Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog 3: Community

These memes appear to be blending the boundaries between the online and the offline. They are in response to specific offline events and culture, but are interpreting such events through online memes. They are not simply bridging the offline and online, because this is not mere reporting. In addition to reporting the events, these memes are communicating a certain negative view of religion, specifically the religion of Mike Pence. They are using online resources as a tool to interpret these events and show how a different, negative side of Pence's decision.
Here is one meme that shows a blending of the offline and online:
At first glance, one might argue that this as a bridge between the offline and the online. It's a very straightforward relay of information: Signed "religious freedom" bill, now wants to ban all muslims. First, it is interesting that the meme did not specify that the subject of this meme is Pence. Only with the proper background knowledge could a viewer know that this meme was referring to Mike Pence. Second, although the text is a straightforward relay of information, it is the character in the meme that raises the argument that this is indeed an interpretation of the event. This character, known as "Scumbag Steve," is the "face" of this meme. Perhaps there is no name associated with the meme because they are equating Pence with Scumbag Steve. In this meme, Pence IS a Scumbag Steve.
Meme from: https://imgflip.com/i/191d21
Another meme represents the blending of the two below:
This meme, also a blending, is an attack on Pence's religious freedom bill in alignment with his other actions. It does not even report on the event, rather the meme shows one reaction to Pence's decision: that his actions do not communicate that he fully understands what religious freedom means. To go further, based on his anti-LGBT stances and anti-Muslim stances, the creator of this meme also communicates what religious freedom ought to look like. If being anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim is an incorrect use of religious freedom, then possibly a more correct use of such freedom would be the absence of opposition to such causes.
Meme from: http://freedomxlaw.com/nr-dont-ever-forget-mike-pence-threw-religious-liberty-bus/

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