September 18, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | | September 18, 2008 |


Blog: I Can Haz Cheezeburger

Topic: Internet Microfad

Review: Explain something to me, folks. According to Technorati, I Can Haz Cheezeburger is the 10th most popular blog in the Internet. It has over 10 million (million) page views a week; compare that to a popular site everyone knows (or at least everyone I know), like Wonkette, which only has 1.5 million page views a week (during an election season). Who the fuck are these people who fritter their life away looking at pictures of cats? Is this the huge Palin demographic I’m unaware of? Do these people not realize that pictures of cats with LOLcat captions is not porn?

This is disturbing to me beyond measure.

I truly do not get it. For the blessed unfamiliar, I Can Haz Cheezeburger is the leading blog of the LOLcat phenomenon. If you don’t know what the LOLcat phenomenon is, thank your lucky goddamn stars. It involves combining a picture of a cat (usually) with a caption written in lolspeak, a type of gibberish kitty-pidgin English. There’s not really a set format for lolspeak — you just misspell everything using as much text-message speak as possible, and everyone apparently laughs uproariously (unless you attempt to write a full-length real-time recap using it).

The LOLcat fad began in 2006, and was popularized on Something Awful.com (among other sites). In the beginning, many of the cat images came from Cute Overload, where Winston is a popular figure, apparently. I Can Haz Cheezeburger began in January of 2007 as a repository for LOLcat images, and though the LOLcat phenomena should’ve died three months later, it still lives on. In fact, it’s strangely as popular as ever, at least amongst the Angela Martin’s (“The Office”) of this world, the only people I can imagine who visit the site. The newer “FAIL” fad is considered somewhat of an offshoot of the LOLcat phenomena, so we fucking have it to thank for that, too (*grumble grumble*). All of it, apparently, is designed to keep the American public from using proper English and to annoy the ever-living shit out of me. The LOLcat phenomena has gotten so popular, in fact, there is a book based on the blog being put together as we speak (there was a two-day auction for the rights) called I Can Haz Cheezburger: A LOLcat Colleckshun, a compilation of the 200 best LOLcats from the site. It will be released on October 7th. That’s a book I’d actually like to see banned in all libraries.

As for the site itself, either you love it or you don’t. And to many people, admitting you hate LOLcats is like admitting you hate sunlight and happiness. It’s just cute pictures with funny captions. How can you hate that? Oh, it’s easy, my friends. Because the LOLcat meme is just another assault on our intelligence, a way to ensure that our culture continues to age backwards. It’s gotten to the point that speaking like a goddamn two-year-old poo-flinging child is considered funny. Do we aspire to nothing more than toddler gabble? These online cultural fads have a way of working themselves into our larger culture (as “FAIL” clearly has), which probably feels like a slap across the face to those who actually try to contribute something substantive or progressive to popular society. How are people with real substance, actual thoughts, and intelligent ideas supposed to compete with: “Der r no werds to ‘spress ur stoopididy.” You can’t. Because you can’t argue with a statement like that.

But the biggest irony of all is that, within only a matter of years, no one will think the misspellings are funny anymore. They won’t even realize the captions are misspelled. And therein lies the truest terror of the LOLcat phenomenon (and even “Hole in the Wall”): That we will one day be too dumb to realize how dumb it is.

Sample Post:

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Rating: FUCKINS OBNOXIOUZ

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives in Portland, Maine. You can reach him via email, or leave a comment below.

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DEATH 2 KITTENZ. KTHXBYE!

I Can Haz Cheezburger Blog Review/ Dustin Rowles

September 18, 2008 | Comments ()




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