-Zenia Zuraiq, I Year B.Sc Physics
Image Source: Google Images
If you start looking at any aspect of human civilization close enough, it seems ridiculous. Much of what we do as routine is often just completely arbitrary. However a newer aspect of pop culture that you do not have to dissect too much to see the weirdness, is modern day meme culture.
Memes, of course, do not need an introduction – it is an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
Today, memes are getting more and more surreal by the day. They seem to be getting more adept at dissecting human life, pointing out the seemingly innocuous and completely nonsensical things we as a society have deemed okay. At the risk of sounding over-analytical, Memes today offer up a slice of the human psyche.
Memes today seem to be indicative of the warped, surreal humour that the so called millennial generation enjoys. It is the era of the anti-joke, where something is funny just because it is not. It is the era of fourth wall breaks and subversion of expectations.
Because that is what makes something funny – expectation. Humour is largely based on playing around with expectations. That’s why puns are so terrible and delightful – they sort of cheat your expectation a little bit. The evolution of humour has had a lot to do with the evolution of our expectations from entertainment.
In today’s fast paced, social media addled world, anyone can be an entertainer, and anything can qualify as entertainment. With the volume and accessibility of entertainment being so high, people are getting better at spotting the tired clichés. People now have higher expectations, they want something new. Memes with their flexibility, customizability and short shelf lives offer just that. A meme does not ever get old – it simply dies to form a new one. Or maybe, if it is lucky enough, it gets to see light of day as an ironic, #throwback post.
Because, finally that is what unites all these memes – that they are funny. No matter what the subject matter, memes are made to entertain. Be it dark humour or slapstick, it is just how funny a meme is that ends up setting it apart.
At the end of the day, as with all things internet, memes have to do with relatability. They just offer a fun, new template for us to communicate. To socialize. To discuss. To debate. To dissect.