Recently I have witnessed an increase in the number of memes which feature nihilistic or dark humour themes. These memes seem to resonate especially well with people between the age of 20-27 years old (as of 2019). Is there a socio-cultural element which has resulted in the increased popularity of such content?
Would also be good to look at the 'acceptibility' of these memes. There appears to be some fluctuation in whether these memes are seen as harmful, or a means to cope. – Andi2 years ago
It shows a lack of imagination essentially in addition to the increased incidence of anti-social and narcissistic personality disorder among millenials. – youngmollflanders2 years ago
This is such a complicated subject that I genuinely believe deserves a great deal of attention. Some have argued that we are in late stage capitalism; a period of time characterized by the uncoupling of signifier and signified, depthlessness, alienation, absurdity, and meaningless. Life has been subordinated to capital, and capital is not bound to coherent chains of signification. As a result, our lives feel empty, deterritorialized, lacking a history or sensible temporal/cultural orientation. Add to that the war on terror, war on drugs, consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, and ecological devastation, there is a prevailing sense that the present and the future is merely chaos, that the promises we grew up on are empty fictions, and that there is very little hope in general. Nihilistic memes are a reaction to all this, and they are thoroughly implicated in the ironic and post-ironic cultural meta (a refusal to treat anything with sincerity as a reaction to the madness and alienation earlier described). – joshasoflate2 years ago
I think that maybe it's a way for this (our/my) generation to feel that they are not alone, when everyone seems to be offended at the slightest things. I think there is quite a gap between those who still enjoy dark humor and those who think it's mean and shouldn't be enjoyed. But I think that sometimes those memes can help people deal with the cruel reality of our world and the actual, real life rudeness and hate that we experience every day. However, this is a quite complicated topic. The question why humans enjoy dark humor and tragedy more than we do happy endings, to me seems to be hard to answer. – bulatovskayae2 years ago
I kind of see it as a combination of the overall nihilism of our pop culture (as a function of growing up, for the first time, without being taught that life has any intrinsic meaning or purpose) and the anonymity of the Internet, which leaves people freer to say things that they wouldn't dare attach their name to in real life. – Debs2 years ago
A significant portion of contemporary internet memes seem to trivialize and wish for death, often to the concerned bewilderment of older generations. Is using memes to discus death a new exercise, or are memes simply a the most recent in a long tradition of staving off the Grim Reaper with humor? Look at representations of Death in various cultures’ art and performance theater as a humorous or benign force or figure (memento mori paintings, the Grim Reaper, Beetlejuice, etc.) and compare them to modern memes which focus on death and dying.
This has the makings of a great topic but I worry it might be a bit too broad at the moment. Maybe you can condense it down and look at how death has been rationalised in pop culture through the use of humour and draw distinctions between conventional representation and memes. – Simon Malik2 years ago