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Monday, September 27, 2021

Humor: Memes are the only viable filler for the hole in my soul

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

The woes of a 21st-century gal who hates life and loves relatable pictures about it

This decade has been a one-way ticket to crazy town with the crazy train teetering on one half of the crazy rails. Occasionally, God steps in with something nice like an Oscar for Leo or a video of a lion pulling a Dirty Dancing move with its previous owner in the wild. However, these past seven years have generally been awful.

Instead of persevering with our lives or making heart-wrenching art like the humans before us, the world has adopted a self-deprecating sense of humor that pokes fun at our struggles and hides our inner misery in the wake of the Facebook era.

Let’s get one thing straight: Memes are not those pictures with some unrelated caption written in giant, white, impact letters. I don’t know what those are, but I’ll call them Mom Memes… Momes… Momos… I don’t know — but what I do know is they’re the fake news of meme culture. True memes are things like #saltbae, a true hero to the culinary world who throws salt on a steak to give it a little extra flair. It’s the equivalent of me throwing the word “ultimately” in before I conclude an essay to let the reader know that it’s about to go down.

I don’t know why, but memes are becoming the new puns for me. I need them, but I hate them. For every #saltbae or Evil Kermit I can find, there’s some tool still talking about Harambe, which is the equivalent of making a “Yo Mama” joke except we are not in the fourth grade, so there is no teacher to give me Wednesday Addams eyes to keep me from getting feisty.

Davis memes are essential to the functioning of this university. You cannot put me in the middle of cows, pepper spray, turkeys, squirrels, buses and the five parking spots shared by 30,000 students and expect me not to look for some oddball, self-deprecating image to fill me with school pride. The point is that (cue inspirational, astronaut-themed music) I think we all have some holes in our souls, whether they were put there by the economy, the overwhelming rate of bee deaths or even the nonexistent MU Games area — and maybe memes bring us together so we can talk about our feelings. Maybe memes are the key to world peace — nay, universal peace.

Memes are so important to modern communication that I don’t think I’m asking for much when I say I believe we should officially open a “Meme Studies” major so that we can find the answers to our problems, and find that part of life that is just a little sweeter.
Written by: Olivia Luchini — ocluchini@ucdavis.edu

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