How far away do you think we are from Meme Status being a viable career? A cross discipline of viral marketing and Instagram personalities, just think of all the sponsorship potential. It’s like Warhol’s 15 minutes quote, but with the chance to attain upwards of a week’s relevance. Think about it, you pose in a funny picture, then come up with a multitude of snappy captions. You do some good ol’ fashioned payola with high influence individuals (karma-loaded redditors, low grade celebrities or anyone with a large quota of followers), get Buzzfeed or Vice to do an article about you and reap the rich rewards. Talk show appearances, interviews and anything else to catapult your personal brand into the screens of anyone with a craving for dankness. Do everything you can with your short time in the sun and try to manoeuver it into a viable career. Failing anything, you could at least capitalise on it and kick start your blogging career (is anyone gonna use this excuse to make me into a meme? I don’t know if I have what it takes).
The saturation level of memes amuses me. I was an early adopter who’s now been left in the dust. If I were still 22 I’d be all about that cutting edge meme life. In fact when I *was* 22 (way back in 2012 or so) I hosted the definition of too soon. I had an “internet” themed party. Being a neckbearded denizen of 4chan, I expected some pretty sick stuff, but was instead greeted by the original lolcat, an internet explorer, “get a brain morans” and a fire fox. If I needed to pinpoint a moment I thought I was born in the wrong era, that’d be it.
Thing is, I’ve done a 180 of sorts. I’ve hit my internet shock quota and things rarely surprise and delight me in the same way. It’s all too easy to be cliché cynical (the brilliance of Nihilist Arby’s notwithstanding), but as it goes with Cards Against Humanity vs Apples to Apples, it takes creativity to come from left field without resorting to cheap shock material. My go to res(n)ort lately has been r/madlads. With no context, it sounds dumb. I’ll toss context your way and still it’ll sound dumb. Madlads is a celebration of the innocent remnants of British “lad” culture. Not the gross misogynist, rape culture-y shit, but the misguided dares and faux anti-authoritarian bent befitting a teen bloke who tries hard and gets nowhere. Furthermore, it’s the cabal of friends they have egging on this “reckless” behaviour. Shenanigans like “we dared Dave to shake up this ribena and drink it. The maniac did it!” I’m doing a poor job of explaining it, so here’s a Vice article that does a decent job. It’s just so wholesome, there’s something innately charming about it to latch onto. In this world where Facebook newsfeeds have become a personalised airing of grievances, r/madlads is a welcome reprieve.
Plus Dave’s not gonna care if people are gently ribbing him. He’s a meme now.