The meme that wouldn't shut up

Commentary: The NewsHouse takes its place in the glorious marketplace of bad ideas.

This is written in defense of a meme.

In the February issue of Esquire, Tom Chiarella describes the trendy discussion topic of the "mancession."

"Trends are ugly, vacuous creatures," Chiarella wrote. "They demand acknowledgement, ask for argument, a measure of outrage, or judgment."

Calling the "Sh-t Girls Say" trend an ugly, vacuous creature is an industrial-strength understatement. It's a roaring succubus of human stereotypes. But whether it unpacks what brides say, what white girls say to black girls, or what Asian moms say, it does receive acknowledgement, argument, outrage and judgment. And it's delicious.

On January 26, The Daily Orange published a pop culture column by Ariana Romero with the headline "YouTube sensation loses originality, comedy after multiple spin-offs." The NewsHouse was halfway done producing our own video when I first saw the column.

Ms. Romero wrote, "The jokes and catch phrases aren't a surprise anymore. We all know the setup. There will be a guy wearing a bad wig saying everything we expect to hear in the most annoying accent possible." Girl's got a point.

But let's not forget there's a reason men in wigs and women's clothing have been in high demand for centuries. It's the backbone of Shakespearean comedy. It's the cherry in hundreds of Saturday Night Live sketches. It's not a cop-out and it's not hitting intellectual rock-bottom. It's reliably funny.

Our video is simply one more. Young female students who attend Syracuse are not this vapid, spoiled and self-absorbed (we hope), but even the molecular biology majors and Whitman's future millionaires can be found on Marshall St. whining there's literally nothing to eat. 

Ms. Romero said, "All the best topics were done early on with the fad." I disagree. The meme broke people down by sex, race, sexual orientation, political views, etc. but we have miles to go before we sleep. YouTube hasn't yet told us what "Sh-t Satanic Bell Chime Players Say," but they'll get their own viral video in due time. Creativity is just advanced Mad Libs. Let the Internet be the Internet.

Campus Basement beat us to the punch here on the hill. An hour before we were ready to publish, we found "Sh-t Syracuse Students Say." After being disheartened for 10 seconds, we were pleased. Here was proof we wanted: the meme ain't over.

This is how our generation participates in observation and analysis of our culture. Humans are multifaceted creatures, but we all become the same when we have to find parking on the night of an Orange basketball game. We say what we see, we single out the common threads and we post our opinions. There's nothing wrong with that.

Well done!

Hilarious video! Eric, you never cease to amaze me ... or mesmerize me. Funny that we both posted tonight -- must be the subconscious Cuse connection.

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