Adobe, Monopoly, and Ambiguous: Trash Doves
Trash Doves are a Facebook sticker that was created by Adobe Creative Resident Syd WeilerH Ithas recently
become a symbol of the
Weiler originally released Trash Doves on January 31, 201. The most popular carnation of it is floppy trash
dove which features the bird headbanging, Floppy Trash Dove first gained popularity in Thailand and was
featured in the music video Animals with Paws which garnered over 5 million views Since then, it has
been spread on comment sections throughout Facebook and homages
to it have been uploaded on YouTube.
Large amounts of adaptations and original content have been created with Floppy Trash Dove, including
various characters from anime and games such as Pharah and Reaper from Overwatch.
Trash Doves have received praise and criticism from those who come in
contact with it. While some view it as the perfect weapon to troll their friends
and enemies, others view it as an annoyance and consider Trash Doves
"normie-tier shitposting Some followers of the Cult of Kek interpret Trash
Doves as a representation of Horus and that another great meme war is on the
Association with Neo-Nazism
Trash Dove as/POL/symbol
Neo Nazis on the internet have attempted to co-opt Trash Dove as a symbol of
the Alt-right. Many people are considering Trash Doveto be a low-key symbol
of racism. Several memes of Trash Dove have it intertwined with swastikas and Nazi imagery.
4chan has claimed it to be fourbird/.
Floppy Trash Dove
Released January 31, 2017
Creator Syd Weller
Trash Dove is a normie meme. That might very well change in the future. You can usually tell when a meme is destined to end up normie trash; you could with Dat Boi or Harambe. The tell-tale marker of a normie meme is its simplicity. There is little 'lore' or central theme that would allow for a richer development of the meme. In complex memes such as Baneposting, complex permutations which do not result in speciation into a new meme is more feasible. In the case of simple, viral content, the most likely pathway is to be applied to a thousand Shitpostbot-style templates with no progress for the meme itself.
The ironists' recent prank, the attempt at convincing some turbonormies into believing that Trash Dove is a racist dog-whistle, is probably the best thing that could have happened to it. The lack of complexity which made it destined for normiehood from the very beginning will be countered by the ensuing struggle over the definition of the meme. The fact that Trash Dove is a sticker set on Facebook means the normies get an advantage so that it doesn't just end up with an edgelord monopoly over the latest 'Nazi symbol' (created, in fact, by the very normies who boycott the meme for this reason). It will be very interesting to see what happens next.
This is not the first time the sort of thing has happened, of course. Pepe is an amazing, recent example of this phenomenon (but this was not the first of its kind, either. See 'Operation Race Guy', when anons forced Hot Topic to pull meme shirts from their stores by convincing them Rage Comics are racist). It travelled back and forth all over the spectrum ranging from normie to ironic, and even gave us the literally incredible spectacle of arch-normie Hillary "Yasss Queen" Clinton issuing a warning on the campaign website about Pepe being a symbol of white supremacy. I didn't know when I first wrote the Post-Pepe Manifesto that the only people who follow the advice would be the alt-right, yet here we are.
Definitions come about through participation in the game of language and the use of a word or meme. It is beneficial for us when those definitions are useful (e.g. by being helpful in communicating slippery concepts or perhaps by being funny). Here's my current working definition of normies, which is my attempt at a contribution to our shared arsenal of useful vocabularies:
Normies are users with low memetic literacy or fluency. Most importantly, they are prescriptivists about the meaning of memes and reject that, not only is there drift in the definitions of memes, there is also indeterminacy which makes them necessarily dependent on context for meaning. The species of memes they favor and produce are therefore 'robust'. That is to say, the variations or mutations they do introduce to the meme in the individual meme objects they create (e.g. images or videos) are minor and do not affect the species at large. An example is the prevalent use of Advice Animals on Imgur, and the most radical changes introduced to these being minor aesthetic edits to the templates or crossovers with other Advice Animals.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the Trash Dove meme. The worst, plausible scenario I can imagine at this point is Facebook falling for the Nazi meme and puling the sticker set from Messenger (if you can think up worse scenarios that are likely, let me know). The ideal would be for normies to learn something from the experience and raise the memetic literacy of the Internet as a result. Something similar happened with Birds Tho and the parentheses/echo meme; people just kept using the cute ((((birb)))) meme without regard for its alternative, antisemitic translations. Perhaps the fact that the sticker set is probably here to stay regardless of what happens on the ground will mean that the same will happen, serving as example of this inherent ambiguity of all memes. Regardless of what happens to Trash Dove, it will probably be interesting. Let's keep an eye out.
(image source: https://goo.gl/ygWBeY )