If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention. But don’t worry, it’s not just you: objective confusion seems to have settled over the American media landscape in 2017.
To say that the Overton window — the range of acceptable political discourse — expanded last year is to vastly understate the situation. It would be better to say that rage, spread across a wide spectrum of political ideologies, smashed the window, frame, and mold. As a result, we now live in a conceptual twilight that confounds journalists and citizens alike.
Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4Chan and Tumblr to Donald Trump sheds a crucial beam of light on our present moment. It accomplishes this because its author did the dirty work: Nagle read, aggregated, and interpreted the actual mass of 4chan, Tumblr, and Twitter messages that have accumulated online over the last half-decade. (“Thank god,” writes Amber A’lee Frost, “because I’m sure as hell not doing it.”)
If you want to understand what’s going on in American political discourse today, read the book. If you think you already know what’s going on, read the book anyway.