Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ab ki baar, #epicfail yaar

Short post on something which has been bugging me a little. When the Modi Sarkaar (or Mudi Circar if you follow the viral Norinder Mudi page) meme circulated, a lot of us felt that it had great potential as satire: by flattening and reducing the rhetoric of the Modi PR team to hollow sillyness. (I spun a couple of these too.) It turned out to be quite the opposite, the crowning achievement of Modi's social media campaign for office. How?

Let's turn to chacha Žižek for an answer (who has useful things to say inspite of the controversies he deservedly faces).

Because it's silly and catchy, the meme circulated widely, pretending to be implicit critique while never really making good on that agenda. In fact, because it had the pretense of criticism - or at least 'neutral, apolitical' humour - it reinforced the campaign (a funny slogan, howsoever meaningless, is ultimately more effective than a sombre one). Which means: media studies should probably look at how memes function in peddling ideology. Q.E.D.