Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Missed You, Hissed The Lolcats

I'm sure you've seen them by now, pictures of cats getting up to their usual business, or sometimes set up to look like that's what's going on; usually there's some pithy statement superimposed over the picture...why look! There's a handy example over there to the left...Amazing that.

The things are everywhere, they've inspired spoofs, there's a sub-category known as "lolrus" (same set up as lolcats, except with walruses)...What the hell is going on?

Let me confess that I'm part of the phenomenon, elusive as the reasons may be. I've sent them around to friends and people at work who are fond of cats in general. Actually, I had a hand in coming up with the caption to that picture above (though I like my version better: "I has lost my dignity").

Essentially, these things work as a photo-realistic combination of the Garfield (the cats speak) and the Heathcliff one-panel comic strip (the cats have attitude and are usually unruly); the anthropomorphism is pretty rampant.

Which is why you either love the lolcats, or you can't stand 'em. To be honest, not all of it works for me...there are times when the humor is played at America's Funniest Home Videos levels, and then there are the captions.

It took palMynxie to point it out to me; she compared the captions with the stuff over at I can get what she means.

While Engrish is humor based on a specific culture's ignorant assumptions on how to communicate with us, there is a certain amount of...condescencion(? High handedness?) even as we recognize that our own efforts in doing the reverse would be ten times as pathetic...

So, what is the need, with lolcats, to dumb down the language about? Notice the change from my caption suggestion to what ended up being on there (though, even my version is grammatically incorrect); does it make it funnier? Is it masking the fact that the picture itself may not be that humorous? Can't these things work without the dumbed down language? (I say that the answer is yes.)

"But, it's a cat, and if it could speak odds are it'd bastardize the language, get it?" Yeah, I get it, but, frankly, the bulk of these jokes come down to the cat losing its dignity (ergo...), why add to it all?

And what is it about us that needs this? Are we all secretly becoming Mrs. Umbridge (for better impact, see it at actual size) as our culture burns itself to the ground?

In the words of Craig Kilborn: What up?


At 5:12 PM, Blogger mynx said...

yay, i'm a pal.

i have nothing else to add.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

What the hell are you babbling about?

At 5:40 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

Always, Mynxie.

JJ, get to clicking.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger mynx said...

oh god.


At 2:24 PM, Blogger Stine said...

See, I think you can take the language thing to far. For example, if just one word in the phrase has an "ez" on the end of it I find myself reading it ala Cartman, "respect my O THOR E TAY!"

But that link with the kitty babble, seems to me, one stupid 15 year old with too much time on their hands.

I say keep the baby talk, but you better make it intelligent, and it better make me laugh.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger ~A~ said...

But look! All the text is right there in the box. Those fucktards would totally pass the WASL.


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