Is it just me or is it starting to feel like everyone is trying to become a meme-creator — the next Fat Jewish or Fuck Jerry? Granted, those guys have, in many ways, sped up and made easier the process of how we consume humor. No longer does it take any time beyond a mere scroll to absorb a piece of content that contains the makings of a satisfying chuckle. And given the success of their virality, it makes perfect sense that pop media would attempt to approximate their modus operandi, but I wonder if it is getting out of hand. Because the single most popular article-type that emerged from the Globes was not a round up of best dressed celebrities nor was it the multitude of think pieces we have grown conditioned to expect following mass culture events.
Rather, it was a round up of the best memes that surfaced during the event.
I could just imagine graphic design interns spread thin across the east and west coasts scraping the bottom of the proverbial yogurt bowl (and I do mean yogurt — this isn’t even cake batter scraping!), trying to come up with the funniest captions to accompany TV-stills to appease their social media director-bosses. The thing about comedy, though, is that you can’t try to be funny. And you can’t quite force it, either. So what are we left with beyond an eye roll, single-finger scroll and the inner resentment troll?
Following the Grammys last year, we asked whether normcore is a byproduct of memes. Given the fact that every celebrity who endeavored to show their personal style chops was torn apart by a side-by-side graphic comparing their outfit to [insert cartoon character, inanimate object, set of eggs here], it was starting to appear as though red carpets were being scrubbed clean of the exact brand of individualism that has the potential to define them. It’s safer to wear a black spaghetti strap gown that is so boring you fall asleep and thus can’t come up with your comedic comparisons, so that’s what people do.
But the memes shift. If it’s not the outfit, it’s the reaction you see on the faces of celebrities consuming the off-kilter humor of the event’s host. And last night, that meant PC-renegade, Ricky Gervais. Denzel Washington emoted and immediately, I thought to myself: what’s this going to look like in GIF-form tomorrow? Ditto that for Quentin Tarantino. Would Melissa McCarthy fall victim to the same plague following Gervais’ 15th joke about the pay gap? Otherwise there were just a bunch of frozen faces, trying impossibly hard to neither laugh nor smile, tear nor appear frustrated because, what would the Internet trolls (reality check: that’s all of us) think and then worse: do if they actually conveyed human, emotional responses?
So I asked, have the PC-police begun ruling award show season, and furthermore, should we be concerned?
Oh! And by the way, sorry for the think piece.
Feature Image via Boston Globe.