50. Memes and Funniness

Internet memes have become pervasive. You can’t go a few minutes on there without running into a meme. What you’re doing is basically walking into school/work/a party/wherever tickles your fancy, and seeing a bunch of people circlejerk over some inside joke. Then you ask what it is, and pretend to laugh if they decide to tell you. You want to fit in, right? So you keep pretending to laugh, until you’re actually laughing. Now you’ve got Stockholm syndrome to a joke that you weren’t there to understand at first. Then the joke dies, and you rinse and repeat.

I fancy myself a comedian to an extent, or at least someone who considers himself funny. I put effort into making my work funny, even if I don’t write individual jokes for the most part. It comes off as sort of an insult to see a joke get stolen and passed around like the neighborhood whore lady of the night. Someone did something to inspire the joke, or maybe they wrote a joke and now it’s become a reference that’s being run into the ground. Seriously, visit the Rick and Morty and South Park subreddits; they take comedic genius and make anyone who frequents it hate the joke they originally loved, because these fuckers think they’re oh-so-hilarious reusing a joke they didn’t make. I guess no one ever taught them a joke is funny once or twice, but never more than that.

Let me get on with this though, so I don’ stagnate. I’ve collected some points about memes.

Like I said earlier, it’s an inside joke. Everyone knows how it feels to hang out with people that have an inside joke, and having to constantly hear it, even though they weren’t there for it, and don’t get the reference. It’s not funny to you because you don’t know the context, you missed the original setup or reference. You’re just hearing a “punchline” get run into the ground.

Again, like I said earlier, it’s unoriginal. You didn’t make this joke, you’re not the inventor of it, yet somehow you feel as if you’ve got a claim to it. There’s an alternative name for meme makers, joke thieves. People get pissed when a standup comedian steals a joke, so why is it that your Average Joe can take a joke they didn’t make, and get so much internet attention? Not everyone is funny, so if you can’t make a joke that appeals to the masses, stick to making inside jokes with your friends. No one actually cares about your piece of crap.

I already mentioned that I feel slightly insulted, but I have to drive home how similar I find this to Wattpad. Someone comes in with a uninteresting and unoriginal piece of crap, that ends up getting more attention than it deserves, while people that put in effort to their work get shafted.

References don’t make a joke. Let’s get that out of the way. References were probably a joke at first, well more like they were a punchline at first. A joke is two parts, in case you couldn’t tell already. They’re a setup and a punchline. You have to set up the ground for your punchline, or else the punchline has no effect. You won’t be funny without. So do you see what happens when you reference a punchline? Effectively, you take a runner, cut off his legs, and then tell him to go win a race.

Yeah, I get it, everyone wants to be funny. Everyone wants to make other people laugh, but with memes, you don’t have a lasting effect. You have no substance. From this day on, I protest memes. Any I have saved on my phone are going to be trashed, and I will hold my stance. Let’s see if I come out a hypocrite.


Disclaimer: Not every meme is like this. Polandball is a meme that requires people to make comics with a proper joke structure. The subreddit has moderators that keep the community healthy and standardized. Other memes know they’re nothing but references, and embrace this. At least you can respect them for being shit. Finally, circlejerks are just meant to be parodies. Again, at least they embrace being shit.


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