I don't always write headlines, but when I do, they're about memes
Many of us routinely check the Loomis Memes page on Facebook or at least see the numerous ‘likes’ for the page pop up on our newsfeeds. However, few of us know where it came from or when and how it started. Who is the mastermind behind this Loomis Memes page and what motivated him or her to do this? The answer to these questions and more lies with three seniors: Betrand Okonkwo, Jake Bosee, and Peter Reheis. These three are the brains behind all of our Loomis Memes and, believe it or not, their reasons are actually more profound than one might think.
“I got the idea from one of my friends at my old school,” said Betrand. “He made a memes page for his school and it became really popular there.”
After much deliberation, and some prodding from recent alum Frederick Mcnulty ‘11, Betrand started a Loomis memes page and was later joined by Jake and Peter who serve as the current administrators of the page.
“It just seemed like a great idea to have a satirical take on Loomis,” said Jake.
But fame and Internet hits aren’t the true motivation behind the making of the now renowned memes page.
“At times it seems like Loomis lacks solidarity and pride,” said Betrand. “So why not use humor and Facebook, something that everyone uses, to unite our student population?”
What initially started as a joke when Jake posted a meme he made on Betrand’s ‘wall’, has snowballed into a page with over 250 ‘likes’ on Facebook with new photos being posted daily. It appears the page’s goal of uniting the school has succeeded; snapshots of Loomis life and culture, both the frustrating and the enjoyable, have been submitted by numerous students and ‘liked’ by hundreds more. The topics of the memes range from memorable campus events, the academic workload, dining hall food, workjobs, and the amusing idiosyncrasies of certain students and faculty, among many other topics.
What is even more interesting is the three seniors’ dedication to keeping the Loomis memes page rated PG and completely appropriate. Every meme submission is first reviewed before being published. “A lot of times, things on the Internet end up getting out of control and becoming offensive. Sometimes people get hurt. We wanted to avoid that here,” said Jake.
But our understanding of Betrand, Jake, and Peter’s motivations and how they run the Loomis Memes page does not entirely tell us how and why this meme-making phenomenon has come about. What makes this new trend so catchy? What makes us spend our study hall hours scrolling through the long list of memes as opposed to completing the tedious homework due first period the next day?
Elizabeth Weathers ‘14 may have the answer. “The memes are so funny because they’re relatable. You can look at them and go, ‘Wow that’s so true.’”
“Some memes are kind of stupid because you don’t really understand them, but the ones you do relate to are really funny,” said Pat Afriyie ‘14.
According to Tyler MacGillivray ‘14, not only are the memes funny, but they can also alleviate stress. “Loomis memes are a funny and interesting way to get a good laugh during some of the more stressful days on the Island”, he said.
“Memes in general are funny because they are short and offer you a quick laugh. They are also pretty clever and you can scroll down pages of them without getting bored. What’s better, I can relate to the Loomis memes page,” said Jaehwan Kim ‘13.
As creative as our Loomis students are, rest assured we weren’t the first ones to come up with the idea of a meme.
The word ‘meme’ actually stems from the Greek word ‘mimeme,’ meaning “to imitate.” In 1976, it was coined as a term to describe the rapid spreading of cultural phenomena and ideas. By late 2010, the site memegenerator.com appeared on the scene giving the word meme an entirely new meaning.
And while the “cultural phenomena” known as memes is rapidly gaining prominence in popular culture, some students still aren’t aware of the LC memes page.
“I don’t even know what a meme is,” said Nick Miceli ‘13.
Despite some students’ lack of understanding, memes are still spreading like wildfire both across the country and across our very own Loomis community. Between the growing number of ‘likes’ and the number of memes being added to the Loomis page each day, there’s no way to deny memes’ presence in the Loomis community.