Modes of Memes?

A product of culture depicting a product of culture.

I’ve always liked the combination of words and images to make a point. That might be why I like manga so much… and memes so much. The latter is what first comes to mind when I hear “multimodality.” Kress talks about modes being influenced by culture and it seems to work both ways. Memes have influenced culture to such an extent that this [not satirical??] event is happening: https://www.theurbanlist.com/sydney/a-list/our-jimmies-are-rustled-theres-a-meme-festival-coming-to-australia. Our culture has become so well-versed in memery that people have to ask how to cite them as sources now (it’s the same as citing an image on the web btw… this is so obvious to me now -_-). One can walk down a hall at any school and see kids laughing about some overused Bad Luck Brian-esque shit. Talk show hosts ask people who have been used in viral memes to appear on their shows. So much meme-based paraphernalia can now be purchased. Memes have come to define internet culture in ways that surpass troll boards (which are now filled with memes in excess). It all makes me wonder if there will be some sort of meme museum someday.

Though most of my experience with multimodality is probably related to meme-spamming anyone unfortunate enough to be friends with me, I’ve always preferred assignments that allow for a variety of modes (unlike the dry and pointless essays I have been writing all week!!). After a bit of searching, I was able to locate these tumblr assignments I forgot to delete after they were graded: https://smallpoxwitchcraft.tumblr.com, https://woolfwomenwork.tumblr.com. The first one was for Early American Lit and the second was for Rhetoric. Tumblr is just my default for projects that are supposed to be creative/on the internet. Unlike most of the assignments I’ve had throughout my life, posting shit on tumblr just doesn’t feel like a chore.

You know how books with pictures were more fun to read when you were a kid (or now if you’re me)? I think the appeal of the word/image combo has something to do with that; it’s less boring.

  4 comments for “Modes of Memes?

  1. Ginamarie Wallace
    March 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Elisa,

    You made some really great points and asked some very interesting questions in this post! The question about meme museums is hilarious because it is so true how much they have permeated into various aspects of our culture in such a short period of time. Additionally, I am not ashamed to admit I have never heard the word memery before but I am now so down to use it as part of my own vocabulary : ) Comparing doing multimodal assignments (or “tasks” as Shipka would term it) to reading picture books is also a nice move and observation. I genuinely enjoyed looking at your tumblr websites and how the images connected to the quotes! After all, “What is more simple than writing books?”

    -Ginamarie

    • Alec Pantaleoni
      March 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      It appears that we have different views on memes. You find them to be the next big thing, while I find them to be little more than occasionally humorous distractions that people create to make a point about something. I nevertheless found your comments on memes no less astute. They are indeed permeating our culture more and more. However, I was never aware of a festival for them! I also, for as extensive as my vocabulary is, never heard of “memery”. As I say it now, I must admit to rolling my eyes a bit. I guess I am not “with it”. I don’t know, I just guess memes aren’t my thing.

      • Elisa Preston
        Elisa Preston
        April 2, 2017 at 1:04 am

        Hi Alec,

        I don’t think that memes are the next big thing, considering how long they have been popular. There are actually some really smart memes out there, some I’m sure you would actually like, that most likely aren’t going to be amusing to the average person. Are you familiar with the Trolley Problem? There are memes for that, for example. MANY MEMES FOR THAT.

        Memery isn’t a “real” word, to the best of my knowledge. I find it pretty great that both of you guys commented on it haha.

    • Elisa Preston
      Elisa Preston
      April 2, 2017 at 12:56 am

      Hey Ginamarie,

      Not being ashamed is highly appropriate, as I made up that word. Yay morphology~
      I didn’t think anyone would actually look at those tumblrs haha, but I’m glad you enjoyed it!!

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