The World is NOT your Oyster Despite what that Picture says.
A positively negative look at discouraging memes.
Positivity has been a part of the workplace since workplaces started. Everyone wants to feel positive reinforcement and feel like their fragile egos are boosted. Hence nondescript posters that allow anyone with the ability to read to feel good about themselves. Unless negativity is engrained in your DNA and they make you want to vomit. The typical motivation is simple and to the point. You Got this! Believe in yourself. When life gives you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE. But the fact is that it’s not true. I’ve never been given lemons randomly and the one time I tried to make lemonade it was terrible because I didn’t have sugar that dissolves in cold water.
Now I get that motivational posters are…supposedly motivational. But discouraging memes are…funnier. Originally from 1998 — yes you read that right, before the internet people were cynical too — a company called Despair inc. They mimic the classic style of motivational posters- Black framing around a nondescript picture of nature, a lone figure/human body part, or an animal. A thin frame usually white but occasionally other colours surround said picture and a word or two in all bold are directly under the picture. Under said header is a smaller description, which instead of saying something nice, is a cynical but often true message.
Despair inc. is the first company to have started the anti inspirational memes, but the style of meme has had many different faces over the years. Despair inc. is the original meme maker, the internet took the idea and ran with it. One I saw from my friends background pictures on his desktop — shout out to my friend who I chokehold in a later blog — which was some lovely pictures of nature and really funny yet negative slogans in the landscape.
The thing about the discouragement genre of memes is that it’s supposed to make fun of people and feelings. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s not serious and should not be taken as such. Mimicry is the highest form of flattery according to Charles Colton. Granted he said imitation but same thing. The beauty of discouragment memes is that they mimic everything. Nothing is safe. They take those negative thoughts and bring everyone into the joke. Bad Luck Brian, Matrix Prometheus and Picard face palm are a few memes that follow the discouragement theme from more recent years.
Bad luck Brian is a whole subsection of all the discouragement genre, which surrounds a school photo of a middle schooler who seems to have the worst luck ever. But as a bonus, I tried to make a meme from his picture and I think it deserves negative points towards this blog.