The Internet is waging a meme war on Putin and his giant table

The Russian invasion of Ukraine quickly doubled into one of the greatest misfortunes of the twenty-first centurySt century, is sure to have unforeseen consequences for years to come. However, in the midst of death, destruction, and geopolitical turmoil, the memes persist.

This is probably not as illogical as it seems; Perhaps even in such a frustrating moment, the absurdity of the Internet has a role to play.

Consider the ridiculously gigantic Vladimir Putin meeting tables. Sure enough, the internet has taken her into consideration, and found her to be remarkably capable of sarcasm — in ways that point to a point that goes beyond just a punch.

You may have encountered this meme if you were a news and social media addict, but it has steadily gained momentum during the short history of the Russian offensive. The long and the short – well, mostly long – is that Putin has a penchant for holding meetings with top comrades and world leaders at enormous tables, always planting himself alone at one end. Each of these images is in and of itself puzzling: why does Putin allow these bizarre scenes to be traded that seem to intersect between Austin Powers scene and Dr. Strangelove Reboot?

but he Act Allow it to circulate, and when it accumulated, this unlikely object became a fixation. Even before the actual invasion, images of Putin sitting at a large white table for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, were reworked into jokes:

The table itself became news. “The table top is made of a single plank of beech wood, mounted on three hollow wooden stands,” Reuters mentioned. “It’s whitewashed and gold-plated on the side.”

Remarkably, Putin’s photos in Different A huge table also appeared, again with everything alone at one end, with everyone huddled at the other. (This table is made of mahogany according to NBC News.) And again, these photos been memed.

The meme eventually took a turn – for example merging with the infamous shirtless Putin in “tall horse—but it remained rooted in the tangible, material thing. Apotheosis was, in fact, the imagined transformation of a silly table into a mass-produced item: Ikea furniture.

This may all seem like a distraction escaping from the bleak events of the world, and for some it may be a part of it. But this viral satire is something more than that. Parallel to the brutal armed conflict taking place on the ground in Ukraine, and the emerging economic war raging almost globally, there are 21St The information war of the century is also underway. Putin, a former KGB officer, knows all too well the importance of controlling the narrative, undermining the reputation and credibility of rivals.

It is remarkable, then, how poorly Russia has performed in this information war. This is partly due to the media prowess — and courage — of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and partly because the brute facts are too horrific to contain. (In real life, Ikea is one of many multinational companies that owns Closed its stores in Russia.) Official or semi-official Ukrainian information warfare has also played a role – from propaganda myth-making campaigns that include (Doubtful to Doubtful) Stories of a Ghostly Fighter Pilot or a Defiant Border Patrolto Distributing horrific images of the human cost of the invasion.

But the World Peanut Show Meme Makers have, though unofficially, joined the effort, doing what amounts to grassroots and bottom-up information warfare themselves. Think of it as populist propaganda. Performing optical illusions with these silly pieces of furniture makes a totally honest point: this guy isn’t a great leader, he’s paranoid and aloof, out of touch and possibly crazy. He looks like an idiot.

And the damage it causes is no joke. Russia suffers from a “public relations disaster”, The New York Times Opinion writer Farhad Manjoo wrote recently, and there is a little question that is his fault; Indeed, Mango wondered if this moment “perhaps the unraveling of the myth of Putin’s mastery of global discourse.”

Did a bunch of big table memes get it done? of course not. But they stand as evidence of Putin’s changing reputation, undermining his standing, perhaps permanently. Popular propaganda only works – it only spreads – if it is true. And while sarcastic, the silly version of Putin has become frustratingly convincing.