Go Home Memetic Mutation, You’re Drunk

When I get bored, I go on Facebook because I am unoriginal and so is just about everybody else. I have friends, these friends have friends, and so on. So this happens:

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I don’t know if I quite understand meme usage. If a person posts a meme, do they do it because it is funny? Is it a great pun? Is it a grand sardonic statement about a problem on the planet? Does the user feel they have not posted anything on Facebook in a while? Is it peer-influenced? Can there be peer influence with anonymity on the internet?

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I get fascinated by how people respond to memes as a means to express their views. I’m fascinated by this as I’m unsure if it represents a sort of lazy expression of opinion or just a picaresque way to communicate it without having to show off poor grammar skills. Either of these ideas are fine to follow in medium doses. I mean, a lot of people like cat memes!

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But then this sort of laziness generates some sloppy memes. I’m going to use an (unknowing) test subject to demonstrate this, but first, let me give a lot of background. I went to grade school with this person, and I also hope and suspect he will never read this so I’ll get less generic. We rode around and I was given my first introduction to acts like Avenged Sevenfold and the Insane Clown Posse. Time passed, I went to college and he went to work. Other than the glory of “Miracles” and Gathering of the Juggalos infomercials, there isn’t much from that era that I want to remember. I evolved from 16 year old me to the current beauty parade candidate I am today.

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With this (as well as past and present me in the pictures above) in your mind, I want to bring up the meme that he posted. Mind you, this is one of like 40 he’s “shared” this week, so the actual statement might be more devalued than I give it credit for:

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This meme was cribbed from a fan page entitled “jojos lil padded cell” (SIC). I have nothing else to add on that front.

So instead, let’s add even more personal context, this time in relation to present musical taste. I have a mixed relationship with Nicki Minaj. The Nicki of “Roman’s Revenge” is fierce, confrontational, and on fire. We could talk about whether or not she’s trying to play up masculine things (and whether or not that’s bad) another time, but I still love this Nicki. By comparison, the Nicki of songs like “Starships” and of really terrible British accents is confusing (in a bad way). People freaked out over Nicki’s Grammy performance last year because of its anti-Catholic bent, but most remember it because it sucked.

Still, the above meme comparison confuses me, in more ways than a guy listing his love of oranges and lamenting that people really love kiwis. They’re both fruits, but of decidedly different types and representations of society. I guess I shouldn’t be confused. I mean, this argument has went on for ages in popular music and has defined full genres. Even back to the 1950s, Frank Sinatra fans couldn’t stand Chuck Berry and vice-versa. Rock was formed out of a backbone of African-American performance while acts like Johnny Mathis opted for a performing style with whitebread personalities like Andy Williams.

Even the same sort of resentment came out of mashup efforts. Public Enemy and Anthrax, makers of a beloved cover of PE’s own “Bring the Noise,” went on tour together and Chuck D simply labeled the tour itself to be difficult. Fans of one genre, even in a world where people put “I like everything” on their Facebook profiles, tend to be confused by another in an immediate setting. And then I’m confused by why this mindset exists because music generally is just different ways to get to the same end.

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I don’t know. If there’s one thing I do well, it’s be lost by everything that can be easily explained very quickly. That’s memes, I guess. Easy ways to crack wise on a general topic, as sharp or completely idiotic as that can be.

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