It is a packaged unit of information that has the ability to not change when passed from one user to another, a thousand times. It is immortal.Alberto Peralta de Legarreta
It is possible that the first memes about death were created by José Guadalupe Posada, in an involuntary way, since his well-known skulls emit messages of subtle political or social criticism whose humor has been shared by generations and does not expire. In the work of this artist, the constant presence of death is reiterated, due to wars, epidemics, and poverty, which are current issues that humanity still resents: https://mexicochulo.com/mexicanismos/las-calaveras- de-jose-guadalupe-posada-that-you-don’t-know/
The origin of the word meme today is attributed to another author who invented it without knowing the repercussions of his idea. It was the biologist Richard Dawkins (1976) in his book The Selfish Gene, where he wrote this word to refer to the adaptation of the English word: gene, combined with memory or mimesis. The author explained how ideas or cultural phenomena spread or evolve over time by various means, but they do not become extinct, but rather are transmitted from person to person, from generation to generation, by imitation or assimilation of content. Genes are to biology what memes are to culture.
Dawkins‘ ideas that arose before the internet coincide with the function of memes today. It is a type of content that spreads through social networks. It is made up of an association of elements, images, and text, identifiable by a large number of people around the world, to express an idea, a concept, or an opinion. They have gained great value as a cultural manifestation not only as a form of entertainment, they are truly social or political positions that are reproduced in millions of views and shared in the same amount.
For the theme of death, showing the image of a skull that appears unexpectedly has been recognized in Western culture for hundreds of years, by paintings or prints, as well as the image is accompanied by a person who tries to avoid it without success. It is the general content of memes about death that is reproduced infinitely. They can be reflective, but in general, they convey humorous or ironic ideas about this topic. For many people it can be irreverent, for others it is a way to become familiar with the subject and on the other hand, laughing at the tragedy itself is part of the humor that is a sign of our Latin heritage.
In 2020, a video about a peculiar funeral in Ghana was released where four men carry a coffin on their shoulders and perform a rhythmic dance that is considered a ritual and a tribute of respect to the deceased in memory of the happy moments of his life. Soon the video became the subject of various memes, endlessly reproduced even in WhatsApp stickers. What in that country is an expression of mourning, for people in other countries it was something different or unpleasant. Millions of Internet users have taken it in a humorous way and thus it has spread adapted to different risk situations, like the infinity of other memes with the same purpose.
Limor Shifman (2013) author Los Memes en la Cultura Digital, suggests that they appeared in 2000 and 2002, as we understand them today, they use humor or irony to make their content forceful. message. The people who share them are part of a community that understands that humor and participates in reproducing it. Successful memes are those that survive over time and continue to have meaning. They are transgressive and clear when communicating their content.
We believe that talking about death is complicated. It can be associated with bad superstition or because of the permanent mourning that exists when losing a loved one. It is always said that Mexicans laugh at it and their Day of the Dead celebrations are a joyful contact with the inevitable, it is actually a way of processing grief and there is a deep respect for the transcendental in these traditions.
Talking about death in an ironic way, as a serious matter, or as part of our conversations in a more natural way would help us face this process in a more assertive way and, by the way, it would take us a little less by surprise, if we made decisions to facilitate to our family the imminent destiny, such as considering the forecast of acquiring a funeral plan, to avoid worries and excessive expenses in those moments to live with more joy in the present.
At Del Pueblo Funeral Home we are surprised by the extensive operation of content in electronic media, in contrast to a world of ephemeral nature, everything that serves to reflect on impermanence is of our interest and for this reason, we remind you that we make it easy to most difficult moments.