October 7, 2020

A spectre is haunting popular culture – the spectre of memes. Like any other spirit left to roam the Earth, how exactly it operates is a wholly supernatural phenomena, and, as such, it is often nigh impossible for us to understand. However, in spite of this, a spirit will always make its presence known to those it haunts somehow. The placing of a cold hand on the shoulder, the breathing of chilly breath down the neck, or even perhaps the tossing and smashing of household objects. 


Truly, the comparison between meme and spectre could not be more apt. Both will appear and vanish from and into nowhere, and both will surprise and terrify the poor unsuspecting fool. It is for this reason that this document is being written. Memes, as most currently understand them, are an arcane and mystical form of human expression. None have yet attempted to remove this mystique in any sort of coherent and academic manner – none until now. 


In this first edition of a series of founding documents for Critical Meme Theory, memes 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.




To begin our critical analysis of this meme, we must first understand its origins. Pictured within this image is a human baby of an unknown name. The material from which this image was taken was a video anonymously uploaded to YouTube in 2018. Within said video, we see this baby mindlessly yet curiously toying with a GoPro camera, apparently seeming to think it is some kind of children’s toy or foodstuff. This is evidenced when we see the baby attempt to swallow the camera whole, and, to the baby’s discredit, this was a completely preposterous and illogical thing to do. Luckily, upon seeing this, the child’s father intervenes and seizes the object from him, ending the video with a frame of the adult’s face. 


Now, upon seeing the meme itself, most viewers are positively confounded. Should you happen to share this feeling, fear not, for, as promised, all will be explained. The first step to understanding a meme’s intellectualisms is to first dissect them. As we can see, the meme 


features a striking caption that reads “Why doesn’t” on the northern edge, followed by “Anyone like me…” on the southern. In fairness to the common man, this particular expression coupled with this particular image creates an intensely academically charged meme, a kind that few could ever be expected to understand even partially. Do try to follow as it is explained. 


You see, within the world of this meme work, we are led to believe that this baby is speaking the words we are reading. At first glance, these remarks seem to be heart-wrenchingly depressive – the infant is lamenting his unfortunate and unenviable lot in life, which is, of course, to be friendless, unaccompanied and unloved for all his time on Earth. To most, this would seem to be an unequivocally terrible tragedy – an indictment of the world and those who live in it. 


However, this meme is a wildly deceptive and subversive piece of art. Let us once again consider the situation at hand – the baby is lamenting his lot in life. The baby is lamenting his lot in life. 


If you have not already realized what is at work here, allow for it to be spelled out in front of you. Within this work, we are shown a world where the ridiculous reality of infants being able to speak is presented. Of course, we must remember what makes this so absurd – in our real world, no known babies have been able to verbally express their thoughts in a manner approaching the coherent-ness of speech. Thus, the true meaning of the work becomes apparent: it is presenting us with a subtle, biting and masterful critique of babies in our society. The apparent tragedy is actually a deftly crafted comedy with glaring absurdities presenting sophisticated humor for the educated onlooker. This humor is used to prove an undeniably convincing point regarding the baby’s current state of affairs – he bemoans having no companions, yet he lives entirely sheltered and provided for by his parents. He is asking for more when he cannot even change his own undergarments. (A skill which, by all accounts, all people should possess) 


While this analysis may prove rigorous and in-depth for most, it will be only the first in a long series of memes to be dissected by the eye of Critical Meme Theory. For your own long-term mental well being, it is advised that you reread this document again and again until you fully understand every concept that is being presented within it. 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 you should come upon, no matter how complex it may appear to be. 



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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    Luke BrahlerOct 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I read this when it was published, as I had been awaiting this series created by the legendary Grant LeRoy since it was announced, however, I am back today to read more articles. Critical Meme Theory is off to an excellent and insightful start. I didn’t fully understand this meme when I first saw it, so having a master of meme culture like Grant explain and analyze it for me is entertaining, interesting, and just hilarious. This is a great and unique concept and I cannot wait to read more. Nice work, Grant!

  • E

    Elijah GrovesOct 9, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    The writing on this is masterful. Truly attention grabbing, and a roller coaster from beginning to end. I look forward to rereading this essay for bed every night until I perish.

  • B

    Brandon “BMarsh” MarshallOct 9, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Wow! Just wow! My mind was insufficient in its comprehension of the density of this meme, but Mr. Leroy revealed a world of opportunity to analyze and dissect memes to me! Thank you so much.