The Generation of Memeists
November 29, 2017
“Why is millennial humor so weird?” An article on the Washington Post by Elizabeth Bruening talk about this interesting question.
I happened to stumble across Ms.Bruening’s article right after looking at some memes on snapchat. In fact, I only clicked on the article because I saw some memes on the screen. The article is about the “weird” humor that appeals to the millennial generation(people born between 1981 and 1997) and I would argue that it also appeals to my generation, Generation Z, those born after 1998.
The article states that millennials have different “traditional sources of meaning, such as religion and family formation are less relevant to the lives of young people than they were to our parents.” Then the article goes on to list some depressing facts such as:”Millennials are not engaged at work (71 percent gallup.com), they have lost faith in our political system, and many are lonely (57 percent match.com survey.”
“To visit millennial comedy, advertising, and memes is to spend time in a dream world where ideas twist and suddenly vanish; where loops of self-referential quips warp and distort with each iteration, tweaked by another user embellishing on someone else’s joke, until nothing coherent is left” This is just a way to describe a meme in a more sophisticated way.
Shows like “Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories”, “BoJack Horseman”, & “Rick and Morty” have a huge following by the millennial generation. What all these shows have in common is “bleakness and joy” in a “teeming, surreal alternative universe.”
“By staking out a playful space to meditate on emotions that are usually upsetting (like the dread and anxiety of living in a thoroughly postmodern world), millennial surrealism intermixes relief with stress and levity with lunacy.”