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Everything’s in a meme

Chris Mathew | Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dear Bill Shields (“What’s in a meme?” March 1),

Memes should not be looked at as just rehashing of ideas, of “dehumanizing and impersonal” pictures that become one common theme for people. While memes of a certain image macro are similar in content, each individual picture shows a complaint on society that that person has.

Imagine a world where the verbal complaint of one person is squashed because it is too similar to the views of thousands, even millions, of other people. What would come of that world? How would the voice of a person be heard? Each person of those thousands, because their view is similar to a multitude of others, shall be quashed and looked at as repetitive. People will be too afraid to speak out against the common evils inherent in so much of our world.

In the same manner, memes are a useful way to express the views of those who are too afraid to speak out. If I could get my voice out there as a meme, I might feel that my voice mattered more than other means. People understand that there are others like them, while they can say what needs to be said in an individualistic manner. Sometimes, readers need to follow the advice of Courage Wolf, “Find the line, and cross it.” I believe that this quote sums up all that is good in memes. People able to get their views out to the people, despite being thought of as over the line by some critics.

These memes also contribute to a discussion. It opens people to others’ views and gives others the chance to respond by creating their own response meme. Memes are a cultural icon for the Internet generation. It is our way of showing that people have a voice, and we will use it. Any age, race, creed or nationality can create these memes, creating a better dialogue among all people. Bill Shields, I urge you to go to any meme site and go through the memes. It would be very enlightening.

Chris Mathew

senior

Stanford Hall

March 2