Web memes are a thriving new medium, however they’re additionally a secret language of inside jokes and references shared by teenagers and 20-somethings. To the uninitiated, they are often utterly inscrutable. With out layer upon layer of context gleaned from collaborating in on-line communities, there’s no hope of getting the joke. And no present meme drives this level dwelling higher than ‘E.’ Simply have a look at it!


What we now have here’s a distorted mixture of three totally different pictures. The hair and a part of the facial construction belong to Lord Farquaad, the villain from Shrek:

Shrek/Dreamworks Photos

The face and glasses belong to common gaming YouTuber Markiplier:


Lastly, the physique and background are borrowed from Fb founder Mark Zuckerberg’s latest testimony earlier than Congress.

The entire franken-image is then “deep-fried“—hit with a bunch of Photoshop distortion and graininess—and emblazoned with the caption “E.” What does all of it imply? Actually, nothing—and that’s what makes it nice. Let’s examine!

In keeping with Know Your Meme, the mashup of Markiplier and Farquaad first appeared on Twitter in 2015.

On the time, combining a well-liked YouTube persona with a personality from Shrek was solely in line with meme traits. A “Shrek is Love, Shrek is Life” development swept the web in 2014, and “Shrek Wazowski,” a well-liked Photoshop mashup of Shrek and Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc., additionally appeared round that point.

However the “E” and the visible distortion didn’t seem till February 2018, on the deep-fried meme tumblr “photo-frier“:


With a heap of visible distortion and a bizarre, non-sequitur caption, a meme from 2015 had instantly change into an emblem of the surreal, “random” meme model that’s turning into prevalent in 2018.

The “Farquazucciplier” grew to become extraordinarily common on the r/deepfriedmemes subreddit, making it to Reddit’s “r/all” entrance web page. Non-meme-savvy posters who noticed it commented that they had been “so confused” and didn’t get the joke. That’s high-quality, although, as a result of there’s nothing to get. It’s simply … bizarre.

The picture was quickly utilized in commentary about up to date memes. Posters in contrast the extremely legible memes of yesteryear, centered round easy punchlines and inventory characters, to the dadaist memes of immediately:


Now, mentions of “E” are dropping into unrelated posts, and persons are questioning what it means. A number of posts on Reddit’s Q&A discussion board r/outoftheloop inquired about “E,” and the solutions had been fairly constant: the joke is the full lack of which means.

“The truth that it is a joke is the joke, it’s meant to be absurd,” one poster wrote.

“The E is consultant of how memes have gotten so self-referential that one thing inherently meaningless, resembling a easy capital E, could be given worth as a meme just by getting used as a meme. E is a transcended meme. It has no inherent which means aside from its face worth, however throughout the context of meme tradition it’s been given an utility,” one other added.

It’s been clear for a while that memes have been getting weirder. These “transcended memes” are an interesting, extraordinarily 2018 course for meme tradition to take.

It’s not clear the place they’ll go from right here, although. Different media, together with high-quality artwork, movie, and literature, have gone via lengthy phases of postmodern absurdity, however their examples don’t provide a lot assist in explaining meme tradition. For one factor, memes are a younger medium that has but to be totally exploited by business pursuits. For an additional, these different, extra mature cultural types are nonetheless actively grappling with the query of what comes after postmodernism.

For proper now, although, we’re simply going to cease and lose our minds laughing at “E.”

The publish The ‘E’ meme reveals simply how bizarre memes can get appeared first on The Every day Dot.

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