Internet Memes: Not as Innocent as They Seem

 

Internet memes are a phenomenon that run the gamut from entertaining to infuriating, from clever to incomprehensibly stupid. Examining the ebb and flow of these memes reveals interesting cultural trends, which I’m certain someone smarter than myself could analyze and interpret in a significant way. I, however, just see something like Scumbag Stir-Fry and find myself exasperated.

Scumbag Stir-Fry

The endearing aspect of memes, if I suppose I had to find one, is that there is something for everybody. Just about every emotion, action, or personality type has its own meme. Despite anyone’s (my) hatred of memes, there is a meme out there with which you can relate. Take Socially Awkward Paper Towels, for example

Socially Awkward Paper TowelsMemes often use animals as a way to channel observations about a certain type of people. An image of an animal on which people personify certain emotions becomes an outlet for stereotyping. Illustrating that point quite well is the ever popular Outwardly Troubled Alligator:

Outwardly Troubled Alligator

The growing problem with memes is that they are perceived as possibly irritating, yet ultimately innocuous. But this is far from the truth. Memes tread a line between oblivious innocence and the creeping darkness that lies behind all things. This line can quickly become blurred. For instance, Oddly Specific Ominous Orange:

Oddly Specific Ominous Orange

Memes think they can frighten you. They think they can worm their way into your life and destroy the last bit of sanity you cling to. But they will not have it! Not today!

Unsatisfied Urchin

Often, memes will address you directly. These are the worst kind of meme, for they often know you by name. Obvious Ocelot here thinks it can shackle me with guilt of my past.

Obvious Ocelot

But you must stand strong. Memes are persistent. They will assault your mind if you allow them. They will batter down your firewalls, flood your inbox, print themselves out and mail themselves to your house, creep through the cracks in the ceiling and flutter down on you as you sleep, but you cannot. Let. Them. Win!

Conquering Cow

I do not FEAR you, BASTARDS!! My mind is MY OWN! I control my own destiny! ME!! ME AND NO ONE ELSE!! YOU THINK YOU CAN BEAT ME DOWN WITH THE CUDGEL OF TERROR, BUT I WILL NOT SUBMIT!! MY BODY MAY TREMBLE AND BREAK, BUT MY MIND REMAINS STRONG!! I AM A FREE MAN, WITH FREE WILL!!

We Will Destroy You, Eric Kaufman

Then the hollowness of my rationalizations becomes clear.

This review is over.

 

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3 & License, 4, 5, 6, 7

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About The Double Thumb (21 Articles)
The Double Thumb is a publication featuring long-form reviews, serialized columns, and cultural commentary curated by a group of talented yet unstable writers. Our mission is to uncover the heart of an issue and present it to our readers, still beating and squirting blood.

1 Comment on Internet Memes: Not as Innocent as They Seem

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