Re’meme’bering the Decade

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Allie Weber

Memes have become a social norm for people across the internet (Photo courtesy of Allie Weber).

The end of 2019 marks the end of the decade that contained many events ranging from natural disasters to unification of people around the world. For better or for worse, one form of unification includes the exchanging of memes. Nowadays, memes are the cryptocurrency for internet users to give others a laugh or relate to others’ everyday life. However, obviously, some memes are more popular than others. 

“My favorite meme was the Harambe memes. It’s a pivotal point in meme history, it changed memes from impact fonts to the kind of memes we see today,” said junior Jake Hester. 

In 2010, Antoine Dodson was thrust into stardom after a news outlet interviewed him about the attempted rape of his sister. An intruder broke into his home with the intent to rape his sister, but Dodson was able to scare the man away. It prompted the lines that would later become famous: “So y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause they’re rapin’ everybody out here.” The lines were later remixed into a song called “Bed Intruder” and reached the Billboard charts.

“I don’t think memes are ever not gonna be popular, they’re just for people to laugh at and be informed about events,” said senior Zac Jensen. 

2011 produced what some might call a disaster of a song called “Friday” by Rebecca Black. The 13-year-old meant well, but her intentions were quickly overlooked when her poorly written song was uploaded to YouTube. Black’s song soon became viral, mostly due to the amount of ridicule. Her music video racked up more than a million views with 1.1 million likes and 3.6 million dislikes.  

“I think memes are positive. It’s just for people to laugh at but it also keeps people up-to-date with the time, “ said Jensen. 

Following those years, 2012 was marked by the appearance of Kimberly Wilkins, also known as Sweet Brown, saying the famous lines, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Similar to Dodson, the reactions to her video were the same. The next year brought in the Harlem Shake, a dance performed to the song by DJ Baauer. This trend was unique because of its inclusion of more people. Groups of people would wildly dance to the song once the beat dropped.

“Memes can unite people in a way so everyone can relate to each other,” said Jensen.

Following that year, 2014 brought the memes of the doges. The word “doges” is used as another name for dogs, specifically the Shiba Inu breed. The memes often included a picture of a Shiba with unrelated words in Comic Sans. Halfway through the decade, the iconic meme of Kermit the Frog came to life. 2015 ushered in the meme of Kermit drinking tea with the caption, “But that’s none of my business.”

“During this decade, memes were very involved because they got more popular. Over time, they become more worldwide and memes became more prevalent,” said junior Abby McDonald.  

The next year brought more wholesome memes like Arthur’s fist as a clear sign of aggression and once again, another Kermit meme. However, this time, it showed a dark Kermit. In 2017, the internet was blessed with the meme of the white guy blinking. Even though its a couple of years old, the memes are still common and are often used in reaction to a statement. Another honorable mention for this year is the distracted boyfriend meme, showing “disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl.” 

“Memes nowadays reflect the time we’re living in and the humor is also reflected in that,” said Hester. 

As the year came to a close, 2018 graced internet users with the “Is this a pigeon?” meme. It originated from a Japanese anime TV show that showed a man mistaking a butterfly for a pigeon. Alongside this meme was the words “And I oop-.” It came from a RuPaul Drag Race star named Jasmine Masters. Stemming from this meme came several others, relating the phrase with what was coined as “VSCO girls” by millennials and generation Z. 

“Memes have become characteristic to our generation’s humor,” said McDonald. 

The last year of the decade brought about a Facebook event, taking a call of action to free the aliens in Area 51. What was originally started as a joke, the movement gained traction and memes appeared for this bizarre event. When the time came to storm Area 51, there were already guards in attendance and only about 1,000 people showed up. This most recent year brought about the creation of the baby Yoda memes. Disney’s The Maladorian, a TV show that exists in the Star Wars universe, brought about Yoda in a new way: as a child. People immediately took a liking to him and the memes have been in use ever since.

“Memes were very fundamental in shaping our lives by giving us ways to express our feelings and emotions with people on the internet,” said Hester. 

The internet holds more than just information, it helps to connect users from all over the world. Oddly enough, one way of doing so is through memes. Humor is a universal language that everyone can relate to. Even though the internet has its drawbacks, as strange as it might sound, memes help to unify us.