Surprisingly, the most popular trend on campus right now is not brightly colored $125 Hunter “Wellies” or Kate Spade iPhone cases. It’s not even wearing leggings as pants. It’s the meme.
What is a meme, you ask? According to Urban Dictionary, a meme is “an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information.”
My favorite definition, though, contributed by one Lord Grimcock, describes a meme as “used to give a bit of pseudo-academic gravitas to stupid viral shit.”
Well said, my Lord. However, what this good sir forgot to mention was that these things are HILARIOUS.
Several Facebook users have made university-specific meme pages devoted to little inside jokes that usually only make sense to those students. This isn’t a highly prestigious honor, though — anyone can go on a “meme generator” and post a picture with a funny comment to join the action.
There are at least two Facebook pages devoted to Mizzou-specific memes. The pages have more than 4,000 likes combined and feature more than 200 images with captions related to Mizzou-specific annoyances and “first world problems.” There is also a Mizzou Meme Twitter account.
What I love most about these memes is the way they bring people together. One meme depicting a smiling teacher and the caption “Don’t pack up, we still have 26 seconds of class left” accumulated many comments pertaining to a certain agonizing economics professor.
A school-wide favorite falls under the “Successful Black Man” category, which shows a black man in a suit. The top half of the image always has an offensive or racist phrase in a large font and then a continuation of the phrase on the bottom that changes the context to something gentlemanly and inoffensive.
In this particular meme, above Successful Black Man’s head in huge letters is “JUST TRYING TO GET THAT VAG” and then in smaller font at the bottom, it continues, “PARKING PERMIT SO I CAN PARK CLOSER TO CAMPUS.” The meme has nearly 800 likes.
Memes that comment on the MU-KU rivalry are also popular. They range from mild-mannered to pretty offensive, from “Oh, you went to KU? Here’s a dollar” to a picture of an obese woman trying to eat a cookie off her shoulder without using her hands that says “Meanwhile…at KU.”
The Facebook page also covers idolatry of student athletes, journalism majors, embarrassing freshman moves and the inedibility of Baja Grill and Sabai.
The future of Mizzou Memes seems a little hazy. Many students have complained on the pages’ walls the memes are stupid or do not make sense or the creators are “doing it wrong,” whatever that means.
“I think that the majority of them are comical,” freshman Dylan Kist says. “I know that they have some controversy behind them. If you don't think it’s funny, though, you don't have to bash the post for it.”
Kist’s favorite memes are the Missouri-Kansas rivalry ones, especially the “Futurama Fry” meme, “Not sure if Mizzou is that awesome or Kansas is that sucky.”
Terrible meme-making aside, isn’t that statement something we can all agree on?