How to (not) Use Memes to Make a Point

By Eric Beasley

I can still remember the first time in my childhood that my Dad tried to be “hip.” Every parent has that one moment when they make an attempt to mimic the culture of their kids. Since we were living in California, you can imagine what being “cool” looked like in the late 1990s. My Dad said something about “that was like, totally rad” which led to a face-palm and awkward stares from my friends.

Some 17 years later, this was not an embarrassing moment, but a necessary moment. It’s a moment that every parent experiences with their kids, that moment when your Dad becomes lame.

Now, being a 30 year old Internet Commentator, I find myself feeling the same way about politicians. In an attempt to utilize modern mechanisms to discuss issues, some fall short on their goal while others accomplish the goal exceptionally. I’ve collected a few examples of the hit and miss nature of politicians and memes.

This last week, I have seen some successes and some failures. So I did my thing and wrote a blog.

SUCCESS:

hoeber-ad

This picture is from a mobile game that Elyse plays. Now, as many of you all know, Elyse does not get into this whole political thing like I do. Which makes her perfect as a test subject. Since she does not have the political activity associated with her name, I like to use her to gauge voter outreach efforts of candidates. Since neither of us have been registered to vote in the state long enough to have a significant voter history, we both also fall under the category of a “new voter.” Both of us voted in the 2012 general election, the 2014 primary and general, and the 2016 primary.

Let’s lay out some facts about why this meme is so effective:

  1. Mobile gaming is dominated by young women. According to MagMic, people who play casual games like Bejewled Blitz are 78% female. 50% of those players are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  2. The economy has always been the most important electoral issue. While everyone ranks this at the top, it has been my experience that this age group (25-44) is impacted by the sluggish economy more so than older generations. We are not old enough to retire, Social Security will be bankrupt when we do retire, and many within this age bracket are under-employed (Thanks, Obama). Going after Delaney for his job-killing regulations is a sure fire way to sway some votes.
  3. Mobile ads can target devices based on the location of the cell tower used to access the internet or by the phone’s GPS. Unlike TV or radio, that covers broad swaths of area in and out of the district. The complicated DC media market also makes targeting any district problematic. Ads like this can be targeted to devices that are physically located within the district.

FAIL:

img_3877

Where to even begin….

First off, if you are going to venture into Meme-Land, you need to use the right memes to convey your message. When you mix up your memes, you are that Dad that says “That’s like, totally rad dude-broah.” Frankly, it’s embarrassing.

  1. Those Jeb Bush glasses are patently absurd. We can all acknowledge that much.
  2. The bottom left image is known as “Success Kid.” This meme is to be used when something goes right. For example, proper text would be “Late to work. Boss was even later.” As presented, this meme picture and text do not match, thus putting it into “Lame Dad” category.
  3. The bottom right image is known as the “Annoyed Picard.” This meme generally starts out with the phrase “Why the Fuck” and goes on to express an absurd action or situation. I’ve used this meme to describe antiquated technology and Lame Dad jokes many times. Again, the caption and the meme do not match, thus putting this one into the “Lame Dad” category yet again. However, this picture is the appropriate response to the absurdity of Karen Harshman.

There are many ways to respond to your friend being cited by a ethics panel for corruption. Making silly memes is not one of them. Nor is abusing our legal system to silence dissent.

If you would like to know how absurd the political process is up there in Washington County, the people who will defend Mrs. Harshman’s actions are the same ones who have Trump bumper stickers on their cars. Let that sink in for a moment.

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Author Details
Ryan Miner is Editor in Chief, Founder and Publisher of AMinerDetail.com. Miner is the sole reporter and columnist at AMinerDetail.com, covering Maryland news, politics, business, education, national, state and local government. Miner is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.

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