Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
OliveTree

what is the specific origin of "an abstract kind of hell"?

Recommended Posts

I've seen people reference the phrase "It's an abstract kind of hell" and when pressed they will typically attribute it to Sandy Petersen. But I have been totally unable to find where/when he's supposed to have said this. One 4chan post from 2014 references the quote when linking to a video showing of GBA Doom II, which is the earliest written instance of the quote Google will show me. You'd expect it to be older than that, and since it doesnt appear in a Google search, probably it was spoken and not published in a written form. But 2014 predates his youtube channel, which was started in 2018. So that implies a spoken interview or something? Of which there are vanishingly little of. It's just a known fact that Sandy said this but like, where? How exactly did this meme spread if its so hard to discern the precise origin?

 

Paging old people like @Mordeth and @Doomkid. Someone has to know, I'm losing my mind.

Share this post


Link to post

The phrase, "What fresh hell is this?" is the only similar quote I can think of. 
 

This link has an okay origin story for that one: https://www.quora.com/Who-originated-the-saying-What-fresh-hell-is-this

 

As far as the phrase, "An abstract kind of hell," goes--that looks like a Sandy original, at least as far as Google will tell me, too. 
 

Fascinating video that references the OP's quote and credits Sandy Peterson: https://archive.org/details/youtube-6GreqnmMZe8

 

Fascinating tidbit. Who'd've thought Sandy was the first (or currently most well-known) to use that phrase?

 

Well, I guess you, OP! Nothing to worry about, it seems. Your bet is right on the money, as far as I can tell. 
 

edit: Oh man, I can't read. You were looking for proof, I see as I reread the OP.

 

Dunno about that. There are plenty of Sandy Peterson interviews to sift through. Could be a complete misnomer, but it does seem odd that so many people, as it seems, would attribute it to Sandy for no good reason. 

Edited by innerethos

Share this post


Link to post

I believe the phrase originates from an image macro. A comment therebelow suggests it is made from a panel from Achewood. It seems to date back to at least March 2013, according to filenames I found in 4chan archives. I was not able to find the context in which it was made unfortunately.

It appears its association with Sandy Petersen may have begun with the phrase written on a photograph of the man himself, posted to /vr/ in December 2013. I don't know but it seems likely Mr. Petersen may have picked the phrase up after mischievious internet users spammed him with it.

I would like to see the original Achewood panel, if indeed that is what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, innerethos said:

Fascinating video that references the OP's quote and credits Sandy Peterson: https://archive.org/details/youtube-6GreqnmMZe8

I saw the video you linked here, too, it was part of my initial research just to prove that people do, indeed, assert that Sandy started the quote.
 

16 hours ago, RjY said:

I believe the phrase originates from an image macro. A comment therebelow suggests it is made from a panel from Achewood. It seems to date back to at least March 2013, according to filenames I found in 4chan archives. I was not able to find the context in which it was made unfortunately.

It appears its association with Sandy Petersen may have begun with the phrase written on a photograph of the man himself, posted to /vr/ in December 2013. I don't know but it seems likely Mr. Petersen may have picked the phrase up after mischievious internet users spammed him with it.

I would like to see the original Achewood panel, if indeed that is what it is.

That Achewood panel seems like an interesting lead. The image of Sandy with that caption is a great find, it's the earliest use of the phrase in relation to him and Doom that I've seen. It doesn't seem to me like the origin per se, but if the Achewood panel gives further illumination, it seems believable to me that this person would be referencing the panel with his edit of Sandy.

Regarding Achewood itself, I can sort of see the similarity in the artstyle. But I'm not super sure where the specific relationship is.
image.png.00dbe2d0c6213e01bf21fa2902e5ad2e.png

Share this post


Link to post

All I remember about this was that it was an extremely popular meme on 4chan nearly a decade ago, specifically the "traditional games" board (tabletop games, board games)

Share this post


Link to post

I was holding off since I've never heard of it being associated with Petersen and assumed I must be missing something, but the Wojak macro as I know it was just a spin-off of the "abstract kind of feel" macro.

I think there's another Wojak image featuring the Light Amplification Visor ("nightmare vision goggles"), which must have been inspiration for the abstract hell macro to feature it.

As for the "hell" bit itself, it reminds me a little bit of that highly exploitable news anchor? The whole "ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING" thing. Probably just a misleading gut feeling though

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, houston said:

I was holding off since I've never heard of it being associated with Petersen and assumed I must be missing something, but the Wojak macro as I know it was just a spin-off of the "abstract kind of feel" macro.

I think there's another Wojak image featuring the Light Amplification Visor ("nightmare vision goggles"), which must have been inspiration for the abstract hell macro to feature it.

As for the "hell" bit itself, it reminds me a little bit of that highly exploitable news anchor? The whole "ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING" thing. Probably just a misleading gut feeling though

I'm super willing to accept a conclusion where Sandy never said this line at all. Thats what I'm leaning towards. For the sake of showing my work on this, there are a couple places attributing the line to Sandy, the most explicit of which that I can find being this reddit comment:

 

Share this post


Link to post

What a mystery! I guess an idea like that can just be injected into a community to go surprisingly far by the intent/misunderstanding of a single person, a lot of urban myths have probably come about a similar way. Maybe there is something more to it though, interested to see whether anything turns up.

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/4/2023 at 6:07 AM, OliveTree said:

The macro you sent is definitely an edit of this wojak:
[...]
which is from at latest 2013, see it here https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/596169-wojak

 

FWIW, a new lead: I am told this is based on something called The Jig

5XOJ86J.jpg

 

I am sure I am missing at least one intermediate step, and this is all long before the association with Mr. Petersen began, so is likely only of tangential interest.

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, RjY said:

I am sure I am missing at least one intermediate step, and this is all long before the association with Mr. Petersen began, so is likely only of tangential interest.

Honestly, everything helps develop a fuller sense of the meme as it exists today.

Share this post


Link to post

The "abstract kind of hell" edit with Sandy's face was created by me a few years ago, but you're gonna have to take my word for it because I'm not about to expose my history of sardonic reddit shitposting (the absolute horror!) to Doomworld's prying eyes. I may have posted it elsewhere before then, I dunno

 

image.png.79aedcefdb3341c883477c431bc9caae.png

Edited by ⇛Marnetmar⇛

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, ⇛Marnetmar⇛ said:

The "abstract kind of hell" image macro with Sandy's face was created by me and can be found here:*

Oh okay! Could you give any insight onto what the joke was supposed to be, when you made that edit? Were you referencing the specific phrase itself (It's an abstract kind of hell) or just riffing on the meme format (It's an abstract kind of feel)?

 

*link removed bc the previous poster did so, as well.

 

edit 2: For preservation's sake, the now gone reddit post was from 4 years ago.

Edited by OliveTree

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, OliveTree said:

Oh okay! Could you give any insight onto what the joke was supposed to be, when you made that edit? Were you referencing the specific phrase itself (It's an abstract kind of hell) or just riffing on the meme format (It's an abstract kind of feel)?

 

*link removed bc the previous poster did so, as well

 

There was an edited version of the "abstract kind of feel" wojak going around, with flames and a skeleton added to make it into "abstract kind of hell": image.png.05df3bca41616a292dd727a578545e8c.png

I thought this was appropriate for Sandy's abstract hell weirdness in Doom so I shopped his face onto it. I dunno who was responsible for the /vr/ post back in 2013, my memory doesn't go back that far and I would've been like 16 then. If it wasn't me, then it's a case of convergent evolution.

Share this post


Link to post

So to me it seems really plausible that the Abstract Kind of Hell meme originated as a distortion of the Abstract Kind of Feel meme, completely unrelated to Doom or Sandy, then we started getting edits of it referring to Doom and Sandy, because of the obvious observation that a lot of Sandy's levels do depict an abstract kind of hell. The actual joke of photoshopping Sandy's face onto it makes more sense in that context, like, that is to say, its funnier. And then attributing the line to Sandy himself developed as a sort of folk etymology from people unfamiliar with the meme's history. Not knowing anything about "An Abstract Kind of Feel", it's easy to hear Sandy's voice saying the line in reference to his work, and it's also easy to extrapolate why that would become something the community would meme on.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×