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The Meme Generation

Topics: Lifestyle & Culture, Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | June 18, 2008

Memes and Internet Memes 101: From the Smiley Face to Rickrolling

Have you ever heard of a LOL cat? Rickrolling? All Your Base Are Belong To Us? Goatse? (I’m not going to link that one, it’s really disgusting) The Star Wars Kid ? Chocolate Rain? Little Superstar? Numa Numa? The Flying Spaghetti Monster ? YTMND? Demotivators? You haven’t? O RLY? Then you really haven’t seen the web in all its glory. Web phenomena like these are called Internet Memes, and become a pervasive part of heavy Internet users’ lingo and thinking. It’s hard to track just how a meme originates sometimes, but they often come from discussion board threads or people just naiively expressing themselves. In any case, I think I just witnessed one being born. On a fairly obscure discussion thread the other day, this dialog occurred. Within 24 hours, we already we have these interpretations, quickly repurposing other memes. Before you know it, someone will create a t-shirt on Cafe Press, and: voila! An Internet Meme is born. A piece of advice if you ever find yourself in the midst of a meme-birth: Trademark it! Don’t be like Harvey R. Ball, creator of the Smiley Face Icon, who only collected his original $45 fee…