Peak Meme Hysteria & the Kevin Durant Odyssey

-Joe Pitts (@headtowall)

When the topic of social media came up at my family's annual 4th of July shit show and my 12 year-old cousin exclaimed, with various colorful condiments cascading from his chin, that he refused to make a Facebook account because "it's not cool anymore", I knew things were about to change. But until then we must bask in what may come to be our generation’s defining characteristic. No, not self-driving party busses, virtual reality porn parties, or keeping up with the Wests: I'm talking about internet memes. 

Sure, my little cousin and the rest of his fellow prepubescent rebels will one day acquire all of the cultural currency to utilize as they see fit, and we can hope they will return to form—that is, form of substance, but before that we must embrace the Dark Ages of Memedom. So dive into Twitteronia, fire up that Photoshop knockoff and embrace your inner shallow satire. Produce it. Consume it. Love it. All signs are go: we have hit peak meme hysteria. 

Take a look at this year's NBA free agency Category 5 thunderstorm: Kevin Durant's breakup with Oklahoma. Once he made the announcement, the meme generators went into the overdrive mode Curry never could muster up in that Finals Game 7. Maybe we should thank our forefathers for the “no work” July 4th Monday that gave way to the streamlined mass production of the internet's unrelenting assault we witnessed yesterday. The time between KD’s Decision 2.0 and the ensuing images and videos meant to appease the mass’s appetite for low-brow, pop culture-laden humor is on a scale so unfathomably short, I feel like the news came with the memes already shipped inside and ready to go, like one of those care packages your mom sent you freshman year but with less sustenance and more merciless humor. See some of my favorite exhibits below:

To my knowledge this one was posted three minutes after KD’s announcement. How do you guys do this?

It wouldn’t be a piece on memes in the realm of sports without Crying Jordan, so here is one of Westbrook, of course. This one’s back from the dead from after their playoff loss to Golden State. Is that poetic? Ironic? I don’t know anymore:

Everybody loves Martin:

It's not an internet meme without a bit of pop culture potpourri, and while you might think a reference to that cell phone guy is dated, the comparison to his switch from Verizon to Sprint is pretty apt:

And my favorite of the day. You guys really have no remorse: 


So here we are. Are future news cycles doomed to be dominated by the thunder of memes or will kids like my cousin make up the warriors of tomorrow who will revolt against our generational identity? Until then there’s not much to do but sit back and laugh.