We here at the Atlantic Wire have an abiding love of Internet memes. The
Lady Gaga military parody
the Mike Tyson cannoli
, and the jihad against triscuits
have all made our recent rotation. So we're reeling at the alarming
argument made in today's Washington Post by none other than Joe
Randazzo, the editor of The Onion. Randazzo declares that we should end Internet memes. Forever.
used to be an amusing byproduct of Internet use has mutated into
something horrible: an insatiable parasite that impairs its host's
judgment, rendering it totally useless. Instead of acting as an organic
cultural touchstone, the modern meme -- from LOL, which hasn't been used
to signify physical laughter since 1997, to Lolcats -- now sucks the joy
out of our interconnectedness. It destroys uniqueness. Once an
"enjoyable thing" becomes a "meme," we stop enjoying the thing for its
own sake, but consume and regurgitate our enjoyment of it as a symbol of
hipness, as if to say: "I am aware of this thing's popularity --
therefore I, too, exist!"
It's unclear what we're all supposed to
do with our day in a world without Internet memes. But Randazzo's
heartfelt conclusion gives us a hint. "Life on the Internet moves too
fast," he writes. "There's no time to let experience meet friction, or
to absorb and truly reconstitute information. So slow down, breathe, and
real in life
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