“Harambe: A Scientific Analysis”

Harambe: A Scientific Analysis

Nick Looney , Staff Writer

I’m surprised you clicked on this article, given the title. No, this is not another Harambe meme, and for the most part won’t be satirical. In this article, I will be analyzing why us humans tend to beat dead horses, or use “dead memes” over and over again and explain the science of dank memes. Let’s jump right into it.

First of all, let me explain Harambe to those of you aren’t as addicted to the internet as certain members of the OP community. Harambe is the gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot last May. Immediately, the Internet took this story and turned it into a dank meme. For those of you who aren’t teenagers, a dank meme is “an ironic expression used to mock online viral media and in-jokes that have exhausted their comedic value to the point of being trite or cliché. In this context, the word “dank,” originally coined as a term for high-quality marijuana, is satirically used as a synonym for “cool.” It was truly funny for a little bit, but around June it’s comedic value was lost. But then the ironic aspect of making Harambe memes became funny, which lasted for a month or so. But now, 4 months since Harambe’s death, the memes keep pouring in. I like ironic memes as much as the next guy, but at this point, it is just becoming dumb. Harambe’s endurance as a meme is truly remarkable, as the internet usually forgets about things in a period of about 2 weeks. We are in completely uncharted territory here, people. So, why are people still obsessing over this gorilla?

Called by Vox author Aja Romano “Schrödinger’s meme,” people aren’t sure anymore if Harambe is still an ironic meme or not. Yes, if you are photoshopping Harambe’s face onto Jesus, you are most likely, and hopefully, doing it in an ironic fashion. But some people are genuinely creating things in memory of the gorilla. Harambe is ironic, yet sincere at the same time. Surprisingly, many debates between internet users whether or not Harambe was an ironic meme or not have been documented, a phenomenon never before seen. Harambe is used by some, namely the Black Lives Matter organization, as a true social commentary to express their argument that in today’s society some lives are worth more than others. Others think the overall exhaustion of the Harambe meme makes it even funnier. Some, like the zoo keepers of the Cincinnati Zoo, are still genuinely mourning their beloved Silverback gorilla. Others, just don’t know when to let go of a joke or aren’t able to come up with a creative new method for comedy instead of using a tried and true method for earning chuckles instead. Truly, the case of Harambe is a psychologically complex and socially difficult situation. In conclusion, stop photoshopping pictures of a dead gorilla to Jesus, and go find something else to ironically make fun of, or just go outside for once.