Increasingly Verbose: Let’s eat(,) Grandma

Increasingly Verbose is a meme in which a number of panels are placed in a vertical column. Each panel has an image and some text, usually the text adjacent to the image. In the top panel, the image is rich in detail and the text sparse. In succeeding panels, the original image is rendered increasingly abstractly and the original text increasingly verbosely. (Other names for this meme emphasize the progression of the image component – “Deconstructed Memes,” “Meme Decay,” etc..) Here is an example, taken from the webpage linked to above:


I love this kind of meme, though the instances of it that I have found on the internet seem not to do justice to its great potential. I love the counterpoint between what happens to the image and what happens to the text. I love the idea of saying “the same thing” in increasingly complex and wordy ways. A good example, in my opinion, will have the iterations of the text pushing the boundaries of “the same thing” much, much further. (Not being a visual person and not being greatly skilled in image manipulation software, my own efforts in this medium have not taken advantage of what one could do with the increasing abstraction of the image.)

In my book, the commentary on one of the memes will itself take the form of an Increasingly Verbose meme, the original panel of which will be the meme being commented on. This will, at least provisionally, equate the giving of commentary with the idea of saying the same thing with more words, but coupled with my lax conception of the “the same thing,” will also, I hope, amplify the original meme. The Increasingly Verbose commentary may, as you can imagine, require some commentary of its own, and given its columnar form, those with some familiarity with Jewish religious texts will probably see where this is heading.

I will not reproduce the original meme or the Increasingly Verbose commentary here. But in their place, I offer another Increasingly Verbose meme I have created:

Klein1 Klein2Klein3

The image is a picture of the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and the original text is commonly found as part of memes posted by overly-zealous punctuationists. Klein has a grandmotherly aspect that suits her as the face of a campaign for prophylactic punctuation. The second panel has some fun with the slightly archaic-sounding language that is often resorted to in Increasingly Verbose memes (in order to meet the exacting quota of increasing verbosity!!!). (Also, I love the feminine “-trix” forms of “-tor” words.) But the third panel takes up more seriously the reasons for putting text about eating, and eating grandma, over a picture of Melanie Klein. The text here describes a progression through the schizoid position, in which the infant, to protect itself from its own anger, engages in splitting, to the depressive position, in which the infant has to reincorporate the previously split off parts of itself to achieve a wholeness that can experience love and rage towards to the same objects without being torn apart. Thus, the final panel suggests the motion from “let’s eat, Grandma” (come on, give me my food, Grandma) to “let’s eat Grandma” (I must incorporate the figure of Grandma on whom I have projected part of myself). But the reference to punctuation persists in the writer’s dream-life, which puns on the relation between “punctuation” and “punctuality” (the lack of which in feeding was the cause of the initial rage).

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