Memes, Millennials, and Self-Deprecation

Today we’re gonna talk about memes. Yes. Memes. The cultural items that are transmitted through time/ from person to person via repetitions and copied cases…or you know those cat pics you looked at in 2007 (for the non-normies, why is that a term that’s being used unironically?, it’s the shit you look at on /b/…I guess?). Memes have always been a foundation of culture because it can simply come down to things like slogans or simple commercial clichés (“Where’s the beef?” is that too dated? Puppies in superbowl commercials or hot women eating burgers in Carl’s Jr./ Hardees commercials), but in this new age, memes have taken on a more specific definition. They’re now cat pics, .gifs, videos, and still stupid slogans spread amongst a vehicle with the most efficient rate of transportation: the Internet.

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Kill me…I mean, the Internet. A wonderful place. Fun Fact: I enjoyed the doge meme when I was younger.

Memes have escalated to a point in which it’s mainstream. It’s no longer a topic that’s talked about in anime conventions or nerdy environments. It is no longer simply saying, “All your base are belong to us.” It’s a means of communication. It’s a means of life. People will look at your memes and judge if they are dank or not. It’s an odd facet of culture that everyone’s in on regardless of the admittance of being in on it. As an anime nerd, most of my memes’ll be nerdy as hell and clash with mainstream palates, but it’s what expresses my aesthetic (no. I won’t space out the letters of aesthetic. That’ll be for the vaporwave article). But for many a people, memes express their aesthetic. They’re representation of their lives, and therefore being a representation of their individual lives, they’re representation of a generation. Memes that thrive during a year show what media stayed with us. The themes in aforementioned memes show what we value or how we feel. And in quite a few memes, there’s this spirit of self-deprecation…such as:

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or

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or

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And yes, these all could be jokes. Haha… look at me… I’m sad, but I’m not really sad—that’s the joke. But with the sheer amount of self deprecating humor I find on the internet or the amount that I say, “Kill me” in public spaces between my jokes because I realize that I’m going to die alone because no one loves me and I’m too much of an asshole to let anyone in, you have to wonder if this self-deprecation is real. Is self-deprecation something that’s kind of thriving regardless the meme? And if so, why? Like I understand having depressing thoughts, my counseling used to be fun, but how many of us, this generation, think that way (this generation meaning millennials i.e. born 1982-2000 or 2004 depending)?

What caused the trend in self-deprecation? Is it because a good number of us are depressed? I use self-deprecating humor because most days I hate myself, but you can’t seem sad about it. And I feel that that might be the case for many others. It’s why comedians are the saddest people on earth. They just use humor to deflect it. And if that’s the case, why do a good number of us hate ourselves? I mean most of us millennials haven’t really experienced life long enough to truly hate ourselves. Is it because the economy’s fucked? Is it because our childhoods were kinda bad? Or is it because we were all born pessimistic because we were born in an era with less hopeful media, and because of that we can’t allow anything in our lives to be hopeful? I don’t know. I can only speak from my experiences, but regardless of the reason, quite a few of us are self-deprecating. Quite a few of us hate ourselves or merely want attention, and rather than really talking it out, we confide in mediums equivalent to “Can I haz cheezburger” cat pics to express the pain we feel. And with that I think I’mma write some sadboi poetry, but I’ll leave you with something funny, I guess? Later days.

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