Celebrating Halloween with Da Share Z0ne

By Zack Boehm on October 31, 2016

Halloween is upon us. The restive souls of the damned have been disinterred. Fiendish ghouls and infernal wraiths lurk balefully in the shadows. The condemned souls of the newly departed stir in their rotting flesh, flooding the streets with their sepulchral groans and the fetid stench of death. Novelty Ken Bone costumes are flying off the shelves.

I’ve always thought Halloween is fun because there’s no prescribed way to celebrate. It’s a kind of vestige of our pagan ancestors—silly, creepy revelry for the sake of silly creepiness. There’re no salient religious connotations, which means there are no expectations of reverence or piety, and there are no uncomfortable nationalistic obligations, which means we dodge the chest-thumping flag porn.

Some people celebrate Halloween with a boozy costume soiree, others observe by trick-or-treating with younger family members. Masochists may amble boldly through a haunted house or cue up a scary movie marathon, gourd artists may put a pumpkin under the knife, and deranged edgelords might (and they got an early start this year) dress up as clowns and go catch a criminal mischief case lurking menacingly through a wooded suburban walking path.

These all sound great. In fact, besides the petty Bozo-terrorism, these all sound like perfectly appropriate and enjoyable ways to celebrate the orange and black bacchanal of Halloween.

But I won’t be doing any of these things.

Instead of candy binges or themed drinks that look like blood or bile, I’ll be turning off all the lights, putting on some reggae, and luxuriating in the ghastly bone-white glow of Da Share Z0ne.

For the uninitiated, Da Share Zone is a prolific meme-based Twitter account whose operative thematic ethic might be best summed up as “norse-metal-inflected-depressive-biker-skeleton-post-meme-humor.” A bit wordy? I’ll grant you that. But Da Share Zone contains multitudes. The pet project of the laconic, elusive “Admin,” Da Share Z0ne has been fire-blasting followers with white hot macro content since September 2015. There are a few basic tropes that tie together the dense semiotic network of Da Share Z0ne Universe. Your typical Share Z0ne meme will include some configuration of the following: The gaunt visage of a demonic skeleton (this is a DSZ staple), fire, guns, motorcycles, leather jackets, Viking garb, laptops, and short missives like “Why do bad people get to have good pets?” or “Thinkin about getting really into Japan” spelled out in Windows ’95 word art.

When these elements converge, the memes transcend.

 

Da Share Z0ne’s humor lands so hard because it so deeply understands the kind of strange macho, anonymously aggressive internet culture that it’s trying to spoof. It’s so effective because it levels incisive and funny criticisms about the strange and perverse performance endemic to social media without being lame or moralizing.

via @dasharez0ne

Through the jarring dissonance of its gothic, biker-horror imagery and it’s vulnerable, pitiable text, Da Share Z0ne deftly needles at the hypocritical constructs of masculinity with a gnarled, bony skeleton finger.

So in honor of Halloween, here’s a short gallery of some of Da Share Z0ne’s inimitable work.

This recent Share Z0ne offering is one of my all-time favorites. Here we see a skeleton blow-drying what appears to be either a) a head full of gorgeous auburn hair or b) flames. It’s the sprawling reams of background text, though, that elevate the meme. As he is wont to do, Admin is airing his grievances or the things in life that bring him particular sorrow. A couple of my favorites include “Elon Musk says the world is a computer” and “Ethical consumption is impossible with capitalism.”

Anyone who has gone spelunking down between the couch cushions as the Mario Kart theme menu blares incessantly from the TV can understand why Admin is so peeved that he’s down a Wiimote. If the sword wielding, controller surfing skeleton didn’t spook the perp into returning the goods, I don’t think there’s much hope.

Here again Admin invokes Elon Musk, this time assailing his star-gazing hubris. This post was a response to Space X’s Falcon 9 explosion, which destroyed the rocket and its commercial satellite payload. Between the explosion and Admin’s meme, Musk and Space X are facing an uphill battle to regain some dignity.

Da Share Z0ne has always made great use of acrostic poetry. Here, it looks like Admin is responding to some ignorant jerks who get off on denigrating people’s sexuality. Well, the joke will be on them when they see how well manicured Admin’s hedges are.

Admin’s brief ruminations on gender. Ultimately, he opts to just shoot it. Down with the patriarchy!

Zack Boehm is an English Literature student from Florida State University. He is a gluttonous consumer of culture.

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