But along came the internet and the [End Is Nigh] guy became an anonymous Internet denizen who could insert himself into conversations across the globe. First he did this on listservs and chat rooms and message boards. Then he did it in the comments sections. And with the advent of social media, he did it right in your face, courtesy of The Algorithm (peace be upon it).

But you know how it is: On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. And so now the EIN guy isn’t a dude wearing a sandwich board on a street corner. He’s in your feed and basically looks like everyone else.

He uses the same fonts as you. His icon can be just as cute as your icon. His rants are laundered by the mediation of the internet so that you can’t see his deranged glare, and vocal tone, and the fact that he hasn’t showered in two weeks.

EIN guy is now just part of the crowd. And what’s worse, while every town has one EIN guy, the internet has allowed all of the EIN guys to find each other so that now they think they’re just as normal as everyone else.