If you’re a frequent user of that interwebs thing, chances are you’ve been exposed to pictures with funny or thought-provoking writing on them. They get passed around “virally” until millions of people see them. Unless you’re collecting social security, you probably know them as memes. Most memes are intended to be funny or silly and many hit the mark. Sometimes though, some idiot decides he’s going to try to make some kind of popular social statement and we end up with the subject of this article. Moronic memes.
The messages usually try to appeal to an emotional, poorly thought out, gut reaction to a complex social issue. I liken it to the torches and pitchfork crowd and the mob mentality that seems to dull the good sense that (I hope) many people have. Let me give you an example.
Let’s discuss this for a moment. On the surface, it elicits strong emotions and initially, one might simply reply “Yeah, absolutely!” But think about it for a moment. If someone kills a child in a malicious, premeditated manner and if this occurred in a state that allows the death penalty, then the accused, if found guilty, may already be subject to a death sentence according to the circumstances and state law. There is no need to “bring the death penalty back”. It’s already there and it works. So why bring up the topic?
Also, the intent or meaning behind the word pedophile (I prefer the less archaic spelling) is not clear. Is the meme suggesting that we’re talking about someone who has been convicted of sexually abusing a child? Are we discussing someone who has downloaded pictures of child porn onto a computer? Is the word being used in a general sense to describe anyone labeled as a “sex offender”? The designation is not clear and yes, it does make a difference. A person that has a conviction for sexually abusing a young child (say under the age of 10 for example) has not committed the same crime as someone who downloaded a picture of a naked girl who might have been 17 at the time the picture was taken (Most nude pictures and videos of actress and former porn star Traci Lords are illegal because she was under the age of 18 at the time she appeared in adult videos). In addition, in some states a young man who is 19 might be arrested for statutory rape for having consensual sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend. As a part of his sentence, he may be required to report as a sex offender. This is clearly not the same level of offense as the sexual abuser.
Regardless of the level of abuse, even the person convicted of child molestation is not subject to the death penalty and there is a good reason for that. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. Only capital crimes warrant capital punishment. Therefore, this meme is pointless and makes no logical or socially relevant statement. Why pass it on?
Let’s look at another one. Sometimes the meme is just meant to appeal to the beliefs of a base group of people. There is no real point other than to insult or demonstrate that the presenter of the meme thinks they hold some kind of moral high ground, like this one:
As you can see, it’s just a blank statement generalizing socio-political beliefs. The message is clear. Anyone who embraces a more liberal stance is a tyrant and those who are conservative promote “freedom”. This message could have been turned around to suggest that Liberals stood for freedom and Conservatives were tyrants and it would have been equally moronic. There is nothing enlightening or beneficial from a message like this. It’s intended to inflame and incite argument. When I say argument, I’m not talking about a logical discussion of perspectives, but rather a mud-slinging, name-calling brouhaha. These memes are useless to the enlightened and only demonstrate what an idiot the poster of the meme really is.
The last kind of moronic meme I want to discuss is the kind that solicits one to “Like” something on Facebook that has virtually no opposition.
Is there anyone on the planet that really wants cancer to exist? Seriously? And yet, these kinds of pictures fly around the internet at supersonic speed. Approving of or sharing photos that give the viewer a warm, fuzzy feeling inside has become almost a Pavlovian response. The finger is clicking the “Like” or “Share” button before the brain has really even given consideration to what the finger is doing. These memes are so ridiculous that they have even generated their own meme parodies as seen below:
Not surprisingly, there is a reason behind these types of memes. It seems that Facebook gathers information about users and businesses can create followers by utilizing the “Like” button. Darn, did I spoil it for you? Imagine, Facebook and other corporations are using your information and gathering your preferences to sell you things. Hard to believe, huh? (Yes, this would be the place to roll ones eyes).
I get it, folks. Memes are fun. They certainly would not have the massive appeal that they do if they weren’t. I’ve shared many over the years. I’m just venting about the kind that really drive me bonkers. I know I can’t stop other folks from posting the types I’ve shared in this article but I can choose not to propagate them and I ask that you consider doing the same. Give just a moment of thought before clicking the “Like” or “Share” button. Please. No, really… pretty please… with sugar on top. These moronic memes are killing my brain cells.
If you agree with this article, please click “Like”. (Kinda shot myself in the foot with that one, didn’t I?)
Until next time, my friends…