Me_IRL and MemeEconomy are the nerve center of Reddit’s meme-hungry brain. If r/The_Donald is where its hardest trolls conspire to ruin the rest of Reddit in addition to the actual world, me_irl and MemeEconomy are more docile, but no less lulzy, counterparts. Think more “Dat Boi,” less targeted harassment of female celebrities.
On Monday, something remarkable happened: a meme appeared from the future. A post on me_irl featured an old man being shoved to the side by purple, blue, and green versions of the old man, along with the caption: “This meme is from the future You don’t get the reference yet.” It is a sort of perfect post for me_irl—a meta-conspiracy about the insider-humor of memes—and it accordingly gained 26,000 votes.
Further information appeared yesterday that the meme was actually from the year 42069. Here is an artist’s rendering of the meme being shoved into a Stargate to land in primitive 2016, when the future God-Emperor was still known as “Donald Trump” and was only just then being named “Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year.”
Since the emergence of the future meme, it has been abstracted, not through any lore involving the old man but instead the original image and the placement of the three tinted old men.
On MemeEconomy—which mostly consists of posters demanding that other posters “Buy” or “Sell” memes based on an imaginary click economy—memes from the future and ones replicating the positioning and coloring of the original old man are in high demand. Per the fiction of the meme, we don’t get the reference yet, but it is already gaining steam as a meaning-free reference to itself. In some ways, then, it is a perfect meme, a sort of terminator. The future is irrevocably changed, but is it for the better?