Not a Funny Troll

Critical Meme Theory

December 3, 2020

In spite of our vast intelligences, or, perhaps because of them, meme creators and experts such as myself may often find ourselves longing for the company of another human being, be that in verbal or physical form. In a way, this natural yearning relates back to the ethos of memes – they are inherently social, a phenomenon that begins by jumping from peer to peer. It is fitting, then, that we should seek to replicate and complement this with relationships in our lives of a romantic or platonic variety.


Regardless of that, however, meme artists often have difficulty finding such companions outside of the established areas of memetic culture. Talking to others and having them understand you is a daily challenge for people like me. Trying to sustain frequent conversation is no easy task. And yet, in spite of that, we all cannot help ourselves.


While it is perhaps a bit disappointing to think of how much higher my IQ is than the average person I speak to, I still occasionally derive enjoyment from it. It is because of this enjoyment, in fact, that I recently registered for an online dating application on my smartphone. Events unfolded gracefully at first – until I received a message that directly attacked me and my practices. This dreadful personal message was written and sent to me by a woman with whom I had corresponded, an affair which I had thought, to that point, at least, was very pleasant. 


The thoughtlessness of this direct message struck me like nothing has ever done before. Thus, I feel as though I am obliged to share it with you… even if you may not enjoy what you see.


In this fifth edition of a series of founding documents for Critical Meme Theory, memes (and text messages) will be broken down for the comprehension of the average man, bit by bit. You, the reader, will be presented with examples of the finest and most intellectual meme artistries to be created thus far. While some of these may prove to be frustratingly dense for most outside observers, you are asked to please try your hardest to mentally bear with us, even if your insufficient mental capacity limits your ability to do so.



I received this inflammatory and reckless message just last week, on the exact day that I ended messaging this woman. That afternoon, after sending her a collection of “Troll Face” memes through Instagram, she informed me that she was not amused by my enthusiasm for memes and that she did not appreciate them, in so many words. While her grammar and diction were woefully inadequate for a message of such gravity, her thoughts can still be understood, albeit with some difficulty.


While members of the meme community are subject to attacks like this frequently, I must admit that this one caught me off guard. In my previous discussion with this woman, she stated she followed several “meme accounts,” which, if you are unaware, are accounts on social media platforms that post memes on a regular basis, such as every day or every week. While I myself do not follow any such accounts (due to the fact that I have already seen each meme they post) I still realize their importance, and the usual intelligence of those who follow them.


Alas, with this individual, I could not have been more mistaken. 


After learning of her following of these accounts, I sent her numerous “Troll Face” meme works in the hopes that I could enrich her artistic and cultural horizons, and possibly get her intrigued in the finest of fine art the memetic medium has to offer. I sat back in my swivel chair, hopefully awaiting her grateful response. Shortly afterwards, though, I noticed that she began to type her next message, however, she was taking a much longer amount of time to do it than usual. I assumed she was simply listing her appreciations of the artworks I had sent her, but when she finally sent her message, my stomach turned in shock.


How could she have said this? Did she truly mean it? Was this simply confusion, a result of her not being able to comprehend the complexities of the “Troll Face” pieces? Or did she genuinely not see the stunning genius imbued into every image? 


Let us dissect her response, piece by piece, to attempt to make sense of what happened.


In the first line, she states that I am “not a funny troll” and that “ironic memes are not funny and should not even qualify as a meme.” This was her first mistake… I was not attempting to troll her. While I have been known to do this from time to time, it is almost always directed at those who are not part of or do not appreciate the meme community. This is because those people are (quite obviously) less intelligent than I, making their baffledness when I troll them all the more humorous. However, in her case, I was truly seeking an intellectual conversation.


In terms of what she said about ironic memes, I fail to understand how that applies to what I sent. I will not even entertain the insulting idea that she thought my love for “Troll Face” memes was ironic, so I will simply assume she misspoke or used improper terminology.


“Ur gonna laugh at this and say I’m a “cringe normie” or whatever tf but the fact still stands that you are a loser and you have no friends.” By this point, she has truly abandoned all decency and is purely fuelled by some sort of mysterious hatred. Again, while I have been known to call certain individuals “cringe normies,” it is purely because they lie outside the meme community and therefore are objectively cringeworthy and normal, earning them their title. Her paranoia about these kinds of things comes off as odd… if you truly did follow meme accounts, what would you have to fear in this regard? Insecurities abound.


In addition, may I ask how she discerned I have no friends? I cannot think of one way she would be able to accurately ascertain this. This is partially due to the fact that she is blatantly wrong – I have many friends. Thousands, in fact. In my time on the Internet, I have befriended nearly every member of the meme community, regularly sharing dozens of direct messages with them on platforms such as Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, among hundreds of others. How could she claim I have “no friends” in the face of this fact? She could not. Had she cared to investigate more, perhaps she could have learned some information that would have saved her from making a fool of herself, but I suppose few people truly are that smart.


“The reason I’m taking long to respond is bc I have a life and I’m doing things rn. U r a deadbeat. You should be ashamed of urself”


Wow. Her ignorance finally comes out on full display. I don’t have a life? I don’t do things? Sure… I guess you don’t need a life to collect tens of thousands of memes on your computer and smartphone, do you? And you don’t need a life to write academic essays about those memes either? And you don’t even need a life to help the pitiful and uneducated to understand memes as an art form, I guess? I’m a deadbeat for dedicating myself to an artistic craft?


Rhetorical questions, if you did not understand. She didn’t seem to.


In spite of this horrific and disheartening attack, I did valiantly attempt to reconcile with the sender. In response, I sent her a warm and generous offer to educate her on “Troll Face” and numerous other aspects of meme culture, entirely for free, from the kindness of my own heart. I was disappointed by her actions, but I thought there was perhaps still something I could salvage from her. Perhaps there was one shred of hope.


Well, there might have been, until she used the “block” feature to prevent us from having any further correspondence. She had not even the integrity to decline my offer, she simply refused to acknowledge it. And now, of course, it is impossible to reach her, and I can only assume she will continue to drift even deeper into malice and hatred of the memetic arts and its patrons. Even though I have seen it play out many times before, it does not sadden me any less when I see it happen today.


Perhaps someday I will find a girl who truly shares the passion for memes I do… perhaps she will laugh at and commend each and every “Troll Face” meme I send, and she will rise so high she may even send me a meme I have not yet seen… well, a professor can dream.


Well… I certainly hope this issue of Critical Meme Theory educated you, and maybe even emotionally affected you in some kind of way similar to the way it did me. Hopefully, this may serve as a guide for each and every one of you on what not to say when interacting with memetic scholars. 


As usual, while it is possible the analysis of this message may have proved rigorous and in-depth for most, it will be only the sixth in a long series of… well, it wasn’t a meme this time, but… images to be dissected by the eye of Critical Meme Theory. As with last week’s issue, due to this one’s immensely distressing nature, it is advised that you refrain from rereading this document until you fully prepare to grapple with its emotional weight once again. (For your own long-term mental well being) Even so, as both a citizen of the modern world and a consumer of modern pop culture, it is your duty to understand and critique every meme (and even every discussion of memes) you should come upon, no matter how complex it may appear to be. Always remember to be as ready as possible.


Thank you!


The Meme Theory Committee

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About the Writer

Grant LeRoy is a senior Writing & Publishing major who has always had a knack for comedic writing. He hopes to work in the film and TV industries, with some music work on the side. He writes Critical Meme Theory, with new installments every week!

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