North Texas Daily

It’s time we take a stand against memes

It’s time we take a stand against memes

It’s time we take a stand against memes
September 21
12:05 2016

Whether they’re about “Sesame Street” or the Cincinnati Zoo, memes have begun to overpower all pop culture references in a weird, avant-garde way. What was created as enrichment for people’s lives was suddenly overtaken by poor grammar and raunchy implications.

What began as funny pictures accompanied by distinct Impact typeface have transformed into whirlwinds of discourse the internet wasn’t ready for. No longer do the memes even make sense. They’re not jokes anymore, often just silly visuals or phrases used in different contexts. Memes are ways of communicating. They’re changing the very fabric of our society, and in a truly horrific yet beautiful way, they’re constantly being created and destroyed.

Nothing is safe from memes. In this ultra-creative, ever-evolving technological society we live in, anything on the web is subject to instant subversion. Political statements are taken out of context and further disassociate any policy from online shenanigans. It’s hard enough to take Donald Trump seriously when memes just blur the line between fact and fiction. When your political news is coming in the form of memes and internet slander, a well-informed voting class is nearly impossible.

Perhaps what’s most concerning about memes is their sheer power to overwhelm the popularity of the subject they’re based on. In a new crop of “Arthur” memes, many ‘90s kids were reminded of a TV show they’d long forgotten. Kermit the Frog experienced a resurgence in his tea-sipping image that vastly overshadowed his “Muppet” stardom.

The Cincinnati Zoo probably wishes it never received Harambe, as his popularity continues to surge online months after his death. The zoo cannot post anything online without getting bombarded by comments asking why Harambe was shot. These memes have effectively ruined the zoo’s online presence.

The Internet allows for memes to be continually constructed, making a hyper-stressful environment for people seeking them out. There’s a strange sense of urgency in finding new memes. If you’re late to the party, or your friends found a meme before you did, it can ruin any credibility you have. This kind of pressure is ridiculously intense. People have jobs and school, but the pressure to keep up with memes is ever-pressing.

On top of that, nothing appears to be respected anymore. There’s no line drawn between what’s acceptable to meme up and what isn’t. Childhood memories of television are destroyed. Genuine comedies like “Shrek” are made into ironic punching bags. Entire species of animals become the butt-ends of jokes they don’t even understand.

If no one stands up against memes, they can only get worse. There comes a time when kindhearted citizens must recognize the tyranny of forum culture and nip it in the bud before it’s too late! Otherwise, the very societal foundations we rely on will crumble beneath our keyboards.

We must prepare for the day in which memes are used as communal warfare. They are radical, and they’re not going to be silenced easily.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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8 Comments

  1. WorknMan
    WorknMan September 21, 20:43

    ‘There comes a time when kindhearted citizens must recognize the tyranny of forum culture and nip it in the bud before it’s too late! ‘

    Awww, did somebody hurt your feelings, lil Snowflake? Somebody call the whambulance …

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sprybug
    Sprybug September 21, 21:35

    This is a joke, right?

    Reply to this comment
  3. PE(E)PE(E) POO POO
    PE(E)PE(E) POO POO September 21, 23:08

    Get M E ME D on normie.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Really?
    Really? September 22, 05:38

    Yet you have used “Leave Hillary alone!”

    hypocrisy

    Reply to this comment
  5. memester
    memester September 22, 10:40

    don’t worry this will be made into a meme

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bobby
    Bobby September 22, 12:47

    Dicks out for Harambe!

    Reply to this comment
  7. YaqP
    YaqP September 22, 13:34

    “The Internet allows for memes to be continually constructed, making a hyper-stressful environment for people seeking them out. There’s a strange sense of urgency in finding new memes. If you’re late to the party, or your friends found a meme before you did, it can ruin any credibility you have. This kind of pressure is ridiculously intense. People have jobs and school, but the pressure to keep up with memes is ever-pressing.”

    I’ve never seen a more brutal misinterpretation of what memes are in my life. This article has no point, is completely inaccurate and reminds me of “worried parents” denouncing rock music in the sixties and seventies.

    Which is why this article will become an instant meme. Expect this article to be posted on /r/circlejerk soon enough.

    Reply to this comment
  8. James Rustle
    James Rustle September 22, 15:39

    This article is a good example of first-person bias, which is one of the most basic building blocks of Media Effects. The jist of it is that everyone thinks that they are affected by the media less than everyone else, and everyone else is affected more by the media than they are in reality. Basically, everyone thinks that everyone else is too stupid to not be affected by the media. The author does not comprehend that the general public understands the purpose of “memes” (also known as jokes, just put with pictures). Contrary to the opinion of the author, we are not confused when we see a joke about Arthur. We still remember The Muppet Show. Let me know when there’s an entire attraction at Disney World about the “But that’s none of my business” meme.

    This opinion piece, while entertaining in a macabre sort of way, is about as informative and true as the very memes that she wishes to take a stand against. I agree that the Cleveland Zoo might wish that Harambe may never have been there, but at least they can take solace in the fact that he didn’t ever have to read this article.

    Reply to this comment

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