Reply All: #77 The Grand Tapestry Of Pepe
September 22, 2016 11:05 AM - Subscribe

Forty servers full of lost photos, a secret plan, and an unexpected rescue. Also, a Yes Yes No about a frog.
posted by zeptoweasel (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought it was interesting that they had a really different opinion of the "deplorables" comment than the MeFi election thread consensus.
posted by zeptoweasel at 11:07 AM on September 22, 2016

I'm just so glad that woman got her photos back.
posted by maxsparber at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

"Rare Peeps" made me laugh. I know Alex is out of touch, but how have you never seen the name Pepe before?
posted by SansPoint at 11:58 AM on September 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I thought it was interesting that they had a really different opinion of the "deplorables" comment than the MeFi election thread consensus.

I was way annoyed by that. Like, maybe don't editorialize on electoral politics if you haven't really be following it that closely?
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:30 PM on September 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was pretty bummed by the conclusion that Trump doesn't understand that he's being racist, and by the pass they gave racist 4chan. Also, I still don't get the joke.
posted by latkes at 5:24 PM on September 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm not reading any election threads, what was the mefi consensus?
posted by ellieBOA at 10:01 PM on September 22, 2016

What happened to episode 76?
posted by giraffe at 6:53 AM on September 23, 2016

The election thread consensus was that actually it was a pretty masterful strategy, even if on the surface it sounded kind of weird. Recent polling seems to concur.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:06 AM on September 23, 2016

I've got to side with the hosts when it comes to baskets. Trump is awful, and Clinton is orders of magnitude less awful along every possible dimension. There's no question about that. And the fact that Trump's racist retweets may be a mistake jut proves that he's oblivious in addition to being overtly racist. I imagine the hosts realize that the vanishingly small fraction of Trump supporters in their audience are unlikely to be convinced by stern criticism.

But, "basket of deplorables" is an inherently goofy phrase and worth laughing at. It may not be nearly at the level of the "all lives matter" stupid that we've already endured from Clinton and her oblivious writers in this campaign, but it's undeniably silly. (Everyone knows deplorables need to be kept in air tight containers, or else they'll infect the rest of the pantry. That's why they make HDPE-lined deplorables tins.)

But then, Reply All bends over backwards to be unreasonably kind to everybody. In this case, they gave a free pass to both Trump and the idiot CEO of a backup service who had months of advanced notice that his servers were going to be shut down and told nobody, then lied repeatedly on tape about his rescue plans. Perhaps pointing out that the asshole-CEO is a delusional liar isn't really necessary, since it's obvious. But, it makes the shockingly gentle interview last time all the more ugly. Then again, they never claimed this podcast was journalism.

For a show who's take home message seems to be, "everyone is awful. Our leaders are idiots. Trust no-one," I'm impressed by how upbeat the program remains. That's quite a feat.

Don't get me started on the 3 minute mid-program commercial. I'd happily pay 100 times the per-impression fees they're getting from their advertisers to avoid having to hit fast forward 18 times. Do they actually imagine a single listener with thumbs is going to sit through such nonsense?
posted by eotvos at 9:20 AM on September 24, 2016

Yeah, I stopped listening after the Hillary Clinton comment. Very annoying. Sometimes this show can be very White Guys Express White Guy Opinions.
posted by chaiminda at 5:03 AM on September 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Their ads are much better than those on other podcasts!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Talking about ads. Does anyone else remember this thing they had about a year ago, where PJ & Alex were upset that an ad on Reply All had sounded like an endorsement? You can hear it starting about 5 minutes in into the episode BONUS: But Wait, There’s More!

To me it feels like lately endorsements of products and services is a common occurrence. There's definitely been a lot of "Slack is awesome and everyone here uses it all the time etc. etc." and I think the Squarespace ads have also gone in that direction. Has anyone else noticed this?
posted by bjrn at 12:32 PM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Basket of deplorables" is a really weird phrase. I can't wrap my mouth around it.

I don't think they gave 4chan "a pass," they just didn't go into a full explanation of it. There was enough to unpack in this episode.

FWIW, PJ and Alex definitely do claim that their show is journalism (and have done so on a FanFare post), but I would certainly argue that YYN and Super Tech Support are mainly fun segments that don't meet that criteria.

I am so glad the woman got her photos back! I do wish that they had grilled the owner of the other company more, but, oh well. Glad the SmugMug guy was able to help. I am not surprised that other failed photo companies wouldn't take him up on the offer. My company recently found out that one of our smaller competitors was shutting down and giving their customers like 30 days notice. My CEO reached out to theirs to see if we could offer to transition their customers to our platform and they were not keen on it.
posted by radioamy at 3:58 PM on September 25, 2016

I was pretty bummed by the conclusion that Trump doesn't understand that he's being racist, and by the pass they gave racist 4chan.

They described 4chan as: a messageboard where you can post anonymously. It’s where a lot of internet memes come from, and it’s kind of like a nightmarish cesspool that is full of offensive stuff.

That doesn't sound like a pass to me. If anything I wasn't totally in love with the comparison to Hamsterdam. I mean, yeah, Hamsterdam was a terrible place, but it actually was an attempt at showing compassion to the addict community. (Bunny Colvin was a god damned visionary).

As far as Trump, yeah, he understands that he is a racist, but knowing that that particular stupid looking frog is racist requires a fair amount of context. I like to consider myself to be reasonably tuned in to the Internet and while I have known of Pepe (and been vaguely aware of the import behind "rare" Pepe's) for quite some time, I hadn't seen him used in a racist context*, and was really confused by the Pepe--alt-right connection that people were making this past summer.

*ok, like maybe one Pepe hitler type thing, but I'm pretty sure rule 43 of the Internet is that if a meme exists, someone has Nazi-fied it.

So yeah, I can see Trump not realizing that the Pepes that weren't any more racist than he normally admits to (muslims bad, build wall, etc) are a symbol of something much worse.

Also, I still don't get the joke.

The joke (and the explanation) both make a lot more sense when you look at the actual picture. They went on and on about Dr. Oz but that's a red herring, the joke is about Trump being read fan mail, and one of his fan letters was a top kek rare pepe sent to him by @deplorablepatriot.

As far as PictureLife goes, I think Alex may have done us all a disservice by the way he strung things out to keep PJ in suspense.

ALEX: ...Jonathan announced publicly that Picturelife was shutting down, effective immediately.
PJ: So the plan he had, which is that he and he alone was going to rescue everything, turned out to not be true.
ALEX: Yes. So I talked to Jonathan and he told me that what actually happened is that another photo hosting company, this company called SmugMug, swooped in...
There's some important timing stuff missing here. I'll admit that I did think that Jonathan came off as a well-meaning guy in his interview, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the timing was:

1.) Jonathan does interview, episode airs.
2.) While Jonathan is bankrupting himself and neglecting his family to work diligently to restore the pictures as promised, SmugMug contacts him out of the blue and offers him a way out.
3.) SmugMug recovers the pictures
4.) Jonathan announces that PictureLife has shut down and users should got to SmugMug.

And, now that I bother to do some research, it looks like that's what happened -- Jonathan might have handled the his hosting issues in the stupidest possible way, but he didn't lie to Alex. He was doing what he said he would do, and then an option came along that was better for him (and probably his users, tbh). He didn't announce the "shutdown" until the import to SmugMug was complete.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

I found this episode fascinating. I'm one of those people who had never heard of Pepe before. I learned all kinds of stuff about these weird areas of the Internet I'd never visit (4chan? Nope.) but that still burble up and around me. I teach some arty/media stuff to college students and we talk about how reproduction changes the meaning of images via Benjamin, Baudrillard, Sontag, Berger but this is some next level shit.
posted by Cuke at 8:04 PM on September 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

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