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Vol. 8 No. i (2020): Spring 2020

Waiting for Dat Boi: An Absurdist Defense of Internet Humor

November 21, 2023


While the generation gap is nothing new, it has been sharpened by the disparity in technological literacy and the development of an internet culture that often excludes older generations, especially “boomers.” In reaction, this gap often manifests in accusing Gen Z of blindness to the real world or dismissing them altogether. In an effort to bridge that divide, this paper describes and analyzes “internet humor” using the framework of a post-World War II phenomenon, the Theatre of the Absurd, and treats that phenomenon’s response to the postwar landscape as an analogue to the current landscape. This paper contends that internet memes are an artistic reaction to the chaotic, doomsaying world that Gen Z is growing up in. It establishes a schema in which those struggling to connect with young people could unlock the secret to understanding how Gen Z looks at, laughs at, and participates in the world around them.