Last class Dr. Strangelove mentioned the word “meme” while discussing the Osama Bin Laden posters with Bert hidden in them. I personally had no idea what the word “meme” meant, and apparently I’m not the only one, because when I type it into any sort of word processor it is underlined in red.
Upon typing the word in a Wikipedia search I discovered that it is essentially anything that replicates a cultural phenomenon. However, in recent history a new category of “meme’s” has appeared and that is the “internet meme”. And in the case of “evil Bert” the word “internet meme” is more applicable. An “internet meme” is something, such as a picture or slogan, that rapidly becomes extremely popular on the internet. You know these stupid things? And this? (got you). yeah, they’re the essence of an “internet meme”.
Personally from what I understand they are just silly things people with too much time on their hands, and a little creativity, do. There is a chart explaining exactly how to start/make a meme here. But no one can really tell me how or why they begin.
It is strange to think about how these become so popular, and how they become mainstream media. For example there is an episode of Family Guy where (apart from parodying Back to the Future) Brian Griffin “rick rolls” Family Guy’s entire audience. Family Guy is one of the most watched cartoons on TV right now, their audience is huge. Family Guy however, is only the tip of the ice berg. YouTube “rick roll’d” their users as an April fools joke in 2008. The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade also did something similar in 2008, when they had Rick Astley himself perform his song. How does something as crazy as forcing people to listen to a god awful song become a national sensation? Why does our society take part in such strange actions? I assure you I have no idea. I tried to find the beginnings of the whole “rick roll” phenomenon or even the first time it was used to piss someone off. Unfortunately it just turned into me continuously being “rick roll’d” to the point that I gave up.
So yeah, that’s my Friday afternoon, me continually getting “rick roll’d“. Thanks a lot internet, you win this round.