On millennial humor and what makes it so weird

As the universe gradually expands to its own inevitable death because of entropy, so do we fall down towards a spiral of weirdness due to internet memes. One scroll down will give you this month’s overused meme or another heaping of copypasta. There would even be ones that are #2edgy4u, and yet, we hit that share button. Posts on #thoughtsandprayers and people slaving for the aesthetic now remains in your “On This Day” page. Long live, low-res stock images and shitposting. None of this new era of web humor makes any sense and us users made it this way. But for what?

Let’s trace back to 2013 when Weird Twitter arose. Buzzfeed News broke down this then, blossoming type of Internet humor in their piece entitled Weird Twitter: The Oral History. “This is where the language of Twitter gets created, where its funniest jokes come from, and where its worst tendencies are isolated, rebroadcast, and sometimes destroyed,” John Herrman from Buzzfeed states. It was the stepping stone for other social media sites that followed. This included the most popular social media site around —Facebook.

“If David Lynch and Yung Lean could project their consciousnesses into social media, it’d be Weird Facebook,” Jordan Pedersen wrote for the Daily Dot in 2014. Weird Facebook has surreal satire for days, the most unaesthetic imagery, and often questionable political views. In the West, their Weird Facebook turns slain gorillas to satirical gods and provides a shitposting group for every show you’ve watched. In the Philippines, we do it a bit differently.

Every Filipino is on Facebook. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re scrolling through your iPhone X or your friendly neighborhood Pisonet. That’s what makes Filipino dank pages like Intergalaktic Burnik, Tagay ka muna pre, Pinoy Hoopz, Isang Kahig Isang Tokhang, and Bitoyposting worth following. We took this brand of humor’s importance of context to heart and elevated the hell out of it.

It tells us a lot about our country’s blatant alcoholism, how we’ve satirized the current administration, and even how much everyone appreciates Michael V for being him. We told ourselves that if the World Wide Web  is going weird, we’re going weirder with a banana catsup on top. Everything’s shareable and downright hilarious in the most twisted way. But still, how did this become our brand of humor?

“It feels interesting to live in that surreal moment versus the horror of reality sometimes,” Eric Wareheim of The Tim and Eric Show told Washington Post in the piece Why is millennial humor so weird? “Today’s surrealism draws aspects of all of these threads together with humor, creating an aesthetic world where (in common Internet parlance) “lol, nothing matters,” but things may turn out all right anyway,” Elizabeth Bruenig, the writer of the piece, stated.

Safe to say, our society right now is just one big shitpost waiting to be removed by Zuckerberg. We’re all not okay in a way, not everyone supports our President, we’re still battling poverty, and barely moving around the nation sober. This is a problem most of us face right now. What makes our approach with this brand of humor unique, apart from our own take on context, is our culture of laughing our problems away. Filipinos are the type that quotes the phrase “laughter is the best medicine way too much.” We are the type to laugh as we slip. And boy, are we slipping hard nowadays.

The concept of the absurd is incredibly appealing when the world is going down the toilet. That, and it’s funny as hell. We scroll down the post-ironic world laughing as everything goes into flames. It says so much on how these bad times have affected everything including our humor. Have we descended to madness? Yes and no. If another stock photo meme will give us the strength to go on, then so be it.

Why do people shitpost? In Isaac Asimov’s “The Last Question,” increasingly complex computers are asked by humans if entropy can be reversed. Up until the last time it was asked, the computers would answer the same thing: “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

I guess the same could be said about shitposting. Or meme culture in general.

Any Weird Filipino Facebook pages you want to shout out to? @ us @scoutmagph

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Rogin Losa
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