Wikipedia defines a meme as "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." Kind of like the meme of altruism. Oh wait, scratch that...helping other people--not just for shameless-self promotion, but for the sake of actually doing good, would never catch on, although it does make for a particularly poignant commercial if you're a multi-billion dollar insurance company:
But I'm talking about things that are really important, and that spread through the cultural landscape like wildfire. Y'know, like planking: lying face-down, motionless and completely oblivious to your surroundings. Yet how is that any different from what you do everyday as a citizen in this post-modern world? Where is the novelty in that, let alone the creativity? How many rhetorical questions can I ask in a single paragraph?
In all seriousness though, this is one of the most mindless fads to sweep the internet in ages. It hasn't been funny since Tom Greene did it in the mid-90s and it is so vastly unoriginal and uninspiring that even the morons who popularized it are moving on to bigger and better things...like owling. Thanks, Hilary Duff--you're totally socially relevant again (and your husband looks thrilled)! Pure genius.
Just imagine if you were an advanced form of extraterrestrial life, here to observe mankind before deciding wether or not to establish contact with our species. As soon as you saw a trend of people trying to outdo one another by perching themselves on ledges in an increasingly precarious manner, you would pack it up and take the next hyperspeed shuttle back to your home planet, without thinking twice. The real scary thing is that we are now encouraged by the internet to replicate the same action that everyone else is doing, no matter how inane or non-clever that action may be, just so that we can get in on a fad. What we're actually doing is promoting an environment which squashes innovation and promotes blind, mind-numbing repetition. Pavlov has just rung your bell.
Personally, I'd like to advocate throning. That's the new fad where you just sit in a chair of your choosing and look all regal--like a king. There's not much to it, but that's the whole point. Just because it's easy doesn't meant that you can't perfect it, as this awesome gentleman plainly demonstrates. And guess what, if you happen to perish while attempting these lemming-like stunts of stupidity, you are doing humanity a tremendous favor. At least natural selection has found one small way to infiltrate modern society in an earnest attempt to improve the gene pool. And speaking of pools, make sure to check out another internet sensation making the rounds: Leisure Diving. At least this one is actually cool to look at, and probably increases the risk of catastrophic injury. G'day mate.