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Back in January, Steven Crowder—a conservative radio host who got canned from Fox News for talking shit about Sean Hannity—tweeted a striking image along with a provocative, typo-marred comment.
This ideal “make” body, which may or may not adorn Crowder’s bedroom wall, belongs to Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko, a Russian heavyweight MMA fighter. It seems that Crowder, fresh off trying to get himself some attention by complaining that Amy Schumer had posed nude for a calendar, was aiming to become an equal-opportunity body-policer.
But nobody, of course, really cared about his physical definition of masculinity. And several months went by, with Crowder turning to different means of seizing a spotlight: He drew the Prophet Muhammad on YouTube and took legal action against Facebook for its apparent bias against conservative news outlets. Good for him! Great exposure.
Yet, in a strange twist of virality, it was his January “make body” tweet that ended up having the biggest impact this summer, long after it first appeared. That was thanks to Vic Berger IV and Phil Braun, who resuscitated it for the round of mockery it should have received back then.
Indeed. Behold what Berger and Braun had wrought:
Perhaps the most devastating of these original replies referenced that time Crowder got punched square in the face by a Michigan union activist.
Things quickly spiraled out of control from there, with everyone offering their deadly serious appraisal of “what peak performance looks like.”
It certainly seems that Crowder has fallen victim to Twitter users’ increasing tendency in this election cycle to dredge up conservatives’ older, less-than-engaged-with posts to laugh about them all over again: Witness the way people will continually retweet and react to, for example, Donald Trump’s pre-campaign rants about Diet Coke or celebrity couples.
Crowder hasn’t commented on this retroactive roasting—or maybe hasn’t yet realized it’s going on. After all, he’s busy editing videos that mock Caitlyn Jenner’s gender identity. Very timely, highly topical. Great stuff.
Why this obsession with bodies? Guess it keeps the focus off brains.
Update 9:02pm CT: This post has been edited to reflect that the meme began with a Twitter exchange between Vic Berger IV and Phil Braun.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'