A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to help teach online classes through our local community college. One of the problems with the online classes was that since the internet was a relatively new-ish thing for most people at that time (mid-late 90’s), lots of people had never before interacted with other people on the internet. And so they weren’t familiar AT ALL with the problems inherent with other people reading their simple black and white words on a page.
Tone and tenor of words took on a whole new meaning. Normal, totally innocuous things got quickly blown up into fully-fledged flame wars. (Oh wait! You mean just like today! Oh. Guess we haven’t learned much, eh?)
The college actually insisted that online students had to take a 1 credit class that taught them proper online etiquette. It made sense because some of those flame wars were ridiculous. I mean, really? You are pissed off at how that dude described how to account for a depreciation of public stock? Really? Yes, some of them were just that dumb. Accountants. At each others’ throats over debits and credits. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve dealt with that. Trust me.
But back in those days, I had a spiel that I put down in every class chat board that I controlled that gave guidelines on how we were to operate on the chat boards. One of the things I stressed was that the use of emoticons could make or break a statement and would more than likely help others understand what you meant.
Now-a-days on chat boards, websites and what have yous, we still use emoticons to convey what we mean. And there are other, wonderful things, like memes that have been created for us/that we create to show the funniness/ludicrousness/juxtaposition of the cray and the stupid/etc. of a situation.
Now, who knew that diminutive dilute colored felines in comfy cozy sweaters could be such threatening beasties?
This is my shocked and horrified face.
Kitteh memes like that are actually cute ways of getting people to laugh. It’s the juxtaposition of an adorable cat, dressed in a silly sweater, along with a “serious” question. I see that and I giggle. And you should giggle at my owl too. Because, owl, being owlish. FUNNY, DAMMIT!!!
Bill Schmalfeldt? Thinks it’s the END OF THE WORLD DEATH THREAT ELEVENTY!!!111!!!!1!11!
Now, if I wanted to “threaten” someone, I might consider posting a picture like this one.
But then I just giggle again. A Siberian Husky, caught in the rear view mirror looking all serious. With the perfect caption. The first time I saw that picture, I think I laughed for a good five minutes. The person who posted it to me was commenting on something that did indeed involve the whole “I’m gonna get you SOON” vibe that the picture encapsulates. It was awesome.
Now, did I think that he was going to actually “get” me and that it was a threat to me? Yeah, that would be a no. And if I went to the cops over it? They might have a hard time stifling their laughter in my face, but they sure as hell would be dying at their desks after I was gone. A real threat? Are you SERIOUS? OMG she’s a fking LOON! Bwahahahahahahaaa!
Ok, now this one? Yeah, it’s more of a threat. That DOG! Is gonna EAT YOUR PIGGIES IN A BLANKET! ZOMG!
What is it with Siberian Huskies looking so evil and demented? Somebody should study that.
Okay. Now that one is a real threat. That kitten is gonna swallow your soul with its cuteness. That’s why it’s being contained in that bag of holding. You should DEFINITELY report that.
Oh fuck. We’re doomed.
Gahhhhh! IT’S GONNA EAT ME!!!!!!!
No, seriously. Ostriches are MEAN FUCKERS! They will knock you out with a wing! Don’t mess with the ostrich! They will CUT YOU!
So, you can see how the meme can escalate and yeah, by the last one, I *might* be considering that someone was actually threatening me. If I was drunk or on some seriously hallucinogenic drugs. But even then I would realize the whole animal picture/funny catch phrase thing of it all. And sanity takes over and I just giggle. A whole lot.
Perhaps the cops will take what Bill Schmalfeldt says seriously. Or they will laugh behind his back when he goes away after they pat him on the head. Let’s just be glad for him that he didn’t try to take this last meme to the cops as a possible “threat.”
Because those sloths. They gonna get you, suckah!