Comparing memes to poetry is enough to make any poetry teacher cringe -- a few of mine probably will, after reading this. Poetry is inherently deep and memes are inherently shallow! Right? But I think the reason we gravitate toward poetry and gravitate toward Internet memes is analogous.
Most Internet memes have the shelf life of a banana, and trying to capture these memes in traditional forms like publishing or television is often an exercise in "too little, too late, no one cares anymore."
Often designed for spreading original jokes with friends and having them gain momentum, memes are now the ultra popular bits of content that provide us with the occasional stifled laugh from our cubicle.
Flush with the terrifying prospect of graduating with a journalism degree in 2012, I have begun to entertain the thought of trying to fulfill my most outlandish writing fantasies.
We must consolidate a singular identity. With 845 million users worldwide, Facebook has decided on behalf of the cyber universe that everything MUST be social. And the tyranny of a compulsorily social world is that it negates the possibility of the underground and the alternative.
After the Grammy Awards, countless Twitter users were stumped, asking the age old question: "Who is Paul McCartney?" This is a helpful list of Paul McCartney's many accomplishments over the years.
For every one of us eager to claim Lin in our racial draft, there's Lin himself, shrugging off the portentous hype because he's too busy making love to pressure to tangle with Asian American identity politics.
The enormous online apocalypse/conspiracy community has been all a-flutter lately due to the glut of "strange sounds" or "weird noises" videos being uploaded in recent weeks.
Unlike genes, over which we do not have true mastery and are unlikely to any time soon, memes are of our own devising. We have the means to make them do what we want.
Our boys Mason (11) and Marcus (9) say so much funny stuff that it is usually easy to find laughter in our everyday life. Here are just a few exchanges from the past year, pulled from my Facebook updates.
This video is about as likely to inspire activism as an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
I arrived late to the new meme "Shit Girls Say," but my family members were quick to fill me in over the holidays. I laughed -- but only with half my heart.
I would be lying if I said that I hadn't spoken many of the Shit Girls Say sentences word for word. And I'm all for laughing at yourself. But I also wondered what the tweets and the video might be saying about women -- and which women they're saying those things about.
This week, Egyptians braved brutal beatings in Tahrir Square in search of democracy and freedom while Americans braved violence in Wal-Marts in search of cheap Black Friday appliances: #resetyourvalues. On the campaign trail, latest GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich came under fire for using the word "humane" in a debate answer about illegal immigration and suggesting we should adopt a policy to avoid tearing apart families. Apparently, erring on the side of humanity doesn't sit well with "family values" voters. And, in a demonstration of the kind of real-time, crowd-sourced creative commentary only possible on the Internet, the UC Davis campus cop who heartlessly pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters became a viral meme, depicted spraying everyone from Gandhi to George Washington to a baby seal to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel God. It got so big, even the Hitler Reacts meme felt compelled to weigh in. Very meta. And wickedly funny.
Locales or communities exist. They are. But Occupied Territories, well that's a term with some muscle in it, some fight, some power.
In the 20th century we saw examples of what happened when nations were stripped of their morale and lost their spirit. They fell into fascism or totalitarianism. We need job creation and morale building not deficit reduction.