There’s some weirdness afoot over at The Atlantic, where they’re running contrary pieces on the “Dark Brandon” phenomenon. Molly Jong-Fast argues in her piece that Joe Biden “is a phoenix,” rising from the ashes just at the moment when all looks darkest. We’ve heard a lot this week about Biden’s “string of wins” and a lot of wishcasting by the media that Biden’s momentum is beginning to change, and this is the moment it all turns around and his approval rating surges back above 40 percent. But seriously, Joe Biden is a phoenix.

It’s real!

Jong-Fast writes:

Somewhere along the way, perhaps as a response to the GOP talking point that Biden is a weak president, some very online people on the left decided that Biden was actually a kind of centrist supervillain.

This idea was bolstered when Biden’s COVID diagnosis coincided with the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Online leftists started using a meme that shows Biden with glowing red eyes—a.k.a. “Dark Brandon.” (There are several theories about the origins of Dark Brandon images, some of which were created by the artist Yang Quan.) Soon, there were memes from Biden supporters pointing out that when Biden got COVID, a terrorist died, whereas when Trump got COVID, he could hardly breathe. Perhaps everything happening in Bidenworld was actually some grand plan, the memes suggested; perhaps Biden was (as Trump supporters used to say about Trump) playing four-dimensional chess. Eventually, even members of the Biden administration started tweeting pictures and referencing Dark Brandon—a progressive hero with the appearance of a supervillain.

Yes, even members of the Biden administration began sending out Dark Brandon memes … featuring Nazi eagle imagery.

Also in The Atlantic, Kaitlyn Tiffany says Dark Brandon is embarrassing and it’s time to give it a rest:

Tiffany writes:

On the theory that I might be missing something, I reached out to an avowed “Dark Brandon” fan and asked her to explain—and defend—the phenomenon. Allison Gill, a co-host of the political news podcasts Mueller, She Wrote and The Daily Beans, told me that the memes are simply funny. Joe Biden is the opposite of Trump, and he is the opposite of terrifying. To turn “one of the kindest men in Washington” into a laser-eyed menace, she said, is “antithetical and awesome.”

Gill allowed that maybe some liberals really do desire to imagine Joe Biden as a gloomy avenger in a sinister eye patch. After they spent years making fun of Trump supporters’ flags and costumes and cardboard cutouts, and saying that they would never engage in the same weird and cult-like behavior, perhaps the Dark Brandon trend really does have a whiff of hypocrisy. “Is this bringing us into weirdness?” she said, considering the question. “No, I think we’re just celebrating a nice guy in an ironic way.” I guess the irony is simply lost on me.

We can take or leave Dark Brandon, although, like Tiffany, we really don’t get it.

Put laser eyes on these to see if they get any funnier.

The Left can’t meme.

Editor’s Note:
 
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