The power of the meme should not be underestimated. Properly executed it needs not truth, it needs not be anything but that which the observer desires. Often the quotes attributed to the likeness of any of a million different famous personalities sound correctly cited but no one checks. If I need Morgan Freeman to explain that marijuana should be legalized we find a stock photo of Morgan and paste in a quote that is just witty enough, and viola! Morgan supports the view.
There are a couple memes jumping about the internet as I write this that I so desire to be true. One is a picture of a much younger Donald trump with a quote that says he made some interesting comments about Fox News followers and running for the republican nomination. I did a little digging to validate this and could find no truth in it at all. This saddened me but the digging was done because a few of the things in the meme stretched credibility. One was that it came from People magazine in 1996. The other was it referenced Fox News fanatics and, while Fox existed in 96 it was brand new and did not have its current cult following.
The newer meme is the one showing 4 republican senators being outed as members of the KKK. I find no issues with believing this meme true other than the “lets wait and see” mindset. I mean, 3 southern senators being outed and 1 northern one out of 200 does not stretch credibility with me but, it is an anonymous source and I can wait and see.
One of my meme theories is that current republican golden boy Donald trump reads them and spews their often misinformed, and partisan, garbage into microphones back at the creators who then bow and see him as Jesus at the sermon on the mount. “Blessed are the teabaggers as they shall be filled with hate and prejudice. Blessed are the warmongers for I have been sent by God to be the best they have ever seen at it…” or something like that I am sure.
The meme can also be funny, thought provoking, philosophical, or just rude. They are the bumper-less bumper stickers, and the shirt-less t-shirt slogans of the generation. And if you have Photoshop, or Microsoft paint, you can make them yourself.
I share them myself if I find they suite my particular mood or elicit some laughter. But as they are now being used against the people in the form of political promises it would be wise if we were either a tad more careful what we put on them or a hell of a lot more careful about what we let these stuffed suits sell to us.
Social media is really at its genesis still. It allows the extremes of thoughtful opinion to exist in the same space as mindless commentary. What is exactly what is judged not by what might be true but by what one perceives as truth in most cases. Presented with fact many in life prefer to stay with the rhetoric of the misinformed. In this moment we witness the birth of truth, the acceptance of a reality. Not the reality, but merely one of them. What THE reality might be is anyone’s guess.
It has long been standard that perception is more truth in so many ways than the truth itself. After all, perceptions are formed in part by a combination of our fears, our wants, our desires, our beliefs mixed with a generous portion of reality and weighed down with the demands of the crowd we associate with and the previously accepted perceptions. Like in a court of law we check for precedent but, unlike that same court we care little for why the precedent was set, only that it was.
Thus we have the evolution of the idea that evolution does not exist in the form of a pro-creation meme. It serves the purpose of the reader that does not like science, or any notion that seemingly contradicts the bible. It lives further because others want very much for it to be true. Proof is not required. Thus we have this little opinion shaping mechanism running amok on social media and in our brains. Thus we all have our particular sources of said memes and we adhere to the ones espousing beliefs we can laugh at or tolerate. Thus we have a whole new way to absorb and disseminate misinformation. Yay! for evolution.