It is probably safe to go out on a limb and predict one winner in 2012. The meme.
These ubiquitous (and usually silly) images with a handful of words (140 characters is typically too much) have been around for a while. But they have really come into their own this year, and particularly this election season.
They’re in keeping with our “information overload society”- I’m using that term today instead of “short attention span” – because three 90-minute presidential debates in less than three weeks constitutes a viewing marathon, and those are better left to cable TV and on-demand streams of something really entertaining (like anything with the word “Jersey” in it).
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines meme as:
“an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
But to the 1 billion people on Facebook, where memes probably take up more space in your newsfeed than anything that passes for “news”, let alone a juicy status update, a meme falls more in line with this definition from the Urban Dictionary:
“an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information.”
I’ll go out on my second limb in one blog post to say that the meme shown in this post that sums up the three presidential debates in three pictures is better than random and far from contentless. Back in the day (2008), part of the sport of watching presidential debates was waiting for the zinger – the line that one candidate or another ultimately delivered that won him the night – and potentially the election.
While both the Obama and Romney campaigns have spun the debate scores to their advantage, this meme sums up each of the 90-minutes in one image. Score two zingers for Obama: Big Bird and Beyonets and one major flub for Romney: “binders full of women.”
Americans, what more do you need to make up your mind and cast your vote on November 6?
Meme credit: Democratic Underground.com.