“Lawrencing” And Other Supposedly Hilarious Things on the Internet That Actually Aren’t

How much more boring Is Internet “humor” going to get? Because I fear that I’m going to eventually scratch a hole through to my skull trying to figure out why any of this crap is funny.

Jennifer Lawrence, one of America’s many sweethearts, wore a white Dior dress with two black ribbons around the waist and hips to the Golden Globes. Lawrence seems like a cool enough and talented young woman, but WHY IS THIS INTERESTING TO ANYONE? Or rather, why is it funny to put little sheets around dogs and cats or for men to wear toga-style strapless outfits with black ribbons around them? I really don’t understand why this qualifies as humor, or as “creativity,” as Buzfeed actually called it.

Quickly dubbed “Lawrencing,” these boring, unfunny photos imitating J-Law’s white Dior dress have been blowing up Instagram and Twitpic, for some reason that escapes me. And evidently, no news outlet wanted to risk looking out of touch by not reporting on this stimulating cultural motif, so within hours 9 million websites — including those of CNN, Vanity Fair, Mashable and the New York Post — spit out dull Lawrencing stories calling the meme a “fun new Twitter trend” and other boring things.

I was similarly baffled that this guy wiping his forehead – “Drake hands” guy – was hilarious and ripe for even more supposedly hilarious imitation.

Because you saw something on the Internet and then someone else does the same thing on the Internet, it becomes funny? This kind of digital refuse is starting to make LOLcats look sophisticated and nuanced.

Cracked.com explored this topic four years ago: “It’s the America’s Funniest Home Video Syndrome. The Internet loves seeing people fall down, figuratively and literally. It loves seeing people fail miserably at anything they try.” Whether it’s wearing a weird tampon dress or enticing a model you hit on in a coffee shop.

Am I overreacting feeling alarmed that whereas once, it took a bride sliding across a reception hall floor in slippery satin pumps, crashing into her wedding cake and falling down to elicit yuks, but now, a douchebag looking sensitive in a 17-second selfie video qualifies as screamingly funny?

I realize that people finding humor in bland, unfunny things is not something spurt from the loins of the Internet. It’s why Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Dunham are wealthy men. But at least Larry and Jeff tell jokes of some sort, as lame as they are. What is baffling to me is that a mere recognition of an image now qualifies as clever to many people in our desensitized “Don’t Taze Me, Bro” culture.

Quoting Cory in his Cracked story, once again: “Maybe I’m being a bit extreme here, but the fact remains that these remixes are dependent upon previous knowledge of the meme. They are not objectively funny and they have the same problem you run into when watching a reference movie. A reference is made, you recognize said reference, and you ‘laugh’ because you remember what they’re referencing, but is it actually a joke? Are they tickling your funny bone or are they just pointing at your recollection bone?”

Haha yeah I seen that before lol. Anyway…guess I’ll wrap up this rant for the time being. Ow My Balls! is on the teevee.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.