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Bob Ross -Jordan Kawar

Commentary: Meme Monday

March 12, 2018

Here at SDA, we don’t necessarily champion spirit week as much as other schools do. With that in mind, every week at SDA is practically spirit week anyway. I spent the majority of today aimlessly wandering campus and looking for the brave souls who came to school dressed like a meme. To my dismay, I only recognized a few of the meme outfits. Many of the outfits took influence from very obscure vine videos that I, unfortunately, had never seen. I saw many creative outfits, but the outfit that impressed me the most was senior Jordan Kawar’s “Bob Ross” outfit.

Memes and I have a complicated relationship. While I appreciate them, I don’t think I’d construe myself as a meme expert. Instead, I’m more knowledgeable in meme history. They’re going to be teaching “The History of Memes” as a college course someday soon; we’ll see if you’re laughing then.

Initially reaction images in the early to mid-2000s, memes have developed into a collective form of expression. Memes can range from blatantly stupid to absurdly abstract. Memes even have political power and controversy. People have full-fledged conversations about memes; some conversations are even entirely comprised of memes. People who love memes are called “memers.” They both identify by and champion this definition.

Each meme has its own impact on a community; for some, the impact is too great to measure. Some memes enjoy a year of being in the spotlight, but then crash and burn into the land of dead memes. Remember Harambe? Actually… It’s best that we leave that one alone. Some memes, like Pepe the Frog, had an initially positive or neutral connotation that later deteriorated due to the actions of the alt-right. Now he’s a hate symbol! Memes have evolved from inane “rage comics” to a flourishing form of political and personal expression.

I went to the PAC at lunch to try and catch the scavenger hunt. I tried to convince ASB to give me candy. It took some convincing, but after ultimately name-dropping myself as a staff writer, I made headway. They were handing out full-sized candies, which only fostered a greater love of memes. 10/10 would haggle with ASB and struggle to name vine-inspired outfits again.

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