This experience of “yassifying” myself made me rethink what this internet trend reveals about our culture. While playfulness is core to the “yassification” memes, there’s nonetheless an eerie feeling of revealing the uncanny valley of our reality that’s not far removed from the simulated extremes.
“Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens,” a Facebook meme group created in the wake of national school closures with over half a million members, has connected people looking to practice languages, a New York Times reporter asking for quotes for a story, fundraisers from pre-med fraternities and of course, lots of memes.
“Did you get a return offer?” A question that I’ve been asked dozens of times upon running into friends and acquaintances since returning to Cornell last month. “Do you know what you’re doing next year yet?” A question that I know I am not the only senior to receive over and over again in the past month. “How are you feeling this week?” A question I’ve been asked rarely, if at all, in my time at Cornell. We spend a lot of time talking about how CAPS has a long wait time and not enough therapists, and how the mental health resources on this campus need to be improved. But I think Cornell’s mental health crisis starts a hell of a lot earlier than that.
The Elections Committee’s refusal to comply with the ruling of the judicial codes counselor in the Varun Devatha ’19 disqualification case is direly unfortunate and demonstrates an embarrassing lack of regard for reason on the part of our student government. Furthermore, it represents an impractical and dangerous seizure of power by a small, unelected council, and the public statement from the members of the committee does little to inspire any confidence in that body’s decision to uphold Devatha’s disqualification for violating election rules regulating promotional materials. We iterate once more how patently absurd it is to believe that a “steal his look” meme so profoundly affected the fairness of the election as to merit a disqualification.Should those on Elections Committee wish to regain the trust which they have so thoroughly dispensed themselves of, they must immediately release all documentation relating to the Devatha case, beginning with the initial challenge to the campaign, all the way through their assessment of the Judicial Codes Counselor opinion and their final report — including their assessment of why they believe they, rather than the JCC, have final authority on the matter. If the committee is so confident in its decision, let it argue it in front of the students which it serves. The committee’s statement references the responsibilities of “the overall community as an informed body politic” — and yet such an invocation rings hollow when the committee refuses to inform the body politic! If the committee is going to risk overturning the democratically expressed will of the people, they should do so openly.
Many people feel sad on Valentine’s Day for a great number of reasons. Is it legitimate sadness or is it normalized, commercial sadness? We’re all witnessing the slow rise of Vaporwave and “sad boy” memes. Does this mean that we’re aestheticizing sadness and trying to normalize it or is this all another big joke? I’ll admit that at first I thought it was all one big joke, but I keep seeing more and more people share those “aesthetic” Simpsons clips featuring something along the lines of Yung Lean or Macintosh Plus music.