In recent years the internet has become addicted to random images with a comment written in bold white letters over the image. Sounds kind of lame when you put it like that but memes are definitely a whole lot more impactful then some average image. If a picture is worth a thousand words…. a meme is worth a thousand plus the 5 or so bold words on top of the image. A meme however cannot simply be defined as a picture. the actual definition(The wikipedia definition) paints memes as, ” a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme”(Wikipedia). Now that sounds boring, but it does help to shed light on the idea that a meme is actually like an inside joke. think of this, say you and you best friend saw a funny movie and ever since then the two of you have been saying the main characters catch phrase. The catch phrase allows you to then feel emotions that you felt during the actual movie(humor) and also a connection with your friend, but it is still just a set of words. In the same way a meme is capable of creating emotions and transmitting ideas without saying the idea directly. however when
While an inside joke is like a meme, some of the modern day examples of memes are shared with the entire internet. what words pop into your head when you see the below image?
If the words, ‘one does not simply….’ don’t pop into your head immediately then you need to poke your head out from under the rock you’ve been living under. This is of course, one of hundreds of images that can now be identified by the general internet population.
Another universal inside joke, or meme, is the fitness gram pacer test.
Every child remembers the days the running the pacer test twice a year in elementary school. Even though it does not hold any real meaning behind it, everyone still has nightmares of the days in which they had to run the pacer test. This meme is also funny due to it being easily missed at a glance. A lot of people see a wall of text and stop reading (I guess you have made it this far into my blog posts).This is probably an America-only type of meme, but it is definitely a meme we can all relate to.
Why are memes so funny and likable? The major factor in creating a meme comes down to the words on the image then the actual image. The words should seem fitting for the image, almost as if you could see the words being spoken by the subject of the meme. The image helps portray the emotions of the author such as irritation/anger, suspicion , contemplation/questioning .
You could draw parallels from today memes with old newspaper cartoons. Especially political cartoons. These cartoons were the exact same things. the creator of the cartoon would place words on images and use them to represent different emotions and ideologies. For example this was taken from the wikipedia page on women’s suffarage
While in today’s standard this would not be considered a meme at first glance, it does use the same general format of words over an image to represent an idea; in this case that women’s suffrage movements were steamrolling their opposition. Now political cartoons are serious, and while they are at sometimes humorous they are often meant to relay an underlying opinion or give a visual representation of a current issue in society. Internet natives would rarely refer to these cartoons as ‘dank’ or even interesting, even though these cartoons are, in reality, a version of the meme that is so original that it shows a part of the author and relays actual information and opinions as opposed to just a funny picture.
Memes are not exactly easy to make, it takes a level of creativity to make a truly ‘dank’ meme. Since I did all this writing though I guess it’s obligatory that I drop a quick meme I made on memegenerator.net. The dos equis commercials have led many to recognize this man as the most interesting man in the world, and now he is the face of thousands of memes across the internet.
The most interesting man in the world “I don’t usually drink beer, but when I do I prefer dos equis.”