As the name implies, internet memes are extremely popular on the internet. Whether it's a video of a cat being tickled or a picture of a doofy actor eating a sandwich, these communal nuggets of joy spread to millions of people within days and sometimes even hours. They are put through the internet meme gauntlet, chewed up, spit out, and forgotten within weeks (sometimes even days). Some, of course, stick around longer than others.
To be honest, I find most memes to be uninteresting, stupid, mean, lazy, or some combination of the four. This has partly to do with the fact that anyone can participate in a meme. They are fair game, and people in general are uninteresting, stupid, mean, lazy, or some combination of the four. When the core audience is anyone and the primary producer is anyone, then the product lacks any quality control and progress comes to a halt. I will explain this in terms the internet can understand:
For being such a fast-paced information machine, the status quo of the web (Status Queb) certainly has trouble moving on or experiencing any kind of creative growth. The Internet should change its motto from "awesome since forever" to "running jokes into the ground since LOLcats."
I don't think I can push the internet past its current state of "HAHA THE CAT TALKS FUNNY." In fact, I don't know if I necessarily want to, because that would just mean that everyone would have to work a little harder at being the internet. What I do think I can do is start new memes, because despite my hatred of most of them, I have watched them closely for many years. I can predict their movements. I am a Predator and they are an Alien Vs. Predator, meaning that I am awesome and they suck. The success of these new memes is practically guaranteed, with a face-hugging 3-dot laser.
All You Need Is FAIL
One thing the internet loves (aside from cats) is feeling better about itself. With one word, a YouTube commenter can belittle the work of others while making him or herself feel like a big strong man or woman. That word is "FAIL," and it is evidence of the constant cynical undertone beneath every single pixel we see. It's the America's Funniest Home Video Syndrome. The internet loves seeing people fall down, figuratively and literally. It loves seeing people fail miserably at anything they try, whether it's walking...
Of course, "FAIL" culture isn't just pointing and laughing as life kicks people in the soul-balls. Sometimes it's just taking a picture and putting the word "FAIL" on it, because pictures can never just be pictures. As we all know, a funny picture is only funny if there are words on it, regardless of whether those words describe the picture, comment on the picture, or simply say "FAIL." They might as well just type "LAUGH" on them, because we are not smart enough to see a picture, realize it is funny, and laugh at it. I propose a new website that focuses on neither wins nor fails, but still just says what things are.
Photoshopping Funny Pictures Into Other Pictures: The Poor Man's Anything
If you are familiar with the internet, you are probably familiar with a little meme called "Sad Keanu." One day, Keanu "I see dead Kung Fu" Reeves was photographed eating a sandwich alone. This was hilarious, because no one ever eats sandwiches alone. Then a memo was sent to the internet to put said picture into any other picture ever. Enter: LULZ.
"Hahaha! Have you seen the one where he's on a car?"
Aside from the facts that the Leo picture is funny on its own, the Cera picture is him satirizing himself, and the Don Draper picture is just a picture of an actor acting, the real problem is that there is no objectivity to these images. If you don't know that it's supposed to be funny, then you will not find it funny. To an outside viewer, it is a picture, and in that picture is another picture. That's it. Yes, there are some clever variations on these images, but at its core, it is a non-joke. Just take a look at the following images.
If you laughed at those pictures, then I guess that's okay. I guess. Chances are, though, you glanced at them straight-faced. But, what if I told you that someone (me) took a picture of Ryan Phillipe looking bored and now there is an hilarious new meme (that I invented) called "Bored Phillipe" that's (not actually) circling the web right now? Well then HOLY SHIT it's time to LOL it up at the Meme Party!
Of course, these memes always fade. No one's interested in Prancing Cera anymore, and Sad Don Draper was on its way out on its way in. The only one that seems to have any real staying power is Sad Keanu, because it's almost like he's encouraging it.
In this one, his stomach is sad.
So what will the next celebrity photoshopped image drop be? Only time will tell, but my money's on Remarkably Calm Yet Sharply Aware St. Francis of Assisi.
You Didn't Forget About CATS, Did You?
No, of course I fucking didn't. Cats cats cats. There, ya happy? Cats may always control the internet, but the web is so huge, there is still room for the underdog. Or undersnail, or whatever animal is not a cat. Not all animals can be adorable, but all animals do use poor grammar and horribly misspelled words. That's just an internet fact. I figure I kan kash inn on dis stoopid twend by introducing the world to something I like to call "BRBworms."
The day will come, though, when cats finally get to eat a fucking cheeseburger because people are just so tired of hearing about it. On that day, animals will begin to evolve. They will learn, they will grow, and they will speak coherently. They will be smart enough to make puns and, God-willing, they will use punctuation. Here's to one day seeing ROFLMAOwhales.
Turning Others' Despair Or Embarrassment Into Toe-Tappin' Fun!
Perhaps the best way towards internet memety (if you don't happen to have adorably pink, pink paw pads) is to embarrass yourself or to freak out or to embarrass yourself by freaking out. You could be a red-headed kid freaking out about being tormented at high school or you could be a man having a genuine moment appreciating nature. One thing you won't be, though, is happy with the results, because you are about to be ridiculed and remixed the world over by everyone with an internet connection. There will be remixes and there will reenactments, and the devastating party won't stop until some other lost soul makes a fool of himself on video.
It's not all mean-spirited, though. The talented Gregory Brothers share their profits with the subject of their songs. This is a good thing, but it is not always the case, and the fact that it's "all in good fun" doesn't mean the ridiculed party will necessarily see it that way. Because these remixes occur on the very impersonal internet, we can distance ourselves from these people's very real issues. It helps us ignore the fact that sometimes people on the internet go too far and it can lead to suicide. Eventually a mostly good-natured remix is going to push some poor sap down so far that they end up killing themselves, and then someone will turn their suicide into a remix and their suicide will kill itself.
"Double suicide all the waaaaaaaaay..."
Maybe I'm being a bit extreme here, but the fact remains that these remixes are dependent upon previous knowledge of the meme. They are not objectively funny and they have the same problem you run into when watching a reference movie. A reference is made, you recognize said reference, and you "laugh" because you remember what they're referencing, but is it actually a joke? Are they tickling your funny bone or are they just pointing at your recollection bone? If you saw an auto-tuned remix of a video you've never seen, would you still find it funny? If you're not in on the joke, is it still a joke? You tell me. Here's a remix of a non-existent rant from "sad/angry internet celebrity" LaughPuppy23...
LaughPuppy23's Twelfth Freak Out: The Song!
Cody hates the internet, loves the internet, and is the internet. Because of this, everything is a metaphor for everything. He likes Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but not as much as he likes fake Twitter.