Fear and Bagholding on Robinhood: The Wave of GameStop

Note: Another Reddit shitpost. Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘wave speech’ from the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I changed a bunch of the text to fit the narrative from the whole GameStop fiasco from January 2021. The original text has that feeling of failing on a large goal, a dream for a better world, that you almost did something to affect history which actually seemed fitting with how trading forums, including r/wallstreetbets seemed to view GameStop’s meteoric rise, and crash, within a week.

All poetics and retrospection aside, it’s meant to be a joke.

Strange memories on this nervous night on Robinhood. Two weeks later? Three? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. Wall Street Bets in the middle of January was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of loss porn or memes or 💎 ✋or 🚀 can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and YOLOing in that corner of your wife’s boyfriend’s basement. Whatever it meant…

Tendies are hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “tendies” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of all the autists and retards comes to a head in a long fine short squeeze, for memes that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty threads—or very early mornings shitposts—when I checked WSB half-crazy and, instead of cashing out, aimed my big $1650 Robinhood account towards GameStop at $325 per share, wearing cummed-stained shorts and a ramen-stained shirt…chucking rent money into AMC at $16 per share, not quite sure what my exit strategy was (always stalling at the sell button, too autistic to take profits while I fumbled for more YOLO money)…but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I traded I would come to a place where people were just as retarded and 💎 ✋ed as I was: No doubt at all about that…

There was madness in any stonk, at any hour. If not across GME, then in AMC or BB or NOK…You could strike tendies anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning…

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Boomers and Hedge Funds. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our autism would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of GameStop, a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than a week later, you can find a steep chart on Robinhood and scroll back, and with the right kind of autism you can almost see the high-water price—that place at $500 per share where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Fever Dreams

Incoherent ramblings with a fever.

Consciousness swims before me. It’s like I’m underwater but the water is made of pixels. Like computer pixels. Or TV pixels. All screens have pixels. If you look really closely at a screen you’ll see it’s just a collection of tiny dots. Sometimes you can see this if you get a drop of liquid on your phone. Next time it’s raining check it out. Or do what I do and take your tongue and go pppppttttttttttt with it like little kids do. This should spray enough saliva onto your phone to where you can see the pixels. And sometimes I think our eyes have pixels too. That you can see if you really pay attention. But since no one pays attention no one really notices.

They’re red, green, and blue. The pixels on your phone, not in our eyes. But how can you see white if there are no white pixels on your phone? How does white come from red, green, and blue? I’ll tell you in a minute.

But what’s that sound?

Poo. Tee. Too. Wee. Too. Tweet.

Poo. Tee. Too. Wee. Too. Tweet!

It sounds like a bird but it isn’t. It’s a word I made up. Pootetowetotweet. Say it again, and if you need help pouncing it use the words above as they’re broken up.

Pootetotowetotweet. You know what it means? I don’t I just made the word up. I don’t know what it means yet.

Something in my soul is telling me I just ripped off Kurt Vonnegut. A bird in his story Slaughterhouse 5 said something very similar, and when my mind gets back I’ll check it. Tomorrow. When I feel better.

And now that I feel better there is this: One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, “Poo-tee-weet?” I’m a goddamn plagiarist.

A friend of mine is translating an Olde Englishe Booke from around the time of King Arthur or something. The language, while it is Englishe, isn’t even readable anymore, at least by the majority of the population. Perhaps that isn’t surprising since most people can’t seem to read Regular English American let alone Olde Englishe. Languages evolve like everything else. If someone 100 years ago seen the words skeet, or yeet, or vape they wouldn’t have a damn idea what they meant. And 500 years from now those words will be “olde fasheioned” or something. Like how Shakespeare is barely understandable because language has gotten so far along from it through natural language evolution.

It makes you wonder who actually changes language? Does some idiot just misspell words and then they stick somehow? What is hilarious about Olde Englishe is how they have letters they use that don’t even fucking exist anymore. Sort of like the german ß in a way. I was always reminded of the puritanical s that looks like an f. It’s this letter right here: ſ. Who made the executive decision to do away with that? Not that I’m complaining about it. Those silly pilgrims with their stupid hats with buckles on them. Or maybe that was just a lie they told me in school. Kinda like Christopher Columbus “discovering” “America”. That mother fucker was lost. He “stumbled upon” some islands in the Carribean.

Back to language. No one made any executive decisions because language is a perfect democracy. Who knows where words come from or how they end up falling out of use. Once your friend stops saying yeet so will you. And once your friend starts saying pootetowetotweet so will you. Unless Slaughterhouse 5 remains popular because I ripped the word off from that.

Pixels. As I look at the ceiling or my blackened eyelids I kinda see things swimming and moving around. Kinda like the old snow you used to see on CRT TVs. Maybe I can find a gif of it. I don’t know if gifs even format on Kindles. Because you’re reading this on a Kindle. Because that’s where I’ll self-publish it. Unless I’m still posting on my blog. Oh well, no .gif then. My vision is like that — static — but the static is what I’m casually seeing. It’s like the pixels of the world are slightly flashing, kinda angry, eager, and misdirected because there is nothing to actual display. No input. No signal. Only static.

CRT means cathode ray tube and describes how the damn things work. I think a cathode is negatively charged and an anode is positively charged, but maybe I have those mixed up. Anyways, old CRT TVs worked by spewing electrons out of the cathode ray tube and using magnetic waves bends their paths onto a screen (an electron is negatively charged so is affected by a magnetic field). When an electron hit the phosphorus screen it made light. This is what we see when we watch a CRT TV. Electrons hitting a screen and making light. Light that enters our eye and smacks the pixels there that our conscious brain sees as an imagine. It’s so damn strange. When you think about it. If you think about it.

Also think that a TV signal is a radio wave (traditionally at least). This is a fucking photon. A particle of light that doesn’t vibrate as fast as the light that you can see. Even stranger is the fact that a light particle also can be described as an electromagnetic wave: a magnetic field and an electric field that constantly change and create the other. Ya know, Maxwell’s Equations. A changing magnetic field makes an electric field. And a changing electric field makes a magnetic field. And so on.

I’ve always had an issue how very religious people seem to be opposed to scientific ideas. It always seemed to me that the better you understand the world, the better you’d understand God because he created it and what better way to understand things than scientific inquiry? It’s like how you can know a painter from their artwork or know an author through what they write. Like they don’t give a fuck what God the Artist created because they’re too busy idolizing the artist himself. Kinda like the fanbase of a cringy emo band or something, all image with zero substance.

A TV station antenna takes a signal and converts it into these dancing waves. And your TV converts the shit back into electrons, photons, color, and neural signals processed by your brain. This is what your shitty reality TV shows are. Electrons, photons, and electromagnetic fields.

Satellite TV is even crazier as the signal comes from a geostationary satellite way the fuck out in space. All so you can watch shitty TV shows and sports. Some company put a fucking multi-million dollar satellite into space on a multi-million dollar rocket that countless scientist and engineers worked on and designed. All so in the end you can watch your fucking shitty TV shows, sports, and Hallmark movies.

I’ve been drinking cold medicine all day and it hasn’t done shit for my fever. And I just realized that it has no pain relievers and fever reducers in it. Well no fucking shit it isn’t doing anything. I better go find something with acetaminophen in it at least.

Static. Static. Static.

 If I lay really still I can feel my body itself gently vibrating as if all the particles within me are jostling around. You have to sit really still and concentrate to feel it though. And I think this is why people meditate. It gets them in touch will the humming and buzzing that is “within you and without you” to plagiarize the Beatles slightly. The snowy screen effect is also a visual buzzing but still buzzing. And the fan I’m hearing is also buzzing. Or whirring. But it isn’t pootetowetotweeting. I don’t even know it the word is a verb. It’s funny how once you stop listening to the fan you can’t hear it. But as soon as you realize you can’t hear it it comes whirring back into your consciousness. It’s strange, satisfying, and terrifying all at the same time.

If you also lay really still you can feel gravity smashing you into the bed/the floor/whatever. It’s always a constant and we filter it out but it’s always there. When I realize it’s there I can’t help but think how powerful it is. I’m not gently floating on my bed I’m being smashed into it by the mass of the Earth. Fuck. I bet sleeping on the moon would be amazing. Imagine sleeping in one-sixth gravity!

I had just finished the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower and feel like I’m writing in the tone of Charlie, the main character of the book. Like this! It’s interesting how books can rub off on you where you start using the tone and writing style of the book. If I read Alan Watts I’d start using semicolons all over the place. If I read some David Foster Wallace I’d start using footnotes all over the place. And if I try really hard I can channel some Hunter S. Thompson:

I was sitting in a bar, minding my own business when this loud, clumsy drunkard comes stumbling in through the door. Just making a god awful racket out of the simple task of walking. I could feel the alcohol coursing through my veins, but this character had something entirely exotic in his blood, or maybe he was a whole lot drunker than I was. Either way the line he made from the door to the bar was not a straight one even if there were no tables, stools, people, or anything to impede his path. Just weaving around the place like a blind mole. Scuttling around. He was a loathsome and fearful creature and you could see it in his bloodshot and pinhole eyes as he stumbled in my direction.

I did what any respectable human being would do and offered to buy him a drink as he sat next to me. With almost any seat open in the bar, he had to sit right next to me? Has he ever heard of personal space before? Not that any concept of personal space exists when your blood is pumped full of substances, and whatever substances they happened to be didn’t matter.

“Hey, pal, what do you want to drink? I’ll buy you one. Anything you want.”

The man stumbled even though he was seated on a bar stool. Perhaps the world itself was shifting and moving and only he was aware? Who was I to question his reality?

“Maybe a Jack and Coke? A Bloody Mary?” The man was unresponsive but I continued to pester him. “Look, I’ll buy you a drink. Even if you need a goddamn coffee to sober up before you stumble outside of this place is fine by me. Just get something.”

And then something something happens and I ended up pepper spraying the guy. For reasons.

Most of the stuff I’ve been writing has been, uh. Who cares. Probably me. But am I even the author? Or am I just a dreamer in this story? Am I a character in this story? A dreaming character? Or am I me? Maybe this cough medicine is starting to work. I just want my fever, aches, and pains to go away.

As for pixels. I don’t know the exact scientific reason for there being red, green, and blue but basically the way the human eye is created most colors we see can be made up of those three. They’re called the primary colors of light. It always struck me as strange that the primary colors of paint (crayons, colored pencils, whatever) are different. Green is a primary light color but is created by mixing blue and red paints. Yellow is another example in the opposite direction, it’s a primary paint color but a secondary light color. You need to mix green and blue light to make yellow light.

And light is strange really. You know, waves and particles and stuff. And isn’t that what everything really is, waves and particles and stuff? Okay, yeah, the medicine is finally starting to work. The static in my vision is being turned off. My mind is relaxing. Why am I thinking of pixels, static, and electromagnetism when I have to sleep? Just sleep dammit. I have a lot to do tomorrow. Probably go see a doctor for this cold because it isn’t improving. Maybe work on my dream diary. And did I even dream yesterday? Did I write in the journal? Was she there? And was she…? And…eh. Hell, am I tired. I wonder what would happen…if…what would happen if? What? What am I thinking about? I was thinking of a dream diary and I wonder what would happen if…if…if? If! Oh wait. She’s always been there…Hello.

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