Why memes objectively suck now -


Let's take a break from talking about all the more serious issues with Current Year and reflect on a more overlooked aspect: memes in general.

Up to and including the MLG era, most memes were like a concept that were referenced occasionally for a few years until they finally got stale. Nowadays 99% of memes are put in circulation alongside a couple others for a month at most before they completely die off. Shoop da Whoop was "in" through 2006-2010 or so, and Shrek's "time" was roughly 2013-2016. By contrast, Big Chungus can be pinpointed to December 2018-January 2019, and Surprised Pikachu to July-August 2019. Even individual impact font templates lasted years before getting stale.

Memes used to be something mainly referenced within other contexts. Nowadays memes have to exist within their own context, Virgin vs Chad and Wojak edits being among the rare exceptions. Like while you'd mention taking an arrow in the knee when talking about something else, you have to formally establish a conversation about Thanos Car and nothing else. Probably one of the main reasons memes literally age several dozen times faster nowadays.

Finally, as @Pissmaster mentioned a while back, corporate memes are way too common now. Like while most media-based memes used to be something obscure or forgotten, like a poorly-translated 90's game or 80's song, most current ones are about the latest superhero film or something. What's worse is when they're blatantly propaganda, like the whole "endgame spoilers" thing where the whole "punchline" was to unironically refrain from spoiling capeshit film #189759875873258901275; directly contrast this with "Snape kills Dumbledore", where the point was to ruin one of the most hyped books for as many people as possible. Last of Us 2 just managed to be bad enough to spawn old-school anti-corporate memes against it.

The Lawgiver

We all know what happens to alien spies.
Big Chungus wasn't even actually 2018. The fucking fat bugs bunny shitposts had been around for god knows how long before that year, and it felt so fucking artificial when it showed up again out of nowhere being treated like a hot new thing, albeit with all creativity removed and replaced with just pointing at the fat bugs and going "BIG CHUNGUS!" like how people on facebook point at fucking cats and go "CHONKER!" Chungus was already a fucking corpse dug up from the dead, and the worst part is he's not the only one like that from recent years. There's quite a few that you now have people commenting on the old videos of resurgent memes unironically going "WOW YOU WERE AHEAD OF YOUR TIME! ARE YOU A TIME TRAVELLER? A PROPHET? A GENIUS?" Thing is these aren't kids doing this, these are people that have actually lived through the older meme days, which makes it all the more surreal that they seem genuinely oblivious of meme necromancy.
The issue with memes in current year feeling empty shitty and soulless probably has something to do with the fact that quite a few if not all the ones that hit mainstream lately only do so due to the fucking upvote hungry mindset and willingness to shill at the promise of imaginary digital credits infesting current times.
People just need to make stupid shit to make stupid shit again, and some still do. It's fucking buried under the bullshit though, you gotta dig a little.
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Assigned crazy at birth
Overexposure is one of the many reasons why most memes have a three week self-life.

Like what @ToroidalBoat said most memes these day are extremely political, like to the point where you’ll have to have a certain mindset to enjoy it (I’m straight, I might not get this “I’M GAY” meme, or I’m gay, so I might be offended by this /pol/ tier joke).

The anime memes, however, are just terrible.

Billy Rocker

Teaching 13 year olds about incognito mode
There's basically no "entry barrier" for memes now. A /b/ meme is also a reddit meme as soon as it becomes popular, and sometimes as soon as the meme is conceived. Then it becomes an Instagram meme, iFunny meme, and, in the worst case, a facebook meme.
It's nothing new, either. It has been happening since like the mid 2000's with cat advice animal memes, which started as Caturday threads on 4chan. But in recent years the degradation became a lot faster as the culture and userbases from these sites started to blend. Like with the rise of r/4chan.

EmpLemon's Behind The Meme sperging vid made a pretty valid point: Memes stopped being referential for communication between people within certain communities and niches, and became entertainment by themselves

Dom Cruise

4chan in the 2000s was just a very unique environment for quality meme creation, the sheer openness of it combined with anonymity combined with, and this is the most important part for comparison with today, the sheer number of users it once had.

The internet is a lot more fragmented now, you've got Reddit, Twitter, Discord etc, when 4chan was more of central hub for web culture that just about everyone and their grandmother contributed to at least a bit the quality of its content was much better, but a lot of people have simply drifted away now and the site suffered a lot of "brain drain"

4chan was a thing of magic in the time I saw it from 2006-2008, it was already starting to get a bit stale by 2009-2010 (/tv/ was one of my main haunts and fucking Avatar and Abatap really did a number on that board) and I would say 2011 was the last year that really felt like it was still mainly the old vibe of the site, once /pol/ was introduced, rather than being a containment board, truly marked the end of an era for the site and it gradually turned it into the mostly toxic cesspit it is today.

I Love Beef

Bell peppers and bee- HEY WAIT A SEC WHERE'S THE B
I'm probably growing old and senile, but even as an oldfag retired 4chan lurker, I have been around to know that yes, there are standard measures in place in such potentially vapid and whitewashed places like Facebook (not too sure about twitter and tumblr though). While Thanos Snap got popular, I could see the reason why it got so popular as it did outside of obvious "MCU money machine", plus it's pretty good black humor if you dwell upon it enough. Thankfully the popular consensus knew to drop Baby Yoda The Mass Marketing Ploy Gremlin ASAP.

There is plenty that is wrong about meme culture, but was newfag summer 4chan and forced memes any better? 4Chan even deliberately dropped the ball on meme monopoly, with boards like /v/ and /a/ refusing to meme just "to get newfags to leave us alone." Plus if you think what everyone likes right now is bad, you should see some of the shit that never made the cut. Now that is where assdump mountain is.

Besides, if chungus is any indicator, just use old memes, no one gives a shit.

William Tell Underpass

I think its also worth noting the paradigm shift from 'Reaction Pictures' to 'Pictures to Get a Reaction'.

A large proportion of image macros were to emphasise your point. In the large platforms this has now prettymuch been replaced by emojis. While there are still plenty of reaction pictures, they are far less used, due in my opinion to the rise of the phone in internet communication (far more annoying to find that perfect reaction picture scrolling through all your pictures 3 at a time).


Token Hispanic Friend
True & Honest Fan
It feels like everyone's using the same five big social media "platforms" everyday.
There's this pic with analogies of the internet through the various stages. IIRC, the early internet is frontier pioneers. Then a cabin. Then a fairly pleasant small town. Then shitty slums. And finally in Current Year - depressing commieblocks.


Memes suck now because rather than go through a purity spiral, they went through a garbage spiral where putting in effort has become a negative.
@William Tell Underpass is close, the cause is a conflation between the two. Instead of being funny by themselves, Twitter subhumans saying something inane followed up by surprised pikachu is effectively adding a laugh track to their post. It should make your eyes roll.