Pepe the Frog
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Pepe the Frog, emojified as 🐸, is a green anthropomorphic frog used as an Internet meme. The character was created by artist Matt Furie in his comic Boy's Club. In 2008 its popularity grew steadily grew across Myspace and Gaia Online, being popularised by 4chan in the same period. By 2015, it had even become one of the most popular memes used on Tumblr, the residence of its current nemesis, the SJW.
While originally without political associations, as of 2015 he has become associated with the alt-right, white nationalism, and Donald Trump (though it doesn't mean everyone using or liking this meme is a nationalist). Hillary Clinton's campaign condemned both Donald Trump and his son for posting images of Pepe on Twitter.
The Anti-Defamation League has listed Pepe as a hate symbol, but noted that most instances of Pepe were not used in a hate-related context. Matt Furie tried getting his frog back, but was forced to concede defeat. In May 2017, he killed off the character, but Pepe could not be so easily and permanently slain, and has returned to us. Matt Furie later launched his #SavePepe campaign on Kickstarter and social media to fund a new Boy's Club issue and to reclaim the character. Furie has since taken legal action against various websites as well as prominent alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer, Mike Cernovich and Baked Alaska for appropriating Pepe.
Some claim that Pepe is the incarnation of the ancient Egyptian god Kek (also known as Kuk or Keku), and worship him as such as part of another 4chan in-joke called the "Cult of Kek", which has been defined by the experts at Wikipedia as a parody religion. The connection between Pepe and Kek has been endorsed by the neoreactionary philosopher Nick Land, and by Davis Aurini. However, as of 2017, the alt-right appear to have a newer fascist frog mascot named Groyper. The character is derived from Pepe but is fatter and more grotesque in appearance.
Fun fact: an unrelated Spanish restaurant by the name Casa Pepe gives customers the opportunity to "relive the glory of General Franco's brutal fascist dictatorship" by perusing "bottles of wine honouring General Francisco Franco on their labels, cured Spanish hams and olive oil cans bearing the national flag used during Franco's reign, berets and other Fascist paraphernalia."
Take a peep at these Pepes
- Khan, Imad (April 12, 2015). "4chan's Pepe the Frog is bigger than ever—and his creator feels good, man". The Daily Dot.
- Kiberd, Roisin (April 9, 2015). "4chan's Frog Meme Went Mainstream, So They Tried to Kill It". Motherboard. Vice Media.
- Hathaway, Jay (December 9, 2015). "Tumblr's Biggest Meme of 2015 Was Pepe the Frog". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Olivia Nuzzi, How Pepe the Frog Became a Nazi Trump Supporter and Alt-Right Symbol, The Daily Beast, 26 May 2016
- Elizabeth Chan, Donald Trump, Pepe the frog, and white supremacists: an explainer, Hillary for America, September 12, 2016
- Anti-Defamation League, Pepe the Frog, Hate on Display™ HATE SYMBOLS DATABASE
- http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/18/us/save-pepe-the-frog-trnd/ #SavePepe: Campaign aims to reclaim Internet frog from hate groups (retrieved November 4, 2016)
- Pepe the Frog creator kills off internet meme co-opted by white supremacists
- Pepe the frog rises from the dead, creator says
- Pepe the Frog's creator can't save him from the alt-right, but he keeps trying anyway
- Pepe the Frog’s Creator Goes Legally Nuclear Against the Alt-Right
- Useful travel fact — the word "kuk" literally means
rooster"cock" in Swedish.
- Cult of Kek, Know Your Meme
- See the Wikipedia article on Parody religion. Archive.
- Pepe, Kek, and the Rise of an Elder God
- The Far Right's New Toad Mascot Is a Fatter, More Racist Pepe the Frog
- Angel L. Martinez Cantera (August 14, 2014). "This Restaurant Is Nostalgic for Fascist Spain". Vice News.