Photo: St Memedrews

How Far Our Memes Have Come

St Andrews has emerged as a leading player in the meme economy.

Isn’t it funny how quickly some things can change? I say this as the boy who wrote an article about staying in halls, but, admittedly through fault of my own, is now living in a flat with three girls who were strangers just over two months ago. I say this, too, as somebody who lovingly gazes at the online presence of my dear University with pride and glee, reflecting on how far we have come since Jamie Rodney’s article in January of this year.

How far we have come! Back then, our biggest page was Doggos of St Andrews, at a not-insignificant 600 likes. But now, St Memedrews has shot up to over 6,000. Besides these, several other pages have also entered the memeverse that just a year ago was so empty; St Feuddrews, St Fessdrews, and now even St Saddrews!

Photo: St Memedrews

What a time to be alive! At least for folk like me. The name-dropping above is only the tip of the iceberg of the pages in this small town in Fife. But why are there so many?

Perhaps it is because we are bored, most students here having come from much larger settlements than The Bubble. Perhaps it is because of a lack of identity – growing up in a materialistic, individualistic capitalist machine that gives us so much and yet never enough, where I believe (in spite of all the social media) we often end up feeling more alone than previous generations. It seems we are desperately trying to feel a part of a community beyond ourselves, even if we are doing that through memes and captions about fantastic kebab shops and overpriced alcopops.

Perhaps it is because we already have such a strong identity, that we are overflowing with an enthusiastic affection for our newfound (sort-of) home that can only be expressed through memes. Perhaps the admins and those who submit enjoy the process. Perhaps they seek to serve strangers who they expect to enjoy the finished product. Or perhaps, to quote Slavoj Zizek, “So, which is the right answer? I claim none of them and at the same time all of them.”

Photo: St Memedrews

Either way, I am glad we as a people have achieved this. As someone who personally knows three of the “potential St Memedrews admins,“this is exciting for me. Some Feuds and Crushes have been directed at people who apparently comment too frequently – our memeverse allows for easy BNOC status, with minimal effort (albeit requiring a great deal of time).

Thus, to respond to Mr Rodney’s ten-month-old call to “Make St Andrews Funny Again”: I don’t know if or when it was before, but, to quote from the famous commentary of the time England won the World Cup: It is now. 

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