Lee Simmonds on the joys and pitfalls of the humble Graphics Interchange Format
The gif, or moving meme. Or “momeme.”
What is it that makes these little nuggets of pre-packaged charisma so endearing? Perhaps it is because when your friend replies with a dog gif it makes you think yes actually they are very much like a dog because their breath smells and they shit outside a lot. Or is it because it is very surprising to see rather than spending the time to type a thoughtful reply they have short cut the effort and put one word into the gif generator that sums up their sentiment because they are a lazy fuck. Or are gifs so charming because they are a blatant acknowledgement of the sender's inherent lack of sense of humour? I know you’ve sent a gif when trying to pretend that you’re funny to your chirpse but deep down knowing full well you’re as funny as coal. I mean I don’t blame you; gifs are the socially ameliorative progeny of internet nihilism, so steeped in jokes that have already been made and been through iterations of being made that they're almost fail proof. Even if the recipient doesn't find it funny then it's not your fault: you’re not the one that made it. In fact it’s their fault they’ve got fucking issues and they need rehab now fuck holy shit I’m actually concerned I’ve got some calls to make.
So on receiving a gif is it like ah bless them they tried? (Unless they’re a real loser who goes around making their own gifs OH god get this guy some friends please - No the people he's messaging aren't his friends if he’s using homemade gifs trust me) But no they are good right? I think they are good they act as a mutual acceptance of the diarrhoea of consciousness that pervades a pointless conversation so why not use them like all the time like a conversation with just gifs that could be funny couldn't it why are we all going around living a lie actually making conversation out of dialogue when we can just gif it?
Pictures are easier than words aren't they? Or they paint a thousand.
The fuck. Is there a man in the sky who makes the gifs? Is there like one man who is really good at pre-empting gif moments, or “goments” that might arise in a conversation, sitting at his big sky computer cutting them out of films giggling to himself with his omniscient sense of humour? Also are you famous if you end up in a gif? I recently filmed my mum going crazy after watching la la land (I think it brought back her glory days when she used to do ballet) and put her weird episode on my Snapchat story but then suddenly got worried she'd become a gif. I was worried I'd giffed her right up. I wonder what the caption might be or how it would be used in a conversation? Maybe: when you’re in the club dying for a shit but the music's just too good. Or: when you trick your mum into eating hash-laxative, or “haxative” brownies for the first time. Actually no that doesn't seem casual enough; that wouldn't slide into a conversation seamlessly like a perfectly formed Cumberland sausage of a shit that my mum is metaphorically harbouring in her jiving bowels. I think it would have to be simpler, like: I'm so excited and I just can't hide it. Or yeah I realise I'm a freak and I don't care. Goodness this is getting quite focused around my mum isn't it?
Freud gifs are shit by the way. There’s a serious gap in the market for decent Freud gifs. No but really in all seriousness you should use gifs. Yes, they're useful and self-aware and funny so if you don't think you're very funny just use more gifs. Simple as that. Then I'm sure in a few years they'll make some invention that means you can have pre-recorded snippets of humour inserted into your brain so you never have an awkward social moment and the crowds are always leaving feeling like they got their money's worth and the stand-up comedy industry bursts into flames.