Doge's tumble from all-time highs, numerous media outlets ran stories about its supposed demise, as if it were one more Current Thing whose time had passed.
Media focused on their misinterpretation of the "hustle" comment (everyone knows 'hustle' is just slang for "work"), but hardly anyone reported Elon's sincere description of Doge as an "unstoppable financial vehicle that's going to take over the world."
Both comic and anti-establishment, Dogecoin is the genuine article, a tool to financially empower regular people so they can pursue their own projects in a more loving, peaceful, and humor-filled world.
Doge was The Current Thing in 2021, and may be so again sooner than you think!
The Real Thing
Elon has repeatedly said that the government is essentially a large corporation with a monopoly on violence.
This monopoly means that the government mainly sells war to the public, with the media running a 24/7 ad campaign for the latest flavor of conflict.
Like so many previous 'wars on'—poverty, terror, drugs, disinformation, Covid—the most recent Current Thing is being used to justify a transfer of public money to private interests, elected officials, and the government itself.
At a fundamental level, The Current Thing is evidence of a meme war going on for the minds of the people, with corporate media memes pitted against the grassroots creations of anonymous internet denizens.
In this meme war, Dogecoin is the people's secret weapon: a peaceful protest that allows people to opt out of the military-banking-media system of control
Against the enforced belligerence of this system, the Doge meme is an assertion that people aren't inherently warlike, but are rather silly, fun-loving, occasionally frisky creatures.
Through positive vibes and humor, Doge pulls us out of the cycle of belligerence and retribution, and restores us to our better nature.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, launched ApeCoin last Thursday, the governance token for ApeDAO and Yuga's metaverse. The launch was incredibly well coordinated, with simultaneous listings on all major exchanges. On the heels of the launch, Yuga put out a video teasing its metaverse launch in April. A fascinating slide deck for Yuga's plans leaked shortly after.
Netflix released a trailer for Return To Space, a documentary with rare inside access to NASA and SpaceX.
The US Senate passed bill to make Daylight Savings Time permanent, drawing wide acclaim for the promise of giving people more sunlight in the winter.
Former BitMex CEO Arthur Hayes made the case for $1 million Bitcoin, $10k gold, and the end of the Petrodollar: "The bear market in fiat currencies will trigger the largest wealth transfer the world has ever seen." Saudi Arabia is reportedly weighing accepting the Yuan instead of dollar for oil purchases. India and Russia are also exploring alternative payment channels for trade that wouldn't involve the dollar.
The Russian Central Bank halted purchases of gold for citizens due to overwhelming demand.
AMC CEO Adam Aron announced the company had purchased a 22% stake in Hycroft Mining, a gold and silver mine. He called the purchase a "bold diversification move" and noted that it inspired "a new genre of memes" featuring his likeness bedecked in gold.
A US Senate candidate in Washington state said he will make Bitcoin legal tender
Intel is building a 17-billion-Euro chip factory in Germany. Earlier this year, Intel announced they were producing Bitcoin mining hardware
Starlink was the most downloaded app in Ukraine.
When asked at a Mavs game about Shiba Inu Coin, Mark Cuban responded, "Dogecoin is where it's at."
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a bill legalizing cryptocurrency.
South Korea's newly elected President announced pro-crypto policies.
Elon said his guess for when humans would walk on Mars was 2029.
Dogecoin short-seller Barry Silbert tweeted a list of cryptocurrencies, comparing them to rock bands and leaving Dogecoin as a question-mark.
In response to a coordinated attack by corporate media on Russell Brand, Elon watched some of his videos and concluded, "Ironically, he seemed more balanced & insightful than those condemning him!" To another user, he wrote "Politicians & political parties should be supported on their merits, not like they are one’s favorite sports team."
53 more Starlink satellites were deployed.
Mark Andreessen tweeted cryptically, "When the world is ready the meme will appear."
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Memes of the week
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Disclaimer: This is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. The article above references an opinion for entertainment purposes only and it is not investment advice. Do your own research and consult with a licensed financial adviser before making any investment decision. Do not treat any opinion expressed in this newsletter as a specific inducement to make a particular investment. Content, news, research, tools, and securities symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or cryptocurrency or to engage in any particular investment strategy. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. All investments involve risk, losses may exceed the principal invested, and the past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, cryptocurrency, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Dogecoin is a speculative and highly volatile asset susceptible to pump-and-dump schemes.
At the time of publication, Dogecoin is around $0.11 per coin.