Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

So I was watching this horror movie last night…

Posted by toppermike on November 9, 2016

I think it was called “Election 2016”.

Okay, I’ll stop being political. For now. But let’s talk about memes. As I learned in a folklore class here at WKU about a year ago, the name itself comes Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene, which described genetics as the biological practice of replicating genes. Memetics, then, is the process of replicating ideas, and from the name “memetics” we get “memes”. And it took me until I was about thirteen to discover that they are not, in fact, pronounces “me-mes”.

In different cultures, I’m sure some memes don’t spread or grow as they do here. Regional memes, such as memes about Louisville’s traffic or the hill’s eternal leg-day, definitely don’t enjoy much popularity outside of their respective boundaries. In this age of instant communication and increasingly global internet access, however, memes can be tools by which commentary of the movings and changings of a culture, particularly those memes which express satirical views, is expressed around the world. You may know from the news what’s happening in another part of the world, but memes can be ways to gauge how that populace feels about events, especially when you consider that the way websites aggregate content is usually geared towards the most popular contributions (those the most people agreed with or found amusing) being pushed towards the front page.


And now, some minor political stuff. Here are some Trump memes to celebrate the triumph of the orange menace!



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