I fully realize that this is an odd thing to feel strongly about, particularly with all that is going on in the polis right now, but I really hate the latest viral meme that is making the rounds on Facebook (and perhaps elsewhere) in seemingly tireless iterations. You’ve seen the one I’m talking about: four or six hastily-selected pics gleaned from an image search arranged on a black background with a profession or interest group for a title and a pro forma series of captions progressing from “What ___ thinks I/we do” to the concluding “What I/we really do.” Some do a better job than others of covering the most well-worn stereotypes of the given group, but none, for me, have done anything terribly well.
I don’t want to fault anyone for getting their yuks where they can find them: laughter is a healthy and indispensable part of a balanced life, and anyone who knows me knows I crack up at (almost literally) the drop of a hat. But, boy, I just find the thing anything but funny. I can tell it is supposed to be funny; the intent at humor is unmistakable. But in version after version that pops up in my news feed I cannot see past the thrown together nature of these paste-ups, the evident haste with which the captions were composed, and the leaden plonk of the punch line, if it can even be called that. And the over-the-moon enthusiasm that people seem to respond to these with only adds a further layer of bafflement and irascibility to my own reaction.
Ultimately, I suspect, the ire that this meme’s explosion has aroused in me is projection on my part: I’m making this cycle of triteness the whipping boy for a very real rage that has almost nothing to do with it. What am I really angry about? My failure to make things. So while yes, I sincerely think most of these things are crap, and unfunny, uncreative crap at that, I am painfully aware of how I am spending my own precious time — looking at these things and getting pissy about them. And deep down in my murky depths I am already seething because day after day, month after month, nearing year after year, I am not making anything of my own, crappy or otherwise. I have become sunk deep in a rut of consuming for far too long, and my diet (to belabor the metaphor) has been far from healthy to boot. I have been unable to push myself to find the motivation to climb off my backside and get scribbling. I guess there is only one way to fix that:
I need to climb off my backside and get scribbling.