One of the more amusing groups of people on reddit, who provide some useful insights into the bugman mentality, are the "foodies". Many of reddit's most popular subs (this was moreso the case in the past though, as politics has come to the forefront in the Drumpf era) are food themed. Some are generically themed - /r/food, /r/cooking, /r/recipes - and some more specifically themed - /r/burgers, /r/grilledcheese, /r/bacon. Others focus on diets - /r/eatcheapandhealthy, /r/vegan, /r/1200isplenty - and still others are centered on corporations - /r/tacobell, /r/chipotle, /r/mcdonalds. Whatever the case, these places are concentrated reddit retardation.
The most popular post in the last year on /r/grilledcheese, under the title "Had to correct my husband" (and with 13k upvotes), provides a useful example:
This subreddit is all about praising the wonders of grilled cheese, in its simplest, most pure form. And it is full of images of just that - pictures of grilled cheese. But one thing gets them worked up, and that is the inclusion of im
purities. Say, adding bacon. So there's a lot of discussions and posts arguing about what the "true" definition of grilled cheese is. Lots of people get worked up over it. "Ironically", of course. This is all meant to be ironic, but you quickly realize that on reddit irony is a mask for retardation. At some point (the minute you start doing it), spending time upvoting pictures of grilled cheese and getting into flame wars over what a grilled cheese becomes an actual obsession.
One of the top yearly posts on /r/burgers demonstrating a few other common themes, entitled "Five Guys in my mouth":
The title is doubly illustrative, in the sense that it features both a pun (redditors are notorious for loving puns...ironically
of course) and the connection between sex and food. Sexual innuendo is commonly used on these subreddits. Redditors want to "motorboat" that yummy pizza or stuff that "thick" sausage down their throats, and a photo of finished food is commonly referred to as the "money shot" (these are all actual examples). This sort of language is everywhere. But this post also gets at another key aspect of food subreddits - brand identity. Labels matter, and can be the difference between hundreds of upvotes and an ignored post. Redditors crave upvotes, and so they utilize popular brands to their advantage. Five Guys, being a bugman favorite (they love overly greasy food...again, """ironically"""), is a good choice.
But users don't identify with these brands cynically. Many of them are true believers, and this can be seen on some of the corporate (ostensibly, these places aren't run by corporations but they always support whatever corporation they borrow their title from - and the bugmen of places like /r/microsoft and /r/apple deserve their own effort post) subreddits. I find /r/tacobell to have the most sycophantic and dedicated supporters. One of 2017's top posts, entitled "R/ blackpeopletwitter keeping it real":
Now once again the title itself is indicative of a broader reddit trend - adulation of "black people twitter". The "black" part of social media (a weirdly racialized term that has already been criticized by academics) is considered by redditors to be hilarious (we are laughing with
them not at them, the redditor guiltily insists), full of real talk, and woke as heck. Here, we see some random guy praising Taco Bell on his Facebook - and in turn, being praised by Taco Bell's greatest supporters. His ramblings (pretty typical fare for any Facebook feed) are reimagined as wisdom - "these words have changed my life...That's my Roy" a top post in the thread reads. Notice once again, we have the pun, and the """ironic""" over-the-top praise.
But if these reddit foodies can praise, they can also condemn. Here we see one of the top posts from the last year on /r/steak, titled "President Trump orders his steak well done with ketchup":
As you can imagine, the people at /r/steak take their steaks as seriously (totally "ironically" though...) as the denizens of /r/grilledcheese take their grilled cheese. Some pearls of wisdom from that thread: "Trump may be rich, but he's still just trailer-trash" (255 upvotes - hating white proles is a great way to get yourself some reddit karma), "Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man and a dumb man's idea of a smart man" (258 upvotes - insipid s**t like this, along the same line as the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" trope, serves as a sort of redditor folk "wisdom"), and "As a conservative, I never bought the idea that he was a good pick for a presidential nominee, and I voted third party. I am vindicated by this news. :)" (147 upvotes - you'll see these types of "as a conservative i hate DRUMPF" posts all the time, redditors love this stuff). Although these subreddits are apolitical on the surface, they seem to have become more and more politically charged. Shitlibs are so frazzled by the Trump phenomenon that even when they are "ironically" praising their cheese sandwiches and taco bell slop they can't help but throw in some quip about Bannon being ugly or whatever (he is ugly, but that's beside the point). It's truly bizarre.
And I think to end this post it is worth interrogating their own political views, with the post that inspired me to write this autistic summary up, titled "Jack in the Box CEO says 'it just makes sense' to consider replacing cashiers with machines as minimum wages rise". It links to a Business Insider article, which reports that:
Leaving aside my own personal thoughts on the issue (I think it is absurd to blame automation on increasing wages, and that corporations are using this as a convenient excuse), I found that the reddit foodie take was particularly interesting. The top three upvoted posts from their /r/fastfood thread on the article:
"As we see the rising costs of labor, it just makes sense" to consider adding new automated technology, CEO Leonard Comma said Tuesday at the ICR Conference.
Jack in the Box previously tested technology such as kiosks. According to Comma, the kiosks resulted in a higher average check and helped with efficiency. But at the time Comma said the cost of installing the kiosks wasn't worth it.
But with minimum wages increasing, Jack in the Box is reconsidering the use of kiosks and other technology, Comma said.
I really am not looking for social interactions when getting fast food so I'm all for automated ordering... (81 points)
[In response to the above] Also less chance your order is rung up wrong. (41 points)
Self check-out is the best thing to happen to markets. Less talking and I can do it quicker. (31 points)
Here we see the true face of the reddit foodie - the bugman - revealed. I mean, it is quite obvious that these people are bugmen. They humble brag about the craft beers they are drinking by very conspicuously including them in their food pictures, they shower praise on "cool" corporations whose branding has been specifically designed to dupe them, and they are autistically obsessed over things like the correct steak temperature and the makeup of sandwiches (a painfully inauthentic attempt at authenticity). But all of these are surface level bugman traits. What makes the bugman so insidious, so repulsive, is his underlying character. And in this last thread on automation we see that revealed.
The bugman does not understand, much less appreciate, social interaction. The bugman finds humans to be inefficient, but machines will never get his order wrong. The bugman considers what is best for the markets, without regard for his own community (to be fair, he doesn't have one). Underneath his carefully groomed beard, expensive clothes, and layer of fat grown on IPA's and homemade "'zas", the bugman is a broken person. Lacking - due to his complete immersion in, and submission to, the neoliberal system - the basic capacity to appreciate anything that does not have a market value. They are the perfect consumer, nothing more, nothing less.
Or rather, nothing else.
Edited by Harry Dexter Whyte, 14 January 2018 - 07:15 PM.