“A picture is worth a thousand words” – Culture of Memes

As cliché as it sounds, this quote holds a lot of weight to it in many different contexts. Pictures, as much as they are artistic expressions can be used as tool kits for spreading a message, raising awareness or even galvanizing an intended audience. Whenever I look at art, I analyze it through my own perspective and use my past and current experiences to shape my ultimate viewpoint. Art is ubiquitous. And what I mean by that is, art is within us and around us simultaneously.

Nowadays, our generation, the ones referred to as millennials may not gravitate towards visiting art museums and learning the history behind famous works, but we still stimulate the right side of our brains just as often.

Memes- a picture and a statement enveloped in one. The best creation apart from the bitmoji, yet highly reproducible in fashion. Memes became a giant hit when I was in high school and are still pretty popular to say the least. I remember some of my friends creating them (inappropriate ones of course) during our computer lab sessions. Oh the good ol’ days. But, as much as memes were funny back then, they aren’t a new creation. We’ve seen pictures with short statements throughout our history.

Since we just celebrated 4th of July, I though the Uncle Sam meme was appropriate to analyze while we still bask in the glory America’s freedom. Uncle sam is pretty blunt. He “wants you”. Originally I saw learned about Uncle Sam during my U.S. history classes in elementary and middle school. Uncle Sam seems like a peculiar guy, straight out of a history textbook. He’s on a mission with his commanding body language and the determined look in his eyes. Uncle Sam’s propaganda posters highlighted every wall, lamp post and building in America during WWI & WWII. A symbol of patriotism that inspired young men to enlist in the army.

Whenever I see this “meme,” I feel like it’s my duty to take action. Probably the appeal the artists were aiming for when creating the poster. Hooray for pathos!! Even though the meme is compelling in one setting (the United States of America), I was curious to know how this propaganda was replicated around the world. Thanks to the internet and googles awesome search algorithm, I found various versions of this meme as a pleasant surprise.

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Apart from all the political replications of Uncle Sam’s propaganda posters, I decided to add some light-hearted versions for the sake of this blog. As it is I’m not a very vocal person when it comes to my political beliefs, and I don’t want to offend anyone else’s beliefs by adding content on here that is disrespectful. Memes, in my opinion are supposed to be light-hearted fun where you express your thoughts and ideas in a humorous or sarcastic manner. The meme replications I decided to choose were my favorite, especially the Santa Claus version. Its extremely accurate and the face of wrath symbolizes the destruction caused by our materialistic mindsets during the holiday season. Like seriously, do we really need to buy people things to prove our love to them? A food for thought…

Memes are pretty cool, even to someone like me who isn’t funny and can’t make one to save her life. I enjoy seeing them every morning as I scroll through my feeds. As quirky and stupid as they may be, memes are a small source of joy in my daily life.


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