It’s late January, which can only mean one thing at the Big Bad Blog — we grow tired of last year’s meme.
Last year, we wrote about the FAIL meme. This year’s meme is nowhere near as insidious as the fail meme. It is not sneaking its way into people’s vocabularies and newspaper headlines. Instead, people have simply started doing it wrong.
The meme? The Demotivational Poster
What is a demotivational?
For those unfamiliar with this particular meme may remember the Motivational Poster:
While your intrepid blogger has been lucky enough not to have seen an actual motivational poster for some time, memory makes them unfathomably common. As above, they would feature some sort of scene out of nature. Underneath this picture would read a virtue of some kind. Below the virtue, a cheesy slogan meant to encourage the reader to pursue the virtue.
Demotivationals make fun of this. So “perseverance” goes from the image above to the image below:
Where does the meme go wrong?
Of course, the format of the meme when directly making fun of the Motivational Poster is limiting, and soon the meme expanded to simply adding two-part captions to funny photos.
And, as with the “fail” meme, people have begun to add captions to photos that add nothing to the humour.
Do we really need a caption to point out that somebody who looks like a hard-core biker — possibly even a gang member — is riding a girl’s pink frilly bicycle?
But this is what the meme has become as more and more people jump on board. Rather than injecting humour into a photo that isn’t particularly funny, or adding to a funny photo, captions are now being used to explain the joke.
Ever have somebody tell you a joke, and then explain it? Of course you have. We do not need a meme to do that for us.
What is a good demotivational?
It should be obvious that the best demotivationals, like the “perseverance” demotivational above, reference a potential (if not an actual) motivational poster.
However, if you are going to add a caption, it should add humour. If it does not do this, please do not dirty our demotivational search results with your work.
What should you do if you have an urge to create a demotivational?
If you have an urge to create a demotivational poster, a few questions might help you to figure out whether or not it’s a good idea:
- Are you actually making fun of motivational posters?
- Is your photo funny without the caption?
- Is your caption funny without the photo?
- Is the photo/caption combination greater than the sum of its parts?
Now, consult the following table:
|You said yes to …||You should|
|1 only||DO NOT make the Demotivational.
What you have is just a really bad motivational poster.
|2 & 3 only||DO NOT make the Demotivational.
Publish the photo on its own. Link to it from twitter using your caption.
|2 only||DO NOT make the Demotivational.
Just publish the photo on its own.
|3||DO NOT make the Demotivational.
Either tweet your witty caption, or find a better photo to accompany your caption.
In other cases, you might have a decent Demotivational. Wait twenty-four hours (or longer, if you find yourself drunk after twenty-four hours) and review your work to ensure it is still humorous before sharing it with the Internet. Please.
Failing to follow the above instructions will result in tears of rage.