If the team were a meme...

It’s been a long old winter here in North Devon, but as most of the team will agree, there’s been one thing that’s kept us going. Memes. They are the light when all seems dark, the hope when all seems lost and the true connection that makes us a team. The role they play in the lives of many cannot be stressed enough, so we decided to look further into the meaning, history and journey of the meme in order to better understand the recent phenomenon.

By definition

There are cultural variations of how people from all over the world perceive what it means to be a meme. In basic terms, it can be defined as ‘an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.’

A journey through time

The term was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 bestseller The Selfish Gene. He referred to a meme as something ‘which is ascribed to an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture’. The first recognisable meme fitting this description was a dancing baby, or Baby Cha Cha, who appeared in the 90s sitcom Ally McBeal. There was also a dancing hamsters video, set to the theme of Robin Hood’s ‘Whistle Stop’ sped up and looped. This saw the host site go from an average of 4 page views a day to over 15,000.  Memes have come a long way since then. The ever-evolving nature of the Internet means that deserving content can quickly go viral and be shared community by community, through a variety of networks on an international scale. This proves Marshall McLuhan’s ideas about a global village, as a global society without geographic boundaries is truly utilised via the worldwide exchange of memes.

Popular memes today include the ‘be like Bill’ stickman pictures, the ‘but that’s none of my business’ Kermit the frog drinking tea editions and, an office favourite, ‘cash me ousside, howbow dah’. On social media today, you are hard pressed to find a timeline without a meme and many friendships are based solely on the ‘tagging’ of each other in images and videos they find amusing. Here’s our version of if the team were a meme…

Lewis

Lewis is often described lovingly by colleagues as old before his years, or a 50-year-old man trapped in a twenty-something’s body. Lewis is adverse to most things summer-related, including beaches, the sea, sand and general enjoyment. He also never quite mastered riding a bike and is well known around Barnstaple for walking his BMX from place to place, so this meme sums him up quite well:

Stu

This meme is a good reflection of Stu, as he likes to support the underdog. This is shown time and time again through his avid support for Liverpool FC, who despite an unfaltering belief from Stu, consistently fail to deliver. Stu is also a massive fan of the X Factor and organised a support rally for Honey G in the square last year.

Monica

‘Mental Mon’ as she’s so affectionately known is our token northerner, and as such brings some quietly aggressive and evil inner personalities. And she can’t blame it on Patricia. In a recent unfortunate incident in the office, Stu was the victim of her lift-pressing habits and rumour has it he’s still waiting for the lift to come back up to the third floor.

Mikey

It’s no secret that Mikey loves an otter or two, so an otter-related meme seemed most fitting option. The uncanny resemblance should also not be ignored, as Mikey is somewhat of a pillar to the community in Barnstaple, perhaps as a result of his signature protruding lower canines. Mikey aims to follow the footsteps of wolf man in Combe Martin, and live in a colony of otters in the near future.

Chloe

This meme could not be more accurate Chloe. Despite the air con system being set at 30 degrees most days, Chloe just can’t seem to get warm and is at constant battle with the office over the temperature. She looks forward to summer, where she hopes the heat might rise to the third floor to make an unbearable temperature exceeding 30 degrees, or as she likes to call it, the ideal work environment.

Tillie

There is not a single person in Devon who loves hot chocolate as much as Tillie. She sees the cups away like there’s no tomorrow and defies all odds to have over 4 cups on some days. Tillie also loves dogs, and is easily distracted when she sees one outside, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a meme about both.

Alex

Alex often seems to have a deep rage burning inside him during general office chat. In a recent debate, he argued that monkeys put in a room with a typewriter for infinity would eventually rewrite the entire works of Shakespeare. He was soon proved wrong when others pointed out that monkeys can’t spell, and pulled a face similar to the dog shown below.

Hayley

Hayley is the newest addition to the Ducard team and often starts the day with a Gangnam Style-esque dance. Classic Hayley.

Joe

Joe proved ignorant to the world of memes and was unsure on what all the fuss was about. That said, he is often spotted at Rock Park skate arena, amidst bikes and skateboards, displaying unreal technique on his heelies. He is well known in the town for rolling his way to work and hopes to soon release a vlog documenting his most recent skillset to the soundtrack of Chamillionaire.

Ben

In a recent relocation, Ben now works from the new office in London. We are assured he works hard everyday from the office, however other sources have informed us that he loves the thrill of the tube and often rides the Piccadilly line for several hours at a time.

Tyrone

Tyrone plays an important role in the London office, and is in fact the only member of our team who is native to the city. As a result, he can only talk in cockney rhyming slang. This has taken the Devon-based office some getting used to and there’s been talk of a translator to help with this language barrier.

Tom

Tom is a self-confessed banter king and knows how to wind up the team. Though whilst he baits friends and thrives off nibbles, many say the crippling effects of supporting Aston Villa is eating him up inside.

Shannon

Shannon is an avocado enthusiast and often tells tales of her lunchtime escapades with dishes featuring the fruit or posts fantastic photos on her Instagram. She is also a world-class driver, holding several championship titles and yet doesn’t have a set of wheels to call her own. She loves a pun as much as the next, making this meme perfect for her.

Annie

Annie loves a choccy milk.

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