I admit I laughed when I heard the first reports of college football fans chanting, “F*** Joe Biden” during games. Pithy! And exactly the sort of high-spirited, essentially harmless joke I associate with college football games. (We did a lot of obscene chanting at the Yale Bowl, mainly because we lost a lot and we were all giddy on blackberry schnapps. The game itself became of secondary concern.)
When “F*** Joe Biden” started to go mainstream, though, I got a little queasy. College culture is one thing, but let’s not make the wider culture more vulgar than it already is. I’d rather kids not hear, much less chant, obscenities. (I live in New York City, so this is a lost cause here, but I’d like to think there are still places out there where people at least try not to swear in front of children.)
Luckily, for those of us who care about the degradation of the culture, a brilliant compromise came along: The sanitized version of “F*** Joe Biden” is “Let’s go Brandon.” After an NBC reporter started hearing the chant while interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown at Talladega, she instantly spun this to her audience as, “Let’s go Brandon.” This hilarious, spur-of-the-moment instance of a supposedly neutral broadcaster taking a turn toward state propaganda to save the embattled reputation of the party leader itself went viral. Now chanting or saying “Let’s go Brandon” stands as an effective double joke about both Joe Biden’s incompetence and the media’s desperate urge to carry water for him. (A third element: The lefty media, meaning nearly all of the media, were slow to grasp the joke because the media routinely ignore content that is negative about Joe Biden even though his approval rating is now in Trump territory at 43.0 percent. Trump’s average was 42.8.)
The only problem with “Let’s go Brandon” as a meme is that it got so popular so quickly that it’s bound to turn into a tired cliché pretty soon. Maybe even in the next 96 hours.