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Socratic Dialogue on Memes

By Nico Aldape
Nov. 11, 2015

Socrates: Let us move to the concepts of memes, the nature of which, as Apollo wishes, is of optimal dankness. Memes are the form and dankness the virtue these forms seek to exemplify. How do these concepts relate to our discussion of the forms overall?

Polemarchus: If memes and dankness are the form and virtue, we must consider the cave in which those who do not see these forms and dankness belong. The cave is a dark, hallowed pit to which memes have had their dankness diluted through excessive sharing, usually by mothers on Facebook showing their children mediocre, two-month old content.

Socrates: Thank you, my young disciple Polemarchus. Phaedrus – Phaedrus! When I said, “You’re supposed to kiss my ass in these dialogues,” I didn’t mean it literally. Let go of my toga. Do you have anything to say on the matter?

Phaedrus: Yes, my adorable master, Socrates. From my personal experience as a younger man, I can definitively state that memes of the modern age adhere to the forms, yet mock it all at once. Shortly after a new one comes out, its forms quickly become exploited by uncreative people, put on Facebook groups tailored toward these memes and aesthetics, and descend into self-parody.

Socrates: Do we not speak of only two forms – of memes and dankness? Or do you mean to suggest that individual memes have their own pursuit of the optimal aesthetic value, as in a form within a form?

Phaedrus: Yes, yes I do, master Socrates. The Library of Alexandria found a lost text which adds a new canon ending to Apollo’s creation of love. In the legend, one horse came to exemplify true ideals of love (thank you, Based Aphrodite) and the other came to the irresistible lust and sexual desire. In the new canon ending, the two horses did two different things.

Socrates: What were these things, my dear Phaedrus?

Phaedrus: I shall continue. The forms that rose from the love horse’s spit Apollo called “actual content,” meant to inspire, humor, or educate an observer of said form and increase their faith in humanity. From the shit of the lust horse came “shitposting.” Shitposting provides the same inspiration, humor, and education as “actual content,” but leaves the viewer with a sense of, “Why am I laughing at this? Is this my sense of humor? I love this, but why?”

Polemarchus: Indeed, Phaedrus. With this conclusion, I must be on my way. Toodles to you both!

Socrates: Best of luck in your efforts of philosophy, my dear Polemarchus. Now then, Phaedrus, let’s get back to our flirtatious conversation about romantic advice hidden under a thin veil of a discussion about rhetoric.