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“(X) Isn’t Normal, But on Meth It Is” is a series of parody posters inspired by the Montana Meth Project. Each parody typically consist of an image depicting a socially deviant behavior, accompanied by the snowclone phrase “(X) isn’t normal, but on Meth it is” and the logo that reads"METH: not even once."
The phrase “This isn’t normal, but on meth it is” originated from an anti-drug campaign advertisement for the Montana Meth Project issued in March 2008. Due to the campaign’s shock appeal, including its gritty portrayal of meth addicts, the slogan quickly became a subject of discussions and mockeries in the blogosphere and forums, including a thread on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board dating to April 22nd, 2008, which went onto spawn more than 110 parody images.
Montana Meth Project
The Montana Meth Project consists of a multi-media campaign designed to inspire fear of Meth and revulsion towards Meth addiction . The campaign consists of graphic images and descriptions of abnormal behaviours attributed to Meth usage, implying a slippery slope where even casual usage leads to addiction and associated abnormal behaviours.
This was followed by a similar thread on FacePunch forums on June 2nd, 2008 with 190 posts, most of which were examples of the meme. These examples were a variation without associated pictures and followed the formula “X – but on Meth, you/we/I do” such as “we don’t just walk into Mordor, but on Meth we do” as opposed to "Walking into Mordor isn’t normal, but on Meth it is. Forum user ImMac claimed to have started the trend a day earlier and users Gigano and Acolyt3 debated whether it was different to the 4chan meme.
There are about 200 X isn’t normal meme images floating around the web which feature the “METH: not even once” logo, and about 100 more images for meme variations. Many encounters with the images are copypasta and some images are more likely to be encountered because of this:
Whilst the output shown at its creation was never repeated, X isn’t normal meme images continued to be made at least a year after the initial 4chan burst:
May – 2009
August – 2009
Despite this, backtracing the spread of X isn’t normal isn’t normal. Meth usage has been prevalent since the second World War, with the Montana Meth Project commencing in 2005; google trends cannot give an accurate potrayal of Meth related memes popularity as unrelated references to Meth and the Meth Project are included with results.
- My[confined]Space – December 2008
- UltimateGuitar – August 2009
- MotiFake – August 2009
- Fark – October 2009
- BodyBuilding – May 2010
- EbaumsWorld – May 2010
- FunnyJunk – May 2010
The X isn’t normal meme is still in use, with the most notable usage occuring in May of 2010. Meth use and the Montana Meth Project appears to be ongoing and expanding, which will ensure ongoing usage of the meme and inspire new variations. This is because it is a good source of copypasta, can be applied to a variety of images and situations, and is internet slang. Whilst they will never as well recognised as Advice Dog and its derivatives, X isn’t normal and Meth memes will remain memorable and in use for some time, unless someone divides by zero and kills us all.
An image with X isn’t normal is the most commonly encountered Meth related meme however there are variations. Most of the source material for these variations predate X isn’t normal.
X isn’t normal can occur without an image:
And can reference things other than meth, implying similar effects:
Meth memes can also draw inspiration from other Montana Meth Project advertising waves, such as the 2005 ‘first wave’ promising “Meth will change that”:
The 2006 ‘second wave’:
And the 2007 ‘third wave’, which is notable as the “My mom knows I’d never hurt her…” ad has become an exploitable:
Various Meth Project print ads having been targeted for demotivational posters:
With perceived results of Meth usage also potrayed in demotiovationals without using the Montana Meth Project or its meme variations as source material: