Thursday, 12 July 2007

LOLcats – Beware the Children of the Meme

Am I the only person in the world who thinks that the only thing less funny than the much discussed LOL Cats is being boiled to death in your own tears? I freely confess to failing to see the purpose or humour in this most pathetic of memes. Cutesy, dumbed down and with little originality or witticism, they synthesise the worst of ‘Ahhh, look at kitty!’ with a touch of ‘Who loves the naughty kitty then?’ It’s enough to make you puke.

The Web has spawned many a meme before: a meme is a shared item of cultural information, a fancy way of explaining an oft-repeated joke, catchphrase or other aphorism. Think, ‘I’m not bovvered, does my face look bovvered?’ or ‘No but yes but no but well Lara Hopkins was having it away with Dwayne Pipe behind the bikesheds and I said no way you fat slag when her sister asked if I had any blurkers cos Lara din’t have none and she wanted to go again wiv im.’

Although a number of the people that think it’s funny to do bad impersonations of Vicky Pollard usually stop at the ‘No but yes but no but’ bit, the people that like Internet memes will eternally invent new things to put on the back of ‘Yes but no but yes but’ that perpetuate the joke. Most people would get bored after three iterations of the same fundamental gag, but not the Children of the Meme. You know how there’s always some spotty little Herbert at parties that takes the joke too far? Some jerk that does the Parrot Sketch or bits out of Black Adder, then calls you Baldrick all night until you take ‘em outside and beat 'em until they stop twitching?

Well, they’re all on the Web and they’re all chuckling over the LOLcats.

The LOLcats started with a mildly amusing idea: combine a picture of a cat or two with a caption that has the cat talking like a gangster rappa. You know, picture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s cat with the caption: ‘Iz cuz I’m black, innit’

The gorilla of LOLcat meme stores is ‘I can haz Cheezburger’, but please don't blame me if you choose to follow the link...

Mild smile the first time, for sure. Well done, good gag, move on. But how many more variations of that gag can one put up with before involuntarily losing the contents of the upper stomach? In case you’re wondering, the answer is four. If you are a Child of the Meme, the answer is four million.

Other, I would submit marginally funnier, memes that the Web has spawned over the past few years include The Tourist of Death and All Your Base Are Belong To Us. I blame Gianni for introducing me to both of these. Thankfully, he didn't mention the LOLcats to me, otherwise I'd have deleted him from my contacts.

Meanwhile, although his relatively famous and celebrated guitar playing cats are funny, I guarantee that Joel Veitch’s Spong Monkeys will make you laugh. Joel is arguably not a well young man and needs to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but there are few things more absurd and wildly funny in the world than the Spong Monkeys' Moon Song. Perhaps the Middle East policy of the current US administration...


rose in dubai said...

aaahh, do you remember hampsterdance??? I think its still out there - it must be one of the first!

DXBluey said...

Joel Rathergood is genius... b3ta has a lot to answer for... probably main propogation method for both the rathergood, the rather bad and the rather meme.

all your memes are belong to us.

Alexander said...

It's actually interesting to see how commercially exploited it's all become (Hampsterdance I mean). Take a look at this:

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