By Harley Austin | Satire
Recent footage and internet speculation revealed that a new movie, “Joker”, is coming soon to theaters. Actor Joaquin Phoenix will play the iconic Batman villain, much to the excitement of fans. After mixed reactions to Jared Leto’s performance in the movie “Suicide Squad”, a fresh take on the clown prince of crime is just what fans want.
A New Task for Joaquin Phoenix?
On September 23rd, though, the movie took a new potential twist. That night, Bill Wilson, a devout fan, started a Change.org petition to have Warner Brothers include the line “We Live in a Society” in the movie. How has it done? In just 4 days, the petition reached its goal of 25,000 signatures.
Wilson’s description for the petition are as follows:
We all know about the Joker’s way of thinking and his philosophy. he’s Intelligent, Nihilistic and with a Wicked Sense of Humor. And his views on society speaks large about his character, and I believe so, as many of you do, that if we add this line in the movie it’ll make it significantly better and will show more depth in the twisted mind of the Joker.
What I have in mind is a scene where the Joker sees a kid in a resturant playing Fortnite on his phone while his grandfather is reading a book (insert book title here) and he looks at them and says “damn, we live in a society”. He may say this line as he looks into the camera thus breaking the 4th wall.
We Live in a Society
What exactly does the iconic phrase mean? To put it simply, it is part of a collection of internet memes known as “gang weed”. In the memes, the Joker, usually Heath Ledger’s version from The Dark Knight, describes the so-called “oppression of gamers”.
These memes contain a large amount of impact font and bad cropping in order to increase the ironic value. They are told from the perspective of a teenage gamer struggling with what he perceives as oppression from “society”. This mainly includes the characters “Chad”, who bullies him, and “Veronica”, who friend-zones him. The memes usually end with “gamers rise up”, which has become the trademark of this type of meme. In every case, they contain the signature watermark: Heath Ledger’s Joker with “This post was made by Gang Weed” in impact font.
-An example of these types of memes.
Origins of the Meme
As you can see, the perceived oppression from “society” is where the phrase “we live in a society” originates. The memes are also sarcastic attacks on organizations that supposedly control society and oppress gamers. These include corporations, the media, and the government, especially Donald Trump (or “Drumpf” as the memes often say). These groups supposedly oppress gamers by keeping marijuana, or “gang weed”, illegal. They also, according to the memes, use public schools and homework to stop gamers from gaming.
The supposed creator of the genre of the meme is the Gang Weed Facebook account along with its official Instagram account, gang_weed_on_ig. There is also a subreddit called r/gamersriseup that is dedicated to posting gang weed memes. However, the official Gang Weed account views that subreddit as “normies”, even including a second watermark on gang weed memes that says “this post was not made by r/gamersriseup”.
Gang Weed has also generated numerous spin-offs, the largest of which being Gang Juul, Gang Dip, and Gang Alcohol. All of these variations add their own twist to both the meme and the personality of the “gamer” represented. In fact, they even form alliances and rivalries with each other at times.
With the very ironic, niche, and slightly less family-friendly nature of these memes, the odds of Warner Brothers including a reference to it in the movie are slim. However, with 25,000 fans desperate to end the oppression of gamers, anything can happen at this point. Does the Joker think we live in a society? Does he appreciate the meme? We’ll find out in 2019.
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