Now, brace yourselves, because this article is going to be about Stuff On The Internet That’s Not Funny.
“What are you saying?” I hear you cry. “Everything on the internet is charming and hilarious! Only last week my nextdoor neighbour sent me an adorable picture of a slow loris offering a banana to a kitten, accompanied with the gentle pun ‘I Find You Ap-peel-ing.’ This is the sort of quaint humour that the internet, a bastion of love and human knowledge, was made for. Please, oh please, don’t sully my view of it.”
Or perhaps that’s not actually what I hear you cry. Perhaps, instead, you’ve learnt the hard way about human nature through the darkest corners of the world wide web. No, I’m not talking about hardcore sadomasochism here – after all, everything seems consensual. Instead, I’m talking about the non-consensual violation of my dignity that is regularly enacted through a seemingly endless stream of ‘Someecards’.
Think you’re not familiar with Someecards? You are. Check this one out:
NOT FUNNY. And this one:
NOT FUNNY. And this one:
STILL NOT FUNNY.
Someecards have a far-reaching remit, and that’s why they keep popping up on your Facebook wall if you, like me, have idiots for friends. This one, for instance, could win awards in passive aggression:
While this one features a complement of retro imagery with socially backward thinking:
If you need to get anymore old fashioned, consider this hilarious ‘museum’ card which pretends to be from 1921 for your amusement:
Oh, ho ho ho! What japes. Truly, this is a hilarity that hasn’t been matched since someone substituted ‘Eat Cake’ for ‘Carry On’ and sold kitsch cake trays emblazoned with the phrase ‘Keep Calm and Eat Cake’.
The reason these e-cards really get my goat is that they destroy sarcasm for everybody. Sarcasm was meant to be the lowest form of wit apart from all the other forms, and I built upon that as a teenager – it was basically my only solid investment into adulthood. Now Someecards are doing exactly what RBS did with my other investments: trashing them, sharing them around odious people, and then co-conspiring with the government (probably.) And if the denigration of sarcasm isn’t enough to send you baying for the creator’s blood, then consider another list of virtues I’m pretty sure Someecards have ruined: office-based internet browsing in my lunch hour, common decency, feminism, intellectuality, all that is sacred in the world, and rates of global literacy as people withdraw children from primary schools in their droves. Why learn to read when this drivel is all that gets shored up as you idle at a screen in your mid-twenties? Why risk possibly suicide-inducing disappointment?
If you think that I’m overreacting to a potentially harmless memefest that I could just ignore with the click of a button, consider that The Huffington Post does a regular column called ‘The Funniest Someecards of the Week’. One week, this featured ‘Congratulations from only being 19 babies away from your own reality TV show’ and ‘Sometimes I run out of unproductive things to do as work’ as examples of exemplary humour picked by people on one of the largest publications in the world. This is an epidemic of unfunniness. It’s an assault on comedy, the likes of which we had previously only seen during painful, fleeting glimpses of a TV rerun of Gigli. Something’s got to give, because the entry on Wikipedia (traditionally renowned for its accuracy) for Someecards actually describes them as ‘clever parodies’. Is this the world you want to live in?
If you have felt even slightly moved by my heartfelt plea, please take it upon yourself to de-friend anyone on your social networks who henceforth post a Someecard with anything other than ‘WHAT IS THIS TOTAL SHITE’ written underneath it. This will force the Someecard subscribers into a pool of easily identifiable, practically friendless individuals, where they can then be shipped off to Unfunny Island along with Michael Macintyre and forced to listen to jokes without punchlines all day long.
Stand up for comedy everywhere, and in return I will gift you with this delightful, blood-pressure-lowering YouTube video of a cat that just can’t get enough of a cardboard box. In this matter, I feel strongly that we cannot delay.
Ladies and gentlemen, your country needs YOU.