By now you've probably heard of "Pepe the Frog". I mean, Hillary Clinton herself claimed that Pepe was one of the most dangerous symbols of racism in the world today.
More recently, the clothing line Zara got in trouble for putting Pepe on one of their skirts.
But if you're not on 4chan or a Deplorable, odds are you don't really know what Pepe is all about. Here's a breakdown of all the basics.
Pepe started life as one character in a 2005 webcomic called Boy's Club, but that doesn't matter. His REAL story doesn't start until you get to 4Chan.
4chan is a famous internet imageboard, a place where people post pictures, links and discussion. The super-fast posting, anonymity, free speech and geek-focus created a unique "internet culture" that became the single biggest influence on the internet as a whole.
You know all those pics cute cats doing silly things? 4chan INVENTED those. Without 4chan, you wouldn't have Grumpy Cat. Hell, you wouldn't have ANY memes.
And that's what Pepe was, at first. Around 2008, someone posted one of the "Boy's Club" comics on 4chan, and soon Pepe was everywhere.
There are tons of Pepe memes, but three recurring Pepe looks became more important than the rest. They were Happy Pepe:
And Smug Pepe:
ANCIENT GOD PEPE
It might have ended there if not for an astounding discovery. In brief: Pepe is really the modern avatar of an ancient Egyptian god.
You see, among 4chan's other weird culture-trends (like posting Pepe memes), they also used "KEK" as their version of LOL to symbolize laughing. Also, every post to 4chan is numbered and you can't know what number you'll get, so posters started to claim it was 'good luck' to get "dubs", where your posting number ends/starts in doubles (ie. 458799 or 3359142), as well as other multiples.
Then 4chan users started to notice something curious: posts with images of Pepe on them seemed to get "dubs" way more often than any other posts.
Things got really weird when some occult expert showed 4chan that in ancient Egyptian mythology, there was a little-known god who appears in the deepest darkness just before the dawn to herald the coming light. This is a god of chaos-magic, for whom number-pairs ("dubs") were considered sacred. The God's name was Kek. And he appeared in the form of…a frog.
To add a final touch: Kek's hieroglyphic name looks to modern eyes like a person sitting in front of a computer:
So Pepe became the modern avatar of the Great God Kek, here to spread enlightenment through memes.
Of course, not everyone takes it seriously. For most posters, the cult of Kek is just part of the fun. But for a few it's serious; a lot of people are kind of half-way between thinking it's all just crazy fun and something really powerful.
Because it is.
POLITICAL TRAP PEPE
Pepe became popular in the /pol/ section of 4chan, which is for political discussion. Usually very politically-incorrect discussion. This was happening as free speech values of the internet were increasingly under threat.
The Ctrl-Left, feminists, and Social Justice Warriors were trying to censor and control what people could say online. The "chans" became places of resistance to this. Things worsened in 2014, when leftists made concerted attacks against geeks and geek hobbies.
I should note, I was personally subject to these attacks: that year I worked on the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Because of my free-speech views and "mean" online posts, Ctrl-Leftists called for me to be blackballed and censored from the hobby.
They attacked games, comics, and geek literature, declaring them all racist, sexist, and homophobic, and the nerds who liked them as toxic. They claimed "gamers are dead" and these hobbies needed to be taken over by feminists overseers who will decide what people can or can't play, read or write.
4Chan didn't like that. Pepe became a freedom fighter.
Pepe memes now showed brutal mockery of false accusations the left had made about geek culture.
Pepe images began intentionally satirizing these claims, trying to “trigger” special-snowflake SJWs who made them.
It all went into overdrive when Trump became a candidate. Not every memester was traditionally conservative, but the left made it clear it didn't want them or their free speech. So they rallied behind Trump when they saw how much the Ctrl-Left hated him.
Meme warfare was edgy, funny, and mocked the left in ways they had no idea how to oppose.
Along with Wikileaks, it helped Trump fight mainstream-media opposition.
And when Hillary brought up Pepe, that was the moment of triumph for the Cult of Kek, because it made her look ridiculous.
So where does the Nazi thing even come in?
4chan is a free speech zone. When political Pepes started, meant to trigger leftists, some featured Pepe in Nazi outfits, to mock the ridiculous claims the Ctrl-Left had made about geek culture.
Almost no one meant this seriously. But there are also a small minority of posters to chan-boards who are real racists. They tried to 'take over' Pepe, taking advantage of his popularity to try to promote real neo-Nazi ideas. Again, 99% of people who like Pepe think these neo-Nazi filth are retarded assholes. That's it.
EPILOGUE: FREE KEKISTAN!
We live in an age where Kek helped Trump win an election, and the left is so hysterical that they're brutally beating free speech activists in the streets (http://www.break.com/article/milo-yiannopoulos-riot-left-excuses-how-itll-end-3078486). The people doing this are 'respectable' leftists like Eric Clanton, who's an SFSU “ethics” professor, and just cracked open a guy's skull at Berkeley for supporting Free Speech.
Pepe isn't going anywhere. He's created his own people now: the ethnic Kekistanis. We'll fight the Ctrl-Left until Kekistan is free, and our women can wear Pepe skirts in peace.