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8. The war for Gritty’s soul

Gritty is Antifa. As far as we’re concerned, this is canon. It’s hard to believe that the wild-eyed Philadelphia Flyers mascot with a passion for blasting capitalists with a T-shirt cannon has only been a part of our lives since September 24, when his arrival online was greeted with cries of, “What the fuck is that thing?” What isn’t hard to believe is that it only took two days for Gritty to become politicized, after socialist magazine Jacobin tweeted, simply, “Gritty is a worker,” on September 26. The good people of Philadelphia, always ready to pound some faces into the pavement (all the better if they belong to fascists), took up the cause, and Gritty appeared on hand-drawn signs and banners protesting President Trump’s visit to the city in early October. It was a real-world analog to the leftist shitposters who had immediately, enthusiastically adopted Gritty as one of their own in the wake of Jacobin’s tweet:

There are precedents for Antifa Gritty in the significant overlap between leftist Twitter and Weird Twitter, namely the Babadook’s unofficial canonization as a LGBTQ icon in 2017. But perhaps because of the higher profile of a corporate sports mascot as opposed to an independent horror film, homophobes did not try to hijack the Babadook as fascists have Gritty. Luckily, fascists suck at meme-making, and sloppy, hateful attempts by the likes of The Daily Stormer have all failed to override the pre-existing “Gritty is Antifa” narrative. They’re just jealous because the 7-foot-tall son of Chewbacca and Zoe from Sesame Street could kick Pepe the Frog’s ass any day of the week—not to mention that the Flyers have yet to disown Antifa Gritty the way Pepe creator Matt Furie has disowned the “alt-right.” [Katie Rife]

 

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