Does the image macro/ meme reduce the thing or embiggen* it? Is it a way of showing solidarity without risking anything, or is it diminishing it to the level of a witty, or ironic t-shirt? Remember this iconic shot taken after Dr. King’s assassination? Can you imagine what the l33t kids would do it today?
Or are they just another form of communication no worse than any other, and their glib constructions (see the officer pepper spraying the framers) an awkward and unsubtle way of making a nuanced point about the onrushing police state? Are we all satirists now, just of differing degree and effectiveness?
Or is this another example of our insincerity about things, because to hold an opinion would bind us, and we’d be accountable, and therefore judged, and also responsible?**. So instead we deflect with humor, and hold ourselves beyond the gaze, outside of any burden. It’s the wink and nod. ‘This all sucks’, we think, ‘But they’re too powerful’ we whine. But I know better (And I know that you’re on my side). So I’ll share this clever photo with you, while we all line up and bend over and continue to enforce the status quo by our inaction.
Or maybe it’s just jokes?
*Perfectly cromulent word as you no doubt know.
**The Socratic Method, really? Well excuse me! Didn’t you just post about a chick letting raccoons eat off her body?