I read the news today and…. oh boy. Mac Demarco Doesn’t Even Know What a Dank Meme Is was a headline on NME this morning. This was all in response to an ad placed by his manager in the search for an intern. “Send your dankest Mac meme or Mac related gif” read the ad. “I don’t even know what would make a meme dank,” DeMarco says in the piece, aggregated from an interview with Shortlist. “What does the word ‘dank’ actually mean?”
Buddy. Pal. My guy. Looking past the fact that you, the dankest man alive apart maybe from Father John Misty, don’t know what the word “dank” means, how is it possible that you don’t know what a dank meme is? I’m not here to judge your lifestyle, but it just seems kind of wild that in the year of our lord 2017 you don’t know a dank meme when you see it. But luckily, the first step to recovery is admission, and now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive in, shall we? Welcome to Dank Memes 101.
First and foremost, let’s define what a dank meme is: Colloquially, “dank” means “disagreeably damp, musty, and typically cold” so right off the bat we can see that dank memes are not a good thing. It’s easy to think dank = good because dank is a word often associated with weed, a good thing. So, while we want to assume dank memes are bad, they’re not. Dank memes are good.Cynics and jaded memers alike use “dank meme” as a description to indicate the meme has reached Normie levels of popularity. Classifying a meme as “dank” means that it’s reached the upper echelon of visibility, the highest place it can reach before being shared to your Facebook by your Aunt Stacy from some page called something like “FUNNIEST Pics Of All Freakin’ Time Seriously You Will L O L!!!”
Are you still with me? Ok, great. Now let’s get to the good part: looking at dank memes. R/dankmemes is a solid place to start, in my opinion. They explicitly state that using the impact font in a genuine way is a no-no, a good rule of thumb to follow when you’re trying to differentiate dank v. normie memes. However, it can be misleading, so just follow what your gut says. For example:
This above meme is not dank. Spongebob memes can be dank, but this meme gets too close to real life. Real life, while definitely dank, is not a dank meme. There are, of course, exceptions to this. See below.
via Tumblr. This meme is dank.
Also it’s just not cool to bring real life beliefs that are detrimental to our future into memes. A meme must never harsh your vibe. Some people will try to tell you something is a meme because it’s in a meme format. This is also not true.
A good way to judge whether or not a meme has gone from dank to stank, is whether or not a brand has used it [Full disclosure: as social media editor for this very site, I have contributed multiple times to stanking a meme. I take some personal responsibility for ruining cracking open a cold one with the boys for everyone, and I will regret it until my last day alive.] Moving on.
So, what have we learned? Memes about real life are bad, mostly. Brands using memes are bad, mostly. Dank memes are sometimes good, but sometimes bad. But the true test of a dank meme, really, is how it makes you feel. When you look at a meme, do you feel kinda fucked up laughing at it? Like “fuck, this should not be funny, but this is kind of funny”? That’s dank, dude.
Here’s a meme I recently found to be dank:
via The People’s Republic of Music on Facebook
It’s funny, because it’s you, but also because the hang loose hand gesture is so fuckin’ tight, right? You are the human definition of the hang loose hand gesture my guy. But once you acknowledge this meme, unfortunately, it stops being dank. Don’t ask me why, it just does.
Hope that helps in your search for understanding what a dank meme is. I’m on Twitter should you need further help. Normies do not contact me.
Annalise Domenighini has no idea what she’s doing to be honest.
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