Monday, September 10, 2012

I have a bone to pick with 'Memes'

This is how I feel. 

There are plenty of things that I dislike. There are plenty of things I dislike with a great, great passion. Here are just a few things:

  • When people comment on things with "THIS." and nothing else ... What does that even mean? Actually, I take that back. I know what it means, I just think it sounds stupid.
  • When I download something and it's in a format I can't play it on my TV. 
  • When I watch Freaks and Geeks and then I realise that beautiful, amazing, hilarious show ends.
  • When people end posts with "That is all." ... I don't really have a reason for that one, it just gets under my skin and makes me want to say something snarky and troll-y. 
  • The use of phrases like, "right in the feels" or "ALL OF THE x !!!" or "squee!" or referring to food as "noms".

Above all else at the moment, more than my hatred for Tony Abbott or the fact that Neil Armstrong is dead yet Snooki is procreating, as a supreme indicator of my inability not to be a nerd, is my hatred for "Meme" pages on Facebook. Moreover, the fundamental misuse of the word "meme" makes me want to strangle something ... or to capslock yell into the vast expanse of the internet.

Firstly, my beef begins with this:
Completely disregarding whether or not the word "meme" is being used correctly, "meme" pages on Facebook are by and large intensely unfunny. They're not. They're. Just. Not. Funny. They're one big disgusting crime against anyone and anything that has ever actually been funny, ever.

See, I could forgive these "meme" pages if they at least elicited a tiny hint of laughter from me. Alas they do not, so alas I cannot. Of course, it may just be a matter of my sense of humour being of the slightly skewed, twisted kind and as such isn't in tune with what the masses might find tickle their funny bone. Or, it could be that the vast majority of meme pages are just ... really, really, rubbish.


From the "AFL Memes" Facebook page.

This nugget of comic gold is from "Australian Memes"

Or, if you'd like, you could peruse the Australian Big Brother Memes page. The vast majority of the seemingly unstoppable fountain of "Meme" shit on my Facebook news feed is dumb, racist, sexist or all of the above. Generally, this all comes with a completely un-ironic slew of spelling mistakes. More about that in a moment though.

What is that I hear you asking? Hm, what's up? What are memes?

Well. These are memes:

Good ol' Bachelor Frog

I suppose what I'm getting at is that memes are like internet in-jokes. The joke is the same, you just change it a little. It doesn't matter if it's the "animal head with coloured background" type, or whether it's a written meme ("and my axe!"), what matters is that it was a funny that made enough of an impact to result in lots of people using it in a bunch of different ways. What I'm getting at is that the "meme" pages on Facebook aren't so much nuggets of hilarity that have grown and spread through the internet like wildfire until everyone knows what they are as much as they're just images with text on them. THEY'RE JUST IMAGES WITH TEXT ON THEM. And listen careful as I say this: using the right font does not mean that you're doing it right.

You might think it strange that I'm bothering to write about this sort of - admittedly, juvenile, stupid, and downright unimportant at best - junk. If you're aware of how much of a giant nerd I am however, it won't be strange in the slightest. I'd be the first to admit that spend way, way too much time on the internet. In fact, I recently was chatting to a friend, and he said the following to me:
"I don't know how you keep track of everything that happens on the internet. I'd find it fucking exhausting."
Well, it's not exhausting. Because I'm a giant nerd. I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Reddit. When Curiosity landed on Mars I alternated between staring at the screen in awe and running around in gleeful laps of the building. The most exciting thing that happened a few weeks ago was finding out the actor who plays Data on Star Trek and the scientist in Independence Day are ONE AND THE SAME (Brent Spiner). Out of all the characters on The West Wing I find Toby to be the most attractive.

More noteworthy than all of that however, is the fact that I managed to somehow end up spending the greater part of my last semester at university trawling through the seedy underbelly of the internet. Doing a research project on internet communities and how they evolve within different environments meant that every night was a constant stomp through the not-safe-for-life landmine-filled fields of 4chan. It was also a nightly sojourn in 2009-era Reddit. My mind is now permanently tainted with things I cannot un-see, and it's also well and truly cemented my position as a slightly snobby member of the internet.


But then I think, maybe I'm just a grumpy old man. Maybe I shouldn't get all up in arms when something on the internet evolves, which inevitably is wont to happen. Whatever. The whole "meme" thing has just done some next-level evolution, and there's nothing I can do about how un-funny I find it all except be disgruntled and storm off to watch some Adventure Time.


There's having a slightly different sense of humour that a bunch of people I vaguely know and happen to still have on Facebook, and then there's being disgusted by offensive shit. It takes a lot for me to get up in arms about offensive shit on the internet, but I find that whenever morbid curiosity gets the better of me on Facebook, I always end up being all like, "I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN THIS KIND OF WORLD". There's thinking, "You're doing it wrong as far as memes go" and there's thinking "the planet earth of the future is doomed". Hell, even if these meme pages are using actual meme templates, the fact remains that they're overwhelmingly unfunny.

It's incredibly disheartening that whilst "researching" for this little rant, I only had to go to two profiles to accumulate links and pictures. One of these people I happen to be related to, and the other is someone I had always thought had their head screwed on in fairly a logical way. What do I do? Do I tell them that they're doing it wrong? Do I delete them? Do I troll them super hard?

If you end up bothering to have a look at a few of those pages, I guarantee you'll be disgusted by at least a bunch of pictures. By that I mean to say that I couldn't even laugh at them for being so hilariously bad. They were just downright ... awful. Gross. Made me embarrassed. It also made me want to copy & paste a lesson in proper use of Your/You're into every comment box of every image.

Some of the pages I was just referring to that you might want to track down in your own Facebooking time include (I'll not be posting actual links here):

  • Booties Boobies and Bodies
  • Centrelink Memes
  • Melbourne Club Memes
  • Dumb, Drunk & Dirrrrty Bitches
  • Australian Memes.

Look, I know that this is a futile rant. I also know that merely posting this sort of thing is practically like sending out an invitation to be trolled. "U MAD BRO?" ... well, yes I suppose. I love the internet, and I love observing the myriad ways the boundaries of political correctness are pushed in the name of the "lulz" (to use the parlance of our time). I myself am a little surprised that the Facbeook "meme" posts that have been clogging up my screen of late have sent me into such a state of anger.

I suppose when people are doing it SO wrong in so many ways without even having the decency to actually be funny OR USE APOSTROPHES CORRECTLY while being incredibly racist and sexist, I can't help but get angry. If you're doing none of those things correctly (humour, grammar, internet, decency), then chances are you are DOING IT WRONG on every count and you should have your internet license revoked. 

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