The humour of the Meme-Generation is characteristically ‘self aware’. It allows for this odd escapism where making light of the gravity of one’s poverty alleviates their guilt and melancholy. A highly self-destructive taste for jokes rooted in the joker’s low esteem and misery makes the realm of mainstream humour ‘Anti-Mental Health’. A highly secure and motivated individual would not only be unable to crack such jokes, but would also be excluded from the confessional conversations of the insecure majority. This makes ‘happiness’ an undesirable character defect or an abnormality. The moment you are happy and satisfied and ‘following through’, you become exceptional in a way where no-one can relate to you except for the very few. Which begs the question— does an individual’s potential to establish friendships become disabled by their positive outlook and non-masochistic relationship with their own self? Can you really be popular if you are the pre-awareness Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story that your generation? Does disengaging from current humour’s negative feedback loop make you an ‘outsider’?
Various individuals, like myself, construct narratives to justify their failures. When something bad happens we recreate the event as we narrate it to a million people in a million funny ways. Conforming to the self-destructive mandate that comes with such narratives, we oftentimes construct false patterns. Linking up multiple bad events, heightening our negative experiences and eventually birthing a ‘Frankenstein’— we effectively replace the original story. Many of us do it unconsciously, socialised to follow a meme-format as we make sense of our life. The only way to break such patterns is by first recognising them, and then actively avoiding exaggerations and the employment of inappropriate terminologies that cause such misinterpretations.
Our friends feed into this false narrative-construction with little fault of their own, and together you reminisce fiction for years in the name of nostalgia and relatable-humour. You enter into a habit of saying “same” to sweeping generalisations declaring your life to being ‘unfit’ or ‘unsuccessful’ or just ‘plain bad’. When your friends say something negative or degrading about their own selves, or even inappropriately comment on your life, you just blindly agree with a snort— feeding that Frankenstein that eventually causes all of your breakdowns and moments of anxiety.
I could be wrong. But in my experience while disengaging from such humour and narrative construction may make you less relatable or even funny, it does ultimately help you starve out Shelley’s monster. You could, instead, motivate your energies into converting rants into plans of action and then actually following-through, so that in the next ten years you don’t have to say “same” to something that shouldn’t be that relatable. Enforce actual constructive change in your life and learn to forgive yourself for all negative experiences.
It should be worth the effort.