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The internet has a new meme, and it’s spreading fast.
On Monday, Washington Examiner reporter Philip Klein penned an article titled “Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel student loan debt would be a slap in the face to to all those who struggled to pay off their loans.” The mouthful of a headline immediately caught people’s attention. Within hours, people were pointing out the level of arrogance required to believe that other people should have to suffer just because you did.
From there, the memes were born.
New post: "Elizabeth Warren's plan to cancel student loan debt would be a slap in the face to all those who struggled to pay off their loans" https://t.co/4g6No2MRVm— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) April 22, 2019
At first, the memes were mostly poking fun at Klein’s interesting rationale. “Not dying of polio is a slap in the face to everyone who died of polio,” Aaron Linde wrote.
Not dying of polio is a slap in the face to everyone who died of polio https://t.co/gBfvX9q2dk— Aaron Linde (@aaronlinde) April 22, 2019
New post: "Fixing pothole is a slap in the face to all those who struggled to drive over it." https://t.co/okWx2HZt9x— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 22, 2019
Improving things for burdened people is a real slap in the face to all those who were previously burdened and suffered without help.— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) April 22, 2019
Then, as they do, the meme evolved into something greater. “Using the Infinity Stones to restore life to half the universe is a slap in the face to every mad titan who had to spend the better part of an afternoon collecting all six,” Twitter user Paul Krueger wrote.
using the Infinity Stones to restore life to half the universe is a slap in the face to every mad titan who had to spend the better part of an afternoon collecting all six— Paul Krueger (@NotLikeFreddy) April 22, 2019
bethesda's plan to patch fallout 76 would be a slap in the face to all those who struggled to play through the bugs https://t.co/Rm8HP6Sh7C— Hard Drive (@HardDriveMag) April 22, 2019
Cesarean sections are a real slap in the face to mothers who died in childbirth everywhere. https://t.co/NzlD9CZTbi— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) April 22, 2019
Most people used the meme to point out the flaws in Klein’s argument. “Flying in airplanes is a slap in the face to all those who struggled to cross the country in wagons and sometimes had to eat each other,” one user wrote.
New post: “Flying in airplanes is a slap in the face to all those who struggled to cross the country in wagons and sometimes had to eat each other.” https://t.co/hgpfnff1a3— Wordy Obscura (@talkwordy) April 22, 2019
New post: “Allowing women to vote was a slap in the face to all the women who weren’t allowed to vote before" https://t.co/3aXh4PBxdy— Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) April 22, 2019
child labor laws are a slap in the face to children who died in factory fires https://t.co/Qwdh3JPSZZ— planet grrl (@spaceyabbs) April 22, 2019
"Putting a guardrail here would be a slap in the face to people who fell off the bridge."— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) April 22, 2019
Then there were those who merely seized the opportunity to be as absurd as possible. “Plans to stop Mordor from invading Gondor is a slap in the face to orcs,” Sam Sykes wrote.
plans to outlaw necromancy is a slap in the face to those who have already been raised into an unliving nightmare and cursed with a hunger for the flesh of the living— Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) April 22, 2019
Destroying the One Ring is a slap in the face to all who lived in the Shadow before— Dad (@fivefifths) April 23, 2019
The invention of the spoon is a slap in the face to all those who stuck their face into soup https://t.co/wHVaJ4xc6q— Quietly Over It (@lizscher) April 22, 2019
Defeating the white walkers is a real slap in the face to those who died fighting white walkers in the past— Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) April 22, 2019
Klein has since updated his article with an attempt to argue against the memes his take created.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.