After we were instructed to make our memes, I left school a little bit confused and uninspired. However, I then saw a Teenager Post, which are essentially memes teenagers create that describe situations that many other teens find “relatable”. Now, I find some of these posts relatable, but a lot of them I don’t connect with at all. So, for my first meme, I decided to make a mockery of these kinds of memes that we teenagers are expected to find relatable, and also connect it with our little unit on the American Revolution and Hamilton the Musical.
I guess the humor in this meme (if there even is any) is how this is obviously not a situation that teens can really relate to. The situation I’m describing is the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, which occurred after Hamilton vigorously campaigned against Aaron Burr during the election for the Governor of New York in 1804, a title that Burr was running for. As many of us already know, Burr ended up mortally injuring Hamilton in a duel that resulted from this, and our “son of a whore” died the next day.
After making this meme, I got more interested between the duel/relationship between Burr and Hamilton. After listening to “Aaron Burr, Sir”, I found it surprising that Burr was the one that ended up killing Hamilton. One thing that I find interesting is that Hamilton purposely missed his shot; in duel, this is known as deloping. Essentially, the first shooter throws away his shot purposely in order to let the other shooter know that he doesn’t want to fight. However, usually, delopers fire at the ground; on the other hand, Hamilton fired up into the sky. Burr may have mistaken this as an actual attempt to kill him, but the possibility of him killing Hamilton despite knowing that he didn’t want to fight can’t be ignored.
Isn’t it cool how much you can learn from making a meme about history?
And finally, here’s the second meme that I made. This kind of meme isn’t all that popular; it’s called a misquote meme, and they pretty much show popular historic figures next to quotes they definitely did not say. John Oliver did a funny video on these kinds of memes, and I encourage you guys to check it out if you want a laugh.
I think this meme is the one that hits both the “disparities in power” big idea, as well as some ideas from Chapter 4 of Howard Zinn’s novel. To quote Howard Zinn: “(Jefferson’s personal distaste for slavery must be put alongside the fact that he owned hundreds of slaves to the day he died).” Essentially, although Jefferson wrote the famous words “All men are created equal”, there is a certain level of hypocrisy associated with him. However, to be fair, Jefferson did believe that manumission (when a slave owner releases his slaves) that involves African-Americans with no real possessions being released into the public could be a very dangerous situation for them. Nonetheless, I find it funny how a man who could write such a seemingly empowering and unifying message could still own people.
I think this is a good example of big idea #3, as the enormous disparity between power, position and wealth between Jefferson and an African-American during his time significantly altered his relationships with black men, whether he believed that “all men are created equal” or not.