Five days into the new year, and the internet has lost its mind. Its latest obsession? #WWIII. As most of you may know, the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed last Friday, January 3rd , in an American drone strike. It gets worse when knowing that Iran promised retaliation for the attack on Soleimani. Tensions have risen between the countries, and it makes sense to be scared. Yet, some don’t understand what’s exactly going on. It is part of the American Dream for our troops to never set foot in the Middle East ever again. That, however, only appears to be true for half of the American population.
Millennials, and others with a dark sense of humor, have been spending the last three days making memes. The purpose of these embellished photos is to poke fun at certain cultural and social symbols, thanks to the use of social allusions pertaining to movies, tv shows, and commercials. In other words, regardless of the kind of meme, at least one person is bound to relate to it. In this case, they are using a variety of content to mockingly spread the possibility of World War 3 occurring, hence #WWIII.
The humor behind these memes serves as a distraction. They are used to distract ourselves from the fact the United States of America has succumbed to worse behavior in the past. Nevertheless, that of course doesn’t stop us from giving birth to #WWIII. Taking effect in platforms such as Twitter and Tik Tok, the content is a filter. A filter that helps them collect and express their fears about the present and, perhaps, the future. All of this, however, takes place in the past.
20th Century Fantasy
World War Three, in the simplest way possible, is the name given to a hypothetical scenario that is meant to take place after the first two World Wars. It is some sort of fantasy with its own set of theories. Being used since the 1940s, the term has been used to describe military conflicts such as the Cold War and the War on Terror, hence its use in the conflict between the US and Iran.
Part of the term WWIII is the possible use of both nuclear and biological warfare. Due to the technological advances we have gone through, there is a high chance that the number of casualties will surpass the damages created by any prior conflict. I call it a self-destructive fantasy, if you will.
It is as if the ones creating the memes want it to happen, without taking into consideration of the likely outcome. Albert Einstein once suggested that the effects of another possible World War would be so dire as to revert society back into the Stone Age. Nevertheless, it’s still hasn’t happened… yet. Which I think is an important point to keep in mind, since I am seeing many Americans think the US has already declared war with Iran.
Anything Can Happen.
One of the most recent pushes toward this hypothetical war is Iran choosing to end all commitments to the nuclear deal back in 2015. According to an article on the New York Times “Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production, including enrichment capacity.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the end of the US presence in West Asia has begun. Is it serious? Yes. Are we going to stop making and/or sharing memes? Not too soon. Mainly because President Trump insists that the drone strike was ordered to prevent war. If his train of thought doesn’t give you enough ammo (pun intended) for meme content creation, I don’t know what will.