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Top 10: Memes of 2018, #4: Is this a pigeon?

In this top 10, our writer breaks down their favourite memes that came out of 2018. Pray for them and their sanity.

Is this a meme???

Yes, and a damn good one. This image macro is a screencap from the anime The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird, where an android man, still getting oriented with his programming, gestures towards a butterfly and mistakes it for a pigeon.

As mentioned in the entry on “Who Killed Hannibal,” macros focused on labelling figures in an image have become incredibly popular, primarily for their remixability and their flexibility. You can blatantly label things to cut down people for misrecognizing the awful things they do. You can roast yourself for looking at unhealthy coping mechanisms as the most effective way to take care of yourself. The possibilities are endless.

Beyond the flexibility of the meme, I think a lot of its appeal comes from a particular sense of humour the meme evokes. Where does this come from, you ask?

The dumb look on the man’s face.

He seems so confident, so innocent, and yet he is so so wrong. There’s a sweet sweet level of dramatic irony to it, one that’s extremely cathartic. It’s a nice contrast to the violence inherent within “Who Killed Hannibal,” a better choice for more lighthearted, silly topics. That doesn’t mean more serious, politically charged topics can’t be effectively memed using this template. I just feel that the violence of “Who Killed Hannibal” lends itself better to those kinds of topics.

After all this explanation, it may seem like the same meme has landed on my top ten twice, and for all practicalities, it kind of has. But let me justify my reasoning.

“Is this a pigeon” is just great. It’s fun. It’s brought me many moments of joy in what can sometimes be a very stressful and busy life. It’s made me laugh at myself, and anything that can do that well deserves a winning grade in my book.

Andrew McWhinney

Andrew McWhinney is a fifth-year English and political science combined honors student, as well as The Gateway's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. He was previously The Gateway's 2018-19 Opinion Editor. An aspiring journalist with too many opinions, he's a big fan of political theory, hip-hop, and being alive.

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