Has anyone else noticed that memes keep getting more and more focused on mainstream television and celebritys, and not honest internet memeocity?
Sorry, it’s kind of a weird question.
I started out with more of a purist outlook. I only used to consider original content to be memetic, but after moderating this site for a while, I noticed that LOTS of people like to make any mainstream reference in the world and insist that it’s a meme. I think it’s kind of annoying, personally, but my job is to be impartial. So we try to find ways that a mainstream reference has been brought into a different context before calling it a meme. But that’s the core of why we still don’t like to call “The cake is a lie” a meme.
…unless its used by /b/tards to spam other boards, then its pretty worthy later on (see GIRUGAMESH)
And there you have it. The definition of a meme gets skewed by public opinion.
A select, vocal group thinks the following.
“lolz itz nawt a meem unless itz funneh u stoopid idiots!”
It may just be trolling, it’s almost impossible to know for sure.
We have to mention that there is a non-unimportant amount of things that were famous first in the maintream media, via TV or films, then have been so much reused and modified on internet that they eventually became memes too, so…
Building on what Tomberry said, there are things that come from the mainstream that end up being pulled out of their original context, parodied, and/or spoofed online to the point that they become memes. This is legitimate.
Then there’s Astroturfing. This is when someone (especially a professional production company) creates something with the intention of it becoming memetic. It is first released under the false appearance of being a legitimate grassroots effort but is later revealed to be an orchestrated effort. Usually when people find out something has been astroturfed, the audience becomes upset for being tricked. But sometimes astroturfed memes still persist, regardless of how they were started.
Here’s a great example of astroturfing. This was made by marketing professionals.
In all fairness, it’s not like Sony masterminded this. Sony hired a marketing firm called Zipatoni who then decided to launch the astroturfing campaign. Oversight on Sony’s part? Maybe. But they came clean about it and stopped the minute they realized that it wasn’t working.
For the sake of debate: What if you discovered that “This is Sparta” had been astroturfed by Warner Brothers? How would you feel about the meme?