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Funny Pics - More Than For the Lulz

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					Funny Pics - More Than For the Lulz
Funny images on the internet are almost as popular as that other thing
that you always clear your cookies for and is most assuredly not safe for
work. There's a very good chance that the first image you ever saw on the
internet could be labeled as funny; or least tried to be funny. How is it
different today from when the internet first started entering homes
across the world?
The most popular funny pics today are undoubtedly lolcat images, which
combine word captions (in this instance conveying emotion or
conversation) and lovable kitties. The lolcat images are really an
evolution of humor's existence on the internet. The first popular image
macros (itself a reference to a user-defined "macro" inserting itself
onto an image) were born within the forums of Something Awful. Around
2005 the 4chan imageboard featured a once weekly entry of "Caturdays," a
predecessor to the now infamous lolcat images. From then until 2007
lolcats floated under the public's general radar until commercial efforts
brought lolcats to the forefront of the web.
Another staple of today's funny pic genre are the motivational poster
parodies. You may also see these described as demotivational posters or
demotivators. This meme's popularity also owes it's roots to 4chan and
it's /b/ board. The premise is simple enough; take an image which can
have obvious humorous attributes or none at all, add a keyword and then
finish it off with a sentence to include the punch-line. Here's an
example: A poster-like image features a picture of a wooden fence with a
sign that reads "Electric Fence." The keyword written in a big bold
script reads "Intelligence," and the punch-line written below is "If
anyone tells you that you have some, they are lying or they hate you."
The appeal and popularity of the motivational poster parodies is the easy
access for anyone to make one. Many websites feature programs that will
help to automatically create the look of a motivational poster, with the
user only needing to apply the image and wording.
That in essence brings us to the tried and true funny pics of the
internet; the photoshops. Requiring perhaps a bit more skill and patience
than lolcats and demotivators, photoshops have proven to be sky's the
limit when it comes to humor. Something Awful (with it's Photoshop
Phridays) and Fark have hosted photoshop contests and events for years.
The basic premise behinds these is to create a theme or idea for entrants
to follow; for example "Product Placements," which would combine ordinary
or well-known settings with unexpected product placements (ie: Coca-Cola
armband on Hitler at a Nazi rally). Sometimes combining in-jokes, clichés
or pre-existing memes the humor behind these imaginative creations may be
lost on someone who is relatively new to the internet or is not aware of
it's underlying repetitive jokes. The photoshops that are able to combine
those in-jokes with universal appeal are the ones that always manage to
find their way into your e-mail box next to the 10 Worst Pick-Up Lines
that your mom sent you.
Darwin Stevens is an internet and humor enthusiast who hopes that one day
laughter will cure everything. Until then he invites you to share your
sense of humor at http://www.darwinscamera.com where we look at the world
through snorts, sniggles, giggles, guffaws, titters and good old-
fashioned cackles.

				
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posted:10/15/2010
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