Pepe is seen everywhere in Clown World, not least on the cover of this book. This anthropomorphic green frog has come to stand in for the everyday citizen of Clown World, who can relate to Pepe’s joys and rages. This article explains Pepe’s position in the Clown World pantheon.
In short, Pepe is the active principle to Wojak’s passive principle.
Both Pepe and Wojak occupy the central node in the Clown World pantheon, at the centre of the Fundamental Axis. In doing so, they represent the Clown World Everyman, who is every single one of us. The difference between them is that Pepe rises above, whereas Wojak sinks below.
Pepe became an Internet phenomenon over a decade ago, suddenly being posted everywhere. Forums like the Shroomery included a Pepe image as an emoji, usually depicted speaking his catchphrase “Feels good man.” For these Internet dwellers, Pepe represented overcoming the suffering inherent to life.
Pepe is usually seen having a good time, whether playing video games, smoking bongs or joints, or partying with hot chicks. Often, this good time is being had despite some external hardship or difficulty. The spirit of Pepe could be described as the will to have a good time despite that one lives in Clown World.
In this sense, Pepe heralds the ultimate victory of the spirit of Kek over the forces of Clown World. Although not good himself, Pepe represents the forces of good in embryonic form. As such, he is that which rises above. Pepe represents the rising beast latent within the human animal.
As such, Pepe is generally shown feeling warm-blooded emotions, such as exhilaration, alarm or rage. He’s often depicted with a steel helmet and an M-16, as if rampaging through the Vietnamese jungle. Another common depiction is wide-eyed paranoia, as if he suddenly realised just how bad things really are.
This masculinity is why Pepe has become emblematic of the alt right, which is in character a highly masculine movement. Pepe is symbolic of knowing what you want and acting to get it. Anyone willing to bring more fire into their lives might find themselves working to summon the spirit of Pepe.
Pepe is so emblematic – and problematic – that depictions of him are considered hate symbols by Clown World institutions such as the Anti-Defamation League. Because Pepe represents the spirit of rising above and overcoming Clown World, he is correctly seen as a symbol of resistance to Clown World itself. Ironically, this has resulted in lawsuits from the first man to draw Pepe, against others who use the image.
In Internet culture, Pepe is often depicted alongside Wojak, usually as some kind of team. This reflects how Pepe and Wojak are different expressions of the same thing: the will to overcome Clown World. In the vast majority of these depictions, Pepe is the more masculine of the two, so that it’s his energy that inspires Wojak to action.
The Pepe/Wojak dichotomy is at the very centre of life in Clown World. It could be said, paraphrasing Solzhenitsyn, that the line between Pepe and Wojak runs through every human heart. This is not to imply that Pepe is good and that Wojak is evil – they simply represent an elementary form of those forces.
This active principle represented by Pepe rises up the Fundamental Axis to become Honkler. It can be said that Honkler is the ultimate form of Pepe. This is analogous to how Mercury or Lucifer is the ultimate form of the human man. Honkler is the apotheosis of Pepe, having overcome all of the suffering of Clown World.
Some believe that the increasing frequency of Pepe sightings are evidence that the Will of Kek is returning to the world. Every sighting of Pepe increases the chances that Honkler will return, and when he does Clown World will end.
These meme magicians like to share images of Pepe, especially rare ones. Doing so, whether it’s realised or not, is a magical act. The purpose of it is to raise the frequency of the anima mundi, or the Spirit of the World. If the frequency of the anima mundi can be raised high enough, Clown World will break apart and fall away, heralding a new spiritual age.
Other people, more cynically, believe that these sightings are evidence of a far-right resurgence that aspires to start another civil war (i.e. the Boogaloo). They will argue that Pepe is used as a hate symbol to agitate for violent actions against the Establishment. Generally speaking, those who dislike Pepe tend to be materialists.
Whatever the truth, Pepe endures. His place at the centre of the Clown World pantheon makes him arguably its most iconic figure. As long as Clown World exists, its denizens will feel motivated to overcome it, and as long as this will to overcome exists then Pepe’s spirit is with us.
This article is an excerpt from Clown World Chronicles, a book about the insanity of life in the post-Industrial West. This is being compiled by Vince McLeod for an expected release in the middle of 2020.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.