The Meme Dream: Our Cultural Legacy

Memes are art.

Thats it. Thats the post. Thanks for reading!

Well not really. A hotly debated topic like that can’t be solved with just a single micdrop line and never referenced again. I guess I have to give y’all evidence or whatever 🙄. Now of course memes aren’t typically beautiful or moving but they can be beautiful based on what they mean for us. Memes are community art. Pieces of art or media that we take part in and use together to communicate across the boundaries of time and space. Memes connect our internet culture across time, tying us with people, places, and things that are no longer with us.

They’re topical and relatable, connected to our daily life and the shared human experience in some way, shape or form. We can all relate to being thawrted by the bus driver or procrastinating when we know we shouldn’t but we’ll all express it a different way. For some, Spongebob will be the muse of expression, for other? Bad Luck Brian is just the man for the job, but then there will be others still that we have yet to discover!

More, importantly, in my opinion, Memes are historical content. They are the painstaking work of our generations saved online. The memes of current events, the memes of historical marvels, the memes of TV shows and movies and anime. They bring about the resurrection of age old media, find the lost media, and connect us around the world.

Some of my favorite memes have been collaborative works of fandom. My best examples?




I can’t explain what it is about Avengers with Acrylic Nails that makes me so happy but it really makes me happy to see these. Is it the super long acrylics? Is it the humor of seeing the unexpected in a reaction image? Is it how naturally it all fits it? I have no idea T-T. But it speaks to me. It speaks to my soul!


The meme that never was


During lockdown there were so many different memes that popped up but one that I thought was really going to blow up was the young lady doing dance aerobics during a coup! The backstory here is that she was dancing because she was filming a video for a competition. She was focused on her task and was used to military activity in the area so she had absolutely no idea of what was happening! Life is happening all around us and we are apart of it all and a part of the preservation of our history through our interactions with media.

Oh Let Me Count the Ways

When I first entered undergrad it was as an Education and Theatre double major with a goal to become a teaching artist at the local theatre I used to work with in Brooklyn. I was certain that in four years I would be a licensed teacher all while maintaining my passion for the theatre (and dramatics).

And then I took a class with Professor Dr. Precious Yamaguchi. Precious taught most of the New Media courses (what you would call Communications Technology now,  I suppose) and designed her classes in a very accessible and engaging way. She was the first professor that really let me know just how different College was from HS. I learned what it was like to have mutual respect with an educator in her class.

The class was a beginner animation course that piqued my interest and it captured my media-loving heart hook, line, and sinker (the state-of-the-art Mac lab didn’t hurt either). We learned the very, very basics of animation and how to use different software that I had only ever heard of.

I was in heaven 😍

The first day of CT101 I felt a similar sort of giddiness. Rather than being excited about starting my college career, I felt happy to be taking classes for the pure enjoyment of education. I’m someone who genuinely enjoys school, so taking a course so in line with my original major feels like taking a lap in the winner’s circle.

(And, once again, the Mac lab doesn’t hurt 🤭)

After years of doing the kind of soulless logic work I’ve grown used to the creative content in the class is like a breath of fresh air. The program I just finished had me crunching numbers in an accounting class, fumbling with SQL, and creating data tables. So, so many data tables. Taking some time to blog and collect gifs and emojis to express my rich inner thoughts? Priceless🥺

Compared to my other class I think this one is a bit more challenging as I have to be creative rather than just engage in memorization. Well, not quite memorization but right now we’re very, very, veryyyyyy slowly. We’re still working through the very first chapter we started out in , which has its value certainly, but I expected… more.

All in all, I’m looking forward to getting into the guts of blogging and creative design using WordPress. The only blogs I’ve ever engaged with were hosted on Blogger so I’m sure much has changed, but so far so good I’ll say!

To Sail the Ocean Blue

One Piece Cheering GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

This week? Piracy is making me happy. Now am I pirating anything? No way! Piracy is stealing! You wouldn’t steal a car! You wouldn’t swipe a handbag! You wouldn’t shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand, plunging our world into a war that no one could have dreamed of! (At least I hope you wouldn’t 😰)

In the streaming era piracy is largely considered a thing of the past. Why download something and waste your digital space when you can just go to Netflix, Hulu, or any of the other 20 million streaming services? But, rather than just being a nefarious tool for evil doers to make off with the hard work of others, I see piracy, at times, as a devoted act of media preservation.

Ever since I was a kid I was a huge fan of anime, manga, art, and animation as a whole. I have fond memories of my class mates and I passing around printed scans of the latest Naruto and One Piece chapters, directly translated from Weekly Shonen Jump by the dedicated scanlation team. As a kid I never thought of this as piracy, it was just a chance for my friends and I to read the comic we loved without having to wait for the monthly Shonen Jump to come out.

A property like Naruto is highly unlikely to ever end up becoming lost to time with over 250 million copies sold, it’s unthinkable for all of them to disappear from circulation anytime soon. But any kind of media can easily become lost to time, especially now that we find ourselves fully in the Era of licensing. If you’ve ever “bought” a song or a movie online then you’ve likely just purchased a license, which allows you access to a digital product under a few different terms of service. If the company goes under, your account is banned, or TOS changes in any way, you’re out of luck!

Today with the vast array of streaming platforms, all rich with content, we have become comfortable relying on them to see our favorites year after year. But now shows are quietly disappearing from streaming with no physical copies available. Recent favorites less than a decade old are at risk of becoming lost media in a way that must be maddening for viewers and creators alike.

Now let me be clear: you, me, your mom, and kpop sensation Kim Nam-joon should all be paying for our media. We should be supporting out artists in anyway that we possibly can, but we have to face the facts that media isn’t as safe and protected as we’ve come to think it is. We need to take a more nuanced view on things.

Wink Rm GIF by BTS 방탄소년단 - Find & Share on GIPHY

For right now I’m very happy to know that media might be preserved and protected, even inadvertently, so that it can be shared with future generations. It’s impossible to save everything we love or want to see more of but we can do our best to protect our investments, both for our wallets sake and our cultures sake. What will you want to share with your kids or grandkids one day?

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