Memes of New York

someecards meme creation for facebook

I have always been a big fan of the late, great Dave Barry. I say late because, as of the writing of this post, he is fifteen years late responding to my fan mail. Seriously though, his writing style has been truly inspirational to me. Every word so carefully crafted, it’s as if his filter was not a six pack of Budweiser, but a chain mail of brilliance. A lot of what made his writing so ingenious was his ability to pull together the most random of objects or discussion points, find a hidden link and tie them together to a wonderfully resounding denouement.

In the hopes of following in his steps, I want to talk about the memes that have recently been littering my Facebook news feed (I am referring to the images with a clever quote overlaid ..or something like that). Where did this phenomenon originate? Who came up with this crazy thing? To find out, I decided to use some investigative journalism. [Note to the IRS: Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve done any investigative journalism, but if you take a look at my previous articles, you will see I definitely do it for business reasons.] This time, my professional journalistic nature took me to the grand city of New York.

For those of you who have not yet been to New York City, let me tell you a bit about this wonderfully stuffed berg. It houses two of the most hated baseball teams in the Major Leagues and is the only logical city for Spiderman to sling around in. Let’s be honest – imagine if Spiderman lived in Omaha, NE. All he could do would be to spin a huge net between the Woodmen Tower and the First National Bank Building. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think he’d be very effective that way unless criminals were sling shooting themselves through the air.

Back to New York. While there, I ran into the tremendously helpful Jolene Smithers. When asked about her knowledge of the funny card corporation, Someecards, she excitedly responded, “Who?” To help jog her memory, I told her I was talking about those funny cards that get passed around a lot on Facebook. Now clear on what I was asking about, she said, “Oh, I don’t do that Facebook thing. Sorry.” That confirms only 1 of the 18 million people living in New York are not familiar with these memes, proving these are obviously significant no matter where you live.

Why does this matter? It matters because these memes are so completely helpful to our daily life. Thousands of barely surviving business struggle on Facebook trying to provide relevant and informative information to their constituent base, but they’re not doing anything for the gazillion Facebookers out there; nobody cares about helpful information anymore – mindless entertainment is the way to go! I could not agree more, as I am certainly a huge fan of mindless entertainment. I must say though that I am not a fan of the letter games going around; I’ve spent all day trying to figure out how many states do not have any vowels and I’m now way behind on work.

That is why I am so fond of Dave Barry’s work; his mind is as disconnected as mine and he doesn’t use words more complicated than “potato”. I’m pretty sure if they had memes back in the 80s, he would have become a millionaire (but only if he had been the one to invent them). [Note to the IRS: I admit this does not seem like a lot of research for an entire trip to New York, but I can assure you that I have more crackpot investigations to come; such as, what would happen if the Incredible Hulk got trapped in the subway? Or, what exactly does crab juice taste like? Trust me, there is a ton more where that came from.]

someecards meme creation for facebook

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A Short Letter to the Atlanta Braves

This is probably better served if I waited until the season was over, but in the last few minutes while celebrating the Braves’ 89th victory this year–the one that clinched their postseason birth–I felt the urge to say thank you.

This tweet was a specific thank you to Chipper Jones, a baseball player who was young and cool (and kind of a rebel) when I was at the influential age of 12. I am now 32, married and responsible. I don’t obsess over the sport, nor do I watch it EVERY day (every other day is ok, though, right?). When this season is over, I will enjoy other sports in the background while focusing on the good life I have been given.

But tonight, for a few minutes, I want to revel in the memories.

— I remember being 10 and allowed to stay up late so I could watch the end of the Braves vs. Pirates with my father. Little did I know the name Sid Bream would be forever etched in my mind.

— I remember Marquis Grissom making the final catch in the 1995 World Series to cap Tom Glavine’s remarkable performance.

— I remember spending every summer during my teens watching Chipper switch-hit and copying his stance until switch-hitting became natural to me as well.

— I remember the MVP season of 1999, including the unbelievable start to Andruw Jones’ fame with 2 homers in his first World Series game.

— I remember being angry at Vinny Castilla knowing, somehow that Chipper’s willingness to change positions would risk injury. I’m convinced that is a huge reason for the injury strings of the last few years, though Chipper would never lay blame.

— I remember going every year to St. Louis to see the Braves play during my college years.

— I remember my first game at Wrigley field, with Chipper’s 2 homers.

— I remember my first trip to Turner field in 2007…two weeks before I met the woman who would become my wife. John Smoltz won his 200th game that day.

— I remember taking my wife to her first MLB game in 2009…at Turner Field. Since then, our house has been a Chipper vs. B-Mac rivalry.

— I remember saying good-bye to Bobby Cox.

— I remember my wife giving me tickets to the Atlanta series in Seattle for our anniversary…and coming with me.

— I remember knowing without a doubt Chipper would not retire after what happened in Sept. 2011 – he would go out on top.

— I remember the day I knew the end was coming with the retirement announcement.

— I remember the home run in Chipper’s first game this year.

— I will remember the 9th inning rally Chipper sparked that led to Freddy Freeman’s playoff clinching home run this evening.

— I am sure there are other awesome moments for the storage bank that will occur yet this season; not to mention the years ahead.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of memories. These, however, are the ones I cherish. Thanks to the Atlanta Braves for providing a team that actually deserves appreciation. Thanks to Chipper for growing up with me and being someone whom, 20 years later, I can still hold in esteem. Thanks to my parents for sharing with me their love for the city and the team. Thanks to my wife for allowing me to be a kid, even as a grown up.