A flock of alt-right affiliated commentators have their undies in a bunch over a magazine cover celebrating the four corny leading men of HBO’s Silicon Valley, decrying the deliberately twee image – and its headline, The Triumph Of The Beta Male – as indicative of some widespread social decline.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s latest front cover features the show’s stars Kumail Nanjiani, Thomas Middleditch, Martin Starr, and Zach Woods, standing in a cosy little conga line. The image accompanies the magazine’s feature piece, which discusses the show’s upcoming season, continual success, and its separation from scene-stealer T.J. Miller.
That’s not precisely the problem, though. As The Hill editor Will Sommer points out, some on the radically conservative side of the political divide are suggesting the lack of overt traditional masculinity on the front cover of The Hollywood Reporter is just unconscionable.
The MAGA crowd is extremely mad about the Hollywood Reporter’s “Silicon Valley” cover pic.twitter.com/7PKC9wkkIQ
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) March 8, 2018
Paul Joseph Watson, best known for his affiliation with Sandy Creek conspiracy theorist Alex Jones‘ patently ridiculous platform InfoWars, called the image “cancer.”
Over in The Federalist, Bre Payton expounds on their “meek expression that says: “You don’t have to worry about me getting you pregnant, because my sperm count is so low!”” and complains the cover “says a lot about how bad things have gotten for men in America.“
Meanwhile, Courtney Kirchoff complained about the “small-boned lads” and made a game-changing breakthrough by discovering how headlines work: “The headline here is, like many headlines across the internet, click bait. Or in the printed world: buy this magazine bait.”
All of this misses the broader themes of Silicon Valley, the show: it’s largely a skewering of male-dominated tech spaces, which have resulted in no small number of culture crises at leading ‘disruptive’ companies.
This miniature culture war freak-out also suggests that despite the aspiration to maintain masculinity as something indelibly rugged, right-wing commentators are awfully threatened by something deliberately non-threatening.
Also, it behooves us to mention Paul Joseph Watson may or may not have bolstered his big, manly brain with Brain Force before dismissing the cover. Make of that what you will.
this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen lmao pic.twitter.com/PajaZnWkDr
— if my grandson is reading this, call me (@ChrisCaesar) November 3, 2017