Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

From Weird to Wide – Nov. 10

Posted by cliffordpaulparsoniiiesq on November 28, 2016

The Kenyan superhero Makmende is a perfect illustration of how a meme can stay tied to its culture of origin if it isn’t legitimized. It’s amazing that a viral sensation can get remarks from both GQ and Esquire, but still be dismissed by the “meme elite” (I guess you could call them that?)

Know Your Meme messed up big time by not accepting an entry for the Kenyan sensation. Like the article says, they were looking in all the wrong places. The Makmende memes were coming from sources outside of the reach of the average Google search. But they WERE there, and they WERE popular enough to earn those aforementioned shout-outs from magazines.

I obvious thin Know Your Meme did meme culture a disservice by not doing its research properly. Still, it’s crazy to think that such a website, one dedicated to explaining memes to noobs everywhere, would be regarded as the genuine article of meme literacy.

What kind of attitude is it to say “If it’s not on Know Your Meme, it isn’t real”? It goes against everything people believe in and love about memes. Memes don’t need verification from the media. If they did, then those pictures of Kermit the Frog sipping tea would need to be adopted into the Jim Henson canon, pronto!

Know Your Meme’s faux pas highlights something interesting: even though memes can take a lot of foreign ideas and concentrate them into one palatable language, they still have a bureaucracy to them. It’s sad but true. I bet it’s only a matter of time before Disney buys the rights to every meme ever and adopts them into their own cinematic universe! (Which would admittedly be pretty awesome… ‘Scumbag Steve and Condescending Wonka: Civil War,’ anyone?)


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