The Inaugural Edition of Meme Monday!

I used to do this thing called Meme Mondays and it was pretty awesome. Now I’m going to do it on my blog, because I find it entertaining.

Let’s start at the beginning. The word meme (pronounce it /mēm/ or “meem”) means “an element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.” (Thanks, Google)

This could be an inside joke or a certain manner of speaking. However, in the digital days we live in now, a meme is most usually picture/drawing that people have created sometimes 1,000s of captions for. Usually there are certain parameters for how these captions are spelled or formulated.

I’m making this sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. If you are on the internet, chances are 99.9% that you have seen a meme. They are the 2000s equivalent of the comic strip, and most of the time, they’re pretty darn funny.

We’ve covered our basics, now I’ll tell you how the whole Meme Monday thing works. Every Monday (go figure) I will loosely research the origin and background for a specific meme, providing lots of LOL worthy examples. Then, you share your favorite variation of said meme in the comments section or on my Facebook Page.  Sounds fun, right? Of course it does!

So my initial thought for the first Meme Monday was to find out what the first internet meme was and do a blog on that. Although it’s kind of cool that, in 1982, Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science connected their Coke machines to the internet so that programmers could check and see if there was soda in the machine before they walked over to check, it doesn’t have the humor aspect I had in mind (Click here for more info anyway). That was definitely a strict by the definition type of internet meme… but kudos to you, 80s computer nerds, for taking one small step for man.

I decided to go with a classic: LOLcats

Who doesn’t love LOLcats? Ok, probably a lot of people, but cats are funny.  Just add poorly spelled captions (known as lolspeak) and you have a giggle-fest just waiting to happen!

LOLcats as we know them originated roughly in 2005, but cats with captions have always been a source of humor. For example, in the 1870s, photographer Harry Pointer took pictures of cats in funny situations and added superimposed text. In the early 20th century, Harry Whittier Frees took similar photos.

Harry Whittier Frees Photo

Looking for further proof? Does anyone remember the “hang in there” poster with the kitten? Apparently those started coming around in the 70s.

We’re so much more efficient and refined now that it is 2013. There are a vast array of cat-based memes (business cat, grumpy cat, happy cat, monorail cat, ceiling cat, etc.), but the basic genre of LOLcat still remains. The equation therefore states:

Cats in funny situations + funny captions = LOLcat

Ewe silly lamb!

Need more kittehs and lulz? Go to Cheezburger and enjoy yourself.


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