by Michael Quinn, The Correspondent Who Can’t Wake Up (Can’t Wake Up Inside)
Are you like me? Have you forgotten the difference between ironic misery and true ennui that weighs on your psyche, slowing draining your passions out of you like a hole in a fuel tank? A crack in an engine block? You can’t patch yourself up with duct tape now, and it’s only a matter of time before you collapse on the side of the road in a whining clatter of twisted metal. What the devil do you even live for anymore? May as well do some donuts in the parking lot while you still have the time. God, what is this metaphor even? Memes is what. Those pieces of absurdist art you scroll through on reddit at 3 a.m. when you know you should be sleeping but can’t convince yourself you have anything worth waking up early for. But can they liberate us?
So yeah, memes are a thing I guess, and have been for a while. And I know Richard Dawkins’ schtick about “meme” being an idea that survives itself by living in minds and cultures. I know that language is a “meme” and that cars are “memes” and the whole intellectual fuckery about that. But you know what I’m talking about. I mean *dank* memes. Pictures of sad frogs and shit with like sad lyrics from embarrassing songs as captions. Dank memes are like porn: you know them when you see them. I’m talking about those.
Dank memes are culture remixes, and these days we get hyper culture beamed into our eyeballs like heroin. Or some kind of heroin laser beam. The internet is a heroin laser beam, and the heroin is made out of the last three decades of artistic and media endeavors. 90% of everything that has ever been produced is a giant mountain of garbage. But in this era, we hold onto the garbage in our YouTube history.
We swim in the cultural vestiges of the past and present. We played with weird shit like Bionicles as kids. WTF even are Bionicles? The cultural ideation of mad genius, created out of remixed and refined myths from a hundred sources, put through a lens of elemental techno-futurism aesthetics, and packaged by a multinational plastic brick company. And these weird little pseudo action figures were among hundreds of similarly complex things you didn’t even think twice about the meta-symbolic source of. But your brain did! And it didn’t know what the hell to make of it, or anything else you grew up steeped in.
You were born in a stew of media clusterfuck the likes of which the world has never known, and you have reacted in the only way you can. Sink or swim. Embrace the madness or be drowned in it! The absurdists of the past merely adopted entire scripts of the Bee Movie. You were born in it. God, what am I saying.
The point is, now everything will be weird, ironic, and self-referential forever, and there is nothing we can do about it. So it’s time to power forward into the future with shitposts in your heart and MS Paint in your toolbar. The world is yours. The world is real. The world is memes, and the founder is you. The weird shall inherit the earth!
Is this even a serious rallying cry for cultural re-engineering, or just ironic ranting? I don’t even know anymore, and that’s the calling card of our philosophy.
~ A E S T H E T I C ~