In 1966, John Lennon gave an interview to the London Evening Standard in which he stated that Christianity was on the decline and that the Beatles were currently more popular than Jesus Christ. It didn’t raise hackles when published initially in the UK, but by the time that news hit the United States, however, Christian communities were aflame with outrage (something we didn’t see a lot of when Adele compared Beyonce to Christ). Records were burned, radio stations refused to play the band’s music, threats were leveled with fervor. How then, will contemporary audiences react to the news that memes are more popular than Jesus?
Twitter user @Kuwaddo posted an image depicting a historic Google trend that demonstrates the number of searches for “Jesus” have been surpassed by searches for “Memes.” There’s no evidence that people have stopped searching for Jesus, though — in fact, historically there is a pattern of consistent searches with increases around prominent Christian holidays. On the contrary, there has simply been a strong increase in searches for memes, especially since 2011, when Instagram launched.
Hopefully, this means devout communities will refuse to use memes in protest and their refusal becomes its own meme. If they succeed, people can use success kid and a failure seems like something Willy Wonka would like you tell him about again.
Let’s celebrate with MEMES!