We all know what a meme is. Whether its some iteration of Pepe or dubbed gifs from popular media, memes (derived from the Greek word ‘mimeme’, “something imitated”) dominate our fast-paced online culture. Global culture never stops developing and transforming, granting us a bountiful fountain of creative opportunities to make and tweak perpetually.
Even amongst memes, one type really stands out to me. “Living Memes” are those that are of people and can be applied dynamically to a whole range of situations. They typically encompass much more than a typical flat or gif meme that simply focus on an immediately recognizable expression; living memes encompass a historic and documented attitude and entire context that can be transplanted into new scenarios. These can usually be traced back to an entire video and specific moment.
The best living meme example in crypto is by far Carlos Matos’ appearance at a Bitconnect conference in East Asia. His expressions, quotes from the presentation, and his general persona in real life have all manifested as subject matter that the crypto community continually references whenever a ridiculous situation or whiff of dirty dealings ever appears again in the space.
Now, you can find Carlos everywhere. Heck, I even use Matos’ face as emojis in our Slack chats.
Tracing back the origin of living memes like that of Matos reveals a tremendous amount concerning the history or relevance of a situation that can’t be immediately understood from just a single glance. These individuals are sometimes victims to their own circumstance (like poor Carlos here), but they’re usually people that have gone too far or done something absolutely ridiculous in the eyes of a general public.
I want to do a few articles over the next couple weeks on particular instances and tropes of living memes as I find them extremely fascinating. Each has a particularly rich backdrop from which they’ve emerged and their dynamic use in everyday conversation is spectacularly diverse yet revealing.
To anyone getting into the concept of living memes and want to explore some of the most popular initial examples, I recommend the following link -
So let me know your favorite living memes, no matter how provincial and minorstream!