Friday, September 21, 2012

Meme Madness

I love internet memes - you know, those mostly one-panel images you see on websites that are basically a photograph but with a caption superimposed, most often in the "Impact" font, the font-of-choice for memes.  Quirky and off-the-wall, they can take an innocuous photo of something innocent and send it flying down some dark hallway of the human psyche.  You can take a 30-year-old photograph and with the right caption, make it as fresh and relevant as if it were shot yesterday.  The same meme photo can be used and re-used countless times, making it infinitely recyclable, and each one can be as funny and new as the original.

Making internet memes is a snap, it's coming up with the photo and accompanying concept that's hard.  Sometimes you'll see a photo and the right caption will just jump out at you.  Other times you'll think of a caption but then spend a huge amount of time finding a photo that will work with it.  But that's the challenge and the fun.  When you get the perfect picture together with a great caption, well, it rarely gets better than that.

The internet's life-blood is snark, and memes are no different.  Just to level-set: "snark" is a combination of sarcasm and wryness.  A very dry sense of humor is a necessity, along with total irreverence and a complete disrespect for authority figures.  It also helps to have a basically foul temper and cynical outlook, and a big dollop of innate bitchiness will come in quite handy.  Obviously, snark and I were made for each other.  Add the visual delights of photography, and you have a bottomless pit of fun.

But hey, memes can also be useful, and helpful when it comes to spreading an important message.  Below is one of the first memes I created for Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue, for the annual message we put out around Easter. It was seen by over 1,700 people and shared over 500 times.  Click for larger image:

Rabbits and memes are a match made in heaven, and much fun can be had when those two get together.

They can also be sweet and aww-inducing, like this one of Kenai blissfully relaxing in the arms of his foster (now adoptive) mom:

But the most fun can be had through smart-assery, of course, with politics and politicians being prime, irresistible targets.  Here's one I did for the repulsive mountain of flab known as NJ Governor Chris Christie:

Religion is also a huge target just begging to be disrespected, and I am more than glad to step up to the plate and fire away.  Here's one I did for the Agnostic page on Facebook:

And another one:

Memes are loads of fun to think up and create, I feel like I'm just barely getting started with them.  I plan on doing many, many more memes in the future and launch them into cyberspace, spreading cheerful (or mean-spirited, as the case may be) snark far and wide.  This is a medium tailor-made for me, combining bad attitude with good visuals, and I could not be happier or more thrilled.

There are plenty of memes which I love and which inspire me; this is one of my current favorites:

This takes a bit of explaining, because a lot of people have absolutely no idea what is going on.  A huge amount of meme info and history can be found on this great website,, the internet meme database.  The caption by the seal in the corner is a mangled version of "Oh my God - Penguins!" and its origin is with this meme which first appeared in March 2012:

This is a photo of a rather scary-looking young girl holding up some copies of her favorite children's literature, a mystery series on the order of the old "Hardy Boys" books called "Goosebumps."  To translate what she's saying: "Goosebumps - my favorite books." explains it as "the phonetically written captions are meant to sound like a speech impediment caused by the use of an orthodontic retainer."  Soon the initial keyword "Ermahgerd" ("Oh My God") was created, and in six short months this meme exploded on the internet and spawned many, many tasteless variations, leading to the "Perngwens" one above.  Yeah, it 's a little harsh to make fun of speech impediments (I should know) but this is just too good to pass up.

So, that's today's crash course in internet memes.  As I said I absolutely love these things, and feel I have found one of my true callings.  My most cherished dream is to come up with a meme which will go global and be enshrined on  Other than winning several hundred million dollars in a lottery, that is something that I really, really want.  Oh, I also want world peace, but I really like memes, too.


  1. I, too, love memes! Enjoyed your post. You said they are easy to create ... what software program do you use?

    1. Hi Amy! I use a graphics program called "Paint Shop Pro" which has a Text Insert function when editing a photograph. This allows you to choose the font, size and color of the text and put it anywhere you want. Any graphics program will probably work, but Paint Shop Pro is what I use most. I think older versions of the program is available for free on the internet.

  2. Great post! I get such a kick out of the memes. They are clever and sometimes so silly, I just laugh my butt off.