Saturday, October 15, 2016

Football Counter-Programming 2016--Week 7

Howdy everybody. Welcome back to another week of non-football Facebook distractions.

We live in a world of memes. You know what they are, right? Memes are like digital idioms--short phrases or pictures that represent bigger thoughts or points of view. They are usually pretty nonsensical and are meant either to make you laugh or to state your point of view about a topic. Things that have gone viral are memes.

For instance, all this past week, Kenneth Bone and his red sweater was a meme. At least until The New York Times decided to rip him a new one.

My first meme was All Your Base Are Belong To Us. I had recently started working at McGraw-Hill and was spending a lot more time in my life starting at computer screens. And I wish I could remember who pointed me to it. But I was intrigued by the bizarre juxtaposition of the edited imagery, the song, and the tenuous connection to a simple video game.

But I moved on with my life and didn't dive down the rabbit hole. I had young children and a job to cultivate. But the Internet was only getting bigger and more diverse and all of my friends were staring at computer screens all day long as well. So, the one that next caught our collective attention was Hopkin Green Frog.

Did you ever encounter Hopkin? Do you think Terry ever quit looking for Hopkin? I want to think that he did Find His Frog. (And I do wonder if he was found on the moon.)

Hopkin Green also started with an innocuous handmade sign that blew up into something far different and much more widespread. And that is what memes do. As a (once college-trained) amateur cultural anthropologist, I guess I am drawn to the weird propagation of the ideas. I like to see where they come from and where they are going and how people twist the ideas into new shaped and directions. It's a fun diversion.

So, enough set up. Let's get to today's focal point . . .the SNL Digital Short "Dear Sister" with the haunting soundtrack.

When I was first shown this by one of my kids, I laughed at the absurdity of it. But I didn't read any descriptions about it at the time and moved on. But I learned from my girls that it had become a meme to their friends. They would mimic the bizarre song that plays over and over again during moments of drama and tension amongst their friend groups. And I thought that was funny.

Then, last week, I read this piece on The Ringer about "Hide and Seeking" and everything fell into place. (You really should click on the link in the previous sentence and read that article.) I was thrilled to learn that the "Dear Sister" digital short was directly making fun of a scene in the old FOX network show, The O.C. (a show that I had never watched).

And I was so, SO happy! I finally had the context I wanted about where this weird SNL skit had come from. And I could connect all the dots and feel a renewed excitement in some stupid thing that made me laugh.

What bits of excitement and revelation did you experience this week? Feel free to share your news in the comments.

And, until next week, remember . . . no one cares if your alma mater's linebacker fumbled the ball while trying to return a turnover for a touchdown in last week's conference showdown. You still have to get up and go to work on Monday no matter what.

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