Internet memes are a new genre that allow the public to have the opportunity to participate in a new digital culture. Memes are essentially created in order to provide people with the opportunity to observe different ideas and beliefs that occur throughout various cultures in either a comedic or light-hearted manner. Internet memes lack a standardization, however in great and successful memes, the pictures and its associated message complement each other very well. Its essence is predominantly is associated with it being concise, insightful, and the manner in which it evokes either a realization or humor. The two individual memes created by Albert Learn and Lauren Jenkins vary greatly primarily in terms of content, execution, and intention, however they are similar in intended audience, exigence, and slang.
Regarding, Albert Lern’s post in which he was attempting to demonstrate the disparity in pay within the workplace by incorporating the rhetorical strategies of pathos, satire, and specific organization in order to allow his argument to easily come across to his young audience. Since this audience will predominantly be in the employee and intern range, Lern knows that they will also support his stance. In Lauren Jenkins meme regarding the tide pods she incorporates the genre convention of slang and concise witty humor. This approach differs drastically from Albert Leon’s. In his meme, he plays on the circumstances of a specific film. . It requires a bit of familiarity with the context of what was happening during this scene of the film to understand why the meme is so humorous. Lern is witty with his continent, however his text is slightly longer than many other memes, yet he still remains concise.
Generally, memes consist of a picture and a considerably short amount of text. The intention of a meme is to provide humor to its audience with minimal work and effort from their part, thus normally too much reading is not involved in this genre. People who browse memes tend to habitually skip over the ones that involve too much reading, thus the more popular memes are the ones that are both concise, yet humorous at the same time. Memes are typically organized in a specific manner. It is not necessarily a standard; however, it is customary for memes to consist of a humorous caption, or explanation to help support the image or text that follows.
Lauren Jenkins’ meme follows this custom of having a meme being composed of a central iconic image and text typically at the top. However, Albert Lens image is arranged in an atypical manner. It is arranged in a linear manner. It begins with the top left quadrant and its correspondence with the highest level of the corporate change and it continues on its linear path to the bottom right quadrant and its correspondence with the intern. Also, the meme incorporates various colors to serve as labels for the ceo, manager, and employee/intern. The text is in a non-artistic bold and incorporates heavy fonts and gaudy colors to enhance the impact as well as the intended message of the meme.
Specifically looking at slang, Lauren Jenkin’s caption along with the text within the meme both do not incorporate any of the genre conventions of slang. However, within the comments she writes a note about her post and she includes letter repetition within the comment in order to emphasize her anger and frustration regarding the situation. The majority of memes, including Albert Leon’s incorporate elements of slang such as intentional misspellings, phonetic translations, letter repetition, and acronyms and initialisms. Within Lern’s meme, there are no instances of slang, however the caption which reads “ What? u got job. and get payd? Oh my god yo”. This caption incorporates intentional misspellings as seen with the inclusion of a ‘y’ in the word ‘paid’. It also has a lack of proper capitalization, and utilizes the letter ‘u’ to mean the word ‘you’.
In both memes, the creators share a similar exigence. . The author’s exigence in the post associated with financial disparity is not associated with monetary gain or public social approval, rather he has a desire to poke fun at a serious societal issue that affects people globally. In a sense it is a satire in which Lern uses humor to expose the ridiculousness of this unpleasant socioeconomic situation. The author’s exigence in the post associated with tide pods is to just shine light on a peculiar subject. There could be a desire for upvotes, which in a sense could be related to a form of popularity. It could bring attention to the individual’s page, however there is no money or tangible gain associated with making and creating these posts.
The overarching genre that both of these memes fall under is comedy/humor, the sub genres that each of these memes could be categorized under vary. Albert Lern’s meme could fall under a political/social satire while Lauren Jenkin’s meme could fall under the savage, social commentary, or dark humor category depending on what the creator of the meme thinks is a good fit. This also demonstrates how these meme sub-categories allow the creators to have an opportunity to reflect upon the underlying intention behind the meme. Thus, whenever people see a meme that differs greatly from the primary content within a sub genre, the community reacts in a negative manner. They do so by commenting which sub genre it should be under, however it takes a brief moment of time to engage in the post and comment, when it is easier to simply just give the post a downvote which is the case most of the time.
The two individual memes created by Albert Lern and Lauren Jenkins vary greatly primarily in terms of content, execution, and intention, however they are similar in intended audience, exigence, and slang. It is the differences and similarities that occur between memes that make this newly emerging genre of memes as enjoyable and popular as it is. The essence of a meme is fundamentally associated with presenting and providing the masses with uplifting and alleviating content. If every meme incorporated the same standard conventions, there would not be variety nor any unique content available for people to peruse. That is why differences within sub genres should be noted and celebrated.
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