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Kill All Normies: Online culture wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the alt-right Paperback – 30 Jun 2017
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Amidst the chaos of our times, it is a relief to have a brilliant and fearless critic like Angela Nagle to turn to. Unwilling to stomach the liberal shibboleths that fail to adequately explain the emergence and significance of right-wing subculture, she's the only one willing to descend into the grimiest of Internet grottos and give us the benefit of her incisive and cool-headed analysis. --Amber A'Lee Frost, Chapo Trap House
Angela Nagle is one of the few writers anywhere who has consistently refused to hold a double standard for virulent racism and misogyny even when it came in edgy countercultural packaging. Kill All Normies is a brilliant exposé of the new faces of online nihilism and fascism, which can no longer be explained away as doing it for the 'lulz'. --David Golumbia, author of The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism
With a liberal left dangerously lost in the stormy waters of middle class self-flagellation, Angela Nagle is the lighthouse keeper showing us the way out. Her writing is unsparing in its diagnosis but never cruel. Unlike much of the Left who've grown far too accustomed to marginalization and defeat, Nagle still believes in politics as the only way of changing an increasingly brutal world. She is the writer and social critic I've been waiting for. --Connor Kilpatrick, Jacobin magazine
About the Author
Angela Nagle's work has appeared in the Baffler, Jacobin, Current Affairs, the Irish Times and many other journals. She's also the co-editor of Ireland Under Austerity from Manchester University Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Kill All Normies, things online have gone unaccountably negative. The internet was supposed to be a giant uplifting community party. Instead, it is a morass of trolls, alt-right, and out and out hatred, from racists to neonazis to feminazis. Even the arts have turned negative, and to criticize them as such just makes you outmoded – and subject to vicious threats. “The whole online sensibility is more in the spirit of foul-mouthed comment-thread trolls than it is of bible study, more Fight Club than family values, more in line with the Marquis de Sade than Edmund Burke. “
Her criticism of her own generation stings. They “come from an utterly intellectual shut-down world of Tumblr and trigger warnings, and the purging of dissent in which they have only learned to recite jargon.” They couldn’t even debate the hollow showman Milo Yiannopoulos; they could only prevent him speaking.
We are approaching anarchy. The right is at least as fractured and disorganized as the left. There is no longer any typical or classical right; every individual colors it their own way. So despite Republicans’ control of all the levels of government, they continue to fight amongst themselves and make no headway in their agenda. Because they can’t even agree on the agenda. Nagle takes an entire chapter to deconstruct the character Milo Yiannopoulos, who embodies all the contradictions in one neat package.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
All that being said, as other reviewers have pointed out, this book is in SERIOUS need of a better editor. I never felt that my comprehension of the material was impeded by mechanical errors, but that may be because I'm used to reading essays by high school freshmen. A once-over with a copy editor would have earned this book five stars for sure.
Another improvement that I would suggest would be to include footnotes and other annotations, or an index. As another reviewer stated, this book does read somewhat like a first draft - I'm not sure if Zer0 felt they had to push this book out quickly because of the (deserved) hype surrounding it, but better editing and a more thorough documentation of Nagle's sources and further reading would have made this book substantially stronger.
Overall, I'd say this slim volume is worth it. It isn't perfect, but it is timely and refreshing.
This excellent book is written for all those out there who are baffled why or how Donald Trump got elected as President. Specifically, it is written to the Non-Millennials, to the Baby Boomers, and everyone else to whom the internet, internet issues and electronic social media, is anything other than another body appendage. This book provides an answer and shines a light on the dramatic social changes which are going on now in this country.
This is a fascinating book containing elements of political theory, social and cultural commentary, and historical analysis. This is a compelling read, but disturbing.
Most of us dinosaurs are familiar with the normal public discourse of political commentators on television, in the print media. Well, according to this chilling and disturbing — yet excellent — book, the rise of the Alt-Right and the ascendency of Donald Trump owes a great debt to a nebulous online netherworld akin which can only be described with reference to that well-known introduction to the Tales from the Darkside, a television show, ... Namely, “We all live in the sunlit world of what we believe to be reality. But there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit. ... The Darkside.” This “darkside” is the world investigated by Kill All Normies. And, brother, if you thought the Alt-Right (read, Neo-Nazi) was a weird bunch, fasten your seat-belts because the characters and doctrines described in this book is a rocky ride!
The political base for Trump and the Alt-Right is a nebulous, amorphous bunch of computer Geeks and shameless, opportunistic frauds. According to the author Nagel the Alt-Right had a major boost in Gamergate, an online controversy among gamers which rapidly escalated into a rabid political dialogue, which was peppered with misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, and a general antagonism to liberal or progressive causes or personalities. Nagel shares some of that dialogue in her book, and it is some real vile, demented, stuff. This political base gained into real prominence by co-opting the practices, methods, and attitudes of the political left from the 60s and putting their agenda into an alt-right context. Not to say those tactics were flawless. The notable example is Milo Yiannopoulos. Adopting an in-your-face, confrontational, what Nagle terms, “transgressive,” attitude, Yiannopoulos famously advocated that pederasty is a good thing, and presently sits as a well-deserved persona-non-grata.
The political left also engages in this cyberwar clash of cultures. Nagel describes the online activities of leftist websites like Tumblr and others. While these websites match the passion of alt-right sites, they are fractured, disjointed, disunified, you know, typical lefty stuff, and cannot hold a candle to the primal ferocity of alt-right cybergeeks.
The only real draw-back of Kill All Normies is that the author assumes the reader is familiar with the names, websites, message boards, and movements tossed about in the book. For example, Gamergate, for a Baby-Boomer like myself, is an event not adequately covered by the print media, but even if it was covered adequately would be like reading about the planet Mars.
While this is a real drawback, it emphasizes the subtext of Nagle’s book. Much of what is described in this book hovered below the political radar, neither known nor fully appreciated by a majority of the general public. Most of the general electorate are not aimless, layabout gamers with way too much time on their hands, spewing hate speech into their computers. These are precisely the people, however, who allowed Trump to be elected, and provided the raw fuel powering the alt-right movement. Nagle’s book, therefore, gives great pause about the political direction of this country.
This book is essential reading, should be read and must be read.
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