Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

MemeBusters Thursday: Is Obama your boyfriend? Why don't you marry him? CLAP LOUDER!!

A meme (  ˈmiːm[1]) is “an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.

A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures

Namaste friends!  Welcome to the second edition of MemeBusters Thursday.  Last week we took a look at 11 dimensional chess and other incarnations of the idea that the moves made by the President are so complicated as to escape understanding, like Kabuki etc.

This week we’re going to examine the propensity for people who have just been presented with a compelling argument for acts of the President with the rebuttal:  Is he your boyfriend, you worship him, get a room, get the picture?  Seen it before?  Let’s discuss what to do when you see it again.  

Remember the rules.  MemeBusters are participants!  We’ll need help uncovering alternate responses; we’ll need help figuring out what to do next week.  Sound like fun?  Let’s begin.

You have just presented an impassioned defense of the President’s stand on X.  You have provided links to factual information; you have provided block quotes and historical precedent to back your position.  Surely this will be the start of a productive conversation; in fact perhaps some progress might be achieved toward moving understanding forward.  Instead the reply comes back “is he your boyfriend” “you worship him” “CLAP LOUDER”

I think the most important thing to consider when examining this response is the fact that all the work you just did in building the case was not addressed.  The person who spreads this meme is not interested in what you just said, but is instead interested in your relationship to the President.  They have taken what you said and made it about you.  Now back in the day they had term that described turning an argument from the substance to the man, what was that again?…  Ad hominem Adept.

An ad hominem (Latin: “to the man”, “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] The ad hominem is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] but it is not always fallacious; in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.[5]

Thank you that’s right.  The person who spreads this meme is just attempting to dismiss what you said by drawing attention to a perceived relationship you have with the President.  Why this person is engaging in a regular good old fashioned ad hom attack, so what do you do?

Personally I grant the point.  Is he your boyfriend?  Yes, yes he is I love him I feel he is the finest President this country has yet elected and the reasons are (cut and paste previous comment) now that we’ve gotten how I feel out of the way do you care to talk about the points I’ve made?

What do you do when the person you’re having the discussion with replies something to the effect that since you’ve announced your love they are going to continue down that path?  In my opinion you do nothing.  You leave the discussion right there to hang in cyberspace.  Any further engagement just lowers you, and reminds me of the old story about getting in the mud and wrestling pigs.  The only one that looks stupid is you and the other one is used to being dirty.

The floor is yours.


  1. Rashaverak

    Any further engagement just lowers you, and reminds me of the old story about getting in the mud and wrestling pigs.  The only one that looks stupid is you and the other one is used to being dirty.

    Point well taken.  The pig might even enjoy the man-on-pig contact.

    Calling people Obamabots and the like is simply a means of avoiding substantive discussion.  One can choose to allow the accuser to inflame the situation, or one can reply soberly, or one can just walk away.

  2. anna shane

    they’re not interested.  If someone holds you up with a gun and you ask him if he accepts the lord as his savior, he may think you’re nuts and leave you alone, but if you try to reason with him he’ll probably just shoot you.  

    I shut up the other side when they give me a lot of bunk about him by saying, but but he’s sooo hot!!! (it helps that he is).

    So, if they say that you could say, right, everything is sexual with you.  Ick.  

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