Meme Warfare & The Boys

In week nine, we explored meme warfare and the impact that memes have had on historic events like the 2016 US election.

The Boys is an American TV show based on the comic series of the same name. The synopsis of the show reads:

“An irreverent take on the superhero genre, it explores what happens when superheroes abuse their powers instead of using them for good. These mighty beings โ€” who are popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods โ€” find themselves hunted by a non-powered group of vigilantes.”

In the second season, the main antagonist, Homelander, is ridiculed by the public and is attacked online through memes of the early internet era. His approval ratings begin to plummet and he seeks the help of another ‘supe’, Stormfront. She talks about how she has a group of guys who she pays to make memes and change the online narrative. While it’s probably one of the more accurate depictions of meme culture in television, NewRockstars‘ breakdown summed it up best, saying “You can’t create a couple memes and plug them into tumblr somewhere and then it changes someones approval rating.”

While memes often reflect what’s happened, they can dictate what happens next. The use of memes played a huge role during the 2016 election, far too much that I can explain in this blog post, but the linked article in particular explores it perfectly.

With the next US election just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how big of a role memes and internet culture will have. Also, check out The Boys if you haven’t!

Frank Tremain.

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One thought on “Meme Warfare & The Boys

  1. James Muggeridge October 15, 2020 / 4:15 pm

    I really like the idea of ‘the boys’ as it takes on the other side of being a superhero and is something which had to be done with the significant amount of movies glorifying the positive side of being a superhero. How it also conveys the topic of meme warfare makes this show so relevant in todays social-media dominant society. It’s crazy to think that memes play a role in warfare now when a more physical and tragic world lies in different places around the world with the use of guns. I am also looking forward to the election and the use of memes to create a political advantage for one another.

    Liked by 2 people

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