Thank you! They're not "memes" they're image macros!
The Minions themselves are basically the epitome of hashgag. They are cute nonsensical character designs that make zero sense, bolted onto the rest of the movie in ridiculous vignettes. These vignettes can be mass-produced across the globe without concern for continuity or artistry. To me, they reek of the cynical influence of marketing. They are far more popular than any other character in the movie (can you name any of Gru’s daughters? the villain? his wife?), to the point where they are the primary focus of the advertising and merchandising.
So we see a trend: Post-memes seem targeted at parents, Christians, and conservatives. Again, this is just the core audience. But many expressions are unexplored in post-memes. A Minion — or Garfield or Tweety or Snoopy — never means “I’m cooler than you.” It never supports the young against the old. It never seeks to upset the status quo. It is never sexual. And it is never truly weird.
Until it is.
schmod: “God Tier: Facebook moms run the meme game is a much more thoughtful discussion of the subject.”
But Minions are not tied to any central emotion. They occupy an odd middle ground as a specific piece of intellectual property unbound from a specific feeling or worldview. Minions are sarcastic, honest, smarmy, snarky, playful, mean, and downright sour depending on the need… Minions are basically emoji.
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