By Lydia Melby, Arts Editor
Everybody has something they constantly do, sometimes almost compulsively, that is not necessarily the brightest, most reasonable thing. Call it a ‘drug of choice’ (not that I am condoning, advocating or legitimizing drug use in any way, just to cover my bases). Sometimes it is drinking large amounts of coffee. Sometimes it is watching a certain TV show. It could be cracking your knuckles all the time, enough that you do not even notice what you are doing anymore and sometimes crack your knuckles loudly during class, Chapel prayer time or even a chamber music recital. It could be listening to old Destiny Child’s albums, although for your sake and your roommate’s sake, I would hope not. I, too, have one of those compulsive habits; my guilty pleasure is looking at the Lolcats Web site several times a day.
Lolcats, which also are sometimes called ‘Cat Macros’ for reasons I have not figured out, are humorous or satirical pictures of cats in funny situations, doing funny things or making funny faces. These pictures generally have a caption relating the cat’s thoughts in Lolspeak, a kind of pidgin English constructed to make fun of the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang or texting abbreviations.
Alhough the first ‘Lolcat’ was created in early 2005, according to Wikipedia, Lolcats first began receiving widespread attention when Time magazine’s reporter Lev Grossman wrote the article, “Cashing in on Cute Cats” in 2007. He called Lolcats a rare non-commercialized phenomenon that has “a distinctly old-school, early 1990s, Usenet feel.” With such praise from a prestigious magazine, who could resist checking them out? And do not worry; once you do, you will be hooked.
A lot of my friends do not understand my obsession with Lolcats. They do not understand Lolcats has so much to offer. Of course there is always the argument that smiling several times a day does wonders for your health (and your mood), but the Lolcat movement offers cultural satire, historical references, political statements and even your daily dose of heavy religious metaphor (in the form of Ceiling Cat, a white cat that lives in the ceiling and watches your every move, and Basement Cat, a black cat that lives in, you guessed it, the basement and might be plotting your demise) and all in the form of an easy to swallow pop-culture-and-cuteness capsule. Another bonus would be the easy-to-learn cannibalized English language, kind of like an inside joke. Like the other day, when I went to Sonic with a friend, and when my time to order came, I said simply, “I can has cheezburger now?” My friend looked at me like I had just pulled a bazooka out of my back pocket and yelled, “Yippee-Ki-Yay!” into the microphone. However, the waiter simply said, “Ok,” read me my total and you can bet he and I shared a secret laugh when he brought our food out. He at least was in on the awesomeness that is Lolcats.
So if you are down in the dumps, bored in class or have watched all The Office reruns and have nothing to do on a Thursday night, go to icanhascheezburger.com and indulge in the fun.