We live in a society… of memes
By Ditte Fiil Ravn
Last week, we time-travelled to celebrate the best climate-memes of the decade. But beyond climate, there’s an abundance of topical memes for Internet deep-divers — especially in the already (too) eventful year of 2020. Here are some of the best social commentary conveyed through contemporary meme classics.
01 — World War III
Meme-ers laughed at the thought of getting drafted for a war that Trump had initiated, but their memes on the topic had a duality to them. Some showed a genuine fear of the joke becoming a reality. Who better to express that than the Crying Michael Jordan?
02 — Australia on fire
One day a meme is in, and the next day it’s out. That was the case for worries about the Australian fires, which got replaced by World war III memes. Enter the Mike Wazowski-Sully Face Swap meme, an appropriate response to many things in life.
03 — Karen
Unlike Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders delivers memes organically. In a 2019 fundraising video, he uttered the words ‘’I am once again asking for your financial support’’, and the Internet has been asking the same ever since. Some took it even further and applied it to mock the Karen-caricature, the concept of a demanding, judgy, middle-aged lady.
04 — Politics
Politicians become memes, but so do their politics. There’s probably a lot of people out there getting their news from a meme feed, so sharing opinions, arguments and analyses might be helpful. Although sometimes, people are just not interested in hearing it, as the Me Explaining to My Mom meme shows.
05 — Anti-norms
Many memes acknowledge the carefree life of no children, marriage or career goals. Some would say it’s the avoidance of taking responsibility (ok, boomer), while others think it’s fun to celebrate the antithesis to societal expectations. Yes, some do prioritise like Kombucha girl.
06 — Boomers vs zoomers
Didn’t get the “ok, boomer” comment earlier? Boomer refers to the baby-boomer generation, which in the meme community are known for lack of technological understanding, judging younger generations and laughing at gender-stereotypic comics. The ones who they mock are the zoomers, Generation Z, whose ultimate defence has become ‘’ok, boomer’’. The adoring Baby Yoda, who took the Internet by storm in November 2019 says it too.
08 — Corona-virus
There’s not anything fun about COVID-19 but, the way global organisations and governments handle it can be tragically amusing. One could suspect them of applying the Galaxy Brain method to solve the global crisis, where the most ridiculous solution sometimes becomes the most intelligent one.
09 — Mental health
Joker Gets Hit By a Car is all about something positive turning bad quickly. But in this instance, it’s a comment on our society. Mental health is a huge topic online, maybe because 20% of the world’s adolescents may deal with mental health problems any given year. Making a meme may not be the best, but maybe the easiest way to cope with these issues.
09 — FBI Agents watching
An oldie but a goodie. Our relationship with the FBI agent we imagine watches our every move grows stronger day by day. Although the concept has some horrific big-brother, surveillance connotations, there’s a lot of meme-ers either laughing or crying over what the FBI agent might see.
10 — Meghan and Harry
A lot of people seemed to be fascinated by Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s sudden exit from the Royal family. What better way to mark that process by letting Spongebob explain. Guess we’ll follow the lead.