THUS SPOKE THE MEME LORD

After a 16-month run as Richmond’s best local Facebook meme page, the admin of Locally sourced, microbrew Richmond memes sat down for an interview.

I was surprised to find that Locally sourced, microbrew Richmond memes is not a formless entity that exists solely on the Internet. However, she requested that her name, age, and other personal details be stricken from the record, so you’re just going to have to take our word for it.

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DHR: What inspired you to create the page?

Locally sourced, microbrew Richmond memes: Well, my first meme was about Scott’s Addition:

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I showed it to my boss, and she said I should make a meme page, so I did. But I think Facebook is a dead platform, and the only meme page that I like on Instagram is Gay Vape Shark.

How much time do you spend on the Internet a day?

Almost none. I have a timer on my phone that will turn off social media if I’m using it for more than fifteen minutes. If I think of a meme, then I make it, which takes me about two minutes. Then I post the meme, turn my phone off, and I don’t look at it for the rest of the day.

What are your interactions like with other people through the page?

I get death threats. I get a lot of violent messages. Everyone assumes that I’m a man– nobody assumes that I’m female, and even if I told people, I feel like they wouldn’t believe me. People say that I hate women, that I live in my parents’ basement, that I have no life, et cetera.

If you aren’t particularly interested in the Internet, you only spend a small amount of your time making memes, and you get all kinds of hateful messages– why continue the page?

If I feel passionate about something, then I’ll make a meme about it, and I like to see how people feel about it. For example, I really like the Byrd, so I made a meme about the Byrd, and it’s my favorite meme. I want to see someone respond– I like communicating with people.

I also like poking fun at the quirky things that the city’s got going on.

I hate the way modern restaurants are decorated. That’s my biggest thing. The industrial furniture, the reclaimed wood, the pipes, the seats that are awful to sit in. Nothing is unique anymore in that respect, and it makes me so mad. So I like to communicate that as much as I can.

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Is there a community of meme page admins?

Well, I do communicate with Tyler Walter: he’s the meme supreme around here. He communicated with me early on and wanted to collaborate, but a lot of his stuff is Reddit-influenced in nature.

He’s associated with New Urbanist Memes for Transit Oriented Teens and Suave_meme_stash. He focuses on public transportation. I like to make fun of interior design, and I like to make fun of businesses.

Do you view your role in the community as a public critic?

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I am or what I do, and a lot of the stuff I say is just off the cuff, and I don’t even give it time. I just make memes and I share them.

Do you consider yourself an artist?

I make and sell art, but as far as memes go, no.

What’s the difference between a print that you make and a meme that you make?

I’m not really into the Internet. I hardly even think that photography is art. I think it’s a cop-out. When people go around taking photos of murals and selling them for 500 dollars, they sell it as theirs, but they didn’t do it. The art is the mural– or the person you’re taking the photo of, or the building, or whatever.

I hate photography. I like to sit in the park and draw.

If you successfully create and sell art, then you clearly have an eye for organizing the way that something looks. So when you design a meme and there’s messages and graphics in different places, and it all collaborates into a piece that communicates, why isn’t that art? You might say that photography is capturing what already exists, but isn’t a meme more like a collage?

I just have a personal bias against the Internet. I think the Internet is a gigantic trash can, so that’s why I don’t think about my memes very much.

Do you think the memes are sometimes too critical?

Yes.

What’s your most popular meme?

One of my most popular was the Eric Andre VCU meme:

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I saw it on Instagram, I saw people showing it to each other, people messaged me to ask if they could use it in school projects for whatever niche-ass thing they teach at VCU.

Is there any sense of pride associated with that?

I guess so, but I still think it’s sort of a waste of time.

I want to make something real, and I don’t think memes are really real. They get people to talk, but they don’t cause anything to happen, I don’t think I’m going to affect anything with my memes.

What is it to you that makes a meme funny?

I make stuff that I find funny and I share it without thinking.

It has to be something people are used to seeing every day and talking about it in a way that’s relatable.

If there’s something local that I want to promote, like the Byrd or WRIR, I’ll try to find something funny to say about it, hoping that people will think about it.

What’s your favorite meme format?

I like the starter pack format, because it allows me to use very specific images. I’m a detail-oriented person.

Do you get submissions?

I get 2-4 submissions a day. I rarely publish any, because most of them are just idiotic.

I get hate mail like every other day, just from random-ass people. I also get messages from businesses fairly often. That’s always interesting to me, because they have no right to tell me what to post. I get messages like, “What you’re saying is not true, and you need to take it down.”

Where do people get that anger from? Is it because people liked it? If nobody liked the memes, would people still be angry? I just wonder about the psychology of it.

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I think that, in the case of business owners, they probably think that just because people like a meme, they agree. Really, I think people just find it funny that someone’s saying anything about a business at all. Because where do people say stuff like that otherwise? Yelp? I don’t know.

I frequent the places that I make fun of all the time. There’s no hate. I’ve made two memes about Rumors, and I go there almost every day. It’s all for fun.

Are you planning to make more wholesome memes in the future?

Yeah, but sometimes it doesn’t get the response of a hateful meme. You get a bigger reaction when you say you hate something.

Is there something about memes and meme pages that’s necessarily ironic?

Yeah. I feel like I have to say that I hate everything to even get people to respond. That’s where the initial popularity came from.

It’s a crazy phenomenon. People like to be angry. I like to be happy. I like to relax. I would never harbor anger.

There’s no reason to be angry— or be on the Internet.

How’s that for irony?

RELATED: AUGUST, 2019
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