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The only thing to do with the "intellectual dark web" is laugh at it

Photo: Thomas Trutschel (Getty Images)

With conservative ideology in political and cultural ascendancy, there’s no better time to be worried about whether conservatives are being given their dues. So says “Meet The Renegades Of The Intellectual Dark Web,” a baffling New York Times article in which Bari Weiss, defender of the downtrodden, highlights key figures of the Bonehead Renaissance who consider themselves neglected by the mainstream media.

Weiss highlights “a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades, and media personalities” who have made names for themselves not through intellectual merit but by following the example of the real dark web, popularly used for fraud and trade in illegal pornography, and actively making the world a shittier place. This list includes all the standard Titans Of Logic: Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, Christina Hoff Sommers, Ben Shapiro, and many other assorted buzzards pecking at the corpse of human decency.


These tortured souls, marginalized to positions of mainstream prominence for their absolute bravery in being loudly regressive on issues ranging from sexuality and gender to multiculturalism and religion, are shown to have disrupted the system by bypassing traditional media platforms to use other well-established media platforms (like YouTube and iTunes) to ... well, end up featured on traditional media platforms like The New York Times and international TV news segments.

The ridiculousness of the article is pretty clear. It takes the arguments of its subjects at face value, legitimizes the unironic use of “Intellectual Dark Web,” and generally reads as an apologia for those who, a few short years ago, were rightfully ignored for propagating bad arguments meant to give audiences reassurance that their worst instincts are, in fact, good to have.

Twitter, the dark web of social media, has responded to the naked absurdity of it all the only way it knows how: by mocking one of the goofiest pieces to ever see the light of day in a prominent publication.

First up was the concept of the Intellectual Dark Web itself:


Then, rounding the corner, came the meme parade:


And elsewhere, people focused on the wide-eyed mythologizing of the piece’s words and photos:


If the responses seem like they’re not giving the article and its subjects a fair shot, just consider that its message had its time in the marketplace of ideas and these free-thinking readers are only commenting accordingly. That their reactions have resembled the social media equivalent of barfing through your fingers is pretty much exactly what anyone would expect from an article about wealthy, “marginalized” conservatives in any time or place but our own.

[via The Daily Dot and Uproxx]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.