Thanks to the coronavirus, spending hours upon hours—if not full days—indoors is quickly becoming the new normal for folks across the country. Some Gizmodo staffers have their own ways of dealing with the new stress from being shut-in, I’ve always been partial to spending hours browsing what’s left of the old, shitty internet, image macros and all.
I’ll be the first to tell you that not every meme from the early aughts is a keeper, but some are more than worth bringing back. I’m talking, of course, about Insanity Wolf.
For the uninitiated, Insanity Wolf was one of the many spinoffs of the advice animals meme format that spawned on 4chan just over a decade ago. Folks that have spent enough time online are probably familiar with these pictures: some variation of an animal’s head at the centre of a multicoloured background, with lines of text at the top and bottom offering guidance on everything from funerals to flirting.
Insanity Wolf was always something of a dark horse of the advice animals canon. He’s the guy that encourages bringing knives to paintball matches, freeing Satan from the depths of hell, and eating the mosquitos that dare bite you. In short, the meme lived up to its name. But more than that, it gave voice to the shapeless rage and resentment brought on by life’s minor inconveniences—the breakups, the bad bosses—and let internet users punch straight back at them in the form of a crazed, black wolf.
And right now, there’s a lot of shapeless anger fomenting across the country. Workers are angry that they’re being laid off. Federal workers are angry about lacklustre protocols surrounding disease. And everyone’s angry at Trump for any number of reasons. We’re in no short supply of coronavirus memes by any stretch, but maybe the current simmer of nationwide anger calls for a revisit of the meme that gives voice to our howling frustration.