Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lolcats? WTF?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm a cat person. I really am. And I don't mind photos of cats. I don't even mind "cat-blogging," though I've never posted a pic of my cat here.

And I'd like to think that I'm fairly Internet savvy, that I'm up with, if not in on, the major fads.

But how is it that I'd never heard of I Can Has Cheezburger until yesterday? Don't know what that is? Then don't go any further. Enjoy your blissful ignorance.

But if you're curious, or you know of it already, check out this fine piece by Slate's Farhan Manjoo, my favourite tech writer. Apparently, the whole "lolcat" thing has become a significant cultural phenomenon, with ICHC pulling in a whopping one million unique visitors a month (and growing). All for somewhat amusing cat photos and really silly, "ironic, allusive, peculiarly spelled captions." It's even making money for its owner, Pet Holdings, which has become a one-stop resource for many such memes:

Pet Holdings markets memes: In addition to I Can Has Cheezburger, the company also runs Failblog, which collects photographic instances of spectacular flops; Engrish Funny, a chronicle of poorly translated signs; GraphJam, in which people try to distill life into PowerPoint-type slides (such as "Relationship Between Money and Problems," an ascending, 45-degree line graph); and Once Upon a Win, a trove of awesome, faddy things from the past (friendship bracelets, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, videos of Weird Al).

I sort of get it, lolcats and the other memes, and some of it's funny, but... really? This is popular? This is how so many people waste time online? This is profitable? Huh.

But so what? Isn't the Internet great? Seriously, isn't it?

(Well, seriously, this has to be a Sign of the Apocalypse. Yes, it's #65.)

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4 Comments:

  • The Mrs. and I stop by the Cheezburger every night before bed. We giggle our asses off.

    By Blogger Fixer, at 4:43 PM  

  • Okay, Fixer, you know I respect your opinion, so maybe I'll take another look.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:08 PM  

  • I agree. How could you possibly not have heard about Cheezburger?

    If you haven't heard about it, cuteoverload.com is also good for a laugh.

    Oh, and don't forget to check out the tabs at the top of ICanHazCheezburger. There are LOL dogs and celebrities as well

    By Anonymous Vancouver Moose, at 4:23 AM  

  • Why am I not surprised. A quick review of your blog posts suggests that you are exactly the kind of person who hasn't got a clue about anything past the end of your nose.

    I stop by this blog for humour about once a month. Always some posts here that are hilarious.

    Much like Lolcats in fact - nothing serious, just some good humour.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 PM  

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