Durant High School Journalism

Area 51 as a meme becomes a reality.

Photo+of+raiders+protesting+thr+freedom+of+aliens+%22kept%22+in+Area+51.
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Area 51 as a meme becomes a reality.

Photo of raiders protesting thr freedom of aliens

Photo of raiders protesting thr freedom of aliens "kept" in Area 51.

John Locher

Photo of raiders protesting thr freedom of aliens "kept" in Area 51.

John Locher

John Locher

Photo of raiders protesting thr freedom of aliens "kept" in Area 51.

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Recently the military base called Area 51, has blown up in popularity over the question, are there aliens at the Area 51 base? This question has hovered around social media for a very long time and it wasn’t until a few months ago it started to become relevant across all social media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. 

Then people started to think, how we would figure out if there is aliens at area 51, then they came up with the term “Storm Area 51” coined by a Facebook event, set to occur September 20, 2019. While it seemed like a reasonable idea, most people generally agreed that it would never happen. Social media is one of thelargest influences to people of all ages across the world, which that led to, people making petitions to raid the Area 51 base. This idea blew up across the U.S as hoards of people signed rudhed to this online petition. In total close to 2 million citizens signed the petition.

This topic has also became a variety of poplar memes, there have been thousands of memes made about the Area 51 raid which led to it getting some many people to sign the petitions. Lil Nas X took the meme to a whole other level releasing an additional remix of Old Town Road featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug and Mason Ramsey, the video being an animation of the group raidng Area 51.

On the other hand this caught the attention of the military, who were very against people rvsp’ ing the event that would be a potential threat to military security and anyone who decided to attend the event. The Air Force especially found this  dangerous and sent out several discouraging messages to those who were considering attending the event.

Once the date for the raid arrived, nothing near as major occured. About 3,000 people showed up to Area 51, but none of the individuals attempted to storm into the base. However, one of the individuals in attendance urinated by the gate and got arrested. This long expected raid never ended up occuring, even with the thousands of people who signed the petition.

Internet jokers have been around for a long time but these jokers should take serious consideration when it comes what they say. Nowadays social media has an enormous influence, and has very large, and very serious effects on the things around us.

What would have happened if people stormed Area 51? Well the raiders storming in would have been arrested by the military. Overall this topic has been a big thing hovering around our life and is something that has been talked about by many people and was successful at what was trying to get accomplished. 

The History of the ‘Meme’

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We all know what memes are. You know, the funny little pictures and videos? We are like moths as memes are like lamps; memes draw us in.

Over the years, memes have evolved into a massive part of pop culture; they have become engrained in our society and virtual lives. But where did they come from? Let’s start from the beginning.

Earlier this year, a comic from the early 1920s was posted to Twitter, which later stirred controversy if it was possibly the first meme ever.

According to a man by the name of Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, memes are “ideas that spread from brain to brain.” Basically, memes are variations of one original joke or picture, and it pertains to a wide variety of people.

Back to the original meme, many credits this as being the first meme, as it set out the first category of memes: the “Expectations vs. Reality” joke.

Memes are a huge part of pop culture. They tend to revolve around events taking place in society during a specific time. They are ever changing, meaning memes are only relevant for a very short period of time, often a month or two on average. After that month or so, the meme slowly becomes less and less relevant, all the while the emergence of a new meme occurs.

Memes became a huge part of our culture along with the rise of the internet and smart phones. While cell phones have been around since 1973, the rise of “smart phones” began in the early 2000s. Brands like Nokia and Blackberry were among the first smart phones, and were the platform for the emergence of other smart phone companies, including, Samsung, Android, and perhaps most popular of them all, Apple. In 2007, the very first iPhone was introduced to the public, and became known as the “father of all smart phones.” This phone was a computer and a camera in one, all the while being touch screen.

This iPhone revolutionized the way people communicated, and changed pop culture forever. People were able to take photos of themselves, upload them on a social media site, like Facebook and/or Instagram, and share their lives with the world.

The idea of uploading images and words online became easily accessible for everyday people; families can now stay in touch online, friends can share funny pictures and videos to others, and ultimately, the door was opened for everyone to be connected.

While it is hard to track down the very first internet meme, meme trends became prevalent on various social media sites. Some of the most iconic memes of the late 2000s included the Pepe meme, Bad Luck Brian, Doge, and of course, the “But that’s none of my Business” meme.

Over time, variations of memes like these led to the creation of new ones. In the 2010s, memes began to display overlaps in society, as they appear to follow trends and events that are occurring in the world.

Memes may only appear to simply be funny pictures with lots of different captions, however there is a deeper meaning behind memes; they are forms of expression. They are essential to understanding the pop culture of Millennials and Generation Z, as memes are apart of the culture of these generations, and how humor has evolved overtime with the influence of technology and global events. They can be put as inside jokes that relate to everyone, as they connect people together and display the growth of a culture. With that, we can say, “Thank You Memes, Very Cool!”

About the Writer
Photo of Meghan Dulay
Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

March’s Spicy Memes

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  1. Evil Patrick: This meme surfaced late February to early March, predominantly on twitter. The “Evil Patrick” meme is a screen grab from an episode of Sponge Bob, and Patrick Star’s eyes are photoshopped upside down, giving him a menacing appearance. Captions for this meme mostly relate to an intentional menacing act that is about to be performed. The spiciness level of this meme is 4/5 habanero peppers for the versatility of the original picture and the wide variety of captions. 
  2. Drake and Josh Door Meme: This meme also popped up in late February on Twitter. The background is from the Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh specifically the episode where  they build a tree house. After completing the main walls for the tree house, Drake forgets to bring a saw to cut a door hole, not realizing this until after they put it up. Josh astonished his step brother could make such a stupid mistake gives him a dumbfounded look. Spiciness level is 3/5 habanero peppers, what counted against this meme is the lack of flexibility of it. 
  3. Double D’s Book of Facts: This meme has actually been around for awhile, but has started picking up popularity like never before recently. It is prominent on Instagram. The show where the screenshot originated from is Cartoon Network’s Ed, Edd, and Eddy. The picture is of Edd, also known as Double D, holding up his “Book of Facts” with a manic look on his face. Spiciness level for this bad boy is 4/5 because of how it can tie into other memes, or just be flat out shocking. 
  4. God’s Plan Starts Playing Meme: This is a screen grab from the music video of rapper Drake’s single God’s Plan. This meme gained popularity over Twitter in the past week, and is used to show extreme gratification over most of the time a small kind act. Spiciness level is 2/5 for low impact uses. 

How this Generation Connects over Absurd Humor

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From Rick and Morty to the Simpsons, morbidity and absurd humor has been apart of our culture for decades. Recently this type of humor has become increasingly important to our culture.

Part of the reason for this growth is the massive access that each person has to the internet. When platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter first came out people learned how to over-share. Now, ten years later, people are able to make livings off of oversharing on YouTube and Instagram.

Unfortunately, or fortunately if you are a fan of this morbid and rated R humor, the most popular of these social media stars tend to be the ones who are willing to do the most insane, dangerous activities and film them.

A prominent YouTuber, Filthy Frank is the epitome of vile, absurd, and insensitive humor. However inappropriate Filthy Frank’s content may be, he still gains millions of views on each of his gory and ironically racist videos.

Along with this provocative humor, there are many parts of internet culture that is indecipherable and unwelcome to adults. One of these things being memes. Yes, there are adults who falsely believe that they understand memes, but this belief is refuted by the wide spread use of rage comics by adults.

In reality memes are ever changing, inconsistent, and very niche. To understand memes a person must be constantly immersing theirselves in internet culture. The truth is that the teenagers of today are using the internet enough to be apart of this culture and to understand this culture that their parents can’t.

One of the most recent memes that falls under the absurd but appropriate classification is “de wae.” This started circulating around the beginning of January and was insanely popular among Durant students. There is no reasonable explanation to why this meme was so funny to students but still, references were made continuously for two weeks before it died in mid-January.

As this year continues it will be interesting to see if this humor will grow more intense and dangerous or if will slowly die out.

About the Writer
Photo of Hailey Reyes
Hailey Reyes, Editor-in-Chief of Writing & Design

Hailey Reyes is a former staff writer, and former Editor-in-Chief of Writing and Design for the PawPrint Newspaper. Hailey graduated from Durant in 2019. 

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