Internet memes are an everyday part of modern social life. Having been an avid collector of internet memes for years, I have been asked to share some of my favorites. This involves some risk, since the selection reveals as much about me and my sense of humor, as it does about memes, or humor in general. And of course that’s part of the point. Humor is shaped by social and cultural factors and, like language, we take that general legacy and make it our own, something deeply personal and characteristic.
There is a whole new category of memes that has been created in the past six months reflecting the struggles and incongruities of life in a pandemic. So our theme this week is pandemic memes.
It took us a while to convince ourselves that this COVID-19 thing was real. Our concerns gradually gave way to anxiety and fear. Many pandemic memes evoke and play on those fears to provide some comic relief.