Show transcript

[Theme music]

PJ VOGT: From Gimlet, this is Reply All. I’m PJ Vogt.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And I’m Alex Goldman.

Welcome once again to Yes Yes No, the segment on our show where our boss, Alex Bloomberg – who, you know, he’s aging out of being with it and hip – comes to us and says, “I don’t really get what’s going on on this thing on the Internet.” And then we explain it to him.

Hi Alex.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Hello.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Do you feel like my characterization of you as was mean or incorrect?

PJ: Those are your two options.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughing) No, sadly – it was mean and correct.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Umm…So do you have something for us?

ALEX BLUMBERG: I do. So here here’s a here’s a tweet from somebody named Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka.‏

PJ: Uh huh.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Umm, @Richard_Kyanka and he says, “ANTIFA SUPERSOLDIER UPDATE:” –all in caps– “My cumbersome mech suit is too large to fit through the door to Arby’s”

ALL: (laughter)

PJ: No comprehension.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Uhhh – PJ Vogt, do you understand this tweet?

ALEX BLUMBERG: And it’s got 237 likes and 47 retweets.

PJ: No, I do not understand this tweet.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Alex Blumberg, do you understand this tweet?

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughing) I do not understand this tweet.

ALEX GOLDMAN: (laughs)

ALEX BLUMBERG: Alex Goldman, do you understand this tweet?

ALEX GOLDMAN: I do. I do.

PJ: What is going on?

ALEX GOLDMAN: All right.

ALEX BLUMBERG: It’s fallen to you my friend.

ALEX GOLDMAN: All right. So you guys know what Antifa is, right?

ALEX BLUMBERG: I do. I do. But I could use a little refresher actually.

ALEX GOLDMAN: OK.

PJ: How much do you understand Antifa?

ALEX BLUMBERG: I know they are opposite fascists.

PJ: Yes like against, against.

ALEX BLUMBERG: In fact, anti.

PJ: Yes.

ALEX BLUMBERG: And that’s what anti stands for.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Antifa is basically a loose coalition of groups around the country that tend to show up at protests wearing all black, sometimes holding shields, often covering their faces with masks or bandanas. And the thing that sets them apart from most protesters is that some of them are willing to be violent. .

ALEX BLUMBERG: So their believe is like, we’re not gonna just like, march and stuff. To fight fascism you have to be willing to actually fight.

PJ: The whole like, should, the like, should people punch Nazis thing, it’s like a political movement that’s like, “Yes, yes, and we should punch Nazis.”

PJ: Like, when the shooting in um, Texas happened this month, there were–there were people on the- not Breitbart, but like Mike Cernovich, and like Gamergate-y, like alt-right Internet, were like “The shooter was Antifa. This was an Antifa plot.” Like, they’re kind of like constantly… It’s like one of the menaces that they’re sure is always about to show up at their door.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Got it, got it, got it. OK. Alright. OK, so that’s good. So I know what Antifa is now.

PJ: You’re now, we are now through the first word.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughing) We’ve got the first word down.

PJ: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: So, this tweet is in reference to something that has that sort of spun out over the course of the past couple of months. There’s a group of left wingers that’s called Refuse Fascism, and it’s run by this guy named Bob Avakian.

PJ: I’ve not heard either of those things.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So Bob Avakian was kind of well known in the 70s and 80s as like a political organizer. He is this communist guy. He publishes books, he does these really long lectures, he describes himself as a “poetic revolutionary.” But most people have no idea who he is. And, he is definitely not part of Anitfa.

So on August 5, Bob Avakian posts this things on his website that says, “This nightmare must end. The Trump Pence regime must go.” And basically, he says he wants to take to the streets in cities across the U.S. and continue protesting until the Trump administration is removed from power.

PJ: Like he’s calling for… right

ALEX GOLDMAN: And this massive protest he called for probably would have come and gone, and no one would have noticed it. But it caught the eye of this conservative Youtuber named Jordan Peltz. He posted this Youtube video that was called, “Antifa Has to Go!” Here, you can take a look.

JORDAN PELTZ: Good morning, everyone.

He is not a police officer, but he dresses like a police officer.

JORDAN PELTZ: Um, I usually don’t… make posts, especially vlogs like this, but there’s been a number of things that have happened over the last seven days (fades down)

He wears like, the shou–the chest-mounted walkie talkie that cops talk into, and he’s sitting in his not police car.

PJ: But it looks like a police car.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Uh huh.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh huh.

PJ: Like, it has the divider behind the seats.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh my god He’s got like a- like a- and he’s got like a big, like star–

PJ: Like a fake sheriff’s star, and like uh-

ALEX GOLDMAN: So, just so we’re clear, the star on his shirt…

PJ: Is printed on his shirt.

ALEX GOLDMAN: … is printed on his shirt.

PJ: Oh no, I have depth perception. Fully.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: And so Jordan’s video is all about this November 4 protests. But Jordan’s not describing a protest, he’s describing like an all-out war, and he’s replaced the name of Bob Avakian’s group, Refuse Fascism, with Antifa.

JORDAN PELTZ: And to Antifa’s next step, on their website, they are calling for an open civil war that they will start here in the United States in November. They are fundraising for weapons, training, ammunition, supplies.

PJ: He also has a massive rifle behind him.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes.

PJ: And all this stuff about like, an armed insurrection, like Bob Avakian was not saying that.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Absolutely not. So, Jordan Peltz makes this video, and it starts taking off.

And then, this thing gets even bigger, because this Facebook group called “Our Vets Before Illegals” posted this, like distilled version of the Peltz video with a bunch of menacing music behind it, and they cut in scenes from violent Antifa protests.

(dramatic, patriotic music)
JORDAN PELTZ: Honestly, if our leaders and our leadership isn’t going to step up and finish this, we have to.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So that got viewed 3.1 million times.

PJ: God.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And then the fears around this uprising on November 4 are exacerbated when in late September, some of the members of Bob Avakian’s group Refuse Fascism-

PJ: The original group.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Right – and I’m talking maybe eight or nine people-– go, they block traffic on the LA Freeway, holding like, you when you’re at the… You know when you’re at like, a sporting event and people hold individual letters to spell out something? Their’s says, “November 4, it begins.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Whoa.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So they shut down traffic, they all get arrested, but that is- that is-

PJ: Now there’s like proof.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes. And then, this argument that Antifa’s trying to start a civil war, it starts to spread. Like Alex Jones, the Infowars guy, he picks it up and talks about how this violent group of people are now planning this big revolution.

ALEX JONES: Antifa plans civil war to overthrow government. And they’re handing out AK47s, shanks. They’re planning their attacks on public officials, police.

Meanwhile, lefty Twitter people, they like get wind of the fact that suddenly the right-wing is very scared that there’s going to be this huge uprising. And they think it’s hilarious.

PJ: Right, and their favorite thing to do if somebody on the right is really scared about something, is to just like, mess with them.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yeah. So, they start making jokes about how ridiculous this thing is. They tweet stuff like… Do you remember the beginning of The Real World, the TV show?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah.

ALEX GOLDMAN: This was like: “On November 4, millions of Antifa supersoldiers are going to stop being polite and start being real.”

ALEX BLUMBERG/PJ: (laugh)

ALEX GOLDMAN: And the one that really made a- an actual- actually surprising impact was this Twitter goof who goes by the name Krang T. Nelson.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh huh.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Tweeted: “Can’t wait for November 4, when millions of Antifa super soldiers will behead all white parents and small business owners in the town square.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughing) OK. (laughing)

ALEX GOLDMAN: But what happened is that people who thought that Antifa was actually going to have an uprising on November 4th, they took these jokes very seriously.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh, really?

ALEX GOLDMAN: And another pretty fringey right-wing website, this website called Gateway Pundit, they reported on these joke tweets.

ALEX BLUMBERG: As real?

ALEX GOLDMAN: As real. They were saying, “Left-wing Antifa threatens to overthrow the government,” and they would have a bunch of these tweets where people were making goofs.

ALEX BLUMBERG: It’s like the actual exaggerated fear and the- and the- and the mock exaggerated fear have literally met and are fully overlapping.

ALEX GOLDMAN: They totally are.

PJ: Yeah.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So like-

ALEX BLUMBERG: That’s wild.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And there are videos on Youtube of concerned, armed citizens planning on how to defend against Antifa.

[MUSIC]

MALE VOICE 1: November 4 is coming! Are you ready? Are you ready for what’s gonna happen on November 4?
MALE VOICE 2: Go home, clean your rifles, load up your magazines, make sure  your food preps and your water preps, your medical supplies…
MALE VOICE 3: You want a war with us? Bring it on! That’s all I can say. [cocks gun]
MALE VOICE 4: Honestly, I’m happy. I’m happy. Dude, we’ve been on the verge of the great war or whatever for what seems like forever, and I’m just ready to get it going

So, as this sort of anxiety continues, this starts going sort of more and more mainstream.

ALEX BLUMBERG: OK.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And then the morning of November 4, Fox News does a piece of it.

PJ: (gasps) Oh no.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yeah.

PJ: Oh my god, it’s Fox and Friends. “Antifa Apocalypse?”

FOX AND FRIENDS MALE VOICE: The group known as Antifa, anti-fascists, they’re going to be holding one of 20 protests being held across the country. The group, Antifa Refuse Fascism is planning 20 rallies- 20 rallies across the country, to try to drive President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, drive them from power using violence [fades out]

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh my god.

PJ: Uh, so the giant chyron is, “Antifa plans to overthrow president.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wow. What?

PJ: And like the other thing that’s crazy about this is like, Donald Trump loves Fox and Friends. Like, he tweets about it all the time. He seems to watch it most mornings. Like he probably saw this story.   

ALEX BLUMBERG: Do you think that the president of the United States thinks that this was really going to happen?

PJ: Yes, I do. He said after Charlottesville, like, something that people didn’t totally like–

ALEX BLUMBERG: Holy shit. It didn’t even occur to me. But of course.

PJ: When they asked him to denounce white supremacists, and he was like “There are bad guys on both sides.” He was talking about Antifa. Like he actually clarified a couple days later when he was like doubling down on his comments, he was like “Antifa.” Like that’s… He lives in a news reality where like there’s a left wing militia that’s like organizing the overthrow of the state.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And where that tweet, Krang’s tweet, which is sort of like, “We’re coming to behead white people and small business owners,” is real.

PJ: Yeah.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So on the morning of November 4, all of the Twitter goofs wake up, and immediately start tweeting things like, “Hey Antifa super soldiers. Um, I’ve got a bunch of PB&J in my wagon. We’re gonna meet down at so-and-so, and start beheading white people. What do you say?” And like, there were a lot of jokes to that effect.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughing) Uh huh.

ALEX GOLDMAN: And so what ended up actually happening is that a lot of the armed preppers from the Youtube videos, they like, went out anticipating an Antifa civil war. And, of course, that’s not what they found, because that didn’t exist. What they found was like, in a couple cities, there were some normal protests, people holding signs, banging drums, saying “Hey hey, ho ho, Trump and Pence have got to go.” And so all these armed people who were anticipating this violent Antifa uprising, their takeaway was like “Well, yeah, of course. The reason that Antifa didn’t show up is because we scared them away.

PJ: Wow, that is so crazy.

ALEX BLUMBERG: All right, I think I’m ready to, um, I think I’m ready to recap, everyone.

PJ: OK.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Alright.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Alright, here it is. The tweet again: Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka says: “ANTIFA SUPERSOLDIER UPDATE: my cumbersome mech suit is too large to fit through the door to Arby’s.”

OK so, I’m assuming a mech suit is sort of like a- a soldier suit, or something?

ALEX GOLDMAN: It’s a giant robot from anime that you can run around in.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh, cool. (laughs) OK, great. OK, so anyway, this tweet. I now know that this tweet is in response to the armed uprising, um, by Antifa, on November 4, that many people believed was going to happen, but was actually never going to happen, because it was just the idea of like, um, some rando who nobody takes seriously, but then it got picked up, and blown out of proportion. And this, and he’s resp- and he’s talking about that whole thing.

And he’s- and he imagines a world in which there was an actual um, armed uprising, and he was one of the supersoldiers and he’s sending out an update that he couldn’t come to the war because his mech suit got stuck at the door of Arby’s.

ALEX GOLDMAN: We’re at Yes Yes Yes.

PJ: We’re at Yes Yes Yes.

[MUSIC]

PJ: Coming up after the break, we get stuck in some buffalo.

BREAK

ALEX BLUMBERG: Hey fellas, here’s a tweet.

PJ: Mhmm.

ALEX BLUMBERG: OK. (laughs)

PJ: We should call this segment, “Hey fellas, here’s a tweet.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: That is- that is a catchier name than Yes Yes No.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs). Uh- OK, so uh-so-so– This one is interesting because it’s got like a lot of things that I sort of half know, but then they’re all- they’re all in the way of things that are sort of like, mashed together in- in a way I find confusing

PJ: Like you know the words, but then when you arrange the words together…?

ALEX BLUMBERG: I know the words, and I even know some of the words that are- are certain memes, because you’ve explained them to me on previous Yes Yes Nos, but now they’re coming back in like new and confusing forms.

ALEX GOLDMAN: OK.

PJ: That’s the way of things.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Ready?

PJ: Yeah.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Alright, so here’s the tweet. It’s from Brian Feldman. “Constable Frozen milkshake-ducked for being horny on main” is 2017’s “Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo” (laughs)

PJ: Alex Goldman, do you understand what this tweet means?

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes. PJ Vogt, do you understand this tweet?

PJ: Mostly, yes.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Uh, Alex Blumberg, do you understand this tweet?

ALEX BLUMBERG: No, no.

PJ: Okay, we’re back at Yes Yes No.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah

PJ: Back in the comfortable place

ALEX BLUMBERG: Familiar territory

ALEX GOLDMAN: Before we start, do you guys know the “Buffalo buffalo buffalo…” thing?

PJ: I don’t- that’s the part I don’t know.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So buffalo written nine times with, what, three, with three that are capitalized is a grammatically correct sentence using different uses of the word “buffalo.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Eight.

PJ: Oh, so it’s like Buffalo the animal. Eight times

ALEX GOLDMAN: Buffalo the animal, buffalo to intimidate, buffalo the city in New York. If you write it- write it, the sentence construction is like…

PJ: The first three actually make sense to me, the next five you kind of lose me a little bit.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wait.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Right, I mean there’s more to it than that, and it’s actually very complex, but the whole joke of it is that, this is – even though this looks like gibberish, this is an actual sentence.

PJ: I’m not moving forward until I understand this sentence.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yes.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Oh my god. Buffalo buffalo, animals that call themselves buffalo, the animals called buffalos from the city of Buffalo.

ALEX BLUMBERG: That’s a Buffalo buffalo (laughs).

PJ: So New York bison.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes. So Ok, it’s Buffalo buffalo, which are buffalo from the city of Buffalo, that intimidate- that the animals from the city of Buffalo bully, so that Buffalo buffalo buffalo…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wait.

PJ: Oh my god.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wait. Buffalo buffalo – so it’s animals – buffalo from- bison from New York.

PJ: I feel like we’ve been here for a thousand years, and this is just hell. Like we’ll never get out of this sentence.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Buffalo… Wait. But then I’m like, at the third buffalo, I’m still confused.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Ok so the third buffalo is, again, describing, um, New York cit- New York State buffalo.

PJ: Ugh, this is so painful.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Got it.

ALEX GOLDMAN: So the… Alright, so think of this way, you have to draw this for it to make sense.

PJ: Alex’s explanation, by the way, so far is, “OK so vuffalo from the city of Buffalo, uh, swindle buffalor… Ok so, so, buffalo from the city of Buffalo.” You literally keep doing the first three buffalo.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Just hold on a second.

PJ: I can’t!

ALEX GOLDMAN: Hold on a second!

ALEX BLUMBERG: Get to the fifth buffalo!

PJ: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: Let’s start with the first two.

PJ: No! No.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Think of the first two as their own independent thing. The first two are buffalo from the city of Buffalo.

ALEX BLUMBERG: I got that: New York bison.

PJ: That is well established.

ALEX GOLDMAN: The second three buffalo are…

PJ: The second three buffalo?

ALEX GOLDMAN: …the second three words “buffalo.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh huh.

PJ: The first two and the second three?

ALEX BLUMBERG: The second three are?

ALEX GOLDMAN: The second three describe their own clause. Which is… Um, so it’s Buffalo buffalo that, buffalo Buffalo buffalo, that buffalo from the city of Buffalo bully…

PJ: What are you doing?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wait.

ALEX GOLDMAN: … are buffaloing buffalos from Buffalo, New York. That’s the last three.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs)

PJ: I’m just going to pretend that makes sense to me so we can move on. I’m sorry that I wanted to know this.

ALEX BLUMBERG: I don’t, I- it doesn’t make sense to me.

PJ: OK, so what we know is the buffalo thing is a joke about words.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Right.

PJ: And how one word can mean a lot of things, and you can use it over and over again.

ALEX BLUMBERG: So, allegedly, this, this- this sentence that is just the word buffalo eight times is an actual grammatically correct sentence about bison from New York swindling other bison from New York.

PJ: Oh. Now I understand what’s going on. Because the first sentence in this tweet, “Constable Frozen milkshake-ducked for being horny on main” seems like a bunch of words, but it also connotes meaning. I think that’s what’s going on here.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes!

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh.

PJ: But we still have a ways to go.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Mhmm.

PJ: So Alex, just going through the first part: “Constable Frozen milkshake-ducked for being horny on main.” I know that you know some of these things.

ALEX BLUMBERG: I know milkshake-ducked.

PJ: And do you want to do a refresher on that?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Milkshake-ducked is- is how…. Is-is-is- is a term that means when the Internet loves you for a second, and then it turns on you.

PJ: Yes! Yes. OK.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Much like the milkshake duck.

PJ: Yes.

ALEX GOLDMAN: In the tweet that originated the phrase “milkshake duck,” there is a premise that there’s a cute duck that drinks milkshakes, and then you find out that the milkshake duck is racist.

PJ: Yes.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Right.

PJ: So like this- the tweet that we’re talking about refers to uh, for lack of a better word, a scandal that erupted a couple of weeks ago. Alex, have you seen Frozen?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yes. I have kids. Actually, my kids won’t ever watch the whole thing through because they’re afraid of everything so they can’t… (laughs) It’s too scary for them.

PJ: Is Frozen scary?

ALEX BLUMBERG: No. (laughs)

PJ: What is it about?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah, there’s two princesses: Anna and Elsa. And they’re- they grow up in the castle together in the happy land, but then their parents go off on a voyage, and then their ship wrecks, and they die. And then the one with the powers is like, can’t, um, isn’t allowed to hang out with the one without powers.

And then there’s- and then when she finally lets… She runs away, and then she finally lets loose and she rips off her gloves, and that’s when she sings her signature song.

ALEX GOLDMAN and ALEX BLUMBERG: (singing) Let it go, let it go!

ALEX BLUMBERG: (singing) Don’t hold it back any more.

ALEX GOLDMAN: I don’t know any other part.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (singing) Let it go…

ALEX GOLDMAN and ALEX BLUMBERG: (singing) The cold never bothered me anyway

PJ: Is it like a Queen song?

ALEX BLUMBERG: (singing) Duh dun-un-un-uh

ALEX GOLDMAN: No, we’re just not very good singers.

PJ: It sounds like a Queen song. OK so basically the point is that the Internet really likes Frozen. The Internet really likes Elsa.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Mhm.

PJ: And it being the Internet, there’s, like, a lot of… A lot people taking Elsa and putting her in weird situations. So there’s like a whole genre of Youtube videos that is like adults dressing up as Elsa pretending to be pregnant, there’s like Elsa pregnant with her husband Spider Man stuff. It’s just like, once you hit a certain level of entering into people’s imaginations, like things start to happen.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Elsa… Imagining Elsa pregnant?

PJ: Yes. Like that’s like the weird edge of it. There’s- in like the less weird version of it, there’s this really popular Tumblr blog called Constable Frozen.

ALEX BLUMBERG: OK.

PJ: Which is made by this unknown person who loves Frozen and is just good at these like super meticulous Photoshops. Where they’ll take characters from Frozen like Elsa, and put them into other movies and things like that. Just like, what if Elsa was everywhere?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh huh.

PJ: And people go crazy for it. Like tens of thousands of notes, which is Tumblr’s version of just like, likes, or retweets, or whatever.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Got it.

PJ: There’s also like a bunch where it’s Elsa crossing over to different Disney franchises.

ALEX GOLDMAN: There’s like a lot of like, Frozen/Moana crossovers that this person makes.

ALEX BLUMBERG: My daughter was also afraid of that one. She also got too scared with that one when she was sailing across the sea, and there’s a lava monster that she has to fight. But…

PJ: That feels reasonable.

ALEX BLUMBERG: But, and so she was literally doing the same thing which she always does, which she was scaring, and telling us to turn it off, but then we would go to turn it off, she would be like, “No! No!” And so then, she was just sort of like crying, and like turning away, and then not letting us turn it off, and not wanting to leave the room. And she was like, in that state of crying, not wanting us to turn it off, but also not wanting to leave the room for like a good half an hour, and then she defeated the lava monster, and then she sang her song, and then Samira was so overwhelmed that she just started weeping, and she was standing in front of the TV, like, singing along.

PJ: (laughs)

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs) With tears coming out of her eyes. And she was singing like, (sings) “They are descended from warriors.” And like… Anyway, that’s the power of Disney. Or whatever, whoever makes that thing.

PJ: Wow.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh. Yeah.

PJ: OK, so Constable Frozen, like does all these mashups. Some of them have Moana. A lot of them don’t. Can I just… Can I show you one of them? This is like a series that Constable Frozen made.

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs) OK.So it’s- it’s Elsa getting off a big plane and waving at people.

PJ: And she’s like, so it’s like, she’s computer generated or whatever, but this is like a picture of a plane.

ALEX BLUMBERG: This is a real picture of a plane. OK.

PJ: Second frame.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Second frame… She’s getting off a plane that says Arrendale, which is the land of which she’s the princess in the movie.

PJ: And she’s surrounded by Marines.

ALEX BLUMBERG: And she’s surrounded by Marines, and she’s about to descend a big staircase. And then she’s standing next to Donald Trump. (laughs) And then she’s at the-

ALEX GOLDMAN: She’s in Congress.

ALEX BLUMBERG: She’s in Congress, standing in front of Joe Biden and John Boehner, and then she’s shaking Donald Trump’s hand.

ALEX GOLDMAN: That is a good photoshop.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah, it really is.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Oh and she’s freezing him!

ALEX BLUMBERG: There’s a close-up of her freezing his hand.

PJ: And that’s it.

ALEX BLUMBERG: That’s it.

PJ: So it’s kind of just like, I don’t really understand, that had, um, 29,000 notes. And I don’t get it. Like I don’t actually get what’s good or bad or whatever about it, it’s just like-

ALEX BLUMBERG: Well, just imagine the world in which Princess Elsa from Arendelle was making a diplomatic visit to the United States, and meeting Donald Trump, and appearing before Congress. Or the person.

PJ: Right it’s like- this person has like, Being John Malkovich brain, but for like, Elsa, and they represent it, and like people…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Love it.

PJ: … Love it. In that way that people love things on Tumblr which is like I never understand what’s going on.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Got it.

PJ: But then, this month, Ryan Broderick, who does the Internet Explorer podcast. He was like, “Hey everybody, I’ve gotten to the bottom of like the weirdest, strangest, Internet mystery I’ve ever found. I’ve gotten to the bottom of like the weirdest, strangest Internet mystery I’ve ever found.” Which like, for him, is a very large claim to make.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Wow.

PJ: And he’s like, “It’s about Constable Frozen. And like something that was under our noses the whole time.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: (gasps) What?

PJ: So. Some of the Constable Frozen creations feel… slightly adult?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Mhmm.

PJ: Um, so like the thing that unlocks it for him is like there’s one post in particular from October 27 of this year that a lot of people noticed because it’s…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Mmmmm

PJ: Yeah. It’s Rapunzel from the movie Tangled. She’s tying up a woman using her hair, which is like whatever. And then the next scene of it is, like, Rapunzel strapped to a table with her arms restrained, and then, off to the side, there’s this prince. And you could miss it at first, but he’s off to the side and he has like a ball gag in his mouth,

ALEX GOLDMAN: It’s a bit soft focus, so it’s not the first thing your eyes are drawn to.

PJ: It’s the kind of thing that once you see you kind of don’t not see.

ALEX GOLDMAN: (laughs)

PJ: And so when that happened, and people saw the ball gag, they starting going back to old Constable Frozen posts, and they were like “Huh. There’s stuff under her nose that like just seemed weird at the time, but in retrospect feels like significant.” And so Ryan’s theory…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Right because it’s like going back and watching like the Louis CK movie.

PJ: Where it’s like “Oh this guy constantly talked about masturbation, maybe that was meaningful”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah.

PJ: Yeah. So Ryan’s theory is that this whole time, Constable Frozen has been like a hidden in plain site vore fetish blog

ALEX BLUMBERG: What… what kind of fetish?

PJ: So vore is like…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Vore?

PJ: Vorarephilia is a fetish where you sexualize the idea of people consuming other people. But it doesn’t have to be, like, cannibalism, like it can be…

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs) That’s the best “but” I’ve ever…

PJ: (laughs)

ALEX BLUMBERG: But it doesn’t have to be cannibalism!

PJ: So like there’s soft vore. It’s usually like Furries or Disney characters. Like cute things. Like a giant Genie from Aladdin, and like a small version of the Genie from Aladdin will be like going into his mouth.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Right

PJ: It’s not like gnashing teeth or viscera

ALEX BLUMBERG: It’s not like Hannibal Lector like cutting off arms, and drinking them with Chianti.

PJ: No it’s like every time there’s a kid’s movie where somebody like goes a giant whale or the schoolbus going into a body, but sex…ual

ALEX GOLDMAN: Sex-tual?

ALEX BLUMBERG: How do they know it’s sex-tual?

PJ:  They know that people are getting some sort of complicated pleasure out of it, because a lot of those people are like making Tumblrs, and like sharing vore pictures. So once you know… Like Ryan is someone who’s done a deep dive on soft vore. And so he was like “Oh my god, like, look at some of these posts.” Like um…

ALEX BLUMBERG: Some of these Constable Frozen posts?

PJ: Yeah. So like, there’s one where it’s like Elsa, and her sister, and they’re talking to Merida from the movie Brave, who’s got red hair.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Ok.

PJ: First panel, they’re talking to her. Then like Merida disappears, and she and her red hair are gone, and they’re like… Elsa and her sister are sharing red spaghetti, which looks like a lot like the missing person’s hair.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Merida’s hair.

PJ: Merida’s hair. Or like there’s this one very popular post that’s just called like “ice cream.” Where…. Anna is Elsa’s sister?

ALEX GOLDMAN: Yes.

PJ: Anna sees Olaf ,the frozen snowman, in the library, and she’s like “Olaf! Soft serve ice cream!” Olaf quickly drinks a glass of milk, flies over Anna’s head, and then sort of spews soft serve ice cream from above her into her like, smiling mouth below.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Into her smiling open mouth.

PJ: Smiling open mouth.

ALEX BLUMBERG: And so he- he becomes an animated snowman soft serve ice cream dispensing machine that flies over your mouth and…

PJ: Spits it out. Which is vore-ish, because he is feeding himself to her.

ALEX GOLDMAN: He’s made of ice. He drank milk.

PJ: Well and the funny thing is like Tumblr is a place where people are often going to share their, like, weird sort of sexual fetishes, so it’s not like these are people who are like, “Oh my god.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: Sexual fetishes on the internet!

PJ: Right, it’s not like they’re saying like “this is gross” even, they’re just like “What you’ve done is you’ve gone horny on main.”  Which is when you tweet or post porn from your main, actual account instead of some porn-specific alt account.    

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: I think it sounds, I think it sounds so funny. Because like in the 70s, that totally could’ve been a Bruce Springsteen album.

PJ: “Horny on main?”

ALEX GOLDMAN: And it’s just like, yeah, the E Street band playing fucking trumpets, or whatever.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Right.

PJ: But like Ted Cruz like accidentally faved a link to porn, or like his intern, according to him–

ALEX BLUMBERG: Uh huh.

PJ: –did a couple of months ago, that’s Ted Cruz going horny on main.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Oh! Got it!

ALEX GOLDMAN: Um, has Constable Frozen responded to the controversy?

PJ: Well so this other reporter, Brian Feldman, who was actually the guy who… He does Select All, the blog- the internet blog for New York Magazine, but he’s also the guy who actually tweeted this tweet that we’re Yes Yes Noing. He tracked down the person behind Constable Frozen, who turns out to be a man.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Which is interesting, because everybody in the responses on Tumblr just automatically assumed that it was a woman.

PJ: A lot of people did. Yeah, I don’t know. But it’s a man, he’s South Korean. His name is Shin Chul. And over a very hastily put together Google translated-assisted interview, where Shin Chul said “I hate vore, this is not vore.”

ALEX BLUMBERG: I d-I don’t– I believe him.

PJ: Really?

ALEX BLUMBERG: It definitely feels porny.

PJ: Yeah. Definitely like something is going on here. Like this isn’t just some big, cultural misunderstanding. I mean, there’s like an image on this blog that I won’t open at work because it looks much like a “Two Girls, One Cup” with like, chocolate ice cream and Elsa.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah. Whatever type of horny on main he was…

ALEX GOLDMAN: They’re definitely horny.

ALEX BLUMBERG: They’re definitely horny on main. Yeah. That definitely feels established.

PJ: (laughs)

ALEX BLUMBERG: Whether it’s like, like really, really out there horny main, or it’s sort of like, eh…

PJ: Just, Disney character horny on main.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yeah, yeah exactly.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Do you want to uh, explain this tweet back to us?

ALEX BLUMBERG: Yes. OK so let me just… OK so, here’s the original tweet. It’s from @bafeldman. “constable frozen milkshake-ducked for being horny on main” is 2017’s “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo”

So, the first phrase, “Constable Frozen milkshake-ducked for being horny on main,” refers to the owner of a Tumblr who would create scenes with photoshopped Disney characters– usually the character from Frozen – doing like, funny things but then like, slightly porny things. Um, and so the owner of Constable Frozen got milkshake-ducked, which means that like, first the Internet loves you, but then they turn on you, for being horny on main, which means um, tweeting out porn from your regular account, rather than from your secret account.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Uh, that is correct. And now you’re going to make him explain the buffalo thing?

PJ: Yeah. Now just do the easy part of wrapping up the buffalo sentence.

ALEX BLUMBERG: So that seemingly nonsense sequence of words, is 2017’s this seemingly nonsense sequence of words, “buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.” Which I still don’t know exactly what that means, but apparently it is a, there, if you, you can grammatically make it, you can make it all make sense. If there’s a bison from New York…

ALEX GOLDMAN: Alright.

ALEX BLUMBERG: So the Buffalo buffalo.

ALEX GOLDMAN: buffalo Buffalo buffalo… They bully bison from New York, who also buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

PJ: Alex, I think that was a perfect explanation.

ALEX BLUMBERG: But how- where’s the who? Just bison from New York.

PJ: We’re staying here until this is done.

ALEX GOLDMAN: No. We’re at Yes!

PJ: No, we’re not at yes!

ALEX BLUMBERG: (laughs)

ALEX GOLDMAN: Bison from the city of Buffalo.

ALEX BLUMBERG: Proper noun Buffalo noun buffalo (fades down).

[MUSIC]

PJ: Reply All is hosted by me, PJ Vogt, and Alex Goldman. If you happen to illustrate a vore image of a cartoon Alex eating a tiny cartoon Alex, please tweet it at me. Our show is produced by Sruthi Pinnamaneni, Phia Bennin, and Damiano Marchetti. Our editor is Tim Howard, his band Soltero has a new album out called Western Medicine Blues, it’s extremely good. Go listen to the song “New Revelations,” you’ll be glad. Our intern is Anna Foley. We were fixed by Rick Kwan. Special thanks this week to George Ciccariello-Maher, Merritt K, and Brian Feldman. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Our theme music is by the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Our ad music is by Build Buildings. Matt Lieber is cookies someone brought to the office. You can visit our website on replyall.limo. You can find more episodes of the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, wherever you listen. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you soon.

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