Olympic-sized memes

The Olympics.ahhh…miss them already. But thanks to the magic of millions of monkeys with millions of hours in their hands we can re-live the best moments as…memes! Thank you interwebs!

Yes, there is hardly a single event in history which is more meme-worthy than the Olympics. The ingredients are simple as making, say, black bean and quinoa salad with mango (http://crumbsonmylaptop.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/malls-black-bean-quinoa-salad-with-mango/): a bunch of good looking people, a tsp of odd-looking ones, add a cupfull of revealing or goofy attire, blend to maximum exertion so that the usual self-control of emotions is puree, and pressure cook it until it all explodes into orgasmic gold medals or maximum disappointment. And voila – you got memes forever!

Interesting things memes – they both frame and critique pop culture, using other pop culture moments – juxtaposing images like something Dali would be proud of. In fact, I wonder what Dali would make of memes? The guy who painted possibly the best memes ever (melting clocks anyone?) might consider their attempt at humor as below his level, or too obvious.

A relative of mine once met Dali. The story is long, but the punchline is great. She was invited to a party with other artists and media folks. Everyone was supposed to bring something to the party – by which it was understood to be alcohol. She did not have time so she brought a corkscrew. Suffice to say Dali loved it! He would introduce her as the-one-who-brought-a-corkscrew. Personally I thought it was wise of her – considering all the alcohol. Perhaps she should have brought a bottle opener as well?

At any rate, those surrealists (their art at least) were not very funny. In fact they were deadly serious. I mean, De Chirico and Max Ernst are not exactly knee-slappers are they? Strange, considering these are the people who emerged from the shell of the much more explicitly frivolous Dadaists (see what I did there? Bad Surrealism is contagious, good Surrealism is bloody difficult!)

Talking of Surrealism, can someone please get athletes a new palette of words? Using the word “surreal” to mean “amazing” or “flabbergasted” is simply wrong. For an athlete to say “I won this gold medal! It is so surreal!” is incorrect in many many levels. What would be surreal would be to win and be given a herring, or a box of Kleenexes (which might be handy, like a corkscrew), or a slap in the face. And to win a gold after all that work and say it is surreal is to reduce the value of all your hard work.

So, we have the largest and greatest high pressure event in the globe, and it is not surprising you get so many opportunities for conversation between a truly global event (perhaps the only one this broad) and the microscopic nature of pop culture bubbles, i.e., memes galore! The clash can create both delightful and delightfully tacky results and some are much better than others.

By far my fave Olympic memes are the Mo Farah Running Away From Things – and my fave fave is the Daleks one – because what else will you do? 

About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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