Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Ode to All of Our Stupid Pictures and Memes

My generation is the generation that thinks the apostrophe makes an item plural. It’s on billboards, slipping past professional editors onto those roadside ads I see on my way from Muncie to Anderson to Indianapolis to wherever. “Hot dog’s” and “burrito’s” the signs say. Or even better, “our student’s are the best” says one sign for a school. We don't capitalize or punctuate. We use commas like meat cleavers and exclamation points like crack. We've replaced periods with ellipses because three periods are better than one. Twelve years of school and a high school diploma and most of us still write like LOLcats.

We are the generation of pretty fonts, and they aren’t even ours. Our fonts are mutations of the fonts our grandparents drew by hand and carved into steel and wooden blocks to be pressed in ink onto paper. We can make a punk variation of Helvetica in five minutes and call it art.

We are the generation that communicates via text message in the same room, sending signals across a party to ask where the bathroom is. We take pictures of our excrement and post it to facebook. We turn everything into an acronym, but not to be clever so much as we can’t be bothered to say the whole name of anything. We make slang words of the slang words our parents made. Totally becomes totes. Adorable (in modern context) becomes adorbs.

We create internet memes of cats talking in textspeak, and our ADHD is unmedicated, so we repeat them in our heads like mantras, and aloud like catch phrases. Hot topic is where memes go to die, after everyone has sucked the fun out of them. Once it’s on a T-shirt and some green-haired hipster is trying to sell it to you, it’s little more than bones rotting in a grave, and if you buy it that makes you the undertaker. Recycling is what happens when memes come back. It has nothing to do with trash.

We’re the generation of the duck face, the surprised face, our sunglasses larger than God himself. We would never consider not making some posed, stupid face in any picture because we ourselves are posed and stupid.

My generation is lost. We’ve got nothing. We see the world around as that other stuff around us in the mirror or the backgrounds of our selfies. Nothing more.

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