Internet Memes QCQ – 3/22/22

QCQ for Internet Memes

Quotation (with page number or parag number or time stamp if video/audio)

“However, early memes were often cultural artifacts – sometimes playful, sometimes not – that served to erect and maintain in-and-outgroup boundaries within the communities from which they emerged. Many of these early memes were created by members of Something Awful and 4chan, communities whose members were technologically skilled and valued absurdist and often off-color humor.”

Comment (250-500 words)

I think that this quote really captures the essence of memes and their role as internet culture and a phenomenon overall. The use of memes has varied so much over the years that they can now almost be any topic, caption, picture, etc. The meme’s use is fully determined by its creator, and often the creator is influenced by their friends, communities, and sub-cultures. It’s truly amazing how versatile a simple image with a caption can be when communicating a message, from a Troll Face that took the internet by storm with its comedic uses, to memes being used as political cartoons to slander the reputations of others – they can be used to communicate almost any topic. The reach that these iconic symbols have is also remarkable as they were/ are often created by small internet communities and subcultures and are now internationally known, recognized, and anyone can create and remix them (with permission, of course). Yes, memes started usually comically with “edgy” humor being their main goal spanning across internet forums, but as they grew as a phenomenon their versatility and reach did as well, now with memes being created for politics, activism, and even schools. In essence, the idea of a meme is fairly simple, it’s basically just an image with a small amount of text over it. However memes today have come so far that they are now usually remixes or imitations of images with text over them, essentially culture being adapted and passed on to new communities and generations. They will be imitated, changed, and catered to fit different situations, emotions, and people, yet the idea will stay the same and carry through. 


With today’s memes usually being imitations and parodies of other media, would you call the “original” memes created by online forums not remixes and fully original content?