At the beginning, Internet memes passed me by without leaving a mark. I’d see all of the Zero Wing mashups at YTMND or the latest bunny-with-a-pancake-on-its-head macro, be amused, and go on about my life. People would post lists of movies they’d seen or states they visited on their LiveJournal and I wouldn’t participate.
Lolcats changed all of that. I stumbled upon I Can Has Cheezburger shortly before Liza was born, and I was lost. I read them obsessively. I started critiquing them. I read Anil Dash’s take on kitty pidgin. I created LOLTrek.
That was months ago, and yet I still look for lolcats that I think are funny. I save them in a folder on my computer. I created lolcat versions of an author whose books I like. I’m turning into that guy from the one XKCD comic.
Misty’s take on all of this is that I do it because it keeps getting laughs. “And you have to keep track of lolcats to do good ones.” That’s the most comforting lie I’ve heard all week. I keep track of them because I can’t help myself. I can has ten-step program?
The SF writer John Barnes has written several novels set in a future where people can have programs forced into their brains in much the same way as computers can catch computer viruses. These memes then make their infected humans behave in ways to further spread the meme. If that future ever comes to pass, I am so screwed.