Taking its cue from the furore surrounding Logan Paul’s now infamous ‘suicide forest’ video, this article examines an online culture of memes and vlogs and subreddits and asks just why it is so jarring when this and the ‘real’ world collide. It asks why we seem so ready and willing to avoid the latter, and what the politics of doing so might be. However, it also questions the legitimacy of those who dismiss this culture out of hand as ‘low-brow’, and proposes that this may in fact be another strategy of avoidance, a means of forestalling engagement with material does not (or does not want to) understand.
Joey Hornsby is PhD candidate in French at King’s College London. Her research explores the relationship between the revolutionary and the reactionary in the images produced by the early 20th century avant-garde, with a focus on representations of labour, consumption and speculation.