Rhetorical Analysis of the "But That’s None of My Business" Meme

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Rhetorical Analysis Of The “But That’s None Of My Business” Meme

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A meme is defined as a humorous image, video, or piece of text, that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users (Oxford). The meme depicted in this rhetorical analysis is the “But That’s None of My Business” meme renders Kermit The Frog, slight smirk on his little green face, sipping tea out of a glass with a caption reading “But That’s None of My Business.” The picture is backlit by the sun, background blurry, bringing an aesthetic feel to the picture. This meme is used when an individual notices an unlikely occurrence of something that should definitely not be going on, and wants to comment without really commenting on the matter. This meme intends to give the audience an outlet to silently judge and shade their peers, and it does so effectively by using pathos, ethos, and satire to create this widely used reaction meme. In this meme, pathos is, of course, used to evoke humor for the audience; however, it also brings forth the judgmental side that some people may usually try to hide from social media. The meme user can add their own unique caption to the meme, or they can choose to use the simple and original “But That’s None of My Business” version. It allows them to express the fact that they have noticed the absurd event going on, but the meme is never specific enough for them to be called out for it. The meme gives off this petty vibe due to the element of imagery. The ludicrousness of the serene backdrop, the sun lit directly behind the glass of tea, the smug facial

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Expression given off by Kermit, and finally, the caption to tie it all together all contribute to the humor and simple pettiness of the meme. This makes this meme the perfect way for petty individuals who enjoy silently judging and avoiding confrontation to express their judgment through humor. For example, if a guy were to post a picture with a new girl just days after breaking up with his long term girlfriend, the ex girlfriend may post the “But that’s None of My Business” meme to thoroughly express the fact that she is judging his quick switch to a new girl in a humorous way. In this meme, the ethos comes from the fact that Kermit the Frog is a very widely known and loved character. His quick witty remarks on the popular children’s show “The Muppets”, along with appearances on many other shows and movies, are comparable to the persona of a shady teenager, using social media to get their point across. Teenagers may consider Kermit an icon, especially considering he’s the subject of many popular memes that have circulated around the internet for what seems like forever. They may also relate to the fact that Kermit’s commentary is generally condemning and critical. They use his credibility — well as much credibility as a frog puppet can have — to express their judgmental thoughts. In this meme, satire is used to ridicule and expose the stupidity of the meme user’s peers by the use of sarcasm and irony. The caption of the meme reads “But That’s None of My Business”, this is both a sarcastic and an ironic statement because the meme user most certainly is making whatever the situation is their business by commenting on it. Their comment may not be direct, but regardless they are still making a statement on the situation with the intent of ridiculing their peers. For example, if a girl were to edit a picture of herself in the attempt to make herself appear thinner in the waist, and posted it, someone who wasn’t in good graces with.

Her may post the “But That’s None of My Business” meme to expose and ridicule the fact that she was posting an obviously edited picture. This silent judgment may be rude, but it is the intended use of the meme. All in all, the “But That’s None of My Business” meme is effective in the sense that it’s easy to understand and gets the point across in the intended way using pathos, ethos, and satire. It allows individuals to be judgmental towards peers and strangers, which is a majority of what social media is about. So, Sip The Tea Sis.

Works cited

  1. Oxford Dictionary. (n.d.). Meme. Oxford University Press.
  2. Dawkins, R. (1976). The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press.
  3. Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (Eds.). (2007). A New Literacies Sampler. Peter Lang Publishing.
  4. Milner, R. M. (2016). The world made meme: Discourse and identity in participatory media. University of Kansas Press.
  5. Shifman, L. (2014). Memes in Digital Culture. MIT Press.
  6. Cheng, J., & Tseng, Y. (2018). When Meanings Meet Memes: The Spread of Memes in the Age of Social Media. In Handbook of Research on the Societal Impact of Digital Media (pp. 211-226). IGI Global.
  7. Phillips, W. (2011). LOLing at tragedy: Facebook trolls, memorial pages and resistance to grief online. First Monday, 16(12).
  8. Meyer, E. T. (2015). Gender and Popular Culture: A Reader. Wiley-Blackwell.
  9. Limor, Y. (2015). What’s in a meme? An analysis of Internet memes as a form of visual rhetoric. Journal of Visual Literacy, 34(1), 1-14.
  10. Papacharissi, Z. (2010). A networked self: Identity, community, and culture on social network sites. Routledge.

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