1.24.2018

Best Memes of the Year: Part 1


There is no guarantee I will continue to do this...but about a year ago I began collecting memes....

Memes, for me, are a constant source of enjoyment. They are this age's most efficient (and compact) form of satire and socio-cultural critique. They can also simply be incredibly silly fun. 

Meme's are like a multi-layered single-panel comic. Take one of the pillars of meme culture, the Condescending Willy Wonka, as an example:


 

1.) Cultural Context: You need to have at least seen Gene Wilder's version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (it helps if you also have some knowledge of Wilder himself and the kind of manic, lovable neurotics he typically played in films, but it is not completely necessary).
2.) News Cycle Context: You need to know that for some reason in early 2018 people are eating Tide pods.
3.) Meme Context: Finally, and though not a requirement, it helps to know the Willy Wonka meme is in fact a meme. It's a set form that has come to be used for numerous mock-worthy subjects. 

But here's the thing: If all you know is Wilder's Wonka and the current event in question, you can jump right in and enjoy any version of Condescending Willy Wonka simply as a "comic".

It is only afterward, when you see another Wonka meme, and then another, that the form itself can be applied to almost anything: 


It must be noted there is another fun and self-satisfying layer to memes: memes about memes, like these: 





One of my main motivations behind collecting all these memes is to see how much their humor holds up over time. Memes are by default of-the-moment. They capture the absurdity of the Now. I can imagine future generations looking back on our funniest memes as being completely inexplicable. Unable to understand the cultural context, the news cycle context, or the meme context people would be completely lost and thus unable to find them funny. We could of course take time to explain all the layers to them, but by the time we finished all the humor would be gone. Laborious joke dissection is unenjoyable for everyone involved. So as I said, memes are "of-the-moment" and require being in the moment for them to have the biggest impact.


Anyway, memes are fun! I've been collecting them for a year or so and am now ready to share the wealth. There is one more thing worth noting: if you are interested in learning the story behind some of the most prevalent memes, check out:
http://knowyourmeme.com/

There you will find such treasures as the origins of the "ermahgerd" girl:



Since I found so many wonderful memes over the past year I am presenting them in two separate articles, divided up into different categories. If you feel like I missed a great meme and you want to share it with me, please feel free to do so. Who knows, I might have to put out a 3rd article with all the memes you send me. I can only be responsible for what struck me "in-the-moment" during the past year, and can only assume many more wondrously glorious memes passed before your eyes that never even made it to mine. So please feel free to share....

NOTE: I do realize some of my "memes" are in fact comics. They are also funny, and so I decided to include them. If you like them enough, go seek out the real comics because they often have archives of great material.
NOTE 2: While most of these memes are pretty PG, please be aware there is some swearing and crude humor contained in a few memes.

Given without commentary, today's meme categories are:
Miscellaneous
Star Wars
Pop Culture
Religious
Rich Mullins and 
Carman

The second article will be exclusively about politics.

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It's a porg. Instead of a pug.







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