armchair cultural observation since 1995

Meme madness

“What used to be an amusing byproduct of Internet use has mutated into something horrible: an insatiable parasite that impairs its host’s judgment, rendering it totally useless. Instead of acting as an organic cultural touchstone, the modern meme — from LOL, which hasn’t been used to signify physical laughter since 1997, to¬†Lolcats — now sucks the joy out of our interconnectedness. It destroys uniqueness. Once an “enjoyable thing” becomes a “meme,” we stop enjoying the thing for its own sake, but consume and regurgitate our enjoyment of it as a symbol of hipness, as if to say: “I am aware of this thing’s popularity — therefore I, too, exist!” –Joe Randazzo, editor of the Onion

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