Australians have always had a reputation for having a laugh. Never to be taken too seriously and never to take anything too seriously. In today’s age of cancel culture and online woke-ness, one mysterious internet memelord has taken a stand against a media institution. As a result, his unique 28 year-old male voice, possibly one of the last bastions of truth and justice in the Australian media landscape, has been silenced.
The 28 Year Old Male is a Facebook page with an M.O. based solely around posting passive aggressive troll-esque comments on a variety of high-profile social media posts. Yet his comments never fail to provide some surprising insight into this modern life.
Whether it’s trading barbs with Murdoch media talking heads, bringing attention to political buffoons, or commenting on Married At First Sight highlights…no target is safe from The 28 Year Old Male’s judging gaze. His humour has attracted almost 150,000 Facebook followers and 65,000 Instagram followers, and he is fast becoming an Aussie meme staple, alongside the likes of @browncardigan and @lushsux.
Curiously his (their?) snarky comments tend to be politically opaque. While it’s easy to make fun of people like Andrew Bolt, T28YOM’s attention was recently turned to supposed champions of the left and alternative youth culture Triple J.
A fairly innocuous comment about not knowing two highlighted artists led to his being blocked on all Triple J posts. This sparked a huge discussion online, as well as a call to arms for followers to request NWA’s “Express Yourself” and Santana ft. Rob Thomas’ “Smooth” all day.
Is this a case of free speech being stolen away? Is the left getting carried away yet again by being overly sensitive? Are we CANCELLING THE 28 YEAR OLD MALE?
Let’s talk about that name for a second. ‘The 28 Year Old Male’ is a perfect moniker for trolling an establishment like Triple J. That particular age represents the cusp of responsible adulthood, yet is also not quite in the target bracket you see in the dropdown menu in marketing surveys (’18-25′).
That tension and sense of irony in every post authored by T28YOM perfectly aligns with the thinking of the average male who is slowly fading from his glory days into the irrelevancy of being a millennial who still can’t figure out Tik Tok.
Of course he’d be mad that Triple J doesn’t cater to his needs. That’s the joke. It’s a perfect cocktail of self-deprecating humour and earnestly wanting his beloved music scene to make him feel something. (And he wasn’t even taking direct shots at either station or artist).
That’s the beauty of an internet presence like T28YOM. What exactly are his motivations? Am I laughing at him, or with him? Or is he laughing at me? It doesn’t matter. He’s there to make us laugh, and in the process of laughing, pause to think, wait, why am I laughing at this?
This is satire at its finest and its purest. No one is safe – neither left nor right.
Up until now, seeing a comment by T28YOM was always a pleasant surprise, if not mere curiosity. He’d take aim at anyone and anything. The political motivations were somewhere in the background, but it has now been brought forward in the conversation.
When asked to comment on the whole affair, The 28 Year Old Male wrote in a public response to deadset:
The irony is that I started listening to the station for the reasons it was founded.
You’d think, being the all wise and all knowing triple j, that they’d recognise what actually should be one of their own when they see one – instead of this unicycle riding thin moustache sailor jerry tattoo coated please approve of me triple j types who spend their time patronising all around them, pretending they even know what the real left of politics stands for and latching on to this mantra in place of, I don’t know, finding a purpose, or being in any way shape or form balanced in their views.
We hammer the bias, politically agenda driven media on both the right and the left without hesitation, between making inward facing jokes designed to let people going through the quarter life crisis know that it isn’t the end of the world, we’ve all gone through it so heres a chance to laugh it off.
We also bully the bullies where we see them online fairly heavily. Whether that be a d!ckhead media personality, journo, or an idiot in the comments section, generally sticking up for the little guy. The only rule we have is dont be a f-wit.
I like what Triple J is meant to be and hope they return to it – instead of cancelling everything around them; we cancel ourselves every day, usually by the hour.
We need social media presences like The 28 Year Old Male. He’s effectively an independent media watchdog in an age where memes and likes are what keeps audience’s attention, albeit for 6 or 7 seconds at a time (this opinion piece is definitely way too long to meet that criteria). We should all learn how to laugh at ourselves a bit. See our failings for what they are, and maybe we can all just be less of a f-wit along the way.